Archive for August 2009

Bank of the Pacific Completes a Private Funded Raise in Capitol

Pacific Financial Corporation, with the assistance from investment banking firm, McAdams Wright Regan, had intended to raise a total of $12 million by August 31st; however, it exceeded that objective by $591,000 and ahead of schedule. 
 
Pacific Financial Corporation is the holding company of Bank of the Pacific; a Washington state chartered full-service commercial bank. Pacific Financial operates branches in Grays Harbor, Pacific, Wahkiakum, Whatcom and Skagit counties in Washington State and Clatsop County in Oregon. More information about Pacific can be found on its website at www.BankofthePacific.com.  

September Is Weather Radio Awareness Month in Washington

 Awareness Month Activities include: 
  • Governor Gregoires Proclamation of Weather Radio Awareness Month.
  • Web Site information with consumer incentives on weather radios – www.emd.wa.gov/
  • Consumer incentives on weather radios from manufacturers and vendors.
  • Heightened awareness for schools and the emergency preparedness community.
  • Coastal Tsunami Warning Communications Test and Statewide Earthquake Drill on Sept 24 at about 1015 AM using EAS via Weather Radio.
  • Dedication of new Upper Cowlitz River Basin Weather Radio station on Sept 24.
  • Booths at the Puyallup Fair, Spokane Co Interstate Fair, Columbia River Watershed Festival, Thurston Co Disaster Fair, Renton Disaster Fair and many other outreach events.
  • Local retailers with weather radios – Fred Meyer, Radio Shack, Joes, REI, Walgreens, Cabela’s

Mountain Dew/AMP Energy 50 Warriors Of Dirt Invade Grays Harbor Raceway

Montesano’s Josh Muller holds a slim 3 point lead 1200 to 1197 over Shelton’s Scott Miller, in the Shipwreck Beads Modified point standings.  Miller made up 20 points on Muller last week by winning his third main event of the year.  Seabeck driver James Wolfard  sits in third position with 1104 points, followed by Aberdeen’s Joe Germain with 1062 and former Hobby Stock Champion Jim Oien Jr. with 1035. 
 
In the Triple X Ford Focus Midget division Auburn’s Jonathan Jorgenson jumped back to the top of the standings by the slimmest of leads.  Jorgenson leads last week’s points leader Brandon Daniel from McCleary by 1 point 1149 to 1148.  In fact the top four are only separated by only 24 points, last week’s winner Seth Hespe from Snohomish sits 17 points behind at 1132 points.  Allison Journey from Springfield, Oregon is 24 points back at 1125  points.  Montesano’s Jeremy Miller rounds out the top five with 1042 points.
 
In the Cut Rate Hobby Stocks, Zack Simpson from Aberdeen holds a 102 point lead  1354 to 1252 over Bremerton’s Keith Knowlton.  Shelton’s Alan Muenchow Jr. sit in third with 1164 followed by  Gig Harbor’s Derek Junell with 1129 points,  last year’s Hornet Champion Eddie Blood from Olympia rounds out the top five with 1024 points.
 
The front gate will open at 4:30 pm on Saturday Night, with racing to start at 7:00 pm.
 
Next weekend at Grays Harbor Raceway it is the Big E Weekend, featuring three big nights of racing highlighted by the World of Outlaws on Monday September 7th along with the Triple X Ford Focus Midgets, On Sunday September 6th the ASCS Northwest Region 360 Sprint Cars and the NPP Late Models will be in action.  The weekend will kick off Saturday September 5th with the Northwest Wingless Sprint Car Tour and the NPP Late Models. This will be the first time ever that the wingless Sprint Cars will compete at Grays Harbor Raceway and by the interest there should be a great car count.

AHAB Test to Take Place on Labor Day

AHAB sirens have a range of about one mile in radius depending on topography and weather. These sirens are meant to provide emergency notification to people who are OUTDOORS. Residents and businesses located within a tsunami inundation area are encouraged to maintain a working NOAA Weather Radio.
 

Hoquiam Farmers Market News

On Saturday Aug. 29th we hope to have an even larger selection of local produce for you to choose from!  We have invited anyone who has extra produce from their own gardens to set up on a table or tailgate and sell their produce without any charge from the Farmers Market.  I’m hoping that we’ll be seeing boxes of local apples & plums, and armloads of fresh flowers in addition to the food items.  Come over and join us for the day if your garden has been more bountiful than you are able to keep up with!  And always remember, the local Food Banks would be so grateful for any fresh veggies and fruit that you are able to share.  If you are unable to deliver it to the Food Bank yourself, just drop things off at The Market, and I’ll be happy to make the delivery for you.
 
Remember those fabulous lush Peonies that we offered earlier this year?  Well, now you have the opportunity to purchase the roots and grow them in your own garden!  Frank is bringing in many varieties each week, and you are also invited to visit his farm in Elma to make selections.  I recommend visiting his website to study the multitude of types that are available- you may find yourself digging up a lot more flower garden space in order to plant Peonies, because they give more bang for the buck of just about any other flower.  http://www.peoniesplus.com/  
 
I have beans to pick in my own garden right now- being away for a few days in the middle of harvest time may have been a mistake.
For the very healthiest and best local veggies, fruit, bread, sausage, pies, honey, jam, and plants, stop by the Hoquiam Farmers Market.  We’re waiting to put fine food on your dinner plate!
 
Barbara Bennett Parsons    538-9747
Grays Harbor Public Market is open 5 days a week!
Wed. & Thurs.   9-5
Fri. & Sat.          9-6
Sunday              10-4
located at 1958 Riverside, just before the bridge in Hoquiam

Update – Case Closed on Missing Woman Reported in Aberdeen

08/25/09 – The Aberdeen Police Department was investigating the report of a missing person which was reported on 8/24/2009 at about 4:30 p.m.. The person reported missing is: Connie Jean Forbis, also known as Connie Jean Kelly.

She is 39 years of age and described as a white female, 5’03", stocky build, with long dark blond hair, blue eyes, and was last seen wearing a blue cap, blue denim coat, blue jeans. 

Forbis was last seen heading to the Aberdeen library from her home in the 1500 block of Aberdeen Ave. on 08/24/09 at about 9:30 a.m.

Washington DFI Warns of Top 10 Financial Traps

“When it comes to investing, verify everything and everyone before you part with your money,” Stevenson said. “Education and information are an investor’s best defense against investment fraud.”

Investors should always be wary of unsolicited financial advice or investment opportunities. Before investing any money, consumers should contact their state securities regulators, which provide detailed background information about people and companies selling securities or giving investment advice, as well as the products being offered.

DFI’s Securities Division identified

real estate investment schemes, promissory notes, private placement offerings, natural resources investments and Ponzi schemes as the greatest potential threats to investors this year. Details on all 10 traps can be found online at http://www.dfi.wa.gov/consumers/topscams.htm. For more information, contact the Securities Division at 877-RINGDFI or visit our Web site at www.dfi.wa.gov/sd.

      1. Ponzi Schemes. Despite the heightened awareness of Ponzi (or pyramid) schemes following Bernard Madoff’s multi-billion dollar fraud and 150-year prison sentence, these scams continue to trap investors. The Ponzi scheme is a house-of-cards swindle in which high returns are paid to initial investors using funds from later investors. The later investors often end up losing all or most of their money to the promoter.
      2. Real Estate Investment Schemes. State securities regulators have noted a marked rise in scams disguised as offers to help homeowners caught facing foreclosure “save” their homes or “fix” their mortgages — usually in exchange for a fee paid in advance. Most of these advance-fee offers only generate a quick profit for the con-artist and provide little or no benefit to the consumer.
      3. Short-term Commercial Promissory Notes. Many seniors have lost their life savings by investing in short-term commercial promissory notes that are nine months or less in duration. The seller of these notes may touted them as being “insured” or “guaranteed,” but the insurance companies generally are located outside of the United States, are not licensed to do business in the United States, and lack the resources necessary to deliver on the promised guarantees.
      4. Private Placement Offerings. Private placements offer businesses the opportunity to raise capital by selling securities to a relatively small number of investors as opposed to a public offering made through national securities markets, often under a federal registration exemption (Regulation D, Rule 506). Companies using this exemption can raise an unlimited amount of money without registering the offering with the SEC. Although properly used by many legitimate issuers, the exemption has become an attractive option for con artists, as well as individuals barred from the securities industry and others aiming to steal millions of dollars from investors through false and misleading representations.
      5. Natural Resource Investments. DFI’s Securities Division expects to see a continuing rise in energy and precious metals scams promising quick, high returns. Investors anxious to recover losses quickly likely will be hooked by fraudulent oil and gas “investments” as well as fraudulent offerings of investments tied to natural gas, wind and solar energy, and the development of new energy-efficient technologies.
      6. Gold Bullion and Currency Scams. With the high price of gold, investors should beware of gold bullion scams in which the seller offers to retain “purchased” gold in a “secure vault” and promises to sell the gold for the investor as it gains in value. In many instances the gold does not exist.
      7. Speculative Inventions and New Products. New products are for venture capitalists who know how to assess the risks. They are not good investments for your retirement money even though they may promise high returns.
      8. Life Settlements. State securities regulators long have been concerned about life settlements – commonly known as “viaticals” — and the rising popularity of these products among investors has prompted a recent congressional investigation. While life settlement transactions have helped some people obtain funds needed for medical expenses and other purposes, those benefits may come at a high price for investors, particularly senior citizens.
      9. Entertainment Investments. These unregistered investments, encompassing a variety of products including movies, infomercials, internet gambling and pornography sites, promise high returns while offering little disclosure of risk.
      10. Leveraged Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs). This relatively new product has been offered to individual investors who may not be aware of the risks these funds carry. The funds, which trade throughout the day like a stock, use exotic financial instruments — including options and other derivatives — and promise the potential to provide greater than market returns as the value of the underlying assets rise or fall. Given their volatility, these funds typically are not suitable for most retail investors.

###

About DFI’s Division of Securities www.dfi.wa.gov/sd 360.902.8760 877.RINGDFI (746.4334)
The Division of Securities regulates securities investments, franchises, business opportunities, and off-exchange commodities sold in Washington and the firms and individuals that sell these products or provide investment advice. The Division handles complaints, conducts investigations, and takes appropriate enforcement actions to protect investors and combat fraud.

Does Your Cell Phone Cause Cancer?

The report questions the 13-country "Interphone" study that is still to be released. Stein says the research techniques in that study are flawed and could skew its findings.

While he is not advocating doing away with cell phones, Stein thinks safer technologies can and should be developed. Cell phone companies have long asserted that the radiation isn’t hot enough to cause tissue damage.

Dr. Ronald Herberman with the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute says strong evidence points to a link between cell phones and adverse health effects, including cancer, "particularly in people who’ve been frequent users for more than 10 years. And there is indication that there is more absorption into the brain of the radio frequency radiation in children, as compared to adults."

U.S. Senate hearings on the potential dangers of cell phones are reportedly being planned for next month.

The report is "Cellphones and Brain Tumors, 15 Reasons for Concern: Science, Spin and the Truth Behind Interphone." ("Interphone" is the name of the 13-country study.) It is available at www.radiationresearch.org/pdfs/15reasons.asp.

WSDOT Awards One of the Largest Recovery Act Projects

This week by the numbers (project dollars in millions)

Individual highway projects

State

Local

Total

Notes

Total funds

$340

$152

$492

 

Obligated funds

$242

$130

$372

All funds must be obligated by March 1, 2010

Projects certified

36 (100%)

149 (100%)

185 (100%)

 

Projects obligated

35 (97%)

136 (91%)

171 (92%)

FHWA has obligated some or all funds for the projects

Project delivery to date

Operationally complete

6 (17%)

2 (1%)

8 (4%)

Five state projects were completed this month

Awarded

28 (78%)

118 (79%)

146 (79%)

Eleven projects were awarded this week

Advertised

30 (83%)

136 (91%)

166 (90%)

 

Certified, awaiting advertisment

6 (17%)

13 (7%)

19 (10%)

 

Safety funding buckets ($12)
Note: state only

Rumble
Strips

Cable
median
barrier

Total

Notes

Awarded

6

17

23

 

Advertised 

6

27

33

 

Transit projects

Large
urban

Small
urban

Nonurban/
rural

State total

Percent of total $179 awarded

96%

97%

100%

96%

June
employment

State

Local

Total

Notes

Payroll

$3.1

$2.3

$5.4

Average wage is $38/hour

Hours

82,962

61,346

144,308

More than double the June total of 57,698

FTEs

480

355

834

FTE = 173 hours per month

Employees

1,608

1,805

3,413

Note: Not a count of unique employees

 

Key issues: State

New employment data reported for July – WSDOT and local government reported payroll and hours worked associated with Recovery Act projects more than doubled from June to July as stimulus-funded construction efforts continued to grow. Contractors, subcontractors and governments paid out $5,434,708 for 144,308 hours of work on more than 100 Recovery Act projects in July. The average employee received $38 per hour for work related to the projects.

  • The payroll rose by 148% and hours worked climbed 150% from June to July.
  • The payroll and hours worked had also doubled from May to June.
  • WSDOT reported employment data to Congress and the Federal Highway Administration on August 20. The reports are available at WSDOT’s federal reporting web page. Visit the measured employment web page for more information.

I-405 Recovery Act project awarded under budget – WSDOT awarded a $19.3 million contract to build an auxiliary lane on I-405 in Bothell. The project was awarded 36% below the anticipated amount of $30 million. Crews will build the northbound lane between NE 195th Street and SR 527, where afternoon commuters face severe backups daily.

WSDOT submitted an application for nearly $435 million in high speed passenger rail funds – On August 24, Washington submitted an application requesting $435 million of the $8 billion in Recovery Act funds available for high speed passenger rail projects nationwide. This is the first of two application tracks for Recovery Act grants. The second grant application is due on October 2. Track 1 applications are for projects that can be completed within two years of federal funding obligation. Track 2 applications are for corridor projects that can be completed by 2017.

  • WSDOT is proposing 20 projects totaling $435 million in Track 1. The projects identified will reduce congestion and travel times, increase rail capacity and travel speeds, eliminate bottlenecks, and improve stations.
  • The Federal Rail Administration is expected to select projects in September.
  • WSDOT will apply in October for Track 2 funding for additional projects that will provide substantial upgrades to existing services.
  • States had registered to request $103 billion nationwide under a pre-application process, nearly 13 times the $8 billion available.
  • A map of proposed Washington projects is available at the high speed passenger rail webpage.

Eleven more highway projects awarded
State project

  • I-405/NE 195th St and SR 527 – Auxiliary lane

Local projects

  • Arlington – 188th Street Pedestrian Trail
  • Oroville – 5th Ave/SR 97 to 23rd Ave 
  • Wenatchee – Historic Pipeline/Pedestrian Bridge
  • Ridgefield – Hillhurst Rd Overlay Project
  • Benton City – 7th Street: Ellen Ave to North City Limits
  • Benton County – Kiona to I-82 and Kiona Roads 
  • Richland – First Street Improvements 
  • Wapato – Camas Ave Grind and Overlay Project 
  • Port Townsend – Upper Sims Way Improvement Project – B 
  • Spokane County – 5 mile + Strong Rd. Project 2

Key issues: National

Congress tracking state transportation spending – Chairman James Oberstar and the U.S. House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure continues to collect and publish reports on transportation Recovery Act spending on August 20.

  • Washington submitted its fifth monthly report on project status and employment data to the committee on August 20. WSDOT registered on federal stimulus reporting web site – WSDOT registered to submit federal stimulus accountability reports to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) using a new federal webpage: www.federalreporting.gov. Starting in October, the site will publish reports on the main stimulus website www.recovery.gov.

 

  • States will submit the first quarterly accountability report through the website on October 10.

Recovery Act highway projects under construction nationwide –3,248 stimulus projects costing $9.5 billion are under construction in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and on federal lands, the FHWA reported on its website. The FHWA has obligated  $17.5 billion of $26.8 billion (65%) to 6,626 projects.

Stimulus project of the week

SR 4 improvements enhance driver safety and put people back to work

Drivers traveling SR 4 may be looking down at fresh pavement and sideways at new guardrails, but for local contractor crews in Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties, the highway improvements have led to things looking up – economically, that is.

For several weeks, crews from Lakeside Industries, Inc. of Longview and Pacific Rim Service & Construction Company, Inc. of Portland, Ore. have been hard at work enhancing motorist safety along SR 4 by paving, upgrading guardrails and cable barriers, and retrofitting bridges with improved railings. These safety improvements are part of WSDOT’s SR 4 – Skamokawa to Coal Creek Road – Paving and Guardrail project, which improves nearly 28 miles of roadway on SR 4. Funds from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided by Wahkiakum County have increased the scope of this project and helped contractor crews get working.

For many of the crew members, this project has put them back to work, and they could not be more thankful. Terry Norton with Pacific Rim has been out of work since last October, and says he is “so happy and thankful” to be called back to work. Ben Hwee, the owner of Pacific Rim, echoes Norton’s appreciation. “I’ve been able to call employees back to work that otherwise wouldn’t have had a job to go to,” says Hwee. Matt Smeall is another one of Hwee’s crew members dependent on income from the project, and says that he was “on the verge of bankruptcy this year, and so lucky to be hired on” for the SR 4 project.

Though the construction has caused some delays along the highway, local residents and businesses have expressed enthusiasm about the overall project. Businesses in the area have seen an influx in customers, as the project crews dine in local restaurants and lodge at local motels. Lorraine Shroeder, a waitress at Duffy’s Irish Pub in the town of Grays River, gushed that the work is “simply gorgeous” and predicts that once the work is complete, “people will be much happier than before, because it’s a smoother ride and much more enjoyable to drive.”

Important dates

August 31:
Next status report to the Legislature is due
September 15: Deadline for $1.5 billion TIGER discretionary grant applications
September 20: Next congressional accountability report is due
September 30: National Fish Passage Program habitat restoration grant applications are due
October 2: Applications for Track 2 FRA High-Speed Passenger Rail grants are due
October 10: WSDOT submits first new federal OMB quarterly performance report

Websites of interest
WSDOT ARRA website: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/funding/stimulus
Washington recovery website: http://www.recovery.wa.gov/
Federal recovery website: http://www.recovery.gov/
FHWA recovery website: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/economicrecovery/index.htm
Federal Transit Administration recovery website: www.fta.dot.gov/recovery
Federal Rail Administration recovery website: www.fra.dot.gov/us/content/2153
Federal Aviation Administration recovery website: http://www.faa.gov/recovery
OMB recovery website: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/recovery_default/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Highway projects advertised or planned for advertisement soon
   

Lead agency

Project
description

OFM jobs estimate 1

Funding – stimulus dollars

Total
project
budget

Advertisement date

WSDOT2

I-5/Martin Way to 48th St – NB and SB Concrete Pavement

N/A

$10,780,000

$11,335,000

Planned for
advertisement
on August 31

Bothell

North Creek Trail – Section 1, Stage 2 (Schnitzer)

11

$500,000

$1,139,000

Advertised
on August 19

Bothell

North Creek Trail – Section 2, Stage 2 (Canyon Park)

14

$600,000

$1,457,000

Advertised on  August 19

Ilwaco

Beards Hollow Overlook

4

$100,000

$442,040

Advertised on 
August 5

Spokane County2

5 Mile + Strong Rd. Project 2

3

$331,000

$351,000

Advertised on July 31

1 The OFM job estimate is calculated using the Office of Financial Management’s multiplier, which includes direct, indirect, and induced jobs.

These projects are funded with surplus stimulus funds. See www.wsdot.wa.gov/funding/stimulus/projectlist#tier2 for more information.

Data Source: WSDOT Project Control and Reporting and WSDOT Highways and Local Programs.

 

See full project list at – http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Funding/stimulus/ProjectList.htm

 

Sanitation Concerns Prompt Actions by WDFW on the Skokomish River

"We know that the state Department of Health has closed a portion of the Skokomish River delta to shellfish harvesting due to multiple sources of fecal coliform bacteria," Scott said. "We can’t say for sure that human waste is contributing to the problem, but we want to eliminate that possibility by offering more waste-disposal means for anglers."

WDFW is also posting signs in the area asking anglers for their assistance in keeping the area safe and clean, Scott said.  

"We’re telling the public that we need their cooperation to keep the Skokomish River open to fishing," Scott said.

That includes fishing legally in addition to improving sanitation, he said. Since the fishery opened Aug. 1, WDFW enforcement officers have been monitoring the river, where numerous fishing violations have occurred. In a recent emphasis patrol, officers issued 56 citations for violations such as using illegal gear, snagging fish and exceeding catch limits.

"Our intention is to conduct an orderly fishery on the Skokomish," Scott said. "Continued fishing opportunity depends on the behavior of anglers and the choices they make."

The Skokomish River is currently open for recreational salmon fishing seven days a week from the mouth of the river to the Hwy. 101 Bridge.