Archive for KBKW News

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Ocean Crest Resort reopens Restaurant with style and taste

Ocean Crest Restaurant ribbon cutting

Three years after a fire swept the Ocean Crest Resort’s main building, the top-rated destination restaurant reopened Friday July 11 to a patiently waiting audience. Located on a scenic bluff above Sunset Beach on SR 109 in Moclips, the Ocean Crest Resort received rave reviews and national accolades over the years for the restaurant’s hospitality, fine dining and exceptional wine selection.

The Ocean Crest restaurant originally debuted in 1963 — a decade after the Curtright family opened several resort cabins in Moclips for tourists. Family members have operated the resort since. Matriarch Barbara Curtright Topete, began her family’s culinary legacy as she simmered large pots of her award-winning clam chowder for weekend guests and local fans more than sixty years ago.

“It was thrilling to see Mrs. Curtright Topete handle the first shovel of dirt at last year’s groundbreaking. Now, we are anticipating the return of one of the most celebrated restaurants on the Washington coast,” said Mike Bruner, director of Grays Harbor Tourism. “All of us in the tourism industry wish the Curtrights the very best in the reopening of the restaurant that features Pacific Northwest cuisine.
It’s a star in Grays Harbor county.”

“We are delighted to finally re-build one of the best restaurants in the Pacific Northwest,” said third-generation family member Jess Owen who is returning to the restaurant as assistant general manager. “My grandmother, aunt, uncles and mother have all worked at the resort over the years. I joined the staff as a youngster and my wife and two boys have helped behind the scenes as well. They make up another generation of Curtrights at the Ocean Crest. Lately, we’ve been working 18-hour days to get the facility ready for our next generation of guests.”

Chef Coty McDonald presides over the Ocean Crest kitchen staff with a dedication for locally sourced and foraged ingredients that result in an eclectic, yet delightful menu. Fresh selections range from elk to wild salmon. He formerly worked at the Shilo Inn in Ocean Shores but his background includes a range of chef duties at famous restaurants in New Orleans, Chicago, and Portland, Oregon such as Aquariva. McDonald, 30, is married and lives in nearby Ocean Shores.

The multi-million dollar restaurant project was designed by Al Gozart of Harbor Architects in Aberdeen who has assisted with previous expansions at Ocean Crest. The 4,800 sq. ft. restaurant features a dramatic one-level design seating 48 guests in the dining room plus 24 on the patio and accommodating an additional 22 patrons in the scenic-view lounge. A bright and airy gift and art gallery returns to the lobby entrance.

The interiors showcase the restaurant’s spectacular ocean views framed by refined Pacific Northwest décor. Much of the wood surfaces that cover the walls and ceiling was harvested on-site. In addition to efficient LED lighting, geothermic HVAC system and heat-capturing kitchen equipment will keep energy costs low.

General contractor is Nor-Cat Inc. of Cosmopolis and Anchor Bank provides financing. The restaurant employs a staff of 16.

About Ocean Crest
The Ocean Crest Resort has offered year-round lodging to visitors of the North Coast of Washington for more than a half century. Located on 100 acres of forested property overlooking the Pacific Ocean on SR 109, 18 miles north of Ocean Shores, the AAA-rated Ocean Crest has 45 units, an indoor pool, and an onsite spa. Call 800-684-8439 or visit their web site at www.oceancrestresort.com for reservations. Address: P.O. Box 7, Moclips, WA 98562.

 

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Missing 18-year old presumed drowned off of Ocean Shores

Ocean Shores Police Department

An 18-year old California man is missing and presumed drowned in the Ocean Shores surf over the weekend.

Sgt. David McManus with the Ocean Shores Police Department tells us at about 8 Saturday night, eight young people from a California youth group were playing in the surf near the beach approach at West Chance ala Mer.
The survivors described getting caught in a rip current and being pulled out through the surf and into deep water. Five of the subjects were able to get to shore with little trouble, while two others barely made it back to shore and were treated by paramedics on scene for exhaustion and possible ingestion of sea water.

After verifying that the family has been notified of the event, OSPD has identified the man as Renelle Paul Alimoren of Pomona, California. He reportedly helped two of his friends to shore before being swept out again by the rip current. He was last spotted in the surf at about 8:30pm Saturday night, about half a mile south of where he first entered the water.

The Ocean Shores Police and Fire Departments responded and attempted to locate Alimoren from the beach. The United States Coast Guard responded with a boat from Station Grays Harbor and a helicopter from Astoria. They searched the area for several hours, but were unable to locate him.

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Mason County search crews find missing 10-year old safe Friday morning

Hernandez family after Nathan was brought back to them

Search-and-rescue crews have located the 10-year old boy missing in Mason County overnight, spotted by helicopter around 9:30, he was reported safe shortly after.
Searchers from Grays Harbor, Thurston, Pierce and Mason counties searched for the boy after he disappeared while picking berries with his sister near Lake Cushman in Mason County. The family searched for him until dark and then called for help. Ground searchers found a footprint earlier that morning.

Over 30 Search and Rescue ground volunteers as well as 4 K-9 teams from Mason County, Pierce County and Thurston County were called and responded to the area. Searchers worked throughout Thursday night. King County Sheriff’s Office helicopter “Guardian One” responded and attempted to check the area, but was forced to discontinue due to heavy cloud cover.

Hernandez recovery missionFriday morning, July 25, 2014, 30 more Search & Rescue volunteers as well as 4 more K-9 teams were called to replace the workers from the night. “Guardian One” also returned and began searching.

Mason County Sheriff’s Office Detectives were called in and began checking out abandoned cabins, questioning local area residents, and contacting registered sex offenders living in and around the area.

Around 10:00 AM, “Guardian One” spotted a boy in the thick woods on a small mountain above where Search & Rescue teams were searching. “Guardian One” directed a K-9 team to the boy’s location and confirmed that the boy was, in fact, the lost boy Nathan.

Nathan was provided food and drink, checked out by Fire District #18 Medics, and then was returned to his family safe and sound.

The family was vacationing from Uvalde, Texas and wanted to express their sincere gratitude and appreciation for all of the Deputies, Troopers, Fire Fighters, Dispatchers and Search & Rescue volunteers who worked to find Nathan and return him back to his family.

Hernandez recovery mission

 

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WorkSource has a new VA Benefits Service Officer

Worksource Grays Harbor Veterans Affairs

Veteran’s Affairs Benefits Assistance has returned to the WorkSource Grays Harbor office in Aberdeen. Office co-manager Ron Schmidt tells us from 9am to 3pm every Friday, JC will be on hand to help with disability compensation, vet and survivor pensions, as well as aid and attendance access.
To schedule an appointment, call JC at (253) 961-9965
The Worksource Grays Harbor Office id located at 511 West Heron Street in Aberdeen.

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House approves Kilmer amendment to higher education bill to better help students manage their finances

Congressman Derek Kilmer

On Thursday U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer introduced an amendment to connect students with the financial management resources they need to responsibly manage their funds. The amendment was approved by a vote of 404-14 to be included as part of the Empowering Students Through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act (H.R. 4984), which passed the House today by a vote of 405-11. The amendment directs universities and the Department of Education to introduce students to the financial management resources provided by the Financial Literacy and Education Commission.

“In order to grow quality jobs and opportunities we need to keep the doors to higher education open for all students,” said Rep. Kilmer. “Those students who are taking on loans to pay for college need access to tools to keep their finances on track.  Empowering more students to better manage their finances will help them succeed, strengthen their household finances, and boost the financial stability of our country.” 

 

View Kilmer speaking about his amendment on the House floor here.

 

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released an assessment in 2012 on the financial literacy skills of students around the world and found that Americans ranked below average. Recently, the Washington Post reported that college graduates in Washington state from the class of 2012 left school with an average debt of $23,293

 

Congress created The Financial Aid Literacy and Education Commission in 2003 and it was responsible for developing a website to provide financial management resources for all Americans. The website helps consumers better understand financial products, common elements of employment benefit packages, and taxes; offers guidance on how to financially prepare for and respond to major life events; and gives tips on saving, borrowing, and deterring fraud.

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Editorial: Greater Grays Harbor Inc. supports “Yes” vote for Public Hospital District #2

Greater Grays Harbor Inc.

If Grays Harbor Community Hospital does not become a public hospital, our economic health will be in jeopardy. That is why the board of Greater Grays Harbor, Inc. has voted to support the formation of Grays Harbor Public Hospital District #2.

Community Hospital has struggled the past few years to balance its budget, and the primary reason it has been unable to do so is because of its “payer mix.” Today, about 80 percent of its patients rely on Medicaid or Medicare to pay for their healthcare. Unfortunately the government does not pay enough to cover the costs the hospital incurs just caring for those patients. Eight out of ten times when a patient walks in the door, the hospital is losing money just by doing what they are mandated by law to do.

In the times of economic prosperity, most of the hospital’s patients are employed and have health insurance, and they subsidized everybody else – a fact of life still at most hospitals in the U.S. And the hospital has been cutting costs. But there is no fat left to trim. And the hospital cannot expect two patients to carry their own costs and a portion of those of eight others – it is deeply unfair and fundamentally unsustainable. The hospital needs to be paid a fairer price for what it provides to all of its patients.

GHCH, along with three other rural community hospitals in much the same position, asked this fiscal fairness of the state legislature this past session, and the legislature agreed to increase the reimbursements for Medicaid patients to match the higher reimbursement rates of Medicare patients. However, the law mandates that the hospital must be owned and operated by a public entity – a hospital district.

There are benefits to being public besides recouping a greater portion of Medicaid costs. The hospital will be able to run levies to support its operations. Elected hospital commissioners will set the rate, and county commissioners are in charge of approving anything up to $0.50; anything above that to a maximum of $0.75 goes to a public vote. The average public hospital levy is $0.50, which means $4.17 for someone who owns a $100,000 home, a very small price to pay for the service (Aberdeen residents pay $6.69 per month for storm drain maintenance, for example.) Elected officials and levy votes will make GHCH accountable to the people.

Another effect of the levy process is that those patients who are costing the hospital are chipping in to pay for the cost of the services through rent and property taxes, which makes it more equitable. And no one in Grays Harbor can say they don’t use the hospital – you never know when you, or someone you care about, will need their services. It’s not like a store or a bank.

It is also worth dwelling on what will happen if the public district does not come to pass. Unfortunately, that is a murkier view. It is very likely that many of the hospital’s more than 650, mainly family-wage jobs will be lost and services cut. This alone would be devastating to local businesses, and property values would surely plunge as former medical staff move to jobs elsewhere while others are dissuaded from living in an area which does not have a full suite of medical services.

And forget persuading new industry to set up shop here. Few industrial businesses, and no large scale operations, want to open in an area where the only hospital is a critical access facility that stabilizes and ships emergencies to Olympia. Our area’s dependence on Medicaid would continue and possibly grow, further limiting the hospital.

And think about the medical transport by ambulances – it will tie up our cities’ emergency services. They will be responsible for taking emergency cases from here to Olympia – valuable time where they may be needed for emergency calls here, and a valuable chunk of our communities’ budgets.

None of this addresses what it means if, say, the Family Birthing Center closes up shop – a definite possibility. Will you or your family member need to go all the way in Olympia for routine OB care, never mind the birth? The hospital will certainly provide a lot less primary care to patients, and possibly a great deal less surgery. We have doctors who can do all manner of surgeries, from replacing knees and hips to reconstructive surgery, to cancer surgery. The Harbor stands to lose those services if the hospital district isn’t formed.

A levy is truly a small price to pay for stability, economic development, public safety and accountability. And it’s cheaper than the cost of appointments in Olympia, on the cost to the cities of transporting emergency cases to Olympia.

That is why we support the formation of the Gray Harbor Public Hospital District No. 2, and we urge you to vote Yes.

Signed,

The Board of Greater Grays Harbor, Inc.

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National Night Out block parties adding up in Hoquiam

National Night Out 2014

The Hoquiam Police Department is proud to sponsor 2014 National Night Out on Tuesday, August 5, 2014 in Hoquiam.

National Night Out is an informal, community based event held all across the country on August 5th.  The idea is for neighbors to get together at a block party so they can visit and get to know each other better.  Neighbors who know each other tend to look out for each other.  Strong neighborhoods make for safe communities.

At this time, Hoquiam has seven scheduled block parties:

o Elk’s Lodge at 624 K Street
o Channel Point Village
o 914 Maple Street
o 408 J Street
o 1420 Marion Street
o 2641 Pacific Avenue
o 330 Eklund Avenue

But, it is not too late!  All hosted block parties will receive give-away items from the police department as well as a visit from police, fire and city officials during the night.  If you want to host a BLOCK PARTY in Hoquiam, please sign up with Tracy Wood at 538-3970 or [email protected].

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