The Siuslaw news. (Florence, Lane County, Or.) 1960-current, November 17, 2018, SATURDAY EDITION, Page 8A, Image 8

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PLAQUE from page 1A
The city was willing to work
with the group, offering an
undeveloped space on Bay
Street for the project. Cavar-
no and his associates took the
city up on the offer and began
the process of soliciting dona-
tions to build an appropriate
tribute to Florence’s veteran
“We ran into so many ob-
stacles and stumbling blocks
and we had to get seven
different permits, I believe
it was, along the way,” Cavar-
no said. “The Army Corps
of Engineers really hung us
up because we were dealing
with the river and the wa-
ter used to come half way up
the parking lot, so we had a
lot of work to do to make this
happen. Now the Veteran’s
Memorial Park Commission
has a perpetual agreement,
for 99 years, to have this park
here and we agreed we would
take care of it during that
The Veteran’s Memori-
al Park has grown from its
original humble beginnings
DUPLEX FIRE from page 1A
According to SVFR/WLAD
Interim Chief Director Steve
Able, the agencies received the
first call about the structure
fire at 11:33 p.m. Nov. 14.
“Upon arrival a few min-
utes later, SVFR Duty Chief
Liz Iabichello found the sec-
ond story of the duplex fully
engulfed in flames,” Able said.
“After ensuring that the oc-
cupant of the lower unit was
safely evacuated, she directed
fire crews to contain the fire to
the involved unit, limiting the
spread of the fire.”
WLAD paramedics evalu-
ated Roach and found him to
be uninjured, then stood by
to care for any firefighter in-
juries. Four engines, two chief
officers, support vehicles and
a total of 20 firefighters were
on scene throughout the night.
The fire was contained to
the upper living unit, which
is considered a total loss, with
the lower unit suffering water
and smoke damage. Because
the upper unit was unoccu-
pied, the fire progressed rap-
idly before being noticed by
neighbors, who notified the
fire department.
“The cause of the fire is still
being investigated but is be-
lieved to be of accidental or-
igin. There were no injuries,”
Able added.
Roach is retired and dis-
abled, and well-liked by his
neighbors, who nicknamed
him the “get-it-done-guy”
because of the help he gives
neighbors with project and
repairs. Roach also has a good
relationship with property
owner Vance Nelson, who had
worked out an arrangement
for Roach to act as an unoffi-
cial caretaker for the property
in exchange for a reduced rent.
But after seven years, that ar-
rangement is now at an end as
Roach, whose financial situ-
ation is tenuous at best, now
has to find a place to live on
his limited income.
He said the event has shak-
en him up, but that he has re-
ceived some assistance with
temporary housing from the
Red Cross.
“They put me at a hotel, but
I’m not sure how long that will
last,” Roach said. “I’m disabled
and am working on getting
some help from SOS (Siuslaw
Outreach Services) because
my clothes and most of my
stuff got ruined by water and
smoke damage.”
His neighbor, Rachel, set
up a GoFundMe fundraising
page with Roach’s permission
to help assist in his relocation
and, hopefully, replacing his
possessions damaged during
the fire.
“George Roach is known to
to an impressive and respect-
ful monument to those who
served. There are flags from
all five military services at the
park and large panels display
the names of service mem-
bers and their dates of ser-
vice. These panels can be pur-
chased by friends and family
for $75, which pays for a brick
with the service person’s name
carved into the block and then
adhered to the wall panels.
“President Reagan is on the
wall, and we have three Med-
al of Honor recipients and
20 Civil War Soldiers on the
wall,” Cavarno said. “But none
are more important than any
of the others. They all served
their country and we honor
their service.”
Cavarno was originally con-
cerned that the plaque might
have simply fallen and been
picked up by a passerby, but
the material used to adhere
the brass plaque was extreme-
ly robust and that scenario
seems unlikely.
“I put that plaque and the
other service plaques up my-
self,” he said. “I went to Pro
Lumber and I told them what
I wanted to do, and I said I
want the very best product
you have. It’s nine years since
we dedicated this park and
those service emblems are still
up there, so I am sure it didn’t
just fall down. Somebody took
According to Cavarno, the
original group of volunteers
who built and maintained the
park has given way to a larger
group comprised of members
from many local veterans’
“Over the years we have
gotten a lot of help from the
American Legion, the DAV
(Disabled American Veter-
ans), the DAR (Daughters of
the American Revolution) and
the VFW (Veterans of Foreign
Wars). We take turns coming
down here every month to
maintain the park, and Mike
Miller from the city has also
done a lot of work to help us
maintain the park,” he said.
Local veterans, as well as
Cavarno, are determined to
replace the plaque, but first
funds must be raised to have
another created.
“I can’t believe someone
always be there to help. He is
the greatest neighbor I’ve had,”
Rachel said on the GoFund-
Me page. “I’m grateful for the
fire department showing up
so quickly and for being so
helpful to George. It’s so sad
to see him so broken. He put
so much work into that house.
It was his pride and joy. He
thought he would live out the
rest of his life there. Now he is
faced with starting all over.”
Richard Weinhold, another of
Roach’s neighbors, has not only
contributed to Roach’s fund but
also encourages others to help
out his friend and neighbor.
“He is such a helpful and
friendly guy and a friend to an-
imals too — having first shel-
tered and then reunited a cat
who fled a fire in the RV park
with its Canadian family. …
Now George is the fire victim,”
Weinhold said in a comment
posted on the page.
Anyone who would like to
assist George Roach can do
so by visiting his GoFundMe
page at
would take it down, but they
did, so we are going to have to
buy a new one,” Cavarno said.
“We are going to have to go
back through the records to
see where we ordered it from
and how much it cost, because
the plaque belongs up there.”
He had one more thing to
say before it gets to that point.
“I would ask that whomever
took it to return it,” he plead-
ed. “Please give me a call and
tell me where you are going to
put it and when. I don’t care
who you are at this point. I
would like the plaque back be-
cause this hurts a lot of peo-
ple and these are people that
served our country.”
Cavarno also said If peo-
ple want to help replace the
plaque, they can make a do-
nation to the Veteran’s Me-
morial Park Commission and
they should specify that the
donation is for the plaque, so
it doesn’t go into the general
fund that is used for bricks
and other donations.
To help with the replace-
ment of the plaque stolen
from Veteran’s Park, call Ca-
varno at 541-997-1677.
Submit nominations now
for annual Siuslaw Awards
The 12th annual Siuslaw
Awards event is fast approach-
ing. The awards banquet, spon-
sored by the Florence Area
Chamber of Commerce, will
take place Wednesday, Jan. 23,
at the Florence Events Center.
This event recognizes ex-
cellence in the local business
community by naming recip-
ients for awards in: Excellence
in Customer Service, Curb Ap-
peal, Non-Profit Achievement,
Community Caring, Innova-
tion in Business and the Stu
Johnston Business of the Year
The Chamber will also rec-
ognize an individual or busi-
ness that has selflessly given of
their time and efforts in sup-
porting the Chamber and its
efforts with the Distinguished
Service Award.
Two outstanding individuals
in the community will be hon-
ored with the Future First Citi-
zen Award and the First Citizen
Award. The First Citizen Award
recognizes that individual who
Florence Food Share provides food to those who
are hungry in our community. If you have four
hours a week available, we are in need of vol-
unteers to staff our Front Desk and also act as
Guides as clients walk through the pantry. Please
call our volunteer coordinator, Sarah Lovejoy,
@ 541-997-9110 (Monday – Friday, before noon)
to learn more about volunteering. info@lorence- 2190 Spruce Street.
has given selflessly to the com-
munity based on community
involvement, leadership and
overall community impact.
The Future First Citizen
Award recognizes that student
based on his or her academic
success as well as civic involve-
ment and contributions to the
Anyone can choose to nomi-
nate their own or another busi-
ness for the Siuslaw Awards.
Applications are available now
either at the Florence Chamber
of Commerce Visitor Center or
online at www.florencecham-
Nominations must be sub-
mitted to the Florence Area
Chamber of Commerce by Nov.
28. First Citizen and Future
First Citizen nomination forms
are available through area ser-
vice clubs on Friday, Nov. 30,
and are due back to the Cham-
ber by Friday, Dec. 21.
For more information, call
Florence Area Chamber of
Commerce at 541-997-3128.
Florence Habitat for Humanity ReStore is a place to put your talents to work.
From customer service to furniture repair, we offer volunteer opportunities geared toward
individual interests and skills.By giving your time, you help Florence Habitat ReStore do
more to support building projects that benefi t families in our community.
2016 Hwy 101 or email volunteer@fl
Store hours 9am – 5pm Monday- Saturday 541-997-5834 orence
Buying or Selling? I can help.
Do your part and
volunteer today
to help support
Join the Peace Harbor Hospital Volunteers.
in a caring organization.
Peace Harbor
Jan Jagoe
541 999-0879
organizations in
400 9th Street, Florence, OR 97439
541-997-8412 ext. 2218
91 Windleaf Way – Beautiful .31 acre lot in the
wonderful community of Heceta South. This is a
great opportunity to build your dream home close
to the beach. Seller is willing to carry, so bring
us an offer and start planning your future in Flor-
ence. $68,000. #2797-18615048
these local
our community!
1749 Highway 101 • 541-997-1200
Meals on Wheels are available to people over the
age of 60 who cannot get out much due to illness
or advanced age and who are not eating properly,
regardless of income. Cafe 60 is available for those
who prefer to make new friends in a dining room
1570 Kingwood • PO Box 2313, Florence
Operating Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Th anksgiving
with us!!
Serving until 2:00pm
Take Home
Menu includes:
Roasted Turkey breast
with mashed potatoes,
gravy, yams, sausage and
sage stuffi ng, dinner roll
and apple pie bars
Th anksgiving
Do your part and
volunteer today
to help support
these local
organizations in
(Gratuity not included)
our community!
per person
Please reserve “take home”
by Monday 11/20
1201 35th St.
Florence, Or. 97439
Pick up times:
Wednesday from 2-5pm
and Th ursday before 2
Reservations required at
541-997-1940 Ex. 5
Saving men one
PSA test at a time.
Someone to talk to...
who understands!
To include your
in this directory,
please call us
@ 541-997-3441
Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the deadline for Press Releases is Monday by noon for both edi-
tions of the Siuslaw News this week. Email