Legislators Recognized; Museum To Offer Heritage Classes; Gas Prices Down; School Expansion Update

Caregiver Protectors Recognized

A-A-R-P Oregon is honoring lawmakers who supported family caregivers during the 2017 Legislative session. Dubbed “Capitol Caregivers,” the legislators were chosen for their efforts to protect older Oregonians. Coming into this year’s session, the organization was concerned that the state’s large budget deficit would put senior services on the chopping block. But legislators from both sides of the aisle fought to save funding. Jon Bartholomew is government relations director for A-A-R-P Oregon. 

“It’s a bipartisan list, Democrats and Republicans, who worked together on the state budget to make sure that there would be no cuts to senior services this year. We went into this budget cycle looking at a $1.6 billion hole in the budget.”

 Services such as Oregon Project Independence, which keeps people from having to go on Medicaid, and programs that provide training, referrals and counseling to family caregivers were saved from drastic cuts this year. Bartholomew calls budgets moral documents that reflect a state’s values. He adds that the unpaid service caregivers provide would come at a hefty price otherwise.

The amount of work that family caregivers do out of love, if we paid for it out of the state budget, would be worth over $5.7 billion a year.”

Bartholomew says in 2018, A-A-R-P Oregon hopes the state can give caregivers more options for time off through respite services. It also is pushing for access to paid family leave so that people can make ends meet while providing for loved ones.

Gas Prices Continue to Dip

Gas prices continue a slow downward trend as we get closer to the holiday weekend.  The average price for a gallon of regular gas in Oregon has slipped 3 cents to $2.80 a gallon while locally it has dipped to $2.62 a gallon.  Marie Dodds with AAA Oregon says this puts prices at its lowest since early November.  Demand continues to decrease and Dodds says that it is usually an indicator that prices will continue to go down.  For the second week in a row consumption has dipped below 9 million barrels a day while inventories have increased by 7 million barrels.  The west coast is still posting the highest prices in the nation with Oregon sitting in the top 5.

Military Museum to Offer Classes

The Oregon Coast Military Museum will be providing classes in conjunction with Lane Community College’s winter term.  The museum announced that it will be offering classes that will focus on the impact that military heritage has had in Oregon beginning from the civil war to the current conflicts and the war on terrorism.  The classes will be held on Wednesday evenings from January through March in the theater of the Oregon Coast Military Museum.  Seating is limited.  Registration and class information can be found at the museum’s website at oregoncoastmilitarymuseum dot com.

Schools Get Expansion Update

The future of Siuslaw schools will be addressed this evening as the school board looks at the possibility of  building new structures or remodeling old ones.  In late spring of this year the board was presented with options on how to move forward and this evening will get a comprehensive report from Curt Wilson of PIVOT Architecture.  The board will then consider options for a possible bond with a firm determination coming at a later date.  The meeting will be at the schools offices and meeting room on Oak Street beginning at 6:30.