Grays Harbor College named one of Washington’s 27 most military friendly

Washington community and technical colleges on the Military Friendly Schools list are: Bates, Bellevue, Bellingham, Big Bend, Cascadia, Centralia, Clark, Clover Park, Columbia Basin, Edmonds, Everett, Grays Harbor, Green River, Lake Washington, Lower Columbia, North Seattle, Olympic, Peninsula, Pierce, Renton, Shoreline, Skagit Valley, South Puget Sound, South Seattle, Tacoma, Walla Walla and Whatcom.

For a complete list of schools in Washington and across the nation, visit

State Parks Asks “Would You Like Flies With That?”

As the process moves forward, public comments, questions and suggestions received about the future of Washington State Parks will be made available online at 

Public meeting locations, dates and times are as follows: 

• Tri Cities: 7 to 8:30 p.m. May 17
Columbia Basin College
2600 N. 20th Ave. 
Building A, room A126
Pasco, WA 99301

• Spokane: 3:30 to 5 p.m. May 19 (focus on Riverside State Park) and 6 – 7:30 p.m. May 21 (focus on Mount Spokane State Park)
Spokane Public Library Shadle Branch
W. 2111 Wellesley Ave.
Spokane, WA 99205

• Central and East Wenatchee: 7 to 8:30 p.m. May 22
Washington State Parks Eastern Region Headquarters
270 Ninth Street N.E. 
Ice Age Conference Room
East Wenatchee, WA 98802

• Friday Harbor: 2:15 to 4 p.m. June 2
Whidbey Island Bank – Community Room
535 Market Street
Friday Harbor, WA 98250

• Olympia: 7 to 8:30 p.m. June 5
Tumwater High School
700 Israel Road S.W.
Olympia, WA 98501

• Seattle area: 7 to 8:30 p.m. June 6
King County Department of Development and Environmental Services
900 Oakdale Ave. S.W.
Renton, WA 98057

• Fort Worden State Park: 6:30 to 9 p.m. June 11
200 Battery Way
Company A
Port Townsend, WA 98368

• Burlington: 6:30 to 9 p.m. June 12
Burlington Library
Burlington Rotary Community Meeting Room
820 E. Washington Ave.
Burlington, WA 98233

• Chinook: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. June 14
Fort Columbia State Park Theater
475 Highway 101
Chinook, WA 98638 
Individuals, groups and organizations wishing to join an e-mail list for updates on the planning process are invited to use the following contact information: 

• E-mail:
• Phone: (360) 902-8504 and ask for Strategic Planning
• Mail: Washington State Parks, Strategic Planning, P.O. Box 42650, Olympia, WA 98504-2650 

Stay connected to your state parks by following Washington State Parks at, and 

The Commission manages a diverse system of more than 100 state parks and recreation programs, including long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation. The 99-year-old park system will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2013. For more information on Centennial 2013, visit

Support state parks by purchasing your Discover Pass today, and enjoy a whole year of outdoor fun on Washington’s beautiful state-managed recreation lands. For more information, visit

FEMA Dollars Begin to Flow Into Washington

Following the March 5, 2012 Presidential disaster declaration, the State Emergency Management Division (EMD) and FEMA began processing public assistance applications throughout the 11 disaster declared counties. Projects in Seattle, Lacey, Renton, the Shelton School District, the Cedar River Water and Sewer District, as well as others, were among the first applicants to be approved.

“Our primary goal is to get to ‘yes’ on projects so we can help these Washington communities recover as quickly as possible,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Mike Karl at FEMA’s Lacey-based field office. “This initial funding approval is the first of many to come.”

Eligible counties include Clallam, Grays Harbor, King, Klickitat, Lewis, Mason, Pierce, Skamania, Snohomish, Thurston, and Wahkiakum. FEMA will pay 75 percent of the eligible costs for debris removal, emergency protective measures, repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges, utilities, buildings, schools, recreational areas, and similar publicly owned facilities.

Under the PA program, the state is able to forward federal funds to eligible state, local and tribal governments as well as certain private non-profit organizations providing essential community services that incurred disaster-related costs.

Information about the WA/FEMA PA process is available at:

No Place for Civics in WA Classrooms?

Ahl believes civics often gets pushed aside in pursuit of other subjects – those that students are tested on, to meet graduation requirements.

“There’s no test that kids have to pass to graduate saying they know anything at all about their government. That shoves it out of the way, because more time needs to be concentrated on these other subjects.”

Ahl says kids learn about the federal government in U.S. History, which is required. They also take Washington State History, but most often it is taught in middle school, and the focus isn’t on civics.

When the State Board of Education meets on Wednesday, the half-credit civics requirement will be among the topics to be discussed. The meeting will be held at Puget Sound ESD, 800 Oakesdale Ave., Renton.

NorthWest Wingless Sprint Tour at Grays Harbor Raceway

After two early season rainouts the NorthWest Wingless Tour (NWWT) will see its first point’s race of the season at Grays Harbor Raceway this Saturday Night. Local drivers that will be hand to do battle, include veteran Sprint Car driver Dan Dunlap from Renton and 2008 Grays Harbor Raceway Ford Focus Midget Champion Jeff Bell from Marysville, Rookie Sprint car driver Jonathan Jorgenson from Auburn will also be on hand, Jorgensen finished second in last year’s Ford Focus Midget point standings. Other Washington drivers scheduled to compete include, Arlington’s Brandon Skeeter and Doug Kamerzell, Yakima’s Doug Peters, Dylan Olsen from Kelso, and Mike Romig from Vancouver. Oregon driver’s include Cory Estaban from Gaston, Estaban was the 2009 Dwarf Car Champion, Nick Tomlinson from Newburg, Mark Herz from Sandy, Theo McCarty from Hillsboro, Mark Nichols from Eagle Creek, Kyle Mehner from Clakamas, Salem driver’s Sterling Kane and Roy Crouch.

The Pacific Hardtop Racing Association Dwarf Cars will make their first of two stops at Grays Harbor Raceway this Saturday Night. These 5/8’s scale replica cars from the 30’s with Yamaha motorcycle engines always put on a great show at Grays Harbor, you can expect upwards of 20 of these fast little machines to be in action on Saturday. Hillsboro Oregon driver David Cantu leads the point standings with 870 points followed by Ronnie Gilmore from Aloha, Oregon with 850, Clay Goben is in third position with 841. A father and son duo of Henry Corbin II and Henry Corbin III from Malalla round out the top five positions with 835 and 790 points respectively.
Aberdeen’s Zack Simpson is once again the points leader in the Cut Rate Hobby Stock division after scoring his fourth feature win of the year, coupled that with Cosmopolis driver Tom Sweatman’s failing to finish last week’s feature, Simpson leads the standings by 19 points 444 to 425 over Sweatman. Gig Harbor’s Derek Junell and Olympia’s Eddie Blood are tied for third with 413 points closely followed by Jack Parshall with 390 points. Rookie Tom Hecker from Spanaway is sixth with 368 points.
In the Hornet division Olympia’s Brian Izzi will be looking to make it two wins in a row after beating opening night winner and fellow Olympian Rory Clevenger last weekend. Last Saturday featured the largest Hornet field ever as there 18 cars that competed. Onalaska’s Jake Mills finished third followed by Zach Dalrymple from Olympia and Rodney West from Parkland.
For more information please go to or call the Raceway office at 360 482- 4374

Grays Harbor Raceway is proud to be partnered with so many great partners that include Crown Distributing, Coors and Miller, Harbor Pacific Bottling, Pepsi and Mountain Dew, Hoosier Racing Tires, Triple X Race Co, Shipwreck Beads, Little Creek Casino and Resort, Cut Rate Auto Parts, Industrial Hydraulics, Our Community Credit Union, MASCO Petroleum, Turbo Blue, Bulldog Trailers, Lucky Eagle Casino Microtel Inn & Suites, Toads Deli, Great NorthWest Federal Credit Union, Sideline Auto Wrecking, Speedmart and Little Nickel.

Opening Night at Grays Harbor Raceway…. Take Three

In an effort to bring more excitement back to GHR in 2010, double file restarts will be used in the Modified, Midget, Hobby Stock and Hornet divisions this year. The leader will start on the front row alone, with all other drivers lined up double file. There will be no more cone on the front straight, on all restarts passing will begin when you pass the chalk line in turn four.

Drivers expected to challenge last year’s champions in their respective divisions include, in the Sprint Car ranks, Tacoma’s Shawn Rice, Rice should be one of the top challengers for the championship as he will debut his new paint scheme this Saturday night. As well as seven time Sprint Car Champion Jay Cole from Shelton. Cole will also be sporting a new paint scheme in his quest for his eighth Sprint Car championship, others will include Enumclaw’s Henry Van Dam, Renton’s Steve Vague, Renton’s Dan Dunlap and young guns Quilcene’s JJ Hickle, Maple Valley’s JJ Dishneau, Logan Forler from Orting and possibly 2008 Sprint car Rookie of the year TJ Hartman from Puyallup.

Modified drivers expected to challenge include former champions Scott Miller from Shelton, Craig Moore from Seabeck and back after a three year layoff Chehalis driver Jon Swiglo, others include Seabeck’s James Wolfard, Aberdeen’s Greg Dineen, Randy Ward, 2009 Rookie of the year Joe German from Aberdeen, Matt Scherer from Aberdeen, Morgan Criswell from Vancouver along with Scott Westley from Centralia, David Burns from Bremerton, Del Schnitzer from Shelton, Steve Signal from Olympia and Elma’s Floyd Livingston. Rookie drivers include Shelton’s Alan Muenchow, Renton’s Bill Lamm, and Castle Rock’s Carl Larson.

In the Hobby Stock division, 2009 Rookie of the Year Derek Junell from Gig Harbor will be back to challenge along with, Olympia’s Eddie Blood and Brian Izzi, Bremerton’s Keith Knowlton, Aberdeen’s Jack Parshall, Zack Fuller from University Place, Koit Honea from Montesano, Patrick Glennon from Wesport, Patrick Murray from Port Orchard and two father and son combinations including many time pavement Late Model Champion Tom Sweatman from Cosmopolis and his son Cory Sweatman along with the Greg and Ross Watkins from South Prairie.

AG’s law enforcement bills still alive – for now

McKenna added that he’s grateful to legislators, both Democrat and Republican alike, who have sponsored his bills, and thanks the chairpersons who sped the bills through their committees. Those committee chairs include:
·         Rep. Jeannie Darneille, D-Tacoma, who took executive action yesterday on the AG’s domestic violence bill, where it was unanimously passed out of her Government Appropriations Committee.
·         Sen. Margarita Prentice, D- Renton, who expedited the domestic violence bill through her Senate Ways & Means Committee. The AG’s domestic violence bills, which get tougher on repeat, felony abusers, are prime-sponsored by Sen. Dale Brandland, R-Bellingham, and Rep. Kirk Pearson, R-Monroe.
·         Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle, for adopting the language from the AG’s bill restricting child pornography into a new bill, and sending that bill through his Judiciary Committee. AG McKenna’s proposal upgrades the state’s ability to combat the rape and molestation of children by pursuing abusers who photograph or video-record their crimes, and the underground market that trades in the resulting images.
·         Sen. James Hargrove, D-Hoquiam, for sponsoring the AG’s bill to streamline the state’s ability to protect seniors and the disabled from physical abuse or financial exploitation – and for sending the legislation through his Senate Human Services & Corrections Committee.
AG McKenna is also pleased that his consumer protection bills have made it through the committee process so far. A fix to the state’s Lemon Law and a bill combating foreclosure scammers will both advance to the next phase of the legislative session.
On a less positive note, two bills to protect property owners were not allowed to receive a public hearing and are dead for the year.
“I regret that even though our eminent domain bills are supported by legislators across the political spectrum – from urban Democrats to Eastern Washington Republicans – those bills weren’t allowed to receive public hearings,” said McKenna.
One of McKenna’s property rights bills (HB 2425/SB 6200), would prohibit the taking of people’s homes or businesses for economic development – for example, to build a mall or a hotel.  The other, (HB 2423/SB 6199), reforms the state’s Community Renewal Law to restrict government’s ability to label entire neighborhoods as “blighted” in order to sell them to a private developer.
The property rights bills had widespread support among both parties. HB 2425, for example, has 14 co-sponsors from each party.
The next major legislative deadline is Feb. 16.

September Is Weather Radio Awareness Month in Washington

 Awareness Month Activities include: 
  • Governor Gregoires Proclamation of Weather Radio Awareness Month.
  • Web Site information with consumer incentives on weather radios –
  • Consumer incentives on weather radios from manufacturers and vendors.
  • Heightened awareness for schools and the emergency preparedness community.
  • Coastal Tsunami Warning Communications Test and Statewide Earthquake Drill on Sept 24 at about 1015 AM using EAS via Weather Radio.
  • Dedication of new Upper Cowlitz River Basin Weather Radio station on Sept 24.
  • Booths at the Puyallup Fair, Spokane Co Interstate Fair, Columbia River Watershed Festival, Thurston Co Disaster Fair, Renton Disaster Fair and many other outreach events.
  • Local retailers with weather radios – Fred Meyer, Radio Shack, Joes, REI, Walgreens, Cabela’s