Local News – Finding funding; Releasing inmates; Let your wishes be known

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Local News

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

City and Port to team up in funding search

One of the proposed projects contained in Florence’s Transportation Systems Plan is a walking trail from near the mouth of Munsel Creek, along the wetlands east of Florence to the Old Town area.  City Manager Jacque Betz recently reached out to officials with another local government agency to see if they would be willing to partner with the city on an application for funding the Siuslaw Estuary Trail.

Jacque Betz – “The Port of Siuslaw and the City of Florence are going to do a joint application to the State Transportation Department to see if we can get on the State Transportation Improvement Project list, but this would not be until 2015.”

The two governments will share in an estimated $4-thousand cost to prepare the application and jointly submit it to the Oregon Department of Transportation.  Betz said if approved, the work could still be as much as six years away.

Inmate Releases on the Rise

The number of early releases from the Lane County Jail due to funding restrictions has been steadily rising over the past several months.  Sergeant Carrie Carver with the Sheriff’s office says in the last two weeks of May there were just under 40 releases each week.  Over the course of the summer the average number of releases has more than doubled with last week’s reaching 114 releases due to a lack of space.

Sheriff Tom Turner had to close an entire jail wing in June, limiting the number of available beds to only 96.  With more arrests each week, that means the Sheriff and his staff are constantly evaluating which prisoners are the highest risk, and which ones should go free.

Let Your Wishes Be Known

How do you know your personal wishes will be carried out if you’re unable to speak for yourself?  How do your family members and care givers know what your wishes are?

For more than 40 years now there has been a concept called an “advance directive”, also known as a “living will”.  It can provide you with a voice in how your care should proceed.  Oregon has an approved form that this directive must take in order to be legally binding.  Nancy Smith, a clinical social worker with Peace Harbor Hospital will be talking about how to fill the Oregon Advance Directive out properly… as well as make sure those wishes are shared with the proper people.

Smith will discuss living wills, medical powers of attorney and the proper appointment of a health care representative next Wednesday from 12:30 to 1:30 at Peace Harbor Hospital.