10 April 2013
More tsunami debris removed from beach near Florence
Walkers on the beach south of the Siuslaw River Jetty Sunday afternoon made an interesting discovery. What appears to be the top part of a torii, an entry arch into a sacred site in Japan.
It’s believed the torii washed away with thousands of tons of other debris in the March 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami.
The piece found Sunday is similar to another one found in Tillamook County March 25th. It’s 14 feet long, three feet wide, painted black and red and has strips of copper plating along the top edge.
Oregon State Park staff coordinated the removal of the debris early yesterday morning. It’s being stored at a parks maintenance yard. The Japanese consulate in Portland has been contacted.
Officials say unusual amounts or types of marine debris can be reported by calling 2-1-1. Unpainted, raw pieces of wood do not need to be reported, even if they have notches or holes cut into them.
Legislative Tax Plan Draws Fire
A plan by Oregon House Democrats to raise more tax revenue from corporations and wealthy individuals is evoking memories of the Legislature’s last major tax hikes.
Those tax increases from 2009 eventually became Measures 66 and 67, which were approved by voters in a contentious referendum campaign.
House Democrats rolled out their latest plan Tuesday, and business groups reacted negatively.
A spokeswoman for the Portland Business Alliance says “the last thing we need is taxes on businesses that are helping our economy recover.”
Democrats say they need $275 million in additional revenue to balance the state budget and boost education funding.
Gas Prices Dip
Prices at the pump continue to drift lower after a spring peak in mid-march. Florence’s average price for a gallon of regular gasoline dropped six cents this week, it’s at $3.62. The national average, as measured by Triple-A fell a similar amount and is at $3.58. Oregon’s average price dipped by only two cents and is at $3.69.
Marie Dodds with Triple-A says the recent decline is not connected to crude oil prices. They’ve been more the result of an increase in refinery production coupled with economic concerns.
Prices in Florence peaked in Mid March at $3.74 a gallon while the Oregon average topped out at $3.80 the same week.
Second Saturday Returns
A regular monthly fixture in Florence for several years has returned after a brief absence.
The second-Saturday Gallery Tour resumed last month. It’s organized by a group of area artists.
The self-guided tour runs from three to five pm this coming Saturday and includes several galleries like the Gallery above the Silver Lining; Siuslaw Public Library and four locations in Old Town Florence.