Rite-Aid to Shutter Store; City Council Meeting; School Hears About Fentanyl Woes; Pounding

Rite-Aid to Shutter Store

As part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing Rite-Aid has begun the process of shutting down what they are calling underperforming stores.  One of those stores is here in Florence.  Rite-Aid announced that the local store will remain open  until November 29th.  Large blue bins cover the open floor spaces at the location.  This will leave the city with one less pharmacy just two years after the closing of the Bi-Mart pharmacy.  Rite- Aid has reportedly operated at very thin profit margins and has had heavy competition from larger chains like Walgreens and CVS.  On top of that the chain is battling allegations that it did not do enough to quell the opioid epidemic.  Rite-Aid has reached agreements with its creditors and has also received a 3.4 billion dollar loan to keep some of their store open.  If you are a pharmacy customer with Rite-Aid you will need to make arrangements to switch your prescriptions to one of the other pharmacies in town.

City Council Meeting

There was no published agenda for the Florence City Council meeting planned for Monday evening.  The city normally has it available for the public by Thursday evening prior to a meeting.  An update will be made when the posting become public.  The meeting is planned for 5:30  Monday at City Hall.

School Hears About Fentanyl Woes

Siuslaw school board members heard some sobering news Wednesday evening.  It came from Alexander LaVake (luh-VAKE), the Drug Overdose Prevention Coordinator for Lane County Public Health.  He told officials the teen to young adult population are at great risk.

“Are the fastest increasing demographic of folks that are dying by opioids.  It doesn’t mean they’re the most common population affected but it’s the fastest growing.”

LaVake lays the blame on the synthetic opioid fentanyl which has become very easy to obtain over the past four years.

“It’s very very strong.  More powerful than heroin, morphine, and other opioids so very little of it can be fatal, can cause an overdose.”

He has been working with all Lane County Schools to develop educational plans that not only target students, but parents and family members.  Siuslaw Superintendent Andy Grzeskowiak said he is working with LaVake on a meeting with Middle School Parents. He also said Administrators and other key people in all Siuslaw Schools carry Narcan and all staff members have easy access to the quick working drug that can counteract an overdose if administered quickly.


The pounding to benefit the Florence Food Share is tomorrow in front of the Grocery Outlet store.  The annual event will be a drive-thru event with donations received right from  the cars.  Organizers are hopeful that they will collect between 15 and 20 thousand pounds of food.  All items will be transferred to the Florence Food share to  help serve more than 800 families in the community. The pounding will be from 10 am until 2 pm.  Coast Radio’s Wayne Sharpe will be there to broadcast live with Cindy Wobbe.  All food types are welcome from fresh and frozen items to canned and boxed items.  Popular items include eggs, flour, sugar, milk, peanut butter and even turkeys.

Shop Small

Shop Small Saturday is only 8 days away.  The popular event is practiced nationwide and here in Florence it is combined with a Cookie Trail that will lead shoppers to what Chamber President and CEO Bettina Hannigan is calling ‘incredible buys on unique gifts from our locally owned mom and pop shops’.   Hannigan also wants to remind gift shoppers that if you don’t know what to get that certain someone, you can purchase a Flocal Card that can be used at participating merchants in Florence.  Shop small Saturday on November 25th will be followed the next Saturday, December 2nd, by the lighting of the tree and the official arrival of Santa at the interpretive center on Bay Street