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Aberdeen Music Experience to expand

The Aberdeen City Council passed a report from the Finance and Lodging Tax Committee and authorized the Mayor to enter into a new contract with the Aberdeen Museum of History that will fund and expand the Aberdeen Music Experience.

Lisa Scott explained the purpose for the update, saying that by expanding the current exhibit they will be able to add many more local musicians including Patrick Simmons and groups that might not be as well known. She said that already people visit our area, and this would provide another opportunity for tax revenue.

The amount for the Music of Grays Harbor exhibit is $19,000, but it will be reimbursed funds and the full amount may not be used.

Aberdeen Museum

Categories: Harbor News

Aberdeen and Hoquiam could combine fire departments

The conversation to combine the Aberdeen and Hoquiam fire departments is once again on the table, and Aberdeen Mayor Bill Simpson said that the cities are going to explore their options.

They have authorized their staff to begin formal discussions to find the feasibility of a merger.

Hoquiam Mayor Jack Durney says “A lot has changed recently and we are constantly looking at ways to deliver services more efficiently and effectively.

Mayor Simpson also said “Our fire departments already respond jointly and work well together. It’s a natural fit.”

The primary purpose of these discussions is to find ways to improve efficiency, economy, and effectiveness in delivering fire and paramedic services for both communities. The intent of a combined fire department would be to reduce cost and develop a streamlined approach for both communities.

The Aberdeen Fire Department has a budget of $5.1 million with 37 employees. The Hoquiam Fire Department has a $2.8 million budget and 22 employees.

Categories: Harbor News

Grays Harbor Public Hospital questions answered

The Grays Harbor Community Hospital public forums continue this week as efforts continue to inform residents about what would come of the hospital if it went public. Last night, representatives from the hospital spoke to approximately 50 people in the Aberdeen High School Commons and explained the process.

CEO Tom Jensen told KXRO that over the past 4 years, the hospital has shown a loss of around $10 million. This money was covered with cash reserves, but if that trend continues, additional programs and jobs will need to be adjusted in order to continue providing current services.

Prior to 2010, the facility was consistently showing profits. Jensen said that a lot of the problems came after 2008 when local mills began closing.

Jensen, and other hospital representatives across the state, worked together to form a bill for Sole Community Hospitals that would provide a better rate for Medicare and Medicaid to assist these rural facilities. Jensen said that originally, forming a public hospital district was not a requirement, but was added by legislators in order to get the bill to pass.

Jensen told the crowd that the whole reason to form a public hospital district would be to access this bill. If it were to form, a board of commissioners would be voted on by the public that would become the governing body.

Questions from the crowd primarily dealt with the new taxes that would be imposed onto residents, equaling approximately $4.17 per $100,000 in property value monthly. Cosmopolis resident Jack Sturdivant asked what extra costs could be associated once the people vote.

Jensen said that the maximum that could be initially levied without a vote would be $.50, but an extra $.25 could be levied by a public vote.

Former Grays Harbor County Sheriff and County Commissioner Dennis Morrisette, who has served on the GHCH board of directors and sits on the Public Hospital Steering Committee, spoke and said that while not everybody uses the hospital on a regular basis, at some point it will become much needed.

The public forums continue this week for residents to learn more.

Friday, April 25th – 12:00 – 1:00 pm – Grays Harbor Community Hospital – Conference Room C
Monday, April 28th – 6:30 – 7:30 pm – North Beach High School Commons

GHPH

Categories: Harbor News

Ocosta School District recognized for being green

Ocosta School District was named as a Green District Leader by the U.S. Department of Education for their environmental efforts.

Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, and Mike Boots, Acting Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality made the announcement of the 2014 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools on Tuesday.

Vancouver School District won a District Sustainability Award, and Shadow Lake Elementary in Tahoma and The Bertschi School, a private school in Seattle, were named 2014 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools.

In addition to the Green Ribbon Schools, Washington state has designated three schools and three school districts as Green School and District Leaders for their achievement in at least one of three Green Ribbon pillars:

  • environmental impact and energy efficiency
  • healthy school environments
  • environmental and sustainability education

Ocosta, Issaquah, and Tahoma were named as Green District Leaders. Schools in Kirkland, Camas, and Seattle were also named as Green School Leaders.

The schools are being honored for their exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and energy costs, promote better health and ensure effective environmental education, including civics and green career pathways.

“All of these schools and districts are doing a great job in two areas,” said Randy Dorn, state superintendent of public instruction. “First, they are reducing their environmental impact, which is providing a healthy place to learn and to work. Second, they are teaching students how to approach their futures in a ‘green’ way.”

This is the third year the awards have been given. Across the nation, nine school districts and 48 schools received awards.

 

<a href=”https://kxro.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/ocosta.jpg”><img class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-5467″ src=”https://kxro.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/ocosta.jpg&#8221; alt=”Ocosta” width=”468″ height=”295″ /></a>

Categories: Harbor News

More razor clams planned starting this week

Washington’s razor clam season could continue as state shellfish managers plan to add digs starting on Sunday.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced a tentative schedule because updated harvest estimates show more than enough clams to support the additional openings.

“This has been a great year for razor clams,” said Dan Ayres, WDFW shellfish manager. “Clams this year have been bigger than average and abundant enough to add another series of digs.”

Final approval will be announced after toxin test results confirm the clams are safe to eat.

“Digging at Mocrocks has been fabulous lately,” Ayres said, noting that the upcoming series of digs includes three dates at that beach.

The upcoming digs are scheduled on the following dates, beaches and low tides:

•Apr. 27, Sunday, 5:53 a.m., -0.3 feet, Twin Harbors, Long Beach
•Apr. 28, Monday, 6:39 a.m., -0.8 feet, Twin Harbors, Long Beach
•Apr. 29, Tuesday, 7:22 a.m., -1.1 feet, Twin Harbors, Long Beach
•Apr. 30, Wednesday, 8:03 a.m., -1.2 feet, Twin Harbors, Long Beach
•May 01, Thursday, 8:43 a.m., -1.0 feet, Twin Harbors, Long Beach
•May 02, Friday, 9:23 a.m., -0.7 feet, Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks
•May 03, Saturday, 10:04 a.m., -0.3 feet, Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks
•May 04, Sunday, 10:47 a.m., 0.1 feet, Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks

WDFW shellfish managers will analyze harvest data after this series of digs is completed. If enough clams remain for more digs, the best tides are around the weekend of May 17, Ayres said.

razorclam_1

Categories: Harbor News, KXRO Outdoors

Taholah school levy passing with over 87% thanks to 6 votes

A levy for the Taholah School District is passing by over 87% after votes were counted last night, but those votes almost didn’t count at all.

The M&O levy would bring an extra $150,000 in 2015 and another $150,000 in 2016 to the school, replacing an expiring levy within the district.

According to Grays Harbor County Auditor Vern Spatz, in order to qualify at least 10% of registered voters needed to be counted. Out of the 426 voters in the district, only 48 votes were counted, showing an 11.27% turnout. Of those votes, 42 were for and 6 were against, showing an 87.5% majority.

If 6 people had not voted last night, there would have only been a 9.8% turnout.

The Taholah levy was the only measure in the special election. The next ballot count will be on Friday, with votes certified May 6.

Taholah School

Categories: Harbor News

Grays Harbor no longer among highest in state

Grays Harbor unemployment dropped in March, and is no longer in the bottom 3 statewide.

According to the Employment Security Department, Grays Harbor now shows a rate of 11.4%, down from a seasonally adjusted 11.9% in February.

Pacific County also dropped, now sitting at 10.5% compared to 11.1% in February.

Ferry, Stevens, and Pend Oreille have to highest unemployment rates statewide.

Grays Harbor lost 100 people in the overall labor force within the month, but 50 more people were employed from February to March. The current labor force shows only 20 workers less between March 2013 and today, but an additional 380 are employed.

In March of last year, local unemployment was 12.9%, 14% in 2011-12, and 15.5% in 2009-2010. In 2008, when local unemployment was only 7.8%, our labor force was 3,550 workers larger.

Statewide, unemployment is 6.3%, with nearly 61,000 jobs added in the last year, including more than 18,000 since the start of the year.

county-unemployment-map-march

Categories: Harbor News

Grays Harbor courts and jails will be studied

The disagreement between local judges and Grays Harbor County is moving forward and the County Commissioners approved a service agreement yesterday that is a step forward for the criminal justice facilities.

The commissioners approved the agreement with KMB Design Groups to complete a study of the County’s Criminal Justice Facilities that will include the Courts, Jail and Sheriff’s Office, and the Juvenile Facility.

The study will analyze data on growth, population, caseloads, calls for service, and various other areas to find the needs of current service and the potential for expansion.

Commissioner Frank Gordon says this is a step in the right direction in an agreement that was made with the county’s judges.

The study will cost $24,048.

GH County

Categories: Harbor News

2 Aberdeen Registered Sex Offenders change address

2 separate Level 3 Registered Sex Offenders are changing addresses. One is moving back into town after being released from prison, the other is becoming transient.

20 year old Maxwell Flynn was convicted in 2012 and 2013 of Communicating with a minor for immoral purposes in Grays Harbor County.

Flynn has been classified as a Level 3 Sex Offender with a High Risk to re-offend.

He has told the Aberdeen Police Department that he will be transient, with no permanent address.

40 year old Joseph H Steen was convicted in 2003 of Voyeurism, 2006 of Indecent Exposure, 2008 of Indecent Exposure and 2012 of Indecent Exposure in Grays Harbor County.

Steen has been classified as a Level 3 Sex Offender with a High Risk to re-offend.

He was recently released from Washington State Department of Corrections and told police that he will be living in the 400 block of West Wishkah.

Neither man is currently wanted by police.

RSO Flynn Steen

Aberdeen man assaulted with food tray

On Friday, Aberdeen Police were sent to the 100 block of South Michigan Street after a 57 year old man was assaulted.

Officers were told that the victim had stopped breathing and a dispatcher was able to talk someone at the home through CPR until the victim began breathing on his own.

Officers discovered that the 57 year old was assaulted by man who allegedly hit him repeatedly in the head with a wood food tray.

The Aberdeen Fire Department responded and treated the man before transporting him to Grays Harbor Community Hospital.

APD New

Categories: Harbor News
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