Public invited to review draft transportation plan for 2040 and beyond
- Written by Paul Parker, WSTC Deputy Director
OLYMPIA – Here’s your chance to have a say in the framework that ensures transportation plans and investments for local streets and roadways, state highways, transit, ferries, sidewalks, bike lanes, air, barge, and rail all work together to keep people and freight moving safely and efficiently.
The public is invited to review and comment on the draft Washington Transportation Plan – 2040 and Beyond, just released by the Washington State Transportation Commission.
Transportation Commission Chair Jerry Litt said a regular refresh of the plan is a chance to take stock of what has changed since it was last updated in January 2015. “The pace of change, especially in transportation technologies, is picking up. It’s important to regularly look at emerging issues to be sure we’re on the right track.”
Emerging technology is one of three big uncertainties the commission highlights in WTP 2040 and Beyond. The other two are: system resiliency in light of extreme weather events and natural disasters like earthquakes, and how to pay for transportation. “We’re dealing with some big issues that are going to affect all of us in some way,” Litt added. “Transportation affects every aspect of our daily lives. There are some hard choices in front of us and we need to make smart, informed decisions.”
The commission reached out to a broad group of organizations for input in developing the draft plan. The 27 members of the WTP Advisory Group include regional planning organizations, state agencies, tribal and transit representatives, business and port associations, city and county associations, transportation and planning advocates and others.
“We relied on insights from advisory group members to help us understand transportation issues from the perspectives of their many different constituents,” noted Commissioner Hester Serebrin. “We will strive to ensure that underrepresented communities have a voice at the table in order to develop a plan that supports transportation all across Washington.”
Commission staff are holding meetings around the state to share the draft WTP 2040 and Beyond plan. A list of meeting dates and locations is on the project website.
Commissioner Debbie Young encouraged people to learn more about the plan and provide input. “This plan will shape how we think about transportation problems and solutions, from rural Washington to our biggest cities. Input now will help make sure we hear everyone’s perspective.”
The Commission must adopt an updated plan and present it to the State Legislature and Governor Inslee by January 2019
Smoke investigation in Navarre Coulee 7-31-18
- Written by Carol A. Kibler, CFR
July 31, 2018 - Chelan Fire and Rescue responded Auto-Aid with Chelan County Fire District 8 to a reported smoke investigation in the area of 6710 Navarre Coulee Road.
The smoke investigation was up-graded to a brush fire near a residential house and other out buildings.
The first unit on scene reported a working brush fire near structures and that the fire had spotted across SR971 mid-slop. Both fires were wind driven.
A second alarm was requested and CWICC was notified bring additional resources from neighboring department, USFS, DNR, BLM and the State Mobe Strike Team that was staged in Entiat for the Cougar Creek Fire. Jurisdiction established a unified Command while ground resources were engaging both fire fronts.
Navarre Coulee was closed to emergency traffic only and a Level three evacuation was issued for those homes on the north side of Navarre Coulee between the fire and SR 97A. Level one evacuation notice were issued to those homes on Knapp Coulee.
The fire was turned over to DNR this morning and is still considered an active fire. Most local fire resources involved in the Initial fire attack have been released and returned to their district for some much need rest while DNR and strike Team resources have taken up their positions.
US 97 Blewett Pass CLOSED September 9th TO 14th
- Written by Jeff Adamson, WSDOT
US 97 Blewett Pass will be closed in both directions to ALL traffic from 9 PM Sunday, September 9th to 9 AM on Friday, September 14th to replace 3 culverts under the highway between MP 157.6 and MP 169.0.
Two box culverts will be installed about 1.5 miles and 4.5 miles north of the summit. As part of a separate contract, a third box culvert will be installed near the Swauk Creek campground.
The culvert replacements will all be done at the same time to minimize impacts to traffic and recreation. In addition to the full closure, the two projects may require intermittent weekday single lane closures throughout the month of September.
The current Mill culvert on Swauk Creek is a barrier to salmon and resident trout due to its size and orientation. The culverts on the north side of Blewett Pass need to be replaced because they are undersized and have a history of plugging with debris during storms, leading to washouts along the highway.
• Southern limit: MP 157.60, Between Mineral Springs and USFS #9714 – Iron Creek Rd
o 8 miles north of US 97/SR 970 junction (Lauderdale Junction), 5 miles north of Liberty.
• Northern limit: MP 169.00, Just below Five Mile Creek Rd.
o 5 miles north of Blewett Pass Summit, 9 miles south of Ingalls Creek Rd, 16 miles south of US 97/US 2 interchange (“Big Y”).
• Forest Service roads that have outlets within the work area will be barricaded at:
o USFS 7320 – Old Blewett Rd at Swauk Meadow (MP 159.23)
o USFS 9711 – Hurley Creek Rd at Swauk Meadow (MP 159.27)
o USFS 7324 – Wenatchee Crest Trail at Summit trailhead (MP 163.92)
o USFS 9716 – Swauk Discovery Trail at Summit trailhead (MP 163.89)
For more information & updates go to https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/us97/blewett-pass/home
9 year old girl bicycle/car fatality in Leavenworth
- Written by Undersheriff Jason Mathews, CCSO
Sheriff Brian Burnett is saddened to report on July 25, 2018 at approximately 6:30pm the Chelan County Sheriff’s responded to a vehicle versus bicyclist collision on Icicle Road near the intersection with Prowell Street in Leavenworth.
The bicyclist was a 9 year old female who was struck by a passing vehicle.
A Chelan County Deputy, who was responding to a different non-emergent call for service, witnessed the collision and immediately requested medical aid and additional Deputies. The Deputy then began life saving measures until relieved by responding medical aid units. Attempts to revive the child were unsuccessful.
An investigation was conducted last night and will continue today with the assistance of the Washington State Patrol. This is clearly a tragic event with multiple families affected. The driver of the vehicle did not show any signs of impairment.
Chelan Fire and Rescue Commissioner Workshop 7-25-18
- Written by Carol A. Kibler, CFR
Chelan Fire and Rescue
Commissioners Workshop agenda:
Wednesday, July 25, 2018 @ 10:30 a.m.
Long Range Planning Discussion:
- 2019 Staffing Model options.
Governor fills open seat on State Transportation Commission
- Written by Reema Griffith, WSTC executive director
OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee recently appointed James (Jim) A. Restucci, Sunnyside, to fill an open seat on the seven-member Washington State Transportation Commission. The appointment is for a six-year term ending June 30, 2024.
Restucci is vice president, chief technology officer, and co-founder of Axcess Internet Services, Inc., a company providing internet services and managed information technology solutions since 2002.
“I am honored by the governor’s trust,” said Restucci. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on the commission, WSTC staff, members of the state legislature, and city and county local appointed and elected officials, as well as citizens at large to provide a transportation plan that addresses the needs of all Washingtonians now and into the future.”
A member of the Sunnyside City Council since 2004, Restucci served as mayor of Sunnyside from 2010 to 2018, and was president of the Association of Washington Cities from 2016 to 2017.
While active in many community groups and organizations in the Yakima Valley, Restucci is focused on improving transportation in his community. Since 2010, he has served as chairman of the Yakima Valley Conference of Governments, which serves as the Metropolitan Planning Organization and Regional Transportation Planning Organization for Yakima County. He has also served as a board member and president of “People for People,” a nonprofit organization that includes employment and training services, special needs transportation, and transportation for Medicaid services, in communities across eastern Washington. From 2012 to 2018, Restucci served on the National Association of Regional Councils Board of Directors, representing the regional and transportation interests of Councils of Government in Washington and Oregon on the national stage.
Restucci served in the U.S. Army from 1984 to 1995, and in the Washington Army National Guard from 1995 to 2004. He is a recipient of the Washington State Guardsman's Medal. He also is a lifetime member of the Sunnyside Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #3482 and served as Senior Vice-Commander, Post Judge Advocate and Post surgeon. Restucci is a member of the AMVETS Post #73 and the American Legion Post #3733.
Restucci is married to DeLeesa Restucci and has two sons, Dylan and Alex.
The transportation commission is a seven-member body appointed by the governor and charged with setting toll rates, ferry fares, authoring the state’s 20-year transportation plan, and advising the governor and legislature on transportation policy and fiscal matters. For more information about the commission, visit: http://www.wstc.wa.gov/
US 2 closure and detour planned July 25 for culvert replacement in Tumwater Canyon
- Written by Meagan Lott, WSDOT
LEAVENWORTH - US Highway 2 from Leavenworth west to the SR 207 junction at Coles Corner will be closed to traffic on Wednesday, July 25 from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. for culvert repair.
The Washington State Department of Transportation is removing and replacing a culvert under the roadway, which will also require the removal of pavement and excavation across both lanes. This work is to prevent future shoulder washouts during high runoff, which occurs more often after a mudslide changed the drainage patterns on the hillside in Tumwater Canyon.
The closure will detour traffic to Chumstick Highway between SR 207 and Leavenworth. Vehicles over 10,000 GVW or longer than 32 feet will not be allowed on the detour and will need to use US 97 over Blewett Pass or I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass. Local deliveries will be allowed west of Plain.
One drug arrest leads to another
On 07-08-18 at approximately 9:42 PM, a Douglas County Deputy was on routine patrol in the 1700 block of Foster Creek Avenue in Bridgeport. The Deputy observed a vehicle parked with an unknown subject leaning into the rear driver’s side window.
Based on his observations and recent drug activity in the area, the Deputy parked his patrol vehicle around the corner and walked up to the vehicle. When the Deputy contacted the vehicle, he could see drug paraphernalia on the front center console.
The initial investigation led to the arrest of 22-year-old Martin Saucedo Espinoza of Mesa, WA for possession of a controlled substance and use of drug paraphernalia. Martin was booked into the Okanogan County Jail on those charges without incident.
A continuation of the investigation resulted in the arrest of 21-year-old Christopher Rodriguez of Bridgeport, for possession of a controlled substance, on 7-17-18. Christopher was booked into the Okanogan County Jail without incident.
New Ohme Gardens Director appointed
Nena Howell, a long-time community leader in Central Washington, officially took over the reins as Executive Director of Ohme Gardens on July 2, following in the steps of retiring director Mike Short.
The selection follows a regional search for a replacement for Short. Short has run Ohme Gardens on the hillsides north of Wenatchee, for 24 years, during which time he expertly attended to the stewardship and preservation of the unique gardens founded in 1929 by the Ohme family.
In announcing Howell’s hiring, Chelan County Commissioner Kevin Overbay, District 1, said, “We’re excited to have Nena on board to lead the District’s outreach efforts to gather insight from our community members so we can start the process of creating a long-range comprehensive plan for capital projects, community programs, and fundraising efforts.”
“It’s time to revisit how we can better serve our community, connect with visitors to our region and coordinate all our efforts to ensure the success and sustainability of these iconic gardens for generations to come,” said Nena Howell.
Howell is a proven leader with extensive experience in the areas of general management, project planning, customer service, marketing and fundraising. Most recently Howell led the renovation of the 100-seat Canyon Wren Recital Hall and eight artist residences for Leavenworth non-profit, Icicle Creek Center for the Arts, as well as planning and coordinating the organization’s major annual fundraising event. Howell is a graduate of Washington State University’s Chelan-Douglas Master Gardeners program and has had a life-long love affair with gardening.
Ohme Gardens nine-acre wooded garden towers above Wenatchee, Wash., just minutes off Highway 2. Visitors escape the summer heat in this oasis of cool created by towering firs and lush plantings, relaxing and meandering along the mile-long native stone path winding past waterfalls and serenity pools. Ohme Gardens is also a popular wedding and private event location, as well as host to the RLS Productions’ Concerts in the GardensTM series. Fitness fans have long considered the Gardens a top workout spot thanks to its vertical, undulating terrain and walking paths.
Built in 1929 and operated privately by the Ohme family for over 60 years, Ohme Gardens is currently under the stewardship of Chelan County. Centered in the State of Washington, Ohme Gardens is located near other popular tourist destinations in Leavenworth (19 miles) and Lake Chelan (30 miles). Admission is free for children aged 5 years and younger. The Gardens are open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
For more information please visit www.ohmegardens.com.
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