School Food Service Conversation Expected to Conclude

18 November 2014

School Lunch and Breakfast Program Target of Parents

A groundswell of community support for more local control over food services at Siuslaw Schools appears headed for the school board meeting tomorrow night.

A local group of parents, organizing through a facebook page, are hoping to show board members there is popular support for the district taking the food services “in house” and breaking away from a contract with an international food services company.

They say it would ultimately provide for healthier and local options for students.

The current meal contractor, Chartwells, has been providing meals at Siuslaw for several years. Their current contract is set to expire June 30th. Siuslaw Finance Director Kari Blake has been researching whether or not the district could provide the same services at the same or less cost.

School Board Members will hear more information tomorrow night beginning at 6:30.

Possible Cause Determined for Sea Star Wasting Disease

Scientists say they have isolated a virus they are “pretty sure” is causing the mysterious disease that has killed millions of sea stars on the Pacific Coast, causing them to melt into a pile of slime.

A study published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says a variety of densovirus is the likely cause.

Cornell University researcher Ian Hewson says tests showed increasing amounts of the virus in sea stars as the disease progressed; and injecting material from sick sea stars that was filtered to include virus-sized organisms caused healthy stars to get the disease.

Hewson says they don’t yet know what triggered the outbreak of the virus, which has been in the environment at least since 1942.

Chamber Seeking Logo for 108th Festival

It may only be November, but the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce is saying “let’s Rock-n-Rhody”.

That’s the theme for the upcoming 108th Rhododendron Festival in May and Chamber organizers have put the call out for logo designs.

The winning entry could win a cash prize along with some swag; or a business level chamber membership package. Chamber spokesperson Jenna Bartlett says they’re looking for “fun, original designs” that capture the energy of the festival and celebrate the community.

Entries must be submitted by December 17th… complete details can be found at www-dot-FlorenceChamber-dot-com.

Stepped Up Patrols Aim For Safety

Lane County Sheriff’s Deputies will join Oregon State Troopers in extra patrols along Highway 126 between Florence and Eugene. Sergeant Carrie Carver with the Sheriff’s office says the goal is to remind motorists to slow down and drive safely.

The Sheriff’s office is also deploying a speed indication trailer that displays the speed of oncoming motorists in order to provide a graphic reminder to slow down. Carver says the trailer will be posted at different locations along 126 over the next few weeks.

The additional patrols are being funded by a grant administered by the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association.

Open House on Bridge Renovation Planned Wednesday

A three-and-a-half-year project to repair damaged concrete, replace railings, provide seismic upgrades and prevent corrosion on the nearly 80-year old Siuslaw River Bridge in Florence will be the focus of a special open-house tomorrow.

Oregon Department of Transportation officials will be at Florence City Hall from 4:30 to 6 PM Wednesday.

The key purpose of the project will be to install what is called a “cathodic protection system” similar to one on the Cape Creek Bridge near the Heceta Lighthouse that provides a layer of sprayed on zinc coating that attracts corrosion, keeping it away from structural steel elements within the concrete of the bridge.

Old Town Christmas Gets Under Way

If you’re interested in getting a little bit of an extra start on the Christmas Season, merchants in Historic Old Town Florence have something for you.

Friday evening, from five to nine PM participating merchants will be offering special bargains accompanied by a glass of champagne. It will also give you a chance to admire the many custom wreathes that will be auctioned off Saturday.

Those wreathes are created by Chamber of Commerce Members and will be on display again Saturday before being sold during a silent auction that concludes at four o’clock at the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum.

That will be just in time for you to catch the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Gazebo Park on Bay Street and the lighting of the community Christmas Tree at 4:45.