Chief Turner set standard, Festival fights - Letters for May 18, 2022

Siuslaw News Letters to the Editor

(Editor’s Note: Viewpoint submissions on these and other topics are always welcome as part of our goal to encourage community discussion and exchange of perspectives.)

Chief Turner Set A Standard

Last week’s news of the passing of Florence Police Chief Tom Turner leaves a terrible hole in my heart. He was a kind, thoughtful man who worked every day to make Florence a better place to live. His policing standards were what every town in America needs and I’m so glad he chose to live in Florence.

He will be missed.

 Nancy Rickard — Florence

Festival Fights

It shocked me to hear that Scott Waiss, owner of the Beachcomber Pub, is not going to host our beloved Rhody Fest. Thought we raised him better than this!

I attended the frolic for 50 years, and never saw a problem with fights and things like that. Even the year the Gypsy Jokers biker gang was shooting it out with the Free Souls biker gang in Eugene, here, during festival they were good as gold, and no blood was drawn.

In times past, Florence police chiefs proclaimed Old Town off limits because we could handle any problems in a quick and civil order. I see this is a much bigger crowd, but I think paranoia has set in, as we allowed more and more police oversight. Their presence in such numbers gave folks the sense they were really endangered!

I think we should hire more officers in the summertime, and no matter what’s happening, do their duty and respond to all necessary requests for aid — uptown, downtown, wherever it’s needed.

Barkeepers/owners designate spies at front and back doors, you can handle it.

Have a little faith in those of us who’ve rewarded you so richly thru the years! Don’t imagine the worst will take place!

Wende Jarman — Florence

Editor’s Note: The Beachcomber has decided to close over Rhody Days (“Businesses Concerned Over Rhody Days Staffing,” May 11 Siuslaw News) due to being unable to hire necessary security during what is often the rowdiest time of year for Historic Old Town restaurants. Other businesses also have shortage of staff at this time. Local merchants continue to ask for patience and understanding from patrons.