16 May 2013
Two Teachers, Four School Days and other cuts proposed
Five alternatives for balancing the budget in the coming year were presented to the Siuslaw School Budget Committee last night. All were different variations on a common theme that involved reducing staff by two employees through attrition; shortening the school year, trimming cash carryovers and cutting back on some expenses.
In four out of five of the cases the teaching reductions would come about by not filling two positions vacated by retirements. The fifth would also cut one Language Arts Teacher in the High School.
District Business Manager Kari Blake said she is advocating for alternative number one. It would cut four school days, eliminate several ‘extra duty’ stipends for staff, and lower the ending fund balance. Combined with the already approved PERS reforms, it would make up $727-thousand in savings, enough to balance.
The committee will likely wait until the Legislature sets the final school funding figure for the next two years before making a final decision.
Parade Entries Top 100
As of yesterday afternoon the count was at 101.
That’s how many entries Cal Applebee had counted for this weekend’s Grand Floral Parade… the capstone for the 106th Rhododendron Festival.
Applebee, the Executive Director of the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce was hard at work making last minute preparations and laying out Sunday’s parade. He was also sending out entry confirmations and stressed that recipients should read them carefully and make sure to follow the instructions they contain.
A plea earlier this week seeking banner carriers and pooper scoopers led to an overflowing list by yesterday. Applebee says they have a full slate, but parents can still sign their child up on the ‘backup’ list in case of an opening. They can do that by stopping in at the Visitor Information Center.
One thing missing at this year’s festival will be the annual Queen’s Coronation Pageant. Usually held on Friday night, it’s historically been the first ‘official’ event of each Rhody Days.
Queen Rhododendra has already been crowned… that honor went to Siuslaw High School Senior Jade Herbert last Saturday at a low-key coronation ball. It was held at the Florence Elks Lodge in conjunction with Mapleton High School’s Junior Senior Prom.
Jade Herbert – “Not having a pageant this year took me by surprise at first. But after getting used to the idea I really fell in love with it.”
Several reasons combined for the change, including a dwindling volunteer corps to put on the show. Queen Jade also said generational changes led to the move because organizers…
Jade Herbert – “Really understood that the pageant was becoming dated for young people today.”
Chamber of Commerce President Cindy Wobbe said having a pageant put the focus more on ‘having a show’ and less on featuring the junior and senior courts.
Six guided fishing trips, nearly four-dozen rods and reels, a fully equipped tackle box and a variety of gift certificates from local merchants are among the prizes that are on the line for the Sixth Annual Florence Salmon Trout Enhancement Program fundraiser.
STEP members will be selling the two-dollar tickets at various locations over Rhody Weekend. Mike Frankhouser says proceeds help support STEP activities; including the fifth grade angler education program… the fish-egg-to-fry aquarium program and several stream enhancement and restoration projects.
Prize drawings will be held over Memorial Day Weekend.