Last night the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce hosted the annual Siuslaw Awards at the Florence Events Center. First up was the announcement of the Future First Citizen award. 4 outstanding students at Siuslaw High School were honored as nominees, Jared Northrop, Hannah Rannow, Brandon Jensen and Tiffany Hine. In the end it was Hine who received the top honor.
“And I’m proud to be a citizen of Florence because I have learned so much, and I hope you continue making our community a safe and suitable place to live.”
Hine plans to attend OSU in the fall and study Pharmacology. The First Citizen award went to Dr. Brian Holmes who was not available to accept the award due to his community service work on the island of Grenada. Dr. Justin Linton received the award for Dr. Holmes.
Several businesses were honored during last evenings awards including the award for Curb Appeal which went to Darlings Resort for their restoration of the popular rv park, restaurant and store. Excellence in Customer Service went to FTS Computer Repair, Innovation in business went to two different businesses, Florence Hostel 101 and the Florence Regional Arts Alliance. There were also two winners for Excellence in Community Caring: the Archives and Three Rivers Casino Resort. The awards culminated in the Stu Johnston’s Business of the Year award and that went to HYAK who is working to install Fiber internet service in Florence. Robbie Wright and Neil Ecker accepted the award.
“I want to say thanks to all of our staff, the people who couldn’t be here today. We put our time and effort in to bring stuff to you guys, fiber optic internet service, customer service, we try to do our best.”
Ecker said the award was humbling due to the competition for the award and the longevity of the other nominees.
Non-Profit achievement was also recognized. The award went to the Siuslaw Watershed council and executive Director Eli Tome used his time to educate the audience on the dire situation the salmon face on the Siuslaw River.
“The Siuslaw River used to be second only to the Columbia River in the number of salmon we had each year returning to the river. We had an average of 250 thousand salmon coming back in the late 1800’s we know that from cannery records, in 1997 we had a low of 500.”
Tome says the collaborative effort of the Siuslaw Watershed Council and its partners are working hard to restore habitats and bring back the population of salmon to the Siuslaw.
Free Fishing Weekend
Anglers and crabbers will be happy this weekend as ODFW provides another free fishing weekend in Oregon. Steelhead and Trout are plentiful, although crabbing is not currently yielding large amounts. This Friday and Saturday you will not need a license, tag or endorsement to fish, crab, or clam anywhere in Oregon that is currently open.