Local News – Oregon Dunes; Middle School Computers; Worst Charities; Holly Jolly Follies

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Local News

December 14, 2012

Comment Period for Dune Changes Extended

U.S. Forest Service officials say an increased interest in the process aimed at changing just where off-roaders can use their ATVs, quads and motorcycles on the Oregon Dunes has prompted an extension of the public comment period on the action.  Central Coast District Ranger Michelle Jones also says a combined request by Coos, Douglas and Lane County Commissioners to delay action contributed to the extension.

Despite the large number of comments so far from riders who say the preferred alternative is too restrictive and will lead to continued loss of open sand, the Forest Service is sticking with the preferred alternative; one that would open an additional 2.1 miles of trail and allow unrestricted riding on 455 acres previously marked as off-limits.

Critics, though, say the trails are unsafe and underwater much of the year; and the additional acreage is choked with vegetation and not rideable at all.  Members of the group “Save the Riders Dunes” say they prefer a balanced approach that will help control vegetation and return more open sand to the dunes.  The comment period is open through January 24th.

Oregon’s Worst Charities

The list of the 20 worst charities in Oregon has been compiled by the Oregon Department of Justice.  Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum says it is made up of non-profit organizations registered in the state that provide less than 25-percent of their expenditures to charitable causes.  In some cases, the so-called charities provide less than three dollars of every hundred spent to the intended cause.  Topping the list this year is the Law Enforcement Education Program of Troy, Michigan which spent less than 2.7 percent of their reported three million dollars in expenses to creating and supporting educational  programs for the law enforcement community.  The Department of Justice cannot dictate how charities spend their money.  But, says Rosenblum, they can help consumers do some basic research to ensure that money is used as intended..   The full list of the worst 20 charities in Oregon can be viewed at KCST-dot-com.

Middle School Computers

The 87 eighth graders at Siuslaw Middle School love using technology.  Heather Wiggins is a teacher there and she wants to take advantage of that love by bringing more computers into the classroom.  A recent move to provide wireless technology in all Siuslaw Schools supports that effort, but without additional hardware it will be difficult.  Currently, she says, there is only one classroom set of 30 laptops available for the entire 300-student middle school.  Wiggins she has a chance to earn another classroom set, at only $99 each, through a group called “donors-dot-choose-dot-org”.  Donors can contribute through Wiggins’ website.  For every dollar donated before December 20th the organization will match it 100-percent.  The link to that website with more information and instructions on how to donate can be found at KCST-dot-com.

Holly Jolly Follies

A lot of people like to travel for the holidays… get out and see the country; experience the differences that are America.  Pat Sapp says that experience can be found right here at home.

Pat Sapp – “You know, we have a very diverse country.  We have a lot of different cultures.”

Sapp is the director of the Holly Jolly Follies… a Christmas Variety Show this weekend at the Florence Events Center.  It’s called Christmas Coast To Coast.

Pat Sapp – “We just visit all the different entertainment spots, or the different games, the different kinds of entertainment, music, dance, from different locales.”

There will be four shows with the first on stage tonight…

Pat Sapp – “Friday at seven, Saturday at two and seven; and Sunday at two.  So we have to matinees and two evening performances.”

The Holly Jolly Follies show off local talent; provide world-class entertainment for residents; and the proceeds are used by the non-profit “Good Stuff”, based in Florence, which supports children’s programs around the world.