City to Recognize Chamber; Soccer Program to Address Issues; Fire Restrictions

City to Recognize Chamber

The City of Florence will recognize the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce with a proclamation on October 18.  A proclamation will be given in association with Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day.  The proclamation will embrace the partnership the city and the chamber have in tourism marketing for the city and the local business community.  Mayor Rob Ward says the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce works “hard to represent, promote and advocate for the Florence community.”  And city manager Erin Reynolds says a “healthy business community improves all of out quality of life.  Bettina Hannigan president and CEO of the Chamber gave kudos to the volunteers and staff saying it is a determined, forward thinking group and included the city staff and mayor Ward and the council.  Chamber Board of Directors Al Rojas said of Hannigan that she has been engaged in bringing Florence to the forefront on a regional and national stage, while bringing attention to the issues facing the Oregon Coast to our elected officials.

Soccer Program to Address Issues

A group of student athletes and two former assistant coaches brought their concerns about the Boys’ Varsity Soccer program to the Siuslaw School Board this week.  Derek Van Duch and Reymundo Brito Gonzalez have both resigned from their posts over concerns about the – quote – “direction of the program”.  They were accompanied by one student athlete who also spoke.  Nick May said the concerns of the athletes are about the leadership on the field.

 “Our goal of this isn’t necessarily to get a new coach or anything like that, but it is to be able to improve on our sport, become better and want to improve on our team.”

Van Duch said he had sent emails with the team’s concerns to administrators and board members, but was disappointed when he received no response.  Per the school board’s standard practice they did not respond to the speakers.  But, after the meeting Superintendent Andy Grzeskowiak said none of the emails had been received because the school’s spam filter automatically rejects anything sent from an i-cloud account.

“The next step is actually going back to where it should have started, at the high school with the principal and contacting the coach.”

Grzeskowiak said administrators will work to resolve the concerns, and if parents and students aren’t satisfied, then it would return to the school board.

Fire Restrictions

The Oregon Department of Forestry has announced additional fire restrictions along the coast.  All campfires, charcoal or briquette fires, pellet fires or any other open fires are prohibited on a growing list of campgrounds around the state.  Added to the list locally is South Jetty Sand Camping, Alder Dune Campground, Waxmyrtle, Tahkenitch and the Cape Perpetua areas.  In addition, smoking is not permitted except withing an enclosed vehicle or a building or a developed recreation site.  Off Road and off trail driving is still permissible within the Oregon Dunes National Recreation area. Lex Scanlan is the Fire Prevention Technician with the Central Coast Ranger District and reminds residents and visitors that Fire Danger is currently Very High on the Siuslaw National Forest. And everything needs to be done to prevent human-caused fires.  More information can be found at