As the former Harbor Paper cleanup continues, over the next three weeks, the Grays Harbor PUD will pump over 28-million gallons of treated water from holding basins at the site into the City of Hoquiam’s sewage treatment system.
Working with the city, 775 feet of pipe is connecting the facility with the city’s sanitary sewer system and water will be pumped into the city’s treatment system for disposal.
“We are grateful to the City of Hoquiam for their assistance in helping the PUD move forward with its responsibilities at the Harbor Paper site,” said PUD General Manager Dave Ward. “We have a responsibility to clean our share of the site, but our first responsibility is to our ratepayers, to ensure that the project is completed at the lowest possible cost. With the help of the city, we are meeting both obligations.”
The 28.25 million gallons represent the last water to be treated at the Harbor Paper facility. Before power was cut to the site in September, the system was flushed to remove any organic materials. The water is held in a basin and test by the city show that it is essentially free of contaminants.
The water removal is the first significant step in the PUD’s clean-up of products accumulated over the past 20 years of paper production. Under its agreement with Rayonier, who own the land, the PUD is obligated to clean and remove the water treatment system and remove solid bi-products including piles of bark/rock mixture, sand ash and other materials.
The PUD tells KXRO that they are working to fulfill those responsibilities while having the least possible impact on the PUD’s customers.
The Raymond School District is promoting College Readiness to their students at a young age.
Staff at Raymond Elementary said in a release that they believe that every child deserves the opportunity to be educated in a way that prepares them for college. The hallways have been filled with college pennants as well as the graduation year for each grade.
Individual classrooms have each adopted universities and display college decorations throughout the building and rooms. A number of universities have sent boxes of items, and the students are taking their education much more serious.
The staff said that they are thrilled with the positive changes they have witnessed since they made a college education a focus.
The students and staff enter the building every Monday wearing their college bound shirts ready to learn. They want every child to participate and cost is often a factor that will keep that from happening.
Thanks to the Raymond Schools Foundation and Raymond PTO, now every student receives a “College Bound” t-shirt at no cost to the families.
Months after Washington voters rejected an initiative requiring the labeling of genetically modified foods, lawmakers are reviving the GMO debate in Olympia.
Lawmakers heard a bill on Friday that would require labeling genetically engineered salmon for sale, even though federal regulators have not yet approved any genetically modified animals for food.
“Salmon is such an ingrained item here,” said Rep. Cary Condotta, who is sponsoring House Bill 2143. “We label farmed vs. fresh caught (fish.) Why wouldn’t we label transgenic fish? It just makes sense.”
The bill also would prohibit genetically engineered fish with fins from being produced in state waters.
Currently, there are no federal or state requirements for genetically engineered foods to be labeled.
The Washington Farm Bureau, Washington Fish Growers Association, Washington Association of Wheat Growers and others spoke against the bill. Some said the bill wasn’t necessary, because state law already prohibits the use of transgenic fish in aquaculture.
Others noted that voters have already spoken — and rejected — a mandate to labeling of GMO foods. Efforts to require labeling in Washington failed in November, when voters rejected Initiative 522 by 51 to 49 percent.
Those who spoke in favor of the bill at Friday’s hearing worried about the impact on the state’s native salmon populations.
If FDA regulators clear the fast-growing salmon, it would be the first genetically altered animal approved for human consumption in the U.S.
AquaBounty Technologies, which produces the so-called AquAdvantage Salmon, has said the fish is safe, that they will be grown as sterile, all-female populations in land-based facilities and they won’t pose a threat to wild salmon populations.
The FDA has concluded that the salmon was as safe to eat as the traditional variety and that the fish “will not have any significant impacts on the quality of the human environment.”
The agency is taking public comments through Jan. 30.
A second Kuhn has become Miss Grays Harbor.
On Saturday night, 20 year old Aberdeen High School graduate and Eastern Washington University student Paige Kuhn was named as Miss Grays Harbor 2015.
In a post from Paige, she said, “My first memory of the Miss Grays Harbor pageant is from when I was 6 years old, and I made my sister Lauren Kuhn, a paper sash that said “future Miss Grays Harbor” on it, as she was preparing to sing the national anthem at the show. It’s crazy to think that I too was a future Miss Grays Harbor!”
Kuhn earned not only the title, but over $5,000 in scholarship money from multiple awards.
This will not be Paige’s first trip to the Miss Washington stage, formerly earning her way to the state competition as Miss Apple Valley.
On Friday night, 16 year old Aberdeen High School student Nora Coffelt earned the title of Miss Grays Harbor’s Outstanding Teen, earning her way to the Miss Washington’s Outstanding Teen competition.
Miss Grays Harbor – Paige Kuhn
1st Runner Up – Cora Foss
2nd Runner Up – Ariana Barre
Miss Grays Harbor’s Oustanding Teen – Nora Coffelt
Runner Up – Grace Aiken
The Aberdeen City Council took the first step to increasing multiple utility taxes at last night’s meeting.
The council had separate ordinances for increasing water and sewer, solid waste, cable television and the storm drain utility taxes each pass their first readings last night.
Councilwoman Kathi Hoder said the increases are necessary to keep the services the city provides.
The increases the city is looking at include a Water and Sewer increase from 2 percent to 4.5 percent, a Solid Waste and Recyclable Materials Collection tax of 4.5 percent, a Cable Television tax of 4.5 percent to those engaging or carrying on the business of providing cable TV services, and a Storm and Surface Water Drainage Utility tax of 4.5 percent.
There will be public hearings for each of these items at the next Aberdeen City Council Meeting which is set for Wednesday, December 10th at 7:15 pm.
The Grays Harbor County Commissioners had a public hearing yesterday to help them decide who could administer an admission tax.
The ordinance that was brought forward had the auditor taking over the role from the treasurer but Grays Harbor County Auditor Vern Spatz said he has not had the time to see how this would work out.
The commissioners voted to postpone the ordinance until December 15th to allow for more research about the issue.
Commissioner Frank Gordon says the tax has been in place since 1943 but it has not been administered.
Gordon said the tax would not affect charitable functions.
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