Proud of progressive art; City's 'unlimited' funds; Never expected so much generosity; Distressed by discourse — Letters to the Editor, July 2, 2019

Politics has reared its head in the ugliest manner over this issue, and what a shame that is.

Proud of progressive local art, mural

After being out of town for an extended trip, I was astounded to see a bold and colorful mural come into sight as I approached Highway 101 from Highway 126.

What a stunner! It makes me proud to see that my adopted community is a progressive, forward thinking town that supports the arts and stylized art at that.

—Cris Reep


City must have unlimited funds

I hope at the end of this supposed beautification project it will look completely different than it does in its initial stage; so far, it looks as if they are planting weeds and ugly flowers.

The curbs extend too far out into the side streets off Highway 101 and I imagine there will be several accidents from turning off Highway 101 because of it.

Also, regarding the mural, I am sure the city has prepared itself for the probability that it will be tagged. I guess the city will have additional money to pay artists to repair.

The City of Florence must have unlimited funds.

— Michael O’Connor


Never expected so much generosity, support

When I was small, my mother made sure I wrote a thank you letter for every gift I received, no matter its form, function or cost.

I just completed my fifth year of teaching at Siuslaw Elementary and I need to thank, essentially, the entire city of Florence.

First, last summer the VFW donated a set of durable crayon and colored pencil holders to my class. They were a simple, elegant solution for a problem I’ve had every year! This group of citizens regularly donates to our schools — their time, money and care make a world of difference, so thank you!

Second, I applied for and received money from the Western Lane Community Foundation to purchase 10 new sets of books for our third-, fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms to enrich our reading program. Before attending a luncheon for recipients, I had no idea how much  good this group does for our community — Thank you, WLCF, for your generosity this year and for all the years you have helped our schools and teachers.

Lastly, I have a special person to thank but I do not know her name. I was in the store buying supplies for my “end of year” party and spending out of my own pocket to buy 35 beach balls, foam footballs and glow sticks. It must have looked strange because the lady behind me asked what it was all for. I hesitated, but someone else said, “It’s the end of the school year, I bet it’s for a class party,” and I affirmed that it was for my class.

Without hesitating, this stranger handed me a $20 bill and said “Thank you for all that you do. I hope this helps you to do more.”

I never expected to be helped in such a kind and generous way, so spontaneously. This person represents all of the individual parents and adults, retirees and working people in this city whom strive to make the lives of our young ones so much more.

The actions of these groups and that individual describe the heart of this town; we take care of each other and we see value in helping when and where we can.

I hope I can show you my gratitude by doing what I can to make our students’ experience “that much more.”

—Sarah Barnard (a.k.a. Miss B.)


Distressed by discourse

I’m glad I kept my opinion to myself when I first saw pictures of what the mural on the Central Lincoln building was going to look like. I was not a big fan but, like the vast majority of our community, did not attend the public opportunities provided for discussion before the project was approved by the Public Arts Committee.

Had I been one to publicly say what I thought at the time, I would gladly have been eating my words now.

Living close to Highway 126, I see the progress on the mural almost daily. It is a vibrant, storytelling work that I greet with a smile with each completed new section. 

Kudos to the PAC for having the vision to approve such a delightful mural for all to see as they enter Florence from the east. And thanks to the many volunteers who are still busy finishing the painting; I wish I had done my part.

I must say that it is distressing to read in the Siuslaw News [“Councilor Conflict Dominates Discussion,”  June 29] that Mayor Joe Henry has chosen to attack both Councilor Joshua Greene and PAC Chairman Harlan Springer, two men who work tirelessly to improve the appearance of the city through public art.

Politics has reared its head in the ugliest manner over this issue, and what a shame that is.

How much better to look around Florence and see the good work that the PAC has accomplished under the leadership of Greene and Springer.

—Judith Preisler



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