EPA settles with Washington Crab Producers, Inc., for “Community- Right-to-Know” violations at Westport, WA Processing Facility

Washington Crab Producers, Inc., owner and operator of a seafood processing facility in Westport, Washington, will pay a $16,551 penalty and provide a high-tech thermal imaging camera to the Westport Fire Department to settle alleged violations of the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, known as EPCRA.

EPA documents allege that Washington Crab Producers, Inc., stored anhydrous ammonia and nitrogen gas above EPCRA threshold quantities at their Westport facility during calendar year 2012. During that time, they failed to file the required emergency and hazardous chemical inventory forms on time with the state emergency response commission, the local emergency planning committee, and the local fire department, as required by law.

According to Kelly McFadden, Manager of EPA’s Pesticides and Toxics Enforcement program in Seattle, Washington, diligent reporting at facilities handling large amounts of toxic and hazardous chemicals can save lives by aiding in community planning and emergency responses.

“Accidents can and do happen,” said EPA’s McFadden. “When responders arrive at a facility, they need to know what they’re dealing with to stay safe. We’re trying to prevent a serious industrial accident from becoming a community tragedy.”

According to legal documents filed with the case, Washington Crab Producers, Inc. has since corrected the violations.

To learn more about EPA’s work to keep communities safe under EPCRA, please visit: http://www2.epa.gov/epcra/what-epcra

Earthquake & Tsunami Preparedness event at the Westport Timberland Library

Local naturalist, author and educator Julie Tennis will talk about earthquakes and tsunamis at the Westport Timberland Library, Saturday, September 6 from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

On her website, Tennis writes, “my mission is to help people develop a deeper sense of connection and peacefulness in their lives.” Her talk will focus on how an understanding of earthquakes and tsunamis can help people become more resilient when disasters occur.

All programs at Timberland Regional Libraries are free and open to the public.

The Westport Timberland Library is located at 101 E. Harms Drive. For more information, contact the library at (360) 268-0521 or visit www.TRL.org.

Grays Harbor tall ships Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain return to port in September

Grays Harbor’s two tall ships return to their home port of Aberdeen next month for public tours and sailings before heading to California for their 2014-2015 tour of Golden State ports. Hawaiian Chieftain arrives at Seaport Landing on Sept. 4 for brief stay through Sept. 7. In addition to making final preparations for California, she’ll offer public tours on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, as well as public Adventure Sails at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6 and Sunday, Sept. 7. Tickets are $43 all ages.
Lady Washington arrives at Seaport Landing Sept. 16 for a 17-day stay in Grays Harbor, including two days at Westport Sept. 27-28. During her time at Seaport Landing, crews on Lady Washington will conduct routine maintenance and offer public tours and excursions. The ship is open for tours Tuesday to Friday, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Here’s the excursion schedule:
9/20-21: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Adventure Sail, $43. (Seaport Landing)
9/27-28: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Adventure Sail, $43. (Westport Marina)
Purchase tickets at www.historicalseaport.org or call 800-200-5239.
Lady Washington is also booking K-12 educational programs for Grays Harbor County schools. One-hour dockside and three-hour sailing programs are available. Discounted pricing is also available for eligible schools. For information, contact Roxie Underwood, 800-200-5239, runderwood@historicalseaport.org.
Lady Washington’s visit to Westport coincides with the third annual Salmon Tales Festival, a celebration of the region’s iconic fish and the local fishing industry. Festival information is at http://salmontales.info/.
Launched in 1989 as part of the Washington Centennial celebrations, Lady Washington was designed by Ray Wallace as a replica of one of the first U.S.-flagged vessels to explore the west coast of North America. She was named by state’s tall ship ambassador by the Legislature in 2007, and she sails to more than 40 ports a year in Washington, Oregon, and California offering K-12 education programs and excursions. Launched in 1988, Hawaiian Chieftain was designed by Raymond Richards and built at the Lahaina Welding Company in Hawaii. The vessel specializes in educational programs for young people.

 

Editors: Download high-res images of our ships at http://historicalseaport.smugmug.com. Click the “Media Images” category and select a gallery. We welcome media aboard to observe operations and interview crew. Contact (media only) Joe Follansbee, 360-589-0766, jfollansbee@historicalseaport.org. Information is subject to change without notice. Facebook: facebook.com/GHHSA; Twitter: @graysharborhist.

Humpback whale washes ashore on Grayland beach

A 30 foot humpback whale washed ashore in Grayland over the weekend. Kathryn Myrsell with the Westport Aquarium tells us it appears to have been dead for at least a week, and had lacerations on it’s tail. The way is washed ashore Sunday prevents them from telling if it’s male or female. Teams from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, along with Cascadia Research, performed a necropsy on the whale Monday morning.

Here is a photo of Kayla Bosarge and and intern from Fish and wildlife or Cascadia Research. Kayla Bosarge who graduated from Aberdeen, High School this June and who will be going to Oregon State College next year to study Marine Biology  Kayle got to help with the necropsy on a 30 foot humpback whale, Monday August 18th at about 11 am. This was Kayla's first whale necropsy.  The whale had been dead for probably about a week and just washed ashore in Grayland Sunday August 19th.
Here is a photo of Kayla Bosarge and and intern from Fish and wildlife or Cascadia Research. Kayla Bosarge who graduated from Aberdeen, High School this June and who will be going to Oregon State College next year to study Marine Biology
Kayle got to help with the necropsy on a 30 foot humpback whale, Monday August 18th at about 11 am. This was Kayla’s first whale necropsy. The whale had been dead for probably about a week and just washed ashore in Grayland Sunday August 19th.

Anglers can keep two Chinook off Westport beginning August 18th

Starting Monday, Aug. 18, anglers fishing in ocean waters off Westport can keep up to two chinook salmon as part of their two-salmon daily limit.

With that change, anglers will be allowed to keep two chinook per day in ocean waters off Westport (Marine Area 2), La Push (Marine Area 3) and Neah Bay (Marine Area 4). 

Those fishing Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco) will continue to be limited to one chinook as part of their two-salmon daily limit. 

All ocean areas are open to salmon fishing seven days per week. Wild coho must be released in all four areas.

Ron Warren, fisheries policy lead for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), said the previous daily limit of one chinook off Westport was designed to ensure the fishery would remain open the entire season.

“We’ve kept a close eye on the pace of catch in the area,” Warren said. “With sufficient quota remaining, we want to maximize the recreational fishing opportunity through the rest of the season.” 

Ocean salmon fisheries are scheduled to continue through Sept. 30 in marine areas 1 and 2 and through Sept. 21 in marine areas 3 and 4. However, a portion of Marine Area 3 will reopen Sept. 27 through Oct. 12.

Fishery managers will continue to monitor the ocean salmon fishery throughout the season and will announce any other changes on WDFW’s website at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/rules_all_saltwater.j .

Additional information on the ocean fishery, including minimum size limits and catch guidelines, is available in the Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/ .

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Phil Anderson to resign at end of year

After nearly six years at the helm, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Director Phil Anderson has informed the state Fish and Wildlife Commission he will resign from his position, effective Dec. 31.

“Deciding when to move on is a difficult decision,” Anderson said. “But after 20 great years with the department, the time is right for me to step aside. I will leave knowing that the talented people I have had the privilege to work with here at WDFW are fully capable of taking on the challenges that lie ahead.”

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for WDFW, will begin the recruitment process for a new director in the next few weeks.

“Phil has done a tremendous job leading the department through some difficult and challenging issues over the past several years,” said Miranda Wecker, chair of the commission. “His strong conservation ethic, dedication to sound fiscal management and expertise in intergovernmental relations have greatly benefitted the department and the state’s fish and wildlife resources it protects and manages.”

As director, Anderson guided the department through the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. During the unprecedented budget shortfall, state General Fund support for WDFW declined by nearly $50 million – 45 percent – threatening department operations and fishing and hunting opportunities throughout the state.

To address the shortfall, Anderson and his staff worked to restructure the agency while continuing to provide key services and maintain a high conservation standard for Washington’s fish and wildlife. As part of that effort, WDFW worked closely with stakeholders to develop new revenue streams and reduce the department’s reliance on the state General Fund.

Also under Anderson’s leadership, the department developed a plan to guide state conservation and management of gray wolves as they recolonize in Washington – a controversial issue that has evoked strong reactions from people on both sides of the Cascade Range.

The department implemented the plan in 2011, after working closely with a number of citizen advisors, including those representing conservationists, hunters and livestock producers. The plan establishes clear recovery objectives for gray wolves, along with procedures for addressing predation on livestock and impacts on ungulates such as deer, elk and caribou.

Throughout his career at WDFW, Anderson has played a leading role in working with Indian tribes in a number of forums, including the annual salmon co-management process known as North of Falcon. During this process, the state and tribes set seasons for marine and freshwater salmon fisheries throughout Puget Sound, the Columbia River and Washington’s coastal areas.

Anderson also has served as WDFW’s representative to the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) and serves as a commissioner on the Pacific Salmon Commission.

Over the last decade, Anderson and his team successfully maintained fishing opportunities by establishing new sustainable fisheries that allow the harvest of abundant wild stocks and hatchery-produced fish while meeting conservation objectives for wild populations listed for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Key to this effort has been the use of selective-fishing methods, including mark-selective fisheries that allow anglers to catch and keep abundant hatchery salmon but require that they release wild salmon. Establishing these fisheries, where appropriate, has resulted in additional harvest opportunities.

Anderson also has led WDFW’s effort to change state hatchery operations to support the recovery of wild salmon and steelhead populations.

“I am proud of the fact that we have successfully maintained fish production while reforming hatchery practices to ensure that they are compatible with efforts to rebuild wild fish populations,” Anderson said. “The job is definitely not done, but we have made tremendous strides in the right direction that bode well for the future of Washington’s fish stocks and fisheries.”

Anderson, who lives in Westport, said he plans to spend more time with his family and will look for other opportunities to contribute to resource conservation and management.

Anderson, 64, joined WDFW in 1994 after serving seven years on the PFMC as a private citizen, including as the council’s chair. Anderson was appointed WDFW director in 2009 after serving nearly nine months as the agency’s interim director. He previously served as WDFW’s deputy director for resource policy and as assistant director of the department’s Intergovernmental Resource Management Program.

Picky store burglars leave one brand behind

Detectives investigating a recent burglary know their ‘perp’ doesn’t smoke one brand of cigarette. Someone broke into a closed grocery store in Westport recently stealing 50 bottles of alcohol and every tobacco product, except their supply of Virginia Slims.

It was the first of two recent break-ins for the Ted’s Red Apple/Westport Market. The only grocery store in Westport has been closed since early June, it’s owners working to reopen tell us the total loss is about $5,000.

Westport Police discovered the first burglary Thursday afternoon July 31st, the owners tell us they had just left the store earlier that day. Thieves also stole about a dozen of the rolling hand-carts that you’re starting to see more of in grocery stores, and the owners are hoping someone might recognize them. They are black baskets with wheels and a tow-handle, and can be carried or pulled.

Also stolen was a black shopping cart with a black fabric basket and “Asian” writing, some soda pop, and all of their tobacco products including some chewing tobacco, rolling tobacco, and many related products – except the Virginia Slims. Store Manager Staci Bridgeman tells KBKW they also tried to get into a cash register, and apparently left traces of beef jerky all over the store.

A reward is being offered, anyone with any information is asked to call the Westport Police Department at (360) 268-9197

Washington Primary Election deadline is today

Washington state voters this week will decide who advances to the general election in 10 congressional races including our 6th District, and dozens of legislative races including our 19th and 24th Districts.
Today is the last day to get your ballots in, or postmarked for the state primary.

Locally, 4 are vying for the District 3 County Commissioner seat, 3 for County Assessor, 3 for PUD Commissioner.
Also on ballots of those affected is the question of whether to form a Public Hospital District in Western Grays Harbor County, and which commissioners will make up it’s 7 board members.

There are no statewide offices on the ballot, but the match getting the most attention is the 4th Congressional District race to replace U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, who is retiring after two decades in the seat. A dozen candidates crowd that race, though four Republicans appear to be the front-runners.

Under Washington state’s primary system, the top two vote-getters in each race advance to the general election, regardless of party.

The Deadline to register for the state’s General Election is October 6th, ballots will be mailed out later that month for the November General.

 

Ballot Drop-Off Locations
If there is an election in the area, ballots may be dropped off at any of the locations listed below from 7 a.m. through 8 p.m. – on Election Day only. Locations only accept voted ballots then transport them to the Auditor’s office. Sites do not offer replacement ballots, voting assistance, or other services.

Aberdeen Hoquiam Cosmopolis

YMCA Convention Center
2500 Simpson Ave
Hoquiam, WA 
 

 

Ocean Shores

120 W Chance Ala Mer Ave
Ocean Shores, WA

 

McCleary

VFW 158 Summit Rd
McCleary, WA

 

Oakville

Methodist Church
204 E Harris

Oakville, WA

 

Westport

506 N Montesano St
Westport, WA

 

Montesano

Auditor’s Office
100 W Broadway, Suite 2
Montesano, WA

 

U.S. Coast Guard recovers boat of missing Canadian near Ocean Shores

The Coast Guard says a sailboat that was reported missing July 11 off of British Columbia was found capsized Thursday about five miles northwest of Ocean Shores.

There was no sign of 69-year-old Paul Clark, who sailed alone out of Prince Rupert, British Columbia, earlier in July on his way to Port Hardy, British Columbia.

A helicopter and Coast Guard vessels from Washington and Oregon searched for the Canadian for three hours without success.

The Coast Guard says a fishing vessel found his 16-foot sailboat. It’s being transferred to Canadian officials.

Clark was last seen in the vicinity of Aristazabal Island, about half-way through his planned trip. He was reported missing after he failed to check in with his family.

 

A U.S. Coast Guard boatcrew from Station Grays Harbor in Westport, Washington, recovered an unmanned boat about five miles northwest of Ocean Shores, Washington, Thursday.

The 16-foot non-motorized boat is believed to be that of Paul Clark, a 69-year-old Canadian citizen who left Prince Rupert, British Columbia, earlier this month on a solo sailing trip to Port Hardy, British Columbia. 

Clark was reported missing July 11 after he failed to check in with a family member. He was last seen in the vicinity of Aristazabal Island, British Columbia, about halfway to his intended destination.

The fishing vessel Tally Ho came across the capsized vessel and reported it to watchstanders at Station Grays Harbor around 7:30 a.m. Station crewmembers launched a 47-foot Motor Life Boat in response. 

Coast Guard Sector Columbia River watchstanders in Warrenton, Oregon, launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Astoria, Oregon, and diverted the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Blue Shark, an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Everett, Washington, to assist. A Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife crew also responded.

The crews of the MLB and Blue Shark arrived on scene around 8:30 a.m. They overturned the vessel and found all oars and sails secured. Crewmembers found the identification of Paul Clark in the vessel.

Coast Guard boat and air crews searched the area for approximately three hours and found no signs of distress. The search was subsequently suspended pending any further information.

Coast Guard officials notified Joint Rescue Coordination Center Victoria, British Columbia, and are coordinating the transfer of the vessel to Canadian officials.

Westport Aquarium responds to beached Porpoise calf

Staff at the Westport Aquarium aided a harbor Porpoise calf that became stranded on the beach at the Schaefer Road access in Westport yesterday. Olympia scientists were contacted while Mark and Kathryn Mersell with the Westport Aquarium attempted to get the calf to swim on it’s own around 3 Wednesday afternoon. Marc tells us the calf had passed away by the time a scientist with Cascadia Research in Olympia arrived to take possession. A necropsy is scheduled for today, they believe the calf was about 4 days old.

The Westport Aquarium has been working with NOAA’s Regional Standing coordinators in Western Washington for years now, and is trained to handle stranded sea life. If you spot stranded sea life, do not handle them, please contact the West Coast Regional Stranding Coordinator for NOAA at 1-866-767-6114.