School Board Readies for Contract Negotiations (edit for clarification); Missing Man; Blood Drive; Deadly Accident Near Waldport; Sneaker Waves

School Board Readies for Contract Negotiations

Wednesday night’s school board meeting once again involved a lengthy discourse about the continuing discussions with the Siuslaw Valley Charter School’s intention to open a classical academy charter school in Florence.  Two of the school board members openly opposed moving forward with a contract for SVCS. Director Sneddon repeatedly said that the cleanest way to move forward was to deny the application and let SVCS appeal the decision to the Oregon Department of Education.

“Frankly, I just, it’s not something that we need to put ourselves or our district at risk on.”

A motion was then made and seconded to deny the Siuslaw Valley Charter School’s application so that the school board could remove themselves from liability if there was to be legal ramifications from approving the school’s contract.  The board’s vote was 5-2 against the motion.  Following the vote more discussion led to another motion where John Barnett offered the following:

“ah, Board Chair I move that we proceed with producing a contract that meets and complies wholly with ORS statutes for the charter school resolution 02-14-24-6.8.”

The motion was seconded.  The understanding, based on the board discussion is that the contract would not include specific wording allowing for SVCS to use Hillsdale College *Curriculum with support based on previous legal counsel’s council and understanding of the term Affiliation and that any attempt by SVCS to move forward with said curriculum without disavowing an affiliation would impede the process and make the proposed contract null and void.

Board Chair Brian Lacouture said it was imperative that the board adhere to the law as written:

“We cannot define the law.  And so we cannot, nor would we, request a contract with addendum and supplementation to it that were against the law.  We can’t, we can’t do that.”

The motion was approved by a 5-2 margin. Controversy over the SVCS’ desire to maintain a relationship with Hillsdale College, a conservative Christian College that openly supports and endorses far right conservative candidates, is at the heart of the discussion. SVCS board members insist that the quality of the curriculum is the reason for wanting to use Hillsdale as their supplier.  SVCS board member Kay King says they are pleased to be moving forward and that the SVCS Board believes that a charter school will be a gift and a choice for students and families in the Siuslaw Region.  The current process is at 2 years and over 200 hours of time spent by Siuslaw School Superintendent Andy Grzeskowiak.

(*Clarification: The issue of using the Cirriculum is not under review, however if the wording of Affiliation cannot be addressed with board satisfaction, the use of Hillsdale College Cirriculum would not have the support or training provided by Hillsdale)

Missing Man

A 50 year old man with ties to Florence has been missing for 2 weeks now and family and friends are wanting the publics help in finding him.  David Wayne Bjorkman was reported missing on February 2nd.  He had last been seen on January 30th in Eugene around 7th avenue and Blair street with his silver Trek bicycle.  Family members asked that the Florence area be informed in case he arrives here.  Bjorkman is described as a white male, approximately 5`08” tall, weighing 145 pounds, with blue eyes and blonde/ brown hair that is shoulder length. Bjorkman was last seen wearing a baseball hat, a black windbreaker, blue jeans, black glasses and a grey backpack.

Blood Drive

Blood supplies are at a critical state around Oregon and organizations are trying feverishly to get donations.  There have only been a couple of opportunities to give on the coast, but on Monday there will be a donation spot located at the Florence Safeway parking lot.  Bloodworks Northwest bus will be on site from 9-3 Monday and individuals can go to to schedule an appointment.  There will be walkin times available.  In the month of January blood supplies were so limited that Bloodworks Northwest says they were forced to declare a code red.

Deadly Accident Near Waldport

A deadly accident closed Highway 101 just south of Yachats on Wednesday for about 2 and a half hours causing delays in both directions. A Toyota Prius operated by Gordon Eugene Dale of Waldport was turning northbound onto highway 101 when he was struck by a southbound Subaru Outback.  Dale was transported from the scene and declared deceased at the hospital.  The driver and passengers of the Subaru suffered only minor injuries.

Sneaker Waves

The potential for dangerous sneaker waves is back in the forecast for the central Oregon Coast. The National Weather Service is calling for a Beach Hazard statement to begin at 1pm tomorrow and last through 7 pm on Sunday.  The NWS issues a statement when the danger poses life-threatening conditions.  Individuals are encouraged to stay a safe distance away from the shoreline.