12 March 2015
School employees asked to “make a lot of noise” about funding
Teachers, school bus drivers, aides and even students are being asked this week to speak out about a spending proposal for K-through-12 education that is being considered by the Oregon Legislature.
Siuslaw Superintendent Ethel Angal says several “influential” legislators want to move quickly to determine the two-year state school fund. While doing that early in the legislative session may sound like a good thing; Angal says in this case it’s not.
$7.235-billion is a lot of money. But, according to Angal, that would mean a reduction of about $94 per student, per year at Siuslaw. That’s a loss of about $150-thousand over current figures and would prevent the school district from filling at least two vacant positions. She says it would be a shame to begin cutting again, just as schools are beginning to add back things that had been cut during the recession.
Angal told school board members last night she wants to “make a lot of noise” in Salem. She’s meeting with the entire school staff tomorrow to let them know the situation; and also to let them know how they can speak out if they wish.
Oregon Coast Aquarium adds youth to harbor seal lineup
Three Californians moved to Newport this winter. That in itself isn’t really news, but these three are harbor seals that will bring what Ken Lytwyn calls “youthful energy” to the aging population of harbor seals already at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.
Miller, Tater and Elvis are 19, 20, and 21 years old… not young by any harbor seal standard, but they are considerably younger and spryer than the five seals already at the aquarium… the oldest of which will turn 40 years old this year.
The three seals come to Newport by way of Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California.
Lytwyn, the Marine Mammals Curator at the Aquarium, said the trio is settling quite well into their new home.
Sign up now for Oregon beach cleanup
The annual Great Oregon Spring Beach Cleanup is just two weeks away and organizers are calling for volunteers to sign up online.
Joy Irby is the SOLVE beach cleanup program coordinator. She says of particular concern this year…as it has been in the past… is small bits of plastic.
Joy Irby – “A lot of the little plastics look like food to seabirds and fish in the water and they’ll end up ingesting them. A lot of researchers have done a lot of studies on how plastics can kill a lot of wildlife and so the more that we can get off the beach, the better.”
According to the journal Science, about 8-million metric tons of plastic are entering the oceans around the world each year.
This year’s SOLVE spring cleanup will be Saturday, March 28th from ten AM to one PM.
You can sign up in advance at the Solve Oregon website.
Gas prices hold steady
For the first time in several weeks the average cash price for a gallon of regular gas held steady in Florence. It’s $2.86 a gallon today. At $2.44 a gallon, the national average price, as measured by Triple-A, actually went down a penny.
Triple-A says the Oregon average price held steady in the past seven days at $2.88 a gallon
Even with the abrupt rise in prices over the past five weeks, Oregonians are paying 67-cents a gallon less than they did on average a year ago.
St. Patrick’s Day spaghetti
There’s nothing more traditional than a spaghetti feed on St. Patrick’s Day. That is, if you are a volunteer firefighter in Florence.
Firefighters will be providing their annual “Gino Murphy’s Spaghetti Feed” Tuesday from four to seven pm at the main Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue Station in Florence.
Don’t worry, they don’t color the pasta green, it’s just a good way to get together and help raise money for the volunteer association.
Tickets are $8 for adults; $4 for kids under 12 and, says association president Ned Hickson, you can get it “to go”, or eat it there.
Planning commission expansion sought
Florence City Councilors are being asked to approve an expansion of the Planning Commission back to its original allotment of seven members. The Planning Commission made the recommendation last month. The rationale for the move included providing for greater diversity in membership, bringing a wider range of opinions. It also would make it easier for the panel to generate a quorum and meet during busy development periods.
The recession stalled nearly all development activity starting in 2008. By 2012, the City Council decreased the panel’s membership to five. An increase in administrative reviews and actions on the part of city staff also reduced the commission’s work load.
With an increase in activity though, commissioners say it is now time to go back to seven.
The City Council meets Monday night, six pm, at City Hall.