Top Cop Retiring; Health Care Apps Switch to Paper; Gas Prices Steady; Port Commission Setting Campground Policy

Coast Radio News
Local News

20 November 2013

Florence’s Top Cop Says It’s Time to Go Fishing…

After a 36-year law enforcement career… 32 of those in Florence, Police Chief Ray Gutierrez says it’s time for him to slow down.

Ray Gutierrez – “This has been a fantastic community to work for.  The people in this community, they’re so supportive of the police department, it’s been a pleasure.”

After two years as Florence’s “top cop” he’ll be retiring effective January 1st.  Gutierrez was 25 years old when he started his career in Coos County.  He came to Florence in 1981, worked his way up through the department and was named Chief in 2012.

Ray Gutierrez – “I could actually stand at just about any point in this community, on any street, and have a memory, a flashback of something that happened at that location.”

It’s been a career with a lot of memories… but relatively uneventful.  Gutierrez said he’s had to draw his weapon a few times over the years… but never fired it in the line of duty.

Ray Gutierrez – “I could say that I never had to and I sure am very fortunate.”

His last official day on the job will be January 1st… he’ll be honored at the Florence City Council meeting January 6th.

Paper Applications for Health Coverage

Despite taking the initiative and getting an earlier start on implementing Obama Care, enrollments in Oregon’s version of the Affordable Care Act Coverage is lagging behind every other state in the union.  The CoverOregon website, supposed to be ready to accept enrollment applications at the first of last month is still not working properly and state officials are accepting 19-page paper applications instead.  That dramatically adds to the processing time and means if residents are hoping to find out whether or not they’re eligible for a tax credit or subsidy before the first premium is due January 1st they better get out their pen this week.   Wendy Abel-Hatzel says forget about the original December 15th deadline…

Wendy Abel-Hatzel – “They’re encouraging for you to submit your Cover Oregon applications by November 25th in order to get it processed.  So that way you can have it in place December 15th for a January 1st effective date.”

One good thing about Oregon’s system, she says, is that if you have a relationship with a licensed agent, he or she can help you through the process and it doesn’t cost anything extra.  Paper applications can be obtained at any of the local insurance agencies… or downloaded from the CoverOregon website.

Port To Set Campground Reservation Policy

Port of Siuslaw Commissioners will likely wrap up a previous discussion on reservation policies for the RV Park and Campground, as well as the marina, this evening.
Port Manager Bob Forsythe has drafted a policy for their consideration that will formalize procedures.  Despite rate increases in the past couple of years, occupancy at the RV park is showing an increase.  In the first four months of the fiscal year, July through October, there has been a nine-percent increase in the number of “camper-nights” from 7856 to 8578.  That’s the peak season for the campground, usually generating about two-thirds of the annual revenue.

Commissioners will review the draft policy and other regular business this evening at the Port office beginning at seven PM.

Gas Prices Hold Steady in Florence

Triple-A says the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded in the country increased this past week by about two cents from $3.19 to $3.21.

In Oregon the average went down by the same amount from $3.31 to $3.29.

Locally… the difference in the cash price for a gallon of regular split the difference and stayed the same… well below both statewide and national averages at $3.14.