News and Sports for Wednesday, February 17th

17 February 2016

Florence and Reedsport to get Tsunami Blue Lines

The Oregon Office of Emergency Management is rolling out a pilot program aimed at helping coastal communities guide residents and visitors to safety in the event of a tsunami.

The Tsunami Blue Line Project is inspired by a similar initiative in Wellington, New Zealand where communities paint a blue line and combine it with additional signage on the roadway leading to evacuation zones.

OEM Geologic Hazards Coordinator Althea Rizzo says encouraging people to practice their routes to safety is one of the best ways to save lives during a tsunami. The blue line pilot project in Florence, Reedsport, Coos Bay and Gold Beach is just one of several ways Oregonians are getting ready.

Blue Line markers will be installed along evacuation routes in time for the fifth anniversary of the massive Japanese earthquake and tsunami that occurred March 11th 2011. Rizzo will be delivering the markers and signs to the four coastal communities later this month.

She is also encouraging Oregonians to participate in the “Tsunami Walk Out” on March 11th and 12th to practice evacuation routes and promote public awareness.

Beach thread mystery explained

The origin of the masses of small two-inch long threadlike items discovered on Oregon beaches over the past few months has been a puzzle to many beach-goers. The tiny tubes have accumulated in dried masses on the beach.

But it’s recently been explained.

Fawn Custer is the CoastWatch volunteer coordinator, she says the fibers or filaments are actually the homes of cellophane worms that have been dislodged in heavy surf.

It’s a totally natural occurrence… summer winds build up sand on the beach and the worms keep their homes… the small two-inch long tubes… just beneath the surface. As winter storms scour the sand away, the tubes are dislodged and the worms burrow deeper.

Custer says the past several winters have been relatively mild with little or no sand disruption. But, this year has been an exception with a lot of sand scoured away, causing more than the usual amount of tubes to accumulate on beaches.

School board reviews and interviews superintendent hopeful(s)

The Siuslaw School District Board of Directors will hold a special meeting, 5:30 this evening at the District Office. They are expected to immediately convene into Executive Session to review candidate files and interview candidates for the position of Superintendent.

Earlier this month, the panel opted to make the position available to “internal” candidates… current employees of the district… before advertising it outside of the community.

No formal actions are scheduled.

Immunization Exclusion Day

Wednesday was school exclusion day in Oregon; the date by which all students in kindergarten through 12th grade are required to either have all of their immunizations… or file a medical or personal exemption with the school district.

As of Tuesday morning there were more than 50 students across the district who had not met requirements.

Siuslaw Middle School principal Andy Grzskowiak said that number had been cut to about ten by the end of the day.

But, he added, he expected there would be a few that won’t make the deadline.

Parents or guardians with questions about whether or not their child has med the vaccination requirements can be directed to the offices in all three schools.

Low gas prices expected to begin springtime rise

The average cash price for a gallon of regular gas in Florence held steady this week at $1.62. Meanwhile the average price across the state, as measured by Triple-A, fell four cents a gallon to $1.91. Marie Dodds with Triple-A said the national average price also dipped by three cents in the past week. It’s at $1.70.

Dodds suggested retail prices may be ready to make an increase as many refineries have cut production because of abundant supplies and low prices. Many refineries are also preparing for seasonal maintenance in advance of the summer driving season when demand typically rises… driving prices up with it.

Taking a look at Coast Radio Sports:

The Mapleton Sailors advance to the next round of the Mountain West League boys basketball playoffs after downing Eddyville Tuesday night 58 – 47. The Sailors will travel to Marcola Wednesday for the next round against the Mohawk Indians… the winner of that game will advance to the Mountain West League tournament Saturday at Central Linn High School in Halsey.

The Siuslaw Vikings fell in overtime, 42-39, to the Douglas Trojans Tuesday in Florence. Trent Reavis led all scorers with 18 points. Reese Siegel had ten for the Vikings who will face the North Bend Bulldogs Friday night in North Bend to wrap up the season.

For the girls… The Lady Trojans came out on top over the Siuslaw Vikings… 58-34.