EPA Issues Burn Ban For Some Indian Reservations in Washington

(Seattle– Dec. 31, 2012) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has called a burn ban on all outdoor burning starting Monday Dec. 31 for several Indian reservations in Washington due to stagnant air conditions as a high pressure system settles in the region. This burn ban will be in place until further notice.
The burn ban will be in effect for the following reservations:

  • Muckleshoot Reservation
  • Nisqually Reservation
  • Puyallup Reservation
  • Stillaguamish Reservation
  • Tulalip Reservation

The burn ban applies to all outdoor and agricultural burning, including camping and recreational fires within reservation boundaries. Ceremonial and traditional fires are exempt from the outdoor burn ban.

EPA also requests that reservation residents reduce all sources of air pollution, including excess driving and idling of vehicles, and the use of woodstoves and fireplaces, unless it is your only source of heat.

Air pollution can have significant health impacts. Cooperation from the community will help people who are at risk during this period. Those most at risk are children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with difficulty breathing and with heart and lung problems. Those at risk should avoid outdoor exercise and minimize exposure to outdoor pollution as much as possible.

Please call 1-800-424-4EPA and ask for the FARR Hotline or visit the Federal Air Rules for Reservations (FARR) website for the current burn status at www.epa.gov/r10earth/FARR.htm.

Bi-Mart Preps New Location in Aberdeen, Plans to Open in 2013

The company’s website says “Bi-Mart is a great fit for our members- being a friendly, comfortable place to shop that’s not too big and not too small. With Bi-Mart’s easy parking and low, every day prices, you don’t need to shop at a store that’s huge, crowded or expensive. And, you don’t need to buy a 6-month’s supply to enjoy the savings.
Bi-Mart locationsWith 73 stores across Oregon, Eastern Washington and Idaho, Bi-Mart employs over 3000 co-owners, they were purchased by their employees in 2004. If you’d like a sneak preview – or to get a jump on membership, the nearest Bi-Mart currently is in Vancounver, Washington.
Bi-Mart logo
Each Bi-Mart is stocked with over 40,000 items, the company says they take a “deep discount” approach to merchandising brand name goods, striving to offer a wide selection of top quality merchandise at low everyday prices.
Each store deals mainly in hard goods in departments such as pharmacy, photo/sound, housewares, sporting goods, automotive, hardware, health & beauty, toys, clothing/shoes, beer/food/wine and more.

State Task Force Continues to Monitor Dock on Olympic National Park Coastline

Allen Pleus, WDFW’s aquatic invasive species coordinator, said this evidence shows that Japanese coastal organisms continue to survive on marine debris, even after 20 months at sea. Pleus said most of the species on the Washington dock were present on a similar dock that came ashore on Agate Beach, Ore. in June, but none of the highly invasive species found on the Oregon structure were present on the Washington dock.

More detailed analysis is ongoing and may require several months, Pleus said.

Pleus praised the efforts of the National Park Service staff in assisting in the collection of samples. “We could not have done this important work without their help and their focus on safety,” he said.

Responders also took samples to test for radioactivity. State Department of Health experts say it’s unlikely that radioactive contamination will be detected.

“Last week’s operation was made possible through the great cooperation and support of many organizations, and that continued coordination will be important as we move forward in addressing this incident and the issue of tsunami debris overall,” said Terry Egan of the Washington Emergency Management Division. “It truly takes a multi-partner approach to address this issue. Each event will be unique and difficult to predict, and it’s important for our federal, tribal, state and local partners to continue working closely together.”

The dock has not been officially confirmed as tsunami debris. Crews inspecting the dock looked for – but did not find – an identifying plaque like the one found on the Misawa dock that washed ashore on Agate Beach, Ore., but they located Japanese writing in one of the holds. Responders shared photos with the Japanese consulate and are waiting for confirmation from the government of Japan on whether the dock is tsunami debris.

Pending further information about the risks associated with the dock, the section of the park between Goodman Creek and Jefferson Cove remains closed to all public entry. Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary regulations prohibit disturbing wildlife by flying below 2,000 feet within one nautical mile of the coast or offshore islands. This includes the area where the dock washed ashore.

Olympic National Park protects more than 70 miles of wild Pacific coast. Much of this coastline, including the dock’s location, was designated by Congress as Wilderness in 1988. Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary protects the 3,188 square miles of the marine environment seaward of the national park.

The coastal section of Olympic National Park and Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary protect one of the richest and biologically diverse intertidal zones on the west coast of North America. Invasive species present a significant risk to the rich native coastal community.

Marine debris is an ongoing problem with everyday impacts, especially around the Pacific, and natural disasters can make the problem worse. Anyone who encounters potentially hazardous debris should not touch or attempt to move it. Instead people should immediately call the state’s 1-855-WACOAST (1-855-922-6278) number and press “1” to reach an operator who can dispatch responders.

Anyone sighting significant debris that may be from the tsunami is also asked to report it to DisasterDebris@noaa.gov.

As of Dec. 27, NOAA has received approximately 1,450 official debris reports, of which 17 have been confirmed as definite tsunami debris. For the latest information on tsunami debris please visit http://marinedebris.noaa.gov/tsunamidebris and http://marinedebris.wa.gov.

Mason County Boil Water Advisory Lifted

OLYMPIA – Most of the 700 Mason County homes and businesses that lost water service after weather-related power outages along Hood Canal have returned to normal. There’s no longer any need to boil the tap water.

A boil-water advisory issued Wednesday remains in effect for the Rest-A-While recreational vehicle park at Hoodsport. The park lost water pressure after a power outage Dec. 19. Low water pressure can allow contaminants to enter a water system.

The state Department of Health encouraged people in the affected areas to boil their drinking water or use bottled water even after service was restored, until lab tests showed the water was safe to drink. Based on certified lab tests, boil-water advisories are no longer in effect for these water systems:

  • · Union
  • · Union Ridge
  • · Vuecrest
  • · Highland Park
  • · Madrona Beach
  • · Hood Canal A
  • · Hood Canal B
  • · Minerva Terrace
  • · Canal Mutual
  • · Canal Beach Tracts
  • · Mountain View
  • · Cushman Inc.

The Department of Health website (www.doh.wa.gov) is your source for a healthy dose of information. Also, find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Satsop Business Park Comes of Age

The transition provides a good opportunity to review what has been accomplished over the past 13 years. Satsop Business Park was established in August of 1999 on the site of what was an unfinished nuclear power plant that had sat idle since the mid 1980s. 
Having been there since the Park’s inception, Garrow can recall the transformative events that helped Satsop Business Park become what it is today.
• $3 million worth of new roads, utilities, landscaping and signage to and through the Park were built. This changed the look and feel at the site from an abandoned construction project to the look and feel of a true business park.
• Aggressive renovation of existing buildings was undertaken to provide immediate homes to businesses seeking to locate at the Park.
• $19 million in grant funds and $5.15 million in low-interest loan funds were awarded for Park improvements, including construction of new 
buildings, installation of telecom, water and sewer infrastructure, and conversion of former nuclear facilities to usable structures.
• The Park’s first Comprehensive Master Plan was adopted, including its own zoning designation, development guidelines, and a roadmap for the future, providing certainty for future developers.
• A landmark agreement was signed with the Washington State Department of Wildlife to return 1,200 acres of “mitigation” land back to the Park to be managed for the benefit of the community. Those lands now generate sustainable income from the forests, provide an ideal environment for training and education, and provide improved wildlife habitat, recreational uses and public access.
• An innovative new forest management program was developed with Grays Harbor College, which has since received the Pacific Northwest Champion Award from the US Forest Stewardship Council. 
• A wide variety of workforce training programs have been established that play a key role in the Park’s ongoing business operations. The Park helped to secure a $5 million U.S. Dept. of Labor grant for the Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council (now located at the Park), which resulted in the creation of the Regional Education and Training Center at Satsop. The Park hosts the annual Try-a-Trade Day, sponsored by the Washington State Labor council, the annual PNW Energy Summit, a year-round Laborers Training Trust pre-apprenticeship program, and dozens of battalions from Joint Base Lewis-McChord who train at the Park for a variety of national security needs. Completion of a new Tunnel Training prop, in partnership with the Seattle Fire Dept. and the NW Laborers, is attracting groups from around the country for specialized training.
Through it all, the Satsop Business Park has operated in the black every year for the past 11 years, built two solid years’ worth of operating capital reserves and has no debt. 
“We have acquired additional land for development and built infrastructure to accommodate new growth well into the 21st Century. We close our chapter of Grays Harbor history with our heads held high, our coffers full, and our assets carefully managed and groomed for future growth,” said Garrow. 
“It has been a privilege to play a lead role in our transformation from abandoned nuclear plant to world-class business park, and I thank each and every person who has shared the journey with me,” she said.
“With our consolidation with the Port of Grays Harbor, we leave the Park in good hands, thanks to the vision and courage of our Board, the dedication of our staff, and the solid partnerships we have developed over the past decade. For the Satsop Business Park, the future is bright indeed.”

Satsop Business Park is a 1,850-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 1,350 acres of sustainable managed forestland. 

The Park’s mission is to create new jobs and investment for the region. More information on Satsop Business Park can be found at www.Satsop.com

State Budget a Likely Topic at Legislative Sendoff Luncheon January 8th

ABERDEEN, Wash. – Business leaders throughout Grays Harbor will be at the annual Legislative Send-Off luncheon next month. The Greater Grays Harbor Inc. event is a chance to talk one-on-one with state legislators before they go to Olympia.
With a court mandated investment in K-12 education, estimates are that lawmakers need to find as much as $2.5 billion during this session. State Representative Brian Blake said on Friday, they don’t have much to cut “this is going to be probably a more challenging budget to write. The low hanging fruit has been picked, and picked and picked, and it’s going to be some tough decisions.”
The 2013 Regular session is scheduled to begin on January 14, 2013 and end on April 28th. The annual sendoff prior to session has been one of Greater Grays Harbor’s most popular events, and this year will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8, at the Rotary Log Pavilion in Aberdeen.

Central Park Residents on Precautionary Boil Water Advisory

Central Park, WA – Grays Harbor Water District #2 (AKA Central Park Water) is on a precautionary Boil Water Advisory due to loss of pressure resulting from a main break. Initial reports from the State Department of Health indicate the area affected is limited to a portion of Central Park Drive near Linkshire Dr., and Linkshire Drive itself. County Environmental Health Director Jeff Nelson said “We are attempting to get a better sense of the boundaries, once established we will notify any affected food service establishments to limit operations until the advisory is lifted.

Nelson said “This advisory is PRECAUTIONARY – in other words, contaminants have NOT been detected. Loss of pressure simply makes the system vulnerable. This system operator is notifying affected customers.

End of The Year Razor Clam Dig Approved

The following beaches will be open for digging on the following schedule and evening low tides:

  • · Dec. 28, Friday, 6:42 p.m., -0.3 ft., Twin Harbors
  • · Dec. 29, Saturday, 7:15 p.m., -0.3 ft., Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks
  • · Dec. 30, Sunday, 7:47 p.m., -0.2 ft., Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks, Copalis,
  • · Dec. 31, Monday, 8:20 p.m., 0.0 ft., Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks, Copalis

Ayres noted that the best digging occurs one to two hours prior to low tide.

Clam diggers are limited to 15 razor clams per day, and are required to keep the first 15 clams they dig. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.

All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2012-13 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 https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov and from license vendors around the state.

Razor clam digs tentatively scheduled through February 2013 are:

  • · Jan. 8, Tuesday, 3:44 p.m., -0.2 ft., Twin Harbors
  • · Jan. 9, Wednesday, 4:38 p.m., -0.9 ft., Twin Harbors
  • · Jan. 10, Thursday, 5:27 p.m., -1.3 ft., Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis,
  • · Jan. 11, Friday, 6:14 p.m., -1.6 ft., Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis, Mocrocks
  • · Jan. 12, Saturday, 6:58 p.m., -1.5 ft., Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis, Mocrocks
  • · Jan. 13, Sunday, 7:41 p.m., -1.2 ft., Twin Harbors
  • · Jan. 14, Tuesday, 8:22 p.m., -0.6 ft., Twin Harbors
  • · Jan. 25, Friday, 5:44 p.m., +0.0 ft., Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • · Jan. 26, Saturday, 6:18 p.m., -0.2 ft., Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
  • · Jan. 27, Sunday, 6:50 p.m., -0.2 ft., Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • · Feb. 7, Thursday, 4:22 p.m., -0.5 ft., Twin Harbors
  • · Feb. 8, Friday, 5:11 p.m., -0.9 ft., Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis, Mocrocks
  • · Feb. 9, Saturday, 5:56 p.m., -1.0 ft., Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis, Mocrocks
  • · Feb. 10, Sunday, 6:37 p.m., -0.9 ft., Twin Harbors, Long Beach
  • · Feb. 11, Monday, 7:17 p.m., -0.5 ft., Twin Harbors
  • · Feb. 12, Tuesday, 7:54 p.m., 0.0 ft., Twin Harbors
  • · Feb. 23, Saturday, 5:12 p.m., +0.3 ft., Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • · Feb. 24, Sunday, 5:47 p.m., +0.1 ft., Long Beach, Twin Harbors 

Beaches in Washington with razor clam fisheries include:

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, Seabrook, 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.