The Siuslaw news. (Florence, Lane County, Or.) 1960-current, September 01, 2021, WEDNESDAY EDITION, Page 7, Image 7

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BOARDS from page 1A
“Certainly, it is illegal to
use public funds, includ-
ing the LifeMed funds for
political or PAC (political
action committee) expens-
es anticipated and advocat-
ed by the Turell Group in
the amounts of $20,350, or
$36,350 or $46,350,” Farn-
sworth stated. “In order to
avoid personal liability, you
will want to make sure that
you do your own fundrais-
ing of private funds. Per-
haps you will be willing to
donate to the levy renewal
campaign using your own
funds or funds from the
At the July meeting,
WLAD directors voted to
go with option 1, which will
pay Turell Group $20,350
for community engage-
ment, media interaction,
social media, photography
and print advertisements
to secure the WLAD levy
renewal and, later, to “work
toward the future merger
of the fire department and
There was no direct re-
sponse to these public com-
ments, although later in the
meeting WLAD Director
Jon Murphey did point out
that all financial decisions
made by the WLFEA board,
and the boards of both
SFVR and WLAD, were
vetted by legal advisors and
all current practices were
allowed and legal.
The meeting continued
with a brief financial re-
port from Office Manager
Dina McClure, the first of
the new fiscal year, showing
WLFEA’s expenses for July
were $119,219.
Next, Operations Chief
Matt House gave a brief re-
port to recap the increasing
number of calls from an av-
erage of approximately 325
a month last year, to the 442
calls WLAD responded to
last month.
He and Fire/EMS Chief
Michael Schick both men-
tioned that July was the
busiest month ever for call
outs and the trend seems to
be increasing.
This rise in emergency
calls comes at a time when
there are some employees
of WLAD on leave for an
extended period of time, for
different reasons, which is
presenting some challeng-
es, according to Schick.
“It’s interesting because
this comes at a time, right
now, when we really are
having a struggle with some
staffing issues on the am-
bulance side,” he said. “Our
minimal staffing is OK; it’s
We are open and
ready to assist you!
these surge events where
we have had to rely on the
fire department. And it’s
worked out really well. Matt
has done a fantastic job of
mixing and moving people
where he needs them to be.”
The chief also asked the
WLFEA directors to con-
sider approving the next
step in the intergovernmen-
tal agreement (IGA) which
exists between SVFR and
WLAD, the integration of
the operational functions of
the two entities.
“This was anticipated
when the IGA was ap-
proved, which went into
effect in October 2019.
The first step was to move
administration to the au-
thority and the second step
would be to move oper-
ations,” Schick said. “We
think that makes sense and
we would like the board to
approve that — where we
would move all operations
people, both from fire and
ambulance under the au-
thority. We’ve done that
with the admin folks, so we
know what to do and how
to do it.”
In response, WLAD Di-
rector Mike Webb, one of
the longest tenured direc-
tors of either board, sug-
gested a workshop might be
in order to bring new direc-
tors up to date on the histo-
ry of the IGA, its intent and
where the process is at this
point in the timeline.
This suggestion was em-
braced by all attendees,
and Schick agreed to set
up a meeting to share all
IGA-related information
with directors and to an-
swer any questions which
they might have.
Schick also asked for and
received the authority to es-
tablish incentive scales for
firefighter and paramedics.
This was done in the hope
that the financial incentives
would lead to greater levels
of professional certification
among employees of both
One final update provid-
ed by Schick came at the
end of the meeting.
“We’ve just been noti-
fied by the state that there
is a vaccine mandate for
all health care providers
— and that includes para-
medics, firefighters and
EMTs — which goes into
effect Oct. 18,” he said. “We
are 100% vaccinated on the
ambulance side, which is
fantastic. We are a little bit
low on the firefighter side,
so we are working with
those individuals. We don’t
want to lose anybody and
we are hopeful that every-
body will go through with
the vaccination. But if they
don’t, the state has been
very clear about what the
consequences are: there is a
$500 per day, per violation
fine.” Schick said.
The next WLFEA meet-
ing is scheduled for Sept. 23
at 6 p.m. For more informa-
tion, visit
Local pit-fired ceramics
studio hosts Labor Day Sale
On Friday, Sept. 3,
and Saturday, Sept. 4, lo-
cal ceramic artist Mike
Schwartz will once again
host his annual sale at his
Mudmusic Studio.
This will be an outdoor
sale, rain or shine, so that
social distancing may be
maintained. Since the
weather may be uncertain,
the sale will be set up at
the front of his garage just
behind the overhead door,
so that both his visitors
and ceramic art will be
protected from the weath-
er if necessary.
The artwork will be his
unique signature pit-fired
ceramic pieces. As the
term implies, pit firing
is an ancient process in
which the pieces are not
fired in a kiln, but rather
in an open fire. No glaz-
es are used; the dramatic
colors achieved are due to
the interaction of fire and
smoke working on salts
and metals applied to the
The pieces themselves
are thrown by Schwartz on
his potter’s wheel, so each
is a one-of-a-kind work of
A psychiatrist in his
prior professional life,
Schwartz moved to Flor-
ence in 1995 and learned
to become a potter to ful-
fill his view of retirement.
“It’s all about reinven-
tion — and retirement
should not be spent just
sitting around,” he said.
work can be seen in five
Oregon coast galleries,
from Gardiner to Astoria.
Locally, his work may be
seen at the River Gallery
on Bay Street year-round.
Preview his art at www.
The two-day sale will
be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
each day. Mudmusic Stu-
dio is located at 04899
Heceta Beach Road, 1.3
miles from Highway 101.
For more information,
call 541-997-1012.
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1749 Highway 101 • 541-997-1200
SEPTEMBER 10, 2021
12:00 PM TO 6:00 PM
Port of Siuslaw Parking Lot - 1st and Nopal
Historic Old Town Florence Pre-show
Stand-around, Registration & Check-in
*Particpants roll in to pck up registration packets
and glam bags.
SEPTEMBER 11, 2021
7:00 AM
Participant Gate Opens - Enter only at the
bridge on Bay St.
*Have your registration card available, or park
outside and check-in or register at stage area
9:00 AM TO 4:00 PM
• Car Show • Cool Music
• Raffl e Tickets for Sale - Winner pulled
every half hour
• 50/50 Raffl e
4:00 PM
• Merchant Awards, People’s Choice & Best
of Show Presentation
*Vote for Best of Show or People’s Choice - Turn in
ballot by 3pm
4:15 PM
• Cruise in Historic Old Town Florence,
cool sights, awesome sounds!
*Low and slow is the goal.