Siuslaw River Bridge

Florence Misses Top 5; Money For Local Food Bank; Stabbing Information Limited

Small Business Revolution Skips Florence

It was a crowd of about 50 people that lined up in river roasters at 4:15 this morning to hear the announcement of the top 5 cities for the small business revolution.  Mayor Joe Henry along with city council members, business owners and supporters of Florence all gathered with coffee to hear the announcement live on facebook.  Host Amanda Brinkman along with Ty Pennington were live on camera to make the announcement.  When they got to city number 4 you could hear the disappointment as the name was announced.

“Town number 4 is Martinez…crowd noise”

There was a sense in the crowd that the choice of Martinez, California might mean that Florence did not make the list.

“Siloam Springs…crowd noise”

The announcement of Siloam Springs Arkansas was the final town and Florence was not on the list.  We heard this from Jerry’s Place owner Karl Engel

“I’m , I’m sad, I’m disappointed”

Coast Radio News heard from Councilman Joshua Greene also

“Of course I’m disappointed but I think we are all here for a show of good faith and we love the community and you know we’ll get another one down the line, we’ll get something.”

A bit of good news for the community is that the originators of the series will be back in Florence to host a business information seminar in March as part of the top 10 nomination process.  You can learn more and watch the reveal at smallbusiness revolution.com

Fresh Foods Funding For Food Share

Healthy meals at Oregon food pantries are becoming the norm, but they present a challenge. How does the state’s network of food banks make sure food such as produce stays fresh? Today, leaders from the Oregon Food Bank Network are meeting with state legislators in Salem for help solving this problem. They’re asking for a one-time appropriation of 300-thousand dollars to be split among the state’s 20 regional food banks. That money would fund equipment such as refrigeration needed to keep food fresh. Casey Wheeler, head of the Columbia Pacific Food Bank, will be in Salem today. He says this would especially help the food bank’s rural network.

“Something else that some of my peers are going to be looking at is refrigerated box trucks, refrigerated vans, so that food safety is increased by having the produce refrigerated on a two- or three-hour trip.”

Here in Florence, Food Share Director Norma Barton says that while the money will not end up being a large enough portion to help with any significant repairs or equipment, she is hopeful that it will start an awareness for an item that the organization does need. 

“Our Current Walk-in cooler is 28 years old and on its last legs, it’s still hanging in there but we are putting a lot of money into it every month just to keep it operational.”

If the math is correct the amount of funds for the Florence food share would be just under $500.00 a long way from an estimated 5-15 thousand dollar new unit similar in size to replace the existing one.  Barton says they expect the harvest from the organic gardens will be extensive and the upgraded refrigeration would be helpful.

Little Information From County on Florence Stabbing

There was a stabbing that occurred at Rhododendron Trailer park on Sunday.  Florence police were the first to respond to the scene and secured the area until the lane county sheriff’s office could take over the investigation.  No names have been released yet by Lane County, but one victim was transported to Springfield with non life threatening injuries.  This is the second violent event at the Rhododendron trailer park in recent weeks.  There has been no indication that drugs or alcohol were involved.  That determination will come after the Sheriff’s department completes its investigation.