14 March 2014
Snowy Plover Nesting Season Starting
The nesting season for a small endangered shorebird officially begins tomorrow. That means signs and ropes identifying sensitive Snowy Plover nesting areas are already up.
Cindy Burns is a biologist with the U.S. Forest Service. She has been tracking the birds’ progress since it originally made the Federal Endangered Species List 21-years ago.
Cindy Burns – “The population has been steadily increasing for the past several years and the birds are doing well here.”
Dry sand areas above the beach have been roped off in several Lane and Douglas County locations… Baker Beach-Sutton Creek; Siltcoos Outlet Estuary; from the Douglas-Coos County line to Tenmile Creek; and brand new this year, around the Tahkenitch estuary, where the birds made a surprise stop last year.
Cindy Burns – “It was pretty unexpected last year to find birds nesting there. They will likely be there this year.”
Because they can disturb nesting birds, dogs, vehicles and kites are prohibited in the wet-sand areas of adjacent beaches, but pedestrians are ok. The nesting restrictions will remain in place until September 15th.
State and I-T Contractor Faulted
A federal government report on Oregon’s botched health insurance exchange faults the state’s main information technology contractor for not providing key information to Cover Oregon and blames the exchange for lax management.
The review by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, first reported by The Oregonian on Thursday, says Cover Oregon lacks oversight over the project and has limited visibility into Oracle’s work.
Thus far, the state has paid Oracle more than $90 million for building the exchange.
The report was dated February 27th and recommends Cover Oregon “identify a more appropriate” I-T vendor.
Cover Oregon spokesman Michael Cox said the report is dated and the exchange has addressed its findings.
Oracle declined to comment.
The two candidates for West Lane County Commissioner are expected to square off next Thursday in Florence at a forum hosted by the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce.
That’s set for noon, Thursday March 20th at the Florence Events Center.
Jay Bozievich, the incumbent, is an engineer by trade and training. He’s been on the Commission for the past three years and also previously served a four-year term on the Lane Community College Board. He lives in Elmira.
Dawn Lesley is also an engineer. She has no previous elected experience but is currently serving on Eugene’s Sustainability Committee and served four years on Lane County’s Resource Recovery Advisory Committee. She resides in the Santa Clara area of Eugene.
Chamber Recommended For Marketing Contract
The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce is being recommended to receive an annual contract estimated at $100-thousand to promote Florence to out-of-area visitors.
The Florence City Council will review the recommendation Monday evening.
The money will come from 40-percent of the estimated quarter-million dollars in Transient Room Tax Money collected by the city in the 2014-15 fiscal year.
In her report to the council, City Manager Jacque Betz said the Chamber “put together an outstanding proposal” in conjunction with Travel Lane County and Celeste/Daniels Advertising and Design.
Betz said the Chamber proposal scored highest out of six that were evaluated by a five-member committee.
The council can accept Betz’ recommendation, send the applications back to the committee for further evaluation or conduct follow-up interviews.