Life in Bay Center on Willapa Bay

Living in a maritime fishing village in Southwest Washington state on Willapa Bay

Archive for the ‘Neighboring communities’ Category

Our weekend out of town; The Story.

Posted by pallix on July 13, 2009

Our weekend;   The Story.  I have a peridontist appointment about every three months, in a town about 2 + hours from where we live.  So we have turned it into a weekend getaway, and a visit with my mother who lives in a nearby town to the town where my peridontist is located.

Had my peridontist appt Friday and the report was good – some small improvement actually.  Not much improvement, but far better than deterioration.    Then we went to my mother’s home, spent the weekend. and then came home to our animals.   Our cat and dog remain at home, and so our time away is limited to a safe duration for the cat and dog to fend for themselves.  Now that my cat bite is healing and the cat is healing, life is returning to normal.   (A couple weeks earlier the cat was bitten by an animal, and in not knowing she was bitten, I picked her up, more rather tugged her out of her hiding place and she bit me…not at all her usual behavior, she is a very loving cat.   We didn’t see her wound at the time, but knew something was wrong with her.  Arthur spotted her wound, and we took her to the vet, who gave her a vaccine, and told me was more concerned that I get myself to hospital to treat the cat bite.  I did, was vaccinated and given antibiotics, the incident reported to County Health, the cat quarantined at our home for 10 days and we are both mending without incident, the primary concern being exposure to rabies).   When we returned home, our dog Jake resumed eating again.  He misses us when we are gone and gets sad – depressed.  Dogs have feelings.  Oh, and our cat too, she has feelings, misses us and glad when we return home. 

After my peridontist visit on Friday afternoon we drove to my mother’s home, picked her up and went out to eat.  We live in a rural town, and there aren’t a lot of restaurants or places to eat, so we enjoy the opportunity of eating out at different restaurants on the days of  my peridontist appointments.  It’s an eating out together date we look relish.  Choosing a restaurant in the town where my mother lives proved not to be as obvious as it might seem.  We kind of scoured what we knew to be restaurants in her neighborhood, opted to go further away, settled on Black Angus, since I was hankering for a nice steak lunch.  We got there and it no longer has lunch, open for dinner only.  Must be the economy.  The hour was growing late into the afternoon, I was hungry now, and we had not eaten breakfast that day,  or at all, so we wound up at (oh yuck!) Old Country Buffet.   Arthur likes the many choices of buffet restaurants, and sometimes so do I, but Old Country Buffet is not one of my favorites.  We both really enjoy the buffet variety of primarily healthy choices at  Sweet Tomatoes restaurant, but there were none the town where my Mom lives.    

Saturday Arthur spent the day home, defrosted Mom’s freezer for her because it had become so full of ice that the ice on all the shelves were touching each other, no room for food.   He took care of some other taskings for her, then spent the rest of the day fooling around with installing stuff in  his old fashioned computer.  Not the laptop kind, the big bulky kind.  Some guy he knows had given him some Linus software to download or told him about it.  Anyway, it was a dead computer (not working) and when Arthur finished the download it sprung back to life, installed Windows XP and is sort of functional again.  He was delighted.  Still needs an audio driver and something else that would permit it to link to internet.  He was just intrigued that it started working again…kind of like a guy tinkering in his garage with his power tools, only Arthur likes to tinker with puter.

Saturday I took Mom to Farmers Market in Proctor area of Tacoma.  That is a district that more resembles Portland or some Seattle districts; organic, green living, conscientious choices – that sort of thing, and an amazingly cool, fun grocery store with very upscale item choices.  For a mere $309.00 you can purchase a wheel of gourmet cheese!  An experience in itself.  (I’m being a bit snarky – it would be very unlikely we would ever spend that kind of  money on cheese.)  We visited a new consignment shop in her immediate neighborhood – delightful items, colorful, fun, upbeat, cheerful.  I liked it.   But I didn’t buy anything, because in truth, neither of us need another thing!

And more for the hunt of treasure than because either of us need anything more in our homes, we went to a few garage sales. What was being offered wasn’t the kind of garage sales we were looking for – more like junk sales.  We had fun anyway because we toured many of the University Place neighborhoods, the million + $$ homes with breathtaking views of the Narrows water, Narrows Bridge, the outlying island.  And alongside the million + $$ homes, are more modest ranch style homes.  You can be on a ‘house of dreams’ street and turn to go down the the next street which could well be a quiet and modest street of different ranch style homes.    University Place neighborhoods are in interesting mix of income levels.   After our tour of neighborhoods,  I took her to visit Charlie at cemetary where his ashes are placed.  It is a beautiful, peaceful cemetary, a place of quiet serenity amidst the hubbub of getting from here to there.  Nice place to quietly reflect on life.  I know, it may sound like a strange juxtaposition to reflect on life when at a cemetary where the dead are buried…..but that is how it works for me.

We went back to Proctor district that evening to have dinner at a niche Mexican restaurant (not a restaurant chain) because Mom said she heard good things about the food and atmosphere there.  Lively atmosphere with mix of old and young people dining.    I had a Taste Assault dish called Chicken Mole, although it would be better named Chicken in Mole (prounounced molay)  Sauce, because the sauce was Outrageous -  6 ingredients, and I can remember plums, almonds, mole (an unsweetened chocolate), and some other ingredients.  It wakes up your taste buds like wowza!   Not hot or even spicy, flavorful would be the word I would use to describe it.  Flavorful with each bite.  Arthur took a menu and will experiment at home with making the mole sauce because I liked it so well. 

Sunday we took Mom to her church (St Andrews Episcopal Church).   A bit of history here; my mom lost half her sightedness recently and is vision impaired now.  Mom had been saying she felt she needed something inspirational amidst all the doctor appointments and bad news.  Along the way, I decided to call the Priest at St Andrews to talk to him about Mom.  When she was a child, she attended Episcopal church in Spokane.  I explained to him her childhood church exposure, and her current medical condition with being sight impaired, being told by her doctors not to drive anymore. He agreed to visit Mom immediately and arranged for someone to pick her up and take her to church on Sundays.  

She has been to St Andrews now, a few times, and wanted us to visit her church.  We wanted to visit it also, as I enjoyed the upbeat conversation with the Priest – he was energetically young, even though he isn’t young.    That Sunday they had special guests, a singing group who livened up the entire worship service with renditions of the hymns done to foot tapping music.  Guitars, tambourines, horns, and one of the gals playing guitar was barefoot!   Felt like we were at a campfire gathering!  Geesh!  But the worship service having a combination of traditional liturgy, the laying on of hands for healing, the Eucharist, and the lively music with a welcome invitation to all does reflect ‘The Emerging Church’.

We loved the church, it had accommodations our little church building isn’t equipped to have, and if we lived in that area, we would likely attend that church.   Afterwards we ate at a restaurant in her immediate neighborhood that she is fond of – an old fashioned restaurant left over from approximately the 1950’s era.     So lots of eating this weekend, way too many calories, and Mom had a nice weekend.  So did we.  

Oh and at the Farmer’s Market I bought some snow peas that were priced below what is usually charged for snow peas, so I bought enough to freeze.  Bought a couple of tomato plants already bearing tomatoes, and a basil plant.   I didn’t plant a vegetable garden this year, and haven’t spent much time outside with the herb and flower gardens, so keeping it light this year.   Weather hasn’t been too cooperative where we live – cold, rainy, then unseasonably blistering hot, then cold again.   At the market, I found a growing salad bowl planter that I wanted and Mom bought it for me for my birthday gift.  The planter has growing  lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro plants  – salad ingredients, and that is the extent of my vegetable garden this year.   Except all the herbs I have been growing for a few years now. 

And I was delighted to learn about a lovely tasty sauce called Chimichurri?  Oh, I tasted some at the market, and just had to buy one – lime Chimichurri.  Great to use as braising sauce for grilled vegetables, on meats, or just straight on healthy chips or fresh veggies.   Taste delight!

It was a rather sweet weekend.  Last year around this time, we had visited Mom and she and I went to Lavender Festival on Vashon Island, ferry ride over and back, a beautiful, clear, sunny day, making the waters deep blue and picturesque. There was a Farmer’s Market there too, and we visited that Farmer’s Market

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Posted in cat bite, farmers market, Neighboring communities | Leave a Comment »

Win This Business – Cool Cow Coffee Company in Naselle, WA

Posted by pallix on April 24, 2009

Came across this information this morning from another blogger.  An ad she found at Facebook and at YouTube.    I wasn’t able to find what she found at the source on Facebook, so it is copy and paste with a shout- out to her blog

In Naselle, Washington, just down the road from us, another local business person is having to close up shop.  The why details are included in her offer (below) to win her business, and have it relocated to within 500 miles. 

The Cool Cow Coffee Company

             The Cool Cow Coffee Company

You Could Win This Business!!

Enter by May 31st 2009

Host: Natalie Morgan – Owner – The Cool Cow Coffee Company

Type: OtherRetail

Network: Global

Start Time: Friday, March 19, 2010 at 3:55am

End Time: Monday, May 31, 2010 at 6:55am

Location: Naselle, WA

Street: SR4 & SR401

City/Town: Naselle, WA

Email: nmorgan@wwest.net

Description

Business Owner
Offers Hope to One Lucky Entrepreneur
And It Could Be You!
Pacific County, Washington

Natalie Morgan, owner of The Cool Cow Coffee Company in Naselle, closed its doors for good, after the town’s most recent disaster. Ms. Morgan had owned the drive thru espresso and deli for eighteen months when she witnessed the rising water from the Naselle River engulf the entire neighborhood before encompassing her business. Now she is hoping to give the opportunity of ownership in a new location to one hopeful entrepreneur and create even more jobs in the process.

Natalie had spent almost two months on the remodel after purchasing the business from its previous owner in June of 2007. She painted it apple red, added cedar shingles to the base of both of the buildings and adorned the structures with all sorts of country details including a life size Holstein cow that had been shipped in from Texas and proudly displayed on a platform at the front of the building. The cow is such an eye catcher that people would often stop to take pictures of her. Natalie even held a contest to name the cow and then let her employees pick the winning name. She planted flowers and hanging baskets in the summer to make the space even more beautiful and painted the picnic tables outside to match the buildings. No detail was overlooked, from the black and white cow patterned tip cups which read “Cow Tipping Allowed” to the little chocolate cow cookies that were given out with each and every beverage and ice cream treat, it was apparent that the new owner had poured her heart into every detail and it did not go unnoticed.

On the day of the flood the water had already overwhelmed the local fire and rescue building located directly across the parking lot from her espresso stand when the phone call came in from the red cross warning people in the area to evacuate. Natalie and her husband quickly moved as much of the equipment as they could up off of the floor, and then they locked the door and drove out through the rising flood water now just inches from the base of their building.

The Cool Cow Coffee Company had already been struggling in it‘s present location and the weak economic condition of one of the poorest counties in the state was not helping the locals to afford the luxury of one of the treats from the towns best coffee kiosks and delicatessen. In December of 2007 Naselle, Nellie the life-size Holstein cow that is perched high above the drive through eatery withstood the one hundred mile an hour winds that had crumpled the metal roof of the fire department next door, but this December that cow would find herself abandoned due to heavy snow fall and an inaccessible mountain of snow and ice left at the entrance of the business by plows clearing the nearby highways.

By the time a local contractor was finally able to clear the two feet of snow surrounding the coffee stand, it had only been open for five struggling days when the flood waters surrounded the buildings causing a power outage to the storage unit and a complete loss of perishable inventory.

The shop has not been opened since that dreadful day, January 6, 2009. With revenue dwindling, cash flow almost nil, inventory gone, quarterlies and property taxes soon due, Natalie had no choice but to close her shop. She applied for assistance from the Small Business Administration’s Disaster Loan program, but was denied because of her inability to pay back the loan due to her recent loss of income.

Even before the flood, like so many other communities and businesses in and across the nation, Naselle’s economy has also been hit hard and with the impending threat to close one of the areas main employers, the Naselle Youth Camp, Ms. Morgan feels that there is simply no hope for her shop to prosper in its present location. Buyers in the area are far and few and even if a buyer were to come along and make an offer equivalent to her initial investment, she could not sell it with a clear conscience knowing full well that it will probably flood there again.

It’s become obvious that if this business is to prosper, than it needs to be moved to an area with improved economic demographics, but Natalie and her husband, Pete, have spent the past five years physically building their home in Naselle and they still have a great deal of work to complete before they could relocate, so moving the business and relocating themselves is not an option at present. With so many people out of work, so many layoffs and so many struggling financially right now, she hoped that somehow she would be able to turn this tragedy into a positive experience for someone whom lived in a more prosperous and populated area and maybe even create a few more jobs in the process.

So she logged onto the Washington State Gaming Commission’s website and while reading through the state gaming regulations, she came across something called an essay contest. In this type of contest the prize is awarded to a winner based on a skill not chance and in this case the skill that each person’s entry will be judged on will be a creative writing project where the subject matter is based on a desire as well as a need to become self employed.

Interested persons are asked to write an essay describing why they should be given her coffee shop and are to pay a $25 entry fee with their essay. The entry fee will help Natalie to recover her initial investment and pay for any sales tax due to Washington State, the cost of the structure(s) relocation including relocation permits and fees by the contractor, free consultation on new site selection and location, all of the business’s equipment by way of a U-Haul rental truck, one week of free training in the shop at it’s new location by the shop‘s previous owner, all signage, menus and $2,000.00 cash to aid with the business’s start up costs, plus a new floor and sub floor to be installed at the building(s) new location.

It’s a win-win for everyone involved. Especially in today‘s difficult economic times. Natalie gets her investment, not to mention her health, back, the state gets a healthy sum of revenue out of the deal, some lucky, possibly even presently unemployed person gets the chance at owning and running their own business and perhaps even creates a few jobs in the process.

Here’s how to enter…

Write an essay explaining your current economic struggles and why you would like to own The Cool Cow Coffee Company.
250 Words Minimum – 500 Words Maximum

Mail it to:
The Cool Cow Coffee Company Essay Contest
Attention: Natalie Morgan
PO Box 502
Naselle, WA 98638

Be sure to include your written essay with your name, address and telephone number printed on the top, include a self addressed stamped envelope and the $25 entry fee. Entries must be postmarked no later than May 31, 2009. We must have at least 2,500 entries in order to award the prize. If we do not receive enough entries by May 31, 2009, your entry fee will be mailed back in the SASE you provide.

If all goes well and we get enough entries to award new ownership, the winner will be notified by phone on June 6, 2009 at 7PM.

Please, due to the high cost of structure relocation we can only relocate this business within five hundred miles of its present location in Naselle, WA. If the business’ new location is to be outside of that five hundred mile radius you will be responsible for paying the difference in relocation costs at the time of signing. The winner must sign title of ownership within 5 days of acceptance of The Cool Cow Coffee Company and will have 30 days from the date of signing to find and prepare a new site for the business to be relocated upon.

A foundation for the main structure of 9‘X18“, all utility hookups, local permits, fees, lease contracts and/or rental agreements are the sole responsibility of the winner. All such arrangements should be made within 30 days of signing the title. The business structure(s) and their contents must be relocated within 30 days of new ownership, or no later than August 15, 2009. The $2,000.00 cash award will be given to the winner on the first day of training. However if financial assistance is needed to aid the new owner with utilities, rent/lease, fees and permits etc., arrangements can be made to draw off of the cash award in the form of checks written directly to these agencies and/or land owners, but not to exceed the total sum of $2,000.00. Training will begin on a date specified by the new owner and will not exceed a 7 day training period in succession.

If you have any questions you may e-mail Natalie at nmorgan@wwest.net. If you would like to see more pictures of The Cool Cow Coffee Company go to You-Tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoDrEXR8PQA and view my video.

Posted in Coffee Stand, Naselle, Neighboring communities, neighbors, Pacific County, restaraunts | Leave a Comment »

Lewis and Clark National Heritage Area moves forward…what about Chinook Tribe recognition?

Posted by pallix on April 11, 2009

It’s been on my radar to keep an eye out for the progress being made to have this region declared a National Heritage Area.  My interest is more along the lines of what seems a corresponding and relevant action to recognize the Chinook Tribe as a declared Tribe.  To my way of thinking, the naming of  Lewis and Clark National Heritage area,  requires a recognition of the Chinook people as a federally recognized tribe. 

 

Without the friendship and aid of the Chinook people, Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery expedition may well have not survived once they arrived in this area – the mouth of Columbia River where it flows into the Pacific Ocean.  Legislation has been introduced to give recognition to the Chinook Tribe.  That legislation has not moved along; while simultaneously legislation to declared this area a Lewis and Clark National Heritage area seems to be moving along.  To my way of thinking, these are hand in glove actions, complementing each other, and it seems to me it would be hypocritical to have one without the other.

Link to article at Daily Astorian;   excerpt

Having just returned from a trip overseas, David Szymanski, superintendent at Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, is canvassing the North Coast to update communities on the proposed National Heritage Area.

He presented to the Clatsop County Board of Commissioners an update on the proposed Columbia Pacific National Heritage Area Wednesday in the Judge Guy Boyington Building. Heritage areas define a region where communities can use federal funds to benefit local economies.

"This project will not go forward until we’ve heard from local governments and the public," Szymanski said.

The Columbia Pacific heritage area would incorporate portions of Clatsop County and Pacific and Wahkiakum counties in Washington.

"People are probably surprised to learn that the National Park Service often has skepticism about National Heritage Areas," Szymanski said. "Some have not been well thought out."

Szymanski said the most important requirement for a heritage area is finding the right coordinating entity. A lot of heritage areas focus on tourism, rather than broader economic development.

ShoreBank Enterprise Cascadia was recently selected for the coordinating entity for this heritage area, in large part because the nonprofit organization focuses on investment and capital building.

Posted in 19th Legislative District, 3rd Congressional District, Chinook Nation, Lewis and Clark National Heritage, Native Americans, Neighboring communities, neighbors, Pacific County, Pacific ocean, recreation, U.S. Representative Brian Baird, wetlands, willapa, willapa bay, Willapa National Wildlife Refuge | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Neighbors down the road, Seaview on Long Beach Peninsula

Posted by pallix on December 8, 2008

This must just be our week for meeting lots of new to us neighbors.  It happens on occasion that my google alerts set to Willapa and Pacific County, alert me to a neighbor who is blogging.  Such was the case this morning, and I encountered this blog  seaviewwa – a couple who moved to Seaview and are refurbishing a home there.  She’s been blogging as long as I’ve been blogging.

Where she has devoted her blog to highlighting life in her community, my blogging has shifted focus resulting in 20 different blogs with varying focus themes and  the building of several websites.  I feel like I’ve left too scattered an imprint over the internet.  I’ve begun a bit of the process of trying to whittle it down to fewer blogs, and fewer websites.  Meanwhile though, the social networking communities continue to develop and grow and now I find I am connected to too many of the social networks.  And then there are the multitudes of  ‘news-sharing’ social networks. 

But back to the Seaview neighbor.  I enjoyed reading her blog backwards entry after entry post to the start of her blog. Good representation of the community and nearby neighboring attractions.  I learned fairly quickly in reading her blog that she and I do not share similar political views since her blog tells of her own political activism activities, but that didn’t keep me from enjoying and appreciating her blog.

We are sort of neighbors – here in Pacific County, there are only a few small towns dotting the county – the rest of the county is wilderness, wetlands, trees and I jokingly refer to it sometimes as Weyerhauser’s county ( Weyerhauser owns a lot of the forested tree lands in the county) – so from town to town in Pacific County, we are essentially community  ‘neighbors’.   I love visiting Seaview, the community where she lives,  which is located right next to Long Beach and just a holler down from Ilwaco.  

Not sure that many know about Bay Center, in Pacific County though.  We are still a bit of a hidden treasure here, not so well known.   Lately, we’ve had a fair amount of ‘artist’ types moving here to Bay Center.  At this rate, we may become an artist colony in harmony with the historic Chinook families, another aspect for which Bay Center is known.   (btw, take a look at The Chinook Nation Restoration Act – H.R. 6689 )

Where ever one lives in Pacific County, we do share in common the beauty of this country.   We have heard more than a few times that living in Pacific County is living in  God’s country, or God’s county, or God’s landscape, or God’s valium, or other takes on that theme.   Can’t say as I disagree, although having been raised as a child what is affectionately known as a ‘military brat’ which meant moving around every couple of years, I’ve come to appreciate most landscapes as having their own unique beauty. 

Posted in Long Beach peninsula, Neighboring communities, Pacific County, Seaview | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Bus Fare for Pacific Transit not planning price hike

Posted by pallix on June 24, 2008

For rural transit agencies, fare hikes aren’t as useful. Pacific Transit in southwest Washington has seen ridership increase, but the system is small and fares are low — from 35 to 50 cents.

 

 

“A certain percentage of the public depends on public transit — seniors, disabled people, people who can’t afford a car,” Director Tim Russ says. The agency has always wanted to “keep fares as reasonable as possible,” he says, “and we intend to keep it that way.”

   excerpt is from Crosscut  Seattle article ‘Get on The Bus, Gus, unless it costs too much’

This is good news to hear, as with the climbing gas prices, more people in more places will look to public transit.  Here in Pacific County, we still have an operating bus sytem.  No trains though, and the train tracks were taken up.  I wonder if the future hold relaying some of those defunct train tracks?   

Since this area used to operate as a bay community, use of boating for transportation, I do also wonder that should gas prices, use of vehicles become too prohibitive, if a return to waterway transportation might come back into vogue here.

 

Posted in Neighboring communities, Pacific County, Transportation | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Senator Cantwell gets $2 Million approved for Doppler Radar in SW Washington

Posted by pallix on June 24, 2008

 A U.S. Senate Appropriations subcommittee has approved a $2 million request from Sen. Maria Cantwell for a Doppler radar and other equipment needed to track weather patterns along Washington state’s coastline. reads the first paragraph in an article at Daily World, an Aberdeen, WA newspaper.    Good news indeed! Especially to those of us in Southwest Washington counties who experienced the December 2007 storm (hurricane strength storm!) that flooded out Lewis County and had four counties in SW Washington declared FEMA disaster areas –  my county, Pacific, and neighboring counties, Lewis, Grays Harbor, Thurston.

A deserved shout out of thanks to Senator Cantwell.

read more below the fold

 

  The storm hit us in December and was unrelenting for almost 3 days.  For many, and for us in Pacific County, we found ourselves cut off and isolated from the rest of the state for several days without power, land line phones, cell phones, gasoline, or access to much in the way of help or services.  Which isn’t to say that the Emergency Management Teams were not responsive; rather that the isolation was an outcome for several days.  You can read more about it at the Washblog story here  and here of course, here at this blog.  In March 2008, Senator Cantwell held a meeting of the minds roundtable in Aberdeen, WA to discuss the whys and wherefores of the storm.  What came out of that meeting was the lack of adequate Doppler Radar coverage to read the weather conditions in Southwest Washington.  

The Olympic Mountain Range and Willapa Hills (where we live) provide an interference that the current Doppler Radar located in Scappoose, Oregon is unable to read.  The only other Doppler Radar to cover reading weather conditions in Washington is located far north at Camano Island. Oh, and KING 5 TV news has it’s own Doppler Radar that it purchased but it cannot read the weather conditions in SW Washington due to the natural terrain interference (Olympics and Willapa Hills).  

  Meanwhile California coastline, which is far less storm-laden than our own Washington coastline, has mulitiple Doppler Radars to read that coastline weather.  The inconsistency becomes more conspicuous as was evident in the powerful presentation given by University of Washington Professor Clifford Mass (see his website here) at the Senator Cantwell roundtable meeting held in March.  

  Arthur and I attended that meeting in March, as bloggers at Washblog, as residents of Pacific County directly affected by the storm, and as general public.  We were and are certainly not experts. I took notes, even had a brief interview shown by KIRO 7 TV, but I didn’t get around to actually writing up the story at Washblog.  I did start to write it up here at WB, and can’t recall for what reason I didn’t conclude posting the actual story as I had the notes. Now I wish I had posted the story of the meeting.  

 So in the absence of having written up the story, here are excerpts from the article ‘Doppler radar station funding clears one hurdle’ at Daily World this weekend;

 

The request was spurred on by the savage December storm and intense lobbying by concerned residents as well as local community leaders. The approval is just the first step in what is usually a long process to get federal funding for practically anything these days, although the senator hopes the funding will make the final cut in a 2009 appropriations bill.The Coastal Radar was one of the top priorities given to Sen. Patty Murray during a community forum immediately after the December storm. A few months later, Cantwell conducted her own forum on the issue at Grays Harbor College and residents again were given a chance to make their case, which was spearheaded by Professor Clifford Mass, of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington.

 

Cantwell’s Press Office said the funding was approved on Thursday by the Senate Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Commerce, Science, Justice and Related Agencies.”Despite having the worst non-tropical storms in the nation, Washington state has the worst weather radar coverage of any U.S. coastline,” Cantwell said in the press release announcing the news.

“Our nation’s weather radar system has a gaping blind spot right over the outer coast of our state, placing our communities at risk and hindering the everyday lives of our citizens,” she added. “Just last fall, Washington state experienced storms with hurricane-force winds and torrential rains that hit right in the heart of this blind spot. The funding passed today by the Senate Appropriations Committee is a major step toward solving this gap and better protecting Washington neighborhoods, businesses, and communities.”

 

Cantwell’s Office didn’t say where the Doppler radar would be located, but the likely spot would be in the Westport-Grayland area, which would be able to catch weather patterns coming not only off the coast but in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the mouth of the Columbia River.The fishing industry, in particular, has been lobbying hard for the doppler system for years now, citing the dangers of fishing off the coast without a clear warning of storms that could be coming on to the horizon.

Cantwell’s Office noted that a single radar on the central Washington coast could view storms over a hundred miles offshore.

As an aside, I know my neighbors up in Mason County and Kitsap County on the Peninsula also  felt the effects of that storm in December.  I think with the sizeable, and unexpected flooding out in Lewis County which cut off I-5, some of our neighbors storm woes did not get much media coverage.  

On an upside to this storm, I read that some of the flooded out farmers in Lewis County are able to make a showing this season at the Olympia Public Market.  Why not pay a visit and make a special effort to purchase produce from the Lewis County vendors?

By Lietta Ruger

Posted in climate warming, coastal storm 2007, Doppler Radar, Neighboring communities, Pacific County, pacific northwest storm 2007, storm 2007 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Survived hurricane-force winds of 119 mph, infrastructure collapse Pacific County, Washington coast, December 2007 Pacific Northwest storm

Posted by pallix on December 7, 2007

More on page on this website (see tabs above) dedicated to ‘Storm of the Decade, Pacific Northwest, December 2007′

Today is Friday, Dec 7, 2007 and we just got power back yesterday, Thursday, Dec 6, 2007, after being without power, communications, access in or out of the county since the storm hit last Sunday, Dec 2, 2007. It was what it was advertised by the Chinook Observer to be – the storm of the decade and it affected most all of Washington coastline with grave flooding inland and great parts of Oregon coastline. Most hard hit with massive flooding was Lewis County and Grays Harbor County, our neighboring counties. Pacific County was hit hard too, enough to collapse a seemingly fragile infrastructure; no power, no land phones, no cell phones, no 911, no access in or out of the county and even emergency communications out of county to notify status were limited and curtailed. It was an eerie feeling to be so completely cut off.

Later as the week wore on the reality of not being able to access our own bank account or get gas as gas pumps need electricity to work, and word of possible contamination of water in South Bend/Raymond, the fragility of the infrastructure not only in our own county but any county became evident to me. We must learn to rely on individual preparedness, and preparedness and help from among our community to see us through those early days of catastrophic weather events. And given what we experienced with this storm, I’m inclined to believe that with climate warming, we will see other such storms, perhaps not at that magnitude, but enough to cause breaks in the infrastructure here in Pacific County and in neighboring counties.

Sorting out how to tell parts of the story, and rather than one big fat blog entry, I will want to break it down some. For the days without power and communications (phones, cell phones, 911, emergency access), I started a journal. Now that we have power back and I am seeing via internet news all the devastation around us in our own county and neighboring counties, I recognize we are among the very fortunate.

Providing the link to the Washblog interview Noemie did with me when she phoned me yesterday to check up on us where she gives an account of what I shared with her.

Report from Lietta Ruger: Storm Causes Complete Infrastructure Collapse in Pacific Co.

I just spoke with Lietta Ruger, one of Washblog’s editors, and she asked me to post a little summary of our conversation. She plans to post something more in-depth later.

She and Arthur Ruger live in the Willapa Bay community in Bay Center. There is no locally owned broadcast media in the area, and so they rely primarily on King 5 TV for their storm warnings. KIRO and KOMO generally don’t provide coverage on their area. She said that no warnings came through mainstream media on the severe impacts that their community was expected to face from the impending storm last weekend. It was only because they happen to subscribe to what she describes as a tiny newspaper, a weekly called The Chinook Observer, that she learned her community was facing perhaps “the storm of the decade.”

Having received this one warning, she and Arthur brought out their candles and blankets and cooked up the food in their refrigerator and battened down the hatches – just in case. The storm hit on Sunday and the three of them – including Lietta’s mother – stayed indoors for two days as winds up to 119 miles an hour raged outside. There was no electricity, no phone service, no cellphone service. After the storm subsided, the roads were so impassible in every direction, and the power outage and the lack of emergency service so complete — that as far as people in her community knew, they might have separated from the rest of the United States and floated off into the Pacific Ocean.

It wasn’t until yesterday that a local store selling crank radios opened and she and Arthur were able to tune into coverage from Astoria, Oregon to find out the extent of the damage to the rest of Washington state.

Even then, most of the stores remained locked, the social services office, where emergency help is usually offered, remained closed and dark. The gas pumps, which run on electricity, don’t work. People who have medical emergencies are out of luck. And at least one woman did die, when her house caught on fire from the candles she was using to provide light.

There was no safe way to travel by water, either, because the water was moving too fast and there were too many other dangers, low tree branches, objects, etc. Even the county’s weather monitoring equipment failed. We know that winds reached 119 mph in Bay Center and 120 mph in Astoria, she said, because private citizens had equipment that withstood the wind, while the wind broke the county’s equipment.

The problem wasn’t with community members. People helped each other quite a bit. In fact, the owner of the Bay Center grocery store, a woman named Lori, drove from Long Beach through all the hazards to Bay Center and fired up the generator and stove and cooked soups and made sandwiches to serve the people in that community. And her husband and son did that in the other grocery stores owned by the family in other nearby communities. But now that the electricity has come back on, and she’s learned that the rest of the world is still here — though Grays Harbon and Lewis Counties appear to have suffered even more — now she’s feeling pretty upset.

This is a warning, she said, that we need to get our act together on emergency preparedness. We are experiencing the effects of climate change and we can expect more. This kind of storm is not on the usual scale. It’s a clear signal, as well, that we need some major changes in how we do media. Pacific County needs its own broadcast media. We talked for awhile about testimony at the recent FCC hearing in Seattle that local communities are endangered by the centralization of broadcast media. That is absolutely correct, she said. Now that she has a little time to think, it’s hitting her, the extent of this collapse of infrastructure: the lack of emergency preparedness and media coverage and the blackout on all services during the storm or for the 2 days afterwards. “This complete and utter failure, she said, “is unacceptable.

(read more at the Washblog story)

A few photos below taken by my mother of Bay Center in Pacific County, after the 2 days

of hurricane-force winds. Click on photos to see larger view.

Downed tree on Bay Center Road

Downed treee on Bay Center Road, Bay Center, WA in Pacific County, WA

Several downed trees at Bay Center residence

Several downed trees at Bay Center residence, Bay Center, WA in Pacific County,WA

Tree down on power line Bay Center Road

Tree down on power line Bay Center Road,Bay Center, WA in Pacific County,WA

Blow down trees in the county park at tip of Bay Center

Blow down trees in the county park at tip of Bay Center, WA in Pacific County,WA

More on page on this website (see tabs above) dedicated to ‘Storm of the Decade, Pacific Northwest, December 2007’


Posted in Bay Center, Bay Center Grocery Store, climate warming, coastal storm 2007, Neighboring communities, Pacific County, Pacific County Commissioner, pacific northwest storm 2007, Pacific ocean, South Bend, storm 2007, storm of the decade, willapa, willapa bay, Willapa Bay in the news | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The neighbor who knows a thing or two about a thing or two

Posted by pallix on November 21, 2007

My neighbor, a generational oyster farmer, has taken a shine to sharing information with us, believing we are uninformed city dwellers (we were, but we are learning), and what he likes to call ‘Yankees’ when he is in a bad temper. He has Native American blood, Chinook. I don’t know how much and while he presents as if he is fully Chinook, I am given to understand it may be a percentile. So, he has seen me attempting my kitchen garden and has given me his insights as to how he did it when he was a kid growing up.

Seems though, that I would need chickens, a chicken coop built atop the garden to create the scenario he describes with natural fertilizer for the garden, and bonus of eggs. Well it sounds efficient to me, but we don’t live on a farm, it’s a lot within the township. Although this is not as much a town as a fishing community, so not too likely my neighbors would complain too much if I was inclined to take his advice. Nah, I’m not quite ready to go there.

Further, he’d have me kill a bear for the fat to make pies as he shares a story with me of how his mother asked him when he was a kid if he wanted a blackberry pie. Sure, he says, and she says, well go kill me a bear. Seems she used the bear fat for lard. Or so that is how he tells me it was, back in the day, when he was a kid growing up around here. Well, there are no shortage of blackberries, in fact, they threaten to overtake anything in their path, including houses. I have actually seen here a house completely overgrown and ensconced in blackberry brambles . I haven’t seen a bear, but my other neighbors have on one of their walks along the beach.

Recently, my neighbors who have overgrown blackberries in the unused part of their lot, had the thickets cut down. One morning I look out my door to see a sign that says ‘Lietta’s Garden’. We had talked about having me expand my kitchen garden to include growing some vegetables and a couple of fruit trees on this part of their lot. Apparantly, they thought it a good enough idea to have paid to have the thicket cut down. As I explained to her, I think that blackberry brambles come back ferociously and cutting them back isn’t going to be enough; they would have to actually be eradicated.
Lietta’s Patch
Lietta’s Patch

My other neighbor (the oyster farmer) has taken to letting his yard go to wild, so blackberries have overtaken the front and side parts of his yard. I had been telling him about our other neighbors yielding part of their lot to the idea of a community garden and I’d like to extend that to include his yard too. He agreed, said sure, go ahead. I doubt we will actually, as he is known to have a change of heart and having said one thing one time, wouldn’t necessarily have ‘meant’ it.

He has been amused at some of what he calls my city philosophies as I’ve talked to him about community garden, sustainable living, 100 mile diet. But he keeps bringing me bits of information. Research papers on spartina, that plant life growing in Willapa Bay that has generated controversy about effects Willapa Bay and on oyster farms in the area. More recently though, he is intrigued (and terribly amused) at my mention of wanting to help grow a farmer’s market in our area (existing Public Market on the Willapa), as an extension of the idea of the 100 mile diet. He brought me a magazine, ‘Mother Earth News’ because of an article that mentions the 100 mile diet. I actually appreciated and enjoyed the magazine, and subscribed to the online email newsletter.

Oh, and that reminds me to mention how my oyster farmer neighbor does not have a computer, does not want a computer, and calls it ‘the box’. He knows we do have computer, use it daily, write our blogs, including as contributing editors to political blog forum Washblog, and that topics come up in our political blogging that sometimes more directly affect Southwest Washington, Willapa Bay, Pacific County.

A couple weeks ago, he brought us a treat – some fresh oysters and said ‘enjoy lunch’. Oh, how sweet, I said, but you know neither of us eat or like oysters. He looked at me in utter surprise and said exactly what one of my other neighbors said to me when he learned we don’t eat oysters and my husband doesn’t eat much seafood at all — ‘whaddya move here for then’. So that makes twice I’ve heard that now from my immediate neighbors. Guess not too many people don’t like oysters. And being that the town up the road calls itself ‘The Oyster Capital of the World’, one could indeed wonder why we moved to this area at all. We don’t have a boat, we don’t boat, we don’t fish, we don’t hunt, we don’t farm and lately we don’t even get much hiking, walking in.

This week, my oyster farmer neighbor brought me a newspaper – Capital Press, because it had a few articles that referenced the 100 mile diet and sustainable living. Oh, I said, I just learned of Capital Press because of the award The Daily Astorian won for it’s comprehensive reporting on climate warming. Pshah, he says – ”I don’t believe in that climate warming stuff”. Ahh, I said, well you will when you recognize it has potential to affect oysters and Willapa Bay. “How”, he says.

And I launch into my newly developing language about how climate warming will affect the Western Coast and salmon and he cuts me off to remind me he is a studied geologist and launches into some history about the salmon. I listen politely for a while, then explain to him that what he is telling me is very likely true (salmon hatcheries, diseased spawnings, etc) and that he very obviously knows more about that than I could begin to know, BUT, I tell him — with climate warming, what was may not continue to be and that was more the point I was wanting to make while applauding The Daily Astorian for the many articles that explore climate warming in our region.

I was startled though with so many of the other facts he was rattling off including his statement that grain can’t grow here in Western WA – too wet, so where was I going to get grain (wheat, etc) within 100 miles for my 100 mile diet. And he also pointed out that since we are located at water’s edge, rural, and distant from most of the farming communities in SW Washington, perhaps I could expand my search beyond 100 miles. I searched my mind for a moment, recognizing the truth of what he was saying. Now I really have to rethink the whole concept of the 100 mile diet. Ah, those early tribes did eat fish, berries, and now I have to go learn what they did for grains. Ah, and that perhaps is why it is necessary to ‘trade’ and/or ‘barter’ with neighboring communities. Across the mountains in our state, is the drier and warmer climates, where most of the agriculture is grown – wheat, grain, fruit.

He was also quick to rattle off all the various diseases that can affect crops; seems he had done some farming in the area when he was younger man. After listening to him for awhile, I exclaimed in mild distress, that if I listened to him, I would give up already, and not ready to give up. Much I need to learn, I know, and how about being a resource when I have questions. He does know a thing or two about a thing or two, but he also doesn’t know some things about some things and not usually easy conversations. Friendly, but not easy.

This morning I read through the articles in the edition of the The Capital Press he provided and there was a wealth of useful information on agricuture, farming, and so I figured if there was an online email newsletter, I’d sign up and get online updates. Yep, there is, and I subscribed.

Now…about that grain problem with grain not likely to grow in Western WA along the coastline, how am I going to fit that into the 100 mile diet……..

well, article in The Capital Press about Shepherds Grain grown in Spokane – direct seed, organic, sustainable sparks an idea for trade with my daughter who lives in Spokane. She says blackberries don’t grow readily in Spokane and she is having to $6.00 for 1/4 lb while I have them growing around here all over the place at no charge. I took her pounds of blackberries that I’d picked for her this summer. Now I’ll make an offer to trade her blackberries for Shepherd’s Grain. While it isn’t quite within the 100 mile diet distance limits, it’s conceptually keeping within the concept. It’s grain that isn’t grown and shipped from thousands of miles away. Hundreds, yes, because Spokane is a few hundred miles from here – one side of the state to the other in this state is hundreds of miles – but it is from within the state and therefore Local! I solved that problem nicely. Well sorta – still got to work out the shipping exchange with maximum carbon reduced methodology.

Posted in 100 mile diet, agriculture, blackberries, climate warming, farmers market, Native Americans, Neighboring communities, oyster farms, oysters, Pacific County, South Bend, spartina | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Brian Hatfield, wins State Senate election

Posted by pallix on November 21, 2007

SOUTH BEND – Appointed state Sen. Brian Hatfield was elected by voters with a 76 percent victory last Tuesday night, just two days after his wife died of breast cancer.His was one of only two Senate seats on the Washington ballot.

The other seat was easily retained by a Republican appointee, Curtis King of Yakima by a similar high percentage.Hatfield earned 13,455 votes in the four counties to 4,386 by his opponent, Jesse Ashe, a Kelso Republican. In Pacific County, the vote was 5,261 for Hatfield (76 percent) to 1,663.Hatfield was appointed to the position a year ago after the resignation of Mark Doumit. He had to run to complete the final year of a four-year term.

Results announced Tuesday night were augmented with additional mail-in ballots tallied Friday by the Pacific County Elections Department staff.

read more at Chinook Observer

website for WA state Senator, Brian Hatfield (D), 19th Legislative District; Grays Harbor County, Pacific County, Wahkiakum County, Cowlitz County.

Posted in 19th Legislative District, Brian Hatfield, Neighboring communities, Pacific County, politics, state Senator | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Daily Astorian wins 2007 Dolly Connelly Award for series on climate change impact on Pacific NW

Posted by pallix on November 13, 2007

I have also posted this as front page story on Washblog.

The Daily Astorian has won the 2007 Dolly Connelly Award for excellence in environmental journalism for a series of articles on how global warming stands to impact the Pacific Northwest and its living creatures.

Established in 1998, the Connelly Award is given out annually by the association. It was established by Seattle P-I columnist Joel Connelly in memory of his mother, who worked as a freelance journalist and correspondent for Time-Life.

I learned today in Salem, Oregon Statesman Journal publishing a Seattle AP report. Hey, the Daily Astorian is our neck of the woods – out here in Bay Center, in Pacific County. So I followed the link and found a fantastic resource in the collection of articles for this special report featured in the Daily Astorian.

An award wining special report as provided by a collaborating collection of 22 writers, seven photographers, seven editors, six page designers and two logo creators from The Daily Astorian.

There are 71 articles from March 2006 to the most recent one in Sept 2007. I will be reading them over the weeks ahead and I’ve already read through several of the articles. I can see some grave relevance, not only for our immediate region on coastal Southwest WA, but along the WA coastline and those Puget Sound bodies of water.

I’m struck by how the articles reference two of the nearby towns of South Bend and Raymond in the region where we live as the ‘canaries in a coal mine’.

from one of the articles ‘What you would see here would be a hell of a mess’

Not only would the coastline change, but there is no question there would be a corresponding rise in the water table, said Douglas Canning, recently retired from the Washington Department of Ecology’s Shorelands Program and affiliated with the University of Washington’s Climate Impact Group.

A rise in the table water would cause low-lying inland lakes to expand. Areas that are now wetlands could have standing water year-round, or become small lakes. New wetlands could form on previously dry ground. Freshwater marshes could become inundated with saltwater.

Because Raymond and South Bend are feeling the symptoms, Canning suggests county leaders consider them their canaries in a coal mine.

“Those are my poster children,” for demonstrating the dangers of the long-term effects of rising ocean levels, he said. Any unanticipated consequences of climate change and a rise in the ocean level should manifest there first.

I’m also struck by the specific article on Bay Center (where we live) becoming an island. We already are an ‘island’ technically, but the article isn’t talking about the mere channel of water that separates us now from the mainland where a small bridge is our way in and out.

from one of the articles ‘Maps reveal extent of worries for Bay Center, Oysterville’

Washington’s Pacific County covers 928 square miles, but by 2100, based on predictions of ocean level rise caused by global climate change, the county could lose 20 square miles to the ocean.

A Geographic Information System analysis of Pacific County was done using a projected rise in ocean level of 3.4 feet by 2100. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates an approximate rise in ocean level of three feet by 2100, and a Canadian study suggests the Pacific Northwest may experience half as much again again as the global average.

Bay Center, bracketed by Willapa Bay and a river, will become a virtual island at high tide.

Of course, those are immediate concerns to those of us who live in Pacific County, however, I don’t think the effects are limited to Southwest Washington as much as The Daily Astorian chose to do a very comprehensive and scientific analytical report, giving me reason to be very proud of the reporting in our region from what is considered to be a small town newspaper in The Daily Astorian.

Astoria, Oregon, on Highway 101, is a Megler Bridge away from us in Pacific County, so we consider it very much part of our region. The Megler Astoria Bridge spans the mouth of the Columbia River where the river meets the Pacific Ocean.

I wonder if the newspapers to the north of us in the larger cities along western Washington coast have invested this kind of time in reporting? And if not, why not?

By pointing to the concerns we face in our region, I think the smorgasboard of articles points to larger concerns beyond just our immediate region. For example:

Will fishing cool down as the oceans warm up?


Bananas growing in Oregon?


Northwest water supplies rely on storage and conservation


It’s like a freight train coming and no one can stop it
Salmon are hardy – but can they survive warmer water? It may be hard to believe that chinook salmon or steelhead could be bothered or hurt by a few degrees warmer water

Invasive species hurting lifestyles on Long Beach Peninsula

Forests and crops struggle to beat the heat

Cranberry crop on the Peninsula may be vulnerable to climate change


Along with drier landscape comes another problem – more weeds
SPOKANE, Wash. – Bigger weeds. Weeds that go further up mountainsides. Weeds that take advantage, not only of warmer temperatures, but higher carbon dioxide levels that will accompany global climate change.


Sea birds, insects and other critters suffer amid changing climate


Growers around the Northwest point to evidence of more pests


Forests encounter new pest problems in the age of global warming


Effects on bird species bring climate change into focus
Bird count shows some new species are appearing here


Climate change activists converge in Skamakowa
(my note; Skamokawa is a tiny town in Wahkiakum County, the next county over and south from us in Pacific County. A tiny town like that taking a lead in climate change — I’m mightily impressed!)

Climate change team

This installment of the climate change series is produced by the East Oregonian Publishing Group, whose member newspapers include The Daily Astorian in Astoria, Ore., The East Oregonian in Pendleton, Ore., The Capital Press in Salem, Ore., (covering four states); the Blue Mountain Eagle in John Day, Ore., The Wallowa Chieftain in Enterprise, Ore., and the Chinook Observer in Long Beach, Wash.

I seem to have gravitated to a place where I find the focus of my attention on quite hefty and heavy topics, between activism regarding Iraq war (wars in Middle East) and concerns with climate warming. At least I feel like with the climate warming there are some things I can do (we can do, each and every one of us) that might make some difference to the greater sum in effort to work to reduce impacts. And in each little step I find I can take, I feel a small but empowered sense that this is something where we can have a unifying commonality and work together in building communities and work towards life-giving purposes.

Oh, but with Iraq war, I feel like I have failed despite my best efforts after 5 years of focused activism. I feel the failure acutely as my son-in-law leaves at the end of this week for his second deployment to Iraq. I really find myself feeling awkward in knowing what to say to him, and I can’t shake the feeling of having failed him and his wife and children when I am with them. I realize it is in the hands of Congress now, and am coming to the sad realization that there is nothing Congress will do to shift the course of Iraq war for the remainder of this President’s term. I’m not so sure Congress will do much even when (if) a new President takes on the Commander-in-Chief role in Jan 2009.

Posted in agriculture, Bay Center proper, climate warming, estuary, farming, migratory birds, Neighboring communities, oysters, Pacific County, Pacific ocean, shorebirds, South Bend, spartina, tideflats, waterfowl habitat, wetlands, willapa, willapa bay, Willapa Bay in the news | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Willapa Bay Lighthouse – Lost Lights

Posted by pallix on October 20, 2007

Another lost treasure to Willapa Bay, the Willapa Bay Lighthouse, situated on what is North Cove (Washaway Beach) where land mass tumbles into the Pacific Ocean. The Willapa Bay Lighthouse was lost in this way – depicted in historical photos below from WLA Photo Gallery

Willapa Bay Lighthouse

Willapa Bay Lighthouse-Originally known as the Shoalwater Bay Lighthouse. A fourth-order Fresnel lens provided the light’s beacon when it went into operation on October 1, 1858. “Twelve miles south of the Grays Harbor Lighthouse, the Willapa Bay Lighthouse once marked the northern side of Willapa Bay. Built in 1858, the lighthouse operated for over 80 years until it was undercut by the sea and tumbled into the bay in December of 1940.

Several replacement towers have served to mark the bay, each one being placed ever farther north and east of the original lighthouse. Much of the city of North Cove has also tumbled into the sea…The last tower, which stood three-fourths of a mile from the site of the original lighthouse, apparently succumbed to erosion in the 1990s.” (Text courtesy of “lighthousefriends.com”) Photo courtesy of E.DeWire. Date unknown.

Willapa Bay Lighthouse

Willapa Bay Lighthouse

Willapa Bay display-Westport Maritime Museum. June 2004. (click on image to enlarge). “In 1939, the lighthouse was declared unsafe and abandoned. On December 26, 1940, the lighthouse met its demise. It had been precariously hanging over the side of the bluff, looking as though it might topple at any second. The Coast Guard decided it was endangering the many sightseers who swarmed to get a last glimpse of the light. One wall had already collapsed.

First, they washed away the remaining sand from the west side of the structure and then set off a charge of dynamite which toppled the lighthouse over the brink, ending another part of U.S. Lighthouse history. The lighthouse was once accompanied by the nearby Shoalwater Bay Lifesaving Station. In 1889, the federal government decided to change the name from Shoalwater to Willapa to rightfully honor the tribe of Indians who had inhabited the land for centuries.” (Text courtesy of Lighthouse Digest, Jan1999)

see these and more photos at Washington Lightkeepers WLA Photo Gallery

Posted in Lighthouses, Neighboring communities, Pacific County, Pacific ocean, willapa bay | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Here today – gone tomorrow; The ol’ Lumber Building in South Bend is no more

Posted by pallix on October 17, 2007

The Old Lumber Building (proper name is The Lumber Exchange Building) that stood in South Bend along Hwy 101, finally was torn down this year despite efforts by the latest owner to renovate, re invigorate and make the building into a downtown type hotel with mini-mall shops below. Not going to happen. The building was condemned and torn down this year (2007). For as long as we have lived here, I’ve heard people tell us stories about this historic building. In another post, another time, I’ll try to find and blog about the history of the Old Lumber Building in South Bend. For now though, courtesy of website Bygone Byways, here is a photo taken on one of the road trips along Highway 101 in Willapa region.

Lumber Exchange Building

The historic Lumber Exchange Building in South Bend, WA. Built in approximately 1902, torn down in 2007.

When will I ever learn that taking pictures is important part of present day history.  I don’t have one photo of The Old Lumber Exchange Building.  But notice the street level front windows.  In our home in Bay Center, the former owner added onto the kitchen and had the angled windows placed at what is now my kitchen sink.  The seams on the windows at the angles are a vertical strip of beaded glue and while that has been worrisome to me, it seems to hold up through all those Pacific gale winter storms.  So now that the Lumber Exchange building is gone, windows and all, I have a bit of nostalgia that my kitchen window was done on the same design as the  street level windows at the Lumber Exchange building.   Big whoop – I know, but, it is noteworthy – to me – so I’m making a note.

Posted in Neighboring communities, South Bend | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Seeing Pink in Pacific County

Posted by pallix on October 13, 2007

I had a dental appointment in ‘town’ yesterday.  That means a drive from Bay Center to South Bend or Raymond.  Sometimes it means a drive to the ‘city’ and that could be Aberdeen or Astoria.  So I was headed for Raymond yesterday and encountered pink everywhere I went, it seemed.  What’s up with the pink, I wondered, but rather guessed it had something to do with supporting breast cancer awareness.   And sure enough, when I finished with the dentist (or better said, when he finished working me over – my teeth, that is) I stopped by the pharmacy in South Bend to get a prescription filled.

Some of the Raymond steel statues are decked out in pink.  As I drive by Bud’s Lumber – you know the pervue of masculine endeavors, their front displays are wrapped in pink, their trees are wrapped in pink.  Pink ribbons on lawn and yard equipment.

So when I do arrive at the South Bend Pharmacy, and enter the store , I find pink everywhere, gift items, angel stones, pink ribbons, and even pink flamingos.  And that is where I asked my question and got the answer I thought I would get – breast cancer awareness.   Ahh, this community can be so spirited about some things, I think to myself, and in a good way.  Here is something they can do to raise funds to help local people fighting the cancer battle.  Here is where they can make a difference at a level they can touch and feel and know they have done something that counts, is measureable.

I’ve seen the communities do collective fundraisers before to help an individual family or child who encounters severe medical challenges.  I remember thinking then how proud I was to join a community who could champion local families this way.

And this morning, I see that the Pink of Pacific County is an article in the Aberdeen Daily World

Pacific County towns going pink for breast cancer

The sea of pink that will cover South Bend, Raymond, Menlo and Lebam starting today is part of the Willapa Harbor Helping Hands’ second “Paint the Towns Pink” celebration that is held in conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The community celebration runs until Oct. 20 with the aim of promoting breast cancer awareness and raising money for Willapa Harbor Helping Hands, a non-profit organization formed in 2004 to financially assist North Pacific County cancer patients. The group helps with expenses such as pharmacy bills, gas to drive to appointments and house payments.

   ……

If businesses see a Pink Panther sandwich board and a flock of flamingos outside their door this week, they have been “flamingoed” and must donate $25 to have the items moved to another business, where the game will start again. Businesses can call 875-5757 or Suzie Zakel at 942-6101 to have the items moved.

……..

If you have questions or need ideas on how you can participate in Paint the Towns Pink week, call Halpin at 942-5471 or the Willapa Harbor Helping Hands office at 875-5550.

Posted in Neighboring communities, Pacific County, Willapa Harbor Helping Hands | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Washaway Beach ‘Hungry sea devours dreams’, Seattle Times article

Posted by pallix on October 10, 2007

Seattle Times isn’t the first and won’t be the last to publish an article about Washaway Beach at North Cove where Willapa Bay meets the Pacific ocean.  I’ve heard people who have lived here much longer than I tell me a bit about how Washaway Beach was once considered a playground for wealthy Seattlites in past decades.   In this time of global warming, climate change, the phenomenom of Washaway Beach which is literally washing into the ocean couldn’t be a more timely time for Seattle Times to write this article.

article;  ‘Hungry Sea Devours dreams’, Seattle Times  Sept 14, 2007

NORTH COVE, Pacific County — From Greg Tumidanski’s front deck, the steel-gray ribbon of the Pacific Ocean stretches beyond sight. Pelicans divebomb the surf. The wind is gentle and warm.

All this — a cabin on more than seven acres of oceanfront land — he picked up for just $45,000 two years ago.

It was a deal so good it just had to have a catch: Tumidanski expects his oasis on the sea to be gone in about three years, consumed by the omnivorous waves at Washaway Beach.

This two miles of shoreline at the northern confluence of the Pacific Ocean and Willapa Bay, 12 miles south of Westport, is believed to be the fastest-eroding beach on the Pacific Coast. It has lost about 65 feet a year to the sea since the late 1800s. More than 100 homes, including the entire town of North Cove, have already disappeared, many of them in the past 20 years.

Yet despite the very public destruction, official warnings and a decade-old building moratorium, people such as Tumidanski keep putting down good money for property here. Sixty-five parcels have changed hands in the past six years, long after it became virtually impossible to buy a homeowner’s policy.

It’s a perverse real-estate calculus: the closer to the water, the cheaper the land. Beachfront can be had for $500, but it might not survive the winter. On the other hand, property a quarter-mile inland can fetch $100,000 or more. After all, it might last as long as a couple of decades.

“You tell yourself, this property is usually for the rich,” Tumidanski said as he surveyed the view from his deck.

“This view, even for a few years, is worth it.”

Aptly named

As its name proves, Washaway Beach has not been a secret. As the northern channel of Willapa Bay carves away land so that it can empty more efficiently into the Pacific, one home after another has slid into the ocean.

Its historic name is Cape Shoalwater, and people two decades ago talked about saving it. But today, the cape is largely gone and so is any real hope of help from local, state and federal governments.

More than $24 million has been spent to protect Highway 105 nearby, and $12 million is planned to shelter the Shoalwater Bay Indian reservation just to the south. But there are no plans to protect the property at Washaway Beach.

Today, it’s an eerie graveyard of real estate. Dozens of rusting water pipes, chunks of foundation and pieces of asphalt sprout from the sand. Up the beach, some of the remaining properties look mostly abandoned, placidly waiting their turn to slide away.

Protecting what’s left would cost hundreds of millions of dollars, said Mike DeSimone, the head planner for Pacific County.

(read more at the article link )

Posted in Native Americans, Neighboring communities, Pacific County, Pacific ocean, willapa bay, Willapa Bay in the news | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Chester Tavern in South Bend featured in New York Times Restaraunt Review

Posted by pallix on October 10, 2007

Who knew?  Right here in my own neighborhood!  South Bend is the town just up the road from our little Bay Center hamlet.   Wish we liked to eat oysters, but neither of us do so living in what is named as South Bend – the ‘Oyster Capital of the World’ isn’t quite the draw for us.  The region, the geography, the people, living off the I-5 corridor or as one of the local people calls the area – ‘God’s Valium’.  One apt name, there are others that try to describe this pristine wilderness paradise gem in Pacific County.

article; New York Times; South Bend, Wash:;  Chester Tavern, Sept 30,  2007

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Not so at the Chester Tavern. In this unprepossessing bar in South Bend (1005 West Robert Bush Drive, 360-875-5599), on Willapa Bay near the Washington coast, oysters are deep-fried with the kind of fanatical care you might expect in the self-proclaimed “oyster capital of the world.” (One in six oysters consumed in the United States come from the bay, according to the local Chamber of Commerce.)

No overbattered blobs here. The three-inch oysters — selected by the graders at the Coast Oyster plant — get a mere dusting of cornmeal and are fried in clean, unfiltered vegetable oil at 350 degrees, hot enough to seal in the sublime juices.

The result is sweet like corn bread, briny like the sea, creamy as a raw oyster and greaseless enough for even the calorie-concerned to down a dozen. Seven dollars buys six oysters with French fries, and $3 more gets the perfect chaser, a Fish Tale organic amber ale. For what may be the best fried oysters in the country, this is a bargain well worth the roughly two-hour drive from Seattle (or even a $318 round-trip flight from New York on JetBlue).

The genius behind the shell is Tim Sedgwick, who worked in the garment business in Seattle until 1994, when he bought the bar and began developing his oyster recipe. Oysters have since become the family business — Mr. Sedgwick’s daughter Amy was nominated for a regional Emmy for her public-television documentary “Shucks: An Oyster Story.”

Mr. Sedgwick is no monomaniac, however. Researching the history of the tavern, which dates from 1897, also occupies his time. A secret poker room once stood outside the building, he said, and big black-and-white photos over the pool tables show Oscar Chester, the original owner, who happened to be the town sheriff.

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Posted in Neighboring communities, oysters, Pacific County, restaraunts, Willapa Bay in the news | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Those Yellow Evergreens at White Pass

Posted by pallix on October 9, 2007

Subalpine Larch or Tamarack

This is our second trip in October over White Pass en route to Eastern WA. The first time we took the trip over White Pass, I distinctly remember what I called those yellow Evergreens and how I told people about them and receiving a rather ho hum reaction. Either like I didn’t know what I was talking about or had mistaken the varieties of other trees with leaves that turn yellow in Autumn.

But this time, I was prepared, sort of – because I knew what I was looking for and despite that my digital camera was too low on batteries to snap photos, I knew I planned to google it when we got home and find out once and for all about those yellow Evergreen trees.

And, sure enough, I did find what I was looking for – it is called the Western Larch, or Subalpine Larch, or also known as Tamarack, or more precisely Larix Occidentalis.

Elevation 1,000 to 4,500 feet in 20 miles on Highway 12 from Packwood to White Pass, and along White Pass where those Western Larch grow is a spectacular view in October. Western larch, a deciduous evergreen and the needles turn vivid yellow after the first frost. We seemed to catch the season just in time as the yellow Western Larch just popped amongst the permanent green evergreens alongside the mountain. It is so much worth the drive just to see the view.

Photo courtesy of Steve Jurvetson, who graciously provided creative common license for use of his photo.

Posted in Neighboring communities, Tamarack, Uncategorized, Western Larch | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »