Election turnout could exceed 60-percent
Voters have until 8 pm today to return their ballots in order to be counted in today’s primary election.
In Western Lane County, they can be deposited at the ballot drop box in front of the Florence Justice Center on 9th Street.
In Western Douglas County, there is a ballot drop in front of the Douglas County Courthouse Annex in Reedsport.
Voters in Florence and Mapleton will decide the fate of school capital levy requests… $4-million over 25 years in Mapleton to repair schools; and $36.9-million over the same time period at Siuslaw Schools to build a new high school.
As of yesterday afternoon, the ballot returns in Lane County overall were just under 39-percent. Lane County Clerk Cheryl Betschart said she estimates that six out of ten voters in Lane County will return their ballots.
Initial results will be posted online at both Lane and Douglas County websites within a few minutes of the polls closing at eight.
Lane C0unty preparing rural assistance initiative
Lane County Commissioner Jay Bozievich and county administrator Steve Mokrohiskey (mo-kro-HI-skee) addressed the Florence City Council last night about rural economic prosperity. Mokrohiskey said they’re adding a staff member who will have one job… working with rural communities.
Steve Mokrohiskey – “It’s also about having a formal ongoing partnership and liaison, someone who’s regularly connecting, so I anticipate this person is going to be the eyes and ears for us.”
The new liason may have an office in Eugene, but Mokrohiskey says he or she won’t be spending much time there.
Steve Mokrohiskey – “They’ll be based out of their car. I think is where, the way it’s… they’ll have a car office where they’ll just be driving constantly around Lane County and meet with folks. That really is the intent is that we have someone that is working on the ground, on a day to day basis, with communities.”
The focus won’t be exclusively economic health, but will include finding ways to communicate closely.
109th Rhododendron Festival
You couldn’t really blame Bettina Hannigan if she admitted she was feeling just a little overwhelmed right now. Hannigan was named Executive Director of the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce in late March and is in the throes of putting together the biggest party of the year.
Bettina Hannigan – “I feel like I’m drinking it out of a fire hose. But, thanks to Nancy and Cal, and all of the support from the Ambassadors and the chamber members I really feel that this is going to be a great event. They’ve got it handled… and what they don’t have handled they’re getting handled and it’s just an incredible group of people that’s putting this together.”
She said Nancy Pearson, the Chamber’s Event Organizer and Hannigan’s predecessor, Cal Applebee, as well as many volunteers are putting the finishing touches on the 109th Rhododendron Festival. The Davis Carnival opens tomorrow; hundreds of motorcycles should begin arriving soon after that; and then thousands of visitors are expected to be in town Saturday and Sunday.
Call goes out for Senior Center Volunteers
Since it opened 5 ½ years ago, the Florence Senior Center has operated exclusively with the benefit of plenty of volunteers.
Now, they’re “desperately seeking” new volunteers for all jobs.
After replacing the long time chef late last year, they searching for another to take over in the end of June.
Center Association President Beth Johnston said the chef, who prepares lunches every Tuesday and Thursday, along with many of her volunteer staff, are departing.
Johnston said they are in the middle of a “major changeover, and are looking for energetic people who want to help the senior community”.
In addition to kitchen helpers and servers, volunteers to staff the reception desk are also needed.
Johnston said anyone interested in helping out can call the center at 541-997-8844, leave their name and number, and someone will call them back.
Marohl Named Middle School Principal
The final administrative vacancy at the Siuslaw School District for the coming year has been filled. But, it creates a new opening. Andy Marohl (muh-ROLL) will take over as principal at Siuslaw Middle School beginning in the fall. He split his time as vice-principal at the middle school and Siuslaw Elementary this year. Before that, he spent nine years teaching 7th grade science at Siuslaw. For the past three years, Marohl has also served as the district’s STEAM coordinator; promoting science, technology, engineering, arts and math.
He fills the position vacated when Andy Gzreskowiak (grez-KO-wee-ack) was named Superintendent of Schools. Marohl’s promotion also opens another administrative position. Andy M. and Andy G. will work together to recruit and hire a new VP for the two schools.