Citizen petition protesting Indian Creek Landscape Plan

Five objectives sought

A petition asking the U.S. Forest Service to incorporate five additional objectives into the proposed Indian Creek watershed restoration project is circulating in the community.

Thane Beers says those objectives include prohibitions against closing or decommissioning roads; thinning tree plantations; dropping valuable timber into creeks and streams, and closing an area that has been traditionally used for camping and recreation.

Beers also said the goals of the Forest Service proposal itself have not been clearly identified. He and others say it appears federal agencies do not – quote – “want people using public land.”

The Forest Service held an informational meeting on the Indian Creek Landscape Management Project two weeks ago in Mapleton. Many of those in attendance opposed it.

Beers said the petition also seeks to halt further planning on the project until an independent assessment is done. Petitions are at a dozen different locations in and around Florence and Mapleton.

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Moda struggles bring out potential scammers

It didn’t take long before the bad guys started trying to capitalize on bad news in the health insurance market place.

Shortly after the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services took control of operations last week at Moda Health Plans, officials also started getting reports of random calls to residents telling them their coverage was in jeopardy. The caller reportedly offered to help with a transition, but they needed personal information; including a social security number.

If the customer balks or delays in any way, the caller then threatens to cut off their coverage immediately.

If you have any doubts about the call up to this point, that threat should confirm that it is a scam.

The state took over Moda Health Plans because of financial instability in order to make sure coverage continues and claims are paid. Decisions have not yet been made about the future of Moda policies, but state officials say policy holders will be directly notified of what will happen. If you have an independent agent… they will also contact you directly.

Wednesday explosion wrecks steam cleaner

An explosion inside a work van behind the former Kozy Kitchen Restaurant yesterday afternoon gutted the van, but did no other damage. There were no injuries and the building itself was not damaged. A crew was inside the restaurant, using a truck mounted steam cleaner on the exhaust hood over the grill at the time of the explosion. It sent a brief but intense fireball through the interior of the van, demolishing the cleaner and blackening the remaining contents.

Medics and firefighters arrived quickly, then left almost as quickly as they found no further threat. It’s not clear what caused the explosion.

The restaurant, at 8th and Highway 101, is currently undergoing remodeling and is expected to open later this month under new ownership.

Triathlon volunteers sought

The call is going out for volunteers to help with the running of the Fourth Annual Oregon dunes Triathlon and Duathlon Mother’s Day Weekend in Dunes City.

Interim Dunes City Administrator Jaime Mills says volunteers are needed to help marshal the course and staff facilities. A $250 cash prize is offered to the non-profit group that organizes and registers the most volunteers. Mills says it will only take a few hours on Saturday, May 7th and you’ll have a front row view.

For more information on the race and how to volunteer, you can call Dunes City Hall at 541-997-3338.

Florence favorite coastal getaway in Oregonian poll

The results of an informal on-line poll by the Oregonian put Florence at the top of a list of ten favorite coastal getaways in the state.

Kjersten Gabrielson compiled the statistics earlier this week. She said it was a “tight race”, but 21 percent of those voting put Florence as the number one spot on Oregon’s 360-mile long coastline to get away from it all.

Bandon was second with 18 percent; Newport had just under 11 percent; and Cannon Beach had more than ten percent.

Voters also commented on their selections noting the variety of activities and landscape available in Western Lane County.

Honeyman State Park received several shout-outs, as did Historic Old Town Florence.

The prize for winning the poll… Florence will receive an official “Best of Getaways” badge… and bragging rights.