Quake would have serious ramifications; Port funding challenged; Municipal Court load expands; With or without?

Coast Radio News
Local News

5 February 2013

Big quake could cause $30 billion damage to Oregon
A magnitude 9 earthquake off the Oregon Coast and a resulting tsunami could cause more than $30-billion damage to the state economy.  Such a quake could also kill as many as ten-thousand people, but the report from the state’s Earthquake Commission focuses on survival and recovery.

That commission, created by the Oregon Legislature in 1991, released a report this week calling for 50 years of seismic upgrades to limit damage.  The report was drafted with the help of more than 150 experts.

The 18-member Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission is meeting today in Portland where it is expected to formally adopt the report.  Experts say a massive quake in the Cascadia subduction zone is inevitable, but no one knows when.


Florence Municipal Court Shoulders Heavier Load

Public safety spending cuts at the county level have shifted a “disproportionate” amount of the local justice burden to Florence’s municipal court.  That’s according to Judge Rick Brissenden who says the city is up to the challenge.

The caseload at the Florence court has been on the rise as police and the prosecutor have been bringing more cases locally.  They would have typically gone to Lane County Circuit Court as felonies.  But reductions at the jail and cutbacks at the District Attorney’s office have meant local authorities have been in the position to provide attention and focus to the cases that county authorities simply cannot.

Brissenden credited the support of the Florence City Council for the ability to handle the increased caseload.


Ports Funding

Led by Fourth District Congressman Peter DeFazio a group of officials crowded into a small conference room at the Chetco Activity Center in Brookings one day last week to discuss dredging for small ports along the Oregon Coast.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers budget proposal for the coming year does not include any funding for dredging on the Siuslaw and Umpqua rivers, nor at several other small ports.

DeFazio blamed part of the problem on Congress for siphoning funds from the Corps’ Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund for unrelated projects.  He says the fund should be dedicated for the stated purpose and not for any other use.


Spay-ghetti, with or without?

When you get to the fundraiser for the Florence Area Humane Society Friday night, Frankie Stuart says you’re going to be asked one question…

Frankie Stuart – “With or without meatballs.”

The meal of pasta, salad and dessert at the Presbyterian Church of the Siuslaw is being billed as the “Spay-ghetti” dinner.  From 5 to 7 that evening you can dine in or take out.  The cost is only $8 for adults, $5 for kids.  The money raised this week will help fund the weekly clinic operated by the society’s shelter.

Frankie Stuart – “Spay-neuter clinic is on Wednesday of every week.  We do public animals as well as we obviously spay and neuter our own animals and they do not get adopted unless they are altered and all of their immunizations.”

Much of the shelter and society’s annual budget is covered by local fundraisers.