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Greater Grays Harbor Inc. Annual Legislative Sendoff – good food with good people

Representative Steve Tharinger (D-Dungeness) speaks to business leaders in Aberdeen.

Business leaders throughout Grays Harbor had lunch with state legislators at the annual Legislative Send-Off luncheon held in Aberdeen yesterday by Greater Grays Harbor, Inc.¬† VP of Operations at Imperium Renewables John Gillespie said things are looking up at the Port. “We’re excited about our future at Grays Harbor, with organizations like Greater Grays Harbor…

Grays Harbor PUD adopts rate increase, will revisit second increase in July

ABERDEEN, Wash. – Rates are on the rise at the Grays Harbor PUD, General Manager Dave Ward tells us the increasing cost of power from the Bonneville Power Administration is just one factor “You know we have aging infrastructure, we’ve got to continue to put our dollars back into our system. We have some retirements coming up too, so we’ve got to start planning for a little bit of succession planning. So we’ve put some focus on that, back to the basics of providing good service.
Ward said the utility will revisit a possible second rate increase in the coming summer. “We’ve elected to split that, see how we do through the winter with the wholesale power market. See other ways we could reduce our costs, and try to reduce as much as we can come July.
For the average residential customer, the 3.75% increase will add about $4.11 to their monthly bill, effective January first.
As we reported earlier this month, the PUD is facing almost $2 million in increased power costs this coming year, mostly due to the Bonneville Power Administration, from whom the District purchases most of their power, raising their transmission rates by 11% and their power rates by 9% this past October. The utility’s capital budget also calls for $10 million in expenditures deemed necessary to replace aging electrical equipment and to maintain the system.

Hoquiam to rethink new fire station after bids come back too high

HOQUIAM, Wash. – The city of Hoquiam will likely remodel, instead of rebuild, the Eastside fire station after learning that a grant for nearly a million dollars won’t cover the costs. Mayor Jack Durney tells us even though they had no matching requirements on the grant “We called for bids and the bids were quite a bit higher than the estimate. So we’re cancelling all of the bids and we’re going to go back to the drawing table and come up maybe with a remodel instead of a new building.
The State Department of Commerce awarded Hoquiam $900,000 to demolish and rebuild the Eastside Fire Station in May of 2012. Durney said the city did not have the resources to add another 4 -or $500-thousand to fully fund that.

Commissioner Frank Gordon demands resignation of County Assessor Rick Hole

MONTESANO, Wash. – A Grays Harbor County Commissioner is demanding the resignation of their Assessor, Rick Hole.
Commissioner Frank Gordon tells KBKW he submitted a letter to the Assessor’s office on Tuesday outlining several areas where he feels the elected official has failed the voters. Beginning with backed up revaluations that he says are placing a burden on local cities, and the decision to develop software for annual audits in-house. “We have a non-functional system. I myself, personally, feel that the system is not going to ever work.”
The letter, signed by only Commission Gordon, was also sent to the Washington Auditor’s Office and Department of Revenue.

Federal funds to repair and fortify railroad bridge over the Hoquiam river

HOQUIAM, Wash. – Work begins at the end of the month to make repairs and to prepare the railroad bridge over the Hoquiam river for added railroad traffic. Funded by a $350,000 grant from the Federal Railroad Administration, the project will replace the mid-river pier, damaged in a 2009 flood, with a dolphin barrier that will prevent boats from hitting the bridge.

The Washington State Department of Transportation tells KBKW the contract will be awarded to American Construction from Tacoma. Construction is expected to begin Dec. 31, 2013, and work will be completed mid-February 2014.
The Puget Sound and Pacific Railroad uses the bridge to transport goods to the Port of Grays Harbor and other nearby businesses West of the Hoquiam River and along the Hoquiam Horn Spur.

Phone survey for crude/coal by rail is not a product of the Port

ABERDEEN, Wash. - The Port of Grays Harbor’s Commission has learned of a phone survey being conducted to gauge the level of support for the development of a coal export facility at the Port of Grays Harbor. The Port tells KBKW they “did not sanction this survey and we have no knowledge of who did. We can unequivocally state that there are no discussions or plans for an export coal facility at the Port of Grays Harbor.

Public Affairs Specialist Kayla Dunlap added in a press release “In contrast, we are aware of a countywide phone survey that was conducted several months ago regarding the transporting of crude oil by rail to potential storage facilities at the Port of Grays Harbor that suggested overwhelming support for such projects.

The Port of Grays Harbor works hard to pursue safe and effective job development initiatives and values the trust and confidence of the community in bringing these efforts to fruition. We thank you for your support and will continue to provide our customers and our community with the highest level of service.

Outgoing councilman challenges city to stop airing dirty laundry

MONTESANO, Wash. – It may be time to bring in the laundry and “make Montesano what it used to be.” Outgoing city councilman Doug Streeter last night issued the challenge to fellow council, city staff, and residents to make my job more difficult “I’ve always been proud to say that I live in Montesano. The last year and a half it’s been an utter embarrassment to me. We’ve got a lot of healing to do, we need to come together as a community and stop airing our dirty laundry in the newspapers.” Streeter motioned to myself and the editor of The Vidette, adding “I know, Steve and  Dave you guys have jobs to do. We need to stop using sources to get our agendas done – whatever those agendas might be.” – thanks Doug, you probably owed me one, anonymous news tips can be emailed to news@kbkw.com by the way.
 
The city has been in litigation more than some lawyers lately with union grievances, employee suspensions, and internal investigations. With most of that behind them now, councilwoman Pam McElliot replied “We’re going to turn ourselves around, get on the right track, and I think. I think everything’s going to be just fine.
Election results were certified last night, Marisa Salzer will be filling Streeter’s position 2 seat on the council at their next regular meeting.

UPDATE: Aberdeen police find hit-and-run driver after license plate left at the scene

ABERDEEN, Wash. - Police have located the driver of a van that fled the scene of an accident that it didn’t cause earlier today. Corporal Darren King tells us it happened at the intersection of 1st and F streets before 9 this morning. A Westbound Chrysler 300 ran a red light and was struck by the van, which then sped off South bound on F street. The Chrysler spun around, hopped a curb, and collided with an apartment complex across the intersection. King said after tracking down the owner of a license plate that was left at the scene, they cited a 46 year old Aberdeen woman for hit and run attended, as well as failure to provide proof of insurance.

No injuries were reported this morning, and the building sustained only minor damages. Market street was closed briefly while a tow truck pulled the car from the sidewalk.

First and F street accident

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KBKW – From the Harbors Only Locally Owned Media Group

Founded in 1949 by Ben K. Weatherwax, KBKW operates 24-hours on 1450 kHz AM & 94.7 FM, from studios at the Jodesha Broadcast Center, 1520 Simpson Avenue in Aberdeen.

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KBKW offers some of the biggest names in talk radio, and the area’s ONLY live local AM drive talk show.  Industry veteran Doug McDowell knows his subjects and not only knows what questions to ask, but how to ask them.  Doug’s daily CoffeeTalk program has become THE program to listen to every weekday.  You can talk to Doug on air between 6 and 10 am by calling 360-533-KBKW, or by emailing doug@kbkw.com.

Award winning News Director David Haviland reports on the latest breaking news that’s important to you. Email a newstip, or question, to news@kbkw.com.

Unlike some stations, most of KBKW weekday programming (and most weekend programming) is LIVE. We feel that’s important with the events going on around the world!

Fast Facts Our Location
Name: The Talk of Grays Harbor
Call Letters: KBKW-AM/FM
Dial Position: 1450/94.7
Coverage Area: Grays Harbor & Pacific Counties
Address: 1520 Simpson Avenue
Aberdeen Washington 98520
Office Phone: 360-533-3000
Second Phone:  
Office Fax: 360-532-1456
Request Line:  
Station Contacts

 

Bill Wolfenbarger “Boss Bill”
President
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Doug McDowell Doug McDowell 
Host: Coffee Talk 
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Gabrielle Jordan
General Manager
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Johnny Manson
On-Air Mornings 5am-10am
Production Director
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Dave Haviland
News Director
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Johnna Cogdill
Senior Marketing Consultant
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Okeedokees Cafe in Cosmopolis to be demolished

COSMOPOLIS, Wash. – If you can call them landmarks, Cosmopolis is losing two at the entrance to their city in the coming months. Public Works Director Darrin Raines told the council the OkeeDokee’s Cafe, and a tarp-covered home across the street are being demolished. “Those two big eyesores should be taken care of here within about a month, month and a half.”
The Okeedokees Cafe has been empty for years, the other home belonged to a Cosi firefighter but has since sat vacant and awaiting asbestos removal to be demolished.
OkeeDokees Cafe in Cosmopolis

Photo provided by erika eve

Dinner and a movie for Wild Olympics supporters

ABERDEEN, Wash. - Over 120 Grays Harbor supporters of Wild Olympics, including business owners, and other community leaders, attended a screening of the film “Out of the Mist” about the forests and streams of the Olympic Peninsula at the Aberdeen Elks on Wednesday, October 2nd. Campaign consultant Al Carter tells us the dinner was a “Thank You” to their longtime supports.

Area doctor voices concerns over “meth-heads” in Aberdeen

ABERDEEN, Wash. – Aberdeen’s downtown homeless population is apparently migrating up the hill. That’s according to Doctor Carey Martens, he told the city council at last night’s meeting “I live up on Broadway Hill, we’ve seen a huge influx in terms of vagrants, meth-heads, every kind of undesirable that you see downtown – we’ve got up in our neighborhood.”
KBKW On DemandThe Chief of Staff at Community Hospital said he’s often asked questions as he recruits doctors to the area “And they’re asking ‘Doc Carey, where should we buy a house at?’ Oh Wishkah is looking good, just come in and work – get the heck out of [Aberdeen] at night.”
The doctor said he doesn’t feel safe in his own driveway, and warned the council “I can practice medicine anywhere I want, and I chose to come here. People like me are not going to stay here for much longer, unless we get this place cleaned up.”
City Councilwoman Kathy Hoder said she sees similar issues at her business “I pack a gun to work, and I keep it with me at all times.” although her solution might not be for everybody.

Central Park fire displaces family of 5, no injuries

CENTRAL PARK, Wash. – A family of 5 was displaced by a house fire in Central Park this morning. Public Information Officer Brian Baldwin tells us they arrived just before 5 to the 900 block of Garden road off of Central Park Drive “We got on scene, they had a small fire that then erupted into the rest of the residence.”
A cause of the fire is under investigation, Baldwin said it spread quick “We were actually on the scene for about 30 minutes, and then it moved up – most likely through the attic – and then it really did erupt from there.”
One pet dog escaped with the family, however 4 birds and a pet pig did not. The Red Cross has been called in to assist the family.
Central Park fire displaces family of 5, no injuries