Zoning change to allow for microbrewery in Old Town

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Micro Brew planned for Old Town Florence

A request to open a micro brewery and tasting room in Old Town Florence will advance after Florence City Councilors approved a change to the zoning code allowing manufacturing and distribution of wholesale food and beverage in the area.

Mayor Joe Henry said it’s a good idea.

Joe Henry – “Seems like most of the businesses down there are in favor of it. I think it’ll be a benefit to the community overall in terms of economic development and creating a few jobs.”

Scott Waiss, who owns the BeachComber, along with a partner, Bert Wells, are proposing to open the brewery and tasting room in the former Masonic Lodge at the corner of First and Maple. Waiss declined to provide additional details on the proposal, but information in the city’s zone change request showed the brewery will take up about 60 percent of the ground floor of the building. Waiss and his partner expect to brew the beer and distribute it in small batches to other retail establishments.

Winter Storm Warning for Coast Range

Heavy rains and high winds yesterday are making way for a different kind of weather related concern today.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the Coast Range. They’re saying heavy snow could begin falling this evening in higher elevations. Two to six inches tonight… and another five to nine inches through Wednesday night.

The snow level is expected to be at bout 25-hundred feet by tonight. But it could get as low as 15-hundred feet tomorrow, leaving roads at higher elevations covered with snow and making travel dangerous.

Drivers are advised to make sure your car is stocked with a few basic supplies… water, blankets, an extra flashlight… if you must travel.

Beware of what’s around the corner

Lane County Road crews were able to clear a slide that blocked Big Creek Road two miles from Highway 101 north of Florence yesterday. But the road remains closed as there is another slide at the nine-mile mark.

Lane County Road Maintenance Manager Orin Schumacher says crews have been “working hard to keep up with downed trees and landslides”. He urges drivers to be aware of their surroundings, especially on rural roads. Schumacher urges people to “drive slower and remember that you never know what’s around the next bend in the road.”

Motor-Voter law being implemented

Oregonians who renew their driver’s license or sign up for the first time next year will automatically be registered to vote.

Officials with the Secretary of State’s Office said this week they’re ready to begin implementing a law approved earlier this year by the Legislature.

Beginning January First, people who are issued a driver’s license… and meet the requirements for voting… will receive a postcard in the mail. They can choose to join a political party or opt out of registration.

If they don’t opt out within three weeks, they’ll automatically join the voter rolls and receive a ballot in the next election.

People who are already registered to vote will automatically have their address changed when they update their driver’s license.

Crab season set to open

After weeks of delay the Oregon Dungeness Crab season is finally getting the green light.

It traditionally starts December 1st but levels of domoic acid remained high, prompting concerns by health and agriculture officials.

Those levels have now come down and testing by state agencies now show they are well below levels of concern.

Crabbers can begin setting their pots in the ocean January 1st and begin harvesting the shellfish on January 4th.

Hugh Link, with the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission, said he was proud “Oregon took the high road” and kept public safety as the number one concern. He added that crab already in the marketplace has been safe to eat.   Recreational crabbing in rivers, bays and the ocean opened yesterday.