Archive for June 2009

Paving work, ADA improvements on US 101 start July 6

Throughout construction, drivers on US 101 will encounter daytime single-lane closures with flaggers for paving operations. Drivers may also encounter pilot car operations on some sections of US 101.

Crews will also begin improvements to sidewalk ramps in Raymond the week of July 6. Temporary facilities will be available throughout construction.

Paving work begins at the northern end of the project area and crews will work their way south. Paving operations in the city of Raymond begin in August, and drivers will be directed to use local detours as crews work through a series of closures on US 101. Commercial Street and Franklin Street in Raymond will remain open.

This project is scheduled for completion in October. WSDOT will continue to inform the public of traffic impacts as work progresses.

For weekly updates on this and all other traffic impacts in the region, please visit the WSDOT Southwest Region Weekly Travel Advisory Web page at: www.wsdot.wa.gov/Regions/SouthWest/Construction.

Statistics Reveal Fires Caused by the Improper Use of Fireworks

 Residents should talk with family members and guests about the fireworks laws for their area.  To learn more about fireworks ordinances in cities and counties and other information regarding fireworks, check the fireworks safety web site at http://www.wsp.wa.gov/fire/fireworks.htm.

Independence Day is a time to celebrate our freedoms.  

Personal fireworks require personal responsibility.  Remember the three B's of fireworks safety: 

  • Be Prepared-Have water nearby and put pets indoors,
  • Be Safe-Only adults should light fireworks, and
  • Be Responsible-clean up fireworks debris.

 

The Office of the State Fire Marshal is committed to promoting injury prevention and fire safety during the celebrations of Independence Day and New Years when fireworks are often used. Our mission is to implement a comprehensive and effective educational and enforcement program for fireworks injury prevention and fire safety.

 

The list of public fireworks displays now includes the address of a web site with additional information about the display.

 

Resources & Related Links


Below are other informational links to fireworks safety and injury prevention resources:

Fireworks Safety Campaign Kit

 


Thank you for joining our effort to promote injury prevention and fire safety during 4th of July celebrations. Listed below are resources and links to give you easy access to any information you may need regarding consumer fireworks and safety.

 

Mason County Sheriff Calls for Responsible Fireworks Use

Accordingly we make the following recommendations:

1. CHILDREN SHOULD NOT HANDLE FIREWORKS.
Never let children handle, play with, or light any fireworks. Only adults should handle and light the fireworks. The fireworks are great family fun, but they burn very hot and are intended to be handled only by adults.

2. DO NOT USE ALCOHOL WITH FIREWORKS.
Please do not consume any alcohol while lighting or handling fireworks. Fireworks must be used only by individuals who act in a responsible manner and who are not under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you are impaired in any way when you use fireworks, you increase the possibilities of misuse and injury to yourself and others.

3. FOLLOW THE LAWS; USE COMMON SENSE
Follow your local and state laws regarding the possession and use of fireworks, and use good common sense when using fireworks. Read all directions, cautions, labels, and warnings on each individual firework item to understand the product performance and hazards associated with it. If your state has shooters' sites, use them. Use only those fireworks permitted under the laws of the state and local jurisdiction in which you are using the fireworks.

4. USE FIREWORKS ON A HARD SURFACE IN A CLEAR OPEN AREA
Always light fireworks on a hard, flat, and level surface to insure the stability of the items. Grass is generally not suitable for any item intended to be used in an upright position. (If lighting fireworks on grass, lay down a flat wooden board for a shooting surface.)

Always keep the audience (and particularly children) a safe distance away from the shooting site. Always light your fireworks in a clear open area away from buildings, vehicles, and shrubbery. A minimum clear radius of 30 feet for fountains and other ground based items and 100 yards for any aerial product is recommended. You should avoid lighting the fireworks in any area where there is dry grass or brush that could catch fire or near any flammable items. Never use fireworks indoors. Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.

5. KEEP CLEAR OF THE FIREWORKS.
Never put your head or any part of your body over the top of any fireworks product. Never look into a tube to check on the firework item. Never hold a lighted firework item in your hand. Keep as far from the firework item as possible when lighting.

6. USE CARE IN LIGHTING THE FIREWORKS.
Always light fireworks products with punk, a Phantom Pyro Torch, a flare or an extended butane lighting device. This will enable you to keep as far from the firework item as possible. If needed, use a flashlight at night so the fuse can be easily seen; never use a lantern or other flame producing device near fireworks for illumination. Light the fireworks product and get away quickly. Respect the fireworks, because if used improperly, they can be dangerous.

7. ONE AT A TIME.
Light only one firework item at a time.

8. DON'T USE MALFUNCTIONING OR "DUD" ITEMS.
Never attempt to re light, alter, or fix any "dud" firework item. If a firework item fails to ignite, let it stand for at least five minutes, then immerse it in water. Dispose of the item properly. You can always return the item to your Phantom dealer for replacement.

9. HAVE WATER CLOSE BY.
Have an accessible fire extinguisher, water supply, hose, or bucket of water nearby for emergencies. During any fireworks shoot, there should always be one individual assigned as the fireman, whose sole job is to be alert and at the ready with a water source.

10. WINDY CONDITIONS.
Be cautious of lighting any fireworks during strong wind conditions. Fireworks should be lit with the prevailing wind blowing away from the spectators. If there is a significant wind shift during the time you are lighting the fireworks, rearrange the shooting site to accommodate the wind shift or stop shooting until the windy conditions subside.

11. USE CARE IN HANDLING FIREWORKS.
Do not carry fireworks in your pocket or on your person. It is preferable to keep the products in a closed container before ignition. Always be careful in handling fireworks to prevent dropping them. Never smoke when handling fireworks.

12. NEVER USE THE FIREWORKS AS WEAPONS.
Never aim, point, or throw any fireworks at another person or at any property.

13. STORAGE OF FIREWORKS.
Always store fireworks in a cool, dry place and dispose of fireworks properly.

14. USE FIREWORKS OUTDOORS.
Never use fireworks indoors; only use them outdoors under safe conditions.

15. PURCHASE FIREWORKS FROM RELIABLE DEALERS.
Buy fireworks only from reliable, licensed fireworks dealers. Licensed and reliable dealers will only carry those products that meet standards set and enforced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Do not use illegal explosives; do not alter any firework device; do not make your own fireworks.

16. BE CAREFUL WITH ANIMALS.
The noise and lights of fireworks often frighten some animals, so it is very important that you are careful with pets and farm animals. You may want to consider moving the animals away or keeping them inside during your display. Please be considerate of your pets and animals when using fireworks.

Regulations

Dates and times fireworks can be discharged in areas with no ban or restrictions:

June 28th Between 12:00 Noon and 11:00 P.M.

June 29th through July 3rd Between 9:00 A.M. and 11:00 P.M. 

July 4th Between 9:00 A.M. and 12:00 Midnight.

July 5th Between 9:00 A.M. and 11:00 P.M.

Dec. 31st Between 6:00 P.M. and 1:00 A.M.

Use only state legal fireworks purchased at a state licensed stand. Check for restrictions or bans in the area you will be discharging your fireworks.

Legal and Illegal Fireworks:

Legal Fireworks                          Legal only on Tribal Lands                Illegal Explosive Devices
Novelty & Smoke Items              Firecrackers and Chasers                  M-80's or larger
Sparklers and Spinners             Bottle Rockets                                       Cherry Bombs
Multi Aerials                                  Missiles and Rockets                          Tennis Ball Bombs
Helicopters
Cones and Fountains
Wheels
Roman Candles
Reloadable Mortars 1 ¾" or smaller

The Independence Day holiday weekend is always very eventful.  The Mason County Sheriff's Office may experience up to 200 calls for service per day this weekend.  The number of people in Mason County can double on holiday weekends from visitors enjoying our magnificent forests and lakes.  This creates dramatic increases on law enforcement resources.  When calls for service spike our deputies are trained to prioritize those calls and handle the most serious incidents first.  For example assaults, injury traffic collisions, and felony crimes in progress are handled before excessive noise in a neighborhood or vandalism to mailboxes with no suspects.  Fireworks complaints involving noise only will be considered low priority.  Fireworks incidents involving immediate threats to life or property will be considered high priority.  The Sheriff's Office has experienced a significant reduction in personnel in the past year, so response times for low priority calls will at times be longer than usual. 

Sheriff Casey Salisbury said "I am committed to provide the best law enforcement services possible given the resources we have at our disposal.  We thank you for your patience if it does take us a little longer to get to your call."

Seventy Raymond School District students on Their Way to Scholarships

Of the approximately 140 7th-, 8th- and 9th-graders in the district, 83 met the low-income eligibility criterion. Of those 83, 70 of the students signed up for the opportunity. Principal Ron Bell, Academic Counselor Grant Anderson and Readiness-to-Learn coordinator Pat Shults worked with both parents and students to ensure that everyone had a chance to take advantage of this opportunity.

Washington Attorney General’s new site guides public on grabbing government records

New questions and answers are posted regularly. Questions and answers already include:

 

 

Since taking office in 2005, McKenna has made it a high priority to strengthen the public's right to know about government's inner-workings, through open meetings and access to government records.

McKenna's office drafted and passed legislation to strengthen the Public Records Act. He created an open government ombudsman to oversee public access and successfully fought to create a Sunshine Committee to review exemptions to the Public Records Act. 

 

The Attorney General also provides an Open Government Internet Manual for citizens and local elected officials.

WSP to Increase Patrols Along Olympic Peninsula During July 4th Weekend

The main highways running along the Olympic Peninsula consist of two lanes with narrow shoulders.  As a motorist, here are some steps you can take to have a safe and happy holiday:  

  • Be aware of motorcycles! The motorcycle is a vehicle with all of the privileges of any vehicle on the roadway. Give the motorcyclist a full lane of travel.
  • If you or one of your friends has been drinking, don't drive! Call a friend, a taxi, or a tow truck to get home. While this may be inconvenient, it may save a life.
  • Think and plan ahead, allow yourself enough time to get where you need to go so you don't need to speed to get there.
  • Take your time and slow down, especially if the driving conditions warrant it and be sure to wear your seatbelt.
  • If you are on the road and come across someone who you suspect might be under the influence, or is driving dangerously, immediately call 9-1-1 (if it is safe for you to do so). If a trooper is in the area, they will be able to stop the vehicle before it has a chance to cause injury to someone else.

The Washington State Patrol has dedicated itself to public safety, and throughout this holiday weekend, we will be working around the clock to ensure safety on our roadways.  Please do your part this holiday weekend in helping us with this effort.  Remember that taking a few extra minutes to slow down or demand that someone who has been drinking not drive can mean the difference between life and death. Driving impaired is simply not worth any of the pain you can cause yourself or someone else.

Additional patrols will be working over the weekend in the following areas:

Mason County -2 additional troopers.

Clallam and Jefferson ounties – 5 additional troopers.

Kitsap County – 3 additional troopers.

Grays Harbor County – 3 additional troopers.

Pacific and Wahkiakum Counties – 2 additional troopers. 

Washington Fire Marshall Asks: Are Your Fireworks Legal?

Legal Consequences: There may be legal consequences for any injuries or damages caused by the irresponsible use of fireworks.  These consequences range from being charged with malicious mischief, assault or a gross misdemeanor.  Examples include possession of illegal explosive devices, such as fireworks that have been altered. 

  • Making an improvised explosive device is a gross misdemeanor.  A gross misdemeanor can bring a fine of up to $5,000 and/or one year in prison.
  • If property was damaged, it could be considered a property crime which is malicious mischief.
  • If used to blow up something, it could be considered a destructive device which is a felony.
  • If someone was hurt by the device, a person could be charged with bodily harm and assault, depending on intent.

Take Responsibility:  Personal fireworks require personal responsibility.

  • Be sure the fireworks you purchase are legal to possess and discharge.  Know the dates and times fireworks are allowed in your community. 
  • Set family boundaries.  Talk with family members and guests about the fireworks laws for your area.  Laws restricting or banning the use of fireworks in cities and counties are listed on the fireworks website at http://www.wsp.wa.gov/fireworks.  
  • Stay away from illegal explosive devices such as M80's and M100's.  These items are not fireworks, they are illegal explosive devices. The damage they cause can be devastating and life altering.  

Remember the three B's of fireworks safety: 

  • Be Prepared-Have water nearby and put pets indoors,
  • Be Safe-Only adults should light fireworks, and
  • Be Responsible-clean up fireworks debris.

For more information about fireworks safety, public fireworks displays and the fireworks laws for your area, check the Celebrate Safely website at http://www.wsp.wa.gov/fire/fireworks.htm.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal is a Bureau of the Washington State Patrol, providing fire and life safety services to the citizens of Washington State including inspections of state licensed facilities, plan review of school construction projects, licensing of fire sprinkler contractors and pyrotechnic operators, training Washington State's firefighters, and collecting emergency response data.

Former Secretary of State Ralph Munro to Speak at Lady Washington Event

Munro will be among dozens of dignitaries and guests scheduled to attend the 20th Anniversary Celebration Monday June 29th from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Aberdeen Landing in Aberdeen. Themed “20 Years of Changing Peoples’ Lives,” the event begins with VIP tours of the vessels, following by dinner, a presentation (including an address by Munro), maritime music by Northwest musicians, and more. Tickets are $50 per person. A table may be reserved for $500, which includes two tickets to the July 4 evening sailing. To reserve space for the anniversary party, call 800-200-5239 or visit www.historicalseaport.org.

 

Mason/Grays Harbor County centerline rumble strip project begins

In observance of Independence Day, no work takes place July 3 – 5.

The same traffic impacts apply the week of July 6 – 10 when paint crews re-stripe the centerlines.

Centerline rumble strips are designed to alert drivers that they are crossing over into on coming traffic.  Grooves or rows of raised pavement markers are placed perpendicular to the direction of travel. As a vehicle passes over the rumble strips, noise and vibration are produced to warn motorists to get back into their lane.

Please visit http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Design/Policy/RumbleStrips.htm to learn about rumble strips.

WSDOT awarded this $77,000 project to Apply-A-Line, Inc. out of Pacific in May.

Counterfeit bills surfacing in Kitsap County

The pen test commonly used by many to identify counterfeit money isn't enough, anymore, to tell that some bills are phony. Perpetrators are using real money paper which can pass the pen test. The pen can only tell if the paper is authentic or not… if the money has been washed and you have a fake $100 bill, it's no good and you're out of money.

Patrol deputies and detectives follow-up in these investigations, although leads are often sparse. In some instances counterfeiters are apprehended. Investigations are lengthy and require an extensive documentation process. Most counterfeiters move on as the fake money is passed. It's the unknowing, innocent person who becomes yet another victim when they attempt to use counterfeit money as legal tender.

Cashiers, bank tellers, restaurant staff and even the weekend yard sale hostess… anyone who deals with cash should take a few seconds to look at various security features that are built into every bill.

Look and Feel
This is as far as most people go, and it's good enough most of the time. U. S. bank notes are printed on special paper that's 75 percent cotton and 25 percent linen. The linen gives it an extra stiffness that's distinctive. There are red and blue fibers imbedded in the paper. Bank notes are printed with a process called "intaglio" that leaves ink on top of the paper, giving the money a distinctive texture. The printing is
very high quality, so the lines are sharp and clear, not broken, fuzzy or blobby.

Color-Shifting Ink
Bank notes larger than the $5 bill use color-shifting ink to print the number showing the denomination in the lower-right-hand corner. Look at the numbers head-on, and then from an angle. For genuine notes the color will shift (copper-to-green or green-to-black). You can get this far pretty discreetly. Check the look and feel of the bill automatically as soon it is handed to you. You can confirm the color-shifting ink with a quick glance. Going further will require that you hold the note up to the light, which is basically saying that you think that you might have received counterfeit money. A lot of people hesitate
to do this, but it's the next step if you want to be sure.

Watermark
All bills larger than a $2 now have a watermark; hold the bill up to the light to see it. For the $10, $20, $50, and $100 bills, the image matches the portrait. You can use the watermark to spot bills that have been bleached and reprinted with a higher denomination. The watermark is part of the paper and is visible from the rear of the note as well.

Security Thread
All bills larger than a $2 have a security thread running vertically through the bill. Like the watermark, you hold the bill up to the light to see it. The thread has text with the bill's denomination and an image that is unique to that denomination. The different denominations have the threads in different places, again so you can spot bills that have been bleached and reprinted with a higher denomination. The threads also glow different colors under ultraviolet light.

Genuine Bills
If a bill:
* Looks and feels like a U. S. bank note
* Has color-shifting ink
* Has a watermark that matches the portrait
* And has a security thread with text that matches the denomination
Then it's almost certainly a genuine bill.

If you believe that you may be in possession of counterfeit money, please contact the law enforcement agency serving your jurisdiction, or check with your financial institution. They are willing to assist with counterfeit money detection. If you have been scammed by accepting counterfeit money in exchange for
merchandise sold or services provided, please file a case report with your law enforcement agency.