Archive for September 2009

Grays Harbor County EMS Announces Daily Upgrades

   In the event of a hazardous Tsunami heading to Western Washington, all residents would had been alerted thru the AHAB Warning Siren System (only to be heard by people outdoors), the All Hazards Weather Radios and local television and radio stations to “MOVE TO HIGHER GROUND”. It is suggested that you DO NOT drive to a safe haven due to the fact that you may encounter traffic jams and be unable to escape a fast approaching Tsunami. Residents of Samoa, only has 25 minutes from the time of the earthquake until the Tsunami devastated the area. Secondary Tsunami waves are common. You should stay in higher ground until you are given further instructions by officials.
   September is Disaster Preparedness Month. The Grays Harbor County Department of Emergency Management stresses the fact that it is imperative that all County residents get an All Hazards Weather Radio to inform them of potential hazardous situations in the area. It is also suggested that all residents become more pro-active in preparing for any situation that may occur in our County during the year. It is suggested that you keep enough supplies for 72 hours at your disposal. These include non- perishable food items, blankets, flashlights, water and generators. Also, remember to keep enough food and water for your pets on hand. The other pertinent information you will need, is to locate one shelter where you could go to in the event you must evacuate your home. The County is preparing a list of shelters for every area of the County which will be distributed in the local newspapers and be posted on the Grays Harbor County Emergency Management website at
   It is important that you have a contact point with someone in another county, state etc. who could receive calls from everyone in your family to insure that all are safe and accounted for. This contact person should also have copies of all of your important records and medicine prescriptions.

   The Grays Harbor County Department of Emergency Management is upgrading on a daily basis, our capabilities for Tsunami warning, preparedness, disaster mitigation and citizen safety. A new AHAB warning siren has been approved by the County Commissioners and was installed in Moclips this week.

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Groups Challenge Washington Coal Plant’s Permit Renewal

The appeal asks for new controls on carbon dioxide and mercury emissions at the plant, as well as stronger controls for the haze it produces. TransAlta says the company is looking into new pollution control technology, but calls it a distant and expensive option.

In June, some of the same groups that filed the appeal – including the Sierra Club and the National Parks Conservation Association – asked the U.S. government to get involved, too. They said the haze from the plant hampers visibility and affects air quality in several national parks.

Osborn-Klein says the plant has to get a permit every five years; he thinks the time is right for stricter controls.

"Washington is taking important steps toward protecting public health, but it’s just missed the ball on this one. TransAlta is a big facility. It’s the number one source of mercury emissions in the state, a major source of nitrogen oxide emissions in the state, and the number one single source of global warming pollution in the state."

The Southwest Washington Clean Air Agency issued the permit, which must be reviewed by the Washington State Pollution Control Hearings Board. The appeal was filed with the board. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will also review the permit.

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Seasonal flu vaccine is now available

On radio stations across the state, the Department of Health is airing two public service announcements (PSAs) promoting seasonal flu vaccine through October. Both English and Spanish PSAs are airing. They can also be heard on the agency’s H1N1 Resources and Materials Web site (http://www.doh.wa.gov/h1n1/h1n1_resources.htm). Flu immunization rates are very low (about 25 percent) for young children in Washington. Older adults get vaccinated at a higher rate — 71 percent for adults in Washington over age 65. National data show that just 44 percent of physicians and other health care workers get vaccinated, even though the vaccine helps protect them and their patients.

Everyone can benefit from an annual seasonal flu vaccine. For many people, it’s crucial — especially young children, pregnant women, anyone over age 50, and anyone with a chronic condition such as diabetes, heart disease, or asthma. Residents of nursing homes or long-term care facilities should also be vaccinated, as should people living with or caring for a high-risk person. All health care providers should be vaccinated against seasonal flu.

H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine should be available in October and vaccination will be voluntary. Supply may be limited at first, so it will be targeted to high-risk groups, including young children, pregnant women, and health care workers.

“I already got my seasonal flu shot,” says Secretary of Health Mary Selecky. “I encourage everyone else to get theirs, too.”

The Department of Health supplies health care providers with seasonal flu vaccine for children under 19. It’s especially important for children less than age 19 who are high risk or who are household contacts of a high-risk person to be vaccinated. The state vaccine is provided to the patient at no cost; however, health care providers usually charge an office visit or administration fee. Adults should consult with their insurance carriers to check on coverage for seasonal flu vaccine.

People are urged to use their regular health care providers for immunizations. For help finding an immunization clinic, call the Family Healthy Hotline at 1-800-322-2588, or your local health agency (www.doh.wa.gov/LHJMap/LHJMap.htm). Adults can also check the American Lung Association Flu Shot Locator (http://flucliniclocator.org).

The Department of Health Flu News Web site (http://www.doh.wa.gov/FluNews/) provides additional information on seasonal flu vaccine.

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Honey is the Bee’s Knees at The Hoquiam Farmers Market

Honey is simply the purest form of food in existence.  Did you know that it will never spoil?  The honeycombs are put into a spinner to extract the honey, and then it is put into jars.  That’s all.  No additives, no processing- the bees did all the work themselves!  Our honey lives in a warming cupboard, which keeps it at the perfect temperature, ready to pour out in a thick golden stream.  Biscuits & honey, buttered toast & honey, tea & honey, peanut butter & honey, carrots & honey, honey glazed ham- is there anything that isn’t better with honey?
 
Lest you think that the wax honeycomb is a useless by-product of the honey making, no sir!  Our favorite candlemaker, Jenny, takes all of that beautiful unscented beeswax and creates candles which will transform these darkening nights into a sanctuary of peaceful flickering shadows.  I believe it is a scientific fact that no one has ever been known to rush thru a meal when it is accompanied by candlelight.  
 
Clearly, the Hoquiam Farmers Market is on a mission to provide you with healthy alternatives to factory produced foods! If you lived in a city, how often would you even see a cow grazing in a field?  There are several local farmers who raise grass fed, hormone-free beef.  These cattle have the chance to live in a wide open pasture with fresh air, green grass, and plenty of time to think cow thoughts.  They are coming of age very soon, ready for that transition into food for the table.  If you are interested in purchasing a whole, half or quarter you can call Ellen at 360-532-7294 or email her at [email protected]  Tom Dineen also has beef available, [email protected]  Ph.532-7253
 
Speaking of healthy non-toxic food- you have a rare opportunity to view a documentary film this Friday, 7pm at the 7th Street Theatre, titled ‘Food, Inc.’   I’m not saying that this is an easy film to watch- a Disney production it ain’t- but it is an important look at the current American food industry.  The sad truth is that most of our food comes from highly mechanized sources where cleanliness, concern for the animals, safety of workers and consumer health are sadly lacking.  If you are interested, please click here    http://www.foodincmovie.com/  We do have some free tickets available at The Market.  
 
Diedra’s Deli will be closed the rest of this week so that Deidra can take a well-deserved break.  Not that she doesn’t love making her monster sandwiches and salads for all of us grateful, hungry folks- I know that her dedication comes thru in every single bite!  She’ll be back at the deli on Monday, ready to whip up whichever favorite you want.  Refreshed and beaming, with one of the most infectious laughs I’ve ever heard.
 
Barbara Bennett Parsons   538-9747,   1958 Riverside in Hoquiam
open        Wed. & Thu. 9-5;     Fri & Sat. 9-6;    Sunday 10-4
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Timberland Library Warns of Late Fees Beginning Thursday – NO Amnesty

Charges for computer printouts
 
A charge of $.10 per page printed from TRL public access computers will begin January 2010. Staff will need the time to install an online print management system and bill/coin acceptors and update procedures for the system’s 27 libraries. There will be no charge for pages printed from the online library catalog. Again, the charge is consistent with many other public library systems in the state.
 
The action regarding computer printouts was taken to recover the cost of paper and toner and to reduce waste. The estimated 50% reduction in supplies and the number of printers needed, based on the experience of other public libraries will save over $25,000 annually. Annual revenue generated is expected to be at least $40,000.
 
Less staff time will be needed for troubleshooting and repairing printers and refilling toner and paper. Staff will help patrons who need assistance with procedures such as printing just the needed portions of lengthy documents and retrieving their prints. Pages will print when paid for; if the money is not inserted, the print job will cancel automatically after a period of time, so if a document was unintentionally sent to a printer, the patron can simply allow it to time out.
 
2009 budget update
 
A special meeting of the TRL Board was held prior to the regular meeting to discuss an amended 2009 budget. TRL Administrative Services Manager Michael Crose outlined ongoing cost-cutting actions that will result in a balanced 2009 operating budget by the end of the year, without using cash reserves. Reductions in administrative expenses, training, travel and facilities upgrades, along with leaving most vacant positions unfilled and drastically reducing the use of substitutes and extra staff hours will result in the needed $850,000 worth of cuts. The Board and administration will begin work on the 2010 budget in June.
 
For further information, email [email protected] or contact the Timberland Regional Library Administrative Service Center at 943-5001 in the Olympia area, or 1-877-284-6237 from other areas.
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WSDOT Shifting US 101 Traffic To Hoquiam’s New Bridge, Finishing up Project

HOQUIAM, Wash. – This week crews are wrapping up a $5.3 million bridge replacement project on a two-mile stretch of US 101 that began last year.
 
Since June 2008, motorists traveling US 101 between Hoquiam and Humptulips have endured signal-controlled, one-way, alternating traffic on two temporary 15-feet-wide bridges while crews replaced two timber trestles with new single-span concrete bridges. The existing trestles were weather worn and suffering rot damage.
 
If the weather cooperates, beginning tomorrow, Sept. 30, both temporary signals will be removed and traffic shifts from the interim roadway to the new spans. In addition, the 12-foot width restriction WSDOT initiated while traffic was moved to the temporary bridges will be lifted.
 
For the next month, motorists can expect intermittent lane and shoulder closures from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, while crews complete punch list items such as barrier painting, erosion control and roadside planting.
 
For all construction and maintenance updates, please visit: www.wsdot.wa.gov/Regions/Olympic/Construction/.
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Lady Washington to Make Westport Stop Before Departure

Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority, which owns and operates Lady Washington, had initially planned for a major restoration project on the ship after completing its annual Puget Sound tour this month. A change in the restoration planning opened up the opportunity for a fall voyage. The warm welcome by Columbia River port communities last spring encouraged the Seaport to schedule a fall voyage up river rather than south down the Oregon coast.
 
The tall ship Hawaiian Chieftain, which normally accompanies Lady Washington on her voyages, will sail south and offer educational programs to coastal Oregon and California schools. She is currently in Aberdeen. Hawaiian Chieftain is scheduled to visit Westport Oct. 10 before sailing for Oakland, Calif.
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