Domestic Violence Awareness Month; Transportation System Plan; Eclipse At Oregon State Parks; Halloween Safety; Boosting the SNAP Program Needed

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

As it has for several years in Florence, October will begin with a “silent march” in support of victims of domestic abuse.  Bob Teter, the Executive Director of Siuslaw Outreach Services, says the march is this Sunday at one PM. Marchers are asked to begin assembling at 12:45 a block west of the Siuslaw River Bridge.

“At Veteran’s Park.  We will proceed from there, led by Florence PD, the high school football team and cheerleaders, and we will walk down Bay Street.”

After marching four blocks, a brief ceremony will be held at the Boardwalk.

“I will be saying a few words about what’s going on locally and we may have a survivor or two that will tell their story.  Um, we’ll have a moment of silence for those who have passed.”

Teter says in the past dozen years there have been at least 5 homicides in the Florence area related to domestic violence.

Transportation System Plan

The Florence City Council will revisit the Transportation System Plan on October 16th.  After close of the public hearing on Monday evening the council decided to leave the written record open until October 9th and move deliberation to the council’s meeting on the 16th.  After a lengthy discussion the council and city staff noticed some foundational changes that needed to be corrected that did not affect the substance of the plan, but required some tweaking.  City Manager Erin Reynolds

“This is very formal it’s something that’s going to be updating  city code, it’s updating the comprehensive plan and we want to make sure that when you do adopt it there is a less likelihood of a go-back and correction needed.”

The complete TSP package can be found at the city’s website at

Eclipse At Oregon State Parks

Oregon Parks and Recreation is gearing up for the upcoming solar eclipse on October 14th.  Deputy of Statewide Operations JR Collier says staff at the parks will be ready for the number of visitors they anticipate to view the phenomenon and will have a limited number of supplies for travelers to safely view.  They also are preparing for increased traffic flow during this time. The  moon will pass between earth and the sun creating a ring of fire due to the proximity of the moon in relation to the earth and sun. This differs from a total eclipse in that there will still be light available.

Halloween Safety

Florence Police Chief John Pitcher says they are gearing up for the annual Trick or Treating at the end of the month.  Chief Pitcher says during the annual onslaught of children in the streets the police are a little less tolerant of small infractions by the driving public.

“Our discretion lowers during the Halloween night.  You know if people are going just a little bit over the speed limit we’re gonna stop and let them know you have to be careful there are kids out here walking around.”

He says the children are not generally a problem for police, they stay, for the most part in groups. He just wants parents to remind their children to be always be safe and to pay attention.”

Boosting the SNAP Program Needed

Hunger Action Month is coming to a close, but one major action for ensuring people are fed remains on the horizon. The largest federal food-assistance program in the country – the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – is funded through the Farm Bill, which is up for renewal in Congress. More than 736-thousand Oregonians participated in the program, as of the latest numbers from June. Sammi Teo with Oregon Food Bank says members of Congress should not only protect SNAP in the Farm Bill but make the program better.

“Which is expanding it, making sure that it’s sustainably funded, supporting programs like the Double Up Food Bucks, which matches a dollar-dollar for SNAP on things like local fruits and vegetables and veggie starts.”

Oregon Food Bank has started a petition to support protecting and expanding SNAP. Teo notes it’s critical to fighting hunger across the nation.