101 reopens north of Florence

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Local News

Slide cleared

Traffic began flowing last night through a stretch of Highway 101 north of Florence that had been closed because of a slide. Rocks, mud and trees came crashing down on the highway, just north of Sea Lion Caves early Sunday afternoon. The debris covered both lanes of Highway 101, prompting closure and a lengthy detour through the Willamette Valley.

Crews worked into the evening Sunday to clear away the mess. But, they had to wait until daylight yesterday to survey the stability of the very steep cliff above the roadway.

Timber fallers and rock scalers worked through the day yesterday, dropping more timber and rocks on the road way. That was hauled away as it came down.

By early evening it was deemed safe and traffic was allowed to pass.

20th Home and Garden Show

A quick look at the list of booths at this weekend’s Florence Home and Garden Show at the Events Center shows a list of things for your home that will stretch from the foundation to the roof… into the yard and beyond.

There are more than 40 exhibitors preparing to demonstrate their wares; offer samples; and even give some of them away.

The centerpiece of the show will once again be provided by Laurel Bay Gardens. Lisa and Dave Sedlacek have been at the show every year since it started in 1997. This year they’ll feature a “French market garden” inside… complete with locally produced jams, jellies and soaps. On the outside, there will be an “up cycling” display. With demonstrations on how you can put wooden pallets to use around your home and garden.

The show opens from two to six Friday, then from ten to six Saturday and 11 to three on Sunday.

Admission is two-dollars for adults, but half price coupons are available all this week… while they last… at Bi-Mart.

High School Levy Campaign gets underway

Siuslaw School Board members began an educational campaign last night to provide information about why voters should support a $36.9-million capital levy to build a new high school. Board member Eric Rines and Chair Tammy Butler appeared on the weekly Viking Hour program on KCST to talk to students about the building. One point they made clear: It would cost nearly as much to remodel and renovate the existing 46-year old structure as it would to build a new school. Butler stressed three points particularly.

Tammy Butler – “I want it to be seismically safe. I want to know that our fire safety is top of the line. I want to know that our security, it’s the best it can be for our kids. So, even though it would be great to have a brand new school… just to have a brand new school. But, for me, it’s important that those three things… those are basic.”

If voters agree on May 17th, the district would also receive a $4-million facilities grant from the State of Oregon. Any money left over from building the school would go directly into upgrading technology and facilities at the district’s other buildings as well.

2016-17 budget focus of city staff

Because there are five Mondays in February, that gives staff at City Hall an extra week to work on projects. City Manager Erin Reynolds says this time of year, they have a major focus:

Erin Reynolds – “It’s budget, budget, budget at this point. March-April; this is staff and council working on budget, preparing, looking at each operation and financial fund and accounting to make sure there’s no surprises.”

Reynolds said because the city adopted a long-term financial plan several years ago, it’s made the budget process easier with fewer surprises. They start with a five year plan, but are always looking at what’s coming next.

Erin Reynolds – “And the next two years, so that 12 to 24 months, you’re really fine tuning, knuckling down on that and just saying where are things that have changed in the last year in our expectation and our forecast.”

The first of several budget work sessions for the council and the city budget committee are set for early next month.

Urban Renewal featured on Our Town

Visitors to last week’s Urban Renewal Agency open house were encouraged to leave comments about what they believe the core downtown area of Florence should embody. Those comments included ten specific items that residents would like to see. Many of them were aesthetic; others aimed at encouraging economic growth. But, said Mayor Joe Henry, several also wanted to encourage amenities members of the local population outside of the dominant retirement age category.

Joe Henry – “Providing activities for young families, encouraging more rental or market-rate housing; providing activities for young professionals; more accessibility by way of sidewalks and bike lanes between commercial and residential areas.”

Henry, along with several members of the Florence Urban Renewal Agency team will be on this week’s March Edition of Coast Radio’s Our Town. The program airs Wednesday from four to six on KCST, then again Thursday from ten until noon on KCFM.