Westport business leader, and Ocean Companies co-owner Dennis Rydman passes away

Ocean Companies co-owner Dennis Rydman passed away unexpectedly Tuesday morning. Westport Mayor Michael Bruce said this morning “Dennis Rydman will be greatly missed. He was a strong driving force in Westport taking business risks, growing Ocean Gold into Ocean Companies providing jobs for Westport and the Grays Harbor community.”
The Rydman family has been supporting and growing the fishing industry in Westport for generations. The Ocean Companies website says that Dennis owned and operated 20 different vessels that have ranged from 30 to 200 feet and been manned by crews as large as 36. He’s had as many as 150 people employed on the ocean fishing for him at any given time, and more than 600 employed on land.


Ocean Companies released the following statement on the passing of Rydman

It is with profound sadness that we announce the sudden and unexpected passing of Dennis Rydman, the President and CEO of Ocean Gold Seafoods Inc.

Dennis was a lifelong fisherman, father, grandfather, and the patriarch of the Rydman family. He was a strong supporter of the Westport Washington area and a friend to the coastal fishing communities in the Pacific Northwest.  Dennis was passionate about his family, his company, his friends, and the commercial fishing industry. His presence will be sorely missed.

Ocean Gold Seafoods Inc., a commercial industry leader, will continue in the strong tradition that was Dennis’ legacy.

We would like to express our deepest condolences to his wife Jacquelyn Rydman; his sons Mark, Eric and Ross, as well as his precious grandkids and the entire Rydman family.

The Ocean Gold Team has suffered a tremendous loss.

Grays Harbor Transit denies bus ads against crude-by-rail

Grays Harbor Transit will not weigh in on the crude by rail debate. Citing their current policy on political ads, the Transit Authority Board last night declined to authorize a request  made by Aberdeen resident Tori Kovach to advertise on their buses.
Grays Harbor Transit denies Crude by Rail adsAs a member of the Grays Harbor Coalition for Infrastructure, Transit Board member Frank Gordon recused himself citing a conflict of interest. The County Commissioner then offered this opinion “We are so poor, we’re poorer than church mice and church mice can’t turn down the cheese. So we have a chance to make some money on the ads on this bus – just a thought.”
With two other absences on the board last night Westport Mayor Michael Bruce, County Commissioner Wes Cormier, and Aberdeen Mayor Bill Simpson did not have a quorum to authorize the ads. Gordon said to me during the meeting “so you can put down there was a bunch of old fogies on the transit board, [that] did nothing.
The four ads requested are editorial cartoons drawn by the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Steve Sack, all spoke out against crude by rail.

Westport hosts meeting to discuss contract that would replace police force

The city of Westport will hold a Town Hall meeting next week to discuss a contract for police services with the County Sheriff’s Department.
Tim Hill is a commercial fisherman in Westport, he told the city council Monday night “I am ‘for’ having the Sheriff, and the drug task force come into Westport, and try to do something about this drug problem that we’ve got around town because everybody knows it, and it needs to be addressed.”
Mayor Michael Bruce said the meeting run from 6 to 8 PM Monday night at the Ocosta High School, with Grays Harbor County Sheriff Rick Scott on hand to talk about the policing services they could offer the city.

Westport police chief retiring, city to begin hiring process for two officers

The city of Westport will be looking for a new Chief of Police soon, after William Gibson announced his retirement to city staff last month.
Westport's "mani-cop" position remains filled.
Westport’s “mani-cop” position remains filled.

Mayor Michael Bruce tells us they actually have a couple of job openings. “Late December, Judy Stiles longtime city employee and our Court Clerk retired. After vacation I go back to city hall and my Police Chief comes in and Chief Gibson says [he’s] retiring this year and done in July.” Bruce added that when it rains…. “within hours, Lieutenant Joe Christian submitted a letter, saying he’s retiring in February.

The city is contacting the state to start the lateral hiring process for the officer positions, anyone interested in applying at the entry-level can get started online at www.publicsafetytesting.com

Westport Mayor Michael Bruce to host crude by rail info meeting

WESTPORT, Wash. – The City of Westport is hosting a town hall meeting to discuss crude by rail in Grays Harbor. Mayor Michael Bruce announced the meeting was oprganized at the request of council, and will answer questions about the potential impacts of petroluem exports from the Port of Grays Harbor terminals in Hoquiam. The meeting starts at 5 p.m. November 12th at McCausland Hall on the grounds of the Westport Maritime Museum.