• Governor Jay Inslee announces steps to preserve SNAP benefits for Washington families in need

    Governor Jay Inslee on Thursday announced steps to preserve Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for approximately 200,000 households in Washington. The changes will prevent the loss of nearly $70 million in federal SNAP benefits resulting from policy changes in a new Farm Bill passed by Congress. “Governor Inslee’s decision to protect Washington families from […]

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  • Two Birds in Grant County Test Positive For First West Nile Virus in State

    OLYMPIA, Wash. – Two birds collected this summer from the North Potholes Reserve near Moses Lake are the first birds to test positive for West Nile virus in the state this year. An American white pelican and a mallard duck have tested positive for West Nile virus. Though not typically used for monitoring West Nile virus activity, these birds are among the 326 bird species nationally that have been found to carry the virus.

    The dead birds were discovered by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife while investigating why an unusual number of birds had died at the reserve in Grant County. State Fish and Wildlife officials sent the birds to the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center for testing. According to the center, American white pelicans are particularly susceptible to the virus.

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  • Hoquiam Farmers Market News – Warm Weather Edition

    The heat is on!! Finally some real growing weather is here! Our garden responded immediately to the sunshine! The strawberries went from pink to red to deep red in the space of a few hours, developing a sweetness that shouts out ‘Summer’!
    The Spooner Strawberries will be ripening faster than the pickers can harvest them. Our supply of strawberries arrives by 9:30 each morning, just in time for a mid morning snack.

    Tomatoes adore hot weather, and our garden tables at the Farmers Market are crowded with huge, healthy tomato plants in need of a spot in a garden. We have big tomatoes, little tomatoes, yellow ones, heirlooms, beefsteak, you name a tomato variety and we have it! Some are even on sale now, just when you thought that there was no chance of tomato growing weather. In no time at all you can be harvesting your very own tomatoes, and you will be amazed at the sense of utter contentment that comes with serving something this luscious that you grew.

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  • Plans to End Childhood Hunger in WA by 2015

    SEATTLE – The ambitious goal is to end childhood hunger in Washington and across the nation by 2015. Actor and anti-hunger advocate Jeff Bridges is hoping the “No Kid Hungry Campaign” will help accomplish it. Bridges, along with governors and others interested in the cause, kicked off the national effort this week. A similar, statewide campaign is already underway.

    Bridges says there are nearly 300,000 children in Washington living in households that struggle to put nutritious food on the table every day, and 17 million kids across the nation who need reliable access to food – and one of the solutions requires no extra funding.

    “Make better use of the programs that already are in existence, and that’s what this new campaign that I’m the national chairperson of is all about, the No Kid Hungry Campaign.”

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  • WA Weatherization Programs: Jobs Up, Power Bills Down

    Washington State – Federal Recovery Act funds are doing double duty around the state of Washington, in weatherization programs that are putting people to work as they lower utility bills for homes and businesses. The money is being used to train local contractors for energy-efficiency work, and to buy down the costs for people who would otherwise have a hard time affording the services.

    The Community Energy Challenge (CEC) in Whatcom County has added another service; low-interest weatherization loans for home and business owners, also with federal dollars. Program Manager Shawn Collins says the project is only a few months old, and is already paying off.

    "Total, since we started this program, we’ve created 13 full-time jobs, the equivalent of 13 full-time jobs, and have been saving homeowners roughly 15 percent of their total energy bills, of the projects we’ve completed."

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  • Cut water use, North Beach officials tell Pacific County system’s customers

    OLYMPIA ¾ North Beach Water District officials issued a water conservation notice today to the system’s customers. The district serves about 2,700 connections at Ocean Park on Pacific County’s Long Beach Peninsula. It may soon run critically low on water because of multiple breaks in frozen service lines. Conservation measures are needed immediately to assure that customers’ water demands can be met.

    North Beach’s situation illustrates a concern for many who have recreational or second homes that were unoccupied during extreme low temperatures that hit Washington earlier this month. Broken lines can lead to water damage that can be expensive for the homeowner. Breaks and leaks can also cause problems for water purveyors who are having difficulty maintaining service for their customers.

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