6 May 2014
14 Year Old Florence Girl Rewarded With National Honor
An eighth grader at Siuslaw Middle School was honored this week in Washington DC as one of the top ten youth volunteers of 2014.
14-year old Kaylee Graham, the organizer of the annual “Power of Florence” day on the third Saturday in July, was already one of the top 102 out of more than 30-thousand nominated young people. She, along with 18-year old Christopher Younkins of Portland, were invited to the ceremony Sunday evening at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
Each honoree was awarded a silver medallion, a thousand dollars and the all-expense-paid trip for themselves and a parent.
The top ten was announced yesterday at a downtown DC hotel. A stunned Graham listened as Prudential Financial CEO John Strangfeld detailed her accomplishments. Graham’s silver medallion was upgraded to gold; she received an additional five-thousand-dollar award, plus five-thousand for a local non-profit of her choice.
Graham said the feeling she gets from volunteering is like nothing else she has experienced. In planning and organizing the annual community wide day of volunteering she simply – quote – “wanted to share that feeling with others”. This year’s Power of Florence, by the way, is Saturday, July 19th.
Oregon Dunes Triathlon
Athletes from all over the country will be converging on the Central Oregon Coast this weekend for the second annual Oregon Dunes Triathlon. It’s organized by Dunes City as a way to show off the many recreational activities in the mostly rural community according to Mayor Rebecca Ruede.
Ruede – “I think the athletes around the country have needed an event like this. It’s at the very beginning of the athlete’s seasons for triathlons. It’s gotten national attention.”
It’s actually four races in one. Athletes can compete in the triathlon; swimming 15-hundred meters in Whoahink Lake; Bike 40-kilometers along Canary and Clear Lake Roads; then complete the race with a ten-K run through Honeyman State Park. Duathletes skip the swimming, but bike and run.
The so-called “Sprint” distance is roughly half as long.
Races begin at eight AM Saturday, motorists on Canary and Clear Lake Roads should be aware of more congestion than usual… and plenty of bicycles on the roadway. Entries, some from as far away as Hawai’i, have more than tripled from last year’s inaugural triathlon. As of Monday 159 entrants had signed up.
Our Town talks politics and neighborhood revitalization
A new initiative in the past year on the part of Habitat for Humanity International has spread to the local chapter.
It’s neighborhood revitalization. The intention, says Habitat spokesman Ken Gaylord, is to provide secure, affordable housing for more low-income and senior residents by helping them make repairs to their homes.
Gaylord, along with Florence Habitat Director Kate Redwine will be on KCST’s monthly public affairs program Our Town tomorrow afternoon to talk about the program.
Also on the show will be the incumbent and challenger for the West Lane seat on the Lane County Board of Commissioners; Jay Bozievich and Dawn Lesley. The show airs from four to six pm.
School Budget meeting postponed
Tomorrow’s School Budget Committee meeting in Florence has been postponed. It had been scheduled at the same time as the Rhody Festival Court Scholarship Showcase and administrators opted to wait another week in order to prevent forcing committee members and the public from having to choose between one or the other.
Vonnie McClellan, the Executive Assistant to the Superintendent and the Board said the next budget meeting will be next Wednesday, the 14th.
The budget panel has met twice already and so far has received no public testimony on the proposal.