Port of Siuslaw Manager to step down

Coast Radio News
Local News
24 September 2015

Last day on the job will be December 23rd

When Bob Forsythe was hired as the manager of the Port of Siuslaw in the spring of 2012, he said his intention was to hold the post for only three years.

He wasn’t very far off. He gave notice yesterday he intends to step down from the post December 23rd. Forsythe says he believes the Port is better off now than three and a half years ago.

Bob Forsythe – “Financially, structurally, policies and procedures, yes, we’re… I think it’s significantly better than what it was. It’s not necessarily me. Staff has done a fantastic job of looking at all of the ordinances and the policies and procedures that we’ve had and actually starting to bring them back to focus for everybody.”

Still, he says, there is still one major hurdle his successor will have to deal with and that is debt.

Bob Forsythe – “We’ve not cured our indebtedness for infrastructure from the past, getting grants and then having to come up with money to match. We still have that.”

The district does have surplus property and proceeds from the sale of that land, he says, would offset that debt.

It is expected the Port of Siuslaw Commission will address the process of finding a new manager in the very near future.

Lane County employees will see buyout offers in 2016

The process of offering lucrative buyouts to long-time employees at Lane County will likely begin early next year. The new employees that will be hired to replace those workers will get less money and have lower valued benefit plans.

The Lane County Commission approved the proposal Tuesday. It had been negotiated with leaders of two of the county’s smaller labor unions and it will also apply to employees who are not represented by a bargaining unit.

Under the plan, employees would be offered about six weeks pay, plus $500 for every year they have worked in exchange for taking an early retirement.

The County is not required to accept all buyouts. If the loss of a veteran employee is disruptive or there are no net savings, the buyout offer would be withdrawn.

Similar deals will likely be offered to the unions representing the rest of Lane County’s employees in the future.

Great Oregon Shakeout

You can never tell when the “big one” is going to hit. Scientists have said for quite some time that the Oregon Coast is due for a 9-point-oh earthquake.

To help prepare residents, businesses and emergency responders, the State of Oregon will be coordinating another statewide earthquake drill next month.

The Great Oregon Shakeout will take place at 10:15 AM on October 15th..

Precisely at that time, Oregonians are being called on the Drop, Cover, and Hold On.

Althea Rizzo, with the Oregon Office of Emergency Management, says 385-thousand people have already registered online for this year’s drill.   She says participating in the drill is something – quote – “you can do to protect yourself and your family”, adding that everyone should prepare for two-weeks of self sufficiency after a major earthquake.

More information on the ShakeOut, as well as how to register, can be found online.

Perpetua changes to fall hours

Visitor center hours at Cape Perpetua switched to the fall schedule this week. That means it will be open from ten AM to four PM seven days a week through the end of December.

Brian Hoeh (HO), the visitor center manager, says “fall is a great time to explore”. He says the traffic on Highway 101 is generally less; and the weather is milder.

Cape Perpetua will be recognizing “Public Lands Day” this weekend by waving day-use fees on Saturday and Sunday.

Oktoberfest in Florence

Beer, brats and breakfast; along with authentic Oompah music will be the featured items October Third during the annual Oktoberfest in Florence.

Florence Area Chamber of Commerce director Cal Applebee says the day will start at 8:30 with a pancake breakfast hosted by Florence Kiwanis. Music during breakfast will be provided by two musicians well-known in the area, Meg Graf and John Klobas.

At midday, Sam’s Polka Gems and the Tirolean Dancers will perform. Scandia Leikarringen and the Alpine Echoes Band, both new to the festival, will carry on into the evening.

Applebee says it’s a family affair. There is a “Kinder Korner” for kids four and up, and of course the third annual Weiner Dog Races.

Oktoberfest will be offering German Bier and authentic food, including bratwurst at the Florence Events Center.