State to fine owners of Mason County water system for neglect

The Washington State Department of Health intends to issue a $17,640 penalty to the investor-owners of Ripplewood Tracts water system in Mason County. The planned fine is for violating a state directive to bring the water system into compliance with drinking water regulations.

In March, the agency directed the owners to hire a certified operator to run and maintain the system, to test the water for nitrate contamination, and to notify customers that the water system had violated state drinking water regulations. As of October 30, the owners had not complied with the directive.

The state requires public water systems to employ trained, certified operators to ensure safe operation of the water systems.

Operators routinely test the water for contaminants, including nitrate, which poses a serious health risk because it reduces the ability of red blood cells to carry oxygen. Infants and people who don’t have enough stomach acids or with an inherited lack of the enzyme that converts affected red blood cells back to normal (methemoglobin reductase) are especially at risk.

The water system ownership includes Heritor Inc., a Washington corporation; and Ripplewood Utilities, Bristol Group, a Washington corporation. The registered office for the water system is 843 S. 212th St., Suite 105, Kent.

The agency issued a $22,680 penalty against the same investor group for violating state drinking water regulations in its operation of the Green Mountain Acres water system in Kitsap County. The penalty, issued Feb. 13, 2014, is under appeal, and negotiations are under way to transfer ownership of that system to Kitsap Public Utility District #1.

“We hold water system owners and operators to very strict standards because of the role they play in protecting public health,” said Clark Halvorson, director of the agency’s Office of Drinking Water. “We’d rather work with owners to find solutions than penalize them, but when they shirk their responsibility, we have little choice but to issue financial penalties.”

The owners filed an appeal on October 16. The penalty is suspended until the appeal is resolved.

The Department of Health website (www.doh.wa.gov) is your source for a healthy dose of information. Also, find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

WDFW seeks comment on Burrowing Shrimp in Grays Harbor

OLYMPIA – The shellfish industry has requested to use the pesticide imidacloprid in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor to help control burrowing shrimp.

Burrowing shrimp harm oyster production. They destabilize tidelands, causing oysters to sink into mud and sand, and suffocate.

The Washington Department of Ecology is developing a permit that would allow the use of the pesticide. Ecology determined that an environmental impact study (EIS) is needed before a new permit can be issued.

An EIS reports on the potential impacts a proposed project would have on the environment. The study is a key component of the state’s water quality permit process.

The public is invited to review and comment now through Dec. 8, 2014, on the draft EIS, draft permit, and draft sediment impact zone. Visit Ecology’s website for information on how to submit comments.

Ecology will accept oral and written comments during a public meeting at 10 a.m., Dec. 2, at the Willapa Harbor Community Center, 916 W. First St., South Bend.

The shellfish industry’s control of burrowing shrimp in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor is in transition. Coastal shellfish growers have used the pesticide carbaryl for decades to control burrowing shrimp on their commercial oyster and clam beds. The Willapa Grays Harbor Oyster Growers Association agreed to phase out carbaryl by 2013 under a settlement agreement with the Washington Toxics Coalition. Since carbaryl is no longer available, growers are requesting use of imidacloprid instead.

More information

Additional trout releases to focus on lakes in Seven Western Washington counties

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is stocking 47 western Washington lakes with 340,000 catchable-size trout this fall.

This is nearly four times more fish than were released last fall in western Washington.

WDFW is currently stocking lakes in Grays Harbor, Island, King, Pierce, Snohomish, Thurston, and Whatcom Counties.

Those lakes, which are scheduled to be stocked between Oct. 12-19, include:

  • Grays Harbor County: Vance Creek ponds 1 and 2;
  • Island County: Cranberry Lake;
  • King County: Angle, Bitter, Deep, Rattlesnake, Shadow, Green, Langlois, Walker, Holm, Fish, Fivemile and Fenwick lakes;
  • Pierce County: Harts, Kapowsin, Bonney and Bradley lakes;
  • Snohomish County: Tye Lake and Gissburg Pond North and South;
  • Thurston County: Long’s Pond, Offutt, Black, St. Clair, Lawrence, Long and Ohop Lakes; and
  • Whatcom County: Fazon Lake.

Other waters that were recently stocked include Island, Lost, Nahwatzel, and Spencer lakes in Mason County; Kitsap Lake in Kitsap County; Rattlesnake Lake in King County; Cascade Lake in San Juan County; and Gibbs, Leland and Teal lakes in Jefferson County.

Additional stocking efforts will focus on different lakes and counties in western Washington and will continue through October and November.

Bonus bag limits will also be allowed on some lakes, doubling angler’s catch limits from five to 10 trout.

A list of lakes to be stocked, those offering the bonus bag limit, and the department’s recently updated stocking plan is available for viewing at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/fall-into-fishing/.

Chris Donley, inland fish program manager, said he expects angling to be great throughout the fall and winter months at all of these lakes. “Most of the trout are 11 to 13 inches long, with a few larger ones in the mix,” he said.

The fall fish plants are in response to anglers’ requests to increase fall and winter trout fishing opportunities in western Washington, said Donley. That effort also includes stocking lakes in southwest Washington for the Nov. 28 Black Friday opener, which offers anglers the opportunity to skip the shopping malls, get outside and enjoy fishing on the day after Thanksgiving.

For those fishing closer to the Puget Sound area, there are thousands of trout available in lakes that can be pursued throughout fall and winter, said Donley. “We encourage anglers young and old, inexperienced or well-seasoned, to get out and take advantage of these great fisheries,” he added.

For up-to-date stocking information this fall, anglers should follow the department on Twitter or Facebook, accessible from http://wdfw.wa.gov, or see the department’s weekly catchable trout stocking report at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/.

Anglers must have a current Washington freshwater fishing license valid through March 31, 2015, to participate in these events.

Licenses can be purchased online at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov; by telephone at 1-866-246-9453; or at hundreds of license vendors across the state. For details on license vendor locations, visit the WDFW website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors/.

Sound Community Bank Completes Acquisition of Three Columbia Bank Branches on the Olympic Peninsula

SEATTLE, Aug. 25, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sound Community Bank (the Bank) (Nasdaq:SFBC) today announced the completed acquisition of three Columbia Bank branches on the North Olympic Peninsula. Sound Community Bank now offers banking services in Port Ludlow and expands its market share in Sequim and Port Angeles. The Port Ludlow branch marks the Bank’s first presence in Jefferson County. Sound Community Bank received approximately $22.2 million of deposits and $1 million of loans from the transaction. Sound Community Bank paid Columbia Bank a 2.35% total deposit premium.

Sound Community Bank now has six retail offices, the virtual “EZ Branch” and one loan production office. In Port Angeles, Sound Community Bank will operate the current Columbia Bank branch as Sound Community Bank until Monday, November 10. It will then consolidate into the existing Sound Community Bank branch 8 blocks east at 110 N. Alder St. In Sequim, the Bank operates at its new location at 645 West Washington St. immediately and will permanently close the original branch at 541 N. 5th Ave. at the close of business Friday, September 12. There is no location change in Port Ludlow and this branch will begin Saturday hours, 9:30 AM to 1 PM, Saturday, October 4.

Laurie Stewart, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sound Community Bank said, “We are delighted to welcome the clients and employees of Columbia Bank. The acquisition of these Columbia Bank branches helps us expand our market share and our community impact on the Peninsula. We are pleased to offer our great products and services along with our expert client service to the residents of Clallam and Jefferson Counties.”
Sound Community Bank is a full-service bank, providing personal and business banking services in communities across the greater Puget Sound region. The Seattle-based company operates banking offices in King, Pierce, Snohomish, Jefferson and Clallam Counties and on the web at www.soundcb.com. Sound Community Bank is a subsidiary of Sound Financial Bancorp, Inc.

WDFW Commission sets waterfowl seasons, discusses elk with hoof disease

With a record number of ducks counted on the northern breeding grounds this year, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission approved migratory waterfowl hunting seasons for this fall and winter during a public meeting in Olympia Aug. 8-9.

The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), also approved a new regulation that requires hunters to leave on site the hooves of any elk taken in southwest Washington to help minimize the spread of a disease that affects the region’s herds.

Under the waterfowl hunting package, most hunting opportunities in Washington will be similar to last year. That includes a statewide duck season that will be open for 107 days, starting Oct. 11-15 and continuing Oct. 18-Jan. 25. A special youth hunting weekend also is scheduled Sept. 20-21.

Limits for mallard, pintail, scaup, redhead, goldeneye, harlequin, scoter and long-tailed duck will remain the same as last season. But the commission reduced the daily bag limit for canvasback to one per day because of decreasing numbers throughout North America.

Goose hunting seasons will vary among management areas across the state, but most open mid-October and run through late January. Limits for most geese did not change, except the commission did increase the daily bag limit for cackling geese in southwest Washington from three to four.

The commission also increased the overall harvest quota for dusky Canada geese in southwest Washington from 45 to 85 birds. As in previous years, hunters are limited to one dusky Canada goose a season in southwest Washington.

The goose and duck hunting seasons approved by the commission are based on state and federal waterfowl population estimates and guidelines. According to those estimates, a record number of ducks – approximately 49 million – were on the breeding grounds this spring in Canada and the United States.

Details on the waterfowl hunting seasons will be available later this week on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations/.

In other action, the commission approved several land transactions, including the purchase of two parcels totaling nearly 2,900 acres of shrub-steppe in Yakima County. The land, located about five miles west of Naches, serves as critical habitat for a variety of wildlife, and is an important connection between summer and winter range for the Yakima elk herd.

The two parcels will be acquired through a partnership with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Cowiche Canyon Conservancy and the state Department of Ecology (DOE). The 2,588-acre property will be purchased for $1.38 million, while a 305-acre property will cost $170,000.

DOE and the Kennewick Irrigation District are providing the funding to acquire the two parcels to mitigate for the loss of shrub-steppe habitat that was converted to agricultural land. The properties will be managed as part of WDFW’s Oak Creek Wildlife Area.

The commission also received a briefing on a scientific panel’s determination that the disease that leaves elk in the St. Helens and Willapa Hills areas of southwest Washington with misshapen hooves likely involves a type of bacterial infection.

Members of the panel, composed of veterinarians and researchers throughout the state, agreed that the disease closely resembles contagious ovine digital dermatitis in sheep. The panel’s diagnosis is consistent with the findings of the USDA National Animal Disease Center and four other independent diagnostic laboratories that have tested samples of elk hooves submitted by WDFW since last year.

For more information on elk hoof disease, see WDFW’s recent news release at http://wdfw.wa.gov/news/jun2314a/ and the department’s wildlife health webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/health/hoof_disease/.

In other business, the commission conducted public hearings on the 2015-2021 Game Management Plan and proposed updates to the state Hydraulic Code.

The commission also received briefings on the department’s legislative proposals for 2015, proposed 2015-2017 operating and capital budget requests, and new potential revenue sources.

In addition, the commission was briefed on the impacts of a possible reduction in state General Funds. The potential cuts are in response to Gov. Jay Inslee’s directive to state agencies to prioritize their activities and identify reductions totaling 15 percent.

Relay for Life founder passes away, leaving a worldwide legacy

The founder of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, Dr. Gordon Klatt, passed away over the weekend. The 71 year old retired Tacoma Oncologist was battling stomach cancer, and a heart condition. He started the relay in 1985 and raised $27,000 as a tribute to a young man who had died of cancer, in 1986 Tacoma held their first relay, Grays Harbor was the second in 1987. In 1994 the American Cancer Society adopted Klatt’s event nationwide and to date the events have been held in 23 countries and has raised nearly $5-billion.

One person can make a difference. Nowhere is that more evident than with the story of the American Cancer Society Relay For Life, which began in Tacoma, Washington, as the City of Destiny Classic 24-Hour Run Against Cancer.

In the mid-1980s, Dr. Gordy Klatt, a Tacoma colorectal surgeon, wanted to enhance the income of his local American Cancer Society office. He decided to personally raise money for the fight by doing something he enjoyed—running marathons.

In May 1985, Dr. Klatt spent a grueling 24 hours circling the track at Baker Stadium at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma for more than 83 miles. Throughout the night, friends paid $25 to run or walk 30 minutes with him. He raised $27,000 to fight cancer. That first year, nearly 300 of Dr. Klatt’s friends, family, and patients watched as he ran and walked the course.

While he circled the track those 24 hours, he thought about how others could take part. He envisioned a 24-hour team relay event that could raise more money to fight cancer. Months later he pulled together a small committee to plan the first team relay event known as the City of Destiny Classic 24-Hour Run Against Cancer.

In 1986, 19 teams took part in the first team relay event on the track at the colorful, historical Stadium Bowl and raised $33,000. An indescribable spirit prevailed at the track and in the tents that dotted the infield.

In 2012, Dr. Gordy Klatt was awarded the 2012 Humanitarian of the Year Award from his alma mater, the University of St. Thomas.

Watch Gordy’s 2011 Message of Support to the Relay Nation on YouTube »

Watch Gordy’s 2009 Message of Support to the Relay Nation on YouTube »

Additional Pages of Interest

National Team Partners Relay Forum
International Relay For Life Training Room
Colleges & Youth Fundraising Ideas
Bark For Life Relay Awards
Team Captain Toolkit Relay For Life of Second Life

 

Washington Primary Election deadline is today

Washington state voters this week will decide who advances to the general election in 10 congressional races including our 6th District, and dozens of legislative races including our 19th and 24th Districts.
Today is the last day to get your ballots in, or postmarked for the state primary.

Locally, 4 are vying for the District 3 County Commissioner seat, 3 for County Assessor, 3 for PUD Commissioner.
Also on ballots of those affected is the question of whether to form a Public Hospital District in Western Grays Harbor County, and which commissioners will make up it’s 7 board members.

There are no statewide offices on the ballot, but the match getting the most attention is the 4th Congressional District race to replace U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, who is retiring after two decades in the seat. A dozen candidates crowd that race, though four Republicans appear to be the front-runners.

Under Washington state’s primary system, the top two vote-getters in each race advance to the general election, regardless of party.

The Deadline to register for the state’s General Election is October 6th, ballots will be mailed out later that month for the November General.

 

Ballot Drop-Off Locations
If there is an election in the area, ballots may be dropped off at any of the locations listed below from 7 a.m. through 8 p.m. – on Election Day only. Locations only accept voted ballots then transport them to the Auditor’s office. Sites do not offer replacement ballots, voting assistance, or other services.

Aberdeen Hoquiam Cosmopolis

YMCA Convention Center
2500 Simpson Ave
Hoquiam, WA 
 

 

Ocean Shores

120 W Chance Ala Mer Ave
Ocean Shores, WA

 

McCleary

VFW 158 Summit Rd
McCleary, WA

 

Oakville

Methodist Church
204 E Harris

Oakville, WA

 

Westport

506 N Montesano St
Westport, WA

 

Montesano

Auditor’s Office
100 W Broadway, Suite 2
Montesano, WA

 

National Night Out party lists for Aberdeen and Hoquiam

National Night Out locations 
August 5th from 6 – 10 PM

National Night Out provides an opportunity for all community members to get to know one another and build strong networks of communication throughout neighborhoods. Last year, neighborhoods throughout the state hosted block parties, some of which included BBQ’s, games and fun for the kids and adults alike. Public Officials, Police Officers, CRIME WATCH volunteers and Firefighters from local municipalities dropped in and visited with neighbors and talked about important crime prevention.
Continue reading National Night Out party lists for Aberdeen and Hoquiam

Olympic National Forest asks “Which roads are important to you?”

The Olympic National Forest is hosting open houses asking the public to share the areas and roads they use on the Forest.  This information will help the Forest identify a financially sustainable road system that meets diverse access needs, minimizes environmental harm, and is safe and dependable because it is scaled to available resources.

 

“Your participation will help us understand your access needs,” said Forest Supervisor Reta Laford.  “It would be particularly helpful to know what areas you use on the Forest and what roads you use to get there.”

 

The open houses will be held around the Olympic Peninsula during the summer of 2014.

 

DATE TIME LOCATION
July 30 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. Quinault  – Olympic National Forest, Quinault Ranger Station • 353 South Shore Rd.
August 19 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. Shelton  – Shelton Civic Center • 525 West Cota St.
August 21 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. Aberdeen – Rotary Log Pavilion •1401 Sargent Blvd.
August 27 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. Olympia  – Olympic National Forest, Supervisor’s Office •1835 Black Lake Blvd. SW

 

In addition to attending open houses, the public may provide comments using the web-based map or on-line questionnaire on the Forest website: http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/olympic/sustainableroads.  Questionnaires are also available at any Olympic National Forest office.  Comments will be taken until August 31, 2014.

 

Forest road.

Approximately 2,000 miles of roads on the Olympic National Forest provide access for resource management, recreation, and a variety of other uses. About 1,200 miles are open to motorized vehicles and 600 miles are closed, that may be opened intermittently for resource management.

As part of a National effort, we are conducting a road system analysis to identify the minimum road system needed “for travel and for administration, utilization, and protection of National Forest System lands” [36 CFR 212.5(b)Forest Service Manual 7710Forest Service Handbook 7709.55(20)].

By the Fall of 2015, we will integrate agency and public input to produce a travel analysis report that will provide the basis for developing future proposed actions for travel management.

Your participation will help us understand your access needs! Learn how to help.

Camping parents find adult daughter in Grays Harbor County ditch

The parents of a 21 year old Cosmopolis woman found their daughter in a ditch near Wynoochee Wildwood Park, the victim of an alleged sexual assault. Chief Criminal Deputy Steve Shumate with the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Department tells us last night around 11:19 pm, Grays Harbor E911 received a call of a possible sex offense believed to have occurred on Geissler Road near Wynoochee Wildwood (Montesano).  The victim was a 21 year old Cosmopolis woman who was being transported to Summit Pacific Hospital in Elma by her parents.

Deputies met with the victim and her parents at the hospital.  They learned that the family had been camping at Wynoochee Wildwood.  The victim had been in her tent but at some point, and unbeknownst to her parents, she decided to leave the park and walk toward SR 12.  The victim reported that she started to hitchhike on Geissler Road and a silver colored 4 door car stopped and the male driver offered her a ride.  The victim accepted the offer and reported that after getting in the car, the driver (and sole occupant) sexually assaulted her.  After the assault, the victim was able to exit the vehicle and ended up in the ditch.

The parents (still believing their daughter was in her tent) had left the park and approximately 2 blocks south of the park, observed a female in the ditch.  When they stopped to check on the person, they realized at that point the female was their daughter and took her to the hospital.  The victim was eventually taken to St. Peters Hospital in Olympia for a sexual assault exam.  The victim sustained minor scratches to her hands.

The victim advised that the suspect was a white male between 40-50 years of age, with a full beard and a scar below his left eye.  Investigators will be working today to try and develop additional information.