Cold Weather Shelter Volunteers prepping

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Local News

Weekend forecast could cause opening of shelter

Organizers of the Florence Emergency Cold Weather Shelter are gearing up. Bob DuBose says when the wind chill is expected to be 28 degrees or less, that’s when they open their doors at the Florence Masonic Center, two miles south of town.

Bob DuBose – Looks to me like by the time this coming weekend it’s quite possible that we will open. But we can’t make that decision because the weather forecast change; they change quite radically actually overnight. I follow them every day.”

The organization notifies social service and emergency agencies by email and phone call when they are going to open.

Bob DuBose – “We also have a system where we notify our homeless people, because they’re our most important people. We will put flags up with our logo around town on the days that we will be open in the evening.”

A van picks up homeless people at various locations around Florence and transports them to the shelter. They offer dinner that night, then breakfast the next day before taking them back into town.

DuBose said they only had to operate two nights last winter…

More information on the Florence shelter can be found at www-dot-coldshelter-dot-com.

Honeyman “First Day” Hike

For the fifth year in a row Honeyman State Park will be hosting a “first day” hike on New Year’s Day. Honeyman manager Dan Schewlakow (Shellac-oh) says it is part of a national effort.

Dan Schewlakow – “A lot of the state parks all across the nation use this as a way for people to start the new year on a good foot, connecting to nature, connecting to the outdoors.”

Schewlakow said this year he’ll be guiding a hike along an historic trail that was originally pioneered by crews working for the depression era Civilian Conservation Corps. They’ll stop roughly midway through the hike to allow hikers to “connect” with nature.

Dan Schewlakow – We’re going to talk a little bit about awareness and how nature affects us and how it benefits us, health and wellness wise. About half way through the hike, or at some point in the hike if the weather’s nice enough we’re going to do a short nature meditation.”

First Day hikers are asked to meet at the Group Campground off Canary Road for the ten AM walk

“Persistent” rains damage access to Rock Dock

Erosion around the path leading to the popular “Rock Dock” near the South Jetty has led to the closure of that facility.

Lane County Parks and Siuslaw National Forest officials announced the closure yesterday.

It’s not known how long it will remain closed.

Lane County spokesperson Devon Ashbridge said persistent rains have eroded and destabilized the access trail from the parking lot to the dock. She said crews are reviewing the damage and have yet to determine how soon repairs can be made to reopen access to the dock.

Rotarians dig into their own pockets

A donation of $4,800 from the Florence Rotary Club earlier this month enabled the Community Christmas Basket Project to finalize their fund-raising.

According to club spokesperson Kim Erickson, $900 came from Rotary District 5110 and the balance… $3,900… came directly from club members.

Soroptimist of Florence coordinated the project, as they have for more than four decades. They handed out food baskets and toys to more than 400 households December 19th.

Senior Center seeking volunteers

The Florence Senior Center is entering a new phase in its operations. Five years ago, when it opened, use of the facility was strictly limited to those over the age of 60 because of a federal requirement that came with the funding.
That limitation expired this month and that opens up some additional volunteer positions according to center President Christine May.

Christine May – “Somebody that can actually fill some of the volunteer slots like, we need someone to be in charge of rentals and scheduling. We don’t have any specific requirements. They have to be at least 50 to be on the board. But we’re looking for somebody that wants to help contribute to the senior center.”

They also need volunteer receptionists for a few hours each week and help in the kitchen at times. May said anyone interested can stop by the center during the week, or call 541-997-8844.

Oregon Veterans’ info breached

The personal information belonging to some Oregon veterans may have been recently compromised.

The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs reported this week that an ongoing investigation found copies of Certificates of Release or Discharge from Active Duty… commonly called DD Form 214… for 967 Oregon vets may have been in the possession of a person “unauthorized” to handle the information. An ODVA spokesperson says there is no evidence to suggest there was any attempt to misuse the information, however personal information such as social security number, date of birth and more is typically on the document.

All veterans involved have been notified by mail and offered credit monitoring services for a full year.