28 February 2013
Congress Conceding Cuts in Spending;
Local Impacts Uncertain
Officials aren’t sure just what the impacts of blanket federal spending cuts will be locally, but what is clear is that it will cost programs in Oregon millions of dollars.
Florence Finance Director Erin Reynolds said the city gets very little direct federal funding and didn’t expect any immediate impacts. The effects on Oregon Schools will be deep, but delayed. Most of the federal education funding is “front loaded” meaning it comes in at the beginning of the budget cycle.
According to White House-dot-gov, Oregon schools stand to lose more then ten-million dollars in primary and secondary education, plus another $6.4-million to help children with disabilities.
The largest impacts in Oregon will come from cuts in the military budget. More than three-thousand civilian Department of Defense employees in Oregon could be furloughed… totaling a loss of $16.5-million in payroll.
The automatic cuts are set to take effect tomorrow… lawmakers say they have exhausted efforts to forestall them.
Offshore Quake Registers 5.1
There were no reports that anyone on shore felt it… and it certainly didn’t appear to have caused any damage, let alone a tsunami. But another earthquake was recorded off the Oregon Coast yesterday. It was a 5.1 magnitude, about six miles below the ocean floor and 114 miles due west of Coos Bay. U.S. Geological Survey spokesperson Leslie Gordon said it occurred at 2:14 Pacific time yesterday.
Additional Heating Assistance Available
Another round of applications will be accepted tomorrow morning for emergency heating assistance. The Low Income Heat and Energy Assistance Program… known as LIHEAP (lie-heep) is administered locally by Siuslaw Outreach Services. It provides a one-time payment to help offset higher heating bills. S.O.S. spokesman Bob Teter says they can add an additional 25 households to the waiting list tomorrow. They begin taking names at nine A.M. either on the phone or at the office on 12th street.
Vintage Bells For Sale
The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce is hoping a sale of what they’re calling “vintage” bells will help them fund new decorations that will line the streets of Florence next Christmas. Those “vintage” bells are each about seven feet tall and are wrapped with gold and red garland. For most of the past 30-or-so Christmas seasons they’ve adorned utility poles up and down Highway 101.
Because of their aged conditions… and a change in electrical codes… they won’t be going back up next year and Chamber Executive Director Cal Applebee says it could take as much as $20-thousand to replace them. For now, though, the approximately 40 vintage bells will be sold for $20 apiece… They’re currently stored at Laurel Bay Gardens, a mile north of Florence.