Economic development efforts; Trick or treat in Old Town; Plover protections; 12 1/2 gallons of blood; Log booms; Eco stays home

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Our Town details Eco Development efforts

Economic development efforts over the past two years are likely to begin paying off in the not-so-distant-future according to City of Florence officials.  The effort began in earnest a little under two years ago after Mayor Joe Henry and the current City Council were sworn in.  They quickly determined economic development was a top priority, establishing a large and hard-working committee to focus on that.  Henry, Economic Development Committee Chair Mike Rose and City Manager Erin Reynolds will be on this week’s Our Town on Coast Radio where they will:

Erin Reynolds – “Talk about a little quick review of where we’ve been, starting back in early 2015 and fast-forwarding about 18 months into 2016 and some of the efforts that some of the economic development committee has undertaken.”

Efforts have already resulted in the pending sale of a lot in the Kingwood Business Park that could eventually mean as many as 15 to 20 local jobs.

Our Town airs on KCST Wednesday from four to six pm; then again Thursday morning from ten to noon on KCFM.

Trick or Treat in Old Town

Old Town merchants were braced for an onslaught of visitors yesterday afternoon.  From three to five they had piled on the candy and treats, anticipating a surge of Trick-or-Treaters.

While some said the crowd wasn’t as large as last year, it was still pretty impressive as the sidewalks were crowded with costumed kids in outfits ranging from the ghoulish, to the whimsical, to representations of characters from popular movies.

Most had an entourage of parents and grandparents in tow.

Beachcomber owner Scott Waiss said he didn’t keep track of how many kids came by, but he happily said he bought about $200 worth of candy.  Down the street at On Your Feet with A Splash, owner Sadie Ward said they had given out more than 500 treats in the first hour alone.

Plover protections near Winchester Bay

Temporary fencing near the beach and adjacent to the Umpqua number-three parking lot south of Winchester Bay has been erected to provide a buffer for a flock of threatened Western Snowy Plovers.

Siuslaw National Forest wildlife biologist Cindy Burns said the birds have been congregating near the parking lot for the past “couple of weeks”.  They’re continually monitoring the area to see if the flock disperses.

A plover was struck and killed by an off-road vehicle last week.  Burns said that’s what prompted the fencing.  She urges people visiting the area… including off-roaders… to be alert.

Biologists usually erect fencing or ropes during the bird’s nesting season between March and September.  Burns said they’re working to help the bird “conserve resources to enable successful breeding in the spring.”

SHS looks to collect 12 1/2 gallons of blood

The goal is to get 50 people to register for a blood drive next week at Siuslaw High School.  Senior Destinie Tatum is organizing the drive along with the American Red Cross.  That organization will have their blood donor bus at the high school Thursday, November tenth from 8:30 to two.

Anyone can pre-register to give blood that day simply by visiting the high school office at 2975 Oak Street.

Eco stays home at the library

The Friends of the Siuslaw Library are expressing their pleasure… and gratitude… to donors and supporters who pooled their money last month in order to retain what has become a popular outdoor feature.

Eco the sea lion will remain on display at the library.  She was created by Siuslaw High School student and artist Ben Cahoon (ka-HOON) and was one of the 20 – 7 ½ foot long fiberglass sea lions that helped the Florence Events Center celebrate 20 years.  Eco was placed in front of the library last spring… then she, along with eight other 20 sea lions were put up for auction last month.  Library supporters collected more than $3,500 to buy her back.  Library Director Meg Spencer said they are “thrilled”. They have created a new home for her outside the windows of the children’s portion of the library.  Spencer said she can’t wait to hold a storytime with the sea lion next summer.

Boat basin protected by log booms

Now that winter storms are becoming a regular occurrence… and the salmon runs have eased, crews at the Port of Siuslaw Marinas have place protective log booms at entrances to the boat basins.

Dina McClure with the Port of Siuslaw says increased debris flows on the river that come with rain and high water can become trapped in the basins and damage not only the vessels moored there, but the docks as well.

The booms can be opened and closed to allow vessels to come and go.  McClure said boat operators are responsible for doing that, but she said they must use caution and not attempt to use them during high winds or rough waters.

Despite the protections, McClure said maintenance crews still spend many hours each week removing floating debris from the docks.