Truck drifts off roadway, throws debris into oncoming U.S. 101 traffic North of Shelton

The South bound lane of U.S. Route 101 North of Shelton was blocked for about 8 hours this afternoon as the Washington State Patrol investigated, and cleaned up, a 3 vehicle accident. No injuries were reported. Just before 1 Tuesday afternoon a 1998 Kenworth Tractor with dump bed trailer, driven by a 62 year old Vancouver man, was Southbound on 101 when it drifted onto the soft shoulder, rolled onto its side, and spilled debris into the road. The wreck also threw debris into the path of an oncoming car, a 2012 Jeep Liberty driven by an 80 year old Olympia man, and at a parked 2010 Dodge Pickup nearby. The State Patrol trooper listed the dump truck as totaled, the Jeep and pickup both sustained some damage.

 

Wreck near Westport sends two to hospital

A three-vehicle wreck at the Twin Harbors Beach State Park approach South of Westport last night sent two to the hospital. The Washington State Patrol reports a 70 year old North Vancouver resident failed to yield the right of way when pulling out of the park. Her 2001 Dodge truck collided with a Northbound 2012 Kia Soul, pushing the Kia into the oncoming lane, where it struck a Southbound 2007 Ford SUV.

The drivers of the Kia and Ford were both injured, both transported to Community Hospital in Aberdeen with undisclosed injuries. The driver of the Dodge was cited for failure to yield the right of way.

Elma hospital finishes in the top ten for most beautiful in america

ATLANTA, Georgia— After a nation-wide vote ended June 15th, Soliant Health announced its top 20 Most Beautiful Hospitals in America honorees today. Making the list at number ten is Summit Pacific Medical Center in Elma, Washington. 248,116 votes were turned in during the annual contest, which was almost double the amount of votes the contest received last year. This was the 6th year for the Most Beautiful Hospital Contest.

 

“Our team put a lot of thought behind each design decision made during the construction of Summit Pacific,” Renee Jensen, CEO share. “We have been and continue to be passionate about bringing the same level of care and facilities seen in larger urban areas to our small community. So it’s really exciting see our community’s support result in a national ranking for both our facility and the city of Elma.”

 

With over 6,500 votes, Soliant shares that Summit Pacific is the embodiment of modern and welcoming. Coming in at the number one spot was McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, Utah. One other Washington hospital made the top 20 list, and that was number 18, Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center in Vancouver. To view the complete list of hospitals, visit http://blog.soliant.com/most-beautiful-hospitals/2014/.

Bank of the Pacific receives approval for full-service commercial banking center in Vancouver, WA

ABERDEEN, Wash. (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Bank of the Pacific, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pacific Financial Corporation (OTCQB:PFLC), today announced that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) approved its application to convert its Vancouver loan production office (LPO) to a full-service commercial banking center. The LPO was originally opened in March 2013, and has grown to $24 million in total loans as of March 31, 2014. The Vancouver commercial banking center is located at 13115 NE 4(th) Street in Vancouver, and will complement the 19 full-service branches in Washington and Oregon. The Bank will continue to operate two LPOs in the communities of Dupont and Burlington, Washington.

“We are excited about converting our Vancouver loan production office into a full-service commercial banking center, especially on the heels of receiving our Preferred Lender status from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). With the convenience of a full-service commercial banking center, we will be better positioned to meet the needs of our customers,” said Denise Portmann, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bank of the Pacific. “As our expansion strategy takes hold, core deposits are growing, and we want to make it as easy as possible for our customers to do business with us. Accordingly, we have an exceptional team of highly accomplished and experienced commercial bankers, namely: Robert Greenawald, SVP; Jeff Tainer, VP, Harry Bresnahan, VP, and Justin White, senior credit analyst. Robert has been leading the LPO since the opening in March 2013.” The Vancouver commercial banking deposit center is expected to be operational by the third quarter of 2014.

“I am extremely pleased to be heading up our expanded Vancouver office. With this team of talented lenders and their knowledge of the Vancouver markets, we are confident we can produce strong results and diversify our portfolio with quality assets,” said Robert Greenawald, Senior Vice President.

Pacific Financial Corporation recently reported profits of $1.03 million for the first quarter of 2014, up 30% compared to $789,000 for the fourth quarter of 2013, and increased 47% from $701,000 from the first quarter a year ago. Profitability was propelled by strong loan growth, ongoing enhancements in credit quality, lower funding costs and an improved net interest margin.

ABOUT PACIFIC FINANCIAL CORPORATION

Pacific Financial Corporation of Aberdeen, Washington, is the bank holding company for Bank of the Pacific, a state chartered and federally insured commercial bank. Bank of the Pacific offers banking products and services to small-to-medium sized businesses and professionals in western Washington and Oregon. As of March 31, 2014, the Company had total assets of $717.4 million and operated sixteen branches in the communities of Grays Harbor, Pacific, Whatcom, Skagit and Wahkiakum counties in the State of Washington, and three branches in Clatsop County, Oregon. The Company also operates loan production offices in the communities of Dupont and Burlington in Washington. Visit the Company’s website at www.bankofthepacific.com. Member FDIC.

Cautions Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains statements that constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and other laws, including all statements in this release that are not historical facts or that relate to future plans or events or projected results of Pacific Financial Corporation (“Company”) and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Bank of the Pacific (“Bank”). These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected, anticipated or implied. These risks and uncertainties include various risks associated with growing the Bank and expanding the services it provides, successfully completing and integrating the acquisition of new branches and development of new business lines and markets, competition in the marketplace, general economic conditions, changes in interest rates, extensive and evolving regulation of the banking industry, and many other risks described in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The most significant of these uncertainties are described in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, which readers of this release are encouraged to review. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement. Readers of this release are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

WDFW will hold two public meetings on hoof disease in S.W. Washington

OLYMPIA – State wildlife managers believe they are close to determining the cause of hoof disease in southwest Washington elk and plan to hold two meetings in April to share results to date and answer questions from the public.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has scheduled public meetings at the following times and locations:

  • Vancouver – April 15, 6-8 p.m., Community Room, 1200 Fort Vancouver Way.
  • Chehalis – April 16, 6-8 p.m., V.R. Lee Community Building (Recreation Park), 221 S.W. 13th Street.

Sandra Jonker, WDFW regional wildlife manager, said department staff will discuss results to date of ongoing tests designed to identify the cause of deformed or missing hooves in elk, primarily in Cowlitz, Pacific and Wahkiakum counties.

Since 2009, WDFW has collected tissue samples from 43 elk for testing at diagnostic laboratories at Washington State University, Colorado State University, the University of Wyoming, the USDA National Animal Disease Center and the University of Liverpool in England.

Jonker said recent tests of diseased hooves point to the presence of treponeme bacteria, which have been linked to hoof disease in cows and sheep in many parts of the world.

“It’s premature to announce a final diagnosis, but tests from three independent diagnostic labs appear to show an association between the diseased hooves and the presence of treponeme bacteria,” Jonker said. “That’s a real concern, because the options for treating the disease are extremely limited.”

Kristin Mansfield, WDFW epidemiologist, said treponemes have been linked to an increasing incidence of hoof disease in livestock for two decades, but have never been documented in elk or other wildlife.

There is no evidence that these bacteria are harmful to humans, she said, noting that tests indicate the disease is limited to hooves and does not affect the animals’ meat or organs.

Mansfield said scientists believe animals pick up and transmit the disease through wet soil, characteristic of the lowlands of southwest Washington. Livestock infected with treponeme bacteria may respond to repeated courses of antibiotics, but frequently become re-infected once they are returned to pasture, she said.

“Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for this disease,” she said. “Livestock that don’t respond to treatment or become re-infected after treatment are usually sent to market and slaughtered.”

For purposes of comparison, WDFW has collected elk from areas both affected and not affected by the disease, Jonker said. Testing of tissues taken from 11 elk in January will help determine whether treponemes are the primary cause of the disease or opportunistic bacteria that invade hooves that are already damaged, she said.

“Test results taken from those samples are due this summer, and should help us answer an important question about this disease,” Jonker said.

Meanwhile, WDFW is developing a management approach based on input from WDFW staff and two advisory groups created to help guide the department’s course:

  • A 14-member technical advisory group, established to recommend diagnostic approaches, will assess findings of the diagnostic laboratories and advise on disease control options. The group is composed of veterinarians from universities, government agencies and local veterinary practices in Washington and other states.
  • An 18-member public working group, made up of people from southwest Washington, is working with WDFW to share information and discuss management and research needs. The advisory group includes county commissioners, public and private landowners, hunters, sportsman groups, local business owners, and others concerned about the area elk herd.

“As with many wildlife diseases, there are no easy answers to this problem,” Jonker said. “But we need to be ready to take action, because doing nothing is not an option.”

As a precautionary measure, WDFW will ask the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission to adopt a new regulation requiring hunters to remove the hooves of any elk taken in southwest Washington and leave them in the area to prevent the disease from spreading.

In addition to the two public meetings sponsored by WDFW, wildlife managers will also participate in meetings sponsored by county officials concerned about hoof disease. Those meetings are scheduled at the following times and places:

  • Longview – March 27, 6-8 p.m., Cowlitz County Conference Center, 1900 7th Ave.
  • Cathlamet – April 2, 6 p.m., River Street Meeting Room, 25 River St.

To learn more about hoof disease or report a sighting, see WDFW’s website at
http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/health/hoof_disease/.

Federal council adopts alternatives for ocean salmon sport fisheries

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Anglers fishing along the Washington coast could see a higher catch quota for chinook salmon, and all three sport harvest alternatives for coho are up from last year.

Three alternatives for ocean salmon fisheries, approved Thursday for public review by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), were developed in response to projections of a higher abundance of Columbia River hatchery chinook and a significant increase in Columbia River coho. The PFMC establishes fishing seasons in ocean waters three to 200 miles off the Pacific coast.

The three alternatives establish a range of season structures and harvest quotas for ocean fisheries, while taking into account the needs of inside fisheries and ensuring that conservation objectives for wild fish are met, said Phil Anderson, director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

“The strong returns forecast for Columbia River hatchery chinook and coho will allow us to provide recreational anglers some great fishing opportunities off the Washington coast this year, while continuing to meet conservation objectives for wild salmon populations,” said Anderson, who represents WDFW on the management council.

Two of the three alternatives include recreational mark-selective fisheries for hatchery chinook in June. If approved, this would be the fifth-straight year the ocean fishery would begin with a mark-selective fishery targeting hatchery chinook. Mark-selective fisheries allow anglers to catch and keep abundant hatchery salmon, marked with a missing adipose fin, but require that they release wild salmon.

Two of the alternatives would also allow retention of hatchery chinook in the LaPush and Neah Bay areas during halibut openings in May.

More than 1.6 million Columbia River fall chinook salmon are expected back this year. If that run comes in at forecast it would be the largest since record-keeping began in 1938. A portion of the run – about 225,000 salmon – is expected to be lower river hatchery chinook, which traditionally have been the backbone of the recreational ocean chinook fishery. In-river fisheries will also benefit from the strong return.

Additionally, the ocean abundance of Columbia River coho is forecast to be about 964,000 fish, three times as many fish as last year’s actual abundance. A significant portion of that run will contribute to the ocean fishery as well.

The PFMC is scheduled to make its final decision on this year’s ocean regulations and harvest quotas for recreational and commercial fisheries at its April meeting in Vancouver, Wash. The recreational fishing alternatives include the following quotas for fisheries off the Washington coast:

  • Alternative 1 – 60,000 chinook and 193,200 coho.
  • Alternative 2 – 58,000 chinook and 176,400 coho.
  • Alternative 3 – 47,500 chinook and 159,600 coho.

The PFMC last year adopted recreational ocean fishing quotas of 48,000 chinook and 74,760 coho salmon.

Under each option for this year, the ocean recreational fishery would vary:

Alternative 1:

Selective fishery for hatchery chinook:

Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco) and 2 (Westport/Ocean Shores): May 31-June 20: Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon, except anglers must release coho and wild chinook.
Marine areas 3 (LaPush) and 4 (Neah Bay): May 16-17 and May 23-24 and May 31-June 20: Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon, except anglers must release coho and wild chinook.

Traditional ocean salmon fishery for chinook and hatchery coho:

Marine Area 1: June 21-Sept. 30: Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon, but only one chinook may be retained.
Marine Area 2: June 21-Sept. 30: Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon, but only one chinook may be retained.
Marine Area 3: June 21-Sept. 21 and Sept. 27-Oct. 12: Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon.  
Marine Area 4: June 21-Sept. 21: Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon.

Alternative 2:

Selective fishery for hatchery chinook:

Marine areas 1 and 2: June 7-June 20: Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon, except anglers must release coho and wild chinook.
Marine areas 3 and 4: May 23-24 and June 7-20: Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon, except anglers must release coho and wild chinook.

Traditional ocean salmon fishery for chinook and hatchery coho:

Marine Area 1: June 21-Sept. 30: Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon, but only one chinook may be retained. 
Marine Area 2: June 21-Sept. 21: Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon, but only one chinook may be retained.
Marine Area 3: June 21-Sept. 21 and Sept. 27-Oct. 12: Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon.
Marine Area 4: June 21-Sept. 21: Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon.

Alternative 3:

Traditional ocean salmon fishery for chinook and hatchery coho:

Marine Area 1: June 14-Sept. 30: Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon, but only one chinook may be retained.
Marine Area 2: June 15-Sept. 30: Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon, but only one chinook may be retained.
Marine Area 3: June 14-Sept. 21 and Sept. 27-Oct. 12: Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon. 
Marine Area 4: June 14-Sept. 21: Open daily. Daily limit of two salmon.

A public hearing on the three alternatives for ocean salmon fisheries is scheduled for March 24 in Westport.

Chinook and coho quotas approved by the PFMC will be part of a comprehensive 2014 salmon fishing package, which includes marine and freshwater fisheries throughout Puget Sound, the Columbia River and Washington’s coastal areas. State and tribal co-managers are currently developing those fisheries.

The co-managers will complete the final 2014 salmon fisheries package in conjunction with the PFMC process during its April meeting.

Meanwhile, several public meetings are scheduled in March to discuss regional fisheries issues. A schedule of public meetings, as well as salmon run-size forecasts and more information about the salmon-season setting process, can be found on WDFW’s North of Falcon website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/northfalcon/.

Pacific County welcomes Washington Governor Jay Inslee to 89th Annual Crab Feed

Washington Governor Jay Inslee will join Washington Democrats at the 89th Annual Crab Feed in Pacific County on Saturday.
Believed to be the oldest continuous fundraiser in the state, the crab feed will begin with a social hour at 5 p.m. at the Willapa Harbor Chamber Building, 916 W. 1st St. in South Bend

Tiffany Turner, Bethany Oszman, Pacific County Democrats' Chair Karen Spackman, Gov. Jay Inslee, and Erin Frasier
Tiffany Turner, Bethany Oszman, Pacific County Democrats’ Chair Karen Spackman, Gov. Jay Inslee, and Erin Frasier

Among other guests scheduled to attend are Congressman Derek Kilmer, State Auditor Troy Kelley, state Sen. Brian Hatfield, D-Raymond; and State Reps. Brian Blake, D-Aberdeen; and Dean Takko, D-Longview.

According to County Democratic Chair Karen Spackman, “The crab will likely come fresh off the docks in Ilwaco!”

Besides the dinner, there will also be raffles, a silent auction and a live auction hosted by former Democratic state Senator Craig Pridemore of Vancouver, who also served as the auctioneer during last year’s event.

The auction includes stays at local inns, a hand-forged coat rack and even a ride in the family canoe from the leader of the Chinook Nation.

Dinner starts at 6 p.m. and the cost is $30, payable in advance at www.pacificcountydemocrats.com or at the door.

Vancouver coin company accused of cashing in without delivering

More than two dozen people have contacted Better Business Bureau to complain about Blue Moon Coins out of Vancouver, Wash., after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars. The company, which sells wholesale precious metals and coins, has earned an “F” rating with Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington after failing to respond to six complaints.

Customers allege that after placing orders, the products do not arrive; the company has racked up 25 complaints within the last three years including 19 serious ones. The Washington State Attorney General’s Office says it has 16 complaints against the business from 2013 to 2014.

One customer says he lost $168,000 after placing an order with Blue Moon Coins in September 2013. After months of attempted contact, the man tells BBB that he still has not been able to reach the company or receive a refund.

A Washington State customer tells BBB that he purchased $6,000 in merchandise from Blue Moon Coins in early January, but when trying to cancel the order, he claims the company never responded. He now wants to warn other potential customers before they do business. “I want the public to know, so someone else doesn’t get caught in this trap,” he says. 

The BBB accreditation of Blue Moon Coins was revoked in December 2013 after the business failed to comply with the BBB Code of Business Practices.

BBB is concerned about the serious nature of these complaints and reminds consumers to properly research companies at bbb.org before making purchases.

FEMA prepares for Cascadia Subduction Zone 2016 Earthquake and Tsunami Exercise

Federal Emergency Management Agency staff, and emergency responders from around the state met in Ocean Shores last week to get the public involved in a major exercise planned for 2016.
Chuck Wallace with the Grays Harbor County Emergency Management Agency said on Thursday it’s all to prepare the public and private sectors for a mock 9.0 Earthquake in the Cascadia Subduction Zone, a major fault line that runs through the county.

The Cascadia subduction zone (also referred to as the Cascadia fault) is a subduction zone, a type of convergent plate boundary that stretches from northern Vancouver Island to northern California.
The Cascadia subduction zone (also referred to as the Cascadia fault) is a subduction zone, a type of convergent plate boundary that stretches from northern Vancouver Island to northern California.

“How prepared are you today, to handle this? What do you believe will happen once this occures? And what kind of help do you need to get back in service? Because if this happens to our county, this impacts everybody.
Wallace said besides a tsunami, a CSZ earthquake will take out infrastructure “You’re going to feel the ground shake, you’re going to rattle and roll for a couple of minutes. You’re going to have some liquefaction where the ground becomes unstable, maybe water comes up through the ground [where] you normally wouldn’t think of. There’s some subsidence where they believe that the coastal area is going to drop about 4 to 6 feet and that will go probably almost to the county line before it levels out again.

The Exercise is from some of the same FEMA Region 10 crew that brought us The Great Washington Shake Out – registration for which just opened online by the way. Expect to hear more in the coming years about the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) 2016 Earthquake and Tsunami Exercise.

Around-the-clock single-lane traffic on the SR 6 Willapa River Bridge

MENLO – Drivers on State Route 6 at the Willapa River Bridge will encounter 10 weeks of around-the-clock single-lane traffic beginning this week. Drivers can expect five-minute delays while an automated signal alternates traffic across the bridge.

Reducing SR 6 to a single lane allows crews working with the Washington State Department of Transportation to rebuild the highway so it meets up with a newly constructed bridge just 12 feet southwest of the existing one.

Crews plan to shift single-lane traffic to the new bridge in late March and then start demolishing the existing, 85-year-old steel-truss bridge.

This work is part of WSDOT’s project to replace the SR 6 Willapa River Bridge with a wider, more modern structure. The project is expected to be complete this summer.

Stay informed of traffic impacts by visiting WSDOT’s travel alerts and construction update web pages, and WSDOT’s Vancouver-based Twitter account.

December 2013 - Pouring concrete for the new bridge deck. Six weeks after setting girders, crews complete the rebar framework for the new bridge deck and start pouring concrete.
December 2013 – Pouring concrete for the new bridge deck.
Six weeks after setting girders, crews complete the rebar framework for the new bridge deck and start pouring concrete.