Art Survey; Safe Running; Stamp Out Hunger Drive; COVID-19 For Florence

Art Survey

A focus on defining the economic impact of the arts in communities across the nation includes Florence.  Harlan Springer is on the Oregon Arts Commission.  He says the last time a study was done in Oregon it showed that nearly 700 million dollars was spent on the arts.  Springer says this includes performances from entities like Crow, events at the FEC, and City Lights Cinemas.  He says people will be asked to fill out a survey at local events.

“They are given a survey and it asks them where they came from, how much money did they spend on dinner or stay overnight or whatever they did and we then gather that data and that gives us then, over a year’s period of time, the actual economic impact of the arts in this area.”

Springer says the average person when they attend a cultural or art event spends about $43 dollars on things like dining, shopping in local business that number does not include overnight stay figures.  He says the positive impact of the arts helps everyone in the community.

Safe Running

While there have been no reported assaults or confrontations regarding runners on area roadways, it’s always a good idea to keep safety in mind.  Lincoln County Sheriff Curtis Landers issued several tips this week to help you stay safe on the roadside.  Good planning is a must.  Tell someone where you are going and when you’ll be back; run with a partner, carry ID and a whistle.  As much as you might want to hear your favorite tunes or podcast, don’t wear headphones.  That way you can be completely aware of your surroundings.  Always stay alert and take notice of who is around you.  Think about a possible escape route and plan for what you would do if confronted by a threat.  Run against traffic so you can observe coming vehicles and always run in populated areas.  Sheriff Landers adds that if you do find yourself in a hazardous situation don’t panic and keep moving.

Stamp Out Hunger Drive

A week from tomorrow is the Stamp out Hunger annual Letter Carriers Drive.  After a multi year hiatus due to the covid pandemic Patrick Lewis with the USPS says they are looking forward to being able to help alleviate hunger in the Siuslaw region.  Lewis says in the past they have dropped off plastic bags to residents to place the food in, but with the bag ban in place he doesn’t foresee them doing that this year.

“If your food can be in some sort of container, whether it’s an old Amazon box that we delivered, that we’re now picking up with food, or paper bag or something that it can be contained so that we can have a little easier time gathering everything.”

Lewis says that on average collection amounts vary but it can be anywhere from 5 to 10 thousand pounds.  Traditionally the drive has been in December, but the needs are great all year round and as summer approaches it becomes a time of great need in the community according to Florence Food Share Director Colin Morgan.

“Summer months are frequently are some of the hardest for our local families, schools out that means mom and dad have to pay for more food, that means folks end up utilizing the pantry more often.”

The Stamp out Hunger food drive will collect food on Saturday May 14th.

COVID-19 For Florence

There have been 10 more COVID-19 cases reported for the Florence area yesterday bringing the all time total to 1,555.  Over the past two weeks there have been 38 new cases reported for the region.  Yesterday Lane County reported 248 new cases.  The Oregon Health Authority reported 1,739 new cases increasing the 7 day average to nearly 1218.  Currently hospitalizations remain below 200 at 184.