Archive for March 2009

County Auditor Talks Cuts With County Commissioners

Proposed cuts in the auditors office could affect customer service in the licensing and the recordings area

(in the attached audio)

Spatz also suggested the commissioners review the hours that the county courthouse is open, allowing the remaining auditors staff more time to prepare for courthouse-related customers.

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New Trail Highlight of 2009 Season at the Ocean Shores Interpretive Center

"We are pleased to offer this addition to the educational services of the Center to our visitors and it has been a pleasure to work with Erica Baker from the Pacific Educational Institute, all of the outstanding high school students, Nancy Ness of the Grays Harbor Weed Control Board, and Lorena Marchant of the Grays Harbor College Environmental Education Program.  While the trail has been a long-time dream, the Senior Culmination Project made it possible this year.  Visitors will be able to enjoy the trail on a daily basis.  In addition, the Center's Education Committee, consisting of Candace Grubesic, Deanna Skewis, Polly Barack, John Letos, Mary Mattern, and Linda Vail, along with new members Dianne Sekus and Carol Nagen, are already planning on incorporating it into the education program they are developing for the North Beach students." explained Neil Eldridge, center director.

"The Play & Learn Courtyard located in the lee of the building provides an area protected from offshore winds where small children can play on a bouncing turtle, play games on a safety surface, enjoy a "working" moveable sign and picnic at the handicapped accessible table.  Eventually the area will contain artwork showing how the surrounding forest is a mercantile for animals to "shop" for food, protection from predators and home building supplies.  Other murals are under consideration to further teach about the importance of habitat to salmon and clean water," said Gene Woodwick, exhibits curator.

The new Wind, Waves and Weather display features a weather station that displays temperature, wind direction, humidity, atmospheric pressure and precipitation that was installed with the help of Center volunteers John Letos and Jeffery Dukes.  Storyboards explain many aspects of weather and how it affects the ocean at our doorstep and the land we live upon.  The tides, including how to read a tide chart, are described along with ocean currents and waves, and we hope to teach both local citizens and tourists about the coastal area.

The local Ocean Shores history display has been tripled in size and displays a variety of artifacts and photographs telling the rich history of the five mile peninsula of the city.  Other exhibits have been upgraded and improved.  A new foyer display of local duck species donated by the Ralph Flowers family will be completed in the near future.  New additions have been made to the Habitat Learning Center life-sized diorama as well. 

Those who have volunteered to help build displays are:  Jeffery Dukes, technology and carpentry; Diane Dukes, artist; John Letos, draftsman/engineer and carpenter; Vesta Letos, designer assistant; Sharon Caudle and Larry Woodwick, helpers.

The Ocean Shores Interpretive Center is open daily April 1 through September 30 at 1033 Catala Avenue adjacent to the Ocean Shores Marina from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The phone number is 360/289-4617 and the website is

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Washington’s single biggest fishing season opener April 25 is still one of the best bargains in local family recreation.

The lake stocking includes:

  • 41,429 triploid (sterile) trout – each averaging 1-1/2 pounds – being stocked this spring in 94 lakes;
  • 69,450 two-year-old "jumbo" and surplus hatchery broodstock trout being stocked this spring in 149 lakes.
  • More than 7 million trout that were planted last year as 2- to 3-inch fry into 530 lakes, including most lakes opening April 25;
  • More than 8.5 million kokanee fry, expected to show in this year's catch, stocked in 28 lakes;
  • More than 4.1 million "catchable-size" (8- to 12-inch) trout stocked this spring in 370 lowland lakes, including lakes opening April 25;

Fish stocking details, by county and lake, are available in the 2009 Hatchery Trout Stocking Plan on WDFW's website at .

Of Washington's nearly 4,500 lakes, ponds and reservoirs, more than 600 have WDFW-managed access sites, which can be found at .

Among those sites are 275 access points on lakes that will be open for fishing from April 25 through September or October. These sites include boat launches, docks and shorelines, including areas accessible for people with disabilities. Other state and federal agencies operate hundreds more such facilities.

"With our biggest fishing crowds out on this opener, it's especially important for everyone to be patient and safe at these boat launches and docks," Anderson said. "Everyone in boats, and all children on shore, should use personal flotation devices."

Visitors parking at WDFW fishing access sites are required to display a WDFW vehicle use permit on their vehicle. Every person who buys an annual fishing license receives a free vehicle use permit. The permits are transferable between two vehicles. Additional permits are available to recreational license buyers for $5 each and to other users of the areas for $10.

A Washington freshwater fishing license, valid April 1, 2009 through March 31, 2010, costs $21.90 for resident adults (16-69 years old). Fifteen-year-olds  and persons with disabilities can buy a license for $8.21, and seniors (70 years and older) can buy an annual fishing license for $5.48. Children 14 years and younger do not need a fishing license.

All licenses can be purchased on the Internet ( ), by telephone (1-866-246-9453), or at hundreds of license dealers across the state (listed on the WDFW website at ).

Tips on fishing areas, listed by county and water, can be found in "Washington Fishing Prospects: Where To Catch Fish In the Evergreen State," available on WDFW's website at

Copies of WDFW's annual Fishing In Washington sportfishing rules pamphlet are also available from license dealers, WDFW offices and on the WDFW website at .  The current rules are in effect through April 30, 2009; the rules for May 1, 2009 through April 30, 2010 will be posted and available in printed form by May 1.

Anglers should note that some new fishing rules go into effect on May 1 and will be highlighted on the "What's new for 2009" page of WDFW's 2009-2010 sportfishing seasons and rules pamphlet.  

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City of Hoquiam to celebrate Arbor Day and Month in April

Peter Goldmark, the Commissioner of Public Lands, will be in attendance to present the Tree City USA award to the City for their work in 2008. It is the first year that Hoquiam has received this national recognition. The City has worked diligently over the past two years to achieve Tree City USA Status, which requires that a City have a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, a comprehensive community forestry program, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

At 4:00 the Arbor Day Riverwalk will begin at the Farmer's Market and will include a walk around the historic downtown riverfront. Participants will visit local businesses along the route and will answer tree trivia questions to be eligible for prizes upon completion of the walk. There is no cost to attend. The first 50 participants to sign up will receive a complementary Arbor Day water bottle.

The City of Hoquiam hopes that all residents and businesses will join in celebrating Arbor Day by planting a tree on their private property or the planting strip in front of their home or business. The City is happy to work with property owners who would like to purchase a tree to install in the planting strip in front of their house. Once a planting permit is obtained and a tree is selected from the approved Tree List, the City can assist in planting of the tree. The City can also provide residents with information about how to properly plant and maintain a tree.

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Washington State will observe Disaster Preparedness Month in April.

Disaster Preparedness Month activities will include a statewide earthquake drill between 9:45 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Tuesday, April 22.

Because Washington remains vulnerable to a variety of natural and human-made hazards, "Citizens of our state should prepare themselves to be self-sufficient for at least three days following a natural or man-made disaster," said Gov. Chris Gregoire.

A regular monthly test of the Emergency Alert System will initiate the statewide drop, cover and hold earthquake drill. Flyers for the drill will be posted April 1 in multiple languages on the Washington Emergency Management Division's (WEMD's) Website,

Preparedness information materials for such hazards as earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes also will be made available to local jurisdictions. Disaster Preparedness Month activities will include the Partners in Emergency Preparedness Conference, April 14-15, at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, as well.

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Grays Harbor County Public Health Department to Conduct Immunization Survey

Routine childhood vaccinations protect children against 14 diseases such as measles, pertussis (whooping cough), meningitis, and mumps.  Diseases like these, which used to be common, are now rare because of childhood vaccination.

For more information about the survey, contact Brianne Probasco at (360) 532-8631 ext. 480.  Additional information about childhood vaccinations is available at or

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Press Conference with Guest Speaker Congressman Adam Smith to Promote Free Tax Help for WA Taxpayers


 United States Representative Adam Smith (WA-09)

David Macklin, Computer and Communications Industry Association

Andrew McDevitt, Intuit Financial Freedom Foundation

Amy Goings, Vice President for College Relations & Resource Development



Friday, March 27, 2009

10:00-10:30 a.m. – press conference

Hour-long TurboTax Freedom Edition training workshop immediately following the press conference – media is strongly encouraged to stay for the training.



Clover Park Technical College

Building 15, Room 102

4500 Steilacoom Blvd., SW in Lakewood

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