Boats on the Siuslaw

County Jail Levy Audit; Heart Health Author Speaks Today; BPA Honored; City Hall Opens; Measles Outbreak Concerns Florence Doctors

County Jail Levy Audit

The County received another clean bill of financial accountability as it pertains to the renewed jail levy.  The annual audit performed by Moss Adams LLP returned showing that all funds from the levy have been used appropriately.  Lane County Sheriff Byron Trapp says due diligence has been occurring with the jail levy funds

“The auditors came back with a clean audit report which means they found no fault of deficiencies, which is what we are striving for.”

Sheriff Trapp says that the jail continues to use funds for operations and expansion of beds.  Sheriff Trapp also said that the increased beds have also allowed them not to have to release violent offenders though some misdemeanors and felonies are still getting early release.

“We went from about 5000 releases annually because of capacity reasons to under, I think it was around 1700 last year.”

Sheriff Trapp says many of those were property related crimes, some drug related offenses, and non-violent misdemeanors.

Heart Health Author Speaks Today

Heart Healthy expert Joe Piscatella will be speaking at the Florence Event Center this afternoon.  Piscatella is a 41 year survivor of bypass surgery and author of 17 books including the best seller Don’t Eat Your Heart Out.  The free event begins at 4 pm this afternoon.  He says that research has shown what the true dangers are for the heart.

“I think the biggest change over the course of time is the enormous impact that chronic stress has on cardiac health of individuals.”

Piscatella says the doctors gave  him a terminal diagnosis in 1978 but that his wife insisted that he do everything he could with the time he had. He is speaking to staff at Peace Harbor hospital today and then will present his talk to the public this afternoon.  He will also be available for book signings.

BPA Honored

The Bonneville Power Administration, which feeds power locally to Central Lincoln PUD has been honored nationally for its energy efficiency program.  The program has saved over 1.4 million megawatt hours since 2009 which is enough energy to power over 130,000 average U.S. homes for one year.  The energy savings reduced the BPA-served industrial load by more than 7% over the last decade.  The program offers support and provides rebates to more than 110 enrolled BPA electric retail utilities and their industrial customers.

City Hall Opens

City Hall opened its doors to the general public yesterday.  Services are coming on line at the newly remodeled building, although  you can still access some services at public works according to City Manager Erin Reynolds:

“We’ll still have somebody there at the front counter accepting payments and doing some limited services out of public works for the rest of the month.”

There is still some landscaping that needs to be done around the building but the hopes are that it will be completed by the open house on February 19th.

Measles Outbreak Concerns Florence Doctors

It has not affected Florence, but the outbreak of measles in Portland and Washington has local doctors concerned that it might make its way to Lane County, and that is especially disconcerting for pregnant women.  Dr. Yvonne Sculley with Peace Harbor hospital says women that are pregnant and have not had the measles vaccination are at risk.

“In pregnant women they are more likely to die from measles because their immune status is decreased while they’re pregnant.”

Sculley says the same is true for the unborn child.  According to research Measles is more infectious than influenza or pertussis, and 9 out of 10 people exposed to the virus that have not been vaccinated will contract it.  She says women that plan to get pregnant and have not been vaccinated should consider the vaccination 3 months prior to conception.  Dr. Yvonne Sculley and Dr. Jacquelyn Serrano will be guests on February’s doc talk.