Bipartisan Congressional Bus Caucus launches, co-lead by WA U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen
- Written by Justin D. Leighton
“As someone who uses public transportation every day, I understand just how critical safe and reliable bus systems are for working Americans,” said Larsen. “With more than 195 million passenger trips in Washington state annually, I am thrilled to co-chair the Congressional Bus Caucus – robust investment in buses and transportation will keep the economy thriving.”
The purpose of the Bus Caucus is to give a stronger voice to more than 1,100 bus transit systems across the country, 31 in Washington State, and highlight the need for adequate federal funding of bus transit programs.
As federal spending for public transportation has been limited, transit agencies have expressed frustration that there is not enough money to fund the needs of both heavy rail systems and bus agencies.
The Bus Caucus seeks to highlight the benefits of investing in bus systems, the challenges accompanying aging bus fleets and facilities, and encourage innovation in a rapidly changing transportation climate. The Caucus will raise awareness on Capitol Hill by holding occasional events to highlight the importance of transit agencies striving to deliver reliable service and meet a state of good repair.
“There is a mountain of need by every transit agency in our state for expansion and replacement of their fleets and facilities so we are pleased to see Rep. Larsen take the lead on the Bus Caucus as our agencies and passengers need a strong voice on Capitol Hill,” said Justin D. Leighton, WSTA Executive Director, which represents every transit agency in Washington State.
“As President of The Bus Coalition and General Manager of Link Transit, I see how funding cuts at the federal, state and local level are impacting bus systems of all sizes,” said Wenatchee transit executive Richard DeRock. The Bus Coalition is a transit industry advocacy group focused on issues specific to bus agencies.
“Many agencies are struggling to keep up with aging fleets and crumbling transit facilities. We know when systems age and service is cut, the rider experience suffers and ridership declines. That’s why I’m so excited about the formation of a new Congressional Caucus that will shine light on the needs of the bus transit community and give voice to a transportation asset that is so important to our local and national economy,” DeRock said.
Rep. Denny Heck (WA-10) joins Larsen as a founding member of the Bus Caucus. A total of nine members of Congress have joined.
“We encourage the remaining members of the Washington State Congressional Delegation to join their colleagues in this effort,” said Leighton. “This issue is vitally important to Washington’s transit agencies and their customers.
Driver has accident caused by Christmas lights distraction
- Written by Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal
C#17D-06816: On 11/28/17 at 11:30 PM Douglas County Deputies received a call of a one car rollover accident on Fancher Heights Blvd. and Inglewood Dr.
The first Deputy on the scene found a vehicle lying on its top in the yard of a residence. All the occupants were out of the vehicle. The driver said she and two other passengers were in the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights. She said as she slowed down to make a turn “her foot slipped off the gas pedal and onto the accelerator.” The vehicle hit a curb and rolled about three times according to the driver.
There was alcohol and a legal amount of marijuana in the car, but the driver showed no signs of impairment. She was transported to Confluence Hospital for minor injuries.
One passenger, who fled before deputies arrived, returned to the scene and became belligerent and cursed the investigating Deputy. There was no reason to detain him and he left the scene while delivering some parting obscenities. The driver was cited for Speed Too Fast For Conditions.
C#17D-06799: On 11/28/17 at 8:45 AM a Douglas County Deputy responded to a burglary complaint at McDougal and Sons located in the 13000 Blk. of US 2.
The reporting party, who worked at McDougal and Sons, reported that one of her family members owns a pickup. She had occasion to look in the vehicle and saw items she knew belonged to McDougal. The Deputy followed up by contacting another employee at the business. He learned that someone had broken into the receiving building during the night.
Stolen were two computers, a portable radio charger, a small utility wagon, an acid monitor, and a web cam.
Deputies located the vehicle and suspect at a residence in Peshastin. The suspect was uncooperative. The vehicle was impounded and a search warrant for the vehicle was obtained. The stolen property was found inside. Before deputies could arrest the suspect, Department of Corrections officers arrested him for failing to comply with conditions of his supervision.
Deputies served probable cause statements at the Chelan County Jail on 11/29/17 charging him with Possession of Stolen Property 2nd Degree, a class C felony. The suspect was identified as 24 year old Maverick L. Delzer of Peshastin.
Celebration planned for new roundabout in Chelan, Nov. 29
- Written by Jeff Adamson, WSDOT
Officials join WSDOT in ribbon-cutting event
CHELAN – Chelan Mayor Mike Cooney will participate with Washington State Department of Transportation staff and local residents 10 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 29, in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the opening of a new roundabout on SR 150 at No See-Um Road.
The roundabout is one of several Connecting Washington transportation projects completed this year, bringing safety, economic, environmental and mobility improvements to local areas throughout the state.
Construction began in April and includes a roundabout, local road improvements, a shared use pedestrian and bicycle path, new bus stops and major improvements to water and sewer lines.
The ceremony will be on the shared use bicycle/pedestrian path in the southeast quadrant of the new roundabout.
Parking will be available at Don Morse Memorial Park with a shuttle, starting at 9:30 a.m., to the site.
If there is heavy rain or snow, the event will be held in the Chelan City Council Chambers, 135 East Johnson.
Suspicious Activity Yields Heroin Possession Arrest
- Written by Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal
On 11/21/17 at approximately 12:22 PM, a Douglas County Deputy on routine patrol spotted a suspicious vehicle parked in the parking lot of the Rock Island BJ’s. There were two males siting inside.
As the Deputy approached the window, he saw one male holding drug paraphernalia while trying to open a small bag of a brown substance which appeared to be heroin. The Deputy directed the two subjects out of the vehicle and the person holding the suspected drugs was placed under arrest. A consensual search of the vehicle yielded two bags of heroin and prescription medication for which the suspect did not have a prescription. He was arrested without incident and booked at the Chelan County Jail for possession of a controlled substance.
The suspect was identified as 28 year old Narcisso T. Alvarez of Leavenworth
The Deputy, Nick English, used good initiative and professional observation skills to get these dangerous drugs off the street and keep the suspect from creating a dangerous situation by driving under the influence.
Washington state’s multimodal 4-year program of transportation projects available for review
- Written by Nancy Huntley, local programs engineer, WSDOT
WSDOT seeks public input on the draft Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, Nov. 21 – Dec. 20
OLYMPIA – For those who want to know what transportation projects are in store for their community, now is the time to find out. The Washington State Department of Transportation has released a statewide listing of upcoming local and state transportation improvement projects scheduled in the next four years.
WSDOT is asking for public review and comment starting today, Tuesday, Nov. 21, through Wednesday, Dec. 20, on the draft 2018-2021 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program.
The online program of projects have been identified through state, metropolitan, regional, tribal and local planning processes, and are the highest priority for the available funding to preserve and improve the state's transportation network.
About the STIP
The STIP is a multimodal, four-year, fiscally constrained, prioritized program of transportation projects compiled from local transportation programs, metropolitan and regional transportation improvement programs. Federally funded projects must be included in the STIP before the Federal Highway Administration or Federal Transit Administration can authorize the expenditure of federal funds.
More than 1,400 statewide transportation improvement projects using $3.5 billion in federal funds are included in the 2018-21 STIP. The projects include state, tribal and local roadway, bridge, safety, bicycle, pedestrian and public transportation (transit) improvements, funded with revenues from federal, state, tribal and local sources.
The STIP is developed annually by WSDOT in coordination with statewide metropolitan and rural transportation planning organizations. This collaborative effort ensures that projects are consistent with local, regional and state long-range plans. Several projects may carry over as they move from design, to permitting and, finally, to construction. Some county projects are not included in the draft STIP because state law requires counties to complete their transportation programs by the end of the year; those projects are amended into the final STIP in January.
The current 2017-20 STIP can be viewed online and a similar, searchable database of the 2018-21 STIP will be created in early 2018, following FHWA and FTA approval.
How to comment
The comment period is the final step of the community engagement process that began locally. Comments received will be sent to the local or regional planning organization for their consideration.
Free Snowmobile Safety Course
- Written by Rich Magnussen, CCSO
WENATCHEE, WA – The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office, in cooperation with the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and the Lake Wenatchee Recreation Club, is offering a free Snowmobile Safety Certification Class to young snowmobilers in December.
The free class is designed for youth ages 12 to 16 but is open to new riders of all ages. The class is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 9th at the Lake Wenatchee Recreation Club, 14400 Chiwawa Loop Rd, Leavenworth, WA. Lunch will be provided for the participants by the Lake Wenatchee Rec. Club.
The key to safe snowmobiling lies in the operator’s knowledge, capabilities, limitations and understanding of the machine. It is recommended that snowmobilers be aware of weather and trail conditions and the safety of other winter sports enthusiasts, while respecting wildlife and the environment. The snowmobile safety course training includes:
- Basic snowmobile maintenance.
- Survival skills and dealing with emergencies, including avalanche awareness.
- The proper clothing and equipment for winter weather.
- Hand signals while riding and other basic skills.
- Properly preparing for a ride.
- Riding skills test
Manson Builds Big on a Tiny Project
- Written by Kari Petersen and Addie Velasco, Manson School District
Manson High School has a new tiny project that is gaining big momentum. Several years ago, one our innovative teachers—who was also a general contractor prior to becoming a teacher—proposed an idea to create a class that would design and construct a Tiny House. However, as is often the case, funding was not available to purchase the equipment necessary to take on such a big task. The dream sat on the shelf for years, until we came across carryover dollars last school year from GEAR UP. Our superintendent, Matt Charlton, approached the teacher and put together a proposal to renovate our vocational technology department and purchase the woodworking tools needed to construct the Tiny House. GEAR UP approved the plan and the high school additions took place over the summer. We proudly commissioned our Tiny House class on the first day of school. It is an elective that high school students can choose each trimester.
There are currently 16 students in the class. There are two student project managers that delegate the workflow on a daily basis. The students designed floorplans, sketched elevation plans, and built seven different prototypes of the Tiny House out of balsawood. Then over the course of three days, community members, teachers, and students were invited to vote on their favorites. After the votes were tallied and the “winner” of the prototypes was chosen, the students went to work on the planning and construction of the house. The students will participate in every step: design, framing, plumbing, electrical, insulation, drywall, siding, roofing, finishes.
The Tiny House is not only a very timely and applicable class for our students in the valley because of the nature of the growing construction field in our area, but it is also very beneficial to our people group. There are needs in our community for a commodity like this; with the rising prices of homes in the area and the lack of low-income housing, we are continually struggling to find affordable housing. The complete Tiny House project will serve as a means to generate jobs and housing possibilities for our community. There are local contractors that have expressed concern for the decreasing number of people entering the construction-field trades and have already vowed to hire students out of this class for summer jobs. In addition, there are currently seven people that have contacted our teacher to purchase one of our Tiny Houses. After the sale of our first Tiny House, we will be able to use the funds to purchase the materials for our second house and create a sustainable program.
Our partnership with CWU’s GEAR UP has awarded us the opportunity to further develop our vocational department and expand the students’ vision and possibilities through the hands-on experience of the vast areas involved in designing and constructing a house. The passion of teachers, vision of a superintendent, and GEAR UP funds allowed us to jumpstart a promising program for Manson High School.
Manson High School CWB 2B All League Selections
- Written by Janice Stewart
COACH OF THE YEAR – Joey Johanson
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Eduardo Escalera
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Joe Strecker
1ST ALL LEAGE OFFENSE: Quarterback-Avery Thompson, Receiver-Joe Strecker, Linemen-Marcus Bernardo, Donny Vanderholm and Baily Cameron
1st TEAM DEFENSE: Down Linemen-Bailey Cameron, Linebacker-Fernando Flores, Def. Back Eduardo Escalera
2nd TEAM OFFENSE: Lineman-Cody Amsden
2ND TEAM DEFENSE: Linebacker-Donny Vanderholm, Def. Back-Ramiro Lopez,
HONORABLE MENTION OFFENSE: Eduardo Escalera and Parker Schoenwald
HONORABLE MENTION DEFENSE: Cody Amsden, Zach Serafini
2nd TEAM-Deisy Leyva and Magali Leyva
2ND TEAM: Celina Mendoza,
HONORABLE MENTION: Megan Clausen
COACH OF THE YEAR: Kevin Sanford
1ST TEAM BOYS: Heriberto Sarmiento and Connor Torgesen
2nd TEAM BOYS: Jonathan Sarmiento,
HONORABLE MENTION: Jose Vasquez, Grant Torgesen, Juan Portillo and Libbey Ireland
Congratulations Joe Strecker, WIAA Spotlight Athlete of the Month
- Written by Janice Stewart
Manson High School student athlete, Joe Strecker, was selected as the WIAA Spotlight Athlete of the month. This honor is given to one student athlete per month across all classifications. Joe is an exceptional football player who embodies what it means to be a student athlete.
To read more about Joe and his journey please CLICK HERE FOR MORE.
Plan ahead: Turkey tastes better without a traffic jam
- Written by Barbara LaBoe, WSDOT
Leave early, use tools to make holiday travel smoother
OLYMPIA – Whether crossing the state or just running to the store for a last-minute ingredient, be sure to allow plenty of extra travel time during the busy Thanksgiving weekend.
The Washington State Department of Transportation urges all travelers to “know before you go” and plan head for smoother travel.
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 our 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 drive appropriately for conditions.
Apple Cup travel
Those traveling to the Saturday, Nov. 25, Apple Cup football game in Seattle should also plan ahead for possible winter weather on passes and allow extra travel time both to and from the game.
In the mountains, State Route 123 Cayuse Pass (elevation 4,675 feet), State Route 20 North Cascades Highway (elevation 5,477 feet) and Chinook Pass (elevation 5,430 feet) are closed for the winter. On Snoqualmie Pass (elevation 3,022), you can receive text alerts for pass delays 30 minutes or longer – text “wsdot snoqualmie” to 468311 to subscribe, and “wsdot stop” to unsubscribe.
In the Puget Sound, the State Route 520 bridge will have weekend toll rates on Thanksgiving, Nov. 23, returning to weekday rates on Friday, Nov. 24. On the Interstate 405 express toll lanes, travel is free to 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 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. 22, and eastbound Friday morning, Nov. 24. Reservations are recommended on the San Juan and Port Townsend/Coupeville routes. Some ferry routes run on Saturday schedules on the holiday, check the Washington State Ferries website 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. All Amtrak Cascades trains require reservations and trains fill up quickly during holidays. Visit amtrakcascades.com/ or call 800–USA–RAIL for details. (There are no extra Thanksgiving trains this year).
- For information about traveling via state-operated airports, visit wsdot.wa.gov/aviation/airports/Amenities.htm or call 800-552-0666.
- Check with your local public transit agency for any holiday schedule or service changes, including some Dial-A-Ride and fixed-route service that may not run on holidays