Respect, don’t fear Cougars

Coast Radio News
Local News
5 December 2014

Don’t Turn and Run at the Sight of a Cougar

Recent sightings of cougars in and around the area are a cause of concern for many residents. But, wildlife biologist Doug Cottam, with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, says there has never been a documented cougar attack on a human in Oregon. One reason is because they are fearful; another is because naturally, they cover a huge territory.

Doug Cottam – “Chances of them being in one place constantly, you know like in one neighborhood like a bear, it’s very unlikely because they have such big territories and they spend their time maintaining their territory from other cougars.”

Just because there’s never been an attack doesn’t mean you should take them for granted though. Cougars are predators, which means if you encounter one, don’t act like prey… maintain eye contact, stand tall to appear large, and back away slowly.

Doug Cottam – “Young children are much more likely to turn around and run. And so you want to, depending on the age of your child, particularly young children, you want to pick them up, hold them in your arms and back away.”

Cougars naturally prey on deer… and when you see a large increase in that population, you’ll also see more cougars.

Sheriff Continues Community Conversations

Lane County Sheriff Tom Turner will be in Florence next week where he’ll hold a “community awareness meeting”. Sergeant Carrie Carver with the Sheriff’s Office says Turner wants to hear from residents about a variety of things, as well as engage in a question and answer session.

Turner will give residents a one-on-one update on the progress since approval earlier this year of a special operating levy for the jail; as well as patrol issues.

Everyone attending will be entered to win a free steering wheel locking device designed to help prevent car theft.

The session will be next Thursday, from six to eight pm, at Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue.

Recreational Pot Regulations Require Funding

Oregon lawmakers will consider a request next week for nearly $600-thousand to get started on making rules for legal marijuana.

By one estimate, regulating recreational pot will eventually require as many as 30 additional state workers and a two-year budget of $6.4-million.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission is seeking approval for four positions initially; a program manager, two policy analysts, and a public affairs staffer.

The OLCC says time is short… the measure approved last month by voters will go into effect July 1st.

See’s Candy Sales Benefit Community Programs

Holiday shoppers looking for their “See’s Candy” chocolate fix can meet that need today. Members of the Florence Kiwanis will begin selling the popular chocolates at Sears.

It’s one of the largest fund raisers for Kiwanis each year; proceed go to help events like the recent Community Thanksgiving Dinner.

See’s Candy is available inside Sears from 9:30 to 5:30 Monday through Saturday, Noon to 4:00 Sundays through Christmas… or until they run out.

Holly Jolly Follies

Another round of “holiday fun” is set for the Florence Events Center stage beginning tonight. It’s the sixth annual Holly Jolly Follies.

This year’s theme is “Once Upon a Christmastime” and features several traditional fairy tales with new twists.

Dozens of community members have been rehearsing for weeks on the musical revue. Showtimes are seven pm today and tomorrow, as well as two pm tomorrow and Sunday. Tickets are $15 for adults, ten bucks for kids and proceeds go to several different local causes including the Caring Pregnancy Center and the Boys and Girls Club.

Christmas Trees are Ticking Time Bombs

You may not even have your Christmas tree up yet, but when you do, you might want to start thinking about what you’re going to do with it after the season.

Siuslaw Valley Fire Marshall Sean Barrett says a Christmas Tree is really nothing more than a ticking time bomb. After being in a warm and dry house for two or three weeks, it can become a huge fire risk.

To help you get it out of the house quickly, volunteer firefighters will be picking up trees on Saturday, December 27th, then again on January 3rd.

There’s a five-dollar suggested donation for hauling it off; all trees will be mulched.

Barrett says call the fire station at 997-3212 to get on the list.