Fiber Optic Breaks Ground
The construction of the new fiber optic network for Florence is underway. Last Monday, the HYAK project, an off shoot of Siuslaw Broadband, broke ground at the Pacific View Business Park and will soon begin service to surrounding businesses and some residences in the area. COO of Siuslaw Broadband, Neil Ecker, says gigabyte service will be available to it’s customers for $49.99. Ecker says they are rolling out both Active Ethernet and Gigabyte Passive Optical Network. AE as the prior is known gives the most flexibility for residential service. The rollout phase of the project should be completed by the first week of December, but they are quick to mention that it is a weather permitting project.
Open Enrollment Underway
It is open enrollment for Medicare, which means about 800-thousand participants in Oregon have the opportunity to review their Medicare plans. People across the country have until December 7th to look at making changes to their current plans, or to sign up for Medicare. Lisa Emerson, program manager of the Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance program, says people should review their plans for any changes.
“Plans change their benefits, they change their premiums, co-pays, deductibles, prescriptions they cover, and so it’s important to review because the person could save some money and have better coverage.”
Emerson says if people feel comfortable, they can use the tool on the Medicare website to compare plan prices.
“They can use the plan-comparison tool on Medicare.gov, on the website. It’s called the plan-finder tool, which is what SHIBA counselors and other benefits counselors would use to compare the myriad of Medicare plans that are available.”
Folks also can reach out to SHIBA, which has a statewide network of counselors that can help and walk people through the process. The agency also works with local partners to get people the attention they need in person. Oregonians can find SHIBA assistance online, or by calling 1-800-722-4134.
County Workers Still On Strike
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees say they are closer to a deal with Lane county government on a contract. The County though says the two entities are still a long way apart. Over the weekend talks continued through a mediator but the county is holding steady at its original offer according to a report in the Register Guard. AFSCME says they have moved significantly closer to the county’s offer and only about 2 million dollars over a three-year period separates them. County employees are expected to be back on the picket lines today.