Local News – Chowder could help stop bullies; City says no to proposed Heceta agreement – Sweet Creek Road Project details – Native American Mascots Discussed by state panel

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Help Stop Bullying with Just a Bowl of Chowder…

It’s really nothing new, but that doesn’t make it right… kids bullying other kids.

Mike Harklerode – “I hate to admit, it’s probably bigger than what we realize.  There’s probably more bullying going on that doesn’t reach adults attention here at the elementary school.  But there’s several incidents a week, I would say, where it’s something that I have to deal with from my office.”

But, says Siuslaw Elementary Principal Mike Harklerode, with a little consistent effort a lot of that type of behavior can be eliminated.

Mike Harklerode – “Once we put the bully label on it, with the behavior that we’re wanting to see stopped, stops just as a result of letting someone know that this is the way it’s perceived, and the way it’s feeling on the other side of it.  Nobody likes to be known as the bully and they feel pretty bad when it’s brought to their attention that the behaviors they’re engaging in is being perceived that way by others.”

Last year, with the help of a fund raiser by a local restaurant the school was able to purchase a portion of an anti-bullying program that helps staff and teachers deal with the issue.  Mo’s Restaurant will be doing the same again this Thursday evening at the Elementary Cafeteria.  That’s where Harklerode says he’ll be.

Mike Harklerode – “Meet the families, meeting the kids and helping with whatever.  At the same time we also have our family math night in a couple other places in our building.  So Thursday night’s going to be a double for parents.  They can come for Family Math Night and they can come for a nice dinner as well.”

Adults eat for ten dollars, kids for five… and a family of four can dine for $25.  Dinner will include a choice of grilled chicken or shrimp, plus a cup of Mo’s famous clam chowder and garlic cheese bread.

City Rebuffs Heceta Water Proposal

It doesn’t appear that there will be an intergovernmental agreement between the City of Florence and Heceta Water District any time soon.  For several years the two agencies have been continuing an on-again, off-again relationship about how to handle the area served by the water district that is inside the city’s Urban Growth Boundary.

Heceta presented another draft proposal to the city earlier this month.  The Florence City Council agreed with City Manager Jacque Betz that since there is no legal requirement for the two parties to have the agreement… and with limited budget resources to conduct negotiations… they won’t address it at this time.

District Manager Scott Meyer disagrees about the legal requirement.  He says the Oregon Revised Statute governing the matter requires the two parties to have a formal agreement in place when the population of overlapping areas between the two entities is more than 25-hundred.  He claims it is at 2,750.  Betz said U.S. Census data provided by the Lane Council of Governments shows it to be considerably less than that… 1,760.

Sweet Creek Road Repairs Detailed

Work is set to begin later this year on repairs to a 40-year old retaining wall along a quarter mile long section of Sweet Creek Road two miles south of Mapleton.  Lane County has made a series of temporary repairs to the structure over the years, but not it’s in danger of failing completely and must be replaced.

While that’s going on, access for the several residents that live beyond that stretch of road will face intermittent road closures… day and night.  In addition to the residents, the road also is a key access to 30-thousand acres of the Siuslaw National Forest.

A public meeting at the Mapleton School this Tuesday evening will provide information about the duration of those closures.  95-percent of the $6.1-million price tag for the project is being paid for by the Federal Highway Administration.

Native American Mascots Discussed by State Education Panel

A resolution presented to the state Board of Education on Thursday would require Oregon high schools to retire their Native American mascots within five years or risk losing state funding.  If approved as early as next month, eight high schools would need to change their nickname and mascot by July 2017 or lose state money. Seven schools identified as the Warriors would only have to alter their mascot.

Since the 1970s, more than 600 high school and college teams have dropped Native American nicknames, including 20 in Oregon. But some small communities have resisted the trend, saying their nickname is a source of pride and tradition.  The board will hold a public hearing on the issue next week and could vote at its meeting in May.