Local News: Sheriff Endorses Neighborhood Watch; Kiwanis Ducks set to race; Sea Lion Caves earns award

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Local News

Lane County Sheriff Encourages Deterrence over Vigilance

Tom Turner says the law enforcement presence in rural Lane County is not what it used to be.

Tom Turner – “It’s, uh, unfortunately pretty bleak.”

News this week that a group of Heceta Beach neighbors took a burglary suspect into custody is unfortunately a sign of the times.  But that could be risky business.

Tom Turner – “People really need to be vigilant.  And they need to recognize, you know, some of the issues and that there may be a delayed police response and in order to accommodate that:  Safety in numbers; uh, getting to a safe spot; making sure that you try not to get yourself into a bad situation is, you know always, always should be at the top of your mind, but particularly for a lot of rural residents.”

But, he says, deterrence and prevention programs like Neighborhood Watch are a safer way to go.

Tom Turner – “We have a number of programs that are still very vibrant and running.  We’re also looking at other programs that we might be able to create that are similar to that where they’re at least a call in deal, you know they notify law enforcement, they have a presence out there where people can see them.  It may be that alone, you know, helps to deter some crime.”

Coverage of rural areas is set for yet another reduction in the coming weeks when patrols will be reduced from 20-hours a day to 16 because of continued reductions in public safety funding.

Kiwanis Prepares to Float the Ducks

It’s been a Fourth of July tradition for nearly 15 years in Florence… the Great Kiwanis Duck Race.  As many as 1,999 rubber ducks will be dropped in the Siuslaw River at midday on July 4th.  The first 21 across the finish line will win prizes for winning ticket holders ranging in value from 25 to 300 dollars.  Kiwanians are selling the adoption of each duck for $5.  That means the Duck Race is one of the largest fundraisers for the club says Robin Hicks.

Robin Hicks – “The money goes to a multitude of charities.  It goes to grants and scholarships, it goes to Doernbecher, it goes into… it’s one of the two main Kiwanis fundraisers we do each year.”

The club’s foundation recently distributed $20-thousand to a half-dozen local recipients.  Those awards include about $25-hundred for an after school swimming program in Mapleton; $75-hundred for summer programs at the Boys and Girls Club; nearly six-thousand for playground equipment at Quality Child Care of Florence and $16-hundred to the Caring Pregnancy Center.   Three other awards, each less than a thousand dollars, were given to the Sea Scouts, the ASPIRE program at Siuslaw High School and the Siuslaw football program.

Sea Lion Caves – Enrichment Award

For 80-years Sea Lion Caves has been providing a unique ‘nature-based’ experience with millions of people taking in the world’s largest natural sea-cave, as well as the California and Stellar Sea Lions, and wide variety of seabirds that call it home.  Preserving that environment has always been a priority for the owners and operators.  That’s why Travel Lane County recently presented Sea Lion Caves President and co-owner Steve Saubert with the annual “Eugene, Cascades and Coast Enrichment” award on behalf of the caves.  Travel Lane County is a private, non-profit association dedicated to economic development through visitor spending.