Coast Radio News

Coast Radio News – Rhody Running Path Construction later this Summer

Rhody repairs and path construction set to begin

Work on renovating a well-worn stretch of Rhododendron Drive is expected to begin later this summer.

Florence City Manager Erin Reynolds also said a pair of six-foot wide paved shoulders that will more safely accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists will be constructed between 9th Street and the north end of Greentrees.  But those won’t be built until early next year.

The paths were the subject of some controversy last year when plans showing a considerable amount of right-of-way clearing were released.  A series of public meetings, open houses and numerous community discussions led city officials to re-design the paths.  Instead of going with one 10-foot wide path separated from the roadway by a drainage swale; the two narrower paths will be constructed.  They’ll consist of a type of pavement that will allow water to filter through, rather than run off.  That means the swale won’t be needed.

The roadway repairs will consist of stripping the old road away and laying a new base, then repaving on top of that.

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A public meeting tonight at Siuslaw High School will allow residents to comment on a proposal to name the court in the gymnasium and the mall after former administrators.  Glenn Butler was promoted from being high school principal in 1974 and he appointed his successor… Dick Whitmore.  Both were instrumental in guiding the high school and the district through the next two decades.  Both also retired more than 20 years ago.

Members of the Siuslaw Athletic Boosters want to name the court in memory of  Butler, who passed away last year.  Whitmore passed away in 2012.  Boosters want to name the mall in his memory.

Tonight’s meeting is at the high school, it begins at 6:30.  A final decision by the school board is expected June 10th.

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After a series of serious injury and fatal crashes along Highway 126 east of Florence last year, the Oregon Department of Transportation convened a safety task force with the intention of trying to identify why the crashes occurred; and what can be done to prevent more of them.

The 126-West Safety Task Force determined some key points.  The most common collision type was with a fixed object, such as a tree, due to the vehicle leaving the roadway.  The main causes of the crashes were due to excessive speed for the conditions; driver impairment; distraction; and drowsy driving.  Daily and weekly commuters made up the majority of the crash victims, rather than visitors who may be unfamiliar with the roadway.

A report issued by the task force did not specify any particular solutions, but noted that they related to enforcement, engineering, education and emergency response.

The task force stopped short of recommending a “Safety Corridor” designation for 126-West due to ongoing engineering, construction and enforcement actions already planned.

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Visitors to Oregon beaches are being advised to leave seals and sea lions alone.  It’s “pupping season” right now for harbor seals and it’s not uncommon for the mother to leave her offspring on the beach or on rocks while she goes to feed.

Susan Riemer, a marine biologist says the pup is not stranded, and human activity around it can discourage the female from returning.

California sea lions are in the midst of their southward migration and often will haul themselves out of the water to rest. And, says Riemer, Elephant seals are in the molting stage right now.  That means they may look sick, but they’re not.

Marine mammals will often rest on the beach and should be left alone.  Dogs should be kept away from them as well.

If you encounter a seal or sea lion that you believe is ill or injured… she says to call the OSU Marine Mammal Stranding Hotline at 541-270-6830.

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