Learn How to be a Small Business StartUp at classes in Western Washington

Do you have an idea for a small business that makes money, builds community, and protects the environment? Take a step to move your idea forward as the Washington Coast Works: Sustainable Small Business Competition (wacoastworks.org) kicks off with five community “ideation” events, to be held April 21-23 in Taholah, Aberdeen, La Push, Forks and Neah Bay. (Full schedule below.)
The Washington Coast Works competition offers budding entrepreneurs an opportunity to develop skills, get support and win cash to launch their businesses. The winner will receive $10,000 in startup funding, and two semifinalists will receive $5,000 each. Prize funding is provided by First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Port Angeles and the Quinault Indian Nation.
These three-hour workshops will:
 Answer all your questions about the competition, including how to apply, how the finalists and winners will be selected, what training and support will be provided, and more.
 Introduce you to the entrepreneur’s mindset, the opportunity discovery process, and sustainable “triple bottom line” businesses.
 Engage you in brainstorming activities designed to help generate ideas for new sustainable businesses that build leadership, contribute to conservation and keep money in the local economy.
All events are free and open to the public. No need to register in advance.

“This competition is a fantastic opportunity to develop some creative and unique sustainable businesses here in Grays Harbor. I would encourage anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit and a great business idea to attend the Ideation workshop to learn more about this opportunity” said Dru Garson, CEO of Greater Grays Harbor.

Entrants to the Washington Coast Works: Sustainable Small Business Competition, are encouraged but not required to attend one of these ideation events. Enter starting April 20 at wacoastworks.org. Entries close June 19.
The competition is being presented by The Nature Conservancy in partnership with the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship at Pinchot University (formerly Bainbridge Graduate Institute) and the Taala Fund. USDA provided funding through its Rural Business Opportunity Grants to help launch the competition.
Ideation Events:
 Taholah – Tuesday, April 21, 10 a.m- 1 p.m.. Taholah Community Center,
 Aberdeen- Tuesday, April 21, 4 p.m.-7 p.m., GHC Whiteside Continuing Education Center
 La Push – Wednesday, April 22, 10 a.m.-1p.m., Tribal Office West Wing
 Forks- Wednesday, April 22, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Peninsula College
 Neah Bay – Thursday, April 23, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Marina building

Retired Hoquiam couple $1,000,000 richer

A Hoquiam woman recently won a $1,000,000 jackpot playing Washington’s Lottery Mega Millions.


The winning ticket was purchased at the Safeway located at 221 W Heron Street in Aberdeen on Monday, September 29. The woman returned to that same retailer with her husband to check her ticket on Sunday, October 5. When they scanned her ticket at the store, the couple couldn’t believe it was a winner.


“We checked it twice and even had the clerk look, too,” she shared. “We usually play Mega Millions, Lotto and Powerball, but we’ve never won anything like this before.”


When the couple claimed their prize at the Olympia regional office on October 6, they told Lottery officials that they were still unsure of how they would be using their winnings. “We’re both retired, so this will be nice to have in the bank. We might pick up a few new toys too, we’re just not sure yet!”


This is the first big win for the longtime Washington residents, and they hope it won’t be the last. The couple explained that they prefer the draw games and typically use the Quick Pick option for selecting their numbers.


Mega Millions is a multi-state game, drawn on Tuesday and Friday evenings at 8 p.m. The next jackpot drawing is for $180 million on Friday, October 17.


Proceeds from Washington’s Lottery benefit the Washington Opportunity Pathways Account, providing grants to college students statewide. To learn more about Washington’s Lottery, its beneficiaries and to review all up-to-date winning numbers, please visit www.walottery.com.

FEMA hosting briefings on National Flood Insurance Program

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, in conjunction with the Cities of Aberdeen, Cosmopolis, and Hoquiam, as well as Grays Harbor County is holding 3 briefings on the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in Aberdeen on Tuesday, August 26th

In addition to a review of the National Flood Insurance Program and the recent reforms they will also be reviewing floodplain management requirements and mitigation activities at the 10am and 7pm briefings. The 2pm briefing will focus primarily on the NFIP insurance policy and the recent legislative reforms.

Continue reading FEMA hosting briefings on National Flood Insurance Program

Community Foundation awards $128,900 in Discretionary Grants and $40,000 in After School Program Fund Grants

The Grays Harbor Community Foundation is pleased to be able to invest $128,900 into the community through its third quarter discretionary grants cycle. The Foundation has long been a resource to Grays Harbor County nonprofit organizations by offering a quarterly discretionary grants cycle. This quarter, the Foundation awarded 13 grants that totaled $128,900 in discretionary funding. “This is the largest discretionary grants cycle, in terms of number of applications, as well breadth of organizations requesting funding,” Program Officer Cassie Lentz said. “We were pleased to see the extensiveness of programs and projects that were seeking funding, from all corners of our county and beyond.”

The organizations that were funded through this discretionary grants cycle include: Montesano Community Outreach for summer art camps, Our Aberdeen for mural restorations, Grays Harbor College for making ballet performance accessible to children, Thurston County Volunteer Legal Services for legal advice clinics in Grays Harbor County, Nonprofit Leaders Conference of Southwest WA for their 2014 conference, Artic Community Association for roof repairs, Child Care Action Council for their “Raising A Reader” program, Aberdeen Revitalization Movement for phase one of their operations, Catholic Community Services for the Grays Harbor Youth Center, Beyond Survival for the “Where We Live” program, McCleary School District for STEAM education, Northwest Justice Project for an employment opportunities legal fellowship in Grays Harbor, and Montesano School District for the field turf project at Jack Rottle field.

The Grays Harbor Community Foundation was also able to award $40,000 to four After School Programs here on the Harbor through a designated fund set up specifically for that benefit. Supported programs included: McCleary School District, Montesano Community Outreach, North Beach School District, and the YMCA of Grays Harbor for Harbor After-School program sites in Hoquiam, Elma and McCleary.

Grays Harbor Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization with a mission “to improve the quality of life in the communities throughout Grays Harbor County.” This is accomplished through many projects and processes that work through or in support of other non-profit organizations, including a quarterly discretionary grants cycle with applications accepted on the first business day of January, April, July and October.

Tax deductible donations may be made to:
Grays Harbor Community Foundation, P.O. Box 615, Hoquiam, WA 98550
You may find out more by checking the foundation website: www.gh-cf.org or you may contact the Foundation staff at 532-1600 or by e-mail at: info@gh-cf.org.

Bishop Center for Performing Arts receives ArtsWA Innovation grant

The Bishop Center for Performing Arts at Grays Harbor College is among several Washington State arts organizations who have been awarded grants as part of ArtsWA’s inaugural Innovations Incentives Program. Arts organizations applied for the Incentives awards as part of the annual competitive Grants to Organizations projects support process.

The Bishop Center was awarded $2,000 in the Level B catagory, according to their website, they received a Project Support grant of $2,400 last year to increase access to, and participation in cultural opportunities. “This year we offered professional arts organizations a chance to compete for an extra $1,000 to $3,000 for innovative projects that will increase art participation with young adults and diverse audiences,” said Mayumi Tsutakawa, ArtsWA Grants Program Manager. “As a result, Innovations Incentives grants were awarded in each of the project support levels for fiscal year 2015. These incentive awards were in addition to the amount ArtsWA granted to the organizations for their FY 2015 project support funds.”

The Innovations Incentives awards are an outgrowth of ArtsWA’s Arts Participation Leadership Initiative (APLI), a five-year project funded by The Wallace Foundation that investigates methods arts organizations can use to broaden, deepen and diversify their participating audiences, supporters and artists. This subsequent pilot program focused on projects that addressed young adults and racially diverse demographic groups, and emphasized projects that employed new uses of social media and technology.


$1,000 –  Level A (Arts Organizations with an annual budget of $200,000 or less)

Mid Columbia Mastersingers / Richland
The grant will be used to introduce dramatic staging elements and operatic treatment in the “All Creatures Great and Small” performance of Benjamin Britten’s “Noye’s Fludde” (Noah’s Flood). Mid Columbia Mastersingers are working to draw a larger and more diverse audience to this project which will help to increase the interest in choral music.
Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra (SWOJO) / Seattle
To initiate an online music publishing division for SWOJO’s unique jazz ensemble composition contest for women composers. The purpose is to expand participation in, awareness of, and access to, the contributions of women composers in jazz.
Student Orchestras of Greater Olympia / Olympia

To pilot “Media on the Mezz.” This program dedicates the mezzanine level in the Washington Center for the Performing Arts for audience members who will use their phones and cameras to post comments, photos and video clips on social media during the concerts. The goal is to attract and encourage young audience members to use social media as an integrated approach to audience development.

$2,000 – Level B (Arts Organizations with an annual budget between $200,000 to $1 million)

Earshot Jazz / Seattle

Incentives funds will be used to involve young professional artists to help curate the 2015 Earshot Jazz Festival. The goals are to create a more diverse range of content and also to build future presenters and audiences.


Richard Hugo House / Seattle
Richard Hugo House plans to use Innovations Incentives funds to videotape its Lit Series and Word Works readings, making them available on its website and e-newsletters. The project will help writers investigate craft and help Richard Hugo House expand audiences.

Seattle JazzEd / Seattle

Seattle JazzEd plans to partner with Odessa Brown Clinic, presenting youth music classes and concerts at the inner city health center. Funds will also be used for the JazzEd staff to receive training to help them better serve the social/economic needs of its students.

$3,000 – Level C (Arts Institutions with an annual budget of over $1 million)

On the Boards (OtB) / Seattle

OtB will strengthen diversity in its community with the Ambassador Project, convening 15 individuals from a cross-section of Seattle’s creative industry and arts community to serve as ambassadors. It envisions the project will create conversations about aesthetics and community issues. These new ambassador voices will help interpret performances, lead artist questions & answers and broaden attendance; including curating the 12 Minutes Max performance lab; creating artist-to-artist dialogues; and producing workshops and collaborative performances that contextualize mainstage pieces.

Tacoma Symphony Orchestra (TSO) / Tacoma

Tacoma Symphony will create the Mini Maestros Program in partnership with Lakewood Boys & Girls Club, targeting low income families in the South Tacoma area. Its goal is to inspire and provide access to quality live music and education events, working to reduce psychological barriers to classical music programs. TSO plans to use the Innovations Incentives grant to improve overall academic fitness by involving children in the arts.

Washington’s Clean Boating Program wins $1.5 Million federal grant for waste pumpouts

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced a $1.5 million grant to the Washington State Parks Department’s Clean Vessel Act (CVA) Program, which works in partnership with Washington Sea Grant to help marinas install and operate septic pumpout stations, educate marina owners and boaters about the importance of clean water and proper onboard sewage disposal, and distribute free adapter kits that make pumping easier and cleaner. The grant is one in a $16.1 million package awarded competitively to 21 states’ CVA programs. Washington, which has one of most active and innovative CVA programs, received the fifth-highest award.

“Clean water is a fundamental need for both people and wildlife, and a perfect example of how the fates of both are intertwined,” USFWS Director Dan Ashe said in announcing the grants. “Clean Vessel Act grants not only help ensure that clean drinking water, sustainable ecosystems and healthy recreational areas are accessible to the American people, they also provide a substantial economic benefit for local communities.”

This year those benefits will be especially directed to the San Juan Islands, which have rich marine habitats, heavy boating activity, and limited pumpout facilities, as well as South Puget Sound, Hood Canal and Lake Washington, longtime boating and water-quality hotspots. Washington State Parks is currently seeking sources for the 25 percent match required under the grants to fund a second pumpout boat on Lake Washington and a free pumpout service in the San Juans.

Clean Vessel Act funds come from manufacturer excise taxes on fishing tackle, import duties on recreational boats and fishing gear, and motorboat and small engine fuel taxes. Last year, Washington’s Clean Vessel Program diverted more than 5.6 million gallons of raw sewage that would otherwise have contaminated state waters, threatening fish, shellfish, and human health.

Washington Sea Grant and its partners, including the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S Power Squadron, have delivered hands-free pumpout adapters to more than 7,000 boaters. Sea Grant has also created a Google map showing all 146 CVA pumpout locations in Washington, available at www.pumpoutwashington.org.

Boaters, yacht clubs and other organizations that would like free pumpout adapters should contact Aaron Barnett at (206) 616-8929 or aaronb5@uw.edu.

Grays Harbor Community Foundation reaches $50 million milestone

As of July 15, 2014, the Grays Harbor Community Foundation has exceeded a threshold of $50 million in assets, through a substantial distribution from the Estate of Ann R. Weatherwax.  This now makes GHCF the sixth largest Community Foundation of the 29 in Washington State.


In existence for twenty years, the Foundation has been serving the Grays Harbor community through its grants and scholarships programs, assisting hundreds of local nonprofit agencies fulfill their missions and more than a thousand students attain their educational dreams.  The Foundation is working to make Grays Harbor a better place to live, by supporting efforts to improve the community, by building a “community of giving” and being a resource for local nonprofits.


“We are pleased to be able to continue our work in Grays Harbor in perpetuity,” said Executive Director, Jim Daly. “The exceptional growth of the Community Foundation would not be possible without strong investment returns and the continued support of our donors who believe in our community and the Foundation programs.


In 2014, we have chosen 332 students to receive $553,000 in scholarships for students of any age pursuing college or vocational/technical education after high school. We also expect to award at least $1.5 million in grants to nonprofit organizations in Grays Harbor through our discretionary grants program, as well as our donor advised and designated grant distributions.”


Some of our recent grants have included support for: Hope From Horses, a riding program for physically and mentally challenged youth; the Children’s Advocacy Center, the Domestic Violence Center, and Beyond Survival; playground equipment replacement at four parks; Meals-on-Wheels, for a new delivery vehicle; two school STEM programs and two Robotics Clubs; a “Technology in the Classroom” initiative; and, funding to send every sixth grade student in Grays Harbor County to the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker” in Seattle through the Gladys Phillips Cultural Tours fund, which originated with the E.K. and Lillian Bishop Foundation.


The Grays Harbor Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization with a mission “to improve the quality of life in the communities throughout Grays Harbor County.”  This is accomplished through our scholarship program and many projects and processes that work through or are in support of other non-profit organizations, including a quarterly discretionary grants cycle.


Tax deductible donations may be made to:

Grays Harbor Community Foundation, P.O. Box 615, Hoquiam, WA 98550


You may find out more by checking the foundation website:  www.gh-cf.org or you may contact the Foundation staff at 532-1600 or by e-mail at:  info@gh-cf.org.

Washington State DOT funds available for freight rail projects

The Washington State Department of Transportation is accepting applications to receive state funding for freight rail projects in Washington that create family-wage jobs and demonstrate the economic and environmental advantages of freight rail.

Railroads, port districts, rail districts, private companies and local governments are eligible to apply for part of nearly $8 million in project grants and loans available through two state programs – the Freight Rail Assistance Program and the Freight Rail Investment Bank.

Selected projects will improve freight mobility, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, help ease congestion on busy highways, reduce wear and tear on state roads and strengthen the state’s economy through domestic and international trade.

Applications and additional information are available at www.wsdot.wa.gov/Freight/Rail/GrantandLoanPrograms. Applications are due August 29.


Washington State Department of Transportation’s call for projects for the Freight Rail Assistance Program and Freight Rail Investment Bank is now open. Applications are due by 5pm on August 29, 2014.

For additional information, answers to frequently asked question and application requirements, please see the 2015-2017 biennium project application packets below:

Freight Rail Assistance Program application packet (pdf 311 kb)
Freight Rail Investment Bank application packet (pdf 311 kb)

Additional questions about this call for projects can be directed to:
Chris Herman, Freight Rail Policy & Program Manager

State unveils online map of Public Lands in Washington

The Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) today announced a new online, interactive map of natural resource and recreation lands owned by government agencies.

The statewide map, located at http://publiclands.smartmine.com/, allows people to click on a location and learn which agency owns the land, the number of acres, the main use of the land and the cost of acquisition if acquired within the past 10 years. Information is provided on land owned by cities, counties, the federal government and three state agencies – the State Parks and Recreation Commission, the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Department of Natural Resources. The public can search government-owned parcels by owner and principal land use. In addition, details about acquisition grants from RCO are linked to the interactive map.

“This is the first time public lands information has been brought together in an electronic format easily accessible by the public,” said Kaleen Cottingham, RCO director. “This map will be very useful to people who want to see what’s happening in their communities and to government agencies for planning purposes. It takes the mystery out of government land purchases and puts them on the Web for all to see and use.”

RCO was tasked by the state Legislature in 2013 to provide an inventory of lands in Washington owned by federal, state and local governments. In the past, these public land inventories were printed documents.

Partners in the project included RCO, University of Washington’s School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Fish and Wildlife, the State Parks and Recreation Commission and contractor GeoEngineers.

“This project created a challenge to take complex information and present it in an intuitive way,” said Scot McQueen, chief strategy officer for SmartMine at GeoEngineers, Inc., which developed the web application. “We tried to create something that people would get excited about using and that still would give them detailed information. The end design is elegant and easy-to-understand.”

The Legislature also tasked RCO with making recommendations on how to maintain this inventory in the future. The report can be found at www.rco.wa.gov/documents/plip/2014WashingtonPublicLandsInventory.pdf.

Grays Harbor Community Foundation awards $68,779 in Discretionary Grants in 2nd quarter

The Grays Harbor Community Foundation is pleased to be able to invest $68,779 into the community through its second quarter discretionary grants cycle. The Foundation has been a resource to Grays Harbor County non-profits by offering a quarterly discretionary grants cycle, and this quarter, the Foundation awarded nine grant awards for discretionary funding. “Offering an online Grant Application process, we believe, has made our program more accessible to organizations around Grays Harbor” Program Officer Cassie Lentz said, “It is important to the Community Foundation that we be open to funding requests from small and large organizations, there are so many great projects out there that are worthwhile investments.”


The organizations that were funded through this discretionary grants cycle include:

  • Bobcat Music Boosters for Marching Equipment
  • Elma Band Boosters for Marching Percussion Instruments
  • Habitat for Humanity for 2014-15 Build Projects
  • Hoquiam School District for the Summer CubMobile program
  • Leadership Grays Harbor on behalf of Beyond Survival for Wheels for Beyond Survival
  • Montesano Bulldog Band Boosters for Bulldog Instrument Acquisition Project
  • Ocosta School District for Summer Fun for Wildcats
  • South Beach Christian Outreach for Food Voucher Assistance
  • Washington Nonprofits for Grays Harbor Capacity Building


Three of the grant awards to Bobcat Music Boosters, Elma Band Boosters and Montesano Bulldog Band Boosters were supported by a Donor Advised Fund held at the Grays Harbor Community Foundation: the Don and Vera McCaw Family Fund. The purpose of the fund is to support music in Grays Harbor and the donor felt that these three projects would allow continued and unrestricted access to students throughout the county.


Dr. Dave Westby, chair of the Grants Committee noted the variety of projects requesting assistance “There is incredible diversity in our community, there is not a  lack of organizations tackling the problems they see in their own backyard. We are pleased to be able to support their efforts in making this county a better place.”


Grays Harbor Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization with a mission “to improve the quality of life in the communities throughout Grays Harbor County.”  This is accomplished through many projects and processes that work through or in support of other non-profit organizations, including a quarterly discretionary grants cycle with applications accepted on the first business day of January, April, July and October.


Tax deductible donations may be made to:

Grays Harbor Community Foundation, P.O. Box 615, Hoquiam, WA 98550

You may find out more by checking the foundation website:  www.gh-cf.org or you may contact the Foundation staff at 532-1600 or by e-mail at:  info@gh-cf.org.