Backflow Testing; Bike Month; Stroke Awareness Month; Broadband to Broaden

Backflow Testing

The City of Florence has announced several points of interest happening in the month of May.  One of the key events is the annual residential backflow device testing that will begin on May 20th. The testing is required through city code and Oregon Administrative rule for the protection of the city’s water system.  According to information released by the city the testing is usually quick and simple and little to no disruption to the resident is noticed.  Members of Olson LLC will be conducting the testing and water service disruption will be minimal, usually only for a couple of minutes.  Backflow devices protect from cross contamination and are installed to prevent non-potable water from entering the home water system.  If you have questions about the procedure you can contact Public Works at 997-4106.

Bike Month

May is Bike Month and the city of Florence is helping to promote the event with information on what is planned for the month.  Tomorrow at Miller Park there will be a kickoff event from 1-4  and on Sunday it is National Ride a Bike Day.  Other notables is Bike to Work Week from may 13-19th.  on the 18th at Siuslaw High School the Kiwanis will host a Bike safety Demo. Also in conjunction with Bike month there will be a Friendly Driver training funded by the Oregon Department of Transportation.  The free class will be on Monday, May 15th at the Siuslaw Public Library from 6-7:30 pm.  you can learn more about the course at

Stroke Awareness Month

May is Stroke Awareness Month, and health experts stress time is of the essence when responding to this medical condition. The acronym “BE FAST” can help people identify a stroke. ‘B’ stands for balance, and watching if someone is losing their balance. ‘E’ stands for eyes and changes to vision. ‘F’ is for face and signs of it drooping. ‘A’ is for arms – it’s a stroke sign if one arm is dropping when raised. ‘S’ is for speech, which may be slurred. And ‘T’ stands for time to call 9-1-1 if any of these signs are present. Carol Stiles is head of Stroke Awareness Oregon.

“We recommend calling 9-1-1, because the medics can come and begin immediately assessing the situation and having the ER prepare to receive the person.”

Stiles says acting quickly is important because of clot-busting treatments that can prevent more widespread damage if provided at the hospital within the first four-and-a-half hours. Stroke was the fifth leading cause of death in Oregon in 2021, according to the latest data from the C-D-C.

Broadband to Broaden

Oregon is working to address the state’s digital divide with hundreds of millions of dollars in funding. Infrastructure presents the largest challenges for connecting people in Oregon to high-speed broadband internet. Oregon Broadband Office Director Nick Batz says there are more than 170-thousand residences in the state with no or slow internet access.

“Our goal through the broadband office and with all our stakeholders throughout Oregon is to provide access to all 112,000 unserved locations and as many of the 60,000 underserved locations as we can.”

The state has received federal funding from a variety of sources, including nearly 690 million dollars from the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program, and more than 150 million dollars the Capital Projects Fund approved in the American Rescue Plan Act from 2021. Oregon’s Digital Equity Plan has also been approved and, along with it, nearly ten million dollars in funding. In 2021 Florence’s local fiber internet provider, HYAK was awarded 1.6 million dollars for rural development to reach into communities like Mapleton and Deadwood.