• Washington Verdict Spotlights Military Discrimination

    OLYMPIA, Wash. – A U.S. District Court jury this week awarded $485,000 to a Washington National Guard member who claimed she had been harassed and discriminated against because of her military assignments.

    Sgt. Grace Campbell says coworkers at her civilian job resented having to cover her responsibilities during deployments, and that she was fired when it was learned she was being deployed again. Campbell says her supervisor told her if the deployment was voluntary and she didn’t pass it up, her job would be at risk.

    I told her that I thought I had a duty to do it; the military was my job as well. At that time, I’d been in for about 16 years, serving with the 81st Brigade, and I told her I felt I needed to do something. – Sgt. Grace Campbell
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  • New Satsop Company to Employ 150

    SATSOP, Wash. – A company planning to rennovate the closed Boise-Cascade plant in Satsop will employ 150.

    NewWood Manufacturing creates wood-plastic composite building materials, and plans to operate the plant 24 hours a day. Beginning with crates for fruit bins, the company plans to expand to a worldwide market, combining waiste wood fibers and recycled plastics.

    NewWood purchased the closed plant with the help of Enterprise Cascadia, whos name may sound familiar, they played a big part in helping to fund the 5.5 million dollar wind turbine project with Coastal Community Action Program.

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  • Grays Harbor PUD to Receive Nearly 4.5 Million Dollar Reimbursement From December Storm Response

    ABERDEEN, Wash. – The Grays Harbor Public Utility District (PUD) today said the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has agreed to reimburse Grays Harbor almost $4 million paid to contractors who restored power and conducted emergency repairs to its electrical infrastructure caused by the destructive December 2, 2007 storm. In addition, the FEMA approval paves the way for the PUD to receive another $639,000 in State emergency funds that were contingent on FEMA’s approval of the District’s appeal, bringing the total to more than $4.4 million dollars.
    FEMA initially denied the claim because Grays Harbor did not seek competitive bids or sign contracts before the emergency work began. The District successfully appealed arguing that the ability to anticipate a storm of that magnitude and have competitive bids for unknown levels of emergency work is not feasible as during this time we could not even access many portions of the county.  Apparently, FEMA had changed their rules in 2007. The District now has taken steps to ensure future compliance to not face this situation again. In addition, another $1.3 million is still being reviewed as part of the appeal and also could result in additional funds being released.
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  • Quinault Nation Declares State of Emergency

    Fawn Sharp, President of the Quinault Indian Nation, declared a state of emergency Tuesday night due to a breach in the Taholah seawall and destruction of a smokehouse, other outbuildings and properties in the lower village. The damage was caused by high waves and intense winds. A press release from the Tribe said Sharp is […]

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  • Dicks and Murray Drop Portion of Wild Olympics Proposal, Close in on Legislation

    ABERDEEN, Wash. – In an effort to further tame the Wild Olympics proposal, and come closer to legislation, Sen. Patty Murray and Congressman Norm Dicks announced yesterday that the group is dropping the ‘willing seller, willing buyer’ component of the proposal. 
    “This is the biggest change that we’re making, that we’re announcing today. We are taking the park piece off the table, so the only thing that is going to be in there is the wilderness and the wild and scenic river aspects.” Sara Crumb, district director for Dicks informed Grays Harbor Democrats last night at their regular meeting “We’ve been listening, we’ve heard these concerns, and we think we can go forward with a piece of legislation that is very responsible, doesn’t impact jobs, but preserves these very important areas for future generations.”
    Both the Wild Olympics, and the Working Wild Olympics groups spoke at last night’s meeting, one week before a mayor-organized meeting will inform the public on the same issue.
    We’ve been listening, we’ve heard these concerns, and we think we can go forward with a piece of legislation that is very responsible, doesn’t impact jobs, but preserves these very important areas for future generations. – Sara Crumb
    The Dicks-Murray version of the proposal would designate 130,000 acres of U.S. Forest Service land as wilderness where no logging would be allowed; designate 23 river systems as wild and scenic within Olympic National Forest and the park. But will no longer include a portion that would allow the park to buy up to 20,000 acres of mostly private forest land if a willing seller was found.
    A public meeting on the matter next week will be held in the Bishop Center at the Aberdeen campus of Grays Harbor College on Thursday, May 10th at 6-9pm.

    You can hear last night’s proposals in the KBKW Exclusive category of our On Demand section.

    Wild Olympics
    Working Wild Olympics
    Murray Dicks Olympics 

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  • Congress Wrestles with Oil Prices, Subsidies, and Speculation

    OLYMPIA, Wash. – Another congressional committee is to take up high gasoline prices today with a hearing on what is being called “excessive oil speculation.”

    Democrats say the Commodity Futures Trading Commission was supposed to put limits on crude oil market traders in 2010 which still haven’t gone into effect.

    Keith Hughes is one small business owner who says he’s watching the action closely. His company, West Seattle Natural Energy, installs solar panels and water heaters. He says he doesn’t think renewable energy stands a chance when the oil industry is playing high-stakes poker with futures and Congress can’t seem to rein it in.

    To be paying over $4 a gallon and then to read the reports showing that these oil companies’ profits have gone up 30 and 40 and 50 and 60 percent on speculation on what future prices might do is – I mean, that’s just a travesty. – Keith Hughes
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  • Cantwell Announces $88 Million for Landmark Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Project

    SEATTLE, WA – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) announced that Battelle Memorial Institute will receive a federal investment of $88,821,251 to develop smart grid technologies that will create jobs and lead to lower electricity bills for consumers.  The funding for the Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project will be used to install a smart grid framework, including a digital telecommunications network, substation automation and a robust distribution system infrastructure.  This will enable the implementation of future smart grid technologies, including smart meters that will provide real-time energy use information to customers and help lower rates.  Smart grid technology includes hardware and software, which when linked together can communicate to optimize how electricity is generated, transmitted, distributed, and used. 
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