Quinault Elders in Aberdeen traffic accident Tuesday

ABERDEEN, Wash. (AP) — A tribal spokesman says eight Quinault Indian Nation tribal elders and staff members have been injured in a traffic crash in Aberdeen.

Spokesman Steve Robinson says the Quinault group was headed to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Tuesday morning when their van collided with a pickup truck. Robinson says two elders were airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, one with a broken pelvis and the other with a broken pelvis and broken ribs. Other injuries in the crash included broken bones, bumps and bruises.

None of the injuries was considered critical.

The crash caused the van to flip over. Robinson says the two people in the pickup were not seriously hurt.

“The truck just came out of nowhere,” one of the victims said. The accident put an abrupt end to the elders’ plans to attend a conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

Upon hearing of the accident, tribal staff rushed to provide support.
“This was a terrible accident,” said Tribal Councilman Larry Ralston. “The Tribe and the families will take every precaution with our elders and provide all the support we can to help nurse them back to health. I just wish people would slow down and be more cautious,” he said. Preliminary indications are that the pickup truck ran a red light when it crashed into the tribal van. The accident is being investigated by local authorities.
Among other things, the Tribe is setting up grief counseling, as a precaution, for the seniors and their families.
“Our hearts go out to the victims of this terrible accident,” said Fawn Sharp, President of the Quinault Nation. “We do all we can to keep our seniors safe. They are very precious to us. We extend our gratitude to the local police, Harborview, and Grays Harbor Community Hospital and all other emergency services personnel who rendered aid in this morning’s emergency.”
The names of the victims were withheld until consent to publish them is provided.

US Coast Guard stresses Pacific Northwest boat safety following Labor Day rescue

The Coast Guard reminds boaters to make smart decisions while operating in the Pacific Northwest following the rescue of eight people from an overloaded vessel that capsized near Bainbridge Island over the Labor Day weekend.

“Between the overloading of the vessel, the lack of lifejackets and a water temperature of less than 60 degrees, they are lucky to be alive,” said Daniel Shipman, director of boating safety for the Coast Guard 13th District. “It doesn’t matter how strong a swimmer you are; the shock of cold water immersion can instantly impair your motor function. A lifejacket may be the only ting keeping you afloat.”

A Coast Guard Station Seattle 45-foot Response Boat — Medium crew and good Samaritan rescued seven adults, one child and a dog after their 12-foot skiff capsized in Eagle Harbor, Sunday.

Reportedly only the child was wearing a lifejacket and all eight people were in the water for at least 20 minutes prior to discovery by the good Samaritan. All the passengers were treated by EMS for mild hypothermia.

View the original press release about the rescue here: http://www.uscgnews.com/go/doc/4007/2233162/

Click on the text below to hear and download audio clips of the good Samaritan’s mayday call:

Sean Meek, a good Samaritan, issues a mayday call via VHF-FM channel 16 to Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound in Seattle to report a capsized vessel with multiple people in the water in Eagle Harbor near Bainbridge Island, Wash., Aug. 31, 2014.

Seven adults, a 4-year-old child and a dog were in the water for more than 20 minutes after their 12-foot skiff capsized before Meek and his daughter, Grace, heard their cries for help.

U.S. Coast Guard audio courtesy of Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound.

A watchstander at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound in Seattle responds to a mayday call via VHF-FM channel 16 from Sean Meek, a good Samaritan reporting a capsized vessel with multiple people in the water in Eagle Harbor near Bainbridge Island, Wash., Aug. 31, 2014.

A 45-foot Response Boat — Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Seattle transferred the eight people and their dog to shore where they were treated by EMS for mild hypothermia.

U.S. Coast Guard audio courtesy of Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound.

Sean Meek, a good Samaritan, counts people in the water in Eagle Harbor near Bainbridge Island, Wash., while issuing a mayday call to watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound in Seattle via VHF-FM channel 16, Aug. 31, 2014. 

Officials believe the overloading of a 12-foot skiff contributed to the eight people and a dog being thrown from the vessel after it capsized around sunset.

U.S. Coast Guard audio courtesy of Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound.



Process to move Chalet in Olympic National Park begins, Enchanted Valley closed to camping September 1-14

The complicated process of moving a historic two-story building about 50 feet begins today, complicated because the Enchanted Valley Chalet in the Olympic National Park is 13 miles from any developed roads.
Jeff Monroe of Monroe House Moving tells us crews and pack mules are hiking in Wednesday, lifting on Saturday and should start moving late Saturday or first thing Sunday. Helicopter flys on Thursday and Friday weather permitting.
The Parks Service has closed the Enchanted Valley to camping for the first two weeks of September to accommodate crews working in the park.

Monroe House Moving, Inc. of Sequim, Washington has been awarded the contract to move the building.  The contractor plans to complete the relocation operation by mid-September, weather permitting. 

To protect contractor and visitor safety, Enchanted Valley will be closed to all public camping for the duration of the project, September 1 through 14.  

Hikers and stock users may continue to travel through the valley, but between September 1 and September 14, must be escorted by park staff.  The camping closure and escort-only hiking restriction extends from the steel bridge at the downstream end of Enchanted Valley (mile 13 on the East Fork Quinault River Trail) to one mile upriver of the chalet. 

The Graves Creek Stock Camp (located near the Graves Creek trailhead) will also be closed between September 1 and 14 to accommodate stock animals and handlers involved in transporting supplies and equipment during the project. 

“Visitor, employee and contractor safety is our top priority,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum.  “Moving a two-story structure is inherently risky. We appreciate the public’s patience and cooperation during the process of relocating the chalet.” 

Using industry standard house-moving techniques, the contractor will move the Enchanted Valley Chalet a distance of 50 to 100 feet from its current location where it is undercut and in danger of collapsing into the East Fork Quinault River.  The threats to natural and wilderness resources posed by the structure collapsing into the river warrant temporary relocation of the building.  Additionally, preventing the chalet from imminent collapse will allow time to examine and plan for the long-term future of the structure. 

The chalet relocation project was examined in the “Emergency Action to Temporarily Relocate the Enchanted Valley Chalet for the Protection of the East Fork Quinault River Environmental Assessment” (EA) and a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) was issued on July 25. 

The National Park Service is charged with protecting all of Olympic National Park’s priceless resources, from historic structures to fish, to the unique and irreplaceable character of the Olympic Wilderness. 

The Enchanted Valley Chalet is located 13 miles from the nearest road, deep within the Olympic Wilderness.  The chalet was constructed by Quinault Valley residents in the early 1930s, prior to establishment of Olympic National Park.  The chalet served for several decades as a backcountry lodge and more recently, as a wilderness ranger station and emergency shelter.  The chalet was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.    

Photos shared by park visitors in early January showed that the main channel of the East Fork Quinault River had migrated to within 18 inches of the 1930s-era chalet.  Last winter’s storms and high flows resulted in the Quinault’s main channel continuing to shift by at least 15 feet.   Recent photographs show that the river has undercut the building by approximately eight feet.  

Migration of the East Fork Quinault’s channel is common in the loose, unconsolidated soils of Enchanted Valley.  Storms, fallen trees, rockslides and simply the constant process of erosion can all cause the river to shift and carve a new channel. 

The EA and the FONSI, along with other supporting documents, are available for review at http://www.parkplanning.nps.gov/EVCEA.  

Grays Harbor College offering ‘EDventure’ voyage on Lady Washington

The EDventure with Grays Harbor College Continuing Education Department and Grays Harbor Historical Seaport begins on September 17th at the Grays Harbor Historical Seaport, 500 N Custer Street, in Aberdeen.  Meet us at 9:30 am for a tour of this historical landmark, lunch, and a two hour cruise on the Lady Washington.  Perhaps we can convince the Captain to do a cannon salute.

Cost of the trip is $68.25, which includes cruise, tour, lunch, and snack.  Sign up today online at www.ghc.edu/ce or in-person at Whiteside Continuing Education Center, 418 E First Street, in Aberdeen.  Please contact Bethany Barnard at bethany.barnard@ghc.edu or 360.533.9733 for further information.  Pre-registration is required.

Pacific County Deputies assist commercial gillnet vessel with engine failure

South Bend, WA. – On August 25th at approximately 6:10 PM, the Sheriff’s Office received a request for assistance from the operator of a commercial gillnetting vessel that had experienced engine failure. The vessel was forced to anchor in Willapa Bay near Bay Center. Deputies responded from the South Bend area in the Sheriff’s Office patrol and search and rescue vessel to assist.

 

Deputies successfully provided safe passage and tow for the vessel and the operator back to the South Bend boat launch. Sheriff Scott Johnson stated, “I am very pleased with the quick response that our office was able to provide in this situation. We have been working very hard to increase our services to the public. Our marine services division is one example of a service that didn’t exist in years past. We recognize that our public’s safety is equally important on or within our waterways.”

 

Sheriff Johnson also added, “We are grateful for the positive support that we have received from the Board of County Commissioners, helping to aid us with jumpstarting the marine program”.

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.

New phone scam asks patriotic mark to help stranded soldiers

Phone scams again targeting Grays Harbor residents, the Aberdeen Police Department tells us they’ve received reports on scams ranging from a man claiming to be from the IRS, or some other federal agency, to threatening arrest, or even offering lottery winnings. A new scam involves a soldier, claiming to be stranded somewhere and hoping that a patriotic mark will send them cash.

The formula is the same and should be getting easier to spot. The caller will threaten legal action, or that you will be arrested if you don’t pay up. They may claim to be in law enforcement, but police will tell you they will not call your home to resolve a debt or warrant.

Traffic delays on US 12 in Aberdeen expected Wednesday, Thursday

Drivers on US 12 in Aberdeen can expect daytime delays and lane closures next week.

From 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 27-28, crews will close the left lane of eastbound US 12 on the Heron Street Bridge while repair work is under way.

Washington State Department of Transportation crews will use a specialized Under-Bridge-Inspection-Truck (UBIT) to upgrade electrical equipment on the bridge.

The truck extends crew carriers over the side of the bridge to conduct the work.

Drivers may experience delays through the work zone, especially during the afternoon hours.

Mason County Sheriff’s Office “Knock & Talk” verifies registered sex offenders

Last week, the week of August 11-15, 2014, the Mason County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Marshal’s Service, Squaxin Island Department of Public Safety, Skokomish Department of Public Safety, the WA State Department of Corrections Shelton Field Office, and the Western WA US Marshal Fugitive Apprehension Task Force conducted operation “Knock & Talk”.

 

Nineteen personnel from the above agencies divided up into four teams and contacted registered sex offenders within Mason County in order to verify that they were complying with WA State law.  A Sheriff’s Clerk also participated to help with the administrative side of the operation.

 

234 address verifications/or attempts were made, another 9 transient/homeless sex offenders were verified, 3 were arrested that had outstanding warrants for their arrests and 12 investigations for failure to register were started.  As of today, that number is dropping as sex offenders are being verified that went on vacation, registered in other jurisdictions, and other reasons as to not being at their registered addresses.

 

During the operation, 20 different locations were also investigated in the attempt to apprehend fugitives living in Mason County that have outstanding warrants.

 

Mason County Sheriff Casey Salisbury stated that partnering with the US Marshal Service as well as our local Law Enforcement partners, provides a high level of safety and security to the citizens of Mason County.  Coordinating sex and/or kidnapping offenders in Mason County is a very important part of our responsibilities that we take very seriously!

 

For questions regarding the Mason County Sheriff’s Office Sex and/or Kidnapping Registration Program, please visit the MCSO website at: http://so.co.mason.wa.us/ and click on “Sex Offenders”.

‘Kilmer at your Kontinental Breakfast’ in Ocean Shores

The City of Ocean Shores and the Ocean Shores/North Beach Chamber of Commerce are hosting a continental breakfast with Derek Kilmer @ the Home Port on Friday, August 29th at 8:30AM – 9:30AM — Hosts are providing Coffee-Tea-Cinnamon Rolls — Please join us.

Derek Kilmer will discuss our coastal erosion and climate change. There is a new effort by the Federal Government to help with the effects of climate change. He would like to hear concerns about coastal safety issues facing businesses. Suggestions on mitigation are welcome. He will outline some current plans and legislation.