Port manager evaluation concerns; Tiny homes and tiny gardens; free dental care; Lane County considering smoking age change; difficult rescue.

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Port Commissioner expresses concern over evaluation

Port of Siuslaw Commissioners gave Port Manager Steven Leskin an overall “meets expectations” in 12 categories of his annual evaluation last month.  But one of the commissioners say her colleagues “did not do the right thing” when it came to helping Leskin be more productive.

Nancy Rickard read a statement at the beginning of last night’s Port Commission meeting in which she said other commissioners failed to give Leskin an opportunity to address the parts of his evaluation in which they said he needed improvement.  Rickard said no comments were made that would have allowed him to respond to the critiques related to updating information, communicating with Commissioners, and carrying out assignments.

Rickard was also critical of the board for not saying why they opposed a four percent raise for Leskin.  She and Commission President Ron Caputo voted in favor of the raise January 30th, but the other three; David Huntington, Mike Buckwald and Terry Duman; voted no without any additional comment.

Rickard closed by saying commissioners have a responsibility to support the manager and staff recommendations and share in the communication process.

Home and Garden show to feature tiny homes… and tiny gardens

The 21st annual Florence Home and Garden Show will feature a couple of new twists when the doors open March 3rd at the Florence Events Center:  Tiny homes and tractors.

“This quite possibly could be the best show we’ve had”, said producer Jon Thompson who added that visitors will be greeted with another brand new lineup outside when they approach the front door.  “But inside, there will be many of the favorite exhibitors from past shows.”

Outside, Tiny SMART House of Albany will be featured.  Marcelle Fisher with Forbes Magazine called them “simple, more affordable and ecologically-friendly”; adding that “compact-home living can still be just grand”.   In addition to the tiny homes will be several models of Kubota Tractors from Mid Valley Tractor.

On the inside, visitors will see a lot more, including the traditional centerpiece design from Laurel Bay Gardens who will also be presenting several “do it yourself” workshops during the weekend.

More than 40 vendors will be on hand for the three-day show.

18 year old smokers to be ‘grandfathered’

Lane County Commissioners will likely enact an ordinance next month to raise the legal age to use any and all forms of tobacco from 18 to 21.

It’s part of a nationwide campaign to pass similar laws in counties and states.

Commissioners said this week, though, that if they do approve it, the measure should include a provision that “grandfathers” anyone who has already turned 18.  Those people would continue to be able to use tobacco… but anyone who turns 18 after the date of enactment would have to wait until they were 21.

If approved next month, the ordinance would go into effect likely in mid-April.

Sea cave rescue proved difficult for Coast Guard

Two men were rescued from a sea cave just south of Yachats Tuesday night by a Coast Guard Helicopter air crew in what was described by the aircraft commander as the – quote – “most technically challenging case” any of the crew had been a part of.

The two were on the rocks when one fell into the water.  The other man attempted to rescue him with both being swept into the cave.

A helicopter was on a routine training mission in the area and was quickly diverted to the scene.  The pair was not easily located however and after three passes, the air crew still could not find them.

An Oregon State Trooper on shore was able to visually guide the helo crew to the cave and a rescue swimmer was lowered.

The weather wasn’t the best at the time with rain and 15 to 30 knot winds accompanying six to eight foot seas.

Rescuers did not release the identity of either man, but did say they were both hypothermic.

Free dental clinic offered at area schools

A free dental clinic for students at Siuslaw and Mapleton Elementary schools will be offered in early March.  Drs. Brian Holmes and Justin Linton and the staff at Florence Dental Clinic will be at the schools March 1st, 2nd and 3rd with the mobile dental clinic from Medical Teams International.  Screenings at the schools took place in October and January with a summary of the treatments needed being sent home to parents and guardians.  They were directed at that time to complete and return permission slips so their children could get the free dental work done.

No fees are charged and a spokesperson for the clinic said they don’t ask for donations… and they don’t accept them if offered.