nps logo smChelan—Early season snow grooming operations have begun at Echo Ridge Nordic Ski Area on the Chelan Ranger District of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

Ski area personnel are working to establish a good snow base for future grooming operations.  Skiers should expect typical early season conditions with varying snow depths, soft snow, and the possibility of bare spots as temperatures warm up later in the week. 

Grooming will occur on an intermittent basis.  Fees will not be charged over the Thanksgiving weekend due to the thin snow cover and variable ski conditions. Ski area personnel will continue to monitor ski conditions and determine when the fee season will begin.

In conjunction with the start of snow grooming at Echo Ridge, beginning today Purtteman Gulch Road No. 8010 will be closed to wheeled vehicles and snowmobiles to provide for Nordic grooming activities. 

When fees are charged, ski passes are required for both ski and snowshoe trail use.  Day passes are available on-site for $10 per adult, with no charge for skiers or snowshoers age 17 and under.  Season passes are available for $70 at the Chelan Ranger District office. 

All trailheads in the Echo Ridge Nordic Ski Area are plowed and open for parking.  Echo Ridge Nordic Ski Area is located 10 miles outside of the city of Chelan and is managed as a cooperative effort between the U.S. Forest Service and Lake Chelan Nordic Ski Club.

For current grooming information go online to www.lakecheleannordic.org or contact the Chelan Ranger District office at (509) 682-4900.  The Chelan Ranger District office is located at 428 West Woodin Avenue in Chelan with office hours of 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

waspThe Washington State Patrol (WSP) is seeking the opportunity to speak with anyone who may have information about an overpass that was struck by an oversize load on I-90 at milepost 63.

On November 25, 2014 just before 2 pm an unknown vehicle struck the underside of the Stampede Pass overpass and the large sign that was mounted to the side of the structure causing it and cement debris to fall to the roadway below.

WSP is requesting anyone who may have observed the collision, any oversize load vehicles in the area prior to the collision, or oversize loads travelling through Cle Elum or South Cle Elum shortly after 2 pm, to please call WSP Trooper Darren Wright at 509-679-6228.

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11/12/14 - Tasula and Len Berggren of Coquitlam, BC with their mornings catch of Lakers
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11/15/14 - Repeat customer Dean Williams, Casey McAfee, Parker Williams and Miles Kendrick of Monroe, WA with their mornings catch of Lakers
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11/15/14 our very own Jeff Witkowski with a nice holdover rainbow caught in Mill Bay on Lake Chelan.
We have made it through our first big cold snap of the winter and now we are getting our first significant snow fall, but our early winter pattern of trolling the Barrens and the Trench for Mackinaw on Lake Chelan continues hot. Also continuing hot is bank fishing and trolling for planter Rainbow Trout on Lake Chelan. The occasional holdover triploid rainbow is a bonus. Roses Lake has received it’s winter rainbow trout plant and is providing hot action for planter sized rainbows. The Upper Columbia River has been providing fair action for steelhead and other fish in the early fall.

We troll for these mostly eating sized Lakers from 220 to 245 feet deep. Fish within 3 to 5 feet of the bottom and keep your speed around .8 to 1.3 mph. Glow in the dark Smile Blades from Mack’s Lure continue to be the go to attractor here on Lake Chelan. Put those in front of a 4 inch needlefish squid rig by Silver Horde, bait them with a piece of Northern Pikeminnow and scent everything with Pautzke’s Krill Juice to keep yourself consistently into the fish. These fish are completely jammed full of Mysis shrimp. This in turn makes the meat especially delectable.   While we find those mysids in our Lakers all year, this late fall / early winter time really concentrates that feed in the lower basin to fatten up our fish.

Rainbow trout on Lake Chelan can be caught by a variety of methods. Catch them from shoreline locations with Pautzke’s Firebait in American Wildfire using a 30” leader on a slip sinker rig. You can also catch them trolling using Mack’s Lure Mini Cha Cha Squidders behind a Mack’s Lure 0000 Double D Dodger. Bait those mini cha cha’s with a piece of worm or a small nugget of Pautzke’s Fire Bait.

Pautzke’s Fire Bait will also work well from the shore on Roses Lake for planter sized Rainbow Trout. WDFW planted approximately 16,000 fish that were 2.4 fish to the pound. Those are about 9” fish. So far, Roses hasn’t frozen over and shore anglers are limiting in less than an hour.

Your fishing tip of the week is to take a page out of the tournament anglers strategy book and prepare plans A, B, C and maybe even D to make efficient use of your precious “on the water” time. This could mean rigging trolling gear and lining up lures so that if plan A’s presentation you can work through your progressions without having to search and then tie knots with chilly fingers. If you are going to switch from still fishing to casting, have those rigs prepared and ready to put into action. This requires thinking ahead and preparing at home. Keeping your presentation in a prime location in an attractive way will make you more successful. It’s only logical.

I will dispense with normal format for my first post Veteran’s Day Report to share my thoughts and feelings before moving on in future reports. I believe the best thing that we can do to honor our war dead is live well and joyously.   However, I think it is occasionally necessary to reflect and appreciate their sacrifices. My friend, Terry Gilden was killed in the Beirut Embassy bombing of 1983 by Hezbollah militants. The mission there was to bring the bloody civil war in Lebanon to an end. In 1993, my friend, Randy Shugart was killed by militants of a Somalian warlord. The mission there was to clear the way for food supplies to reach hundreds of thousands of starving civilians in rural Somalia. While critical thinking is necessary and skepticism can be useful, make no mistake.   Flawed as we might be, we are the good guys because men like my friends answer the call and do their best to implement our national will. George Orwell said it best: “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” Just reflect for a moment about the lifestyle we enjoy and give thanks for these men.

waspTrailer hit 11 sway braces on bridge, leading to collapse.

(Olympia) – Detectives from the Washington State Patrol have determined that the truck which struck the I-5 Skagit River Bridge in May 2013, leading to its collapse, was two inches over-height.

In a report released today, detectives found the truck was permitted to carry a load of no higher than 15-feet nine inches. After the collision, they noted the load measured 15-feet eleven inches. The over-height load struck eleven of the bridge’s sway braces as it crossed the structure.

The collision happened on May 23, 2013, shortly after 7:00 p.m. After the collapse, two vehicles fell into the river and the occupants had to be rescued by a Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office marine patrol unit. They suffered non-life threatening injuries and have recovered.

The only fatality related to the collapse came on May 31, 2013, when WSP Trooper Sean O’Connell was killed while directing traffic at a detour around the scene.

Detectives also determined that the pole carried by a pilot car hit the bridge structure, which should have triggered a warning. However, the driver of an over-height load is the person legally responsible for safe transit, not the driver of any support vehicle or pilot car.

Driver William D.W. Scott of Alberta, Canada was cited by the State Patrol for Negligent Driving in the Second Degree which is a traffic infraction carrying a fine of $550.

The report states Scott should have moved into the center lane of the bridge, which would have accommodated even the over-height load. Investigators determined only four seconds passed between the time the pilot car’s pole hit the bridge and the truck’s load hit the first sway brace. The truck was following approximately 350 feet behind the pilot car.

The detective’s Report of Investigation is available here: http://www.wsp.wa.gov/_secured/cid_reports/skagit_case_summary_redacted.pdf

MBA-Logo200Good evening, past and present Manson Supporters!

During this past year, newsletters, communications and many other opportunities have continued to be a major part of Manson’s growth.  These things were provided for those people and businesses who were members of the Manson Business Association.  If you are one of the people or businesses that haven’t heard from us this year, you are the ones I’m looking for.  I am taking a moment to send out one of our old fashioned eLetters to catch you up and ask for your support.

CLICK HERE for a Membership Application in PDF format

2014 brought great benefit to our little village of Manson; OUR contribution to the Lake Chelan valley, Chelan County and even more.  Here is a short list:

  • New President, Jeff Conwell of Green Dot Sub Shop, took office and I moved to Treasurer (whew!).
  • Doc Hoyt of Doc House Coffee Co. and Lance Farrar of Troy’s Pizza continued with us on the BOD.
  • Tom Addison of Orchard Wood Ovens stepped down to take care of his business and family.  We wish him the very best!
  • The Manson Business Association received its 501(c)6 IRS designation.
  • Chelan County Commissioners
    • The Annual Lake Chelan Valley 4th of July Celebration at Manson Bay – another fabulous and proud show!
    • The brand new Mountain View Summer Music Series held over 11 weeks in Leffler Field – it was amazing, with great community support, incredibly talented musicians, and brought a 67% “out of the area” participation on Sunday nights!
    • The brand new Village of Lights– being set up AS WE SPEAK!
    • And this contribution has grown for 2015!
  • Leavenworth Chamber of Commercesupported us by contributing their old, but perfectly useable, Christmas lights for use in our “public” or “vacant” areas of Manson for our Village of Lights.  Thank you, Leavenworth!
  • The MBA membership grew tremendously!
  • With our blessing (and we will certainly continue support!) the First Annual Manson Hydrofest took place.
  • AND, we were blessed by a visit from the nationally acclaimed Travel Channel TV program, Hotel Impossible– JUST WAIT to see what gifts they left in their wake for ALL of us… there’s More To Manson; get ready to wave!

Let’s see... more?!?!  Just wait for 2015, Team Manson!!!  Already for 2015, the MBA has secured nearly $28,000.00 in grants to promote tourism in Manson and the Lake Chelan Valley.  How will you be part of this???

For now, I would like to ask you to not only consider joining the Manson Business Association, but to do it.  The membership meets only one time per month and, although we truly want to hear from all members, attendance is not a requirement. 

 

This is an incredibly dedicated group of people who represent businesses, residents, community organizations and visitors who really care about what Manson’s contribution can be to sustainable business, providing jobs to locals (and those great kids coming out of MHS!), and enriching the quality of all our lives… by being MANSON.  We are proud of who we are and think we have something to offer; we love our community and want to protect, preserve and share it!

If you know someone who you think might be interested in this information, please feel free to forward my message.  If you have any questions or would like more information, I look forward to your reply email.

See you around town!

Kim Ustanik

Treasurer

509-687-9505

Manson Business Association

Agency spent nearly four years making Draeger Alcotest 9510 units ready for deployment
 

(Seattle)—The Washington State Patrol today unveiled the next-generation of breath testing instruments designed to help remove impaired drivers from the streets and highways we all share.

The Patrol has spent nearly four years making sure the Draeger Alcotest 9510 instruments would be ready to fit into an already effective program of DUI enforcement.

“This is another step in our agency’s long-standing effort to remove dangerously impaired drivers from our state’s highways,” said Chief John R. Batiste. “We’ve made great strides toward our goal of zero annual traffic fatalities, and this device will help move the needle even further.”

The Draeger instruments will replace the National Patent Analytical Systems DataMaster that has been in use since the 1980s. They are no longer being manufactured, and even getting parts has been difficult.

“The Draeger instrument will produce the same accurate results as our previous instrument, but with far less maintenance,” said Lt. Rob Sharpe, commander of the Patrol’s Impaired Driving Section. “They are also easier for officers to operate, and help speed the processing of DUI suspects.”

The biggest difference from previous generations of breath testing devices is that the Draegers utilize a dry gas standard instead of a liquid solution to verify that the instrument is working properly. For years, liquid solutions have had to be mixed locally by scientists, monitored for temperature, and checked regularly by technicians. The Draeger’s dry gas contains a known concentration of alcohol, allowing the instrument to verify that a suspect’s breath alcohol is being measured accurately and reliably.

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The Patrol received legislative approval in 2010 to switch to the dry gas and work began immediately so that the new instruments would fit into our state’s DUI program. The Patrol now believes the instruments are ready to win the confidence of judges and juries who will rely on them in court.

“The Draegers would have been fine right out of the box for simply testing breath alcohol levels,” Sharpe said. “We wanted to make them fit into our state’s DUI enforcement program so that officers can produce better reports, faster, and get back into service.”

One challenge in reducing impaired driving fatalities is the time it takes to process a DUI arrest. If that time can be shortened, police officers can get back on the road and spot additional impaired drivers.

As a result, a great deal of effort went into the user interface. For example, developers added drop-down menus that officers will be familiar with from using Microsoft Windows. In Washington, breath testing instruments also contain the state’s database of licensed drinking establishments, so troopers can include that information in their DUI report.

Ease of maintenance is also a big plus with the Draegers.

“If the device detects a problem, it shuts itself down and sends an e-mail to our office,” Sharpe said. “The test can’t proceed, and a technician can be dispatched to fix the problem.”

Technicians will also no longer need to make as many routine visits simply to check the status of the liquid solution used by the older instruments. When a Draeger unit’s tank of dry gas starts to run low, it sends an e-mail alert.

The Patrol expects to begin deploying the new Draeger instruments in time for the December holiday season. The first instruments will be deployed in Whatcom, Island, San Juan, Skagit and Snohomish counties. The Patrol owns and maintains all the state’s breath testing instruments used by police for DUI enforcement.

In 2013, 440 people were killed in traffic collisions. Of those deaths, 188 involved a driver who was impaired. Washington’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan is called “Target Zero,” and aims to completely eliminate all traffic fatalities by the year 2030.

waspSuspect arrested minutes after issuance of Wireless Emergency Alert

Officials from the Washington State Patrol (WSP) were celebrating the quick recovery of an abducted and endangered child as a result of this morning’s AMBER Alert and applauding the public involvement that proved crucial to the child’s safe recovery.

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office initiated the AMBER Alert for 18-month old Mason A. Wilhelm, which was issued at 10:23 a.m.  The Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system was then activated, which was sent at 10:41 a.m.  An alert motorist, receiving the WEA on their phone, called 9-1-1 at 10:42 a.m., reporting they were following the vehicle.  Deputies then stopped the suspect vehicle at 10:49 a.m. and the child was safety recovered.

The AMBER Alert program is a critical tool that has aided in the safe recovery of over 700 abducted children nationwide since its inception.  “The public may often be our best resource in locating these abducted children and the quick dissemination of this critical information using the WEA system enhances getting these alerts out to the public.  As demonstrated with this morning’s quick and safe recovery, a mere 8 minutes passed from the WEA being seen by a motorist and the child’s safe recovery,” said Lieutenant Ron Mead of the Washington State Patrol.  “The system works and this recovery demonstrates the value of the AMBER Alert program and the invaluable role of the Wireless Emergency Alerts system in alerting the public”, added Mead.

Additional information on the circumstances surrounding the child’s abduction and recovery are available from the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.

Additional information on the AMBER Alert program can be found at http://www.missingkids.com/AMBER or the Washington State AMBER Alert plan at http://www.wsp.wa.gov/crime/amber.htm

Additional information on the Wireless Emergency Alert system can be found at http://www.fema.gov/wireless-emergency-alerts

waspAt the request of the Grant County Sheriff’s Office, the Washington State Patrol’s Major Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) has assumed primary investigative responsibility for the fatal traffic collision involving an on-duty Grant County Sheriff’s deputy and a Jeep Cherokee.  The crash occurred at approximately 9:35 a.m. on Saturday, September 20, 2014, at the intersection of Dodson Road and Road 5 NW.  The deputy was traveling south on Dodson in a 2013 Chevrolet Silverado pickup when he collided with the eastbound 1996 Jeep.  The driver of the Jeep suffered fatal trauma and the deputy sustained non-life threatening injuries. 

The MAIT is a specialty unit in the State Patrol that responds to collisions statewide from their office in Monroe.  The unit is staffed with collision reconstruction detectives and will be investigating the crash event using the human, vehicle, environment (HVE) model to determine the causal factors.    

As part of the investigation, detectives are seeking witnesses that may have seen any events leading up to or the actual crash.  If you have any information or know someone who does, please contact Detective Sergeant Jerry Cooper at (360) 805-1192 or Detective Ed Collins at (360) 805-1195.

firemarshallThe Office of the State Fire Marshal is proud to congratulate the Marysville Fire District for receiving the national Life Safety Achievement Award for 2013. “The Marysville Fire District should be commended for their outstanding leadership, determination, and active pledge to enhance public safety,” said State Fire Marshal Chuck Duffy.

Since 1994, the National Association of State Fire Marshals Fire Research and Education Foundation along with Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company have recognized fire departments for their accomplishments in promoting fire prevention in the pursuit of saving lives by awarding the Life Safety Achievement Award to those fire departments in our nation that experienced zero fire deaths in their jurisdiction, or a 10 percent reduction in fire deaths during the previous calendar year.

State Fire Marshal Duffy encourages all local fire departments to apply for the Life Safety Achievement Award for their fire prevention efforts conducted in 2014. A list of criteria and an application for the 2014 award will be available on www.grinnellmutual.com in the spring of 2015.

firemarshallSummer break is quickly coming to an end and many students will be moving in to dormitories or other college housing. State Fire Marshal Chuck Duffy recommendsthat, “Fire safety should be reviewed as students settle into their new spaces. Understanding the safety features of a building and knowing your escape routes can significantly increase your personal safety.”

The United States Fire Administration reports an estimated 3,800 university housing fires occur each year. The leading causes include cooking, intentionally set fires, careless smoking, unattended candles, and overloaded electrical wiring. State Fire Marshal Duffy suggests the following tips to reduce the risk of fire and increase student safety:

Cooking should only be done in a location permitted by the school’s policies. Never leave your cooking unattended. If a fire starts in a microwave, leave the door closed and unplug the unit.

Alcohol, drugs and fire do not mix. The combination can make an individual sleepy which could result in them falling asleep with a lit cigarette. Smoking outside the building is recommended. Only use noncombustible, deep, wide, sturdy ashtrays to extinguish smoking materials.

Candles may be prohibited from use in college housing. Students should familiarize themselves with the applicable policies regarding open flames. If candles are permitted, never leave them unattended while they are burning. Ensure the container/holder is noncombustible and made of sturdy material. Using a flameless candle is recommended.

Fire sprinklers and smoke alarms are built in safety devices designed to respond quickly if a fire were to start. Never disable or hinder their operation. If a smoke alarm sounds, immediately evacuate the building and do not assume it is a false alarm. 

The Office of the State Fire Marshal is a Bureau of the Washington State Patrol, providing fire and life safety services to the citizens of Washington State including inspections of state licensed facilities, plan review of school construction projects, licensing of fire sprinkler contractors and pyrotechnic operators, training Washington State’s firefighters, and collecting emergency response data.