Westport Winery earns gold in New York Finger Lakes International Wine Competition

Westport Winery brought home five medals from the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition in Rochester, New York. This is the competitions 15th year with 73 judges from around the world judging 3708 wines from 27 countries.

2015 Boom FrontDirector of Winemaking, Dana Roberts, earned a gold medal on Boom Runner, a sparkling pomegranate wine that benefits Hoquiam’s Polson Museum. Silver medals were awarded to Smoky Nor’wester Sangiovese, Shorebird Chardonnay, and Elk River Riesling.


Smoky Nor’wester benefits the Museum of the North Beach in Moclips and features grapes from the renowned Red Willow Vineyard in the Yakima Valley AVA. Shorebird Chardonnay benefits the Grays Harbor Audubon and features grapes from Conner-Lee Vineyard near Othello. Elk River Riesling, also from Red Willow Vineyard, benefits the Twin Harbor Chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

2015 Smoky Front

2015 Mercy FrontCidermaker Carrie Roberts earned a silver medal for Mercy, her hard apple cider. Each of Westport ciders (Mercy, Courage, Hope and Grace) benefits Mercy Ships an organization providing surgical care to the poorest of the poor in Africa.

Westport Winery’s award-winning wines are exclusively available at the winery. The tasting room, gift shop, produce market, plant nursery and bakery are open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The restaurant is open for lunch daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and for dinner on Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information contact Westport Winery at 360-648-2224 or visit the website at www.westportwinery.com.

2013 Shorebird PosterLaunch spring at the winery’s unique sculpture garden, lavender labyrinth, musical fence, 9-hole executive golf course, giant chess set, outdoor scrabble game, and grape maze, all located on the corner of Highway 105 and South Arbor Road halfway between Aberdeen and Westport. You will see why Westport Winery was named Best of the Northwest Wine Destination.



“U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” distracted driver emphasis patrols underway in Washington

For the second year in a row, more than 100 law enforcement agencies in Washington State will be cracking down on distracted drivers as part of the national distracted driving campaign.

Between April 1 and April 15, officers will target motorists who are seen talking on handheld cell phones and sending text messages.

“U Drive. U Text. U Pay” is a campaign supported by the family of a student who died near Colfax while texting and driving.

Sam Thompson, 20, died September 12, 2014 after crossing the center line while texting and driving northbound on Highway 195 and colliding head-on with a semi-truck.

Sam’s parents, Jim and Lisa Thompson will unveil a sign to be erected this spring at the site near Colfax where Sam died. The sign and the extra statewide patrols will be in honor of Sam.

These patrols and all extra patrols are part of Target Zero, which is a campaign striving to end traffic deaths and serious injuries in Washington by 2030.


Driver distraction is a leading factor in many crashes, and cell phone use and texting are two of the most common distractions. Many states and local jurisdictions are passing laws that address these behaviors.GHSA’s message to all drivers remains: don’t use cell phones or other electronic devices while driving, regardless of the current law.

GHSA recommends states ban hand-held cell phone use for all drivers. While texting and hand-held bans are both critical, texting bans by themselves can be difficult to enforce. In states with texting but not hand-held bans, a driver may claim they were dialing a phone number when stopped by a police officer. Enforcement demonstration projects in New York, Connecticut, Delaware and California have shown that hand-held cell phone bans can be enforced effectively and can reduce driver use of a cell phone. See below for the specific policy language.

The It Can Wait® Campaign

GHSA supports the It Can Wait campaign. Spearheaded by AT&T, the goal of the campaign is to save lives by calling on the public, law enforcement, educators, corporations, consumer safety groups and legislators to help find solutions to prevent the dangers of texting and driving. Learn More


In 2011, GHSA released Distracted Driving: What Research Shows and What States Can Do. The report summarizes what distracted driving is, how often drivers are distracted, how distraction impacts driver performance and what countermeasures may be most effective as well as what states can do to reduce distracted driving.

Among the findings:

  • Distractions affect driving performance.
  • Drivers frequently are distracted, perhaps as much as half the time.
  • Distractions are estimated to be associated with 15 to 25 percent of crashes at all levels.
  • Texting likely increases crash risk more than cell phone use.

Based on the existing research, the report urges states to:

  • Use low-cost engineering solutions such as edgeline and centerline rumble stripes to alert motorists who may drift.
  • Record distracted driving in crash reports.
  • Evaluate other distracted driving laws and programs.

In 2009, GHSA joined a coalition of safety and transportation groups in writing letters to key members of the U.S. House pdf icon [46 KB, 3 pgs.] and Senate pdf icon [47 KB, 3 pgs.] advocating a broad approach to distracted driving and supporting a strong federal role.

Vehicle of missing Seattle woman found abandoned near Neilton

The vehicle of a missing Seattle woman was located last week in the Olympic National Forest, 33 year old Donna Van Zandt was not. Chief Criminal Deputy Steve Shumate tells KBKW last Friday evening, United States Forrest Service notified the Sheriff’s Department of an abandoned 2000 Honda Civic that had been located by hunters scouting an area near Neilton. The location was a very remote logging road approximately 5 miles in on Quinault Ridge Road. A deputy was eventually able to make his way to the vehicle and determined the car most likely had been at the location for several months due to the vegetation that had grown up around the car. The keys to the vehicle were still inside in addition to camping and hiking gear. There was no other obvious information to indicate what may have happened to the driver/occupants.

Donna Van Zandt

The vehicle was registered to Donna Van Zandt, a 33 year old female from Seattle. On Saturday investigators worked on locating family and friends of Van Zandt. At this point, it appears the last family contact was in April of 2014. Family members did explain that in January of this year, Van Zandt’s father was apparently murdered in New York, and April was the 2nd anniversary of her mother’s passing.

On Sunday, numerous search and rescue members searched the area where Van Zandt’s vehicle was located. Van Zandt was not located on that day.

Here is the vehicle that was located, in addition to a picture of Van Zandt.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Van Zandt is asked to call Detective Keith Peterson of the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office at 360-249-3711.

Donna Van Zandt car

Imperium Renewables returns to Umpqua Bank for expansion capitol

Imperium Renewables, Inc., a leader in next-generation biofuels, announced a new lending agreement with Umpqua Bank, a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation (UMPQ), that will provide Imperium with an additional $10 million in working capital to fuel its growth.

This modification of a 2012 agreement increases Imperium’s working capital from Umpqua to $20 million while maintaining the company’s revolving line of credit with the bank.

“Umpqua Bank’s knowledgeable team continues to find smart, flexible financing solutions that Imperium needs,” said John Plaza, president and CEO of Imperium Renewables. “These resources will help us continue to grow and diversify our operations in biodiesel production and sales.”

Seattle-based Imperium Renewables develops proprietary technology and processes to produce biodiesel, a clean-burning alternative fuel whose global demand is growing due to its environmental benefits, including lower carbon dioxide emissions. Its Imperium Grays Harbor facility can produce up to 100 million gallons of biodiesel annually. The additional working capital supplied by Umpqua will position Imperium to expand production and sales.

“Imperium Renewables is a proven leader in the industry, and is uniquely poised for further growth,” said Danielle Burd, Umpqua Bank’s executive vice president and director of client relations. “We’re pleased to expand this partnership – and to provide access to capital that allows them to diversify and grow.”

Imperium is committed to producing the highest-quality biodiesel, using sustainable and environmentally sound feedstocks. In lending to Imperium, Umpqua Bank demonstrates its commitment to help grow the region’s economy by finding financial solutions for local businesses.

About Imperium Renewables

Imperium Renewables is a global leader in next-generation biofuel production. Founded in 2004, the company is driven by a single goal – to fundamentally change the way we fuel transportation by developing and producing clean, renewable and sustainable alternative fuels. Imperium operates one of the nation’s largest BQ-9000®-certified biodiesel facilities, Imperium Grays Harbor in Hoquiam, Wash.

About Umpqua Bank

Umpqua Bank , headquartered in Roseburg, Ore., is a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation, and has locations across Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California and Northern Nevada. Umpqua Bank has been recognized for its innovative customer experience and banking strategy by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and BusinessWeek, and named to FORTUNE’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” eight years in a row.

Washington joins emphasis patrols on 5,600 miles of road with the I-90/94 Challenge

Motorists will notice an extra law enforcement presence when driving on two of the country’s most highly traveled interstates during a four-day enforcement campaign in early August.

The Washington State Patrol and law enforcement officials in 14 other states are joining together with a goal of zero deaths on Interstates 90 and 94 between Washington state and New York Aug. 1-4. That’s more than 5,600 miles of road.

This combined effort is known as the “I-90/94 Challenge.” It’s not a competition between states, but a challenge to drivers to stay safe on one of the country’s busiest highways.

“We will have zero tolerance for the violations we know cause the most deaths and injuries,” said WSP Chief John R. Batiste. “Speed, DUI and the failure to wear seat belts continue to cause preventable tragedies and rip families apart.”

Batiste urged drivers to answer the challenge by tweeting “#9094challenge” when they’ve arrived safely at a destination.

Coordinated by the Minnesota State Patrol, the challenge will use education, awareness and strict enforcement to save lives and remind all motorists to drive safely and obey important traffic laws.

Traffic crashes kill more than 33,000 people each year in the United States. Local, state and national traffic safety officials agree too many of those fatalities are happening on I-90 and I-94.

In Washington, regularly scheduled troopers will focus their work time on I-90. A few additional troopers are being brought on specifically for the emphasis patrol. I-90 splits into two highways, 90 and 94, in Montana. I-94 does not exist by that name in Washington State.

“The first weekend in August is the mid-point between two other driving holidays- Independence Day and Labor Day,” Batiste said. “We’ll use this emphasis patrol to help drivers maintain good driving habits.”

I-90/94 Challenge is intended to help the International Association of Chiefs of Police reach its goal this year of reducing U.S. traffic fatalities by 15 percent.

More information on is available at www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov or follow the hashtag #9094challenge.

Ocean City gas station burglars grab beer, Swisher Sweets, and change

A couple of burglars made off with two 18 packs of beer, Swisher Sweets, and a handful of change from the Sunshine Deli & fuel station at Hogan’s Corner on State Route 109 on Tuesday.
Chief Criminal Deputy Steve Shumate with the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office tells us just after midnight Tuesday morning alarms were reported at the store, responding deputies found the glass on the front door had been broken with a large rock. Video surveillance showed a pair of men believed to be in the 20’s ransack the store.

Shumate said Deputies learned that two individuals had entered the store after breaking the front door glass with a large rock.  The two individuals then proceeded to steal two 18 packs of Icehouse Beer in cans, several individually wrapped Swisher Sweet Cigarillos, and a small amount of change.  The suspects then fled the store and ran north.

Continue reading Ocean City gas station burglars grab beer, Swisher Sweets, and change

Lindsey Baum semi-trailer heads to Tumwater Wal-Mart for National Missing Children’s Day

Proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan and honored by every administration since, May 25 is recognized nationally as the day 6-year-old Etan Patz disappeared from a New York City street corner on his way to school in 1979.  His case remains unresolved (suspect Pedro Hernandez, confessed and is now pending trial) and Etan has never been found. His case serves as an annual reminder to renew efforts toward reuniting missing children with their families and make child protection a national priority.

National Missing Children’s Day is a reminder to all parents and guardians of the need for high-quality photographs of their children for use in case of an emergency.  It also serves as a reminder of how valuable it is for everyone to pay close attention to the posters and photographs of missing children.

In recognition of National Missing Children’s Day, The Washington State Patrol’s Missing and Unidentified Persons Unit has collaborated with the Tumwater Wal-Mart.  This Saturday, May 24, 2014, child safety information and fingerprinting for child identification kits will be on hand for distribution.

Two Homeward Bound semi-trailers will be on site to promote awareness of missing children.  The two semi-trailers depict images of Lindsey Baum, missing since June 2009 and Danica Childs missing since December 2007


May 24, 2014




Wal-Mart Supercenter
5900 Littlerock Road SW
Tumwater, WA 98512

U.S. Coast Guard, NOAA, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to hold public discussions on the future of America’s waterways

The U.S. Coast Guard, along with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, will hold nationwide public discussions on navigational aid technology and how it will affect the future of America’s waterways.

The Future of Navigation-21st Century Waterways public listening sessions will be held in several locations across the country and will provide venues for open communications between various federal agencies and U.S. Maritime Transportation System stakeholders to discuss the joint federal agency initiative to use modern technology to support a safer, more efficient, more secure and environmentally-sound Marine Transportation System.

These listening sessions will provide the maritime community — both professional and recreational mariners — and waterways stakeholders an opportunity beyond traditional venues to express their emerging needs for navigational information and service delivery systems necessary to improve the safety and efficiency of transits on the nation’s waterways.

Scheduled 2014 sessions are listed below:

  • May 1: Prospector Hotel, Juneau, Alaska
  • May 7: 1350 Port of New Orleans Place, New Orleans, La.
  • May 19: Harborview Center, Honolulu, Hawaii
  • May 22: Renaissance Hotel & Waterfront Conference Center, Portsmouth, Va.
  • May 22: Embassy Suites, 110 SE 17th St., Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
  • June 3: Seattle Public Library, Seattle, Wash.
  • June 3: Volpe Center, Cambridge, Mass.
  • June 10: U.S. Customs House, New York City, N.Y.
  • June 12: DoubleTree Hotel, Port Huron, Mich.

Other sessions tentatively scheduled are:

  • Alameda, Calif., and St. Louis, Mo. (dates to be determined)

Aberdeen “travel advisory” worries residents, no official advisories in effect

ABERDEEN, Wash. – A Travel Advisory for the city for Aberdeen? It was issued by a one-man website called Montesanotoday, and it riled up a few citizens who attended the Aberdeen city council last night. “It purports to expound on topics raised here at the last meeting, and I was just recently told it’s full of B.S. Be that as it may, a lot of people’s perception is their reality.” Homeowner Tory Kovach detailed the article, which features images stolen from other websites like that of a zombie-like addict from crystalmetheffect.com and a photo of spent needles taken three years ago by a New York City blogger.
Montesano residents are well familiar with the site’s author, Tom Fredriksen, Ssince last year he’s used the platform to promote everything from political agendas to football games.
Ocean Shore Mayor Crystal Dingler may have put it best last month when the city took heat for their handling of an animal cruelty investigation. “You can’t believe everything you read on the internet.”

Workforce Development Council Names New Head

Fambles has a master’s degree in public administration from City University of New York, where she was a National Urban Fellow.  She is also a graduate of the Senior Executives in Government Program, Harvard University – JFK School of Public Service, and received her undergraduate degree from The Evergreen State College. A graduate of Yelm High School, Fambles lives in Olympia with her husband.

Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council is a Washington state public nonprofit organization that administers and oversees the federal workforce programs throughout the five-county region of Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston counties, in partnership with the chief elected officials of the five-county region. The organization develops public policy for workforce programs, operates employment and training programs, and collaborates with education, economic development organizations, community-based organizations, business leaders, and labor to build a competitive workforce.