Florence Habitat earns unique distinction

Coast Radio News
Local News

24 June 2015

Local Habitat chapter earns ‘first in the nation’

The Florence Chapter of Habitat for Humanity is; at least as far as Ken Gaylord can tell; the only such chapter in the country with approval as a Medicaid provider.

No, volunteers aren’t providing medical care. Instead, says Gaylord, they work with local contractors to make changes to people’s homes to make them more accessible and safer.

Ken Gaylord – “We were asked by Medicaid if we’d be interested in being a provider because we’ve been working with senior and disabled services in a partnership to help with repairs. We agreed to that and submitted our request. They walked it through the state in one day.”

Because the authorization process is difficult, there have been no local contractors that have done it. Gaylord said the local non-profit’s track record enabled them to get the approval. He said they work with local tradesmen like electricians and plumbers.

Michelangelo replica draws attention in Reedsport

A sculpture created at last weekend’s Reedsport Chain Saw Carving Championships seems to be bringing plenty of attention. Christopher Damitio (duh-MEE-sho) saw it; fell in love with it; and bought it.   It’s now on the sidewalk in front of his Old Town Reedsport business.

Christopher Damitio – “People are apparently unhappy about it, at least some of them. I’ve heard from many people that they like it, they admire it, they thought it was a great carving when they saw it at the event, but, apparently… yeah apparently some people are not happy about it.”

Christopher Damitio says the chainsaw sculpture outside his Reedsport business is drawing fire because of the content. The replica of Michelangelo’s David is shown from the backside. Damitio says there is a strategically placed fig leaf on the front.

Damitio believes many of the complaints are because of the subject matter chosen by the artist.

Christopher Damitio – “Mark Nelson, he goes by Doc Nelson, and I think this is only his second or third event that he’s been to. But what a monumental task, you know, carving David with a chainsaw.”

It is a replica of Michelangelo’s classic sculpture of David. It’s not completely true to the original…. Nelson included a fig leaf… and Damitio says, it wasn’t finished when he bought it.

Reedsport City Manager Jonathan Wright said it’s not so much the subject matter as much as the fact that Damitio did not follow the city code for placing the carving in a public right of way. Wright says chainsaw sculptures are very important in Reedsport. For that reason, they have a review process. That was bypassed in this case, but Wright said the sculpture will likely be allowed to remain as along as Damitio is making an effort to comply with regulations.

Our Town expands offerings

Coast Radio’s monthly Our Town program will be expanding July 1st. The show, that airs on KCST from four to six pm on the first Wednesday of each month will remain at two hours, but it will expand with two additional airings.

Our Town will air on the Thursday morning following the first Wednesday, from ten AM to noon on KCFM; then again on KCFM the following Sunday morning from ten until noon.

Next Wednesday’s program will highlight the seven year effort to open the Oregon Coast Military Museum.

Two other volunteer efforts will be highlighted: The Minutes of Gold program aimed at helping families deal with a stillborn child; and the Power of Florence coming up July 18th. Oregon lawmakers Arnie Roblan and Caddy McKeon (muh-KYOO-inn) will also talk about this year’s legislative session.

Fireworks limitations reminder

The Fourth of July holiday is imminent, but public officials have issued a reminder… George Henry has the story:

George Henry – “Public agencies are busy reminding Oregonians this week that even though certain types of fireworks are legal in the state, there are restrictions on just where you can use them.

One rule of thumb to keep in mind… if it’s public land, it’s off limits.

Fireworks of any kind are prohibited on National Forest Lands… that includes Forest Service campgrounds and the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. State controlled lands that are off limits: All state parks, waysides and beaches. Likewise, county parks and waysides prohibit use of fireworks.

In Florence, you can’t light fireworks at all on Port of Siuslaw property, nor can you on sidewalks and streets in the Old Town area. City parks are off limits as well. Fireworks use is allowed in rights of way in other parts of the city as well as on private property, but of course, you are urged to use extreme caution. For Coast Radio News, I’m George Henry.”

Heceta Water PUD hosting open house

A midday open house tomorrow at Heceta Water PUD will allow residents to get an inside look at the agency’s water filtration facility.

The event begins at 11 Friday with introduction of the staff and elected directors. Plant tours will run every half hour between 11:30 and 1:30. Demonstrations on backflow devices; fire flows; and the main tap will also be given.

Heceta Water PUD will also provide lunch… chips and hot dogs will be served up.

Heceta Water PUD headquarters is just one mile north of the Florence City Limits on Highway 101.

High temperatures equal high fire danger

High temperatures and lightning have wildland fire fighters in Oregon on edge. Tom Fields is the Fire Prevention Coordinator with the Oregon Department of Forestry. He’s pretty sure everyone is aware of the heat wave predicted for the next few days. But, he says, if you’re looking for someplace to keep cool, “now is not the time to be careless”.

ODF meteorologists have predicted record warm weather with afternoon temperatures in some inland areas reaching between 95 and 105 degrees. Fire danger is at a “mid-august” level right now. There may be some lightning in the coming days; but most fires are human caused.

Out of the 301 fires fought by Department of Forestry personnel so far this year, humans have been responsible for 227 of them.