Raymond Junior/Senior High School Recognized As 2014 School Of Distinction

Raymond Junior/Senior High School has been recognized as a Washington State 2014 School of Distinction. This award acknowledges outstanding improvement in reading and math sustained over a five-year period, and is limited to schools in the top 5% of improvement for their grade band. Statewide, there were 17 high schools recognized.

This is the eighth time School of Distinction award has been made in Washington State. Statewide, 54 elementary schools, 22 middle schools, 17 high schools, and 8 alternative schools received the award. Describing the schools that are designated as School of Distinction award winners, Greg Lobdell, President of the Center for Educational Effectiveness noted, “These schools are from alI regions of the state, all sizes of towns, with a range from 2.7% to 100% poverty and enrollment of English Language Learners as high as 40%. These schools demonstrate that significant improvement is occurring all across our diverse public schools.”

Each regional Educational Service District throughout the state will be hosting an award ceremony to recognize the award winners within their districts. Dates will be announced in subsequent, regional press releases. Dr. Rich McBride, Superintendent of the North Central ESD in Wenatchee and leading this work for the ESDs stated, “At a time when our schools and classrooms are experiencing the pressure of reform initiatives at the state and national level, it is great to celebrate the success and hard work of our highest improving schools across the state. This celebration provides important validation and highlights our need for the continued support of improvement efforts across Washington that are making a difference for all students. Our congratulations to the staff, students, leaders, and communities for their exceptional passion and dedication.”

Rider and passenger ejected from motorcycle over the weekend

A motorcycle rider and his passenger were injured Saturday evening after their Southbound Honda 650 left State Route 109 about 18 miles North of Hoquiam. The bike ejected a 49 year old Wenatchee man, and a 52 year old Wenatchee woman – both were wearing helmets, both were transported from the scene with undisclosed injuries. He was cited for negligent driving.

Harbor Manor in Hoquiam among statewide housing purchase

All of the properties are senior housing communities with the exception of two smaller family properties in King County. Four of the complexes are located in King County (147 units), one property is in Hoquiam (24 units), one is in Yakima (51 units), one is in Bremerton (30 units), and two are located in Wenatchee (85 total units). On Dec. 2, the acquisition of the four King County properties was completed. The non-King County buildings will close in separate transactions between the end of December and March 2014.

The four properties acquired by KCHA are: Bellevue Manor in Bellevue (66 units), Patricia Harris Manor in Redmond (41 units), Northwood Square in Auburn (24 units), and Vashon Terrace in Vashon Island (16 units). They are home to 107 seniors, more than 80 percent of whom are aged 70 or older, and 40 families with children.

KCHA is acting as lead purchaser on behalf of the other local housing authorities for the five properties situated outside of King County. The combined purchase price for all nine developments is $28.7 million. At closing, KCHA’s interest in these purchase agreements will be assigned to the appropriate respective local housing authority.

The preservation of these complexes is important because of the populations they serve, their highly desirable locations, and the federal funding they leverage.

The average annual income of residents in the seven senior communities is approximately $10,000. The average annual income of residents in the two family communities is around $14,000. Statewide, the demand for housing affordable to low-income households greatly surpasses the supply and the need is growing, especially for seniors.

Each of the complexes is well-sited, located within walking distance of transportation, shopping and other amenities. The Bellevue site is one-half block off Old Main Street.

The Section 8 contracts that will be preserved through these acquisitions provide about $2.3 million in annual rent subsidies for these units, keeping them affordable.

Between 1965 and 1990, the federal government subsidized private developers to build and operate rental housing for low-income families and disabled and elderly households living on fixed incomes. These developers executed long-term rental subsidy agreements under the Section 8 program. The initial contracts on each of the nine properties in this portfolio have already expired; subsequent short-term contract renewals are due to expire soon. A number of these sites, if bought by private developers, could quickly be demolished or redeveloped as condominiums or high-end rentals.

KCHA purchased the four King County properties using a tax-exempt loan. These properties will continue to be managed by Westwood Management, the current property manager of the complexes.

King County provided $1 million for high priority safety and structural repairs for the four King County properties. These improvements are expected to begin in early December.

“This is an important opportunity to preserve 147 units of federally subsidized low-income housing in King County,” said Joe McDermott, chair of the King County budget and fiscal management committee. “The purchase of these properties will provide a long-term source of affordable housing for low-income seniors and families with children, for which there is a dire need.”

The state legislature provided a $4.5 million housing preservation grant from the Housing Trust Fund to assist with the acquisition of the five non-King County properties.

“This will help seniors live with dignity,” said state Rep. Hans Dunshee, chair of the House capital budget committee, which approved the expenditure. “If they lost their housing because it got too expensive, they couldn’t take a second job to pencil it out. Now they can sleep at night in a safe, stable place to live, which is what anybody would want for their mom or dad, grandma or grandpa.”


Fact Sheet


King County Properties

Property     Address     City     Units     Type
Bellevue Manor     143 Bellevue Way     Bellevue     66     senior
Vashon Terrace

17206 97th Pl. SW

Vashon Island

16 family
Northwood Square 518 8th St. NE Auburn 24 family
Patricia Harris Manor 16304 NE 81st St. Redmond 41 senior

Non-King County Properties

Property     Address     City     Units     Type
Charter House 1307 Wheaton Way Bremerton 30 senior
Harbor Manor 411 10th St. Hoquiam 24 senior
Emerson Manor 702 N. Emerson Wenatchee 35 senior
Wenatchee House 22 S. Buchanan Wenatchee 50 senior
Naches House 314 Naches Ave. Yakima 51 senior

State Parks Asks “Would You Like Flies With That?”

As the process moves forward, public comments, questions and suggestions received about the future of Washington State Parks will be made available online at www.parks.wa.gov/Beyond2013/. 

Public meeting locations, dates and times are as follows: 

• Tri Cities: 7 to 8:30 p.m. May 17
Columbia Basin College
2600 N. 20th Ave. 
Building A, room A126
Pasco, WA 99301

• Spokane: 3:30 to 5 p.m. May 19 (focus on Riverside State Park) and 6 – 7:30 p.m. May 21 (focus on Mount Spokane State Park)
Spokane Public Library Shadle Branch
W. 2111 Wellesley Ave.
Spokane, WA 99205

• Central and East Wenatchee: 7 to 8:30 p.m. May 22
Washington State Parks Eastern Region Headquarters
270 Ninth Street N.E. 
Ice Age Conference Room
East Wenatchee, WA 98802

• Friday Harbor: 2:15 to 4 p.m. June 2
Whidbey Island Bank – Community Room
535 Market Street
Friday Harbor, WA 98250

• Olympia: 7 to 8:30 p.m. June 5
Tumwater High School
700 Israel Road S.W.
Olympia, WA 98501

• Seattle area: 7 to 8:30 p.m. June 6
King County Department of Development and Environmental Services
900 Oakdale Ave. S.W.
Renton, WA 98057

• Fort Worden State Park: 6:30 to 9 p.m. June 11
200 Battery Way
Company A
Port Townsend, WA 98368

• Burlington: 6:30 to 9 p.m. June 12
Burlington Library
Burlington Rotary Community Meeting Room
820 E. Washington Ave.
Burlington, WA 98233

• Chinook: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. June 14
Fort Columbia State Park Theater
475 Highway 101
Chinook, WA 98638 
Individuals, groups and organizations wishing to join an e-mail list for updates on the planning process are invited to use the following contact information: 

• E-mail: Strategic.Planning@parks.wa.gov
• Phone: (360) 902-8504 and ask for Strategic Planning
• Mail: Washington State Parks, Strategic Planning, P.O. Box 42650, Olympia, WA 98504-2650 

Stay connected to your state parks by following Washington State Parks at www.facebook.com/WashingtonStateParks, www.twitter.com/WaStatePks_NEWS and www.youtube.com/WashingtonStateParks. 

The Commission manages a diverse system of more than 100 state parks and recreation programs, including long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation. The 99-year-old park system will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2013. For more information on Centennial 2013, visit www.parks.wa.gov/Centennial2013.

Support state parks by purchasing your Discover Pass today, and enjoy a whole year of outdoor fun on Washington’s beautiful state-managed recreation lands. For more information, visit www.discoverpass.wa.gov.

Hoquiam Farmers Market News – Tomato Scowling Edition

This weeks gentle rain has given our garden the nourishment and encouragement that it needed to give that last big burst of energy necessary to get those veggies producing again. I’ve been negligent in watering the garden, my mind couldn’t grasp that the cool days we’ve had most of the summer weren’t actually bringing moisture into the garden. No wonder things were looking pitiful. I told Frank ( Elma gardener and provider of Good Things) that I may have to strategically place some of his beautiful veggies in my garden to fake the scene. Our lettuce loves this cool weather, but not much else does. Tomatoes especially. Lat year I had dozens of huge green tomatoes on the vine when the cooler fall weather began. None of them ever developed into a tasty tomato! They made exquisite compost, but that was not my intention.

Our market gardener, Judy Hanson, has given me some tips so that my tomatoes have a fighting chance of becoming the best that they can be. No, she isn’t telling me to move to eastern Washington. Here is Judy’s secret; Wrap your tomato plants in a plastic blanket! She says that any clear plastic bag will do, as long as it fits over the plant. If you have a huge plant, use a plastic sheet. You need to tie the plastic at the base of the plant, use clothes line or whatever you have lying around. In the highly unlikely event that the weather heats up, remove the plastic on hot days. Fat chance of that being necessary.

Covering the plant with plastic keeps Tomato Blight off of your precious plant. Blight makes it’s insidious way into the garden with moisture. Dew, drizzle, rain.

Now here is something that I can definitely achieve; Judy says that you should ‘Stress’ your tomato plant. Uh-huh! The more you stress the plant, the more concerned it becomes, fearful for it’s very life- and it produces more fruit! Talk mean to it. Keep it awake at night. Play loud music.
Oops, that’s what stresses me. Back to the tomato plants’ idea of stress. Stop watering it- that will teach it to behave, according to Judy. When the lower leaves start to turn yellow, give it some water. Make it beg.
If your tomato plant has been coddled like mine and has a lush profusion of green leaves, strip those leaves off so that light can get to the fruit, or it cannot ripen.

No fruit on your tomato plant? Keep this in mind for next year; when the flowers are blooming, give them a shake to get them to pollinate. I never realized that tomatoes prefer being treated so rough! I’ve been far too nice to them. From now on, no more Mrs. Nice guy- I’m going to stomp out there to the garden and scowl at those tomatoes. I’ll speak sharply and strip off those lovely green leaves. Then, to make up for such unseemly behavior, I will gently enfold them in a big plastic bag. Tuck them in and keep them nice an warm, awaiting the first blush of red to arrive.

If you need tomatoes right now, come on over to the Hoquiam Farmers Market. Julie, Ruth, and Judy all have great tomatoes, and Mrs. Todd may not be looking when Gary is foraging in her Wenatchee garden- look for hers on Thursday. I’ll protect Gary from his wife’s wrath. The things I do in order to make sure that the market brings you the very best food that is out there!

Barbara Bennett Parsons, vowing to treat those tomatoes badly from now on.
Hoquiam Farmers Market is open Wednesday thru Sunday, and Deidra keeps the Deli open 6 days a week! Give us a call at 538-9747 to place an order or ask a question.

Salmon returns to Columbia River look good so far

The agency’s biologists say there are a number of reasons for these recent increases: juvenile salmon encountered highly productive ocean conditions in 2007 and 2008, and the region has made marked improvements to freshwater rearing habitat and hatchery practices in the Columbia Basin. The scientists also point to fish-friendly improvements to the basin’s hydroelectric dams, and thus better conditions for migrating fish, and better management of salmon harvests.

Columbia salmon and steelhead runs have remained strong while other West Coast salmon stocks, including Sacramento River fall Chinook, declined. Fishing closures off the central and southern Oregon Coast were designed to protect Sacramento fish. Columbia River fisheries have remained open, with provisions designed to safeguard protected species.

The pattern of improved Columbia returns may apply to other salmon species as well, the biologists say. Virtually all Columbia River sockeye are wild-origin fish, originating predominantly from Osoyoos Lake in Canada, with a smaller proportion from Lake Wenatchee. In the Snake River, only a small number of sockeye have returned each year over the past two decades, with an increase in 2008 and 2009, but virtually all of these are of hatchery origin.

However, so far this year 274,782 adult sockeye salmon have passed Bonneville Dam, which is much higher than anticipated. NOAA Fisheries biologists say if this year’s count follows a pattern similar to the past three years’, the region might see more sockeye passing Bonneville than any time since 1955.

Last month’s ocean survey, conducted by fishery biologists with NOAA Fisheries, hinted at good returns in coming years as well, according to John Ferguson, director of the fish ecology division at NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle.

“We caught a lot of young salmon in our ocean sampling during May” he said. “That’s always a promising indication that we may see good numbers of returning adults next year and the year after, if ocean productivity holds.”

Each year to aid salmon managers, NOAA assesses ocean conditions that juvenile salmon experience. These assessments measure a broad array of factors: atmospheric conditions in the North Pacific Ocean and equatorial waters, local sea-surface temperatures, salinity, availability of food for young salmon in Pacific Northwest waters and how many juvenile salmon migrate to the ocean.

“Interestingly,” Ferguson said, “we also captured an unusually high number of juvenile sockeye salmon. These were likely from the large number coming from the upper Columbia River this year.”

One set of numbers that still has fishery scientists scratching their heads are the recent Chinook jack counts. Jacks are precocious males that return a year earlier than their adult cohorts. In previous decades they have provided reasonable estimates of the number of adults that will return the following year, enabling fishery managers to set harvest limits with some degree of confidence.

However, in the past decade jack counts have lead to under- and over-predictions of actual adult returns. Last year, for example, more than 87,000 jacks were counted at Bonneville by June 20. That means there was about one jack for every two adult Chinook salmon, but typically there is only one jack for every 10 or 15 adults. Last year’s jack count, if used traditionally, would have vastly overestimated this year’s adult returns. Harvest managers had to take this high jack rate into consideration when developing harvest allocations. The exact reason jacks are returning at increasingly variable rates is unknown.

It is too soon to say much about steelhead counts at Bonneville Dam this year, because these fish are just starting to enter the river. However, steelhead numbers, while not as dramatic as those for Chinook, are also up: 27,500 had passed Bonneville Dam by June 27, substantially above the 10-year average of 16,200 for that date. This follows a general pattern of improved steelhead runs, where approximately 400,000 steelhead were counted passing Bonneville Dam each year this most recent decade compared to 217,000 counted annually from 1990 to 1999.

Typically, about 80 percent of adult salmon returns to the Columbia Basin are of hatchery origin. Under the Endangered Species Act, the long-term focus is on protecting natural-origin fish and their ecosystems. Rebuilding runs of natural-origin salmon and steelhead continues, and some are doing better than others. Upper Columbia spring Chinook, for instance, are categorized as “endangered” and efforts to aid these fish remain a high priority.

The Federal Caucus is a group of ten federal agencies operating in the Columbia River Basin that have natural resource responsibilities related to the ESA. The agencies work together to better integrate, organize, and coordinate the federal fish recovery and water quality efforts in order to improve the Columbia River Basin aquatic ecosystem, and coordinate execution of federal trust and treaty responsibilities to Basin Native American tribes. The Caucus accomplishes these purposes consistent with each member agency’s missions and responsibilities. For more information, visit www.salmonrecovery.gov

Child Seat Belt Patrols Return to Grays Harbor County

For the best protection of children and to abide by the law, parents should try to adhere to the following when buckling up their child:

Child ages: 0 – at least 12 months and at least 20 pounds – use a rear-facing infant seat. Keep your child rear-facing as long as your child car seat allows.
Age: 13 months to age four – use a child car seat with a five-point harness.
Age: four to 4’9” tall – use a booster seat. Boosters should only be placed with a lap and shoulder belt.
Age: up to age 13 – children must ride in the rear seat of the vehicle.

The local pilot project is coordinated by The Grays Harbor County Traffic Safety Task Force. Similar projects are running in the Spokane, Moses Lake, and Wenatchee areas.

Parents needing more information about correctly installing their child car seat or about this project can call Susan Bradbury at 360.249.3711 x576 or visit www.800bucklup.org.

Missing Shelton Woman FOUND

SHELTON, Wash. – Jamie Renae Sepulveda, 33, Shelton, who was reported missing on the evening of January 20, was located late in the afternoon Friday when she called in to MACECOM to say that she was not actually missing. Investigators say she had decided to go to Wenatchee because of family issues and did not intend to return to Shelton. 
In missing person cases, investigators always verify missing people calling in are in fact the person they represent themselves to be. Investigators were not actually able to verify the person they talked to was Jamie until early this morning.
Sepulveda was reported missing after being last seen at her residence located near West Kingfisher Lane, southwest of Shelton, on January 19, 2010, at about 9:00 AM. Relatives told investigators that Sepulveda had a dental appointment in Shelton, at 10 AM on January 19, but never arrived for that appointment. 
Investigators were able to bring this case to a conclusion quickly partly due to media coverage. Sepulveda told investigators she had gotten a call from a friend stating she learned Sepulveda had been reported missing based on a radio newscast and contact from an investigator.

Record coho returns boost Columbia River restoration

The rise in adult coho returning past seven or more mainstem Columbia dams to spawn this winter in upriver tributaries exceeds all expectations, said Tom Scribner, the Yakama Nation’s project leader. While most of the returning fish came from hatcheries, an expanding share comes from natural spawning that biologists hope will resurrect self-sustaining wild stocks.

The return of spawning coho to the upper Columbia reflects the success of a pioneering reintroduction strategy that no one had attempted before. The program is funded by BPA, Chelan County Public Utility District, Grant County Public Utility District and NOAA-Fisheries.

Biologists began rekindling the upriver runs in the 1990s with hatchery-bred fish from the lower Columbia, since no local coho adapted to the upper Columbia were left. Some wondered whether lower river fish, after many generations in hatcheries, could rebuild runs that would have to migrate hundreds of miles farther up the Columbia, past several major dams.

“There was a question whether it was really possible to do this so far above the dams,” said Roy Beaty, BPA’s project manager for upper Columbia coho restoration. “We really didn’t know whether the fish could swim that far.”

Coho returns past Rock Island Dam on Columbia River
Coho returns past Rock Island Dam on the Columbia River near Wenatchee, Wash.

Irrigation diversions and development wiped out some 90 percent of native coho from the middle and upper Columbia during the late 1800s. A remnant population hung on but largely vanished by about 1980. Upriver coho did not receive protection under the Endangered Species Act, since none were left to protect.

“Coho are a kind of Rodney Dangerfield of the Columbia River anadromous fish world – they don’t get much respect,” said Nancy Weintraub, a BPA project manager who works on coho. “It’s great to see them succeed.”

BPA now funds the coho restoration program through the Columbia River Fish Accords and is completing an environmental impact statement assessing the construction and long-term operation of program facilities.

BPA is a not-for-profit federal electric utility that operates a high-voltage transmission grid comprising more than 15,000 miles of lines and associated substations in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.  It also markets more than a third of the electricity consumed in the Pacific Northwest. The power is produced at 31 federal dams operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation and one nuclear plant in the Northwest and is sold to more than 140 Northwest utilities.  BPA purchases power from seven wind projects and has more than 2,300 megawatts of wind interconnected to its transmission system

BPA plans meetings on coho reintroduction

The meetings provide an opportunity for the public and agencies to ask questions and provide ideas about what issues should be examined in the EIS.

The EIS will assess the issues surrounding BPA’s proposed funding of new permanent and temporary facilities for broodstock development and modification of side channels and ponds as semi-natural rearing and acclimation areas for juvenile coho salmon in the Methow and Wenatchee basins. The reintroduction project also proposes to use existing adult capture facilities, and the Willard and Winthrop National Fish Hatcheries.

Those who cannot attend the meetings can still comment. Comments may be submitted online at www.bpa.gov/comment, faxed to (503) 230-3285 or relayed by phone by calling (800) 622-4519. Please reference “Mid-Columbia Coho Restoration Project EIS” with the comments. All comments will be posted on BPA’s website.