U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reopens comment period on proposal to list West Coast Fisher populations

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has reopened the comment period on a proposal to list the West Coast population of fisher as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  The Service has also extended its deadline to make a final decision whether to list the species to April 7, 2016.

The Service is opening a 30-day public comment period to solicit additional information to more fully inform the final listing decision. Specifically, the agency is seeking additional information on threats to the fisher population.

The fisher is a large, stocky, dark brown member of the weasel family, and is related to the mink, otter and marten. About the size of a house cat, the fisher has a long bushy tail, short rounded ears, short legs, and a low-to-the-ground appearance.

During the reopened comment period, the Service seeks information related to toxicants and rodenticides used at marijuana grow sites, including law enforcement information on the scope and severity of this problem, and trend data related to the use of toxicants/rodenticides. Previously submitted comments are in the record and they do not need to be resubmitted.

The Service is also seeking additional information for West Coast fisher population surveys, which will help assess fisher distribution and population trends. The Service is particularly interested in the surveys in which no fishers were found.

Additional guidance on submitting public comments can be found in the Federal Register notice at https://www.federalregister.gov (search for key word “fisher”), or on the agency website at: http://www.fws.gov/cno/es/fisher/.

Comments and information can be submitted by one of the following methods:

• Electronically at http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter FWS–R8–ES–2014–0041.  You may submit information by clicking on “Comment Now.”

• Paper copy, via the U.S. mail or hand delivery, to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R8–ES–2014–0041. Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041–3803.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/cno. Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel, and download photos from our Flickr page.

Baby Humpback Whale washes ashore near Westport, cause of death likely natural

A dead baby humpback whale was found washed ashore near Westport Saturday, Cascadia Research Collective, along with staff from WDFW and Westport Aquarium, conducted an examination on Sunday. The 25′ 8″ female was estimated to be just over a year old, and was found about a mile north of West Haven State Park. The blubber was thin with little oil, but the whale had been recently feeding on small fish. While a precise cause of death is undetermined, it appears to have been natural based on the necropsy. Numerous samples were collected for a variety of analyses, including genetics, contaminants, and general pathology; these may provide more details about what happened to this whale. Humpback whale populations have been increasing throughout their range, and strandings, which used to be relatively infrequent, are becoming more common along the Washington coast.

 

Cascadia Research, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Westport Aquarium conducted an examination today…

Posted by Cascadia Research Collective on Sunday, April 12, 2015

Police receive multiple reports of broken windows in Hoquiam

Hoquiam Police responded to 4 separate reports of broken windows Thursday, and they’re asking the public if there were more. Police Chief Jeff Myers reports the first call came from a residence in the 100 block of West Chenault Avenue just before 4 Thrusday morning where a window to a home was broken, but no entry was made. Officers found footprints to and from the residence in the dew on the lawn.
Later yesterday officers took three more broken window reports, including two business locations. Myers said it appeared none of the homes or businesses were entered, and in all cases the damage occurred during the night.

Citizens are encouraged to call and report suspicious persons or activity immediately by calling 911 or the non-emergency dispatch line at 533-8765.

Anonymous information regarding these incidents can be reported to Detective Ryan Pearson at 360-532-0892 x 102.

Repairs on State Route 4 near Naselle will lower speed limit

Work begins today on a portion of State Route 4 West of Naselle where a culvert failed and heavy rains of early January washed away the road 3.1 miles East of U.S. Route 101. The Washington State Department of Transportation reports a bypass road is in use around the damage, drivers will notice a reduced speed limit of 15 mph through the area.

A portion of State Route 4 was damaged when a culvert collapsed on Monday Jan. 5, due to heavy rains. Contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation built a temporary bypass road.  This will allow traffic to return through the area, at a reduced speed, while permanent repairs to the highway and the culvert are being made.

Denny’s Restaurant to open its doors in Aberdeen November 9th

On Sunday, Nov. 9, at 6 p.m., a new Denny’s will open its doors in Aberdeen (418 W. Heron Street), unveiling its all-new, locally-inspired design and diner menu with an all day celebration. To celebrate the opening of its newest location and thank the surrounding community for its support, Denny’s will offer games and prizes along with giveaways of some of the diner’s most beloved dishes all day on Wednesday, Nov. 19.

At Denny’s, America’s diner, everyone is always welcome – welcome to drop in 24/7, welcome to enjoy good food and great value, and now Denny’s welcomes local residents, guests and visitors to stop by its newest location in Aberdeen. Located at 418 W. Heron Street, the new diner will officially open its doors on Sunday, Nov. 9, at 6 p.m.

To celebrate the opening of its newest location and thank the surrounding community for its support, Denny’s will offer games and prizes along with giveaways of some of the diner’s most beloved dishes all day on Wednesday, Nov. 19. The first 100 guests to stop by the restaurant between 9 and 10 a.m. will receive a free Grand Slam breakfast, which includes two buttermilk pancakes, two eggs cooked to order, two bacon strips and two sausage links; the first 25 guests to dine with Denny’s from noon to 1 p.m. will get a free classic hamburger and fries and the first 25 guests from 6 p.m. onward will get a free dinner entrée.

“As America’s diner, Denny’s guests have come to our diners to sit back, relax and enjoy delicious, hearty meals for more than 60 years. We hope to bring that same sense of community to Aberdeen with this new restaurant,” said Denny’s district manager Prashant Sharan. “From breakfast any time to satisfying lunches and dinners, if hungry fans are in the mood for it, chances are we’re serving it.”

The new diner will have a significant impact on the Aberdeen community by creating more than 50 jobs for local residents and is conveniently situated at the corner of West Heron and South Jefferson Streets, next to the L&I Department and near the Safeway.  Denny’s is also known for providing its customers with tremendous value, including these great deals:

  • $2 $4 $6 $8 Value Menu® – Denny’s all day, every day value menu lets guests choose from 16 dishes at affordable prices, including traditional favorites as well as several new a la carte items.

 

  • Kids Eat Free – Guests can receive up to two free kids meal for children ages 10 and under with the purchase of each adult entrée. The offer is good from 4 to 10 p.m. on Tuesdays, and menu items and prices may vary.

 

  • “Fit Fare” – Delicious choices that are good for you, too.  Denny’s “Fit Fare” options feature healthy choices like egg whites and hearty wheat breads that can be substituted into any meal for no extra charge. Using the expansive Build Your Own Grand Slam® menu, diners have more than 250 ways to build a meal with 550 calories or less, and 32 ways to build a meal of 400 calories or less. With plenty of simple substitutions and healthy “Fit Fare” entrees found throughout the lunch and dinner menu, Denny’s makes it easy for you to eat well on the go.

 

  • Free Birthday Grand Slam®– Celebrate your special day with a free Original Grand Slam® meal at participating Denny’s restaurants. The Original Grand Slam® offer is free for the birthday guy or gal who can show proof that it’s their birthday, and is good for dine-in only.

 

  • AARP Members Save 15 Percent – Show your AARP membership card at participating Denny’s restaurants and save 15 percent off your total check.

 

About Denny’s Corp.

Denny’s is one of America’s largest full-service family restaurant chains, currently operating more than 1,680 franchised, licensed and company-owned restaurants across the United States, Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, Honduras, Guam, Puerto Rico and New Zealand. For further information on Denny’s, including news releases, please visit the Denny’s website at www.dennys.com.

 

Connect with Denny’s

For news and updates on Denny’s please visit the brand’s social channels via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest or Youtube.

Harborview Medical Center ready to accept Ebola patients

Harborview Medical Center has volunteered to become one of the hospitals willing to consider receiving U.S. patients evacuated from Western Africa for treatment of Ebola. The decision follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s request last week to find hospitals around the country that could treat citizens who have been on the frontlines of the international crisis.

“Consistent with Harborview Medical Center’s mission and role of serving the public in Seattle, King County and our region, we’re willing to consider accepting U.S. residents who may be infected with Ebola,” said Dr. Timothy Dellit, associate medical director of the Seattle hospital. “It will depend on the hospital’s current capacity and our ability to maintain our critical functions.”

There are no patients with Ebola in Washington, and there are no plans to evacuate patients to the region in the near future. However, the hospital and state and local health officials are ready.

“Harborview and other Washington hospitals have precautions in place to ensure the safety of health care providers and other patients if someone with Ebola is brought in for treatment,” said Dr. Scott Lindquist, communicable disease epidemiologist for the state department of health. “The public wouldn’t be in danger.”

The disease is spread through direct contact with blood, body fluids, or excretions from an infected person. The lack of infection-control measures and medical supplies in Western Africa has been the key factor in allowing the virus to reach epidemic proportions. Health officials note the dramatically different conditions between the health care systems and infrastructure in the United States and West Africa.

The Department of Health and local health agencies have sent hospitals and health care providers information on infection control and screening to help them quickly identify symptoms and prevent the spread of the virus.

“We may or may not see a case of Ebola locally,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, chief communicable disease epidemiologist for Public Health-Seattle and King County. “Even if a traveler with Ebola did come to Seattle, the risk of that person causing an outbreak is almost zero. However, our health care and public health systems are preparing to promptly recognize and safely evaluate people who may be infected with Ebola.”

Board of Natural Resources acts to reimburse Pacific and Wahkiakum counties for marbled murrelet restrictions

The state Board of Natural Resources yesterday authorized the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to transfer about 66 acres of forestland, managed for the benefit of Pacific and Wahkiakum counties, into conservation status. The parcels were selected because each has timber harvest restrictions related to the endangered marbled murrelet.

 

“Today’s unanimous action by the Board of Natural Resources shows how the State Forest Trust Land Replacement Program is working to support struggling rural timber economies while protecting habitat for the marbled murrelet and other endangered species,” said Peter Goldmark, Commissioner of Public Lands, who chairs the Board of Natural Resources.

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As a result of the board’s action, Pacific County will receive $356,000, based on the timber value of about 17 acres of State Forest Trust land, when the parcel is transferred into the Naselle Highlands Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA). The legislatively funded replacement program for state trust lands also will provide about $25,000 for DNR to purchase replacement working forestland better suited for producing revenue that supports county services.

 

In a separate action through the replacement program, Wahkiakum County will receive $320,000, based on the timber value of 49 acres of State Forest Trust land, when it is transferred into the Skamokawa Creek NRCA. DNR will use the parcel’s land value of $73,000 to buy replacement working forestland.

 

Created in 2011 by the legislature, the State Forest Trust Land Replacement Program allows DNR to transfer certain state-owned forestlands that are encumbered by federal endangered species restrictions into conservation status and replace them with other working forestlands. The replacement program targets small, economically stressed rural Washington counties that depend heavily on timber revenue to support public services.

 

Addition to Elk River NRCA
The board today also approved the transfer of 194 acres of state trust land into the Elk River NRCA through the state’s Trust Land Transfer Program. The $1.6 million timber value of the parcel, located near Westport in Grays Harbor County, will be used to support public school construction statewide. Its $349,000 land value will be used to purchase a less environmentally sensitive replacement property for the Common School Trust. The 5,413-acre Elk River NRCA contains the largest and highest quality, intact estuarine system remaining in Washington or Oregon.

 

In other actions, the board authorized DNR to offer $217,000 to purchase a 40-acre property west of Lake Roesiger in Snohomish County from a willing private seller. The acquisition will add to the Roesiger State Forest which DNR manages. The board also authorized DNR to purchase a 130-acre parcel of Douglas-fir and red alder abutting a large block of state trust forest in Pacific County for $495,000. Both properties will be managed for long-term revenue for the Common School Trust.

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.

West Nile virus infection confirmed in Washington resident

A Walla Walla County man is the first Washington resident in 2014 known to have been infected with West Nile virus in our state. The man in his 20s was likely exposed near his home and was hospitalized. The infection was confirmed by testing at the Washington State Public Health Laboratories in Shoreline.

Two other Washington residents have been diagnosed with the infection this year, both with exposures in other states. A King County man in his 70s and a Grays Harbor woman in her 50s were infected with West Nile virus this year while traveling out of state. Additional reports of possible infections are currently under investigation.

“The mosquito samples that have tested positive for West Nile virus in eastern Washington this season are a reminder that the virus is here and we should protect ourselves,” said State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy. “The best prevention is to avoid mosquito bites — at home and while traveling.”

So far, 34 mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile virus in 2014, including Benton County (11), Franklin County (11), and Grant County (12). The number of positive mosquito samples detected this year has already surpassed the number found during the past three years, combined (28).

Year after year, south central Washington has been a “hot spot” for the virus, with most in-state acquired human and animal cases having been exposed in this area. Mosquito testing shows the virus is in our state, and the mosquito species that transmit the virus are found throughout Washington. Regardless of where you are, health officials recommend avoiding mosquito bites to help prevent getting infected.

A few simple precautions can help reduce your chances of getting mosquito bites:

  • Stay indoors around dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Use a mosquito repellent when spending time outdoors, and consider wearing long sleeves and pants when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Be sure that door and window screens are in good condition so that mosquitoes cannot get indoors.
  • Reduce mosquito habitat around the home by dumping standing or stagnant water in old buckets, cans, flower pots, or old tires, and frequently change water in birdbaths, pet dishes, and water troughs.

West Nile virus is primarily a bird disease, and often dead birds are an early sign that the disease is active in an area. People may report dead birds online to public health officials. So far this year no dead birds have been reported with the infection in the state.

Most people infected with West Nile virus will have no symptoms at all. Others may develop fever, headache, or body aches. For a small percentage of people, West Nile virus infection can be very serious, resulting in encephalitis, meningitis, or other complications. People over age 50 have the highest risk for serious illness.

Last year, only two human infections of West Nile virus were reported, and both were exposed out of state. During 2012, four cases were reported, two of which were in-state acquired while the other two were travel-associated. The state most active year was 2009, in which there were 38 human cases, 95 animal cases (including birds), and 364 positive mosquito samples. It’s impossible to predict what each year may bring, so it’s important to do things to prevent mosquito bites and protect yourself from West Nile virus infection.

More information is available on the agency’s West Nile virus information line, 1-866-78-VIRUS (1-866-788-4787) and on the West Nile virus website.

The Department of Health website (www.doh.wa.gov) is your source for a healthy dose of information. Also, find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

House mover to save Olympic National Park chalet

An historic Olympic National Park lodge teetering on the edge of the Quinault River should be moved next month before it falls into the water.

The park has awarded a $124,000 contract to the Monroe House Moving company of Carlsborg to move the Enchanted Valley Chalet to safer ground.

The Peninsula Daily News reports (http://is.gd/JkU7T7) most materials will be packed in by mule because the site is in a wilderness area. The park service will provide a helicopter for big equipment.

The chalet is located 13 miles from the nearest road. It was built as a backcountry lodge in the 1930s, before the creation of the park. More recently, it has been used as a wilderness ranger station and emergency shelter.

The Grays Harbor PUD has announced a planned power outage in the South Beach area that will impact about 5,000 customers from the Ocean Spray facility in Markham west to the ocean beaches and south to Tokeland.

The outage will start at 10PM on September 11, 2014 and is expected to last until 6:00 AM on September 12.