Shelton one of three Districts to share $10 Million Federal Grant

About one out of every six students in Washington have at least one emotional, behavioral or developmental condition. A federal grant recently awarded to the state will target those students, as well as any others, for help.

The five-year federal grant, called Project AWARE, was awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The $1.95 million a year Washington will receive will fund a number of activities, including:

  • building and expanding the capacity of state educational agencies to make schools safer,
  • improving school climate,
  • increasing awareness of mental health issues among youth and
  • providing training for school personnel and other adults to detect and respond to mental health issues in children and youth.

“Making sure students are safe, and that we can get them mental help information and help if they need it, is extremely important – not just to education, but to our communities as well,” said State Superintendent Randy Dorn. “This grant will help us expand the services we have, and create new services.”

Continue reading Shelton one of three Districts to share $10 Million Federal Grant

Risky business becomes rewarding enterprise for hosts of Aberdeen wine bar

ABERDEEN, Wash. – Wine bars are a risky business, especially in a small town. When the local supermarket has a good selection of decent wines for under $15, wine bars have an uphill battle to bring in sufficient customers to pay the bills.

That’s why Erik Stewart, a certified business advisor with the Washington Small Business Development Center (SBDC), was thrilled when he walked into GH Wine Sellars on Broadway in Aberdeen recently.

“It was standing room only,” he said. People were elbow to elbow at the bar, where patrons are offered sample tastings of several wines before they make a selection.

‘Feels like home’

It’s not standing room only every night, but owners Karen and Ryan Rowe have created a community gathering spot since they opened for business in June 2013. During the Christmas holidays they booked nearly a dozen private parties, and GH Wine Sellars continues to be a go-to location for meeting a friend or celebrating a special occasion.

“The reason for their success is their personalities,” Stewart said. “They are the most wonderful hosts. You walk in and you feel like you’re getting a hug.”

The Facebook reviews are glowing as well: “Feels like home.” “Amazing atmosphere.” “OUTSTANDING!”

That feels-like-home ambience was the vision from the start, Karen Rowe said, because Aberdeen is home for both her and Ryan. Many of their customers are longtime friends or friends of friends.

The way they are treated at the wine bar is pretty much the way they’d be treated if they were at the Rowes’ home: “We want people to come in and sit, relax and enjoy a nice glass of wine,” Karen Rowe said.

Start with market research

The rustic interior features a fireplace, couches and armchairs arranged for intimate tête-à-têtes as well as after-work happy hours. Those who choose to stand can enjoy the craftsmanship of the mixed-wood bar that Ryan Rowe made.

Open 3-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday and noon-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday, GH Wine Sellars serves more than 80 wines, including a large selection from Washington state. The wine bar also offers limited food service, focusing on simple but tasty appetizers.

While Stewart has become a fan of the business as well as a customer, Karen Rowe enjoys joking with him that he started out as a skeptic. The Rowes first contacted the SBDC in 2010 when they were considering a shop at Westport, Wash., and thought they might need an SBA loan. Karen Rowe recalls Stewart saying, “Yeah, that’s not going to work at all, but I’ll help you any way I can.”

She laughs when she tells the story – and Stewart laughs when he hears it – but he insists it is an apocryphal tale.

“I would never tell a client that their idea won’t work,” Stewart said, “but I did urge them to do extensive market research into wine bars in general and wine shops on the Olympic Peninsula in particular.”

Small town, large volume

While many clients first contact the SBDC for help with loan applications, the SBDC provides confidential, no cost, one-to-one advising on just about any issue critical to starting, growing or transitioning a small business.

The Washington SBDC ( is hosted by Washington State University and receives support from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Additional support comes from local economic development agencies and institutions of higher education.

In fact, opening a wine bar is a difficult proposition and Stewart knew it. He ran one of the largest retail wine programs in Tacoma in the 1980s.

The problem, he said, is that wine bars typically have limited seating and often depend on high volume to cover the costs – volume Stewart was concerned could not be generated in a small town.

Right location, careful accounting

The Rowes decided to skip the Westport deal because of a family crisis, but they continued to explore other wine bar opportunities over the next two years. For one reason or another nothing panned out.

But in March 2013 Karen Rowe was driving through downtown Aberdeen and saw a “For Rent” sign on the corner of Wishkah and Broadway in the old Elks Building. That changed everything. The sign, she said, was a sign.

“I had told Ryan, if we are doing it in Aberdeen, it had to be in that building,” she said.

Stewart was still skeptical, Karen Rowe said, but she appreciated his playing the devil’s advocate.

“Having your own business is not easy,” she said. “It takes all of your days and all of your nights.” The fact that Stewart wasn’t simply a booster who downplayed the risks helped them strengthen their business plan, she said.

Stewart stressed that since their margins would be thin, they needed to account for every penny, a concept well known to Ryan Rowe, who is an accountant by trade.

“He got it,” Stewart said.

Dream come true

With Stewart’s background in wine, he was a great resource for everything from how to talk about wine to how to pour it to how to price it.

“Erik gave us things to think about that we would never have thought about,” Karen Rowe said – “some of the little things that can make or break your business.”

There were little things (that can easily become big things) like having to pay an ASCAP licensing fee if they wanted to play music in the bar. And there were big things like how to manage their inventory so they weren’t leaving wine in bottles that eventually would be discarded.

Stewart is thrilled that the Rowes are off to a great start. Detailed and rigorous accounting systems coupled with outstanding customer service are making the difference, he said: “They are doing a lot of things right – and they are happy.”

Karen Rowe agreed she and her husband are happy – happy to be back in Aberdeen and happy to be the owners of the wine bar they first dreamed about nearly a decade ago.

For more information about GH Wine Sellars, go to the Facebook page at  

Find this news release at WSU News online at

Aberdeen Police Officers Guild to host benefit for Corporal Brett Ellis battle with cancer

The Aberdeen Police Officers Guild in cooperation with members of the Aberdeen Police Department will be sponsoring a benefit silent auction and spaghetti dinner on April 5th, 2014 from 4:00-8:00pm at the Aberdeen High School commons (located at 410 North G St in Aberdeen). Proceeds from this event will go to Bret Ellis to assist him in covering expenses related to his on-going cancer treatment.

Corporal Bret Ellis is a 19-year veteran of the Aberdeen Police Department, Navy Veteran and graduate of Aberdeen High School. Bret is married to Becky Ellis (a former Aberdeen Police Officer) and they have 2 children ages 11 and 9. Bret is the son of retired Aberdeen Police Chief William G. Ellis.

A year ago during a surgical procedure cancer was discovered and Bret endured 6 months of chemotherapy.

During a second major surgery earlier this month, physicians found that the cancer had returned and Bret will now begin a second round of chemotherapy in 3 weeks.

Tickets can be purchased at the Aberdeen Police Department or from any member of the Aberdeen Police Officers Guild. The cost is $10 for an adult and $5 for children under 12. Donations can be made at any Twin Star Credit Union branch in the name of “Aberdeen Police Guild” or be mailed to:

Aberdeen Police Officers Guild
PO Box 2124
Aberdeen, WA. 98520

Please note there will be no phone solicitation regarding this event.

Minor injuries for one firefighter after Montesano home burns

MONTESANO, Wash. – Crews from the Montesano Fire Department and Grays Harbor Fire District #2 responded to a well involved residential structure fire at the 400 block of Medcalf street in Montesano Monday evening. Montesano Chief Corey Rux tells us they initially attempted to battle the fire from an offensive position, but conditions quickly worsened and firefighters were forced to withdraw and set up a defensive posture.

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

The fire quickly spread throughout much of the home causing extensive damage. Firefighters contained the fire to the building of origin.
Rux said homeowners and occupants were able to evacuate the home safely. One occupant was transported to the hospital for a precautionary evaluation and was later released. One firefighter sustained minor injuries during fire suppression efforts; he was also transported to the hospital and later released.

The damage to the structure and contents is estimated to be approximately $300,000.

Hoquiam Police Department gets accredited

HOQUIAM, Wash. – The Hoquiam Police Department is heading into the New Year accredited by the Washington Association of Police Chiefs and Sheriffs.
Hoquiam Chief Jeff Myers said they’ve worked for 7 years to complete this voluntary program. “It’s an opportunity for an agency to look top-to-bottom and meet 132 standards that are set forth by the organization [and] considered the best practices in our profession.”
Myers said they’ve made changes, and have seen changes over the past seven years, including the new partnership with the state Department of Corrections to re-open the city jail. “It’s been a long, ongoing – I would say battle some days. We’ve had major change in the last seven years at the Hoquiam PD.”
Myers commended Officer Phil High, who stepped forward this year to help complete the process. Hoquiam joins 55 other agencies to earn the accreditation, out of 300 law enforcement agencies in Washington.

Pirates Invade Westport for 10th Annual Rusty Scupper Pirate Daze

The 3-day festival schedule:

Friday – June 22, 2012 – 12:00 pm – all day to 6pm

· Pirates invade Westport
· Hawaiian Chieftain (Seaport Landing, south of Aberdeen)
· Kids’ games in Scallywag Alley
· What- A -Croc & Sword Balloons, food and drink, crafts.
· Lost Boys Pirates & Capt. Bill and Aayo the Barbarian Pirate
· Staged boffer “sword” fights
· Live music on three stages for the whole family
Saturday – June 23, 2012 – 8:00 – 11:00 am

· $5 Breakfast for pirates in costume – Halfmoon Bay Bar & Grill
Festival opens Saturday at 10 a.m.

· Food, drink, and crafts all day
· Kids’ games in Scallywag Alley
· Lost Boys Pirates & Capt. Bill and Aayo the Barbarian Pirate
· Staged boffer “sword” fights on the waterfront
· Live music from three stages for the whole family
· Wenches and Scalliwags costume contest
· Jack Sparrow look-alike contest
· Treasure Chest prize drawings
· Black powder BOOM demonstration.
At 8:30 p.m. belly dancers and fire dancer group ‘Fire & Steel” will perform at the main stage followed by a fireworks show at 10 p.m.

Sunday – June 24, 2012, 8:00 – 11:00 am

· $5 Breakfast for pirates in costume – Halfmoon Bay Bar & Grill
· Pirates, Live Music ,and Entertainment all day
· Salty Dog contest and Parade at 3 :45pm



Mike & Val Sea Shanty Music

Catch of the Day

Virgil Stortroen

Freckles Brown Band

The Bobber’s Band

Teresa Mee

Mister Mac featuring Cap’n Slappy [Children’s music and events]

M.C., Greg Parke


B.O.O.M. Pirates Black POWDER Cannons

The Jade Dragon Pirates Acting and Swordplay

Espresso Drama presents: Arr is for Pirate & The Pirates of Treasure Island

Lost Boys Pirates with Captain Bill and crew

Aayo the Barbarian presents: Pirate Boffers with the kids!

Mas-Uda Folk Dancers

O-Wa Tribal Dancers

Circle of Sisters Egyptian Dancers

Hips Ahoy Pirate Dancers

Rak Sarah Dancers

Ocosta Unicycle Club


Shady Isle Privateers, Commodore Salty, Pirates of Treasure Island, The Lost Boys Pirates, The Jade Dragon Pirates, B.O.O.M. Pirates, and The Rogues Guild.

Two Human West Nile Virus Infections Reported in Washington

“We’re glad fewer people were infected with the virus so far this season,” said Deputy Secretary Gregg Grunenfelder. “West Nile virus is unpredictable and we’re not exactly sure why we had a lighter season this year compared to previous years, but it’s a relief to see cases drop.”

Two dead birds collected in Grant County tested positive for West Nile this year. Nearly 130 mosquito samples collected in Grant, Yakima, and Benton counties tested positive. No horses tested positive for the virus in our state during the 2010 season.

Although West Nile activity was considerably less this year than in recent years, that doesn’t mean the risk is over in future seasons. West Nile virus causes illness in birds but can also be spread to people, horses, and other animals by infected mosquitoes. Case counts and the number of positive mosquito samples can be unpredictable from season to season. Infection can be very serious for some people. The best way to reduce the chance of infection is to avoid mosquito bites and reduce mosquito habitat around your home.

Local and state health agencies, mosquito control districts, and others work to battle West Nile virus in Washington. More information about West Nile virus ( as a reportable condition ( is available on the Department of Health website.

Last Opportunity to Sail on a Tall Ship This Year

After the Battle Sail, Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain will depart for Fort Columbia State Park on the Columbia River and a re-enactment of a fur trade meeting with canoe paddlers of the Chinook Nation. After the event, the ships will set sail for San Francisco to begin their annual tour of California ports.


Editors: Download high-res images of our ships at Click the “Media Images” category and select a gallery. We welcome media aboard to observe operations and interview crew. Contact (media only) Joe Follansbee, 360-589-0766, Information is subject to change without notice. A vessel fact sheet is available on the News Releases page at Facebook:; Twitter: @graysharborhist.

Outlaws Coming to Grays Harbor Raceway for Big E Weekend

The action will start Saturday September 4th with the NorthWest Wingless Tour (NWWT) for Sprint Cars along with the PHRA Dwarf Cars.  There will be a great mix of drivers from all over the Northwest as this up and coming series makes their third visit of the year. Drivers from Grays Harbor Raceway will shed their wings along drivers from ASCS Northwest Region, (WESCO) Washington Econo Sprint Car Organization, (ODSS) Oregon Double Shot Series for non wing sprint cars, and Skagit Sportsman Sprints will join the NWWT for the biggest non wing event in the Northwest.  The (PHRA) Pacific Hardtop Racing Association Dwarf Cars will also be in action on Saturday Night.

On Sunday the ASCS Northwest Region Sprint Cars will be in action along with the Washington State Racing Series for the Ford Focus Midgets. As the ASCS season winds down the points battle is heating up as Medford’s Roger Crockett and Burlington’s Jason Solwold are only separated by 23 points, Crockett leads Solwold 1830 to 1807. Local GHR driver Henry Van Dam will be looking to make it two ASCS Wins in a row at his home track.  Other top contenders include, Washington drivers Seth Bergman, Mitch Olson along with locals Glenn Borden Jr., Jay Cole and Shawn Rice.  In the Washington State Ford Focus Series current GHR points leader has a slim 7 point lead over Garrett Johnson 458 to 451, Gaylon Stewart sits in third with 428 followed by Todd Hartman with 404. With the two weekend races left the championship is going to go down to the wire.

Monday will see the Big One, the World of Outlaws only stop of the year at Grays Harbor Raceway, all the top drivers including points leader Joey Saldana driving for  Kasey Kahne, 20 time Outlaw Champion and currently second in the points, looking to win his 21st Championship the “King” Steve Kinser driving for Tony Stewart along with Jason Myers, three time and defending Champion Donnie Schatz, Danny Lasoski, Kraig Kinser, Sammy Swindell, Tim Kaeding, Jason Sides, Paul McMahon, Jac Haudenchild and Lucus Wolfe, Shane Stewart,  couple that with the large contingent of Northwest drivers that will include Jayme Barnes, Roger Crockett from Medford the current ASCS Northwest points leader, Jason Solwold from Burlington, Mitch Olson from Tacoma, Grays Harbor Raceway points leader Seth Bergman from Snohomish, Henry Van Dam from Enumclaw, along with locals Jay Cole from Shelton and 2009 Grays Harbor Raceway Champion Glenn Borden Jr. from Raymond.

On Saturday the tickets booth opens at 2:00 pm, front gate opens at 4:30 pm, qualifying at 5:30 and racing to start around 6:30.   Sunday the ticket booth opens at 1:00 pm, front gate opens at 3:30 and racing to start around 7:00 pm and Monday tickets will go on sale at noon, front gate will open at 3:30 and the racing to start around 7:00 pm.


For more information please go to or call the Raceway

office at (360) 482-4374


Grays Harbor Raceway is proud to be partnered with so many great partners that include Crown Distributing, Coors and Miller, Harbor Pacific Bottling, Pepsi and Mountain Dew, Hoosier Racing Tires, Triple X Race Co, Shipwreck Beads, Little Creek Casino and Resort, Cut Rate Auto Parts, Industrial Hydraulics, Our Community Credit Union, MASCO Petroleum, Turbo Blue, Bulldog Trailers, Lucky Eagle Casino Microtel Inn & Suites, Toads Deli, Great NorthWest Federal Credit Union, Lindseyz Landscaping, Sideline Auto Wrecking, Speedmart and Little Nickel.

Whitney’s Auto Group Fireworks Extravaganza at Grays Harbor Raceway

Sprint car points leader Seth Bergman from Snohomish will be looking for his fifth win of the year in the Whitney’s Auto Group Sprint Car division. Bergman grabbed his fourth win of the year at the last race with a spectacular last lap slide job pass on Logan Forler from Orting. Bergman leads Enumclaw’s Henry Van Dam by 69 points 698 to 629, Shelton’s Jay Cole stayed in third position in the standings with 595 points, followed by Raymond’s Glenn Borden Jr the 2009 Champion 479 points. Tacoma’s Shawn Rice holds down the fifth position with 564 points.
In the Shipwreck Beads Modified division, 2009 Champion Josh Muller from Montesano gained 20 points on four time Champion Scott Miller from Shelton, and only trails Miller by 5 points 657 to 652. Muller won the main event last time out while Miller struggled a little and finished ninth. Craig Moore from Seabeck holds down third position with 595 points. Jim Oien Jr. from McCleary holds down fourth spot with 571 points, 2009 Modified Rookie of the Year Joe German moved back into the top five with 547 point..
The Triple X Ford Focus division has the closest point’s battle at the Raceway as the top five are separated by only 63 points. Seth Hespe the 2009 Triple X Ford Focus Midget Champion continues to the lead the Triple X Championship points battle by 12 points 549 to 537 over Springfield, Oregon’s Alison Journey. Lake Steven’s rookie driver Dustin O’Brien holds down third with 528 points, followed by fellow rookie Reese Goetz from Snohomish with 517 points, Goetz will be looking to make it three wins in a row . Poulsbo’s Garrett Johnson rounds out the top five with 486.
In the Cut Rate Hobby Stock division Aberdeen’s Zack Simpson continues to pull away in the point standings, as he has a commanding 70 point lead over team mate Jack Parshall Jr. 678 to 608. Olympia’s Eddie Blood dropped one position to third and has 600 points. Tom Sweatman, last week’s winner moved into forth 3 points behind Blood at 597. 2009 Hobby Stock Rookie of the Year Derek Junell from Gig Harbor rounds out the top five with 591 points.
There will be three big nights of racing next weekend July 15th , 16th and 17th as it is the 4th Annual Fred Brownfield Memorial Lucus Oil ASCS National Sprint Car Series presented by Little Creek Casino. Including an appearance by NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Greg Biffle, on July 16th. Reserved tickets are on sale now by going online or calling the office.
The front gates open at 4:30 pm, qualifying at 5:30 and racing to start around 6:30.
For more information please go to or call the Raceway
office at (360) 482- 4374

Grays Harbor Raceway is proud to be partnered with so many great partners that include Crown Distributing, Coors and Miller, Harbor Pacific Bottling, Pepsi and Mountain Dew, Hoosier Racing Tires, Triple X Race Co, Shipwreck Beads, Little Creek Casino and Resort, Cut Rate Auto Parts, Industrial Hydraulics, Our Community Credit Union, MASCO Petroleum, Turbo Blue, Bulldog Trailers, Lucky Eagle Casino Microtel Inn & Suites, Toads Deli, Great NorthWest Federal Credit Union, Sideline Auto Wrecking, Speedmart and Little Nickel.