Spring Beach Cleanup; Teacher of the Year; Tragedy on the beach; Slip off those studs; Vote for the best small town; celebrate 123 at Heceta Lighthouse

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SOLV seeks volunteers for Spring Beach Cleanup

Every spring, volunteers converge on Oregon beaches to pick up the winter’s accumulation of flotsam and jetsam.

The spring 2017 version of the semi-annual beach cleanup is this Saturday from ten am to one pm.

SOLV, the Oregon non-profit group that has organized the cleanups for the past 35-years, is at the helm once more, along with Oregon State Parks and several corporate sponsors.

Volunteers will register at one of 45 different locations.

Locally you can report to Carl Washburne State Park, Heceta Beach, North Jetty, South Jetty, or Siltcoos Outlet.  To the south, a registration table will be at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area office in Reedsport, as well as at Umpqua Dunes just south of Winchester Bay.

Volunteers have picked up everything from large appliances and car parts to to tiny pieces of plastic in the quest to scour the beaches of trash.  Organizers say to dress appropriately for the day and bring gloves.

Nominate your teacher of the year

Oregon Department of Education officials are looking for nominations of teachers who are knowledgeable, display leadership, express themselves, collaborate with colleagues, students and the community, and deliberately connect with students.

It’s the Oregon Teacher of the Year.

Last year it was a 20-year veteran of the classroom,

Gloria Pereyra-Robertson who teaches kindergarten at Howard Elementary School in Medford who was selected.

But it could be just about any teacher in any school district in Oregon .

Oregon’s Deputy Superintendent of Schools, Salam Noor says he has been privileged to meet countless “extraordinary teachers” who are experts and inspire students.  Noor says you can go to OregonTeacherOfTheYear.org for more information.

Tragedy claims life on Coos County beach

A spring break getaway turned to tragedy Saturday afternoon near Bandon when a log, moved by a strong outgoing tide, rolled over a 14-year old Eugene girl and killed her.

Oregon State Police said the girl, Aurora Genai Sheffel, and several friends were standing on the log at about four pm.  The others managed to get away, but Sheffel did not and was pinned beneath the log.  It took several attempts for nearby people to get her out.  A Bandon Police officer and paramedics attempted life-saving measures but were unsuccessful.

Officials with Oregon State Parks and Recreation say the death is just one more reminder the ocean is very powerful and can move large logs easily.

Slip off those studs

The Oregon Department of Transportation has issued a reminder that the deadline for removing studded tires from your car or truck in Oregon is midnight Thursday.

Luci Moore, the State Maintenance and Operations Engineer says you don’t have to wait until then… you can get it taken care of today.

Studded tires are allowed on Oregon roadways between November 1st and March 31st each year.  Oregon law allows ODOT to extend the deadline if the weather warrants it, but current forecasts don’t support an extension.

While studded tires can reduce the chance of losing traction in snowy or even icy conditions, there are other traction devices that can be just as effective, without causing damage to the road surface.  Moore said a 2014 study shows studded tires cause about $8.5-million in damage each year.  Drivers with studs on their car after the deadline can be charged with a “class-c” traffic violation.

Florence nominated for best NW small town

We’ve all seen them on the internet… The 10-best places to retire; the 10-best vacation destinations; things like that.

USA Today puts up several of those lists each year and quite often, the Florence area winds up on them.

The latest is the 10-Best Northwestern Small Towns.

Bettina Hannigan, the Executive Director of the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce wants to get the word out that this area has been nominated and the list will be finalized in late April.   The exposure by being listed can be immeasurable as people all over the country read the lists and they can influence where people go and spend money.

Online voting for the small town list is underway right now with the cutoff set for April 24th.  Anyone and everyone can vote… but they’re limited to just once each day.

Heceta Lighthouse celebrates 123

The people at Heceta Head Lightstation will be celebrating the 123rd birthday of that iconic fixture this Thursday.

There’s probably not a cake big enough to handle all of the candles, so they’ll be offering cupcakes instead.

And live music… and other food and fun.

Marty Adams, the Sea Strings and “High Tide” will perform at the keeper’s house from four to seven pm March 30th in celebration of the 123rd anniversary of the first time the lighthouse at Heceta Head was lit.

The celebration, and admission into the keeper’s house and grounds are free.  But there is a $5 day-use fee to park in the nearby parking lot.  A free shuttle will transport you from the parking area to the Keeper’s House… or you can walk the trail.