Washington Nonprofits provide over 7 percent of the state’s jobs and wages

If the nonprofit sector had its own industrial classification, it would be the fourth largest private sector employer in the state, according to a new report released this week by Washington Nonprofits. Washington Nonprofits (WN), the state association for the nonprofit sector, worked with ESD’s Labor Market and Performance Analysis Division to produce a report describing the direct economic impact of nonprofits in Washington state. This report uses data from the ESD’s 2013 Census of Jobs and Wages, the most recent annual information available.
“Washington’s nonprofits make a strong contribution to our state’s job market,” said ESD Commissioner Dale Peinecke. “We encourage both nonprofit employers and workers seeking jobs in the nonprofit sector to visit a WorkSource location in their community to connect.”

According to the report, nonprofits generated 218,500 jobs in 2013, approximately 7.4 percent of the all wage and salary positions in the state.
The report also revealed that nonprofits paid out more than $11 billion in wages in 2013 in Washington state, equal to 7.1 percent of the total wages paid in the state.
Nonprofits in six counties paid more than 10 percent of total wages in 2013, including:

15.1 percent in Asotin County;
11.1 percent in Clallam County;
12.2 percent in Pacific County;
12.5 percent in Pierce County;
11.3 percent in Stevens County; and
16.5 percent in Walla Walla.

“We are excited about our work with the ESD,” said WN’s Public Policy Director Rick Anderson. “Neither organization had all the data needed to understand the nonprofit sector’s economic impact. We look forward to future collaborations to gain further insights on the role of the nonprofit sector in shaping our state’s economy.

Hoquiam business owner expands to include U-Haul, celebrates 22 years living the American Dream

John Ham came to America more than 22 years ago from Seoul, South Korea with plenty of entrepreneurial ambition and the goal of achieving a successful career.

Ham has made the most of his opportunities as a gas station and convenience store operator for 20 years and continues to grow his businesses, adding U-Haul® products to Sunshine Deli Mart and Gas at 2298 State Road 109 in Hoquiam.

Ham owns two convenience stores, both of which are U-Haul neighborhood dealers.

Continue reading Hoquiam business owner expands to include U-Haul, celebrates 22 years living the American Dream

Cantwell, Heitkamp Lead 20 Other Senators in Call for Crude-by-Rail Safety Investments

U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) today led a letter with 20 other Senators calling on the Senate Appropriations Committee to support robust investment for a Safe Transportation of Energy Products program to address increasing safety concerns related to the transportation of Bakken crude and other energy products.

 

The Senators also called for increased funding for crude-by-rail safety efforts conducted by agencies such as the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Pipeline and Hazardous Materials and Substances Administration (PHMSA), and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

 

“The rail system in the United States has seen a massive increase in crude-by-rail since 2007 driven in large part by remarkable increases in energy development,” the Senators wrote. “In light of several tragic accidents involving crude-by-rail trains – including the most recent derailments and explosions of tanker cars carrying crude oil in West Virginia and Illinois – communities stretching across our country from the Midwest to coastal ports and refineries are rightly concerned about the safe movement of these combustible products.”

 

Cantwell and Heitkamp were joined by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Al Franken (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Mark Warner (D-VA), Jon Tester (D-MT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Chris Coons (D-DE), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Tim Kaine (D-VA).

 

Five years ago, very little crude oil was hauled by the nation’s railroads.  Today, more than 1.1 million barrels per day – with more expected – move by rail, largely originating in the Midwest. There have been four fiery derailments involving oil trains in North America since the start of February.

 

The Safe Transportation of Energy Products Fund is intended to address current and emerging safety issues related to the transportation of combustible energy products like Bakken Crude. It would include providing additional crude oil route safety managers, inspectors and tank car specialists at FRA, special agents at FMCSA to provide additional oversight of energy product transportation, and additional safety equipment, training, and outreach through PHMSA. Along with these personnel and resource additions, the Local Rail Facilities and Safety Program will provide critical infrastructure improvements to facilities handling tank cars, particularly to small stations.

 

Below is the full text of the letter.

 

The Honorable Susan Collins

Chairman

Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies

Senate Committee on Appropriations

184 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

 

The Honorable Jack Reed

Ranking Member

Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies

Senate Committee on Appropriations

125 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

 

Dear Chairman Collins and Ranking Member Reed,

As you begin consideration of the Fiscal Year 2016 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, we urge you to support robust funding for the Safe Transportation of Energy Products Program and related authorities, the multifaceted approach to crude-by-rail safety by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). We strongly support cross-modal coordinating dollars as well as individual account increases within the related agencies to address this critical safety issue. In addition, we ask that you support the Local Rail Facilities and Safety Grant Program to help small railroads and stations make critical infrastructure improvements.

 

As you know, five years ago, our nation’s railroads hauled very little crude oil by rail. Now, railroads transport approximately one-tenth of U.S. crude oil output – approximately 1.1 million barrels per day. The rail system in the United States has seen a massive increase in crude-by-rail since 2007 driven in large part by remarkable increases in energy development from the Bakken Formation in North Dakota and Montana. In light of several tragic accidents involving crude-by-rail trains – including the most recent derailments and explosions of tanker cars carrying crude oil in West Virginia and Illinois – communities stretching across our country from the Midwest to coastal ports and refineries are rightly concerned about the safe movement of these combustible products.

 

The Safe Transportation of Energy Products Program would provide U.S. Department of Transportation the resources to address critical safety issues related to the transportation of Bakken crude and other energy products. This program includes providing additional crude oil route safety managers, inspectors and tank car specialists at FRA, special agents at FMCSA to provide additional oversight of energy product transportation, and additional safety equipment, training, and outreach through PHMSA. Along with these personnel and resource additions, the Local Rail Facilities and Safety Program will provide critical infrastructure improvements to facilities handling tank cars, particularly to small stations. Protecting our communities from the hazard posed by crude-by-rail requires close coordination and investment across U.S. Department of Transportation programs.

 

Thank you for your consideration of this critical program, which will give U.S. Department of Transportation the flexibility and resources it needs to promote public safety, react quickly to emerging issues, and protect communities across our country from future tragedies involving the movement of energy products.

Aberdeen and Washington DOT plan changes to downtown traffic

Eight blocks of the one-way Wishkah Street in downtown Aberdeen will be changing from three to two lanes later this year. Aberdeen Mayor Bill Simpson said in February. “”They’re going to reduce the lanes from Rite Aid to Alder [Street] down to two lanes.”

The city met again with the State Department of Transportation last week to get some timelines. Public Works Director Malcolm Bowie said at that meeting “We have two lanes coming in, two lanes going out, and we widen that out to three through going through town. So it does make some sense going back down to two going through, and that’s what we’ll be shooting for.”Bowie also detailed plans for almost the same stretch of road, one block over on Market Street where the city plans to change 8 blocks from two lanes in each direction to one lane in each direction with a turn lane in the middle and a bike lane on the South side.

Along with the traffic revisions on those two streets, we’ll see some new ADA ramps on sidewalks throughout town. “around 200 wheelchair ramps, that we’ll be putting in downtown. As part of the historical district as well.” WSDOT says they plan the revisions to Market street sometime this summer, the city of Aberdeen is breaking ground mid-April on the ramps, and plans to re-stripe Wishkah Street around August. Funds for the Aberdeen City project are in part provided by the Transportation Benefit District, which Bowie noted gives the city some room to work on the city streets.
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Attempted robbery at Aberdeen Safeway

The Aberdeen Police responded to Safeway on March 22nd at 7:55 A.M. on the report of a lone male had attempted to rob a cashier at the store. The suspect had left the store on foot.
 
Officers were provided a description of the suspect.  Officer Morella located a subject matching the description crossing M Street at Heron St.
 
Other officers responded to the location and took the 57 year old Hoquiam male suspect into custody without incident.
 
Investigating officers contacted the cashier at Safeway.  It was obvious to officers that the female cashier was visibly upset from the experience with the suspect.
 
The cashier told the officers that she was working a register when she observed an older male standing at her register.  She said he did not have any items to purchase with him.  
 
According to the employee, the suspect told her he wanted all the money from her register.  The cashier said she was not sure what the suspect was asking her. She told the investigating officers that the suspect put his hand into a pocket in a threatening and told the cashier that he was robbing her.  In response, the cashier said, “no you’re not,” and told the suspect to leave, which he did.
 
The suspect was booked into the City of Aberdeen jail on a charge of Robbery in the 2nd Degree.
 
The investigation is continuing.

Scuba diver dies while getting certified in Hoodsport

A novice scuba diver died over the weekend while trying to get certified. The Mason County Sheriff’s Office was called to Hoodsport just before 10 Sunday morning to the report of a diver pulling another diver to the dock, yelling for someone to call 911.

CPR was in progress when first responders arrived, but they were unable to resuscitate 51 year old Timothy Burns of Lyons, Oregon.

Burns was diving with trained and certified diving instructors, who reported that while submerged, he began to experience trouble and was brought to the surface by a diving instructor. The preliminary investigation appears that this was a diving accident.

Aberdeen could purchase waterfront park with help from Public Land Trust

The City of Aberdeen is getting closer to owning a waterfront park underneath the Chehalis River Bridge. Public Works Director Malcolm Bowie said yesterday that the group Trust for Public Land has obtained an option on about 9 acres of the former Anderson Middleton property. “That’s where it’s at, and if it moves forward it sounds like Trust for Public lands will acquire the property, then the City of Aberdeen will have up to 7 years to apply for RCO grants for reimbursement.” Adding that the national non-profit is in the environmental review and appraisal stage of purchasing the property, and would then allow the city 7 years to secure grant funding from the Washington Recreation and Conservation Office. “It gives the City of Aberdeen a unique opportunity to own a strategic piece of waterfront and actually build a waterfront park, so congratulations.”
The land fits nicely into a bigger plan for waterfront development in Aberdeen, as recommended by consultant Cary Bozeman.

Teachers plan big legislative town hall event

Local teachers are organizing a legislative town hall event to speak out on the major education issues facing legislators in Olympia this year: 

·       School funding (McCleary decision)

·       Class size (I-1351)

·       Educator salaries (More than COLA)

·       High-stakes testing (Less testing, more learning)

The education town hall meeting is March 20, 2-15 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm, at Rotary Log Pavilion 1401 Sargent Blvd, Aberdeen, WA 98520 https://maps.google.com/maps?q=address+for+rotary+log+pavilion,+aberdeen,+wa&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&channel=fflb&ie=UTF-8&ei=i1YLVaPEK8rToATwzIGoBQ&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAQ&output=classic&dg=brw

Local legislators, Rep. Brian Blake and Shawn O’Neil, Sen. Hargrove’s assistant are scheduled to attend. Two hundred teachers, education support professionals and other school supporters are expected to participate by sharing their stories and explaining how decisions in the Legislature can help or hurt kids in the classroom. 

“This is a chance for teachers to speak directly to their legislators, the people in Olympia who are passing laws and writing budgets that affect our community’s public schools and children,” said Cathleen Peterson, who teaches at McDermoth School. “The Supreme Court is holding the Legislature in contempt over its failure to fully fund our kids’ education. The voters have ordered the Legislature to reduce K-12 class sizes. The economy is improving. This is the best opportunity in a generation for us to work together and provide the quality education our students deserve.”

The state House of Representatives is expected to release a budget proposal later in March, followed by the Senate’s budget plan. Billions of dollars in new funding for K-12 public schools are at stake.

This event is one of several regional education town halls organized by members of the Washington Education Association. At each event, teachers and education support professionals will be writing postcards, sending emails, posting to social media and making calls to legislators.

Cosmopolis students showcase their robotics program at S.T.E.A.M. event

Students lined the hallways at Cosmopolis Elementary School last night, as they showcased STEAM. I asked School Superintendant Cherie Patterson – What’s STEAM? “The difference between STEAM and STEM is that it incorporates the Arts into Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics. ” One thing we’re very excited about is that tonight they will be showcasing robotics, which is a new program here at Cosmopolis Elementary School.” Patterson said that’s thanks in large part to the Grays Harbor Community Foundation; “They helped give us a jump start into that direction, we’re able to open that up to grades 4, 5, and 6, and we’ll be seeing lots of great things happening.”
On the “Arts side” of last night’s event, we talked with 3rd grade student Saylor “We’re doing Gyotaku, and it’s Japanese Fish blotting.” She walked me through the process of using paper and paints to get the profile “print” of a fish – although in this case the fish were fake.
The kids also had a bake sale setup, and continue to raise money to expand the program. Technology Teacher Trish Nelson said last night “You could see that they are very excited about building and working together. We want to add simple machines, and then we want to add a solar energy component looking ahead.” Nelson said the students are using Lego WeDo, and Mindstorm kits to learn robotics, and are hoping to get more now that the program spans 4th through 6th grades. For details, and to contribute, contact the school at 532-7181 during business hours.

Man arrested on charges that he sexually abused his granddaughter

The Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Department arrested a man this week on charges that he sexually abused his granddaughter. Chief Criminal Deputy Steve Shumate tells us they were called to the Ocosta Elementary School Tuesday afternoon to investigate after an 11 year old reported to a counselor that she was abused by her grandfather the night before.
Deputies learned that the girl lived with her grandparents near Westport, and interviewed the 56 year old man. Shortly thereafter, the grandfather was arrested and transported to the Grays Harbor County Jail where he was booked for Rape of a Child 1st degree. The grandmother was also contacted and has been cooperative with investigators.