USDA issues health alert for some California chicken

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture is issuing a public health alert for raw chicken packaged at three Foster Farms facilities in California after 278 people have fallen ill.

The USDA says that strains of Salmonella Heidelberg are associated with chicken distributed to retail outlets in California, Oregon and Washington state.

The Salmonella outbreak has spread to 18 states, though most of the illnesses have been reported in California.

A spokesman for Foster Farms says no recall is in effect and that the infections were caused by eating undercooked or improperly handled chicken.

The USDA has not directly linked the outbreak of illnesses to a specific product or production period. The USDA mark on suspect packages would read: P6137, P6137A and P7632.

Cooking chicken to 165-degrees kills the Salmonella bacteria.

It's time to cook.... your chicken.

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  • 5th Annual Non Profit Leadership Conference in Ocean Shores

    OCEAN SHORES, Wash. – The 5th Annual Nonprofit Leaders Conference for Coastal and Southwest Washington is right around the corner and includes some new and exciting features based on past participant feedback. The two-day conference will take place on Monday and Tuesday October 14th and 15th at the Ocean Shores Conference Center. Early Bird registration is $35 and Scholarships for Registration fees and accommodations are still available.

    This year the Conference will focus many sessions on Grant Writing and finding available Grant Funds. With budgets tighter than ever and grant writing a mysterious talent to some, sessions will be offered on finding both federal and private funding streams and how to find funders that are right for you and your organization. With the smaller, local conference there is much one-on-one time available with speakers and other nonprofit leaders who are willing to help and offer continuing resources.

    The Ocean Shores Friends of the Library conceived the conference during their on-going efforts to research and write grant applications to fund the capital project to expand their building in 2009. They found that there are few experienced “grant-writers and researchers” in Ocean Shores or even in Grays Harbor. Since then, the Conference is an independent entity. Crystal Dingler, now mayor of Ocean Shores, says: “The objective is to make training and networking available locally and to make it affordable for these small non-profits. We hope that it might help them be more effective and efficient.”

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  • Cantwell, FAA Announce Groundbreaking Hub to Launch New Era in Jet Biofuels Development

    SEATTLE – U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced the creation of a national Center of Excellence for jet biofuel research, to be headquartered at Washington State University Tri-Cities.

    The Center of Excellence in Alternative Jet Fuels and Environment will be based at WSU with Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Washington among 16 university partners. The Center will bring together research universities and industry leaders to focus on developing and testing aviation biofuels. The Center of Excellence will work to develop ‘drop in’ aviation biofuel that meets industry standards and is cost-competitive with current jet fuel.

    America’s aviation economy supports 10 million jobs and $1 trillion in economic activity. But America’s leadership in aviation is threatened by the increasing cost and volatility of jet fuel. Fuel is the top cost to airlines, making up 35 percent of operating costs. Jet fuel costs have risen 267 percent over the last 11 years, causing airlines to shut down routes and increase ticket prices.

    “This landmark investment will help the jet biofuels industry take flight,” Cantwell said. “From farms to airports, green jet fuel means jobs for Americans. This investment impacts every sector of the American economy. It secures and grows our aviation competitiveness by controlling the costs of jet fuel, protects our environment by reducing carbon emissions, and keeps our nation safer by reducing our dependence on foreign oil. And this investment will support aerospace jobs. More than 10 million Americans work in our aviation economy and this is Center will provide the innovation needed to support jobs and keep America ahead in the global aviation economy.”

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  • Hoquiam School District Details Summer Lunch Program

    HOQUIAM, Wash. – The Hoquiam School District announces the sponsorship of the Simplified Summer Food Program for Children.  Meals will be made available at no charge to attending children 18 years of age and younger.  All meals are available without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. 

    To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue S.W., Washington D.C. 20250-9410 or call toll free (800)795-3272 (voice) or (202)720-6382 (TTY).  The USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

    Breakfast will be provided at Central Elementary in Hoquiam, WA from July 10, 2012 through August 23, 2012.  The meal will be served from 8:45-9:00 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and is open to children 18 years or younger.

    Lunch will be provided at 2 locations this year.  Central Elementary 310 Simpson Avenue, Monday through Friday from 11:30- 12:00 p.m. and Lincoln Elementary 700 Wood Avenue, Monday through Friday from 12:15- 12:45.  Lunch will be available June 20, 2012 through August 24, 2012.

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  • New Satsop Company to Employ 150

    SATSOP, Wash. – A company planning to rennovate the closed Boise-Cascade plant in Satsop will employ 150.

    NewWood Manufacturing creates wood-plastic composite building materials, and plans to operate the plant 24 hours a day. Beginning with crates for fruit bins, the company plans to expand to a worldwide market, combining waiste wood fibers and recycled plastics.

    NewWood purchased the closed plant with the help of Enterprise Cascadia, whos name may sound familiar, they played a big part in helping to fund the 5.5 million dollar wind turbine project with Coastal Community Action Program.

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  • Salal Permit Sales to Begin at Olympic National Forest

    OLYMPIA, Wash. – Forest Supervisor Dale Hom announced today that permit sales for salal will begin at 9:00 AM on Wednesday, September 15, for a harvest period that runs from September 15 through November 9.  Permits will be issued from the Olympic National Forest offices located in Quilcene, Forks, and Quinault.  Salal (Gaultheria shallon) is an understory shrub commonly used in the floral industry.  It grows in dense thickets throughout forests in western Washington and Oregon.

    A limited number of permits will be issued.  A lottery will be used if the demand for permits exceeds the supply.  Each permit will cost $150 and can be used for up to two months.  A valid United States picture identification will be required at the time of purchase and those buying the permits must be at least 18 years of age.  Cash or checks will be accepted, but no credit cards or debit cards will be accepted.

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  • USDA to launch high tunnel pilot study to increase availability of locally grown foods

    USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently announced a new pilot project under the “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” initiative for farmers to establish high tunnels – also known as hoop houses – to increase the availability of locally grown produce in a conservation-friendly way.

    “There is great potential for high tunnels to expand the availability of healthy, locally-grown crops – a win for producers and consumers,” said State Conservationist Roylene Rides at the Door. “This pilot project is going to give us real-world information that farmers all over the country can use to decide if they want to add high tunnels to their operations. We know that these fixtures can help producers extend their growing season and hopefully add to their bottom line,” she said.

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  • Oregon firm recalls meat and poultry products sold in Washington

    PORTLAND, Ore. – Siberoni, a Portland, Ore. firm, is recalling 169,655 pounds of raw and frozen meat and poultry “pelmeni” (Eastern European-style ravioli products) which were produced without the benefit of inspection, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. 

    The following products are subject to recall: [Labels (PDF Only)]

    • 1 lb. packages, in 40 pound cases, of “Siberoni” brand Chicken Pelmeni
    • 1 lb. packages, in 40 pound cases, of “Siberoni” brand Beef Pelmeni
    • 1 lb. packages, in 40 pound cases, of “Siberoni” brand Beef and Pork Pelmeni

    All these products bear the establishment number “33788” or “P-33788” inside a USDA mark of inspection or elsewhere on the package. The products were produced prior to September 6, 2013 and were sold directly from the firm’s storefront and, via a distributor, to retail outlets in Oregon and Washington State.

    The problem was discovered when an FSIS investigator found, at a distributor, product that the firm had produced while under suspension.  Further investigation found that more product had been produced prior to the suspension period, but also without benefit of inspection.  FSIS has received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products.  Individuals concerned about an illness should contact a healthcare provider.

    There were no child nutrition, Department of Defense, or internet/Catalog sales of the product.  

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  • Hoquiam Summer Meals Program Details

    HOQUIAM, Wash. – The Hoquiam School District announces the sponsorship of the Simplified Summer Food Program for Children.  Meals will be made available at no charge to attending children 18 years of age and younger

    Meals will be served at the following two locations:

    Art Pocklington Central Play Park

    401 H Street

    Hoquiam, WA 98550

    July 1st (Grand Opening) – August 23rd


    12:15pm – 12:45pm each weekday


    YMCA of Grays Harbor

    2500 Simpson Ave

    Hoquiam, WA 98550

    June 24th – August 23rd


    11:15 -11:45pm each weekday




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  • Will Farm Bill ‘Level the Field’ for Organic Producers?

    Washington, D.C. – As the Farm Bill heads to the Senate floor for debate, at least one amendment is expected on behalf of organic farmers. Making sure farmers have crop insurance is a big part of the nation’s food supply safety net outlined in the Farm Bill – but many organic farmers say it isn’t worth it. They pay a five-percent surcharge for crop insurance, and yet, when they incur losses, organic farmers are reimbursed based on conventional crop prices.

    Ariane Lotti, assistant policy director for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, says an amendment from Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) would change that.

    The core of Senator Merkley’s amendment is really about making sure that, if an organic farmer participates in crop insurance and experiences a loss, he or she is paid back at the organic price instead of at the conventional price, which is often much lower. – Ariane Lotti
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  • Olympic National Forest to Begin Prescribed Fires

    Olympia, WA – Fire managers at Olympic National Forest will soon begin their annual schedule of prescribed fire activities on both the Hood Canal and Pacific Ranger Districts.  Prescribed fires are planned ignitions designed with specific objectives in mind.  They are implemented only when environmental conditions such as wind, fuel moisture levels, and relative humidity are favorable.  Safety, for firefighters as well as the public, is the top priority at every prescribed fire.  

    This year’s planned ignitions are pile burns designed to reduce hazardous fuels in areas that have experienced recent logging activity.  The fires can begin as early as next week and may continue as late as November this year, depending on local weather conditions.  The fires will be monitored closely by qualified personnel.  Local authorities will be notified prior to ignition and kept informed throughout the burn.  

    Residents and visitors may see or smell smoke and glowing embers may be visible at night.  Smoke may settle into lower elevation areas, particularly at night and in the early morning hours, and visitors are advised to use extreme caution at these times since visibility may be impacted.

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  • Olympic Peninsula 2011 Title II Projects Approved

    OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Olympic Peninsula Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) met in Montesano last month to review FY2011 Title II project proposals and make recommendations for the expenditure of funds resulting from the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act.  All of the projects occur on, or to the benefit of, National Forest lands in Clallam, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, and Mason Counties.
    Forest Supervisor Dale Hom recently signed a statement approving the RAC’s recommendations.

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