Kreidler announces limited special enrollment period for people struggling with health coverage

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler announced a limited special enrollment period – effective Aug. 27 – for people who have experienced difficulty enrolling in health

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For the first time in recent memory, Westport has no grocery store

The city of Westport hasn’t had a grocery store for over a week now. As the store’s owners scramble to find a solution, patrons of Ted’s Red Apple are scrambling for the basics “It’s really hard, it’d be nice to just be able to walk to the grocery store.” Sara works and lives nearby, but now she drives 20 miles to Aberdeen for groceries “I have a two year old, so any time I need milk or anything really I have to drive 30 minutes to the grocery store.” Some Other stores in the small coastal community are picking up the slack – like Twin Harbor Drug, who’s owner tells us has expanded their hours, hired on additional staff, and installed a wall of coolers to meet the demand for things like milk, eggs, and cheese. Debbie works up front, she’s noticed “It’s a really hard thing, for – not only the local people, but people that are coming in from out of town, because they’re thinking there’s a grocery store and there isn’t.” The owners of Ted’s Red Apple tell us they had no other choice but to close their doors last week, a sign on the sliding glass doors reads “Closed, watch for reopening!!!” the lights remain on and the shelves half-stocked. Store Manager Staci Bridgeman tells us they’re working on a solution “We feel for the South Beach community not having a grocery store, I know it’s tough on the community members and we’re working very diligently to try to work some things out and get the doors back open.” Without delving into private business matters – or digging through anyone’s trash, we’re expecting an update to our story soon from the store’s owners.

Regional specialists ready to help with enrollment in Apple Health

OLYMPIA – The Health Care Authority (HCA), in partnership with community organizations across Washington, is providing community-based enrollment specialists to help people enroll in Washington

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GHCH: Health coverage is as close as the nearest phone or computer

ABERDEEN, Wash. - Grays Harbor Community Hospital is joining the celebration of the opening of Washington Health Plan Finder. Starting today, uninsured residents in Grays Harbor County can enroll in quality, affordable health plans simply by calling or visiting Coverage begins on January 1, 2014.

According to Washington Health Plan Finder, more people than ever before will qualify for financial help to pay for coverage. The new expansion will also give customers the opportunity to receive tax benefits and subsidies which will be different depending on each plan. More information is available at “Unfortunately too many people in our area are living without health insurance, which puts their health and their finances at serious risk,” said CEO Tom Jensen.
Depending on the individual or family’s income, they may be able to qualify for a free or low-cost health plan, or have their premiums drastically reduced by way of tax credit. 

Hoquiam Farmer’s Market News – Comfort Food Edition

Looking out my window at cold rain, I find myself desperately clinging to the memory of an Easter Sunday in 2003 when the temperature soared up to 96 degrees!  It happened once, it can happen again.  Plus, I totally believe in miracles.

     Cold weather requires hot comfort food.  One dish which always puts me in a zen-like state of acceptance is Baked Beans.  There are almost as many recipes for Baked Beans as there are beans, but this is my winter (Spring?!?)comfort food recipe, as opposed to the more zesty summertime baked bean recipe.

      A secret ingredient which adds both flavor and nutrients is homemade chicken stock.  Next time that you roast a chicken, toss the remains into a large pot, add a chopped onion, several peppercorns and a chopped carrot, fill with water, and let it simmer away for a few hours.  Strain the broth, pop it in the freezer, and you will have a superb flavor booster.  
If you are really fond of roast chicken and have lots and lots of chicken stock on hand, you have the makings for the finest pasta anywhere.  Cook your spaghetti or any other type of noodle in the chicken broth!  Honestly, it transforms an otherwise dull basic into instant gourmet status.

Youth Caucus in Olympia

OLYMPIA, Wash. - This week is a mid-winter break for some Washington schools, but the learning will continue for almost 100 kids at the State Legislature in Olympia. On Tuesday, they'll gather from around the state for a Youth Caucus, part of the annual "Have a Heart for Kids" advocacy day at the State Capitol. The young people participate in a rally and attend workshops about legislation and how to speak up for issues that concern them.

It's the first time at the Capitol for Zalia Cook from Seattle, and the 12-year-old already has her topic in mind to share with lawmakers.

"Well, I'm really passionate about homelessness. I just can't imagine not having a home, and I just feel bad for all of those people. And I think that's one of the main things that people are worried about, too."

Washington State Library: Using technology to connect with patrons

Since its creation in 1853, the Washington State Library has made it a priority to provide patrons with access to information and historical publications related to Washington and the Pacific Northwest. 

The remarkable progress in technology over the years has allowed people to acquire information and publications faster and easier than ever before. The Washington State Library has embraced technology to make its offerings more accessible to the public. These statistics indicate that. From 2002 to 2009:

• The number of visitors to the State Library has increased by 22 percent, from 370,328 to 451,865.

• The number of books checked out has risen 78.6 percent, from 648,487 to 1,157,992 (in the first six months of 2010, 624,765 books have been checked out).

• State Library Web site usage has skyrocketed up an amazing 1,570 percent, from 33,827 to 564,787 page views (there have been 313,765 page views in the first six months of 2010).

Hoquiam Farmers Market News – Potato Salad Edition

Seasonal fresh produce is now on the Market tables. Abel Rios is making weekly trips to Yakima to bring us Asparagus, Snow Peas, & green Walla Walla onions. Judy has Kale from her garden now, and Rhubarb will be available soon.
We do not import out of state or out of country produce- as soon as good local produce is ready, we’ll have it at the Farmers market!

Pacific Northwesterners know how to make the most of the summer season! Probably because we know how brief the season can be. Yes, there have been summers of too much drizzle, not enough sunshine. We could have coined the ancient phrase ‘Seize the Day!’, for those rare, sparkling days are more precious to us than jewels.

Hoquiam Farmers Market News – Picnic Edition

Picnic Season! In case you didn’t already know, Saturday is the official beginning of this glorious time of year! Well, it may not be listed on your calendar, but some things, like Christmas, are so imbedded in our lives that they don’t need to be written on a calendar. You just know it.

I do admit that I am a bit of a picnic fanatic. Not everyone has several types of picnic baskets. I can’t get through the summer without at least 3 very diverse types of picnic gear. First there is the magazine worthy, pull out all the stops, over the top picnic basket. This is not a basket which you take on hikes. This is the picnic basket that should come complete with a serving staff. Blankets are a must, and comfy chairs are a bonus. Pillows are absolutely never to be left behind! How in the world are you going to take that dreamy sun-washed nap if you don’t have plenty of pillows?