• DNR: Public encouraged to heed fire safety this Labor Day weekend

    OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is urging campers, recreationists, woods workers, and other forest visitors to be especially careful with fire this weekend. Despite some recent regional precipitation, fire danger remains high in Washington.


    In an effort to reduce human-caused wildfires, DNR has issued a statewide burn ban on all lands under DNR protection, effective through September 30. The ban applies to all forestlands in Washington State, except federal lands. While campfires are allowed in approved pits west of the Cascade Mountains in all state, local and private campgrounds, they are not allowed east of the Cascade Mountains.


    DNR suggests always checking to see if there are additional local restrictions on campfires before leaving home to go camping or hiking. Because campgrounds may choose to ban campfires, it’s best to check with the campground host before considering a campfire.

    For daily updates on burn restrictions, call 1-800-323-BURN or visit DNR’s webpage showing fire danger and burning restrictions by county: http://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/firedanger/BurnRisk.aspx 

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  • Old Fashioned Labor Day Picnic and Paddle A Thon in Ocean Shores

    OCEAN SHORES, Wash. – Saturday, August 31st the city of Ocean Shores kicks off the “Old Fashioned Labor Day Picnic and a Paddle A Thon.” The Action Committee for Tourism and local business sponsors host this picnic and human powered boating event for all ages at North Bay Park near the Ocean Shores Airport. The Paddle A Thon kicks off at 9 a.m. with registration for the human powered boating events. The Old Fashioned Labor Day Picnic starts at 11 a.m.


    The Paddle A Thon requires participants to register and pay a $5 insurance fee, provide their own life jacket and a whistle, for safety. Once that is accomplished several races and events await the Human Powered Boat participants. These include: the 10 a.m. 6-Mile race, the Noon 2-Mile race, the 12:30 Poker Paddle. The racing day ends with a 3 p.m. Wacky boat race. Events will wind up at 3:30 p.m.


    The Old Fashioned Labor Day Picnic features live music, an old fashioned soap box for the “politically minded,” as well as a “Shower Splash” for those who want to comment on the state of the shower victims by splashing them with cold water. The Lighthouse Family Clinic is sponsoring the Shower Splash and will be on hand to offer free blood pressure checks and other health information for all ages. Raffle drawings will be held each half-hour for prizes and surprises.

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  • As summer vacation ends, long-term lane closures on I-90 begin

    EASTON, Wash. – Just when you thought construction was winding down for the season, crews are getting ready to kick it into high gear on I-90 after Labor Day. As part of an $18.4 million Recovery Act-funded project, WSDOT and contractor crews will replace several miles of deteriorating concrete panels in the right lane of westbound I-90, between Easton and Bullfrog Road (www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/i90/lkeastontobullfrogwb), about 20 miles east of Snoqualmie Summit.
    WSDOT waited until heavy summer travel volumes subsided to help reduce delays and congestion for travelers on this critical cross-state route. The work and lane closures are still expected to add an up to an hour to drivers’ commute times across the pass.
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  • Emphasis Patrols Throughout Washington This Labor Day Weekend

    Officers in the Commercial Vehicle Division (CVD) of the Washington State Patrol will be conducting Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance inspections focusing on driver qualifications through the Labor Day weekend. These inspections are aimed at reducing collisions by verifying drivers have followed the rules on allowable drive time and are qualified to operate the vehicles they are driving. Any indications of driver impairment will also be closely watched.

    CVD officers would like to remind motorists that commercial motor vehicles need twice the time and distance to stop as cars. It is recommended that you have one car length for every ten miles per hour of speed that you are traveling before returning to the lane in front of a commercial motor vehicle. Please drive carefully, be courteous and have a safe enjoyable holiday weekend.

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  • Last weekend to catch the bus in Grays Harbor

    ABERDEEN, Wash. – Today begins the last weekend of transit service for Grays Harbor. Despite the need to drum up support for a sales tax increase on the November ballot, after the Labor Day weekend, Grays Harbor Transit will eliminate weekends, holidays, transfers, and the route to Centralia, but keeping the College Sticker Program for students.
    The transit will ask the public for a .01% sales tax increase on the November countywide ballot to upright an $800-thousand budget deficit. General Manager Mark Carlin says if the tax passes it will return them to a state-approved budget. He hoped to see a return to weekend service by 2015.
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  • Opening Night at Grays Harbor Raceway

    The 2010 racing season gets under way at the ASA track member Grays Harbor Raceway this Saturday Night at the fast 3/8’s clay oval located at the Fairgrounds in Elma, Washington. Local divisions taking to the track for their first points race of the year, include Whitney’s Auto Group 360 ASCS Sprint Cars, Shipwreck Beads Modifieds, Triple X Ford Focus Midgets, and the Cut Rate Auto Parts Hobby Stocks.
    All the 2010 Grays Harbor Raceway Champions will be back to defend their titles including, four time Sprint Car Champion Glenn Borden Jr. from Raymond, two first time champions, Montesano’s Josh Muller in the Shipwreck Beads Modified division and Snohomish driver Seth Hespe in the Triple X Ford Focus Division. As well Aberdeen’s Zack Simpson will be going for his fourth straight Cut Rate Hobby Stock Championship, Simpson looks to join Mike Zvano and Elma Auto Racing Fall of Famer George Wixon as the only drivers who have won four straight championships at Grays Harbor Raceway. GHR will add a new champion in 2010 as there will be a Non Wing Sprint Car Champion for the four non wing events.

    Start times are a little different this year as the front gate will open at 4:30 pm, time trials at 5:30 pm, with racing to start at 6:30 pm.

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  • Spent Labor Day weekend home? You weren’t the only one

    OLYMPIA, Wash. – It could have been the rain, wind, economy or school calendar. Whatever the reason, the result was clear. There were fewer vehicles on the road in most places for Labor Day 2009.

    WSDOT collects and provides data on its Web site on routes that typically see an increase in travel over holiday weekends to help drivers have the information they need to know before they go on holiday trips.

    On I-90 across Snoqualmie Pass, WSDOT counted nearly 187,000 vehicles during the Labor Day weekend, a 9 percent decrease from Labor Day 2008.

    Most areas in Washington showed a similar decrease, with traffic on US 2 over Stevens Pass even lower, with 29,900 vehicles on US 2 over Stevens Pass from Friday through Monday. That’s down 6,500 vehicles (or 22 percent) from 2008.

    Traffic on I-5 near the U.S./Canadian border showed a small increase from 2008. WSDOT counted 129,700 vehicles on this stretch of highway from Friday through Monday, an increase of 3,400 vehicles (or 3 percent) from Labor Day weekend 2008.

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