Memories of Florence; Watch for cyclists; Respect, look out for elders — Letters to the Editor, June 3, 2020

Memories of Florence

The Ned Hickson editorial May 30 (Appreciating Our ‘Dune To Shining Sea’ Inheritance”) brought back memories of when I first came to Florence and The Sportsman was on Bay Street. It was where I bought my first air of caulk boots from Mr. Pinkney.

Also on Bay Street were the jail and city courthouse where I got my first driver’s license.

On Saturday night, Bay Street was filled with fishermen, millworkers and loggers.

I remember what past Oregon Governor Tom McCall said to tourists: “Come enjoy the beaches, the rivers and lakes. Then go home.”

When I see Florence today, I see some of them did not go home.

Florence does not look like Wilbur Ternyik and Paul Coine helped build it. They were the ones that got both jetties put in and the river dredged. At one time, there were barges loaded with lumber and other things for export — which is why the bridge was built to be opened: to let those boats pass through.

—Virgil Bechtold


Watch for cyclists

With the weather getting less rainy, perhaps you could write an article on biking safety. It’s easy to forget to be watchful, either while biking or driving a motor vehicle.

I recently saw the body of a bicyclist killed at the corner of highways 101 and 126, and noted the new green stripes on Highway 101 a few weeks later. 

When I was young, I was hit twice from behind by oblivious car drivers at intersections. I once almost pulled my car out in front of a wrong-way cyclist while waiting to make a right turn in traffic. 

Seeing the cyclist just to the right of my car when I made a last second check to the right was a scary adrenaline rush. 

I took an AARP driver’s safety class last year and many of us thought “yeild” signs were still yellow. Signs and rules have changed, and a reminder of newer signage and updated rules might help prevent collisions.

And don’t forget to mention keeping an eye out for motorcyclists.

—Button Watkins


Respect, look out for our elders

June is Elder Abuse Awareness Month. Senior & Disability Services, a division of Lane Council of Governments, is proud to host a COVID-19 Scams, Fraud and Elder Abuse Virtual Training to all Lane County community members.  

As Oregonians, we believe in justice for all, yet we fail to live up to this promise when we allow seniors in our society to be abused or neglected. 

Older adults are vital, contributing members of society and their maltreatment diminishes all of us. Together, we continue to confront and address the social issues of elder abuse and find solutions. All abuse threatens the well-being of our community. 

Older adults are more likely to experience social isolation — which increases the likelihood of abuse and neglect in the midst of a global pandemic. We can design stronger societal supports to keep our community connected and protected from abuse by focusing on root causes. 

Older adults who are socially connected and protected from harm are less likely to be hospitalized, less likely to go into nursing homes, and more likely to live independently in their community.  

We must create healthier and safer environments for older adults in Lane County.

—Emily Ann Farrell, JD 

Director, Senior and Disability Services Lane Council of Governments


More In Opinion