Archive for March 2012

Flood Watch in Effect for Chehalis at Porter

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for a portion of Western Washington…including Grays Harbor County, through this evening.
Rainfall this morning could be enough to drive the chehalis river at porter above flood stage, this afternoon.

Any Flooding That Does Occur Will Be Minor.

NOAA Prediction

Precautionary/Preparedness Actions…

A Flood Watch Means Conditions Are Favorable For Flooding But Flooding Is Not Imminent Or Occurring. Monitor The Latest Forecasts From The National Weather Service And Be Ready To Act Quickly If Flooding Is Observed Or A Warning Is Issued.

DNR to Close Access to Illegal and Unauthorized Mountain Bike Trails in Northeastern Whatcom County

Beginning Monday, DNR crews will be removing user-built structures and restoring the areas where the unauthorized trails were built. In addition, DNR law enforcement officers will monitor the area and issue citations to anyone observed trying to build illegal trails or structures or attempting to ride these trails.

Thoughtful planning provides sustainable recreation

DNR is committed to providing recreation opportunities that are compatible with its obligation as steward of nearly 3 million acres of state trust lands. The agency is interested in pursuing safe and sustainable trail-based recreation in the county through a thoughtful planning process that involves input from citizens and recreation user groups.

“We welcome the opportunity to partner with the public to get funding and to plan and develop new recreation areas,” Mauren said. “Once developed, these areas will also need adequate funding to maintain and provide enforcement protection.”

In addition, DNR recreation planning relies on the best available science to help determine the most suitable locations for siting trails and facilities. To develop a new recreation site, DNR must also obtain all state and county permits and have adequate resources to maintain trail systems once they are built.

For the past five years, DNR has been developing recreation plans on state lands. Designated mountain bike trails are included in each of these landscapes, including Reiter Foothills Forest in eastern Snohomish County; Yacolt Burn State Forest, in southeast Washington; and Ahtanum State Forest west of Yakima. To date, DNR has developed or is in the process of developing recreation plans on 314,000 acres of state forested trust lands.

Other mountain bike options

Nearby mountain biking opportunities on DNR-managed lands include Blanchard Forest, which has some designated mountain biking trails and Walker Valley ORV Trail System, east of Mount Vernon.

Many of the ski resorts in the area, such as Stevens Pass and Whistler Mountain, offer summer mountain biking opportunities. Duthie Hill Bike Park near Issaquah provides year-round riding.

Recreation on DNR-managed lands
DNR manages 5.6 million acres of state-owned forest, aquatic, agricultural, conservation and urban lands. Most recreation on these lands takes place in the 2.9 million acres of forests that DNR manages as state trust lands. By law, state trust lands are managed to produce income for schools, universities, prisons, state mental hospitals, community colleges, local services in many counties, and the state’s General Fund. State trust lands are also managed to provide fish and wildlife habitat and educational and recreational opportunities.

DNR-managed lands provide 1,100 miles of trails, 143 recreation sites, and a variety of landscapes throughout Washington State. Recreational opportunities include hiking, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, camping, motorized vehicle riding, mountain biking, and boating.

DNR’s main recreation focus is to provide trails, trailhead facilities, and a primitive camping experience in a natural setting.

Bank Of The Pacific Welcomes Residential Real Estate Lender

 In his free time, Kerry enjoys golf and other sports and spending time with his 5 children and 19 grandchildren.

Bank of the Pacific has over $650 million in assets with 17 branch locations, serving Grays Harbor, Pacific, Skagit, Wahkiakum and Whatcom counties in Washington and Clatsop County in northwest Oregon. The Bank offers retail services, commercial banking and residential mortgage origination in all these markets. Bank of the Pacific is a member of FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender. More information on the bank is available at their website

Mason County Assault Victim Dies

When the victim arrived at the public fishing access, he exited his car with cash in hand.  He went over to the Baze vehicle to conduct the transaction.  As the victim talked to Baze, Churchill exited an outdoor toilet and approached the victim from behind.  Churchill is alleged to have struck the victim in the head at least twice with a metal baseball bat, critically injuring him and knocking him to the ground.  Churchill retrieved the $45.00 in cash from the victim then Churchill and Baze left the scene.


Investigators say the victim was able to make his way to his vehicle and drive himself across the street to the Bayshore Grocery where he was discovered by passers-by who called law enforcement. 

Investigators located Baze and Churchill at a residence in Lake Limerick where they were arrested.   Both Churchill and Baze have made a court appearance.

Community Hospital Announces Restructure

 “To continue providing healthcare in our community, we must face this transition head on and adjust our operations,” said CEO Tom Jensen. “The team at Grays Harbor Community Hospital has made significant steps to become a more efficient organization.  Everyone is tightening their belts, but we have to do more. The next step is a system-wide restructure that will involve a difficult but necessary workforce reduction.”

As part of this plan, Grays Harbor Community Hospital board members and administrators are carefully evaluating approximately 6 percent of its workforce, which will impact nearly 50-60 people. There has also been a 10% salary cut for all administrators, managers, and salaried staff—a total of 63 team members. This restructure affects union and nonunion jobs.  “These cuts will not affect patient care.  We will continue to provide our customers with the highest quality care and service right here in Grays Harbor,” according to Sharon Schermer, chairman of the GHCH Board of Directors.

Hospital directors will be working with impacted individuals and departments to make certain they are treated fairly, respectfully, and according to GHCH policies and procedures. In those areas with union employees, GHCH will follow all applicable contract language and will work collaboratively with the union.

 “As the largest nonprofit healthcare provider in Coastal Washington, the community depends on us.  Despite how difficult the past year has been, we are committed to providing quality care for all people, regardless of ability to pay” said Tom Jensen. “This is not an easy decision for our organization, but in this extremely challenging environment it is necessary to ensure Grays Harbor Community Hospital is able to provide quality care in our community for generations to come.”

Aberdeen Police Investigating Coffee Stand Burglaries

ABERDEEN, Wash. – Police are investigating a rash of burglaries at area coffee stands that appear to be escalating. Police Captain John Green tells us A window was broken at Harbor Coffee on Oak street twice, on March 7th and the 23rd. Surveillance video picked up two running from Coffeeman on Heron street after an alarm was activated early Tuesday morning. Then Wednesday morning Green says it appears power was disrupted from Spill The Beans espresso stand on Wishkah before a window was broken and an undisclosed amount of money stolen.

Anyone with information is asked to call the APD Tipline at (360)538-4450

Ocean Shores Chamber Selects Executive Director

Wright is also a past president of the Puget Sound Association of Professional Mortgage Women, a non-profit organization created in 1964 to develop business, personal, and leadership qualities and to advance women in mortgage-related professions.


“The primary goal of the chamber is to promote and support the business community.” states Wright. “We have a stable and viable chamber that can be strengthened by building on the programs currently in place and further enhanced by embracing and developing new ideas. I am looking forward to talking to everyone and hearing their perspective on what their chamber can and should be.”

Thank You From Ocean Shores

OCEAN SHORES, Wash. – Wrapping up one of their last events as Co-Executive Directors of the Ocean Shores North Beach Chamber of Commerce, Mark and Holly Plackett said

Holly and I would like to thank “EVERYONE” involved in making the Sixth Annual Razor Clam Festival the best it could be this year. We had a great Festival Committee lead by Dianne Hansen (The Dusty Trunk); our Sponsors are critical to putting on a successful festival and you can see all of them at (please visit them!); our Volunteers both before, during and after the event we really special; Dennis Irby and the Grays Harbor Expo team managed the move-in, day-of-the-show, and move out professionally and with a great sense of customer service for all; the Ocean Shores Convention Center crew that set-up the show floor and maintained the environment for all of us; all the chowder, entrée and Clam Shovel/Gun contestants; all the vendors inside the halls and outside in the parking lots;and all of the people attending the Festival this year. It was fabulous. Thank you.

The winners!

Clam guns: 1st place Nicolette Shanklin; 2nd place John L Scott Real Estate; 3rd place Greg Morris

Amateur Chowder: 1st place Bill Ostlund, Wilkeson,WA; 2nd place Danny Warren, Gig Harbor, WA; Thara Eang, Ocean Shores, WA

Professional Clam Entree: 1st place Emily’s Restaurant (Chef Dan); Mike’s Seafood(Chef Collin); Collin’s Inn (Chef Brian)

Professional Chowder Cook-Off: 1st place Ocean Crest Resort; 2nd place North Shore Grill; 3rd place Bennett’s Fish Shack

People’s Choice for Best Clam Chowder: 1st place Our Place; 2nd place North Beach Grill; 3rd place Home Port (Chosen by the festival participants that bought “Passports” and voted by sampling each of the 12 restaurants.)

Everyone can see pictures at:!/photo.php?fbid=247379581997243&set=a.121915767876959.18144.116372678431268&type=1&theater and Darla Stensgard Skrei on facebook, and

The couple said “Yes, we are all beginning the process of getting ready for next year’s festival. If you are interested, call Dianne Hansen at 289-9931 or email [email protected].”

The Ocean Shores/North Beach Chamber of Commerce has announced that Patricia Wright has accepted the position of Executive Director starting April 1, 2012. Patricia Wright is currently the owner/operator of A Plus For Us, a women’s clothing shop, in Ocean Shores and has lived in Ocean Shores for 4 years. 

Lady Washington Added to Heritage Project

Northwest Maritime Heritage provides multiple ways for visitors to find and engage with area places, attractions, vessels and organizations that provide the foundation of the Northwest’s maritime heritage and culture. The site features a powerful search tool, maps showing the location of heritage sites, and easy-to-browse categories of maritime attractions, organizations and vessels. Northwest Maritime Heritage is hosted by Three Sheets Northwest, the region’s only website providing daily boating news, views on maritime issues, and opportunities to meet other Northwest boaters online. Data in the site was originally collected by King County’s cultural services agency, 4Culture.

Northwest Maritime Heritage is found at

FEMA Talks Mitigation in Seattle

SEATTLE, Wash. – Representatives from Federal and State Mitigation departments in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington are meeting this week in downtown Seattle to compare notes and hear new ideas about Hazard Mitigation.

Hazard Mitigation is one way communities prepare for disasters, by taking measures to reduce the loss of life and property if a disaster happens. Such measures include precautions like raising buildings above the base flood elevation, retrofitting structures to enable them to better withstand earthquakes, and removing often-flooded homes from the floodplain and returning the area to open green space.

This is a great opportunity to share experience and ideas, State, local and federal mitigation specialists can learn a lot from each other about ways to create robust, adaptable systems to protect lives and resources during all kinds of disasters. – Mark Carey, Mitigation Division Director for FEMA Region 10

Mitigation experts from FEMA Region 10 and from each of the states involved are making presentations on such topics as monitoring grants, maximizing budgets and understanding National flood Insurance mapping.

The symposium is focused on Community Resilience-the ability of a community to readily recover from adversity. Communities can be resilient by identifying hazards and assessing the community’s vulnerabilities. Then they can increase their ability to recover more rapidly by reducing those things that will create harmful consequences in a disaster.