Rhody Drive Realignment; Hotel Construction May Start This Summer; COVID-19 2nd Shots; Rotary Scholarships

Rhody Drive Realignment

The City of Florence laid out the Rhododendron realignment and improvement project last night at the Florence Events Center.  On hand to describe the project and the potential opportunities the project will encompass was the engineering team of RH2 Engineering and K&E Excavating. Delays and closures will be a part of the project that is expected to take about 18 months to complete.  There will be road improvements as well as upgrades to the parking area and places to sit along the water’s edge.  It will extend from Wildwinds to 35th Street and is expected to break ground later this spring.  To keep abreast of the process the city has provided a link and a way to subscribe to receive updates.  The link can be found on the city’s website at ci.florence.or.us.

Hotel Construction May Start This Summer

Another long awaited project is the Braun Hospitality Wyndham Hotel that is going to be built on Quince Street across from the Florence Events Center.  The Braun group and its partners are close to finalizing the financing on the project.  If all goes well they are expected to break ground this summer.

COVID-19 2nd Shots

According to the Oregon Health Authority the COVID-19 virus has not gone away and they are encouraging individuals 65 and older to get the second COVID-19 shot.  According to the OHA second shot recipients are down and while the virus has lost some of it punch, it is still a threat to an aging population that may also be dealing with other health issues.  The report says that vaccine induced immunity can wane over time and the second shot is a way to restore that protection. More information on the vaccine can be found at vaccines.gov.

Rotary Scholarships

For 64 years the Florence Rotary Club has been providing scholarships for local high school graduates.  The total impact has been estimated at more than $1.2-million with the majority coming in the past 20 years.  Club members are putting the finishing touches on this Saturday evening’s auction.  Tuesday they heard from one of their past recipients.  Natalie Johnston graduated in 2007.

“I was so appreciative of the scholarship, it helped me attend Oregon State University.  It helped me study Public Health and Spanish There.”

Following graduation Johnston spent a year in Spain, then did a two-year Fellowship  at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  For the past decade she has been working at PeaceHealth in Eugene and Florence dealing with patient safety and risk management.  She says there was more to the scholarship than the money.

“The financial aspect of the scholarship was really helpful, but even more so, when I received the scholarship it made me feel like my community believed in me, that you had my back.  And that I had a space to come back to.”

She Says it “really” made her feel like part of the community.   As of Tuesday afternoon there were only a handful of tickets available.