Thanks to SHS football team ; Heartfelt thanks; Art is good for business, mental health; Smiling appreciation; A little ironic — Letters to the Editor, Aug. 10, 2019

A big thank you to Sam Johnson and his team

Thanks to SHS football team for help

I know the Siuslaw News will be getting many letters giving praise to National Night Out (the Aug. 6 event hosted by the City of Florence), on how wonderful this event was. But I am writing in about a particular group that helped out that night: our local Siuslaw High School football players and their new head coach, Sam Johnson.

I oversaw the Kiwanis kids’ games that were set up in the south field. Normally, it can be difficult to fill the event with the required volunteers to make sure each game runs smoothly for the kids. Before the event, I was short some volunteers, so I reached out to Sam Johnson and asked if any of his players would be willing to come help me out at this event.

Without any hesitation he was on board and asked how many I need. I told him six players would be perfect, and he promised me six players for this event.

I was blown away when the entire team showed up. In their yellow shirts, they all gave a hand wherever they were needed. The young men interacted with the kids with excitement, encouraged the kids to do their best and overall they had fun with the kids.

I watched a 6-year-old girl giggle as she won a sack race against “big bad football players,” and I saw the eyes of a 4-year-old boy light up with joy when he threw a football to a real football player. These young men were very polite and did not complain when I asked them to pick up the garbage left around.

I even heard a “Yes, ma’am.”

We live in a world now where our youth look up to “Social Media Influencers”, but Tuesday night’s event was a great opportunity to physically inspire the kids. It really helped support social connections within our community.

I encourage the town to come out Aug. 30 for the Siuslaw High School Football Jamboree and community barbecue (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.), or the first home game Sept. 20 against Newport.

Come give them the support they deserve.

A big thank you to Sam Johnson and his team. I wish them good luck in the upcoming season.

I will be there for every game.

—Dawnell Spencer-Wright

Member of the

Kiwanis Club of Florence

Heartfelt thanks

In memory of Chris Hannam, I would like to send my heartfelt thanks to Dr. Stephen Kerner and his staff — Donna, Nancy S., Michele, Marti, Penny, Susan, and especially Lorie and Nancy A.

You are all truly angels on earth. 

God Bless.

—Susie Bianchi


Art is good for business, mental health

Tourists from all over the world stop in Florence and zero-in on our art galleries. They may dream of being in Florence, Italy, where they could be standing in long lines waiting to get into the abundance of galleries there, but instead they are spending their money and time in Florence — where they flow through the doors of her art galleries.

Art is good for business. 

As a founding member of Backstreet Gallery, which has been thriving since its inception in 2005, I and other artist-owners welcome people from all over the world into our gallery.  We observe that people slow down; meditate on creative objects that some call art; and shed built up stress.

They bring their children and expose them to art; their own creative muses stir and they spend a fair amount of their vacation time looking at art. We hear such statements as, “I always stop in Florence because of its galleries,” “I’m not creative but other’s creativity makes me feel good,”  “This place is a gem” and “Thank you for being here.”

My point is that art is good for mental health and for business. It is a unifier. Folks from around the world and across America love to look at — and buy — objects of art that are created by other human beings.

Art can unite us if it is not usurped as a tool to divide us. We all can benefit from Florence’s embrace of art in all its forms.

Thank you City Art Committee, FRAA, FEC and all our galleries for your creative ideas and efforts to keep Florence artistic.

—Kathryn Damon-Dawson


Smiling appreciation

I don’t know how I got so lucky. There are those living in Florence who were dismayed over plans for the now-completed Rhododendron Drive bike path.

I’m grateful to have it, use it often and appreciate how it blends with the robust rhodies along its way. There are those who were upset over the added cost of the curved rock wall at the recently-remodeled City Hall. I admire it whenever I pass by and am glad to see a building with an elegant and artistic flair along well-travelled Highway 101.

There are those who were highly disappointed with the Public Art Committee’s mural selection now painted on the exterior walls of the PUD building. I’ve lived in Florence for almost two decades, and never have I felt more proud of anything that has come to be during my time here.

My eyes and heart see the mural as an exquisitely-beautiful and deeply-thoughtful piece of art, uplifting in every way.

Lucky me; three-for-three. I can’t wait for the next space-enhancing project to come along, criticism and all, as I expect it will be yet another positive addition to our increasingly vibrant and charming town.

Thank you to everyone who puts time and energy into wanting to make it so.

—Aly LeCaux


A little ironic?

I can’t be the only one who finds it a little ironic that the former “Patriot Place” is now a business called “All Things Russian.”

—Bill DuBeau



More In Opinion