New Circuit Court Appointees; Gas Prices Continue Downward Trajectory; National 811 Day; Chamber Considers In-Person Meetings

New Circuit Court Appointees

Lane County gets two new Circuit Court Judges.  Effective immediately Michelle Bassi and Beatrice Grace will fill the two open positions created by the retirement of Judge Charles Carlson and Judge Lauren Holland.  Governor Kate Brown made the appointment announcement yesterday.  Both Bassi and Grace are both graduates of the University of Oregon School of Law and have extensive credentials.  Bassi is a civil litigator and a partner in a Springfield law office since 2018.  Holland is also an emergency room nurse that has over 20 years of hospital experience and has worked with personal injury and medical malpractice cases.  Brown said in her release that both women come with compassion and integrity and will no doubt hit the ground running with fairness and equity.

Gas Prices Continue Downward Trajectory

Low demand and falling crude oil prices are responsible for the continual downward prices in gasoline.  The average price for a gallon of gas in Oregon slipped another 14 cents last week to $4.91 a gallon.  Florence is averaging $4.67 a gallon for regular.  Dodds says that even though prices continue to fall, drivers do not seem to be taking advantage of the decrease.  She says that for the most part Americans are staying close to home and limiting travel.  And that prices are poised to drop below the $4.00 mark in the coming weeks and maybe as early as next week.  Gasoline usage nationwide dropped below 8.6 million barrels last week alone.  Crude oil is currently trading around 90 dollars a barrel

National 811 Day

Tomorrow has been dubbed safe digging day known as National 811 day.  The observation exists to raise awareness about contacting 811 before digging or beginning an excavation project.  The awareness according to the Oregon Utility Notification Center can save both money and lives.  It is a free service and utility companies will come to your site and mark where existing underground utilities are located.  Josh Thomas, the center’s Executive Director, says this time of year is filled with home renovation projects and construction and the reminder for calling 811 is so that individuals do not have to call 911.  Incidents can be costly.  In recent years a dig in the old town district severed telephone lines to many businesses and residences in the Old Town District and 6 years ago a gas explosion in Portland injured eight people and caused more than 14 million dollars in damage.

Chamber Considers In-Person Meetings

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce is considering continuing its in-person meetings and would like to get member feedback.  The chamber has posted a survey on its website ( to get response.  The survey takes about 30 seconds to fill out but also offers a chance to offer additional feedback.  The Chamber discontinued in-person meetings during the pandemic.