May 31, 2013
Sparse Participation in Tsunami Drill
A community wide tsunami evacuation drill yesterday caught many in the community by surprise. It appears that maybe only about 40 to 50 area residents responded to a “reverse 9-1-1” call, telling them about the drill and urging them to participate.
Of those, about half were in the Greentrees development along Rhododendron Drive; the rest were scattered at various other assembly points around the community.
One reason for the low response was a lack of advance notice. Siuslaw Valley Fire Division Chief Marvin Tipler admitted that they neglected to involve media outlets in both the planning and advance notice… Press notices went out only the afternoon before.
But, added Tipler, that’s one reason why drills are so valuable… they point out plan weaknesses in a ‘non-emergency’ situation so they can be corrected in case of the real thing.
One thing that did work well… members of the Community Emergency Response Team were able to speak one-on-one with hundreds of residents who live and work within tsunami inundation zones in the days leading up to the drill… each was given a packet that included a detailed map; disaster preparation information; and valuable links to more information.
Get Hooked on Fishing
Tomorrow is “Free Fishing Day” in Oregon… that means no licenses are required, even though other regulations; like size and catch limits; remain in effect.
That also means several groups that want to get more people “hooked” on the sport of angling will be out proselytizing. The Florence Salmon Trout Enhancement Group is teaming up with Oregon Parks and the U.S. Forest Service for a special deal at Cleawox Lake… they have dozens of rods and reels all rigged and ready to lend out to kids between the ages of five and 12.
Paul Burns, a fish biologist with the Forest Service, says they’ll even have lunch for participants.
Burns says his agency is involved as a way to help get more people involved in outdoor recreation. He says there are many smaller lakes in the Oregon Dunes Recreation Area that are regularly stocked with fish.
In addition to the Saturday event at Honeyman State Park, there’ll be a similar free fishing day on Lake Marie in Umpqua State Park just south of Winchester Bay… that’ll be on Sunday from nine to one.
Cannery Station Extension
Owners of the proposed Cannery Station development along highway 101 across from Fred Meyer have asked the City of Florence for approval of a plan that would split 6 ½ acres off of the total 17 acre parcel.
Arlie and Company, a Eugene development firm, began planning the “live-work” project more than five years ago. They received preliminary approval from the city on a plan that would include an assisted living facility, retail spaces and homes.
That was just before the 2008 recession however, and plans were shelved because of the financial conditions.
Since then, they’ve asked for… and received… at least one extension on the approvals so they won’t have to go through the process again if they develop in the near future.
The subdivision request is just another step in that extension process according to Florence City Manager Jacque Betz. She said to this point none of their plans have changed.
The Florence Planning Commission heard the request and reviewed the proposal Tuesday evening, but held the process over until next month.
Athlete of the Year Finalists
34 student athletes will be honored at the third annual Prep Athletics Recognition Night this evening at Siuslaw High School. Of those, there are 14 finalists for two Athletes of the Year awards. Four girls from Siuslaw; Ashlee Cole, Lona Dengler, Alex Dodson and Katy Potter are on the final list, along with Chelsea Simington and Liz Harry of Mapleton.
Eight boys, all from Siuslaw are finalists as well… Mitchell Butler, Matthew Campbell, Ryan Connor, Samuel Johnson, Mack Marbas, Hayden Schaffner, Ryan Smith, and Jake Thompson. One boy and one girl will be recognized as the Athletes of the Year at the conclusion of this evening’s event that will include recognition of several student athletes who will be advancing to post high school competition at two and four year institutions.
The Siuslaw Culinary Arts and Leadership Classes will prepare and serve dinner… tickets are $12 each and there will be some available at the door.