Archive for February, 2013

February Special Election Results Certified

February 27, 2013 Comments off

The Grays Harbor County Auditor’s Office certified the results of this month’s special elections, and showed that the opinion on the local measures did not change.

35.48% of voters turned out in total locally, and the majority of them who did approved their local measures.

62.83% of Aberdeen voters, 2,540 in all, voted yes on a new Transportation District and tax within the city. The thirteen-hundredths of one percent (0.0013) sales-and-use tax on qualifying purchases will go specifically to finance transportation projects.
In Hoquiam, 1,692 voters, or 73.64%, approved the funding of a new ladder truck for the city. The measure for a new truck, valued up to $1.3 million, had failed a levy in 2011 before passing this month.

I Voted

Categories: Harbor News

Changes Being Made to Aberdeen Pontoon Construction

February 27, 2013 Comments off

Changes are being made to the SR 520 floating bridge pontoons built in Aberdeen following recommendations by a review panel.

Washington Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond announced repairs and design modifications for the pontoons in order to ensure a 75-year life of the new floating bridge.

Last year, WSDOT convened an expert panel to review the causes of cracking and spalling on the first cycle of pontoons built in Aberdeen. The panel’s recommendations to reduce cracking have been incorporated in the second cycle of pontoons, already under way. The panel was reconvened in fall 2012 to look over progress.

Hammond said “We are implementing the expert review panel’s findings to make repairs to the pontoons on Lake Washington and design modifications to the pontoons still to be built in Aberdeen”.

She added “The panel agrees the pontoons are structurally sufficient, and we take our responsibility for public safety seriously. These changes will ensure the SR 520 bridge is built to the highest standards.”

There has been limited cracking in the second cycle of construction to date, and the overall level of cracking is lower than the first cycle at this same stage. The second cycle of pontoons is anticipated to float out of Aberdeen this spring.

“Based on the panel’s findings, we will add post-tensioning across the pontoons on Lake Washington, in addition to the length-wise post-tensioning that is already in place,” said WSDOT construction engineer Jeff Carpenter.

Crews will add “transverse post-tensioning” to each of the 21 longitudinal pontoons constructed for the new SR 520 floating bridge. In the first cycle, these pontoons were post-tensioned lengthwise only. For Cycles 2-6, each longitudinal pontoon will be post-tensioned fully within the Aberdeen casting basin.

Construction on the $367 million SR 520 Pontoon Construction Project broke ground in February 2011 in Aberdeen. Construction on the $586.6 million SR 520 Floating Bridge and Landings Project began in spring 2012. The floating bridge contract requires the new, six-lane SR 520 floating bridge to open to traffic by July 2015, but includes incentives for an earlier opening in December 2014.

The latest jobs report counted 801 jobs directly connected to the pontoon and floating bridge project sites in Aberdeen, Tacoma, Kenmore and Bellevue and on Lake Washington.

WSDOT Post Tensioning

Categories: Harbor News

Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office Continues Search for Louis Muller

February 26, 2013 Comments off

Detectives with the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Department are executing additional search warrants today in an ongoing effort to locate Louis “Buck” Muller. Muller was last seen on October 21st at his home in the 900 block of Monte-Elma Road of Elma.

The search warrants will be executed at two different locations including an antique store owned by Muller and his wife in Montesano. Investigators are looking at business records for information that may explain Muller’s disappearance.

The other warrant will be for the second search of the Muller home. Detectives will be expanding the search area to several acres of the property.

Muller was last seen October 21st at his home. He told his wife that he was going to North Dakota the following day. His wife said that he packed up his belongings and left the morning of the 22nd, although he did not leave in his vehicle and it is unknown how he left the area. Muller has not made contact with his family or friends.

Muller’s wife reported a Domestic Violence Assault 4th Degree on October 23rd. It is not known if Muller knows that she reported the assault. There is an active warrant for this case.

Muller is diabetic and has not been taking his insulin. According to his wife, Muller has been diagnosed with Intermittent Explosive Disorder and severe depression. He has made threats of suicide in the past.

Muller was described as 5’11”, 235lbs, with blue eyes and brown hair. He is missing his left index finger.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Louis Muller is asked to contact the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Department.

Louis Muller

Categories: Harbor News

Harbor Paper Cut Back Operations during Management Change

February 26, 2013 Comments off

Harbor Paper announced that they are cutting back production heavily while they adjust their management.

In a release they say that when the Elliott Rust Companies acquired Harbor Paper, the vision was clear. They wanted to build a highly successful provider and producer of recycled papers utilizing renewable energy. They say that “Harbor Paper remains dedicated to this vision—paper made from paper”.

The company says that in their first 6 months of operation, as with any new enterprise, obstacles presented themselves. They told employees that as they work through the obstacles, Harbor Paper’s Board has made the decision to do a wholesale management change at the mill.

During the transition time, the mill will be cutting back its operations, a move they say is temporary. They say that they plan to restart full operations and hope that these changes will improve viability of the mill as a long term enterprise.

HarborPaper Logo

Categories: Harbor News

Aberdeen Schools in Pilot Test Program

February 26, 2013 Comments off

In the coming weeks, 3 Aberdeen schools will join schools across Washington in the pilot test of the new “Smarter Balanced” assessments.

AJ West and McDermoth Elementary schools as well as Miller Junior High will be participating.

The pilot test, expected to involve more than one million students across the country, is being conducted through late May. The assessment is designed to measure student progress toward college and career readiness.

The pilot test will allow the test developers to evaluate the assessment and the online delivery system under real-world conditions. This will be used to make adjustments during the next 18 months in preparation for full implementation in spring 2015. They will replace our current Measurements of Student Progress (MSP) for reading and math in grades 3–8 and writing in grades 4 and 7, and the High School Proficiency Exams (HSPE) for reading and writing.

Schools’ participation in the pilot test is voluntary and school recruitment is ongoing. Approximately 162 Washington schools are participating in the pilot.

Smarter Balanced

Categories: Harbor News

Clay Walker Scheduled for Grays Harbor County Fair

February 26, 2013 Comments off

The Grays Harbor County Commissioners authorized the Fair, Events and Tourism Manager to sign two contracts yesterday.

The first will bring Country Artist Clay Walker to the Pepsi Stage at the Grays Harbor County Fair on August 7th. The price to bring Walker into Grays Harbor is said to cost $40,000.

The second contract is one is with Horns and Hooks, LLC for TV marketing for $36,000. Horns and Hooks is a magazine that is currently published in Aberdeen and they are branching out to outdoor TV and will be producing a show that will be aired on Root Sports.

Clay Walker

Hoquiam Fire in Seattle Stair Climb

February 26, 2013 Comments off

The Hoquiam Fire Department is sending four firefighters to the Firefighter Stair Climb fundraising event in Seattle in March.

President of the local firefighters union Doug Stankavich gave a presentation about the stair climb event that will raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as over 1,500 firefighters will endure all 69 flights, 1311 steps, and 788 feet of the Columbia Center in Seattle which is the tallest building in the city.

Stankavich will be joined by Brandon Ray, Tyler Newport, and Andy Polmateer. This will be Stankavich’s ninth year and Ray’s sixth.

Last year the Firefighter Stair Climb raised 1.2 million dollars, to donate go to and search for the Hoquiam Fire Department or there is also a donation box at the Finance Department at The City of Hoquiam.

Local firefighters participating include;

Cosmopolis Fire
Steve Davis
Jerron Pierson

Grays Harbor Fire District #5
Thomas Hedlund

Grays Harbor Fire District #7
Curt Begley
Cody Martin
Rhonda Minks
Jeff Rowling
Stephanie Selin

Hoquiam Firefighters Local #315
Tyler Newport
Andy Polmateer
Brandon Ray
Doug Stankavich

McCleary Fire Department
Todd Baun
Eric Cohen
Jeffery Geer
Mike Madison
Paul Nott
Andy Rudy
Don Sanders

Ocean Shores Fire
John Garner

Raymond Fire Department
William Ariss
Caitlyn Burbank
Casey Jo Clifton
Raela McVey
Nicholas Patrick


Categories: Harbor News
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