Avalanche chutes fill up, SR 20 North Cascades Highway closes for the season
- Written by Jeff Adamson, WSDOT Communications
DIABLO – Get the holiday decorations ready – the snowy season has arrived, at least in the mountains. Enough snow has fallen in the North Cascades that avalanche chutes are full and, for traveler safety, the 37-mile seasonal stretch of State Route 20 will close at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 28.
The Washington State Department of Transportation will swing the North Cascade Highway gates closed at milepost 134 near Diablo and milepost 171 near Mazama. This section will remain closed until sometime in 2019 when the snow stops falling and melts enough to make it safe for maintenance crews to plow the road.
Snowshoers, cross-country skiers, fat-tire bikers or snowmobilers can access the closed area throughout the winter. Parking is available near each closed gate. Anyone choosing to use the area should know the conditions, including avalanche risks, watch the forecast and bring proper gear.
Later this winter, once there is significant snowfall, adventurers should plan for the gate closures to expand on both ends of the North Cascades Highway. In the Diablo area it will move back to milepost 130, on or after Jan. 2, 2019. The closure in Mazama will move back to milepost 178 once snow is too deep for snow blowers. Extending the closure area when the snow gets heavier and deeper saves money and resources. There will still be parking available at both closure locations.
WSDOT opened the final section of SR 20/North Cascades Highway in 1972. Each year crews close it to vehicles for the winter due to the snow in the 27 avalanche chutes that loom above the highway. That closure usually happens in November or December. However, in previous years the highway has closed as early as October. The latest closing was Jan. 3, 1990 and in 1976-77 the highway remained open all winter due to the lack of snow.
Spring 2019 reopening
Avalanche experts will assess conditions in the spring. When it is safe, WSDOT will move snow blowers, plows and loaders to the area to start clearing snow, removing winter debris and replacing damaged guardrail and signs. That clearing process usually takes about eight weeks.
Chelan Fire and Rescue Commissioner Special Meeting 11-29-18
- Written by Carol A. Kibler, Administrative Office Manager, Chelan Fire and Rescue
Commissioners Special Meeting
Thursday, November 29, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.
Call to Order
Ladder 71 – Options
Burn ban expires for Chelan, Douglas, Kittitas and Okanogan counties
- Written by Washington State DOE
A Stage 1 burn ban in Chelan, Douglas, Kittitas and Okanogan counties expires at 4 p.m., Monday, Nov 26, 2018, according to the Washington Department of Ecology.
Washington State Department of Transportation to be the first statewide agency to host an artist-in-residence
- Written by Barbara LaBoe, WSDOT Communications
Washington will become the first state to embed an artist in a statewide agency, bringing a creative approach to advancing the agency’s goals like improving safety, reducing congestion, promoting economic vitality, supporting multimodal transportation systems and creating healthier communities.
Nov. 20, 2018 — An artist-in-residence will spend a year working with the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to help develop new ways to achieve agency goals through a first-of-its-kind program created by ArtPlace America and Transportation for America, a program of Smart Growth America. WSDOT will be the first stage agency in the country to pilot an artist-in-residence program.
Applications are now open for artists interested in the year-long position, which will be located within WSDOT. The call for artists and application can be found here: https://smartgrowthamerica.org/program/arts-culture/wsdot-air/
Recognized as a tool for pioneering innovative and creative solutions, artist-in-residence programs have been piloted across the nation in municipal governmental agencies, including the Los Angeles and Seattle DOTs, but never before at a statewide agency.
Several organizations collaborated on the artist-in-residence program. ArtPlace America is providing a $125,000 grant for the program, including a $40,000 stipend for the selected artist and $25,000 for a final project(s) the artist and staff develop. Transportation for America (T4A) will administer both the funds and the overall program, including providing staff and consulting assistance. The State Smart Transportation Initiative (SSTI) will also provide staff support. Both T4A and SSTI are programs of Smart Growth America. WSDOT will supply in-kind contributions consisting of work space for the selected artist and staff time for agency workers to collaborate on the groundbreaking new program.
“Artists can provide fresh approaches and new ways of doing things, interpret complex processes, and provide unique perspectives for existing programs,” said Ben Stone, Smart Growth America’s director of arts & culture. “While a handful of cities have embedded artists in various departments over the years, WSDOT will be the first statewide agency to embark on such a program. We’re excited to be a part of helping Washington state harness arts and creativity to create better supported and more beloved transportation projects that help accomplish the state’s goals.”
Why employ an artist-in-residence?
“This type of program has a proven track record at the municipal level by bringing creativity to design challenges, increasing community buy-in, fostering deeper community engagement, building relationships with underrepresented communities and helping improve processes for day-to-day work," said Roger Millar, WSDOT’s secretary of transportation. “Our goal is to find innovative ways to better engage the communities we serve and deliver the best possible transportation projects.”
What will an artist-in-residence do?
The residency will run for one year with rotations through WSDOT’s core divisions to gain knowledge on the agency’s operations, priorities and challenges. The artist will then propose projects to address WSDOT’s overarching goals while improving community engagement, supporting alternatives to single occupancy vehicle transport and enhancing safety and equity. After four months of rotations, eight months will be devoted to the artist’s project(s) development and production.
Cities across the country have engaged artists-in-residence to support their efforts. The Seattle Housing Authority has engaged artists-in-residence to collaboratively produce art with residents of Yesler Terrace that celebrates the community's culture and history, builds connections to the adjacent neighborhoods, and connects residents to the arts. The Seattle Department of Transportation has embedded artists-in-residence in the northwest tower of the Fremont Bridge to produce art and performances that explore the historic bridge's role and meaning in Seattle.
The Los Angeles Department of Transportation's artists-in-residence have installed interactive artistic elements to bus shelters, taught storytelling skills to the DOT staff to help them better communicate their projects to the public, and served as a bridge between transportation advocates and DOT staff. In Minneapolis, artists-in-residence have used theatre to help the city's Regulatory Services Department staff develop more empathetic policies and better relate to their constituents, while St Paul's artists-in-residence have worked to make community meetings more creative, fun, and productive.
“We are thrilled to invest in the first artist-in-residence program within state government, and to share the results with state departments of transportation across the country,” said Jamie Bennett, ArtPlace America’s executive director. “WSDOT will establish a valuable model for how artists can contribute toward the planning, creation and utilization of safe, sustainable and integrated multimodal transportation system.”
The artist will be based in WSDOT’s headquarters in Olympia, but may also work from one of WSDOT’s regional offices in Spokane, Wenatchee, Shoreline, Tumwater, Union Gap, or Vancouver for part of the residency.
Interested artists can learn more about the position and apply for consideration here: https://smartgrowthamerica.org/program/arts-culture/wsdot-air/.
Equal Opportunity Employment
Equal opportunity and having a diverse staff are fundamental principles at Transportation for America. Employment and promotional opportunities are based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation/preference, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, or any other protected characteristic as established under law.
Stage 1 burn ban starts Saturday in Chelan, Douglas, Kittitas, Klickitat and Okanogan counties
- Written by Washington State DOE
A ban on outdoor burning and the use of uncertified stoves and fireplaces begins 10 a.m. Saturday in Chelan, Douglas, Kittitas, Klickitat and Okanogan Counties due to poor air quality in the region. Restrictions on burning will continue until further notice.
The Washington Department of Ecology is calling the ban because stagnant conditions are predicted to return in these counties after a brief break, putting the communities at risk for unhealthy levels of air pollution. In the first half of this week monitors showed elevated levels of air pollutants. Fine particles from wood smoke can easily get into people’s lungs causing heart and breathing problems.
Under a Stage 1 ban, all outdoor burning is prohibited including residential, agricultural and forest burning. Use of uncertified wood stoves, fireplaces, inserts, and other uncertified wood-burning devices are prohibited unless they are a home’s only adequate source of heat. Cleaner burning certified wood stoves, pellet stoves and other certified wood-burning devices are allowed.
Call 866-211-6284 if you think someone is illegally burning or you are impacted by smoke.
Up-to-date burn ban information is available at www.waburnbans.net.
Just like any good recipe, early prep is key for Thanksgiving weekend traffic
- Written by Barbara LaBoe, WSDOT Communications
Leave early, use tools for smoother holiday and Apple Cup travel
OLYMPIA – While making plans for the big holiday feast, be sure to add travel prep to the Thanksgiving to-do list.
The Washington State Department of Transportation urges all travelers to “know before you go” and plan head for smoother travel during the busy holiday weekend.
The agency also provides several tools to help plan holiday travels:
- Consult WSDOT’s travel times charts, which use historical information to help drivers know before they go.
- Check out online tools, including mobile apps, traffic cameras and email alerts.
- Visit WSDOT’s online traveler information about traffic, weather and ferry schedules.
- Follow WSDOT’s social media accounts, such as Twitter and Facebook.
- Pre-program 530 AM and 1610 AM to vehicle radios for highway advisory radio alerts.
- Carry chains and other winter driving essentials.
- Check current chain and traction requirements on the WSDOT passes website or by calling 5-1-1, and watch for highway advisory signs.
- Leave extra time for holiday and winter travel, slow down and leave extra space between vehicles when driving on snow or ice.
Apple Cup travel
Those traveling to the Friday, Nov. 23, Apple Cup football game in Pullman should prepare for possible winter weather on passes and allow extra travel time. A detour on State Route 26 near Othello – the main route to Pullman from the west side of the state – will continue for the holiday weekend to allow concrete to cure. The detour adds 15 minutes to the normal drive, but travelers should prepare for delays during heavy holiday or game-day traffic. Westbound traffic on I-90 at Snoqualmie Pass both Saturday, Nov. 24, and Sunday, Nov. 25, is likely to be heavier than normal with both game and holiday travelers, so please allow extra time or alter travel plans if possible.
- SR 123 Cayuse Pass and SR 410 Chinook Pass remain open as of Nov. 15, but check the winter closure webpage for updates before traveling because conditions could cause the passes to close before the holiday.
- SR 20 North Cascades Highway also remains open as of Nov. 15 and details about the road status and winter closure also are available online.
- On Interstate 90 Snoqualmie Pass travelers can receive text alerts for pass delays of 30 minutes or longer – text “wsdot snoqualmie” to 468311 to subscribe, and “wsdot stop” to unsubscribe.
In the Puget Sound area, the SR 520 bridge will have weekend toll rates on Thanksgiving, Nov. 22, returning to weekday rates on Friday, Nov. 23. On the I-405 express toll lanes, travel is free for all on the Thanksgiving holiday, returning to normal toll and HOV requirements from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday. Weekends are always free to travel in the express toll lanes. Out-of-town travelers, including those using rental cars, can learn about toll roads and short term account options on the Good to Go! visitors page.
Other travel alternatives
Travelers planning a trip by ferry, train, personal aircraft or bus also should make plans to avoid holiday delays:
- Please plan ahead for heavy holiday ferry traffic and consider purchasing tickets online to save time. The longest lines are expected westbound Wednesday afternoon and evening, Nov. 21, and eastbound Friday morning, Nov. 23. Reservations are recommended on the Anacortes/San Juan Islands/Sidney, British Columbia and Port Townsend/Coupeville routes. Some ferry routes run on Saturday schedules on the holiday; check ferry schedules online or call 888-808-7977 for details.
- Amtrak Cascades passengers are encouraged to purchase tickets early and should plan to arrive at the station one hour before departure. There are no extra Thanksgiving trains this year. All Amtrak Cascades trains require reservations and trains fill up quickly during holidays. Visit www.amtrakcascades.com/ or call 800–USA–RAIL for details.
- Information about traveling via state-operated airports is available on line or call 800-552-0666.
- Check with local public transit agencies for any holiday schedule or service changes, including some Dial-A-Ride and fixed-route service that may not run on holidays.
Aurora Flores Elected To Serve as President Of Washington State School Directors’ Association
- Written by Janice Stewart
The Manson School District is proud to announce that Manson School Board member Aurora Flores will be sworn in as President of the Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA) at its annual conference in Spokane on November 17, 2018. Manson High School’s Jazz Kats will perform at the swearing in ceremony.
Mrs. Flores is one of three Manson School Board Members who have served as WSSDA President. Ed Armbruster served one term in 1972 and Esther Stefaniw served two terms from 1991-93. WSSDA is an organization that represents 1,447 school board members across the state, the highest group of elected officials in Washington.
Mrs. Flores has worked as a paraeducator, community liaison, a banking operations officer, a school district finance manager and an auditor for the state. Currently, Aurora is an academic counselor for the Omak School District in the WAVA program. She holds an AA in Business Administration from Reedley Community College and a BS in Business Administration/Accounting from California State University and a M.ED in ESA Counseling from Heritage University. She is currently completing doctoral work at Grand Canyon University. In 2015 she was appointed by Governor Inslee to serve on the Professional Educator Standards Board.
Mrs. Flores is very involved in her community as well. She has chaired Manson Apple Blossom, is a member of Business and Professional Women, is a past member of the Washington State School Director’s Multi-Cultural Advocacy Team and is currently serving on the Lake Chelan Hospital Foundation
Aurora and her husband Balentin moved to Manson in 1987. They raised four children in the valley all whom attended Manson Schools.
Gabe and his wife Sandra own and operate Valley Fitness in Chelan;
Ann Marie is a teacher in the Manson Schools and her husband Andy is a surveyor for Pinnacle Surveying;
Jaime manages a construction company, Property Solutions and his wife Kristy works for McLean Real Estate;
Valerie works for Lacy Kane and Kube – Attorneys in Wenatchee
Tree removal to close westbound I-90 near Cle Elum next week
- Written by Meagan Lott, WSDOT Communications
CLE ELUM – Maintenance crews with the Washington State Department of Transportation will close the westbound lanes of Interstate 90 near Cle Elum to remove trees next week.
The westbound lanes of I-90 will be closed at Exit 84 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13 to remove several trees in the area. Traffic will be detoured around the closure using Exit 85.
Drivers should plan for added travel time. This work is weather dependent and subject to change.
WSDOT provides a variety of tools to help plan your trip over Snoqualmie Pass:
- Sign up for email updates and text message alerts.
- Snoqualmie Mountain Pass Web page for real-time travel information and to view traffic cameras.
- Check the weekly Construction Updates and Traffic pages for region-wide updates.
- Tune into the Highway Advisory Radio at 1610 AM and 530 AM.
- Follow us on Twitter @snoqualmiepass.
- Call the I-90 construction hotline at 888-535-0738 or 511.
SR 26 bridge project’s closure & detour is extended
- Written by Jeff Adamson, WSDOT Communications
Deck replacement work east of Othello will remain in place at least through Thanksgiving and Apple Cup game
OTHELLO – Work to replace the State Route 26 bridge deck over the BNSF right-of-way east of Othello has taken longer than expected, so the closure now could last into December.
The 32-mile detour around the closure using state routes 17, 260, and US 395 remains in place. It adds an extra 14 miles to the trip compared to the usual 17.5 mile drive through the now-closed portion of SR 26.
Contractor crews from N.A. Degerstrom Inc., working for the Washington State Department of Transportation, had hoped to complete the work in time for the Thanksgiving holiday and annual Apple Cup football game. However, protecting the railroad tracks under the bridge during demolition work took longer than anticipated, delaying the concrete pour.
Contractor crews had hoped to finish this $1.2 million project by Nov. 21, but the new concrete bridge deck will not cure in time for that. The remaining work may require the closure to extend into December.
“Safety for travelers and workers is WSDOT’s first priority and requires the additional time for this project,” said project engineer Dan Lewis. “At the same time, the simple detour has proven capable of safely accommodating high traffic volumes without significant delays.”
Manson Parks Regular Board Meeting 11-8-18
- Written by Robin Pittman
Regular Board Meeting
142 Pedoi Street, Bumgarner Building, November 8, 2018, 4:10pm
I. Call to Order
II. Flag Salute
III. Agenda Additions and Deletions
IV. Public Comment
V. Approval of Minutes
a. October 11, 2018 Regular Meeting minutes
VI. Financial Review
a. Review Monthly Financial Report
b. Review and Approve Monthly Voucher
VII. Old Business
a. Willow Point Park policy update
b. Singleton playground renovation
c. Annual Report: review ‘Goals and Objectives’ for 2019
d. Director’s Report
VIII. New Business
a. Newsletter survey responses
b. Resolution 2018-05 (Authorization for 2019 tax levy increase)
c. Resolution 2018-06 (adoption of credit card policy)
d. 2019 preliminary budget
Next Regular Meeting: December 13, 2018 at 4:10pm, 142 Pedoi Street, Manson, WA 98831