Archive for January, 2014

Cosmopolis man arrested after high speed chase across county lines

January 31, 2014 Comments off

On Thursday, a deputy with the Pacific County Drug Task Force saw a 38 year old Cosmopolis man, well known to police, driving a vehicle in the Raymond area. The deputy was aware that the man had an outstanding Department of Corrections Felony warrant for his arrest. The deputy also knew that his license was suspended. The deputy relayed the information to other officers in the area.

A Pacific County Sheriff’s Deputy attempted to stop the vehicle driving just north of Raymond on State Route 101. The vehicle fled from the deputy and other officers at high speeds before crossing into Grays Harbor. Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s deputies joined in the pursuit as the suspect vehicle continued to flee onto a logging road in North River.

Eventually the vehicle was stopped and the driver was taken into custody without further incident before being transported to the Pacific County Jail and booked on charges of Felony Attempting to Elude Police Vehicles, Driving While License Suspended and for the Felony Department of Corrections Warrant.

Agencies involved with the pursuit were the Pacific County Sheriff’s Office, the Raymond Police Department, the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Natural Resources Police.


Categories: Harbor News

Greater Grays Harbor supports local school levies

January 31, 2014 Comments off

The board of Greater Grays Harbor, Inc. unanimously voted to support all the local school levies. In a statement, CEO Tim Gibbs said “We did this not just because we believe it is essential to student quality of life to have extracurricular activities and enrichment programs, though we do. The board voted unanimously because there is a strong economic argument to be made that passing the school levies is essential to building and strengthening business and industry to make our community more prosperous.”

Voters have until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 11, to return their ballots at voting centers, drop boxes or by mail. All mailed ballots must be postmarked by Election Day and require first-class postage.

Gibbs said, “The first economic argument is about getting more than you pay for.” He added, “When school levies pass in Grays Harbor County, the state kicks in additional Levy Equalization Funds to help make up for the fact that we have low property values. The Aberdeen School District receives an extra $2.4 million per year over what the taxpayers of that district pay, which is a big boost to their bottom line. In fact, the levy and the equalization funds together make up 22 percent of the ASD’s entire annual budget, and 23 percent of Hoquiam School District’s.”

Gibbs told KXRO, “if our schools were to lose more than a fifth of their budget, what is the chance that entrepreneurs, whether home-grown or looking for a place to land, will want to locate here if they are thinking of their own family? Who wants to send their children to schools without music or art, sports or up-to-date textbooks? Where the classes are larger and there is no counselor support for college-bound seniors?”

If you haven’t registered to vote in Washington but want to vote in the February election, you have until Feb. 3 to register in person at your county elections department.


Categories: Harbor News

Local charter school officially denied approval this year

January 31, 2014 Comments off

The Washington State Charter School Association has voted to approve seven applications for charter schools, all in Western Washington. The EvergreenLeadershipAcademy was not one of them. The ELA was officially denied approval yesterday to open a charter school in Junction City starting this year.

On Monday, the Association posted recommendations by an independent panel of experts for all 19 charter school applications. 6 schools met the criteria and were officially approved yesterday, while the others either “partially met or did not meet the standard across all areas.” They approved one school that the evaluators thought was not ready.

Cate Lay, founder of ELA told KXRO that this is not the end. A number of the schools, including ELA, were encouraged by commission members to keep refining their applications and submit them again in the future.

At the meeting, Lay and her husband were joined by other charter schools to argue the recommendations, saying that the reasons for denial were too harsh. Former United Way Executive Director Doreen Cato sent a letter to the Association with her opinion that the ELA school “is very much needed by Grays Harbor County.”

Lay said that there are still options and that the next step in the process is to keep building locally and submit their application again in June to start accepting students in the 2015-2016 school year.

Charter Schools

Categories: Harbor News

Grays Harbor salmon policy up for vote in February

January 31, 2014 Comments off

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider adopting a new policy to guide salmon management in Grays Harbor at a public meeting scheduled Feb. 7-8 in Tumwater.

The commission will meet both days at the ComfortInnConferenceCenter in Tumwater.

The proposed policy for Grays Harbor includes provisions designed to conserve wild salmon runs, clarify catch allocations, and reduce conflicts between sport and commercial fishers in the bay.

A revised version of the original proposal is available at

The commission will accept written comments submitted through the end of today via email to or by mail to the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA98501-1091.



Categories: Harbor News, KXRO Outdoors

Local marijuana bans could be overturned

January 31, 2014 Comments off

Following the City of Hoquiam’s recommendation to allow marijuana business within Industrial zones only after federal legalization, the moratoriums currently in place throughout Grays Harbor, and an opinion by the State Attorney General that said cities could impose their own local limitations; state lawmakers are now looking to prohibit local governments from passing sweeping ordinances banning pot-related businesses.

The biggest local government to declare itself a no-pot-store zone is Pierce County, but Yakima and Clark counties have said they’re not far behind. That clearly wasn’t the intent of the nearly 2 million Washington voters who passed Initiative 502, and bipartisan efforts are underway in Olympia to put a stop to blanket bans of legal, state-licensed businesses. Representative David Sawyer testified Thursday in a hearing for his House Bill 2322. Such bans amount to discrimination, he said, and ignore the will of the people.

Sawyer said,”I don’t want this conversation to be about marijuana. I hope folks look at this as a protection of the initiative process. We have seen too many local municipalities outright have very little regard for a law that was passed by the voters.”

Sawyer hopes for a quick thumbs-up from the House Judiciary Committee and a vote on the House floor before the deadline for passing bills in two weeks away.


Categories: Harbor News

Project Purple looks to increase substance abuse awareness

January 30, 2014 Comments off

Schools, community groups, and Facebook users across the United States are “Going Purple” this week to support Project Purple, a national anti-substance abuse awareness program.

Project Purple is an initiative of The Herren Project, a non-profit foundation established by Chris Herren, former NBA basketball player, motivational speaker, author and sobriety advocate who struggled with substance abuse throughout his basketball career. The goals are to create awareness and educate the public on substance abuse while encouraging teens and people of all ages to make good choices and stand up to drugs and alcohol.

The Project Purple concept was developed when Herron spoke at a local high school and the front row of students were wearing purple shirts. After he shared his story, one of the purple shirts raised her hand and stood up to speak. As snickering and laughter could be heard in the auditorium, the student said, “Thank you Mr. Herren for validating what we do. We are the sober students of this high school and each year we take a pledge to not use drugs or alcohol.” Chris was captured by the courage it took to not only stand up and share the symbolism of the purple shirts, but was inspired to make a difference amongst adolescents across the United States.

For more information visit or

Project Purple

Comments shape future of Washington’s Coast

January 30, 2014 Comments off

The Department of Ecology released a Summary of Scoping and Response to Comments for developing a Marine Spatial Plan on Washington’s Coast.

The scoping comment period lasted for 69 days and collected feedback from 45 individuals.

The Washington Sea Grant and the State Ocean Caucus held a series of public workshops to get input from around the state.

Marine spatial planning is an approach adopted by the Washington Legislature to reduce conflicts among ocean uses and balance the benefits humans receive from the ocean while decreasing human-caused environmental damage.

These comments will help define the scope of the project and issues to be analyzed under environmental review. Ecology released a summary document to highlight changes to the scope of the MSP and summarize comments received and responses.


Categories: Harbor News

Flood insurance tax increase could be delayed

January 30, 2014 Comments off

This week, the Senate cleared for floor action legislation that could delay implementation of most flood insurance premium rate hikes for customers of the National Flood Insurance Program imposed by a 2012 bill for up to four years.

The Senate brought the bill to the floor through rarely used emergency procedures by an overwhelming 86-13 vote.

Hoquiam Mayor Jack Durney said, “This is huge!! Patty Murray and Derek Kilmer are on board to help us and understand the problem. Obama administration is in opposition.” said that an industry lobbyist cautioned that “this was a very strong vote” to clear the bill for floor action under accelerated procedures that required the support of every member of the Senate. “It would seem certain that they have the votes to go all the way with this one,” the lobbyist said.

Given the strong vote on the motion to proceed, opponents of the legislation said they hope the House will significantly modify the legislation so that it imposes caps on annual increases.

The bill would prevent flood insurance rate increases until the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s mapping methods are certified as technically sound and an affordability study is completed. The bill would keep in place phase-out of subsidized flood insurance premiums for vacation homes and homes that have a history of repeated flooding.


Categories: Harbor News

City of Aberdeen looks at marijuana business zoning

January 30, 2014 Comments off

The Aberdeen Planning Commission heard from residents on Wednesday night regarding possible zoning regulations for marijuana businesses.

Approximately 40 people were at the Rotary Log Pavillion last night, many of whom were either City of Aberdeen employees or those who had a vested interest in the future of the businesses. Many of those who talked were for producing and processing facilities to be in the Industrial areas, but allowing retail in the retail zones.

The City has already put in place rule regarding what zones these businesses could locate. Planning Commission Chair Brian Little explained that, currently, producers, processors, and retail marijuana stores are only allowed into the Industrial and Light Industrial areas of the City.

The question put forward last night was whether or not these businesses should be allowed in Retail areas, including Downtown Aberdeen. Leann Pugsley, who is involved in an application for a retail location along the Westport Highway, said that the City should follow the current rules until they can see the effects on the area.

Attorney Chris Crew, who has 2 retail applications under review and is holding a Licensing Seminar this week for applicants, said that keeping marijuana business out of the Retail zones would go against the legislation. He said that voters approved I-502 in order to bring the industry out of the shadows, and only allowing it to operate in the outskirts of town goes against this goal and is counterintuitive.

Planning Commission member Elaine Redner spoke, and said that she feels allowing marijuana in other zones would not bring any more issues than allowing alcohol in them.

The Planning Commission will present public comments to the City Council at their next meeting before a vote on zoning regulations will be held.

Aberdeen Marijuana Zoning

Aberdeen resident Andrew LaFountain speaks to residents and City employees.

Categories: Harbor News

Willapa Bay could grow the official state oyster

January 29, 2014 Comments off

Washington has an official bird, an official flower, even an official tall ship. Sen. Brian Hatfield is leading the charge to create an official oyster.

Hatfield, D-Raymond, is the prime sponsor of a bill that would designate the Ostrea lurida as the official oyster of Washington .

“This is an opportunity to shed some light on an industry that is a huge economic driver to southwest Washington,” said Hatfield. “Willapa Bay oysters are known the world over and are responsible for hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in Washington’s economy.“

Sometimes called the Olympia oyster, the oyster is native to the Pacific Northwest. Along with being part of the state’s thriving shellfish industry, the oyster also acts as a natural ocean filter, ingesting and cleaning between nine and 12 quarts of sea water per day.

In addition to drawing attention to the state’s shellfish industry, the discussion of a state oyster also sheds light on the challenges facing the industry, Hatfield says. Ocean acidification is an ongoing threat to the waters of Willapa Bay, as are invasive grasses and competing species of shellfish.

“It would be devastating to southwest Washington to turn our back on the threats the shellfish industry is weathering. Yet, those threats may not be apparent to those who do not live and work on the shores of Washington’s coastline,” said Hatfield. “…if lawmakers in Olympia become aware of that threat because we are pushing for the oyster designation, I’m happy.”

Hatfield’s inspiration for the bill did not come from an industry lobbyist or a community petition, but rather from Olympia teenager Claire Thompson, a student at Nova Middle School. Thompson urged Hatfield to propose the bill as part of a school project and to bring attention to threats facing sea life.

“It’s so wonderful to see a young person work so passionately for something like this,” said Hatfield. “I hope Claire’s work on this bill sets an example to all young men and women that they can make their mark on Washington state.”


Categories: Harbor News, KXRO Outdoors
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