Group sought to oversee economic development efforts

Coast Radio News
Local News
31 March 2015

Developing the economy of Florence and the surrounding area will mean creating some sort of economic development council to oversee efforts aimed at supporting local businesses and attracting new industry.

Florence Mayor Joe Henry said that is one of the strategies that came out last week’s economic development summit.

Joe Henry  – “We know that we’re going to have to have some kind of an economic development engine or entity to control the funding and these activities, to help coordinate all the activities of the people who are already doing a lot of stuff out there. And that was one of the things we wanted to find out, was how to structure that.”

Other communities that have been successful in creating healthy economic climates had strong central groups to guide efforts. In addition, the group would serve as a conduit for public funds aimed at generating economic activity. Information gathered at last week’s summit will be presented to the Florence City Council next week.

Decision near on school funding

The Oregon House is nearing a decision on state funding for schools. The House is scheduled to vote today on the $7.3-billion budget proposed by Democratic legislative leaders.

Education interest groups have criticized the proposal as inadequate. They say it won’t allow school districts to make improvements and will require some to increase class sizes.

Democratic leaders say their budget isn’t ideal but would allow most districts to offer all-day kindergarten to all students without cutting their budgets beyond current levels.

State funding makes up the bulk of the budget for Oregon school districts and is one of the most closely watched decisions each legislative session.

How does the school funding formula work in Oregon?

Three local experts will talk about that tomorrow on KCST’s Our Town. Mapleton School District Business Manager Maria McEldowney will join her counterpart at Siuslaw, Kari Blake; and Siuslaw Superintendent Ethel Angal, in talking about the complexities of school finance.

Siuslaw Elementary principal Mike Harkelrode will join the conversation a little later. He and Angal will talk about curriculum changes that have been made in regards to the common core standards.

Conversations on tomorrow’s Our Town will also include dunes restoration, LCC in Florence, economic development and efforts to increase interest in science, technology, engineering and math in local students.

Our Town airs on KCST tomorrow from four to six.

Oregon actor Steve Holgate will portray Abraham Lincoln during a special Town Hall meeting Saturday, April 4th at Siuslaw Public Library.
Oregon actor Steve Holgate will portray Abraham Lincoln during a special Town Hall meeting Saturday, April 4th at Siuslaw Public Library.

Oregon, the land of Lincoln

America’s 16th President will be brought to life in Florence this weekend.

150-years after his death, Abraham Lincoln will be holding a town-hall meeting.

Steve Holgate is an accomplished actor. For the past several years he has played one primary role: that of Abraham Lincoln.

Holgate has a physical resemblance to the former Illinois lawyer; but more importantly has studied the president’s actions, speeches and other writings so he can accurately portray him.

He’ll do that noon, Saturday at Siuslaw Public Library.

Audience members will be encouraged to participate as journalists from the Civil War era and listen to selections from Lincoln’s speeches, then pose questions to “Mr. Lincoln”.

It’s the first of five similarly themed events at the library in April that will focus on Lincoln, the Civil War, and their connections to Oregon.