Local News – Plover recovery; Counting ballots; Crab delay; Home for the Holidays at the FEC

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Local News

November 15, 2012

Endangered Shore Bird Reaching Recovery Numbers

Officials say the recently completed Snowy Plover nesting season produced more offspring than in any other year since they’ve been monitoring populations of the small shorebird.  Officials counted 231 breeding plovers this year, an increase from only 35 breeding birds counted 20 years ago.  That was just a year before the bird was listed as an endangered species under federal regulations.

The success doesn’t mean nesting protections that close 18 miles of Oregon’s 360-mile coastline to public use between April and September will be coming to an end any time soon.  Kerrie Palermo, a Bureau of Land Management biologist who has been working on Plover protection since before the listing says exclosures… fences and ropes designed to keep humans away… will likely be put up each year long after numbers of the bird increase to the point where they’ll no longer be listed as endangered.



There are still no results from the laborious hand-counting of about 34-thousand ballots at the Lane County Elections office.  Supervisor Cheryl Betschart said the hand-tally began Monday as workers sorted through the ballots.  By far the most write-ins were cast for the District Seven Circuit Court Judge position and that’s the primary focus for counters.  Betschart says when they get to the ballots from the two precincts covering Florence they’ll also count the City Council write-ins.  There will be no updates until the process is complete… that could take until November 23rd.



Fisheries managers in three western states have delayed the opening of the commercial Dungeness crab season by at least two weeks to allow the crustaceans to fill with more meat.  Typically opening December first, the season has been pushed back to at least December 16th.  Quality testing in early November showed the majority of samples from different areas along the Washington, Oregon and Northern California coast did not meet minimum standards.  Another round of testing is set for later this month.  The Dungeness crab season produces the highest value commercial seafood harvest in Oregon.  It runs through late August, but the majority of crab are taken in the first two months.



The Friends of the Florence Events Center are beginning a new tradition this year… it’s called “Home for the Holidays” and it includes a gingerbread village contest and breakfast with Santa.  FEC Community Outreach Manager Lindsay Phillips says they’re selling “building lots” for the gingerbread village and entrants can construct their edible structures for display.  Phillips says Santa and Mrs. Claus will be paying a special pre-Christmas visit for breakfast on Friday December 21st at Nine AM.  It’s open to families with adult admission $20, kids six-to-12 are ten dollars; five-and-under are free.  She says seating will be limited so reservations should be made early.  Information on the gingerbread village and the Santa breakfast can be had by contacting her at the Florence Events Center.