Back to Health with Dr. Mark Van Hemert August 26, 2014

Vaccinations, Thermerisol, Chiropractic Education. A case study on stem cells and back surgery, and smelling and blood pressure – personal testimony.

Part 1

Part 2

Grays Harbor Community Foundation reaches $50 million milestone

As of July 15, 2014, the Grays Harbor Community Foundation has exceeded a threshold of $50 million in assets, through a substantial distribution from the Estate of Ann R. Weatherwax.  This now makes GHCF the sixth largest Community Foundation of the 29 in Washington State.


In existence for twenty years, the Foundation has been serving the Grays Harbor community through its grants and scholarships programs, assisting hundreds of local nonprofit agencies fulfill their missions and more than a thousand students attain their educational dreams.  The Foundation is working to make Grays Harbor a better place to live, by supporting efforts to improve the community, by building a “community of giving” and being a resource for local nonprofits.


“We are pleased to be able to continue our work in Grays Harbor in perpetuity,” said Executive Director, Jim Daly. “The exceptional growth of the Community Foundation would not be possible without strong investment returns and the continued support of our donors who believe in our community and the Foundation programs.


In 2014, we have chosen 332 students to receive $553,000 in scholarships for students of any age pursuing college or vocational/technical education after high school. We also expect to award at least $1.5 million in grants to nonprofit organizations in Grays Harbor through our discretionary grants program, as well as our donor advised and designated grant distributions.”


Some of our recent grants have included support for: Hope From Horses, a riding program for physically and mentally challenged youth; the Children’s Advocacy Center, the Domestic Violence Center, and Beyond Survival; playground equipment replacement at four parks; Meals-on-Wheels, for a new delivery vehicle; two school STEM programs and two Robotics Clubs; a “Technology in the Classroom” initiative; and, funding to send every sixth grade student in Grays Harbor County to the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker” in Seattle through the Gladys Phillips Cultural Tours fund, which originated with the E.K. and Lillian Bishop Foundation.


The Grays Harbor Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization with a mission “to improve the quality of life in the communities throughout Grays Harbor County.”  This is accomplished through our scholarship program and many projects and processes that work through or are in support of other non-profit organizations, including a quarterly discretionary grants cycle.


Tax deductible donations may be made to:

Grays Harbor Community Foundation, P.O. Box 615, Hoquiam, WA 98550


You may find out more by checking the foundation website: or you may contact the Foundation staff at 532-1600 or by e-mail at:

Governor Inslee signs bipartisan bill to further address the problems of derelict and abandoned vessels

OLYMPIA – Surrounded by legislators and a diverse group of supportive stakeholders, Gov. Jay Inslee today signed legislation that builds on the state’s commitment to prevent derelict vessels from becoming a burden to the citizens of Washington State.


The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) requested the legislation (2SHB 2457) that will further protect Washington’s waters and the public, foster responsible and accountable vessel ownership, provide an additional funding source for removing derelict vessels, and encourage removal and deconstruction before vessels become a problem.


“DNR’s Derelict Vessel Removal Program is an award-winning model for the rest of the nation,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “This legislation is significant, not only because of what the bill does, but how it galvanized both sides of the aisle and a diverse group of stakeholders to develop workable solutions.”


The process to draft and shape this legislation began last summer with the convening of a work group, as directed by last year’s derelict vessel legislation (ESHB 1245). The work group consisted of legislators and state agency staff who drew up a list of possible solutions to the problems that derelict and abandoned vessels create. The list was then presented to a diverse group of stakeholders representing the commercial and recreational vessel industries, environmental groups, and ports.


“I applaud the great collaborative work that was done before and during this session to address the environmental, safety, and public expense risks caused by derelict vessels,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “In particular, I want to thank Rep. Drew Hansen and Rep. Norma Smith for providing the critical legislative support and leadership for this bill, and staff at the Department of Revenue for working with us to develop a more equitable funding solution by requiring commercial vessel owners to pay a fee to support removal costs. For too long, recreational vessel owners have shouldered these costs. It’s a great start, but more work needs to be done.”


“A lot of work has gone into this bill—by Democrats and Republicans, House members and Senators, environmentalists, boaters, shellfishers, marina operators, industry representatives and more,” said Rep. Drew Hansen (D-Bainbridge Island), key bill sponsor. “This bill will save jobs and also keep our waterways clean and safe for recreation and industry.”


“HB 2457 is truly landmark legislation,” said Rep. Norma Smith (R-Clinton), key bill sponsor. “It was an honor to work with Rep. Drew Hansen, the team at DNR, and every stakeholder at the table to craft responsible policy which will stem the tide of large vessels reaching the crisis stage of threatening our waterways and taxpayer resources.”


“Washington’s waterways are the most beautiful in the world,” said Sen. Kirk Pearson (R-Monroe), Chair of the Senate Natural Resources & Parks Committee. “As legislators, it is our responsibility to ensure that they remain clean and free of hazards for generations to come. This legislation will help meet that goal.”


Key elements of the bill:

  • Establishes an annual ‘derelict vessel removal fee’ of $1 per foot on commercial vessels that are required to be listed with the Department of Revenue. Revenue from this fee will go into the state’s Derelict Vessel Removal Account, which is managed by DNR.
  • Requires moorage facilities and owners of vessels moored at these facilities to carry marine insurance.
  • Requires insurance at the time of sale for vessels older than 40 years and longer than 65 feet.
  • Prohibits the sale of unseaworthy vessels older than 40 years and longer than 65 feet.
  • Exempts vessel deconstruction activities from the retail sales and use tax.
  • Creates new penalties for failing to register a vessel.

For more information about the 2014 derelict vessel bill (2SHB 2457), visit:


For the final bill language as passed by the Legislature, visit:

DNR’s Derelict Vessel Removal Program
Derelict or abandoned vessels put public safety and the health of Washington’s marine and fresh waters at risk. The program is the state’s key mechanism to address these vessels and provides funding and expertise to public agencies to assist with the removal of abandoned and derelict vessels from state-owned aquatic lands managed by DNR.

For more information about the Derelict Vessel Removal Program, visit:

Kilmer announces STEM competition for local high school students

Representative Derek Kilmer today invited high school students from Washington’s 6th Congressional District to participate in the first annual Congressional Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Academic Competition, “The House STEM App Challenge.” This new nationwide competition is designed to engage students’ creativity and encourage their participation in STEM education fields. Local high school students will compete against other students in the 6th Congressional District by creating and exhibiting a software application or “app” for mobile, table, or computer devices on a platform of their choice.


Students can submit their apps for consideration between Saturday, February 1 at 12 p.m. eastern time and Wednesday April 30 at 12 p.m eastern time. For additional details on how to participate, please see below or visit


Throughout the completion period, participating students will be provided opportunities to engage with various STEM educational partners located throughout the community to mentor and assist them with their app development.  Students entering the competition must provide a YouTube video demo explaining their app and what they learned through this competition process.


The submitted apps will be judged by an appointed panel of individuals within the academic, software and entrepreneurial fields.  The winning student’s app in each participating congressional district will be featured on the U.S. House of Representatives’ website (, as well as on display in a U.S. Capitol exhibit.


Representative Kilmer said, “As a dad of two little girls who will one day be entering a workforce that needs skilled workers, and as a guy with a background in economic development, I know the increasing role technology is playing in the economy. We should always look for more opportunities to engage young people about the value of a STEM education. I’m looking forward to seeing the innovative apps created by students in our region.”


Hadi Partovi, Co-founder and CEO of said, “Increased education in STEM and computer science is essential to the future of our country. Every student, not just the ones who want to pursue a career in technology, will benefit from a broad understanding of the science and especially the computer technology that powers the world around us.”


Charles Keating, President of West Sound Technology Association said, “Programming and technology skills are as important as math, reading and writing for brain function lateralization and a 21st century economy. Everything from cake decorating to building houses will increasingly leverage technology, and students will need to be prepared for jobs that are quickly evolving.’s ‘Hour of Code’ initiative sparked tremendous interest, and events like the app contest will continue to build on momentum while engaging students.”


Karen Burns, a Teacher-Librarian at Gig Harbor High School said, “I am a firm believer in students getting the opportunity to use technology to create products. Technology is a wonderful tool for students in many areas of the school curriculum, but it is the higher order thinking skills that students can apply to projects such as this House App Contest that bring learning through technology to fruition.”




  • The contest is open to high school students who reside in Washington’s 6th Congressional District.


  • Participants may compete individually or in groups of up to 4 students.


o   For groups of 2 students at least 1 must reside in the Washington’s 6th Congressional District.

o   For groups of 3-4 students at least 2 must reside in the Washington’s 6th Congressional District.



  • Students may submit their entries between the dates of February 1, 2014 at 12PM eastern time to April 30, 2014 12PM eastern time.


  • To submit an entry:


o   After February 1, 2014 create an account on and register for the House Student App Contest.

o   Create an App Demonstration Video of no more than 2 minutes that demonstrates the scope and quality of the app.

o   Create a Developer Video of no more than 1 minute in which the participant describes how they created the app and what they learned.

o   Upload both videos to YouTube or VIMEO and submit the links through

o   Submit an entry form through


  • Entries will be judged on:

o   Quality of the idea (including creativity and originality).

o   Implementation of the idea (including user experience and design).

o   Demonstrated excellence of coding and programming skills.


  • The winning app will be featured on the US House of Representatives website and Representative Derek Kilmer’s website and will also be on display in a US Capitol exhibit.


  • For more information please contact Rohan in Representative Kilmer’s office at (360) 373-9725.

Cantwell, Sec. Selecky Call on CDC Investigators to Help Stem WA Whooping Cough Epidemic

“A swift response is critical to stem this outbreak and save lives,” said Cantwell. “With dozens of new cases occurring every week, there is no time to waste. That’s why we’re making sure our state health officials have every available resource to stem this outbreak of whooping cough. These CDC investigators will help us pinpoint and eliminate its spread.”

On April 3, 2012, Selecky declared a statewide whooping cough epidemic. And yesterday Governor Chris Gregoire announced the state would purchase more than 27,000 doses of whooping cough vaccine for uninsured and underinsured adults.

“We’re seeing an unprecedented number of whooping cough cases this year, and we want help tracking and responding to them,” said Selecky. “That’s why we’re asking the CDC to our state to work hand-in-hand with our staff.”

On Tuesday, the DOH reported that there have been 1,132 cases of whooping cough since January 1, 2012 – nearly 10 times the number of reported cases (117) in 2011 during that same period of time and dozens more cases than the previous week. Nearly three-quarters (819 of 1,132) of all cases this year have occurred in Snohomish, Skagit, Pierce, King, and Clark counties. Twelve counties have reported no whopping cough cases. If the epidemic continues at its current rate, DOH officials estimate that 2012 will contain the highest levels of whooping cough cases in more than 60 years. For more information, see the latest DOH weekly update on the whooping cough epidemic here.

In fiscal year 2011, the CDC responded to 84 requests for Epi-Aid teams, which were sent to 39 states, three U.S. territories, and 14 foreign countries. In 2011, Epi-Aid investigators conducted 293 field investigations around the world. Examples of past Epi-Aid investigations include a risk assessment for rabies following exposure to a bat on an airplane in Wisconsin last August and chlorine gas exposure at a poultry processing plant in Arkansas last June. Epi-Aid investigators played key roles in CDC’s response to the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic and the Haiti cholera epidemic after the January 2010 earthquake. Funding for the new doses of vaccines announced yesterday – and for a large part of the Epi-Aid program – comes from the federal Prevention and Public Health Fund. Cantwell supported the fund’s creation in 2009.

A common cause of the illness among children is adults who unknowingly have whooping cough and pass it on. Adults with whooping cough often display mild symptoms that appear to be a cold or the flu and don’t realize the severity of their illness. Among children, whooping cough can be lethal. In 2011, a mother in Snohomish County, Chelsey Charles, lost her 27-day old infant, Kaliah, after the baby came down with whooping cough. More than 80 percent of cases reported so far this year have been among people ages 18 and younger.

For additional information about whooping cough, please visit the CDC’s website.  

Washington STEM Scholarships Deadline Approaching

The newly-created Washington State Opportunity Scholarship is now accepting applications for the 2012-13 academic year, the Washington Opportunity Scholarship Board and the College Success Foundation announced today.
The scholarship is a public-private partnership created by the Legislature in 2011, with the support of Boeing and Microsoft. The scholarship aims to help low- and middle- income
Washington residents earn bachelor’s degrees in high employer demand fields, and to encourage scholarship recipients to work in Washington state once they complete their degrees.
A seven-member governance Board appointed in December 2011 by Governor Chris Gregoire approved the components of the Opportunity Scholarship for the first year at their inaugural board meeting on Feb. 14 at the Microsoft campus in Redmond. At the meeting, the Board approved the scholarship model and named the College Success Foundation as program administrator.

“The future of our state relies on the opportunity our students have to train for high demand careers,” said Governor Chris Gregoire. “The Opportunity Scholarship is a commitment from both the business community and the state to help our students earn the degrees that prepare them for these demanding and rewarding careers.”
“It’s important to ensure that college is accessible to hard-working students of all economic backgrounds,” said Brad Smith, Microsoft executive vice president and chair of the Opportunity Scholarship Board. “The new Opportunity Scholarships will help make college a reality for more families across our state, and we want to encourage all eligible students to apply.”

The College Success Foundation is proud to partner with Boeing, Microsoft and the state of Washington in this public-private partnership,” said Bob Craves, chair and CEO of the non profit College Success Foundation. “This is a great opportunity for students going into STEM fields and health care.” Scholarships for $1,000 will be awarded to three thousand students for the 2012-13 academic year, and are renewable for up to five years for entering college freshmen.

High school seniors through college seniors who plan to attend colleges and universities in Washington for the entire 2012-13 academic year are eligible to apply. A student must be a Washington resident, have a 2.75 GPA or higher and have completed a 2012-2013 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to submit an application.
The Opportunity Scholarship is available to students in families who earn up to 125 percent of the median family income. This expands college financial aid to a greater group of young people beyond the current state need grant, which only reaches families with 70 percent of the median family income.
In the summer of 2011, Boeing and Microsoft each pledged $25 million over the next five years to the public-private Opportunity Scholarship endowment fund. The state allocated $5 million in seed money to the fund, and set an immediate goal of matching these private sector pledges to bring the endowment’s total to $100 million. The Board, which oversees the fund, has set a goal to raise $1 billion from both the public and private sectors by 2020.

Opportunity Scholarship Board members include:
o Jim Albaugh, executive vice president of The Boeing Company and president and chief executive officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes;
o Theresa Gillespie, co-founder and managing director of Trilogy Partnership;
o Jerry Grinstein, co-founder and strategic director of Madrona Investment Group, and former chief executive officer of Delta Air Lines;
o Kimberly Harris, president and chief executive officer of Washington-based Puget Sound Energy, the utility subsidiary of Puget Energy;
o Mack Hogans, former Weyerhaeuser Company senior vice president;
o Jim Sinegal, founder, president and chief executive officer of Costco Wholesale Corporation; and
o Brad Smith, (Board chair) general counsel and executive vice president of Legal and Corporate Affairs at Microsoft.

The Opportunity Scholarship application window closes on April 16, 2012 and applicants and colleges will be notified beginning May 1 of selection decisions. Students wishing to learn more and apply are encouraged to visit or phone toll-free 877-899-5002.

Preparing for Fire Season

It is also important to reduce and manage fuels in the Home Ignition Zone:

Within 30 feet of the home – Plant fire-resistant vegetation and water plants and trees regularly to ensure that they are healthy and green, mow the lawn regularly. Prune shrubs and cut back tree branches, the lowest branches should be at least 6-10 feet high and should not overhang any part of the home.
Within 30 to 100 feet from the home – Any trees should be spaced 20-30 feet between crowns to prevent fire spread. Plant in small, irregular clusters or islands. Separate shrubs by at least 2 times their mature height. Create fuel breaks, such as driveways, gravel walkways and lawns.
Beyond 100 feet – Prune and thin trees and brush. Break up the fire ladder leading from brush up into trees. Thin dense tree groups so canopies are not touching to slow the spread of fire. Remove heavy accumulation of woody debris, such as piles of stem wood or branches.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal is a Bureau of the Washington State Patrol, providing fire and life safety services to the citizens of Washington State including inspections of state licensed facilities, plan review of school construction projects, licensing of fire sprinkler contractors and pyrotechnic operators, training Washington State’s firefighters, and collecting emergency response data.

American Legion Seeks to Revitalize Aberdeen Post #5

In Keeping with the almost 90-year tradition of The American Legion, the newly reformed American Legion post in Aberdeen, Washington will focus on community service and assistance to veterans. The scope and nature of the posts community service will be determined by its members and inputs from local civic and community officials.

Since its inception in 1919, The American Legion has been a key advocate for veterans benefits, children & youth, patriotic American values, a strong national defense and quality-of-life issues for those serving in todays armed forces.

The organization, which spearheaded the original GI Bill, has been advocating reform of the veterans health care system under its GI Bill of Health. Creation of the federal forerunner of the Department of Veterans Affairs as well as the agencys ascent to cabinet-level status is due in part to The American Legions advocacy. The American Legion was also instrumental in the establishment of the Veterans Home Loan, veterans hiring preference and just compensation to veterans suffering from illnesses related to their military service, including those whose ailments stem from exposure to Agent Orange and mysterious Persian Gulf origins.

Equally aggressive are The American Legions efforts to instill values in young people through numerous programs, including American Legion Boys State, American Legion Boys Nation, Junior Shooting Sports, the National High School Oratorical Contest, American Legion Baseball, Teenage Suicide Prevention, Child Health and a McGruff Safe Kids Program. The American Legion has supported Scouting since 1919. Many American Legion posts also support Junior ROTC high school units, fund-raising for handicapped children, the Childrens Miracle Network and partnerships with other nonprofit organizations such as Special Olympics.

Grays harbor Public Market News

Evidently it is not in my personality to be a pessimist. Each day of life begins with a sense of happy anticipation, and at the end of the day there are always good memories to store away. One of my joys in life is spending time at the Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge at Bowerman Basin. The mile long boardwalk transports me to another world. It’s a mini-vacation, a place of such serenity that a half hour walk brings the same benefits as a week of camping. If you haven’t ever been there, this Saturday is your golden opportunity to be part of the first ever Bird and Botany stroll. Knowledgeable volunteers will point out all manner of intriguing wonders, and you will become an outdoor expert in record time. I suggest stopping by Deidra’s Deli at the Hoquiam Farmers Market first, because heading out on a walk requires refreshments. I always pack cookies with me, and a good lunch will fortify you for the afternoon. The walk begins at 2p.m. on Saturday, call Carlene at 753-9467 for further information. Bring her a cookie too, she’ll be hungry.

The Daffodils will keep on appearing at the Market for as long as the Satsop Bulb Farm keeps harvesting. In fact, we ought to have flowers non-stop from now until next fall, as more local varieties rise from the soil. My eyes take such pleasure in seeing the market tables filled with bright cheery blossoms. The gray days don’t seem at all dismal when the daffodils appear! Beginning this week I make a daily pilgrimage to our trillium forest. Usually there are a few trilliums showing by March 9th. The date always stays in my memory because it is the birthday of a dear friend, and I hope to have a bouquet to share with her again this year. Plus a chocolate cake. Nancy makes a delectable chocolate cake. I’m expecting to have one on my birthday too.

Once the trilliums burst forth in abundance you will see them nestled in amongst the daffodils at the market, because we are blessed with copious quantities. Many states, including Washington, outlaw the picking of trilliums on public land because they are so rare, and when pulled by the stem instead of carefully picked, the plant takes offense and won’t come back. But do not worry, flower loving friends- the trilliums which we will have are legal , coming from private property, and correctly plucked! They thrive in our forest and I love sharing them. I discovered that the deer will nibble the flower out of the center, leaving the leaves and stem untouched. Our deer are well fed enough without stuffing themselves with trillium delicacies. I’d rather know that they are in someone’s vase, bringing the joy of early spring into the home.

Birthdays don’t always fall on a convenient day, so many people believe in having a week long series of birthday treats. That way they can indulge in things like concerts, movies, and plays that don’t happen to fall on a Tuesday. You can probably see where I’m headed with this. I think it is uncommonly good hearted of the local entertainment venues to allow me to dash from one fantastic event to another all weekend long! The Driftwood Players are presenting the final weekend of ‘The Foreigner’, and you really should be buying your tickets today, it is a not-to-be-missed production. There is nothing quite like laughing yourself silly, and studies have shown that laughter is truly the best medicine. Consider going to this play the best prescription you’ll ever take!

Of course, a foot stomping evening of Celtic rock is guaranteed to revitalize and rejuvenate the spirit! How can anyone resist the lure of 4 great bands bringing ‘riotous fun’ to the D & R? Unless you would rather opt for a quiet evening of nostalgia and romance by attending the 7th Street Theatre showing of Casablanca. Some of us never ever tire of seeing this film, and I can hardly wait to experience it under the stars of the theatre’s restored grandeur. Bogie’s grand gesture of sending Elsa off on the plane to safety will seem even more epic in the classic theater. Does anyone else cry during the scene where the French begin singing their National anthem while the despicable Nazi’s are singing theirs? It gets me every time. Two great choices for Saturday night!

Birthdays deserve to be observed, and we discover new meaning in the occasion as each year comes along. The milestones change as we change. My poor parents. I think back to what I put them through, and marvel at the restraint and patience that they exhibited. How in the world did they keep from throwing up their hands in despair? They must have longed to drop me off along the roadside on some days.
Now I look in the mirror and see my mother’s eyes, my fathers smile. All those lessons that they were certain I didn’t hear come flooding back to me now, and have become the rule book by which I live my life. Even though they have been gone for thirty six years, they are with me each and every day of my life. They gave me life, and they gave me unending love. That is what I will be celebrating tomorrow.

Barbara Bennett Parsons, 57 years old! And still going strong as manager of the Grays harbor Public Market, located at 1958 Riverside in Hoquiam. Open 5 days a week, Wed. Thru Sunday ,538-9747.

Arrest warrant issued in zebra mussel case

Zebra mussels are small, freshwater mollusks that can quickly infest lakes and rivers, threatening native fish species and public water systems, Bjork said.  Since the 1980s, when zebra mussels entered the Great Lakes in ships’ ballast water, they have spread to more than 20 states, including Michigan.

The invasive mussels often spread by attaching themselves to boats and trailers. Washington state law prohibits the transportation of aquatic invasive species on boats or trailers and allows state authorities to stop them for inspection.

The charges against Derderian stem from the delivery of a Sea Ray cabin cruiser from Lake Michigan to Washington.  Derderian was hauling the boat when he was stopped Nov. 14 by the Washington State Patrol at the Cle Elum truck scale on Interstate 90.   

State Patrol commercial vehicle officers found zebra mussels on the boat and alerted WDFW, which has special equipment to decontaminate boats carrying zebra mussels.  But Derderian left with the boat and continued to Blaine before the WDFW officers could arrive at the scene, according to the department’s report.   

Bjork said WDFW officers later intercepted Derderian in Blaine and stopped him from launching the boat.  Based on Derderian’s statements and actions, they then asked the Kittitas County Prosecutor’s Office to press charges.  

WDFW has also referred the case to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service for consideration of federal charges for interstate transport of the invasive mussels, which would be a violation of the Lacey Act.     

"We are pressing for federal charges in this case," Bjork said.  "It’s essential that we have people’s cooperation in our efforts to keep zebra mussels and other invasive species out of Washington.  Besides the risks to fish and shellfish, these invaders have already cost industry, government and private citizens billions of dollars in damage to water and hydropower facilities in this country."

For information on zebra mussels, see on WDFW’s website. To report zebra mussel sightings, call 1(877) WDFW-AIS.