Local News – LCC Wants Input; Jail Walkaway Sought; Learn to Recycle; Siuslaw Estuary Partnership

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LCC Florence Looking to Provide More Offerings to Retirees

For the past decade the focus at Lane Community College has been on providing a broader selection of credit classes aimed at helping people get certifications and two-year degrees in a variety of fields.  Now, says Florence Dean Mary Jean Kuhar, they’re looking to expand offerings to the largest segment of the local population.

Mary Jean Kuhar — “We want to know what else do people who retire to Florence really want?”

Kuhar says the majority of people who live in this area are people who are not likely to come back to college for a degree or certificate.

Mary Jean Kuhar — “We’d like you all to come and take one or two classes a year, just to keep your mind active and connect with other folks.”

With that in mind, Kuhar and administrators will be hosting a trio of focus groups next week to explore the possibilities.

Mary Jean Kuhar — “are there other things that Florence retirees want that aren’t curently here?  And how can LCC be part of that process of enriching the area with opportunities?”

Kuhar says the insights gained will be put to immediate use.

Mary Jean Kuhar — “We’re hoping that this information will really help us to be able to update and change our programs.  Maybe offer some new classes or some new skills opportunities that people are interested in.”

One session has been set for Tuesday at Ten AM, then two more Wednesday at ten and 6:30.  All are planned for the Siuslaw Public Library, but one could be held in Mapleton if there is enough demand.  Kuhar is asking people to call the college at 997-8444, extension 4820, to sign up.

Jail Walkaway Sought

Florence Police are seeking information on a walk-away from the jail earlier this week.  28-year old Jason Patrick Anderson was released on his own recognizance for a medical appointment Wednesday afternoon and failed to return.  He had served 22 days of a 90-day contempt of court citation.  Police say he is a white male, 5-11, 260 pounds with blonde hair and blue eyes.  If he’s seen, police are asking you to call 911 with information.

Recycling Basics at Green Fair

If you’re intimidated by the prospects of recycling you may want to visit the Florence Green Fair at the Florence Events Center.  More than three dozen exhibitors will be set up tomorrow with information on becoming more sustainable.  Many of the booths will deal directly with recycling… Central Coast Disposal, County Transfer, Bring Recycling, the City of Florence, Lane County Waste Management and Oregon State University Extension will provide you with direct information on how to reduce your impact on the waste stream.

Several other exhibitors will provide you a less direct path to sustainability… Upwell Arts by Lara Owens and Given Back Birdhouses each use discarded, found or recycled materials to make their products.  The show runs from ten to four, admission is free.

Siuslaw Estuary Partnership Open House

Florence Community Development Director Sandra Belson says she hopes people would learn more about where their drinking water comes from.  By doing that, she hopes they may also realize some of the so-called little things they do can have a ripple-effect.

Sandra Belson — “Some of the actions that they are taking that may impact not only our drinking water source, but the surface waters around us like the wetland and riparian areas that feed into the Siuslaw Estuary.”

Belson has been part of the Siuslaw Estuary Partnership that has been working for the past three years on not only raising awareness of water quality, but also gathering information about how to protect it.  The third and final open house for the group is set for Monday afternoon at the Florence Events Center.

There will be a review of the group’s findings as well as a preview of possible steps that could be taken.  The Partnership is divided into two different ‘stakeholder’ groups… one of community members, the other elected officials.  Both will meet in the weeks following the open house.

Sandra Belson — “We will discuss the findings of the outreach with them and get direction and then go to the City Council and ask them to consider a package of educational and regulatory measures to carry forth the ending piece of this project.”

She said the other partners involved, such as Lane County, the Tribes and Heceta Water District, may also take measures based on the partnership’s findings.  Monday’s Open House begins at four… formal presentations are set to begin at 5:15.  Belson said it will be completed by seven pm.