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.

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

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.  

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.

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.

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

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

Drivers take note: studded tires need to be off by Tuesday, March 31

The noise made by studded tires makes enforcement easy. State troopers need only listen for violators.

Troopers of the Washington State Patrol will enforce a $124 fine for those who use studded tires after the deadline. Violators are very likely to be caught, because troopers need only listen for the distinctive noise of studs grinding on pavement.

"That's the sound of damage being done to our roads," said State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste. "If we hear it we will take enforcement action."

WSDOT advises drivers to work with local tire dealers to determine the best type of tire for their anticipated winter driving conditions. WSDOT wants motorists to be aware that a variety of studded tire alternatives are available and that they can continue to use other approved traction tires. WSDOT lists alternatives to studded tires and the damage studded tires do to state highways on its web site at

In addition, starting April 1, vehicles or combination of vehicles over 10,000 lbs. gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) can legally remove mandated tire chains. These vehicles are required to carry chains from Nov. 1 – March. 31.

WSDOT officials do advise all drivers to carry tire chains and to monitor weather forecasts at the WSDOT Web site at

Know Before you go:

  • Get information from our Web site at before you leave your home or office.
  • 511 – This driver information phone line provides current traffic, incident and closure information. TTY users can call 1-800-833-6388. Out-of-state callers can access the information at call 1-800-695-ROAD (7623).
  • Mountain pass conditions are available at
  • Sign up for news. WSDOT offers subscribers more than 25 specialized e-mail alerts, including news and information for freight haulers, construction related traffic revisions, project updates from all around the state, and timely updates on pass conditions. Visit and click the link for "E-mail updates."
  • Twitter users can add WSDOT to their personal accounts at: . Go to for more details.


Know On the Road:

  • Overhead and roadside electronic signs
  • Highway advisory radio – WSDOT advises drivers to program 530AM and 1610AM on your radio.

APD Have Two in Custody Following Downtown Stabbing

A Stabbing in downtown Aberdeen yesterday sent one to community hosiptal, Aberdeen Officers have two persons of interest in custody.

The stabbing occured Wednesday afternoon before 3 o'clock in the alley near Wishkah and Broadway. Aberdeen Police Chief Bob Torgerson said in the attached audio that a wepaon was also recovered.

Aberdeen police tell KBKW the victim appeard to have non life-threatening injuries when he was transported to Community, the investigation continues in this incident.

United Way Seeks Nominees for Joel Wolff Community Service Awards

A recipient will be chosen based on the following criteria (in no particular order and with no special weight given to any single criteria):

  • Length of service
  • Impact on community needs – making a difference – real result in the community
  • Demonstration of an authentic and real change in the lives of other
  • Dedication to meeting the needs of local people
  • Reputation in the community
  • Leadership on community issues
  • Scope and/or depth of involvement in community service


Eligibility for the annual Award shall require:

  • An individual active in community service efforts who may be nominated for work done, whether volunteer or work-related.
  • The work the person is nominated for must be done in Grays Harbor County.
  • Individuals must serve the community at large.
  • United Way employees, members of the Panel of Judges or their immediate families are not eligible.
  • Nominees from previous years, who were not recipients of the Award, are eligible for re-nomination.



The nomination process shall work as follows:

  • For a nomination to be considered, the nomination form must be filled out completely and legibly and turned in to the United Way office at 101 E. Market Street, #544 in Aberdeen by May 1, 2008. An incomplete or unsigned nomination form will not be accepted.
  • Any individual may nominate more that one candidate.
  • Individuals may not nominate themselves.
  • Pertinent supplemental information, of no more than three pages, may be submitted along with the entry form. This may include letters of support, newspaper clippings, photos, etc.
  • The Panel of Judges may request additional information from nominees, the nominator, or an organization.
  • Nomination forms and supplemental information shall become the property of United Way of Grays Harbor County and will not be returned.
  • Please include a recent photograph of the nominee for publicity purposes.



The United Way of Grays Harbor panel of judges shall use the following additional selection criteria in making the annual selection in an effort to separate one nominee from another:


  • NEED                          Did the nominee contribute a needed service to the
  • ACTION                     How active and involved was the nominee?
  • INITIATIVE                Did the nominee start a new program?  Did they use new
                                        method to solve problem?  Did they initiate activities?
  • ACHIEVEMENT            Did the nominee accomplish the desired results?
  • IMPACT                   Did the nominee's efforts produce positive change?  Did the
                                        nominee provide an example to others?
  • TIME                           Did the nominee devote and significant amount of time?
  • CHALLENGE                      Did the nominee overcome unusual challenges?  (limited
                                        resources, public perception, unusual hardship, etc.)


If you have a nominee, please call the United Way of Grays Harbor at (360) 532-6260.  Closing date of nominations is May1, 2009.