Archive for August 2010

WSDOT Begins Fieldwork on Pontoon Project at Port of Tacoma

“The Port of Tacoma could provide contractors with an optional location for building floating bridge pontoons,” said SR 520 Program Director Julie Meredith. “We have an aggressive schedule to open a new floating bridge to drivers in 2014. We want to provide maximum flexibility to the contractor who will be responsible for constructing the new floating bridge.”


Earlier this year, WSDOT awarded a $367 million contract to Kiewit-General Joint Venture to build a casting facility and 33 pontoons in Grays Harbor. These 33 pontoons will either be used for emergency replacement of the current four-lane floating bridge or will be stored until needed for a new six-lane bridge. The Grays Harbor facility will not have enough capacity to build all of the pontoons needed for the entire six-lane floating bridge.


In August, WSDOT launched its search for qualified design-build teams to build the new six-lane floating bridge, including production of the remaining 44 pontoons. The floating bridge project is estimated to be valued at $700 million to $900 million and proposals are due next year. As part of the proposal process, WSDOT will make feasible pontoon construction sites available to the contractor teams, including the Grays Harbor and Concrete Technology Corporation sites, as well as other possible sites identified through fieldwork studies.


The state Legislature set the SR 520 program budget at $4.65 billion for improvements from I-5 in Seattle to SR 202 in Redmond. Toll revenue and state and federal funds provide about $2.37 billion for the SR 520 improvements. WSDOT will continue working with the state Legislature to identify additional funding to complete improvements in the corridor.


More information about the SR 520 Program is available at

Community Hospital Responds to Allegations and Court Case

“The investigation concluded that the non-supervisory co-worker had engaged in conduct that violated the Hospital’s anti-harassment policy, and the Hospital promptly took appropriate action to remedy the situation and prevent its recurrence.  The actions taken were consistent with the Hospital’s obligations under its collective bargaining agreement. “


“In no way does Grays Harbor Community Hospital condone, or otherwise allow this type of behavior”, says Michael Fraser, Interim CEO.  “All employees are entitled to work in a physically and emotionally safe environment.”


“The law provides that when a report of harassment is promptly investigated and appropriate action is taken in response to the findings made in the investigation, an organization has not violated the law.  This is exactly what occurred in this case.  The Hospital therefore denies the EEOC’s allegations that it acted unlawfully, and intends to defend itself vigorously in Court. “

Presidential Proclamation: September is National Preparedness Month



During National Preparedness Month, we stress the importance of strengthening the security and resiliency of our Nation through systematic preparation for the full range of hazards threatening the United States in the 21st century, including natural disasters, cyber attacks, pandemic disease, and acts of terrorism. This year marks the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, one of the most tragic and destructive disasters in American history. In remembrance of this national tragedy, we must reaffirm our commitment to readiness and the necessity of preparedness.

By empowering Americans with information about the risks we face, we can all take concrete actions to protect ourselves, our families, our communities, and our country. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Ready Campaign provides simple and practical steps every American can take to be better prepared. At the community level, Citizen Corps enables volunteers to contribute to homeland security efforts by educating, training, and coordinating local activities that help make us safer, better prepared, and more responsive during emergencies. I encourage all Americans to visit and for more information and resources on emergency preparedness, including how to prepare a family emergency plan, create an emergency supply kit, and get involved in community preparedness efforts.

My Administration has made emergency and disaster preparedness a top priority, and is dedicated to a comprehensive approach that relies upon the responsiveness and cooperation of government at all levels, the private and nonprofit sectors, and individual citizens. I also encourage Americans to get involved with the thousands of organizations in the National Preparedness Month Coalition, which will share preparedness information and hold preparedness events and activities across the United States. By strengthening citizen preparedness now, we can be ready when disaster strikes.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 2010 as National Preparedness Month. I encourage all Americans to recognize the importance of preparedness and observe this month by working together to enhance our national security, resilience, and readiness.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-seventh day of August, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.


Chill, It’s Only a Drill September 15th

Washington State – On September 15, 2010 shortly after 10:15 a.m. the All Hazard Alert Broadcast (AHAB) sirens will be tested sounding both the standard test message and the actual warning tone. The AHAB sirens in other outer Washington coastal counties are being activated to conduct a true “end-to-end” test of the entire tsunami warning system.

This test will help familiarize residents with the sound made by the AHAB sirens during an actual tsunami warning. It will differ from the routine monthly testing that occurs on the first Monday of each month since it will broadcast an audible siren wail tone instead of a chime tone; however, the voice message will be exactly the same as the routine test message.

NOAA weather radios set to receive the required monthly test will also activate during this test.

This event is a key element in the Weather Radio Awareness Month campaign in Washington State as well as National Preparedness Month and earthquake and tsunami education efforts.

A Whole Lot Of Tests This Month as September is Disaster Preparedness Month

MONTESANO, Wash. – The Washington State Emergency Management Division will conduct the monthly Statewide AHAB (All Hazard Alert Broadcast) Siren test on Monday, September 06, 2010.

Grays Harbor County AHAB sirens are located in Pacific Beach, Copalis Beach, Ocean City, Ocean Shores, Hoquiam, Aberdeen, Moclips, Westport and Grayland. All Grays Harbor County sirens will be included in the test beginning at noon.

AHAB sirens have a range of about one mile in radius depending on topography and weather. The activation will be Westminster Chimes followed by a test voice message. THE AHAB SIRENS ARE DESIGNED TO PROVIDE NOTIFICATION TO CITIZENS AND VISITORS WHO ARE OUTDOORS ONLY! For information and alerts while in your home or business, residents and businesses located within a tsunami inundation area are encouraged to purchase and maintain a working NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio.

Please DO NOT call 911 regarding this testing. If you have any questions or reports regarding the test, please contact Grays Harbor County Emergency Management at 360-249-3911 or [email protected]

EEOC Aledges Pharmacy Supervisor Continually Harassed Female Techs

Sexual harassment violates Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964. After first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through conciliation, the EEOC filed the lawsuit (EEOC v. Grays Harbor Community Hospital, CV-10-05616) in U.S. District Court for the District of Washington at Seattle, and seeks monetary damages for Toste and a class of similarly situated female employees, training on anti-discrimination laws, posting of notices at the work site and other injunctive relief to prevent future discrimination of this kind.

“Grays Harbor violated the law when it repeatedly failed to take action, despite numerous complaints from its employees concerning the conduct of this supervisor,” said EEOC San Francisco Regional Attorney William R. Tamayo. “Sweeping this kind of problem under a carpet does not make it disappear, and only makes matters worse. The EEOC will continue to aggressively pursue employers who fail to prevent or promptly correct sexual harassment at their workplaces.”

Luis Lucero, director of the EEOC’s Seattle Field Office, which is overseeing the case, added, “All workers have the right to work free from sexual harassment. Just having a written policy about workplace harassment isn’t enough, unless the words are backed up with actions that enforce that policy. Smart employers train their employees on workplace harassment and how to report it, and train their managers on how to respond appropriately with a prompt investigation and effective corrective measures when harassment is found.”

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Additional information about the EEOC is available on its web site at

Conservative Comments with Mike Yarmakovich

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Commentary from the Left with Gary Murrell

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US 101 Simpson Avenue Bridge reopening pushed to November

What happened this week?

WSDOT mobilized barges, cranes and divers to seal up the affected pier so that contaminated sediment can be removed. Sediment removal from within the pier began today. Crews also installed two 80-foot shafts on the east bank of the river near 20th Avenue that will anchor steel cables to the structure.

Current bridge status

Currently the US 101 Simpson Avenue Bridge is closed to vehicular traffic, pedestrians, and bicyclists. The Riverside Bridge has been reconfigured to accommodate a single lane of traffic in each direction.

Bridge engineers are allowing one marine opening per day at high-slack tide. Openings are being carefully monitored and executed using only the west bascule. A calendar (updated through October) of the scheduled openings is available on the website at

Oversize and overweight vehicles are only permitted to cross the Riverside Bridge between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. Information is available on the WSDOT’s motor carrier website at

Looking ahead to next week

Over the weekend and into next week crews will continue removing contaminated sediment from the pier and attach anchor plates to the new shafts and pier in preparation for cable tensioning. Cable tensioning is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 30.

What about businesses?
WSDOT staff and city officials met Thursday this week to check in and make revisions to the traffic control. Since the meeting, ‘local traffic only’ signs have been removed and more signs directing drivers to the downtown business area have been ordered – a number of other adjustments are in the works.

Local companies remain open throughout the closure. WSDOT is committed to helping the community retain business through outreach that announces the “best times to travel” instead of telling motorists to “avoid the area” and providing additional signing to alert drivers of the downtown Hoquiam area.

Know before you go
Traffic increases noticeably between May and October as tourists visit nearby ocean beaches via US 101. Drivers can get ahead of congestion by calling 511 for real time traffic. WSDOT also installed temporary traffic cameras on US 101 to help travelers plan ahead when traveling to the coast. North and southbound views are available at

BMT Takes on New Welders for New Contract

The barge slip is 60 feet wide and 300 feet long and can accommodate barges up to 400 feet. It is designed for full access around the slip and is easily accessible to large cranes and heavy equipment. Accessible by a 30-foot wide, 1,000-ton capacity private haul road, the facility is owned by the Satsop Development Park, managed by BMT-Northwest, and available for use by any business needing Chehalis River access, explained Tami Garrow, CEO of the Park.

“Also, ample warehouse, manufacturing and lay-down space is available at the Park to support businesses needing this type of infrastructure,” she added.

In addition to the recent large tank order, BMT-Northwest just contracted to build 1,500 linear feet of trough embeds and doors – that’s about four football fields long of parts – for renovating one of Boeing Company’s hangars in Everett.

“Besides making tanks, we do all sorts of structural steel work, skid packages and different types of steel fabrication,” Irwin said.

The work for the Boeing hangar should be done sometime in October or November, he said.

“We are thrilled that BMT’s location at the Park is enabling them to land new business – including these larger jobs and unique projects that require the super-sized facilities here at Satsop,” said Garrow.

“Our whole purpose as a community-focused business park is to provide opportunities for our businesses to grow and thrive, creating new jobs and revenue for our region. We are so grateful for BMT’s presence here at Satsop and we are hoping its success will attract others who recognize the Park’s many benefits to business” she said.

Satsop Development Park is a 1,700-acre mixed-use business and technology park located in scenic Grays Harbor County in Southwest Washington just 30 minutes from Olympia and the I-5 corridor. It is home to more than 30 businesses, offers 440 acres of developed, pad-ready land and buildings supported by super-sized infrastructure and surrounded by 1,200 acres of sustainable managed forestland.

The Park is managed by the Grays Harbor Public Development Authority, a public corporation whose mission is to create new jobs and investment for the region. More information on Satsop Development Park can be found at