Phone scams continue in Grays Harbor, most recently a woman reported to the Aberdeen Police Department that she received a recorded call claiming to be from the the Aberdeen Municipal Court and that a complaint had been filed against her by the court. Detective Art Laur with the Aberdeen Police Department tells us the Municipal Court does not use recording devices to initiate telephone calls and any call made will be from a human being. Also, any call from the court will be from the 360 area code, which this call was not.
Drivers making their way through Hoquiam on Southbound US 101 (Simpson Avenue) could run into delays on Tuesday, April 21.
Crews working for the City of Hoquiam will make repairs to the roadway surface at the intersection of US 101 (Simpson Avenue) and 6th Street from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 21. Drivers can expect lane closures on US 101 and are encouraged to prepare for possible delays.
Washington will have more information than ever about the threat geologic hazards hold for communities and citizens under a new law signed today by Gov. Jay Inslee.
Requested by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Senate Bill 5088 requires an expansion of LiDAR mapping of geologic hazards and a thorough dissemination of that information. It is the first major public policy initiative created in response to the Oso landslide.
“The SR 530 tragedy last year highlighted the need for this bill, which was requested by the Commissioner of Public Lands,” Gov. Inslee said. “It was a priority recommendation from the Joint SR 530 Landslide Commission I convened along with Snohomish County Executive John Lovick after the landslide in Oso.”
Introduced by Sen. Kirk Pearson, R-Monroe, the bill was passed with a 97-0 vote by the House earlier this month. The Senate approved it 48-0 in February.
“We live in an age in which we have unprecedented access to technologies that can tell us more than we ever imagined about the natural forces that shape our world. The undivided support for this initiative reflects a commitment by all of us in state government to use those tools and apply the best available science to protect property and save lives,” Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark said. “In particular, I would like to thank Senator Pearson for providing the legislative leadership to swiftly get this bill made into law.”
“This bill will help save lives and property from a disaster like we saw in Oso,” said Pearson. “Using the best technology available to identify these dangers before they cause major harm and destruction is smart government and the right thing to do for the people of Washington.”
Home of the Washington Geological Survey, DNR is responsible for surveying and mapping Washington’s geologic hazards. Increasing the database of LiDAR maps of hazards was one of the agency’s top priorities for this legislative session.
“We are excited to be able to expand upon our small existing collection of LiDAR imagery,” State Geologist Dave Norman said. “Washington is a very complex state, geologically. This will allow us to know more about it.”
LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) uses lasers mounted on aircraft to scope topography by measuring reflected light. Those beams of light penetrate forest canopy, ground cover and human development to allow mappers and scientists to see the topography of landforms below with pinpoint accuracy.
A budget appropriation must be made in order for DNR to implement the program in a meaningful way, according to Commissioner Goldmark. The program is estimated to cost $6.6 million. DNR would use that funding to hire 10 new geologists and four employees to provide technical support. DNR’s Division of Geology and Earth Resources is currently staffed with three hazards geologists and two mapping geologists.
A little more than one-fourth of Washington has already been mapped with LiDAR, though much of that was done with lower-quality imaging. DNR will initially target LiDAR mapping efforts at population centers and infrastructure most at risk from landslides and other hazards.
DNR’s natural resource mission on behalf of Washingtonians
Under the elected leadership of Commissioner Goldmark, DNR manages more than 5.6 million acres of state-owned forest, range, commercial, agricultural, conservation, and aquatic lands. More than half of these lands are held in trust and produce income to support public schools and other state institutions. Lands managed by DNR also provide outdoor recreation, native fish and wildlife habitat, and clean and abundant water.
An apartment fire in Elma displaced about a dozen people last night. Fire Chief Dana Smith tells us they were called to the Woodsvilla Apartment complex just after 4 Thursday afternoon. No injuries were reported from the blaze that destroyed at least two apartments in one of the six unit buildings, Smith said the other units in that building are un-inhabitable due to damage to the roof and shared attic space. Smith said they know where the fire started, however “the unit the fire started in was so rapidly involved and burned so hot.” it’s not likely they will find a cause of the fire.
The fire burned so hot that crews started their response in a defensive stance, protecting the nearby Microtel motel and other units in the complex from the fire spreading.
The Elma Eagles Lodge brought out dinner for the firefighters and families affected during the response last night, the Red Cross was also contacted to assist the families with housing.
Those looking to aid Harbor families in times of emergencies, can make donations to the American Red Cross. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Time is up for campers living on private property along the Chehalis River in Aberdeen. They are being asked to move out as the property owner works to clean up the site. Aberdeen Mayor Bill Simpson spoke yesterday with Code Compliance Officer Bill Sidor and owner Michael Lang, they decided that due to the rougher weather and softer ground they would give Lang until the 1st of June before enforcing a recent order to address unsafe conditions on the site. Simpson said the campers need to move along as soon as possible, as the property owner is tasked with the cleanup and has told city officials they do not want campers on the property.
The Code Compliance department last month served notices to vacate to the campers, and contacted property owners about the amount of trash that was piling up on vacant lots along the river.
Mayor Simpson, along with Sidor, and City Attorney Eric Nelson met with campers and advocates on Monday at the site of “River Camp.” Nelson said that even with the property owners approval – which they do not have, the city ordinance would have to change in order to allow camping on the property. “The last time we were down here was seven years ago. So tolerance is something that we have exercised. But we can’t legally permit, we can’t authorize, we can’t allow it because our laws don’t allow us to do that.”
Advocates have been trying to find some common ground – or even just some ground where the campers can live, but without a change to city code their hands are tied.
Listen to our entire interview with River Camp resident Natasha here.
A Cosmopolis man was arrested over the weekend after allegedly cutting down his neighbor’s tree, then cutting it up on his property. Cosmopolis Police Chief Casey Stratton tells us a woman called from the 500 block of I street around 4 P.M. Saturday afternoon to report that there were two men in her yard cutting trees down. Officer Matt Nelson arrived and found a tree fallen over the creek that separates the woman’s property from the suspect’s. The woman showed Nelson a picture of two men cutting down a twenty foot tree in her yard. Nelson walked to the other property and found two men still cutting the tree into smaller pieces.
Stratton said Nelson began to interview 28 year old Jacob Ackley about the tree, but Ackley would not cooperate or answer questions. Nelson warned the man eight times to cooperate before he started to place Ackley under arrest for obstruction, Ackley resisted. That was when Officer Nelson used his conducted electrical weapon (taser) on Ackley (twice). Ackley was placed under arrest after that, booked on charges of Obstructing an Investigation and Resisting Arrest. Charges were also forwarded to the prosecutor’s office for trespassing and theft of the wood.
Stratton said alcohol may have been involved.
Drivers will be pleased to hear that previously announced short-duration daytime closures scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, April 15-16 on US 101 across the Chehalis River Bridge have been modified. No maintenance closures will occur on Wednesday, April 15. On Thursday, April 16, Washington State Department of Transportation bridge maintenance crews will close the exit to State Street and the right northbound lane of US 101 across the Chehalis River Bridge from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
These changes are in lieu of multiple daytime closures scheduled to occur each day through Thursday. Bridge crews were able to reduce the number of closures due to faster-than-projected progress on deep-cleaning the bridge’s areas that house moving mechanisms and gears that control openings for marine traffic.
Real-time traffic information is available on the Washington State Department of Transportation’s travel alerts web pages or by calling 5-1-1.
Serving a search warrant last week on a suspected drug house in Ocean Shores netted 3 arrests. Police Chief Mike Styner tells us On Thursday, April 9th, Officers from the Ocean Shores Police Department, the Hoquiam Police Department and Deputies from the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Department served a search warrant on a suspected drug house in the 800 block of San Antonio Court NE in Ocean Shores.
During a search of the premises narcotics, paraphernalia, and packaging materials were located and seized. A vehicle belonging to the resident was seized. The 48 year old female resident was arrested and booked into the Grays Harbor County Jail for Violation of the Uniform Controlled Substance Act and two outstanding warrants.
A 31 year old transient male found inside the residence was arrested on an outstanding warrant out of the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office and booked into the Grays Harbor County jail. In addition, a 27 year old Ocean Shores man was arrested and booked into the Hoquiam Jail for outstanding warrants out of Department of Corrections and the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.
City of Olympia’s Mayor Stephen Buxbaum will speak about Civic Engagement in a Time of Rapid Change at Grays Harbor College on Saturday, April 18, starting at 1 p.m. Buxbaum will be speaking to the “Health From the Inside Out” class, which is part of the Evergreen State College’s Grays Harbor program. Members of the public are welcome.
Buxbaum will be using examples from his more than 30 years of work in community and economic development to speak about ways that individuals and communities are rising to the challenge of climate change.
“Social, economic and environmental challenges are coming at us simultaneously and very rapidly” Buxbaum says. He believes that issues such as food and energy policy need to be addressed at a community and individual level if we are going to successfully meet these challenges.
The health of our community, and what the Public Health Department does to improve that. Joan also talks about Tobacco, and Marijuana use locally. This year’s numbers show a slight decrease for tobacco use. Are “E-cigarettes” off-setting those numbers?
Substance abuse and mental health issues in Grays Harbor youth.