Goodwill getting a new home; Localized flooding; Stiles steps down from LCC Board; Set your clock ahead – check your smoke detector, your tires and your shoes; Lawmakers eye your interest deduction

Coast Radio News
Local News

Goodwill considering new location

A Highway 101 commercial building, vacant for nearly a decade, is headed for new life as the home of Goodwill Industries in Florence.  The non-profit agency wants to move from their current location to the former Rite-Aid building at 12th Street and Highway 101.  In processing that request, the City of Florence discovered a requirement placed on the property in 1992 that 12th street on the south end be improved to provide a secondary access.

City Planner Wendy Farley-Campbell said when the building was constructed, the Oregon Department of Transportation refused to allow a second highway access to the parking lot; instead requiring the 12th street improvement.  She said that has never been feasible.

But, since it is still in force, it has to be dealt with before Goodwill gets the ok to add a loading dock and remodel the building.

That process will be handled administratively at City Hall and will not go to the Planning Commission.  Input on the matter is being accepted at Farley-Campbell’s office through Thursday, March 16th.                       

Slight break in the rain…. But more on the way

Despite heavy rains recorded in Florence since Tuesday, the Siuslaw River never reached flood stage this week.  The National Weather Service lifted a flood watch last night in effect for the Siuslaw River near Mapleton.

The river began to rise twice this week, reaching its highest point of 15 feet at the river gauge two miles upstream from Mapleton Wednesday.  It neared 14 feet yesterday before beginning to fall gradually through this morning.

Despite the lack of river flooding, there was plenty of localized flooding and standing water all over the Florence area.   Already this month, the accumulation of 6.9 inches of rain is more than it was in all of March 2016… and it’s only an inch shy of the average montyhly rainfall measured by the City of Florence since 1957.   The city’s rain gauges show just under 86-inches of rain have fallen in Florence since October 1st… and the average annual rainfall is only 68.5 inches.

Forecasters say there will be a little bit of break today… but we’ll see more rain and showers in the coming week.

Interest deduction being eyed as revenue source

Oregon lawmakers are looking at homeowners and the tax breaks they receive as one potential solution to the state’s $1.6-billion budget deficit for the next two years.

Debates have been going on in Salem this week on two proposals that would reduce or eliminate the allowable deductions that some homeowners can claim from mortgage interest and property taxes.

Backers of the bills say it would reduce a huge tax break that currently costs the state $440-million a year.  They also say it would only affect homeowners who make more than $100-thousand a year… or married joint-filers $200-thousand a year. Opponents say  it would severely impact the state’s housing affordability crisis.

Check your clocks, your shoes and your tires…

and don’t forget the smoke detector

By now, you should know the drill… reset your clocks for Daylight Savings Time Saturday night… and at the same time you’re doing that you need to check the batteries in your smoke detector.

State officials say you also need to add a couple more things to that list:  your shoes… and your tires.

Oregon’s publicly owned workers compensation insurance carrier… SAIF Corporation… says trip and falls are a leading cause of injury for Oregon Workers.  One way to prevent those are to make sure you’re wearing shoes in good condition.

The Oregon Department of Transportation and Oregon State Police say the same thing applies to your tires.  If they’re worn or improperly inflated they can lead to deadly crashes.  In fact, officials at both agencies say tires are the “single most important mechanical component of vehicle control and safe driving”.

The semi-annual ritual of resetting your clocks can serve as a good reminder to check other things that can have much more of an impact your life than simply being an hour late.

Stiles resigns from LCC board

The chair of the Lane Community College Board of Directors stepped down from her post this week.   Sharon Stiles of Florence submitted her resignation during Thursday’s board meeting March 8th.

She is leaving the community and moving back to Washington State where she originally came from.  She has served on the board eight years and has been chair twice.  She also headed up the presidential search committee last year that sought and found a successor to college president Mary Spilde.

The board elevated vice-chair Rosie Pryor to take over the gavel for Stiles.

Stiles has represented the college’s Zone 1.  That covers most of Western Lane County, including Florence, Veneta and West Eugene..  Fellow Florentine Sally Wantz had previously filed for election to Stiles’ post.  She is opposed in the election by Jeffrey Gratreak.  The deadline to get on the May 16th ballot is next Thursday, March 16th.