Board Hears Stats on Sex Offenders; Cost of Living: Florence; Commercial Crabbing; Winter Music Festival

Board Hears Stats on Sex Offenders

The Siuslaw School District Board of Directors heard from a retired police detective last week.  Dean Lott spent 12-years investigating crimes, 90% of which, he says, involved crimes against children.  Those were usually sex crimes.  In his letter to the board Lott said Oregon has nearly 3 times the national average, per capita, of registered sex offenders.

“The big issue is we have, what, nearly 700 registered sex offenders per 100,000 of the population.  Doing the math, with 10,000 people in Florence, that would mean we have approximately 70 registered sex offenders in our area.  Go to the website, how many are on the website, two.”

According to the Oregon State Police Sex Offender Registry there is a third in our area, outside city limits.  Oregon’s registry and tracking system, he says, is known by convicted offenders to be “terribly ineffective” making it relatively easy for them to maintain their anonymity.  He has reached out to some state lawmakers, but so far, he says it has only – quote – “resulted in a collective yawn”.  According to Lott, many people seem to be more concerned with the anonymity of sex offenders than the safety of children and he wants to change that.

Cost of Living: Florence

A recent survey released compiled numbers on household expenses and found that there are more expensive places to live in Oregon than Florence.  Florence was ranked the 49th  most expensive city in which to live in Oregon.  Household expenses are on average 14.4% less than the national average.  The survey also concluded that  40% of annual income goes to household bills.  The average household pays roughly $21,000 dollars annually on those bills. Areas where Florence does not fair so well is in health insurance costs where the average household pays about 25% more than the national average. Some nearby cities that do not fair as well as Florence in overall cost of living are North Bend, Coos Bay.  Topping the list is Lake Oswego.

Commercial Crabbing

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is reporting that early samples of Dungeness crab are not meeting the standards for meat yield and that will likely delay the opening of commercial crabbing along the coast.  The targeted opening for the season is December first, but that will likely be pushed back to at least the 16th and possibly later.  ODFW samples crab every two weeks for yield and for the biotoxin demoic acid.  California and Washington have already decided to delay the opening of their seasons to December 16th.  Last year’s season opened late with commercial fisherman pulling in 31.5 million pounds of crab which equaled $85 million dollars in retail value.

Winter Music Festival

If you want to be part of the Winter Music Festival, organizers say now is the time to get your tickets.  Ticket sales are going well early on and their two-day passes are going quickly.  This year’s festival promises 2 nights of bluegrass, folk and Americana music. Friday night opener is the Henhouse Prowlers and the headliner is Portland’s Never Come Down.  Saturday night is Josh Goforth followed by Appalachian Road Show.  Tickets are available at the Florence Events Center box office or online at