Recall effort must wait, says Kate

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Local News

Monday, February 9, 2015

Kitzhaber recall attempt must wait

Oregon’s chief elections officer has rejected a recall petition filed against Governor John Kitzhaber.

Secretary of State Kate Brown says the petition was filed too soon because elected officials must be six months into their term before recall proceedings can start.

Kitzhaber is facing allegations that his fiancée used the governor’s position to land clients for her environmental consulting business.

The petition was filed Friday by two advisors to the Republican candidate defeated by Kitzhaber last year.

Charlie Pearce, who was Dennis Richardson’s campaign manager, says he’ll continue laying the ground work for a recall effort in July.

A recall petition would require signatures from 220-thousand registered voters within 90-days… a difficult and expensive chore.

Meanwhile, the governor finds himself increasingly isolated from fellow members of the Democratic Party. Very few of his party members are sticking up for him as he confronts a barrage of criticism and calls for his resignation.

Florence man’s death ruled accidental

The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division says there were no violations found in an on-the-job death of a Florence man last fall.

52-year old Mark Fortune was a mechanic working for one of the contractors on a rehabilitation project on the McCulloch Bridge over Coos Bay. He died when the truck he was driving backed off a work platform beneath the bridge October 22nd.

Investigators found Fortune’s death was also not related to a wind storm that damaged a work enclosure on the same bridge a few hours earlier.

The OSHA report says Fortune was apparently trying to maneuver his work truck around a spool of electrical cable on the platform and backed over a low “bull-rail” and into the water where he drowned.

Legislature moves quickly in first week of session

Oregon Lawmakers are off to a fast start. The session opened just a week ago and already they’ve already voted on a few items according to 9th District Representative Caddy McKeon.

Caddy McKeon – “We shifted through the gears very quickly this week. And boy it’s interesting going from, you know, from zero to a hundred in about three days, but everybody’s hit their stride. The committees are meeting well, we’ve had some informational hearings but we are also moving some bills.

The Legislature has a constitutional mandate to adjourn by July 6th… but McKeon says they’re all hoping to have the people’s business done by the end of June.

Council work session on medical marijuana

The Florence City Council is conducting the “people’s business” early this afternoon during a work session at City Hall. Councilors will be having a discussion on proposed zoning and business license regulations that would govern the locations of medical marijuana dispensaries in Florence.   A moratorium on the dispensaries comes to an end March 16th and the city must have governing rules in place by then.

If not, the dispensaries would be allowed with far fewer restrictions.

The council meets from noon until two pm.

Three Rivers hands out grant money

Four Florence non-profits received grants totaling more than $18-thousand last week in the fourth round of awards from the Three Rivers Foundation.

The foundation is funded by profits from Three Rivers Casino. It passed out more than $100-thousand to 23 different recipients in Coos, Curry, Douglas, Lane and Lincoln Counties.

The largest local award went to Florence Habitat for Humanity. $10-thousand will be used to purchase a project trailer and additional tools to help with a home preservation program.

The Florence Senior Center will use $5,200 for a walk in cooler and expanded kitchen capacity. A $15-hundred grant will be used by the Florence Area Community Coalition for their annual volunteer recognition event. Siuslaw School District Superintendent Ethel Angal picked up a $1,352 check that will be used by the Siuslaw Stream Teams. Angals says that will help pay for several field trips.