Fall prevention; Emergency Dept. expansion; Threats to Dungeness crab; Outward Ventures; Public Lands observance

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Preventing Falls a focus for the season

According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the number one cause for injuries for older Americans.  They not only threaten the health and safety of elders, but also generate enormous economic and personal costs.

That’s one reason medics from Western Lane Ambulance District are focusing on fall injuries… this fall.

Paramedic Al Kreitz says it’s “always preferred to prevent an injury rather than respond and treat patients with fall injuries.”

Kreitz offers some simple tips to help prevent falls… one of the most basic and easiest methods is with the proper footwear.  Wear shoes that are easy to tie, are flat soled and have non-skid soles.  He says to secure loose rugs and electrical cords; improve lighting in stairs, hallways, and other parts of the home.  Kreitz says it’s also a good idea to have your vision checked and have your physician check your balance…. Use a cane or a walker if you need.

Avoiding alcohol or sedatives can be good advice also if you are at a high risk for a fall.

Finally, a good exercise program aimed at helping you maintain your fitness and balance can help prevent falls.

Emergency Department nearing completion

After 15 months and $6-million dollars the newly expanded Emergency Department at Peace Harbor Medical Center is nearly ready to go.

All that remains are a few “punch list” items and then final certification by state medical authorities.

That certification could take as many as four more weeks according to Michele Diffenderfer. She is the director of the medical center’s charitable foundation and helped raise the money to fund the renovation and expansion.

Since the project began in June 2015 construction crews have added 47-hundred square feet, more than doubling the size.  The original space had been designed to handle about 5-thousand visits each year, but is currently running at about 9-thousand.  The nine private treatment rooms and two additional triage spaces will mean there is plenty of room for growth.

A private “walk-through” for donors will be held later this month.

Changes in ocean chemistry threaten lucrative fishery

Millions of pounds of Dungeness crab are pulled from Pacific Northwest waters each year in a more than century-old ritual for commercial and recreational fishermen.

But as marine water absorb more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere it becomes more acidic.

That has worried scientists who are concerned that the changing chemistry of the water may threaten the sweet-flavored crustacean.

That concern has been verified by research at the NOAA Fisheries Northwest Fisheries Science Center  where scientists exposed tiny crab larvae and eggs to acidic seawater.

Research published this year found those samples grew more slowly and were more likely to die than those in less corrosive seawater.

Dungeness crabs are the top revenue-fetching fishery in Washington and Oregon… in 2014 about 53-million pounds valued at nearly $200-million were harvested.

Outward Ventures heads to the farm and cider works

Lane Community College’s Outward Ventures program kicks off for the fall term next week with a tour of Winter Green Farm in Noti.  The nearly 200-acre farm produces a variety of organic produce and beef and was one of the first organically certified farms in Oregon.

Another Outward Ventures trip is set for October First to the Wildcraft Cider Works in Eugene.

The two trips are just part of the regular adult education and enrichment curriculum available at LCC in Florence.  Registration information and details on future trips can be had by calling the LCC Florence Center.

Public Lands Day observed Saturday

An examination of the original members of the U.S. Forest Service will be presented Saturday afternoon at the Cape Perpetua Visitors Center just south of Yachats.

The presentation of author Bibi Gaston and her book “Gifford Pinchot (PINN-sho) and the First Foresters” is part of the center’s celebration of National Public Lands Day.

Gaston’s book includes anecdotes and writings from Pinchot, the former Pennsylvania Governor, and the 226 men and women who initially served the fledgling agency that assumed it’s modern form in 1905.

The talk will be presented at the visitor center beginning at two pm Saturday, September 24th.