National Public Lands Day; Florence Festival of Books; Gas Prices

National Public Lands Day

This Saturday will mark the 30th annual National Public Lands Day.  It’s billed as the nation’s largest single-day volunteer event for public lands.  Federally managed properties in Western Oregon will be hosting a variety of activities this weekend. There are none slated for the immediate Florence area, but there are three nearby.  In Coos County there will be a work party to remove Scotch Broom and other invasive plant species on the Dellenback Trail on the Oregon Dunes near Lakeside.  Also in Coos County:  A work day is slated at the Blue Ridge Trail, a popular mountain biking destination east of Coos Bay.   Several one-hour projects are slated for the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area just north of Newport.  Day use fees at all federal recreation sites are waived for the day.  Information on these three projects, plus others around the state can be found on the link below.

Florence Festival of Books

The 12th annual Florence Festival of Books, this Saturday at the Florence Events Center, will feature several dozen authors, nearly all of them based in Western Oregon.  For aspiring authors, there will be a panel discussion on writing your own memoir and two workshops featuring accomplished writers.  One workshop features local writer and humorist Ned Hickson who will talk about “foundational Integrity”.  Author and writing teacher Robin Woods will be featured in a workshop called “The Dynamic Dozen:  Tips for your writing tool box”.  Several publishers will be on hand, and all of the writers exhibiting will be offering their works for sale. The festival will be open from 10 to 4 Saturday. Admission is just $2 per person.  Access to the two workshops are just $5 each.  The day will wrap up with a keynote address at 4:30 by local author and co-founder of the Festival Judy Fleagle.

Gas Prices

While crude oil prices continue to rise the national average of a price of regular gas increases with it.  The exception is Oregon.  The price of a gallon of regular gas has decreased two cents this past week to $4.69 a gallon while the national average rose 4 cents.  Here in Florence there has not been much fluxuation with prices remaining around $4.53 on average.  Prices of crude have risen above $90.00 per barrel and according to Marie Dodds with AAA Oregon that along with refinery issues in California has had a negative effect at the pump.  Production cuts announced by Saudi Arabia and Russia are also having an effect on prices.