Archive for October 2010

Second Razor Clam Dig Of The Season Aprroved

All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2010-11 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW’s website at   and from license vendors around the state.

Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager, said diggers heading to Copalis and Mocrocks should be aware of a traffic revision on eastbound U.S. Highway 101 in Hoquiam due to emergency work on the Simpson Avenue Bridge.

“This is the only route to those beaches, so people should allow extra travel time to make sure they arrive on time,” Ayres said. He advises diggers to check the Washington Department of Transportation website for updated information at .

Olympic National Park Superintendent Karen Gustin also recommends that diggers take safety precautions during night digs, especially at Kalaloch. 

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

Opening dates and evening low tides for the upcoming dig are:

  • Nov. 5, Fri. – 6:41 p.m., (-1.4 ft.), Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch 
  • Nov. 6, Sat. – 7:26 p.m., (-1.6 ft.), Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch 
  • Nov. 7, Sun. – 7:11 p.m., (-1.5 ft.), Twin Harbors (daylight savings time ends)
  • Nov. 8, Mon. – 7:55 p.m., (-1.2 ft.), Twin Harbors 

Areas opening for digging those days are defined as follows:

  • 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. 

WDFW has tentatively scheduled another razor-clam dig at Long Beach and Twin Harbors later in November, pending the results of another round of marine toxin tests.
Tentative opening dates and evening low tides for that dig are:

  • Nov. 20, Sat. – 5:39 p.m., (-0.4 ft.), Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Nov. 21, Sun. – 6:17 p.m., (-0.7 ft.), Long Beach, Twin Harbors 

Large Bust in McCleary Was “Well Over The Limit” For Medicinal Marijuana

MCCLEARY, Wash. – Drug Task Force agents seized 127 plants, and 19 pounds of marijuana from a McCleary home, operating under the guise of a medical marijuana supplier.

At 8 o’clock yesterday morning, DTF agents with the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office served a search warrant on the home outside of McCleary – officers confiscated the plants, processed marijuana, multiple weapons, and a small amount of cash. A 33 year old McClear woman was booked for manufacturing, and distribution of marijuana, a 36 year old McCleary man was also booked for manufactuting of the drug.

Grays Harbor County Sheriffs Detective Dave Pimentel tells us the couple had two children living in the home who were not at home at the time of the raid, Pimentel said the state law they were using to grow the plants allows for 15 cannabis plants provided the patient has “valid documentation” from a physician.

Hoquiam Father Arrested for Child Assault

HOQUIAM, Wash. – The Hoquiam Police Department reports an investigation into the injury of a 5 week old baby has led to the arrest of a 24 year old Hoquiam man. Deputy Chief Jim Maloney tells us Yesterday morning detectives were called to Community Hospital to meet with Child Protective Services regarding the possible assault. The 20 year old mother of the child had taken her to the hospital because she had noticed the bruising. The woman reported to investigators that she had seen the child’s father pick up the newborn by the back of her neck.

The child was later trasferred to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital with bruising to an elbow, hip, the abdomen and neck, as well as a cut lip.

The father admitted to officers that had picked up the child in the manner described, and was taken into custody for Assault of a Child in the third degree. The child was placed in temporary CPS custody pending an exam and further investigation by CPS and the Hoquiam Police Department.

Aberdeen Firefighters Spotted in Pink

ABERDEEN, Wash. – Firefighters have added a new color to their uniform this week, in an attempt to raise awareness and support a worthy cause. It’s voluntary, but all members of the department are wearing pink shirts instead of their usual navy ones beginning today through Thursday.

The t-shirts were purchased by the Aberdeen Firefighters local 2639.


The Washington State Council of Firefighters encouraged its members to coordinate and gain permission from administration to support this cause. The administration at Aberdeen Fire offered full support, for this week.  


This is the first year of the campaign, and the Foundation hopes to make it an annual event. Cancer has affected many in the fire service both professionally and personally. Many studies have shown that firefighters are more likely to develop testicular cancer and have a significantly higher rate of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and prostate cancer than people in other professions. 

Fish and Wildlife Director to Hold Public Roundtable in Aberdeen

ABERDEEN, Wash. – Coastal Washington residents can discuss fish and wildlife issues with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Director Phil Anderson and regional WDFW staff in a roundtable-style meeting Nov. 15 in Aberdeen.

The meeting is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Grays Harbor Community College Hub, 1620 Edward P. Smith Drive, in Aberdeen.

Anderson and WDFW staff conducted a similar roundtable in north-central Washington in September, and more will be offered in other areas of the state in coming months.

“I enjoy visiting communities and talking with community members to get their perspectives about fish and wildlife issues,” said Anderson.

The roundtable in Aberdeen will include discussion of WDFW budget challenges and resource-management issues.

WDFW staff will answer questions and take comments on fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing, habitat protection, enforcement and other fish- and wildlife-related issues.

“This is a good opportunity for area residents to get to know WDFW administrators and local staff and to share their views on fish and wildlife issues,” said Michele Culver, WDFW’s director for the Olympic Peninsula and south Puget Sound region.

Grays Harbor PUD Crews Spot Housefire, Act

The PUD line crew was returning to the utility shortly before midnight when they spotted flames roaring out of the attic vents of a home on Sumner Avenue in Aberdeen. “We immediately reported the fire and started pounding on the front door of the house,” said Line Foreman, Dale Benner. “A man answered and it appeared that we woke him up,” said Benner. “We could see kids sleeping in the front room…it was smoky inside.” The crew of seven worked together to evacuate all the residents. “No one hesitated,” said Benner. “We were going in and out of the house and doing head counts. We wanted to make sure everyone was out.”


The Aberdeen Fire Department reports the PUD line crew was in the right place at the right time. “The timing was incredible,” said Tom Hubbard, Aberdeen Fire Department Battalion Chief. “They got in when the fire was in the early stages and they were very instrumental is saving lives.”


The PUD line crew included Line Foreman Dale Benner, Journeyman Lineman Justin Mills, Journeyman Lineman Steve Tobin, Line Equipment Operator Natheon Camus, Head Groundman Steve Button, Flagger Toni Fairchild and Flagger Rachel Fredrickson


Benner said it was a team effort in an adrenaline-filled moment. “Everybody pulled together. We were just glad we were there to help.” 

AHAB Siren Testing This Coming Monday

Montesano, WA – The Grays Harbor County Emergency Management Division will conduct the monthly AHAB (All Hazard Alert Broadcast) Activation test on Monday, November 01, 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 concerns or comments regarding the test, please contact Grays Harbor County Emergency Management at 360-249-3911 or [email protected].

Army Corps of Engineers Completes Repairs in Westport

WESTPORT, Wash. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed emergency repairs to the rock revetment at Westport, Wash., at about 10 p.m. Oct. 23, placing rock along about 150 linear feet of the revetment in the vicinity of Westport Seafood, where a section of revetment was at risk of failing.


The Corps repaired the revetment by placing approximately 1,118 tons of 2-6-ton rocks, working primarily during low tide periods.

Construction was completed before the storm moved in this weekend, and monitoring continues to ensure no other weak spots develop.


The Corps of Engineers also provided sandbags to local communities over the weekend, including 6,000 sandbags to the Quinault Tribe and 2,500 to the City of Westport. 


The Corps of Engineers maintains the rock structures at Westport as part of its ongoing mission to maintain and protect the federal navigation project at the Westhaven Cove Marina, including the entrance channel and the marina basin.  The Corps has maintained and improved navigation in Grays Harbor for more than 100 years.

Biomass Facility Protested in Olympia

The biomass facility at Evergreen would supposedly only source slash (leftover scrap wood) from Forest Stewardship Council-certified small-scale woodlots. But Washington House Bill 2481 allows the Department of Natural Resources to create provisions in a biomass supply contract that are periodically adjusted for market conditions if the supplier invests over $50 million in the project. In other words, DNR can change the agreement to allow clearcuts if they are more economically feasible. This provides Evergreen with a back-door strategy to get the cheapest wood possible, no matter the environmental cost.

The timber industry loves biomass because it could breathe new life into a failing market. With the housing slump limiting the options for selling wood, Big Timber sees biomass as the innovation that’s going to save their bank accounts.

Olympia Rising Tide opposes biomass in solidarity with residents of Shelton, Port Townsend, Port Angelos, Forks, Aberdeen, Hoquiam, and Tacoma, who are also facing potential biomass facilities. We say no to biomass in Washington and no to biomass anywhere!

“Cutting down and burning our forests is not a solution to climate change,” says Jo Lillian of Olympia Rising Tide. “Biomass is a greenwashed false solution that distracts from the real work that needs to occur to stop climate change and curb energy consumption, namely ending war and dismantling capitalism. Natural gas isn’t a viable heating fuel either, but replacing one form of pollution and eco-destruction with another isn’t progress.”

FEDS Seize Cheese from Montesano Creamery Over Listeria Concerns

            In August, the FDA inspected the farm, collecting a new set of samples.  The samples revealed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in the production space and aging rooms.  Further, Estrella’s owners revealed that their own tests between March and May 2010, showed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in certain cheese products.  On August 16, 2010, an FDA sample of  “Caldwell Crik Chevrette,” that was ready to be shipped to customers, tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes.  FDA testing revealed the Listeria monocytogenes pathogen found in August was indistinguishable from the pathogen found in March, indicating Estrella had not remedied the insanitary conditions found by the WADA in February and March 2010.


            On September 3, 2010, the FDA asked Estrella to recall all cheese products.  The company refused.  The FDA issued a warning to consumers regarding the potential presence of Listeria monocytogenes in Estrella cheese on September 4, 2010.


            Under the warrant signed last week, Estrella’s cheese products were seized to prevent the sale and dissemination of adulterated and potentially contaminated food.


            The seizure is a civil action undertaken by the FDA.  Assistant United States Attorneys David East and Kerry Keefe are handling the matter for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.