High Fire Danger in Western Lane County; EMAC to Consider Plastic Bag Regulation; PAC Looks at Benefit of Public Art Trail Inclusion; Oregon Saves Anniversary

High Fire Danger in Western Lane County

The Oregon Department of Forestry on Friday increased the public fire danger in Western Lane County to High.  Public restrictions already included a ban on debris burning and in addition ODF does not allow mowing of dry cured grass between the hours of 10 am and 8 pm and no power saws during the same period.  Cutting, welding and grinding is prohibited during 10am and 8 pm and during other hours must be done in a clear area with a water supply.  Electric fences must be UL approved.  Spark emitting internal combustion engines such as chain saws are also restricted between 10 am and 8pm.  Include a shovel and a gallon of water when using power equipment and provide a 1 hour fire watch after each use.  Campfires are approved in designated locations.  Smoking in designated location, in vehicles on improved roads and boats in the water is also allowed.  More information on restrictions can be found on the Siuslaw Valley Fire and rescue Facebook page or at oregon.gov\odf.

EMAC to Consider Plastic Bag Regulation

Tomorrow evening the Florence Environmental Management Advisory Committee will meet to get an update on the recycling changes that went into effect on July 1st.  the two city haulers are now accepting translucent milk jugs and beverage containers that are rinsed out and have no lids.  The companies will give an update on the progress of the changes.  The committee will also be looking at a review of their plastic bag survey as they seek to move forward on ne regulations regarding the use of them in Florence. And they will get an update on where local businesses are in relation to the food and beverage foam container regulations.  The committee will meet at the Florence event center tomorrow evening at 6pm.

PAC Looks at Benefit of Public Art Trail Inclusion

This morning the Public Art Committee meets to look at the possibility of joining the public art trail.  They will hear a presentation from Kevin Ridgeway who is a representative of the Public Art Trail Program.  The public is also invited to offer public comment on the proposed Maple Street sculpture.  The Public Arts Committee meets at 10 am on Wednesday at the Florence Events Center.

Oregon Saves Anniversary

Oregon Saves has reached it’s one year anniversary.  The program offers workers without a retirement program the chance to save for retirement.  In the first year more than 30 thousand people have signed up for the program with more than 4.5 million dollars in savings. And more than a million Oregonians are still elegible for the program.  Michael Parker, head of the Oregon Savings Network, says the program is helping individuals and will help the state as well.

“If you just fast forward even 10 years, how much of a positive impact it’s going to have not only on people’s lives individually for being able to have some nest egg, but then a positive impact on the state because those folks who would not have had retirement savings are going to have that and it’s going to be less of a burden on state services.”

 Parker says the challenge right now is making sure employers know the program exists and providing them help setting it up.

“Making sure that they understand that it’s something that they need to be doing but that they’re not alone, that we do have that support for them.”

 OregonSaves continues to phase in more employers. The next registration deadline is December 15th for businesses with 20 to 49 employees. States including California, Connecticut and Illinois are following Oregon’s lead on creating a retirement savings program.