Tree Lighting draws huge crowd to Old Town

Coast Radio News
Local News
30 November 2015

Kicking off Christmas

A new location for the Community Christmas Tree in Old Town Florence provided plenty of room for revelers Saturday afternoon. The weather didn’t hurt either.

Lots of sunshine through the day encouraged shoppers to make the rounds along Bay Street. By the time the community tree… at the Siuslaw Bridge Interpretive Center… was ready to be lit, a huge crowd had spread out along the sidewalks and into a nearby parking lot.

Santa Claus had Gazebo Park, just a block away, all to himself this year. He needed the extra space as there was a reported hour-long wait for youngsters to sit on his knee and provide him with their early Christmas wishes.

The City of Florence Public Works Director Mike Miller provided seasonal transportation between the Port’s Nopal Street parking lot and the former Lotus Restaurant, towing a hay wagon behind a tractor and providing shuttle service up and down the old town corridor.

Freezing rain prompts Mapleton school closures

Classes at Mapleton schools were cancelled this morning because of inclement weather conditions. Superintendent Jodi O’Mara had initially placed classes on a two-hour delay because of freezing rain and 30-degree temperatures.

But, by 8:30 this morning it became apparent that conditions were not going to improve so classes were cancelled entirely.

Several crashes were reported on Highway 126 between Mapleton and Veneta this morning. Temperatures eventually crept above the freezing level by midday.

Senior Center moving to new management rules

An age limit imposed on visitors to the Florence Senior Center will be lifted in mid-December, providing more chances for area residents to take advantage of the space there.

Since it opened five years ago, there has been a restriction in place requiring all users of the center to be at least 60-years of age.

That was because of strict rules attached to the grant funding that paid for the majority of the bill for constructing the center on Kingwood Street.

That restriction will be lifted December 14th.

The Senior Center is owned by the city but is operated by a non-profit group. Christine May is the President of that organization and she says the mission of the center will remain the same… to provide services to seniors in the community.

But now there will be more flexibility as to the events that can take place there.

Volunteer opportunities with City of Florence

There are 16 distinct opportunities for area residents to have a say in how different segments of the city operates. The 16 spots are on seven different city boards, committees or commissions.

City Recorder Kelli Weese said there are four open positions on the city’s Transit Advisory Committee… one of which is reserved for a high school student.

There are 12 more spots: three in the city’s budget committee and one on the audit committee; three more on the environmental management advisory committee; and two on the Planning Commission. The three final spots are related to urban renewal… two on the Urban Renewal Agency Board; one more on the budget committee.

Applications are available on the city’s website…or at City Hall. They are due by December 31st.