Don’t flush old prescriptions

29 May 2015

City of Florence cuts prescription take back program

There are no longer any designated places in the community where you can get rid of old and unused prescription drugs. The City of Florence used to have a depository at the Florence Justice Center, but it was locked up late last year and removed entirely.

But, say city officials, that doesn’t mean you should flush medications down the toilet or dump them down the sink.

Unused medications pose a risk. According to the City of Florence newsletter, they are the leading cause of poisoning in children; and they can negatively impact the environment.

If you have unused prescriptions, the first thing you should do is to talk to your pharmacy. They may be able to refer you to a mail-in disposal program.

If you must dispose of medications in the garbage, remove or obscure all information on the pill bottle; or dump them into a ziplock bag or other sealable container. Add something like cat litter or coffee grounds to discourage animals or people from getting into them; then discard in your household trash.

Lane County expecting timber payment check

Checks totaling $20-million are being sent to 18 Oregon counties in Western Oregon under terms of a federal subsidy program that was renewed earlier this year by Congress. Lane County’s share will be about $6-million.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management announced yesterday the money is being distributed to O&C counties under terms of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act.

The counties once received so much money as a share of logging on the former Oregon and California Railroad lands that some didn’t even have to levy taxes on residents. But, when logging was drastically cut beginning in the mid 1980s to protect spotted owl, salmon and other endangered species, Congress created a series of safety nets.

The latest one expired last year, but was revived earlier this spring.

The amount of money provided to counties has been steadily decreasing.

Native American mascot ban finalized

Fourteen Oregon Schools, including Reedsport Community Charter School, will have two years to change their Native American mascots under a final rule approved last week by the Oregon Board of Education.

The ruling means no more Indians, Braves, Warriors, or other mascot names associated with Native Americans.

In Reedsport, they’ve been the Braves for decades.

There have been several attempts to prevent the ban since it was first proposed in 2012. A bill introduced in 2013 by Jeff Kruse of Roseburg, where local high schoolers have been known as the Indians for years, would have allowed the mascots to be retained if approved by local tribal leaders.

That was vetoed by former governor John Kitzhaber, but a year later he allowed schools to keep the mascots with tribal significance.

It’s unclear if the Siletz Warriors… a charter school operated on tribal land and made up primarily of tribal members… will have to change their names. It is for certain though, that the Aloha Warriors won’t be changing their name. Their mascot is a Hawaiian warrior.

West Coast’s oldest harbor seal celebrated

Skinny the harbor seal, a resident at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, is the oldest in the Northwest. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums also says Skinny is the third oldest in the country. At nearly 40 years old, she’s already outlived the natural lifespan of harbor seals by ten to 15 years. The Oregon Coast Aquarium will be celebrating her 40th birthday Monday. Skinny will get a birthday meal of fish-filled ice cakes. Aquarium staffers say Skinny has been a part of the Oregon Coast Aquarium family since the very beginning. She was found as a starving and orphaned pup in Everett, Washington 40 years ago this week. She was raised at the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma and in 1992 she moved to Newport when the aquarium opened.