Heceta Shores Stabilization Plan – Florence Fireworks – Counties Deal With Public Safety

Coast Radio News
Local News

May 29, 2013

Kla Ha Nee Protection Draws Comments

A plan to construct protections for eroding land in an exclusive gated community north of Florence has drawn opposition from several different fronts.

The U.S. Forest service is asking for comment on a draft environmental assessment of a revetment… an artificial structure… that will protect the northernmost tip of the Kla Ha Nee subdivision from continued erosion due to movement of Sutton Creek.

Environmental groups are opposed and say protection of two expensive homes directly threatened should not come at the expense of the environment.  Others are opposed to the cost.

According to the initial responses to comments, neither concern is getting much traction.

Forest Service officials have responded to many of the comments with explanations of how environmental issues are being minimized and addressed.  As far as the cost is concerned, all of the expenses, including the cost of planning and permits, will be borne by the affected property owners.

Comments on the plan will be accepted through June 8thInformation about the project itself and how to comment can be found online here.

Florence Fireworks

Organizers of the annual Fourth of July fireworks display over the Siuslaw River in Old Town say there may be uncertainty about some of the details, but there will be a show and it will be very similar to displays in past years.

Port of Siuslaw Manager Bob Forsythe, who is heading up the fireworks display for the Chamber of Commerce, says the budget is $9-thousand.  Despite still raising money, he says they will get there.

Another challenge could be in a staging area for the fireworks show itself.  For the past 25 years the show has been centered on a barge in the middle of the Siuslaw River.  That belongs to HDB Marine which is selling off their assets and moving operations.  That means the barge may not be available.  Forsythe said he hopes it will, but he and others already have a backup plan ready to go.

Donations for the show can be dropped off at the Port office, Chamber Visitor Center and at various participating Old Town merchants.

County Finances

Three Oregon counties asked voters last week for extra money to operate jails and increase public safety efforts.  One passed, two others failed.

What made the difference?

In Lane County, Commissioners, Sheriff Tom Turner and other officials worked hard to poll residents and find out what they would be in favor of before putting together the proposal.  Once they had that information, they made sure to communicate clearly what the measure would do and not do.

Commissioners from Josephine and Curry Counties spoke with a legislative task force yesterday in Salem about their efforts.  They said despite initial failure, they intend to ask voters in their counties once again to pony up for more protection.

The financial condition of both counties is becoming dire.  Lawmakers are keeping a close watch on Curry County in particular.  There are fears the county government may become insolvent and an already cash-strapped state government would have to step in and operate critical county functions.



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