Top Ten Money-Saving Tips from Washington State Attorney General

1.     Bring ads with you to the store. Match the scanned price to the one that’s been advertised as you stand at the checkout and review your receipt for accuracy before leaving the store. If you find discrepancies, ask for the store’s pricing error policy.
2.     Treat gift cards like cash. Some stores won’t replace a lost or stolen gift card unless you provide proof of purchase. Make a note of the card number and keep it in a safe place. Keep receipts that show the purchase price and prove the card was activated. Register your card: Some retailers encourage gift card recipients to register their card through the store’s Web site, which enables them to check their balance online and receive a new card if they lose or misplace the original card.
3.     Don’t wait on rebates. Many go unclaimed because consumers lose the form, throw away proof of purchase codes or simply miss the deadline. In order to ensure that you receive your rebate, read the offer carefully before you buy; fill out paperwork promptly; enclose all required documentation; and make copies of all paperwork to be mailed, including forms, receipts, and UPC codes. You will need these materials if something goes wrong. If a rebate never arrives or comes late, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, the Attorney General’s Officeand the local Better Business Bureau.
4.     Know the retailer’s return policy before you buy. Know whether a sale is final or if you or the recipient of your gift can obtain a refund, exchange unwanted merchandise or receive store credit for a future purchase. Return policies on sale and clearance items may be different than merchandise sold at full price.
5.     Keep receipts and packaging. When giving a gift, ask for gift receipt and enclose it with the present. Many retailers will only refund the lowest price at which the item was sold unless you can prove you paid more.
6.     Save warranties and service agreements. If you have printed copies of warranties and service agreements, you’ll have an easier time negotiating any refunds or exchanges should you have a problem or decide to return the product. Ask for warranties and service contracts in writing, save receipts from all of your purchases and bring them with you if you need a refund, exchange or repair.
7.     Be timely with returns. Most merchants only accept returns for a certain period of time. If you miss the deadline, you may no longer be able to get a refund or store credit.
8.     Check recall notices before buying children’s products. You can protect yourself by visiting before purchasing children’s products and by signing up to receive federal recall notices at

9.     Check video game ratings. “Much like the movie rating system, video game ratings empower parents to make age and content-appropriate purchases for their kids,” McKenna said. “This Christmas, when your kid makes a list, check it twice for video games – and make sure to review the rating on each game to know which ones are right for your kids.” All game-rating information as well as rating summaries can be found by searching for titles on the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) Web site ( A mobile Web site at enables parents to look up rating summaries  from the store aisle.
10. Do online shopping on secure Web sites. This helps ensure that personal information, such as your name, address and credit card number, is transmitted safely. Secure sites have addresses that begin with “https” and have a small padlock at the bottom of the page. Use a credit card rather than a debit card. If anything goes wrong, your checking account won’t be impacted. And credit card providers can reverse a payment if something goes wrong.

Family, community and WSDOT remember fallen co-worker Neal Richards Saturday

Neal is survived by his parents, three brothers, his wife, two children and three step-children. He was preceded in death by his brother and his sister, who was a road crew flagger killed last year in highway construction work zone.
Neal’s funeral and memorial services, planned for Saturday, Nov. 28, are open to the public.
A procession begins at 11 a.m. from Drennan and Ford Funeral Home, 260 Monroe Road, Port Angeles and travels to the Sequim View Cemetery in Sequim. Graveside services will begin at noon at the Sequim View Cemetery, 1505 Sequim-Dungeness Way, Sequim.
Following the graveside service, a memorial will held at 2 p.m. at the Elks Lodge, 131 E. 1st Street, Port Angeles. A reception will follow.
The family advises that if you choose to send flowers, they may be sent to the Elks Lodge after 8 a.m. on Saturday Nov. 28 so they can be included in the memorial service. Delivery address is 131 E. 1st Street, Port Angeles, WA 98362. The funeral home will not be receiving flowers.

Hoquiam Police Department Honors Senior Volunteers

HOQUIAM, Wash. – The Hoquiam Police Department. recently recognized two senior CRIME WATCH volunteers for each having achieved over 500 hours of service to the community since the start of the program in December 2007.
CRIME WATCH volunteers Ken Powell and Joan Johnson both racked up over 500 hours of service to the department. CRIME WATCH volunteers assist the police department with residential vacation and business security checks; neighborhood speed checks; safety presentations at the schools; the business after-hours emergency registration program; the Map-Your-Neighborhood program; National Night Out; provide traffic control and security at Olympic Stadium, school games and other local events; as well as provide office support to include filing and other such tasks.
The CRIME WATCH volunteers are provided uniforms, training and a vehicle to conduct their duties. All of their time and energy is donated at no cost to the department in service to the citizens of Hoquiam.
Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Meyers said "I am very proud of the efforts of our CRIME WATCH volunteers because they are an important part of our department as we help to keep Hoquiam a safe and strong community. To date, all of the CRIME WATCH volunteers had donated a total of over 3,300 hours of service!"

Razor Clam Digging Approved for First Week of December

The National Park Service approved the two-day dig at Kalaloch Beach, located within Olympic National Park, to coincide with those at the other beaches.

Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager, reminds clam diggers to check weather and surf forecasts before heading out.

Olympic National Park Superintendent Karen Gustin also reinforced taking night dig safety precautions, especially at Kalaloch.

“Kalaloch is considerably more remote than the other clamming beaches, and visitors should be prepared for primitive conditions,” Gustin said. “With no streetlights or lighted buildings in the area, flashlights or lanterns are a necessity.”

Harvesters are allowed to take no more than 15 razor clams and must keep the first 15 they dig, regardless of size or condition. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.

A license is required for anyone age 15 or older. Any 2009 annual shellfish/seaweed license or combination fishing license is still valid. Another option is a razor-clam only license available in annual or three-day only versions. Descriptions of the various options are available on the WDFW website at

Digging days and tides are:

  • Wednesday, Dec. 2 (6:32 p.m. -1.2 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Thursday, Dec. 3 (7:18 p.m. -1.4 ft.) Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
  • Friday, Dec. 4 (8:04 p.m. -1.3 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
  • Saturday, Dec. 5 (8:51 p.m. -0.9 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch

Additional digging days and tides tentatively scheduled are:

  • Thursday, Dec. 31 (6:16 p.m. -1.1 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
  • Friday, Jan. 1 (7:01 p.m. -1.8 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
  • Saturday, Jan. 2 (7:45 p.m. -1.6 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
  • Sunday, Jan. 3 (8:29 p.m. -1.2 ft.) Twin Harbors

Beaches scheduled to open are:

  • Long Beach, which extends from the Columbia River to Leadbetter Point.


  • Twin Harbors Beach, which extends from the mouth of Willapa Bay north to the south jetty at the mouth of Grays Harbor.


  • Copalis Beach, which extends from the Grays Harbor north jetty to the Copalis River, and includes the Copalis, Ocean Shores, Oyhut, Ocean City and Copalis areas.


  • Mocrocks Beach, which extends from the Copalis River to the southern boundary of the Quinault Reservation near the Moclips River, including Iron Springs, Roosevelt Beach, Pacific Beach and Moclips.


  • Kalaloch Beach, which extends from the South Beach Campground to Brown’s Point (just south of Beach Trail 3) in the Olympic National Park.

Pacific County Storm Clean-up Volunteers Available

South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency was notified by Home Depot that they have volunteers ready to assist Pacific County residents with yard debris clean-up.

Please contact Mike Davis or Tamara Roden at (503) 861-9999 x301 or x321 if you need assistance cleaning up yard debris from the storm.

Cantwell Announces $88 Million for Landmark Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Project

Cantwell has led efforts to invest in technologies that will upgrade the nation’s electricity grid. She pushed to include $4.5 billion in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for smart grid investments, funding which is authorized by legislation authored by Senator Cantwell in the 2007 Energy Bill.  Cantwell also called on regional stakeholders to jointly develop a regional smart grid demonstration project at her Smart Grid Conference held in Spokane in February 2009.  Battelle Memorial Institute will match this funding to help create jobs and provide Washington state consumers with a stronger, more reliable grid that will reduce their overall energy costs.
“The nation’s electricity grid is starting to show its age and is straining to meet an ever-increasing demand, but by infusing intelligence into the grid we can make it more reliable, efficient, and save consumers money,” said Cantwell.  “This funding validates our region’s leadership in this promising growth area of clean energy and Washington state will be at the forefront of empowering homeowners and businesses to reduce electricity costs and create high-paying, long-term jobs.”
“The Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project is going to create good jobs in the region and will help us understand what pieces we need to put in place to help our state’s families and businesses reduce their energy usage and costs,” said Senator Patty Murray. “These funds will help Washington state remain at the forefront of the clean-energy economy and will help keep our power grid reliable, modern, and secure.”
The Smart Grid title of the 2007 Energy Bill established a smart grid development  program at the Department of Energy; required the development of an interoperability framework; established a federal matching grant program; created a Smart Grid Advisory Committee to advise the federal government on the deployment of smart grid technologies; initiated a Smart Grid Task Force to coordinate the federal government’s smart grid policies; and encouraged state utility regulatory commissions to allow for rate recovery for smart grid investments. 
Without Cantwell’s smart grid title, funding for the grants announced today would not have been possible.

Hoquiam Farmers Market News – Turkey Day Edition

Have you ever noticed how set in stone most of us are when planning the dishes for Thanksgiving?  The cook may be wanting to try a new recipe, but as soon as it is mentioned, the troops start their whining- they want the dressing just like it’s always been made, the same sauces, and yams even if they just sit there uneaten.   The dish which puzzles me the most?   Green Bean Casserole.   There isn’t any middle ground here.  Either you love it or you hate it.  I’m hesitant to let you know where I stand.  Let’s just say that anything made with canned soup is not welcome on my plate.  How did this get to be a tradition??  I can just see a Pilgrim ancestor  proudly bringing this to the big feast.  The other guests, trying to be discreet, not wishing to offend, but knowing that whatever that was, they couldn’t eat it.  Thanksgiving could not have survived all these centuries, because the non-eaters of green bean casserole would have pretended to have another social engagement the next year.
I’m just saying, use good judgement, know your friends tastes.  Some folks like mincemeat pie, others must have pumpkin.  Maybe you’ve been invited to share Thanksgiving at someone’s home.  Need a hostess gift for the occasion?  Our Sara is a wizard with soaps, lotions, potions, essential oils and such things.  The sort of special indulgence item that we seldom buy for ourselves, but should!  Her handmade bars of soap are the perfect gift, and are on special, 4 very large bars for $30.00.  This way you can share 2 as a hostess gift and keep two for yourself.  
Candles are always a welcome treat, especially when they are pure beeswax- the kind our pilgrim ancestors would have prized most highly.  These burn so clean and last such a long time.  My favorites are the ones shaped like little bee skeps.  Jenny has all sorts, shapes, and sizes.  Most of hers are unscented, which I particularly appreciate.  
When you visit The Market, be sure to make an immediate left turn when you come thru the door.  Stop in front of Fran’s Jewelry booth and allow yourself a few moments to simply stare in wonder!   Fran has created a fantasy wonderland, so enchanting and captivating that it deserves applause.  Once you’ve indulged in gasping over the beauty of things like the lichen-draped tree which softly shelters the other-worldly treasures within, enter the fairy kingdom and give yourself over to the wonderment of her creations.  Fran uses all manner of stones and beads to weave necklaces and earrings that appear to have sprung from Mother Nature’s own jewel box.  
If Friday finds you ready to burst into Christmas mode, our first Christmas trees are being chopped early Friday morning!  
You may want to get a start on your card-writing, and Corinna brought her boxed and single Christmas cards to us this week!  They’re wonderful!!  Corinna has a joyful artistic style that I find irresistible-bright colors, swooping lines- they will bring happiness to each person fortunate enough to receive one!
Remember our special extended open days!  We’ll be home with our families on Thursday ( Nancy may sleep the entire day) and we all wish you the very finest and most loving Thanksgiving. .  If you’re driving somewhere, be extra careful.  You and yours are far to precious to be in too much of a hurry.  The turkey will wait until you safely arrive.

Recipe : White Chocolate Mashed Potatoes

by Chef Jess Owen
Makes 8 servings.

3 pounds yellow-fleshed potatoes, peeled
1 ½ ounces white chocolate, chopped
¾ teaspoon salt
6 dashes hot red pepper sauce, such as Tabasco sauce
1 ½ cups heavy cream

Place the potatoes in a large pot, cover with cool water to a depth of 2 inches, and bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until tender when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes. Drain in a colander set in the sink and return the potatoes to the pan.

Add the white chocolate to the still-hot potatoes; stir until the white chocolate starts to melt. Stir in the salt and hot red pepper sauce. Use an electric mixer at medium-low speed to mash the potatoes slightly. Pour in the heavy cream and continue mixing until creamy, about 1 minute. Serve at once.