Archive for December 2011

One More Week For Middle Swanson’s, Talks Continue

ABERDEEN, Wash. – One more week for Swanson’s employees and shoppers of the Simpson Avenue location in Aberdeen. Sources tell us employees will know more on Thursday of next week, but for now – the lights will come on Sunday morning at the “middle” Swanson’s store. Store employees received word more than a month ago that the store’s lease was up on New Years Day, and talks to sign a new lease had failed. With a letter of hope in their following paycheck, union staff continue the shuffle to accommodate a possible closure. The last word from management was that talks were continuing and Swanson continued to negotiate a possible lease agreement that could keep the store open.

Theatre Owner Offers to donate

ABERDEEN, Wash. – Multiple fund raisers have come forward contributing to Tabitha Kowal, the young woman whom we’ve covered previously, diagnosed recently with stage 4 cancer. A local theatre owner has put the donation power in the public’s hands, offering $20,000 if friends of the mother with a 3 month old baby girl can sellout an upcoming show.
John Yonich, owner of the D&R Theatre, tells sources that he will donate $20,000 to her if volunteers can sell out the up-coming “THE MUSIC of ABBA” Concert on Jan.24th 2012. Tickets start at $15. $25. $35. and some at $40. With 1200 tickets total, 800 still need to be sold. For ticket info, visit

Aberdeen Mayor Scraps Insurance Question

ABERDEEN, Wash. – After seeing the costs involved in a city-paid medical plan, Aberdeen Mayor Bill Simpson has told Finance Director Kathryn Skolrood not to bother drafting a resolution for city council review “the only request I had to Eric [Nelson] to look and see if it’s possible to have me take the city insurance. After seeing the figures and so forth, it’s not worth the fight.”
RCW 41.04.180 states that elected officials are eligible for the same medical benefits as other city employees, hearing this, Mayor Simpson asked his staff to investigate earlier this month.
Simpson said he didn’t expect the backlash seen from the inquiry, and after knowing the cost to the city, decided to scrap the idea.

Planned Power Outage Next Week

ABERDEEN, Wash. – Grays Harbor PUD plans to conduct a planned power outage that will impact the Summit Village Apartments (about 47 customers) located at 212 North “F” Street in Elma on Wednesday, January 4, 2012. The outage is planned to begin at 10am and last approximately four hours. The purpose for the outage is to repair an underground wire.  


Customers within the planned outage area are advised to protect sensitive electronic equipment such as computers, televisions, and microwaves by unplugging those items and leaving them disconnected until power is fully restored.  In addition, customers are advised that the length of the outage (4 hours) is an estimate and power could be restored at anytime. Therefore, please take necessary precautions if there are plans to do electrical work or repairs during that period of time. 

Court Sides With County on Marijuana Dispensory Owner’s Allegations

MONTESANO, Wash. – The court has sided with the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Department over allegations that a Sheriff’s Deputy extorted the owner of a medical marijuana dispensary in Elma for sex. Marcus Searls sought $15-million from the county when he alleged that some of the 15 acts took place while the deputy was on duty, Sheriff Mike Wheelan tells us “Just within the last couple of days, that has been dismissed by the courts.”
Wheelan said the court agreed with the sheriff’s office in that the deputy’s actions were of his own accord, and did not take place at the behest of the Sheriff’s office. The deputy, whos name was not released because no charges were filed, has since retired.

Judge Orders Clean Water Act Compliance

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Salmon – and anything else swimming in waterways around Vancouver – could have a better new year after a court decision this week. On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Leighton ruled that Clark County has to comply with federal clean water laws, which means doing more to prevent polluted stormwater runoff into creeks and rivers.
The county has faced off with a neighborhood association and environmental groups for several years over the issue. That battle isn’t over, but the groups’ attorney – Janette Brimmer with Earthjustice – says in the meantime, the judge is ordering Clark County to meet the same stormwater permit requirements as other counties.
“We’re really talking about the county and developers having to comply with the most minimal standards here. It is not something that is onerous or unusual, relative to the rest of the state, the rest of the region – even nationwide.”
The combination of Clark County’s fast growth and proximity to the Columbia River has made water quality a challenge, adds Brimmer.
“Water pollution, and particularly water pollution from stormwater runoff, is a really big problem in Clark County. It’s having a huge impact, for example, on a lot of Columbia River salmon species that spawn and live in those streams in Clark County.”
The county created its own plan for managing stormwater runoff, an alternative that critics have said is weak because it exempts some developments and focuses on cleaning up pollution instead of preventing it. That plan is the subject of a separate court case. – Chris Thomas

State Patrol Says Have a Plan Before You Party This Weekend

The Washington State Patrol is asking motorists to plan ahead for safe travels this New Year’s weekend.

Trooper Troy Briggs tells us, the State Patrol is seeking the public’s help and cooperation in making this weekend safe for all who will be upon our local roadways. “If you plan on drinking, have a plan in place to get home safely, don’t drink and drive. Troopers will be aggressively locating, arresting and removing impaired drivers from the roadways, so please don’t risk it.”


Here a few New Year’s celebration tips if you plan on drinking.

• Utilize a designated sober driver.

• Choose a location to drink where you can stay the night.

• Phone a sober friend or family member.

• Call a taxi.


The State Patrol said their goal is to prevent serious injury and fatality collisions. “We will continue to be proactive in our efforts to keep these tragedies from occurring but we can’t do it alone. If you encounter a dangerous driver please call 911 as soon as it is safe to do so. When you call, be prepared to provide the location and direction of travel, description and license of the vehicle and the driving behavior that brought your attention to the vehicle. Together with your help, we can all have a safe and enjoyable start to 2012.”

Westport Library Turns This Many (5)


Today’s Westport Timberland Library

Before opening in a new building on December 5, 2006, the Westport Timberland Library was the smallest library in the 27-branch Timberland Regional Library District, a diminutive 950 square feet. At 2880 square feet, the library at 101 E Harms Drive is three times the size of the old one.

“The first thing people notice is how bright, open and welcoming the library is. People can navigate the aisles, find things, and linger,” said Kathleen Ringenberg, the Westport Timberland Library manager.

  • Triple the space, from 950 to 2880 square feet
  • A meeting room for library programs and for community groups to meet free of charge
  • · Spacious and well-lit environment with high ceilings and many windows
  • · Three catalog computers, an addition of one station
  • · A self-checkout computer
  • · Nautical design befitting its setting and a spacious, well-lit, comfortable interior
  • Wide aisles for easy navigation
  • Separate adult reading, children’s and teen areas
  • Four Internet/MS Office PCs, twice the number of the old library
  • New shelving with room for all of the library’s materials, including the reference books
  • Better access from the parking lot to the front door and a covered entryway

“Imagination, enthusiasm and sheer determination built this new library,” Ringenberg said in 2006. “The organizing and fundraising work of the Friends of the Library and the Friends’ LEAP (Library Expansion Action Program) Committee was key to getting a beautiful and spacious new library built. And the support of community groups, businesses, individuals and the Timberland library system brought it to completion.”

Westport’s previous libraries

1930s, 40s, and 50s: Westport had bookmobile service from the Grays Harbor County Library System.

1963: Westport’s population had grown to 1,000 and the City of Westport opened a temporary library in a former fire station building in the marina area.

1964: The City opened a permanent library, designed by architect Robert Street, in a portion of the City Hall building. This library served the community for the next 40 years. During those years the population tripled and electronic library technology was developing dramatically. The facility was overcrowded and delivering complete modern library services had become a challenge.

1989: The Friends of the Westport Timberland Library, a non-profit organization, established a building fund to hold memorial gifts, donations and proceeds from book and bake sales, raffles, and craft sales. The purpose was to raise funds to expand the library located in City Hall.

2001: A cross-section of stakeholders—representatives of the Westport Library Board, Friends of the Westport Timberland Library, the City of Westport, Timberland Regional Library (TRL), business people and residents—met to discuss the feasibility of the project. The City approved it and TRL selected the Westport library as one of its capital campaign projects.

April 2002: With about $30,000 in their building fund, the Friends of the Westport Timberland Library formed the LEAP Committee to raise money. As grants and donations began coming in, architectural drawings were developed.

Late in 2003: Victor Druzianich offered property at Harms Drive and Montesano Street to the Friends group. A new stand-alone library building was now a possibility.

December 2005: Construction began.

December 9, 2006: The library was dedicated during a grand opening celebration.

Re-Tree This Weekend

MONTESANO, Wash. – Every year Grays Harbor County partners with local Scout troups to collect Christmas Trees. This event usually begins the weekend after Christmas and continues for the next two weekends after that. The Christmas trees can be dropped off at various locations around the County, or you may contact the Scouts to come and pick the tree up. This is a free community service event, but donations are appreciated. Donations pay for the Boys’ to attend Summer Camp, and participate in other activities.

Trees are used for local erosion control projects, or chipped up and sold for hog fuel.


Christmas Tree Recycling

Washington Grade School Jan 1-2, 2011 – 9am to 4 pm Jan 8-9, 2011 – 9am to 4 pm Jan 15, 2011 – 9am to 4 pm Contact Number: (360)591-9342


Napa Auto Parts Jan 1-2, 2011 – 9am to 4 pm Jan 8-9, 2011 – 9am to 4 pm Contact Number: (360)470-1651

Rain & Windy Conditions to Continue

MONTESANO, Wash. – Windy conditions will continue into Saturday morning. Winds will be 20-25 mph sustained and could gust to 35-45 mph along the coast.

During the next few days, steady rain will continue to fall. Grays Harbor County Emergency Management is reminding all citizens that high wind gusts along with rain saturated grounds are indicators for possible power outages from fallen trees, tree limbs and power lines. DO NOT venture near downed tree limbs or power lines. DO NOT USE PORTABLE GENERATORS INDOORS FOR ANY REASON!! There have been numerous incidents of Carbon Monoxide poisoning in the County in the last few weeks due to the faulty use of portable generators being used indoors.

All rivers in the County will run higher than normal, especially during high tide in the Harbor. No rivers are projected to flood at this time. A few low lying roads remain closed by County Road Crews due to water over the surface.

DO NOT drive over flooded roadways. Turn Around, Don’t Drown!