If you are planning on spending the July 4th holiday weekend in the forests of Washington for a camping trip, the Department of Natural Resources is asking you to keep fires in approved fire pits. The DNR summer burn ban begins tomorrow and runs through the end of September. Recreational burning will only be allowed in approved fire pits inside state, county, municipal and other campgrounds. The DNR says the burn ban is the best way to protect forestland and encourage ecosystem growth.
The Obama administration is ready to take its shot at one of the nation’s long-running conservation problems: how to save the spotted owl from extinction.
For two decades, the bird has been at the center of legal and political battles in the Pacific Northwest. Its numbers are still declining, and it faces new competition from a bigger migrant from the East Coast, the barred owl.
On Thursday, the government is to release a plan to save the spotted owl and also allow logging in national forests – a balance neither the Clinton nor Bush administrations were able to strike. The plan won’t be the last word. It could go to court. And yet to come are decisions about setting aside critical habitat for the spotted owl and killing barred owls.
While loud noises on the 4th of July are not out of the ordinary, the Washington State Department of Emergency Management wants to remind residents that they will conduct the monthly countywide All Hazard Alert Broadcast Siren test on Monday, July 04 at noon.
AHAB sirens are located in Pacific Beach, Copalis Beach,Ocean City, OceanShores, Hoquiam,Aberdeen, Moclips,Westport and Grayland. All Grays Harbor County sirens will be included in the test beginning at noon.
AHAB sirens sound the Westminster Chimes followed by a test voice message and reach about one mile in radius depending on topography and weather. Reminder, that these sirens are meant to provide emergency notification to people who are outdoors. Residents and businesses located within a tsunami inundation area are encouraged to maintain a working NOAA Weather Radio.
Please DO NOT CALL 911 regarding this testing. If you have any questions or reports regarding the test, please contact Grays Harbor County Emergency Management at 360-249-3911 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Karen Rasmussen, a third and fourth-grade teacher at Ocean Shores Elementary School today begins the first of two five-day legs aboard the research vessel Tatoosh. Rasmussen will be immersed in hands-on marine science research, working side-by-side with scientists surveying marine ecosystems in the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.
Rasmussen is one of 33 teachers nationwide chosen from more than 250 applicants to participate this year in NOAA’s Teacher at Sea Program. Now in its 21st year, the program has provided over 600 teachers the opportunity to gain first-hand experience participating in science at sea. Rasmussen will keep a blog of her experience, which will soon be accessible through NOAA’s Teacher at Sea Program website, http://teacheratsea.noaa.gov/.
An annual comparison of county assessor statistics has been published online by the Washington State Department of Revenue.
The numbers counties reported for their budgets, FTE levels, and appeals were as of March 2011 and may have changed since then. The report also tallies assessed values, number of parcels, new construction, number of appeals and other relevant figures.
The report is intended to provide property tax administrators and decision-makers with a uniform set of comparative statistics to assist in the analysis and evaluation of assessment operations and the adequacy of assessment resources.
Washington’s thirty-nine county assessors operate within unique local geographical, political, and economic environments that often influence the attributes of a county’s assessment system and the level of services they provide. Consequently, making direct comparisons between individual counties may result in distorted or misleading conclusions unless additional information is considered or more in-depth analysis is conducted. The report is available at;
Work is continuing on the cleaning out of the Hoquiam sewage lagoon. City Administrator Brian Shay says the Department of Ecology will begin testing today to make sure that 50-years worth of bio-solids have been cleared out. If given the green light, the lagoon will be drained, a dike built and one side filled with 300-thousand cubic yards of soil from projects around the state, including the 520 pontoon site.
The Hoquiam City Council got its first look at an ordinance which would begin the process of annexing the city into the Timberland Regional Library System. If approved by the council, the city will save money from their general fund in the coming years, a fact made more important by the loss of tax revenue caused by the closure of Grays Harbor Paper. If the Timberland Regional Board agrees, the question would go before the Hoquiam voters during a special election.