Local News – Christmas Tree Pickup – No DUI Arrest – Whale Watch – Living On Shakey Ground

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Local News

Time to take the tree down?

One of the most hazardous things anyone can have in their home is a tinder dry Christmas tree. “It’s like gasoline” says Siuslaw Valley Fire Marshall Sean Barrett.

By the time the holidays are over, that once fresh, green tree has become severely dehydrated and dangerous. It can be a time bomb, just waiting for an ignition source. Once it finds one, flames and smoke can fill your home within seconds.

Sometimes people may delay taking down the tree because they don’t know what to do with it once it’s down. That’s where firefighters can be helpful. For nearly two decades, local volunteers have been picking up trees after the holidays. It serves a dual purpose, said Barrett. The first is that we can make homes safer and reduce fire danger. The second is that it’s a fund raiser for the volunteer fire fighter’s association.  There’s no direct cost for hauling away your tree, but volunteers say they will be grateful for your five-dollar donation.

Two pick up dates have been set… This Saturday the 29th; then again January 5th. You’ll need to call ahead to get on the pick up list… Barrett says to call Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue during business hours… That’s 997-3212.


Florence Police report no arrest for Driving Under the Influence arrest over the long holiday weekend between Friday, December 21st through Christmas Day.  Oregon State Police say three people died in Oregon in traffic accidents during that same Friday to Tuesday holiday period.  They were a 21-year-old Newberg man who died Friday in a two-car crash on Highway 99E south of Woodburn, a 20-year-old West Linn man who died Sunday in a collision on Highway 26, and a 44-year-old Portland motorcyclist who died in a collision Monday.  Troopers say they arrested 53 people on driving under the influence charges during that period – nearly twice as many as during the 2011 Christmas holiday period.


While the winter winds blow and rains continue to fall, gray whales are passing the Oregon coast on their southward migration. The Cape Perpetua visitor center, with large ocean-facing windows and a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean can be the perfect place to witness the parade of the giant mammals as they head south toward their breeding and calving lagoons in the Sea of Cortez.

Trained Whale Watch volunteers will be on hand at Cape Perpetua through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Volunteers can help visitors with techniques for spotting whales and will share information on whale biology and migration patterns. Exhibits include bones and baleen from gray whales, huge jaw bones from a blue whale, a bowhead baleen and sperm whale teeth. Activities during the week will include movies on whales and kid activities.


What’s for dinner after a disaster? That’s a question best asked before a wide spread disaster such as a devastating storm; an earthquake; or a tsunami. Emergency food preparation will be the man topic during next month’s “Living on Shaky Ground” emergency preparedness class. Joan Edwards with the West Lane Emergency Operations Group said the January 12th class at Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue will be primarily about emergency food preparation and safe cooking; as well as heating and lighting. There is no cost for the three hour class, but preregistration is required by calling the fire station.