Humpback whale washes ashore on Grayland beach

A 30 foot humpback whale washed ashore in Grayland over the weekend. Kathryn Myrsell with the Westport Aquarium tells us it appears to have been dead for at least a week, and had lacerations on it’s tail. The way is washed ashore Sunday prevents them from telling if it’s male or female. Teams from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, along with Cascadia Research, performed a necropsy on the whale Monday morning.

Here is a photo of Kayla Bosarge and and intern from Fish and wildlife or Cascadia Research. Kayla Bosarge who graduated from Aberdeen, High School this June and who will be going to Oregon State College next year to study Marine Biology  Kayle got to help with the necropsy on a 30 foot humpback whale, Monday August 18th at about 11 am. This was Kayla's first whale necropsy.  The whale had been dead for probably about a week and just washed ashore in Grayland Sunday August 19th.
Here is a photo of Kayla Bosarge and and intern from Fish and wildlife or Cascadia Research. Kayla Bosarge who graduated from Aberdeen, High School this June and who will be going to Oregon State College next year to study Marine Biology
Kayle got to help with the necropsy on a 30 foot humpback whale, Monday August 18th at about 11 am. This was Kayla’s first whale necropsy. The whale had been dead for probably about a week and just washed ashore in Grayland Sunday August 19th.

House mover to save Olympic National Park chalet

An historic Olympic National Park lodge teetering on the edge of the Quinault River should be moved next month before it falls into the water.

The park has awarded a $124,000 contract to the Monroe House Moving company of Carlsborg to move the Enchanted Valley Chalet to safer ground.

The Peninsula Daily News reports (http://is.gd/JkU7T7) most materials will be packed in by mule because the site is in a wilderness area. The park service will provide a helicopter for big equipment.

The chalet is located 13 miles from the nearest road. It was built as a backcountry lodge in the 1930s, before the creation of the park. More recently, it has been used as a wilderness ranger station and emergency shelter.

The Grays Harbor PUD has announced a planned power outage in the South Beach area that will impact about 5,000 customers from the Ocean Spray facility in Markham west to the ocean beaches and south to Tokeland.

The outage will start at 10PM on September 11, 2014 and is expected to last until 6:00 AM on September 12.

Grays Harbor PUD announces planned South Beach outage

The Grays Harbor Public Utility District has announced a planned power outage which will impact PUD customers in the South Beach area of Grays Harbor County.  The outage will begin at 10:00 PM on September 11, 2014 and is expected to last until 6:00 AM on September 12.

 

The outage will impact all Grays Harbor PUD customers after the Ocean Spray facility in Markham west to the ocean beaches and south to Tokeland.  In all 4,837 Grays Harbor PUD customers will be impacted.

 

During the outage, multiple PUD crews will replace three transmission poles and one distribution switch in addition to carrying out substation maintenance work.  This is the fourth planned outage undertaken by PUD crews this summer, as the District strengthens its infrastructure by replacing aging poles and carrying out line and substation maintenance.

 

In preparation for this outage, customers are advised to take precautions with any electronic equipment such as computers, televisions, and microwaves by unplugging those items.  You should leave them disconnected until after the power has been fully restored.

 

The outage time of eight hours is only an estimate and power could be restored at any time as work is completed.  Therefore, it is not safe to do electrical work or repairs during that period of time.

Grays Harbor E-911 Director recognized with APCO International Life Membership

Grays Harbor E-911 Director Peggy Fouts has been recognized as a recipient of the Association of Public Safety Communications Officers (APCO) International Life Member award at their annual meeting in August.

The highest membership honor APCO International can bestow is that of LIFE membership. Designation of Life Member is an honor reserved for members of APCO who have made a significant contribution toward the objectives of APCO International above and beyond the chapter/state level. Life Members must have maintained membership for 15 or more years and made at least five major accomplishments that have contributed significantly to the betterment of the association.
As a recipient of this award, Peggy Fouts is recognized for her dedication to the profession of public safety communications, to APCO and for her service to the field of public safety communications. Mrs. Fouts has served or currently serves APCO as the APCO Executive Council Representative from Washington, a member of the Board of Directors for the Western Region of APCO, the chair and/or member of a number of technical and leadership development committees of APCO, and the Chair of the APCO Management Committee and the APCO Finance and Budget Committee.
On behalf of the Operating Board of Grays Harbor Communications E9-1-1 I am proud to commend Peggy Fouts for this recognition of her service to, and efforts on behalf of, APCO and the public safety communications profession.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Phil Anderson to resign at end of year

After nearly six years at the helm, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Director Phil Anderson has informed the state Fish and Wildlife Commission he will resign from his position, effective Dec. 31.

“Deciding when to move on is a difficult decision,” Anderson said. “But after 20 great years with the department, the time is right for me to step aside. I will leave knowing that the talented people I have had the privilege to work with here at WDFW are fully capable of taking on the challenges that lie ahead.”

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for WDFW, will begin the recruitment process for a new director in the next few weeks.

“Phil has done a tremendous job leading the department through some difficult and challenging issues over the past several years,” said Miranda Wecker, chair of the commission. “His strong conservation ethic, dedication to sound fiscal management and expertise in intergovernmental relations have greatly benefitted the department and the state’s fish and wildlife resources it protects and manages.”

As director, Anderson guided the department through the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. During the unprecedented budget shortfall, state General Fund support for WDFW declined by nearly $50 million – 45 percent – threatening department operations and fishing and hunting opportunities throughout the state.

To address the shortfall, Anderson and his staff worked to restructure the agency while continuing to provide key services and maintain a high conservation standard for Washington’s fish and wildlife. As part of that effort, WDFW worked closely with stakeholders to develop new revenue streams and reduce the department’s reliance on the state General Fund.

Also under Anderson’s leadership, the department developed a plan to guide state conservation and management of gray wolves as they recolonize in Washington – a controversial issue that has evoked strong reactions from people on both sides of the Cascade Range.

The department implemented the plan in 2011, after working closely with a number of citizen advisors, including those representing conservationists, hunters and livestock producers. The plan establishes clear recovery objectives for gray wolves, along with procedures for addressing predation on livestock and impacts on ungulates such as deer, elk and caribou.

Throughout his career at WDFW, Anderson has played a leading role in working with Indian tribes in a number of forums, including the annual salmon co-management process known as North of Falcon. During this process, the state and tribes set seasons for marine and freshwater salmon fisheries throughout Puget Sound, the Columbia River and Washington’s coastal areas.

Anderson also has served as WDFW’s representative to the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) and serves as a commissioner on the Pacific Salmon Commission.

Over the last decade, Anderson and his team successfully maintained fishing opportunities by establishing new sustainable fisheries that allow the harvest of abundant wild stocks and hatchery-produced fish while meeting conservation objectives for wild populations listed for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Key to this effort has been the use of selective-fishing methods, including mark-selective fisheries that allow anglers to catch and keep abundant hatchery salmon but require that they release wild salmon. Establishing these fisheries, where appropriate, has resulted in additional harvest opportunities.

Anderson also has led WDFW’s effort to change state hatchery operations to support the recovery of wild salmon and steelhead populations.

“I am proud of the fact that we have successfully maintained fish production while reforming hatchery practices to ensure that they are compatible with efforts to rebuild wild fish populations,” Anderson said. “The job is definitely not done, but we have made tremendous strides in the right direction that bode well for the future of Washington’s fish stocks and fisheries.”

Anderson, who lives in Westport, said he plans to spend more time with his family and will look for other opportunities to contribute to resource conservation and management.

Anderson, 64, joined WDFW in 1994 after serving seven years on the PFMC as a private citizen, including as the council’s chair. Anderson was appointed WDFW director in 2009 after serving nearly nine months as the agency’s interim director. He previously served as WDFW’s deputy director for resource policy and as assistant director of the department’s Intergovernmental Resource Management Program.

Timber Group mulling legal action against Grays Harbor County over fee-for-access

Washington Forest Protection Association, the State’s oldest timber group, is taking legal action to protect private forest landowner’s property rights from Ordinance No. 412 adopted by Grays Harbor County Commissioners, July 7, 2014. The ordinance removes private timberland from its constitutionally designated forest land status, should landowners attempt to control access to their private property through a fee system.

A  press release from the WFPA today said that landowners understand the recreational benefits their land offers to the general public and would like to keep their land open for public access, but that has become increasingly challenging and costly in recent years. Many landowners have established recreational access programs attempting to balance public access to their private property while managing environmental damage and over-use associated with wide-open access. Private forest landowners want to create good experiences for the public to recreate, fish, hunt, and enjoy their property by allowing access to their property for a fee. This helps landowners reduce the environmental and physical damage that occurs with wide-open use of their property.
“Our association and industry enjoys a strong working relationship in timber communities, such as Grays Harbor County and as such, I am disappointed that the recently passed ordinance now requires us to bring legal action against the county. Counties are the biggest beneficiary of the timber harvest excise tax, receiving 80% of the taxes upon timber harvest. Attempting to remove the basic right to control access to private property by adopting this county ordinance is illegal. As a longtime supporter of county government, it is unfortunate that it has come to this point, but we have no choice except to protect private landowners’ rights by taking legal action,” said Mark Doumit, Executive Director of the Washington Forest Protection Association.

Under the state’s Constitution, a tax system was designed “to encourage forestry and restocking and reforesting of such forests,” by taxing the timberland and timber harvested separately. Called the “current use” tax system, landowners are taxed on the bare land value of operating a tree farm, and unlike any other harvested crop in the state, landowners are also taxed on the trees when harvested. The county receives 80% of the tax on the trees in addition to the property tax. Ordinance No. 412 attempts to remove this taxation system if landowners control access to their property through a fee, and place timber into the same tax category as shopping malls, and housing developments.

Forest landowners believe this is illegal, and contrary to the very policy that lawmakers developed to encourage landowners to grow trees and maintain their land in forestry, instead of converting to another land use. If the county ordinance somehow was implemented, landowners would be forced to close off their lands to public access, or risk being placed in a tax category that is mismatched for growing trees.
Seventy-eight percent of Grays Harbor County is forested. Private forest landowners own 60% of the forestland. Forestry contributes to the economy by paying 14% of Grays Harbor County direct wages, and supporting a total of 6,087 jobs. Working forests, those managed for timber harvesting and replanting, pay more than $275 million in wages annually and $13 million in taxes, which primarily goes to the county. In 2012, timber harvest in Grays Harbor County was the second highest in the state, and provided enough wood to build 47,000 homes.

About WFPA

The Washington Forest Protection Association represents private forest landowners growing and harvesting trees on about 4 million acres in Washington State. Members of the 106-year-old association are large and small companies, individuals and families who practice sustainable forestry in Washington’s private forests. For more information, go to www.wfpa.org.

Mason County search crews find missing 10-year old safe Friday morning

Search-and-rescue crews have located the 10-year old boy missing in Mason County overnight, spotted by helicopter around 9:30, he was reported safe shortly after.
Searchers from Grays Harbor, Thurston, Pierce and Mason counties searched for the boy after he disappeared while picking berries with his sister near Lake Cushman in Mason County. The family searched for him until dark and then called for help. Ground searchers found a footprint earlier that morning.

Over 30 Search and Rescue ground volunteers as well as 4 K-9 teams from Mason County, Pierce County and Thurston County were called and responded to the area. Searchers worked throughout Thursday night. King County Sheriff’s Office helicopter “Guardian One” responded and attempted to check the area, but was forced to discontinue due to heavy cloud cover.

Hernandez recovery missionFriday morning, July 25, 2014, 30 more Search & Rescue volunteers as well as 4 more K-9 teams were called to replace the workers from the night. “Guardian One” also returned and began searching.

Mason County Sheriff’s Office Detectives were called in and began checking out abandoned cabins, questioning local area residents, and contacting registered sex offenders living in and around the area.

Around 10:00 AM, “Guardian One” spotted a boy in the thick woods on a small mountain above where Search & Rescue teams were searching. “Guardian One” directed a K-9 team to the boy’s location and confirmed that the boy was, in fact, the lost boy Nathan.

Nathan was provided food and drink, checked out by Fire District #18 Medics, and then was returned to his family safe and sound.

The family was vacationing from Uvalde, Texas and wanted to express their sincere gratitude and appreciation for all of the Deputies, Troopers, Fire Fighters, Dispatchers and Search & Rescue volunteers who worked to find Nathan and return him back to his family.

Hernandez recovery mission

 

Grays Harbor PUD Commissioners formally adopt strategic plan

The Grays Harbor PUD Board of Commissioners have adopted a new vision of the PUD’s future.  On Monday, the commissioners adopted the District’s first strategic plan, outlining the goals and steps the PUD will take in the coming years to improve several areas of internal and external service.

 

“It’s a big moment and one that was achieved by tapping the minds of our employees,” said Commission President Russ Skolrood.  “We all have ideas about how we can improve as a district, but for the first time, the people that work at the Grays Harbor PUD were asked to be involved in the creation of that vision. That is significant.”

 

Over the last five months, employee groups have been meeting to discuss the PUD’s development and future plans in six areas:

 

·         Customers

·         Finance

·         Employees

·         Safety and Reliability

·         Process and Performance Improvements

·         Stewardship

The sub-groups were made up of PUD employees from across the district, from line crewmen to customer support staff.  Meetings involved discussing PUD strengths and weaknesses in those sub-areas, identifying both short-term and long-term goals and planning the steps needed to achieve those goals.  Those goals included:

 

·         Improved internal and external outreach and communication.

·         Providing stable rates and responsible budgeting.

·         Maintaining system safety and reliability.

·         Addressing employee pride, retention and development.

·         Improved processes and organizational performances.

·         Long-term facilities plans and asset management.

 

The plan will be reviewed quarterly to ensure that established goals are being met and that updates are made to keep up with the times.

 

“I am very proud of this milestone moment for the employees and customers of the Grays Harbor PUD.  This is not the vision of one person or one department but of the entire PUD,” said General Manager Dave Ward.  “In placing such a high emphasis on staff involvement, we have produced a plan that is a true representation of the PUD’s goals and desire to move toward a bright future.”

Grays Harbor PUD announces planned outage in Cedarville-Oakville

The Grays Harbor Public Utility District has announced a planned power outage which will impact PUD customers in the Cedarville-Oakville area of East Grays Harbor County.  The outage will begin at 6:00 PM on July 24, 2014 and is expected to last until 6:00 AM on July 25.

During the outage, multiple PUD crews will undertake maintenance work on transmission lines, including the replacement of several deteriorating power poles.

The outage will impact over 1600 Grays Harbor PUD customers, including those on SR 12 from Porter, east to the Grays Harbor-Thurston County line, including all residents of Porter and Oakville.  The outage will also impact all PUD customers on the South Bank Road south of the 200 block, the Dunlap Road, Elma Gate Road, all homes on and roads served by the Capital Ridge, Garrard Creek and Delezene Roads and residents of the Chehalis Reservation west of Anderson Road.

In preparation for this outage, customers are advised to take precautions with any electronic equipment such as computers, televisions, and microwaves by unplugging those items.  You should leave them disconnected until after the power has been fully restored.

The outage time of twelve hours is only an estimate and power could be restored at anytime as work is completed.  Therefore, it is not safe to do electrical work or repairs during that period of time.

“Dinner is served” after reopening of Aberdeen VFW Post #224

“Dinner is served,” says Aberdeen Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #224 Commander Jim Daly.  “Or at least it will be served again beginning on July 10th.”

Beginning on Thursday, July 10th, the Aberdeen VFW kitchen will be back in operation serving dinners Thursday and Friday evenings from 4:00pm to 7:30pm.  And they will also be serving Breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays from 8:30am – 1:00pm will begin Saturday, July 12th.  Both Dinner and Breakfast are open to the public.

Commander Daly says:  “We never quit serving veterans, but we have not had a Post home for two full years.  Now everything is clean, painted, well lit, and bright.  It doesn’t look the same at all.  We have re-opened the kitchen, and have full menus for both Breakfast and Dinner.  We will also be renting our main hall with a capacity of 220, and are able to provide catered lunches or dinners for civic groups, businesses, and other groups that would like to meet in a large facility over food.  We have also moved Bingo back to our hall.”

Nell Todd, Auxiliary President, says:  “Bingo is now back in our hall on both Monday and Wednesday.  Doors open at 5:00pm and games beginning at 6:30pm.  Aberdeen VFW has invested a great deal of money in the repairs recently completed on the building and we are back in full swing.”

“Our lounge will be operational soon, as well” said Terry Holderman, Post Quartermaster.  “We are only waiting on a Temporary Pre-approval License from the Washington State Liquor Control Board.”

When the lounge reopens, all members of any Veteran’s organization (American Legion, Am Vets, 40 et 8, DAV, NCOA, etc.) and members of both Active Duty and Reserve military components will be welcome.

If you would like to support the Aberdeen VFW for their building repairs, donations may also be made to the special donation account at Anchor Bank or dropped off or mailed to VFW Post 224, 105 East Heron, Aberdeen, WA 98520.

 

Jim Daly

Commander

Aberdeen, Post # 224

Veterans of Foreign Wars

(360) 581-5153