17 November 2015
Proposed park sale riles residents
The possible sale of a 40-acre swath of dedicated parkland within the Florence Urban Growth Boundary caught some residents along Rhododendron Drive and Heceta Beach Road by Surprise recently. Charlie Campione, the President of the Heceta South Homeowners Association said the Lane County Parks Department tried to sell it 11 years ago… an idea that was squashed by County Commissioners after neighbors objected.
Charlie Campione – “We were, in 2004, prepared to establish a non-profit organization, if the county would deed that property over to us and we would go after government grants to try and improve it as a nature park.”
Campione and many others have been busily raising awareness of a provision in the draft of a new county Parks Master Plan that proposes again to sell the parcel in order to raise funds for operation and maintenance of other county facilities.
Murder-Suicide Claims Two Lives in Florence
An apparent family dispute was at the heart of what police are calling a murder-suicide that claimed two lives early Sunday morning in Florence.
Police Chief Tom Turner said officers responded to a home at 403 Hemlock Street just before three AM Sunday. They found 51 year old Gary Circle of Dexter, Oregon dead in the front seat of his pickup. Turner said Circle had arrived at the home of his older brother, 55-year old Joseph Circle, at around 10:30 the night before. The two got into an argument that turned deadly when the younger brother tried to leave.
Tom Turner – “He went out and got into his truck, Joseph Circle came out of his residence with a gun, broke a window out of the truck and shot Gary Circle once in the head, killing Gary while he sat in the truck. Joseph Circle then went back into the residence and shot himself in the head, later dying at Peace Harbor Hospital due to the injuries from that gunshot wound.”
Turner said a third person, whom he declined to identify, was at home and witnessed part of the altercation.
Airport Committee makes return
The Florence City Council dissolved one city advisory committee and reestablished another last night. City Manager Erin Reynolds said the Florence Events Center Advisory Committee is being disbanded because much of its work was already duplicated by the volunteer group “Friends of the Events Center”. On the other hand, the airport advisory committee, long dormant, was reestablished.
Erin Reynolds – “There’s quite a bit of work to be done in the way of the airport and moving forward on the next round of capital projects. It’s just a very intense and detailed process to do anything out at the airport and we could really use the help of those airport committee members.”
The council also considered an $88-thousand contract for engineering services for a water infrastructure improvement project on highway 101 and approved the annual contract for operation of the Senior Center.
Rules governing recreational marijuana growing and sales considered
Another combined work session by the Florence City Council and Planning Commission will be held tomorrow morning. Their objective is to get more information on how to regulate businesses related to the recreational use of marijuana. City Manger Erin Reynolds says the rules, which must be in effect by the end of this year, cover much more than just retail sales.
Erin Reynolds – “It’s a big issue, that’s why they’re having another meeting about it. The first evidentiary hearing for land-use will be on December 14th and the Planning Commission and the City Council will both meet and hear and make decisions that night.”
City leaders must consider whether or not to regulate growing operations as well as facilities for packaging, preparation and distribution. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission will begin processing license applications January 2nd.
Salvation Army sets Holiday solicitations
A “Kettle Kickoff” to initiate the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign in the Florence area will be held Thursday morning in Old Town Florence. Bill Olson, the Director of Planned Giving for the Cascades Division of the Salvation Army said it will be at the Old Town Barbershop at 1341 Bay Street.
Bill Olson – “Mayor Joe Henry will be there and a bunch of other VIPs from the local community and the public is invited. We’ll have doughnuts and coffee and we’re just going to visit a little bit about the season ahead of us that starts on Thanksgiving Day and ends on Christmas Eve.”
Olson says red kettles, staffed by volunteers, will be located at three major grocery stores in Florence. The main base of operations will be the Old Town Barber Shop.
Olson said other volunteers are also contemplating a holiday lighted boat parade on Siltcoos Lake next month. A separate meeting will be held Thursday at seven PM at Darlings Resort to explore that.
Port Commission interviews manager candidates
Five finalists for Port manager were interviewed yesterday by the Port of Siuslaw Commission. The panel will meet again Wednesday evening. They are expected to convene in Executive Session to discuss their thoughts.
It’s not certain whether or not they’ll select one of the five to replace Bob Forsythe who retired.
Commission President Ron Caputo said he “hoped” the new manager would be one of the five, but he also added he was “not sure”.
Originally six candidates had been scheduled for interviews, but Caputo said one backed out.