Archive for October, 2013

Check writing scam in Grays Harbor and Pacific County

October 30, 2013 Comments off

The Ocean Shores Chamber of Commerce says they have been advised that there is a large ring of people involved in a check writing scam who have hit 45 businesses covering Grays Harbor, Pacific County and as far south as Astoria.

They say to be suspicious of any large check amounts.

Reportedly 45 businesses have been hit and 8 banks have been used.

Categories: Harbor News

Pirates of the Chehalis

October 30, 2013 Comments off

Hoquiam police stopped what seems to be a scrap metal theft on the Chehalis River yesterday.

At around 11:45 am, Hoquiam officers were dispatched to a “suspicious circumstance” at the 28th Street Boat Launch in Hoquiam operated by the Port of Grays Harbor.  A citizen reported two subjects in a boat carrying a large piece of metal across the Chehalis River to the boat launch.

Aberdeen Officer Jason Perkinson arrived at the scene and contacted two males with the boat.  They had just unloaded an approximate 32 inch by 24 foot all aluminum scaffolding platform onto the dock.  According to the reporting party, he had watched the two subjects balance the 24 foot platform across the beam of the boat as they motored slowly across the channel.  The citizen indicated it was so large it dwarfed the boat and caused it to sit very low in the water.

One of the boaters,  a 49 year old Aberdeen man, was subsequently arrested on an outstanding misdemeanor warrant from the Aberdeen Municipal Court.  He and the other occupant of the boat claimed to have “found” the aluminum scaffolding platform “buried” in the mud on Rennie Island.

It appeared the man intended to sell the aluminum for scrap; the current price of aluminum of this nature is 45 cents per pound.

HPD Sgt. Jeff Salstrom was able to locate a company name and phone number on the side of the platform.  The company indicated they wanted to recover the item, which new has a value of $1300.  Port of Grays Harbor security and maintenance personnel responded to the scene and took possession of the platform until the company could pick it up.

A brief inspection of the boat indicated it lacked a visible serial or hull number and did not display any sort of vessel registration.  There also were no personal flotation devices on board, nor any other required safety equipment.

The boat with motor was impounded by the Hoquiam Police Department and will be held pending an inspection by the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Department Marine Unit.

The Aberdeen man was booked at the Aberdeen City Jail; his partner was released pending further investigation.  Both will be submitted for charges of possession of stolen property.

Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers says “This has become another extension of the metal theft epidemic we are battling in the Harbor.  I felt it was the best to impound the boat to take it away from those who use these derelict vessels to access remote private property along the water’s edge to steal metal.  Ironically enough, we already have another boat impounded at our station which we believe belongs to the same individual.”

Chehalis Pirates

Categories: Harbor News

United Way distributing coats and blankets next week

October 29, 2013 Comments off

The United Way of Grays Harbor will be distributing coats and blankets from their recent clothing drive at multiple locations in Grays Harbor starting next week.

The nonprofit has been collecting new or slightly used coats and blankets, as well as new shoes, at donation boxes throughout the area since the beginning of the month.

The United Way and Les Schwab announced that they will be distributing these items on Tuesday, November 5, from 10 am-3 pm at multiple locations. Families, children and individuals in need are welcome to go to the locations to get a coat or blanket at no charge while supplies last.

Aberdeen Harbor City Church 1700 Cherry Street
Hoquiam Hoquiam Library 420 7th St
Montesano Simpson School, RM #22 519 W Simpson Ave
Elma Elma Senior Center 100 W Main St
Ocean Shores Church of Latter Day Saints 228 Albatross St
Westport South Beach Fire & EMS 170 W Spokane St

Donations are being accepted until Oct 31, there are boxes at many participating merchants including all Les Schwab, Dennis Company, Anchor Bank and Timberland Bank locations, and right here at Grays Harbor Radio. The nonprofit said that they will need 200 children’s coats and almost 300 pairs of new children’s tennis shoes to meet the need.

For more information or to make a cash donation call United Way at 360.532.6260

United Way

Grays Harbor prepaid phones to be taxed

October 29, 2013 Comments off

The Grays Harbor County Commissioners passed an ordinance yesterday that will impact owners and future owners of prepaid phones.

The ordinance amended a chapter of the county code and levied an excise tax of 70 cents on all prepaid wireless phone services and subscribers. Director of the Grays Harbor 911 center Peggy Fouts said that people currently with wired or VOIP phones are already paying these taxes, yet prepaid phones were not.

Fouts says this will make things equal for all users.

The ordinance passed unanimously including Commissioner Herb Welch who was in attendance in person for the first time since his illness earlier this year.

GH County

Categories: Harbor News

Representative Kilmer schedules Ocean Shores Town Hall

October 29, 2013 Comments off

Representative Derek Kilmer will be coming to Ocean Shores for a town hall meeting next week in a series of events throughout the Olympic Peninsula.

In a release, Kilmer said that the meeting is part of his ongoing effort to hear directly from the people he represents. Kilmer announced that he will be holding three town halls around the region. Prior to the Ocean Shores meeting, he will visit Sequim and Gig Harbor for town halls.

The Representative will be at the Ocean Shores Elementary School from 5:30 – 7 pm on Friday, November 8.

Representative Kilmer previously held town halls in Aberdeen, Amanda Park, Port Angeles, Tacoma, and throughout Washington’s 6th District.

He had visited Amanda Park earlier this month and Aberdeen in May of this year.

The Representative has said in the past to KXRO that “I work for you, and I can’t do my job without hearing what’s on your mind.”

Town halls are open to the public and all are encouraged to attend.

Doors open a half hour before the start of each town hall.

Grays Harbor Town Hall
Friday, November 8, 2013
5:30pm – 7:00pm

Ocean Shores Elementary School
300 Mt. Olympus Ave
Ocean Shores, WA 95869


Categories: Harbor News

Black ice forming on local roads

October 29, 2013 Comments off

As colder weather starts coming into the area, Grays Harbor Emergency Management is warning residents about the dangers of black ice. Local officials say that drivers should be extremely cautious during the early morning hours and any time temperatures drop to near freezing, as it did last night and will continue this week.

Black ice can occur when the air temperature is near 34-36 degrees.

In black ice, it is important that if your car does begin to skid, turn the wheel in the direction of the skid. This should help to steer your car back on the right track.

Take your foot off the gas pedal as soon as you begin to slide, and don’t slam on the brakes. This will just cause your vehicle to slide more. Slow down and tap your brake pedal instead.

Watch for trouble spots ahead and leave plenty of space between your vehicle and others on the road.

Bridges and overpasses are also common spots for black ice to form. Use extra caution in these areas, where the road surface freezes more quickly. Even if you have been cruising down the highway with no problem, an overpass or bridge can be unexpectedly icy.

For any questions, contact Emergency Management at (360) 249-3911.

Crude by Rail debate continues across the State

October 29, 2013 Comments off

Hundreds of trains carrying crude oil could soon be coming through the Northwest, bringing potential jobs and revenues but raising concerns about oil spills, increased train and vessel traffic and other issues.

With five refineries, Washington has long received crude oil from Alaska and elsewhere by ship, barges or pipelines. But ports and refiners are increasingly turning to trains to take advantage of a boom in oil from North Dakota’s Bakken region.

Three terminals — in Anacortes, Tacoma and Clatskanie, Ore. — are already receiving crude oil by trains. Other facilities are proposed here at the Port of Grays Harbor, in Vancouver, and at refineries.

Together, the 10 projects would be capable of moving nearly 800,000 barrels per day, said Eric de Place, policy director at Sightline Institute. “It’s a lot of oil that we’re talking about moving by train in Washington. It raises new questions about how the state can handle a spill.”

The Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council is reviewing a proposal by Tesoro Corp. and Savage Cos. for a terminal at the Port of Vancouver to handle up to 380,000 barrels a day of crude oil. The council will make a recommendation to Gov. Jay Inslee, who has the final say. Construction could begin by late 2014.

Critics say shipping oil by train is risky and could cause environmental harm from leaking oil tanker cars or derailments.

“It’s very dangerous to move this stuff by rail,” said Sierra Club spokesman Eddie Scher, pointing to the fiery train disaster in Quebec. In July, 47 people were killed when an unattended train rolled away and derailed in Canada and several of its oil cars exploded.

The Association of American Railroads says 99.9977 percent of all shipments of hazardous materials, including crude oil, get to their destination without a leak caused by accidents.

BNSF Railway spokeswoman Roxanne Butler said they currently handle 600,000 barrels of crude oil a day across its entire network. Most of that oil heads to other parts of the country; in the Pacific Northwest, “we average over one train per day to this area,” she said in an email.

Local groups have challenged oil shipping terminals proposed at the Port of Grays Harbor by Westway Terminal Co. and Imperium Terminal Services. They say the projects will bring tens of millions gallons of crude oil through the area each year, increasing train and barge traffic and the risk of oil spills.

The groups won a victory this month when a state hearings board said it would reverse permits issued by Hoquiam and the state to Westway and Imperium. The groups had argued that the agencies failed to do a more complete environmental review.

Kristen Boyles, an Earthjustice attorney representing the groups, said the board identified serious flaws in the permitting and environmental review.

Svend Brandt-Erichsen, an attorney with Marten Law representing Westway, said the decision would create delays but that it wouldn’t be hard to get the information needed.

“There’s not a whole lot of new substantial requirements that will come out of this,” he said.

Local projects are currently in the permitting stage and are expected to be completed in 2016.

Port of GH 2013

Categories: Harbor News
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