Local News: Local Man Wins Major Regional Recognition; Verger Recaps Legislative Career on Our Town; Watershed Studies Could Shape Forest Practices; Gas Prices Dip, But Still At Near Record Levels

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Central Lincoln PUD Manager Wins Major Award

You could say electricity is in Gary Nieborsky’s blood.  A quick look at his family tree shows a heritage of involvement in power production and distribution that goes back several generations… and shows no sign of stopping.  That could be why the Central Lincoln PUD Distribution and Operations Manager has a fascination with all things electrical.  Nieborsky was recently awarded one of his profession’s highest honors… the Northwest Public Power Association’s Excellence in Engineering and Operations recognition.  He was nominated by colleagues who say the Florence man is always looking for innovative ways to advance and improve efficiency and effectiveness.  One example cited in his award was the successful completion of a three-year $37-million project, 11 months ahead of schedule.  He’s a 31-year veteran of the electricity industry and currently supervises all the electrical distribution operations for Central Lincoln, the fourth largest utility in the state.  The NWPPA covers eight U.S. states and one Canadian Province.  It offers the award every year, but does not always award it.  Nieborsky is the first recipient since 2009.

Verger to Reminisce

After raising a family and working for more than 20 years in the family auto dealership, Joanne Verger entered politics in Coos County.  She eventually won election to the Coos Bay City Council, and then in 1994 she became the first woman to hold the Mayor’s office in that city.  Six years later she moved to the Oregon Legislature where she served two terms in the House before moving to the Senate eight years ago.  She’s decided that it’s time to move away from public life and take it easy.  Verger opted late last year to not seek election to a third four-year term in the Senate.  She’ll step down later this year.  Verger will recap her career this afternoon on KCST’s Our Town from four to six pm.  Also on tap, Lane County Sheriff Tom Turner, Western Lane Ambulance District representatives talking about their local option tax levy… and a little bit of Rhody Royalty.

Stream Studies Could Influence Future Forest Practices

Over the course of the past 41 years scientists and foresters have used extensive research on watersheds to shape Oregon’s forest practices.  A new round of long-term studies on three watersheds on the north coast have the potential to guide future stream protection practices.  The Oregon Forest Resources Institute, in conjunction with the Oregon State University College of Forestry have teamed up for ten years of detailed study over thousands of acres of forestland using technology that wasn’t available at the time of the original studies.  Mike Cloughesy is the Director of Forestry for the OFRI, a state agency with the mission of educating Oregonians about forests and sustainable practices.  He’ll present some of the results of those studies this evening to the local Salmon-Trout Enhancement Program members.  The meeting is at the Florence Elks Lodge at seven pm… it’s open to the public.

Gas Prices Drop, still 60 cents above January level

The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in Florence has dropped seven cents in the past week… and has come down 12 cents in the past four weeks.  But, at $3.91 a gallon, it’s still 60 cents higher than it was in January.  Oregon’s average price, as measured by Triple-A is still above four dollars… at $4.02 and the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded… $3.81.