13 February 2013
Voters will decide fate of jail levy
That unity shared by the five Lane County Commissioners in the run-up to a vote yesterday on a proposal to send a five-year, $80-million public safety levy to voters failed to appear when it came to make the final decision. South Eugene Commissioner Peter Sorenson criticized the final version of the levy request as being “unbalanced” and not providing funding for mental health and substance abuse treatment.
Commissioners voted 4-1 to approve the request that voters will decide on the May 21st ballot. The final version was unchanged from the one released over the weekend that would guarantee 255 jail beds for a five-year period.
West Lane Commissioner Jay Bozievich took issue with Sorenson’s comments. He said the levy will provide for more than just jail beds as more than $1-million each year will be spent on youth offender services, including drug, alcohol and mental health treatment.
Ten previous public safety-related tax measures submitted to voters in Lane County over the past 15-years have been turned down.
Gas Prices at Record Levels
The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline has surged by 32-cents in Florence over the past two weeks… Today it’s at $3.59 a gallon. That’s two cents higher than the statewide average as measured by Triple-A, but still a penny less than the national average. Marie Dodds with Triple A says the price surge is largely the result of higher crude prices, but regional refinery issues and a switch from cheaper winter-blend gasoline to cleaner burning, but more expensive, summer-blends are also contributing. She said prices are at the highest level ever for this time of year.
Confluence Heads Downtown
Seafood, drink and music will come together in a new location for this year’s Confluence Festival in Reedsport. The downtown Reedsport Community Center will be the site where six northwest musical acts; 30 vendors; and 9 Oregon wineries and Northwest breweries converge Saturday and Sunday. Organizers say the culinary centerpiece is the Winchester Bay oyster served up in a variety of ways. Tickets are ten dollars for 21-and-over only. They’re available at the door. The festival runs 11 AM to ten PM Saturday… then 11 to 7 on Sunday.
Rhody Logo Contest
A public competition will produce the logo for the 106th annual Rhododendron Festival. Chamber spokesperson Jenna Bartlett says they’re looking for “fun, original designs that capture the energy of the festival”. A panel of judges will determine the winning entry, the designer of which will receive a package including a cash prize or one year Chamber of Commerce membership. Bartlett says there are some design elements that will be required, but other than that, it’s up to the interpretive design of the individual artist. A list of rules can be found at the chamber’s website, florencechamber.com. Entries must be submitted no later than March 4th. The winner will be announced that following Friday. The logo will appear on festival apparel and merchandise, as well as all marketing materials. The 106th Rhododendron Festival is set for May 17th, 18th and 19th.