Assisted Living Week; Siuslaw School Board; EMAC Meeting; Governor Allots More Money to Rural Counties Homelessness Crisis; Gas Prices

Assisted Living Week

This week is national assisted living week, highlighting the hard work put in to help older people and people living with disabilities. Many Oregonians hope to stay in their homes as that age, but that often requires long term care. Stacy Larsen is with A-A-R-P Oregon.

“Oregon is one of the fastest aging states in the country and as the population ages, these questions of caregiving and long-term quality care are top of mind for many, many people, and that certainly was borne out in our research.”

According to A-A-R-P’s Vital Voices survey, 84 percent of Oregonians think it’s important to get to age in place and 72 percent think it’s important to have high-quality long term care in their communities. The people doing the caregiving also are important. Oregon has about 470-thousand caregivers who assist loved ones but are not compensated for it. It can be hard to get a break from their duties, but Larsen says the state is going help provide resources.

“We have successfully advocated for budget funding for a soon-to-be-created program that would provide respite support services to family caregivers. There’s currently very little support for those hundreds of thousands of family caregivers.”

Larsen notes A-A-R-P also has respite resources available for caregivers.

Siuslaw School Board

A 30-minute “policy review” session will precede this evening’s monthly meeting of the Siuslaw School District Board.  Superintendent Andy Grzeskowiak will present that review during a special work session from six to 6:30.  Following that, during the regular meeting beginning at 6:30 the board is being asked to approve state-mandated “growth performance targets” they had already approved in August.  The matter is coming back to them after being reviewed by the Oregon Department of Education.  Directors will also review their options related to House Bill 2753; approved earlier this year by the Oregon Legislature that authorizes monthly stipends of up to $500 to school board members.  That stipend is payable only if the district does not reimburse board members for professional development or other reasonable expenses.   The school board meets at the District Office on Oak Street.

EMAC Meeting

The City’s Environmental Management Advisory Committee will conduct a hearing this afternoon on a request made by County Transfer and Recycling to eliminate the option for garbage customers in the city to provide their own garbage cans.  CTR has requested the change as a way of increasing the safety of their employees, to increase customer convenience and satisfaction, and as a way of increasing efficiency.   In a letter to the committee, Site Manager Brian Enochian says company provided containers can be handled by automated equipment.  That, he says, speeds up the collection process, prevents spillage of garbage, and limits the exposure of employees to possible hazards.  The EMAC meeting begins at 4 pm at City Hall.  The hearing is slated to begin at 4:20. Following the hearing the committee will make a recommendation to the City Council for possible action.

Governor Allots More Money to Rural Counties Homelessness Crisis

Governor Tina Kotek is allocating another 26.1 million dollars in the battle to fight homelessness in the state. The funding will go to 25 rural counties in the state and comes from House Bill 5019.  Many of the counties to receive funds are in eastern Oregon although Coos, Douglas, Lincoln and Tillamook counties along the coast will also receive a portion of the funds.  Lane County was not provided any of the funds despite having a rural footprint in the western part of the county.

Gas Prices

Despite the majority of states seeing a surge in gas prices this week, Marie Dodds with AAA Oregon says that the average price of a gallon of regular gas in Oregon has actually slipped 3 cents to $4.72 a gallon.  Here in Florence the average price is $4.64 a gallon.  In addition one fuel station has temporarily closed.  The Fred Meyer Fuel station is undergoing a rehabilitation and will be closed for a couple of weeks.