December 5, 2012
Cash Gift to Help Pay for Tsunami Debris Cleanup
A $5-million gift from the Japanese government will help a federal agency offset costs of cleaning up debris along the west coast of the U.S. generated from the March 2011 tsunami. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration director Jane Lubchenco says the money will be used to support response efforts to clean up debris that may wash ashore, as well as paying for disposal fees, cleanup supplies, detection and monitoring.
Debris from the disaster has drifted across the Pacific Ocean with the first signs of it showing up last spring. After an influx over the summer months, weather and wind patterns have changed, leaving the accumulation in hiatus. It’s expected that winter storms, however, will begin to force more debris ashore. NOAA had provided $50-thousand each to four states in July to help pay for cleanup. Oregon parks officials spent approximately $100-thousand alone to remove a large section of dock that washed ashore near Newport.
Tribe Set to Receive Cultural Site
The Coast Guard is preparing to turn the historic Cape Arago Lighthouse over to Indian tribes. Part of the work involves removing a 74-year old bridge that has been condemned for quite some time. The lighthouse, near Shore Acres State Park west of Coos Bay, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993. It’s being transferred next year to the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians. The site holds cultural and historical significance to tribal members.
Fuel prices have reached a low not seen since the first of this year. Drivers in the area are paying on average $3.34 a gallon for regular unleaded… an average that was last seen locally in mid-January. Within 6 weeks of that price, however, it had skyrocketed 60-cents where it flirted with the four-dollar a gallon mark for several months. Prices began to fall in August, eventually coming down to the current level. Florence’s average price is nine-cents below the statewide average. For the first time in recent memory it’s also less than the national average price as measured by Triple-A… $3.38.
Santa on the Air
A visit with Santa Claus will be the centerpiece of this month’s Our Town on KCST. The jolly old elf himself will be on this afternoon’s program from four to six pm on 106.9. Joining Santa will be Lindsey Phillips, the Community Outreach Manager for the Florence Events Center. She’ll have details on many of the holiday season activities. Also part of the program will be members of the Soroptimist International of Florence, sponsors of the annual Community Christmas Basket Project. Rounding out the lineup will be local author Aaron Nicholson with a Christmas gift idea… his book entitled “The State of Determination” about his two efforts to hike the Pacific Crest Trail in Oregon carrying the supplies he needs on his back.