30 April 2015
From Sheriff to Chief…
By this time tomorrow, Tom Turner will be settling into his new job as the Chief of Police in Florence. Turner began his law enforcement career just over 30 years ago as a resident deputy in Florence. He has been eager to return.
Tom Turner – “I’m just… I’m really… I keep using the word excited but… and I can’t stop the enthusiasm because that’s what I feel like. I’m looking forward to that.”
Also eager, are the sworn police officers, dispatchers and support staff. Since December 2013 they’ve been without a permanent leader. Former Chief Lynn Lamm has been filling in. Turner says he’s well qualified, but it’s different when everyone knows it’s just temporary.
Tom Turner – “It’s a huge deal and it makes everybody feel like they’re on hold. That’s the part I’m looking forward to, you know, we’re not on hold anymore.”
Turner will officially take over tomorrow… he’ll be sworn in Monday night at the Florence City Council meeting. A public reception in his honor will be held Tuesday from four to six at the Florence Events Center.
No competition for school board seats
Voters in the Siuslaw and Mapleton School Districts won’t have choices when it comes to selecting board members. Ballots for the May 19th election will hit the mailboxes tomorrow and in Mapleton they’ll see three candidates; one each for the three positions up for election. John Simington Junior, Carl West and Michelle Holman are each running unopposed.
Voters in the Siuslaw School District will also see three candidates, but there are five open spots.
Suzanne Mann-Heintz is seeking election for the two remaining years on the term she was appointed to. Tammy Butler, the current board chair, is seeking her third four-year term and Guy Rosinbaum is asking voters to approve him for a four-year term currently held by Chad Clement.
Positions currently held by Deena Mitchell and Michelle Rose drew no takers… No write in candidates have publicly expressed a desire for either spot… if nobody is elected, the other five board members will select appointees in July.
Ballots are due back no later than eight PM Tuesday, May 19th.
Kids’ Zone offers “green” activities
The sixth annual Florence Green Fair will run from ten to four Saturday at the Florence Events Center. One new feature this year will be the “Kids’ Zone”, a special area “packed with activities and entertainment” especially for the younger fairgoers.
Laura Smith, the science lady, has been at past shows, demonstrating science projects using recycled and repurposed materials. She’ll be joined by interpretive rangers from Jessie M. Honeyman State Park and from the Siuslaw National Forest. They’ll talk about healthy eco-systems and offering several hands-on activities.
Laurel Bay Gardens will also have a ‘potting station’ set up where youngsters can try out their green thumbs.
Admission to the Green Fair is free for kids… and the first 100 through the door Saturday will get free “super recycler” capes.
Seamount eruption predicted by scientists
Scientists at Oregon State University and the University of North Carolina say an undersea volcano 300-miles off the Oregon Coast is currently erupting… just as they predicted.
Geologists Bill Chadwick of OSU, and UNC’s Scott Nooner said last fall their research showed how Axial Seamount inflates and deflates similar to a balloon in a repeatable pattern as it responds to magma being fed into it.
The region has been showing signs of seismic activity and flowing magma below the surface with thousands of tiny earthquakes and a drop in the sea floor of about eight feet.
Chadwick, who works at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, said “it’s not yet clear whether the earthquakes and the deflation at Axial are related to a full-blown eruption.”
He added there are some “hints” that lava did erupt, but they won’t know for sure until they can get there with a research ship.
He and Nooner predicted the last eruption at Axial… four years ago.
Flock to aquarium for feathered fun
It’s springtime and that means many birds are on the move north to south… east to west… or even back and forth between the shore and the open sea.
The avian migrations have been so reliable that for centuries, humans once marked the passing of time with their arrivals and departures.
Erin Paxton with the Oregon Coast Aquarium says that facility will be celebrating those impressive journeys of flight… and the animals that complete them… next week.
Saturday, May 9th is International Migratory Bird Day and visitors to the aquarium will meet turkey vultures… with their impressive six-foot wingspan, and learn about seabirds’ springtime courtship antics during the special programs that day between ten AM and five PM.