- Written by Reema Griffith, WSTC executive director
OLYMPIA – Emergency rules adopted in March for the Interstate 405 express toll lanes hours of operation will become permanent when the State Transportation Commission takes action at its meeting next week in Olympia. In addition, the commission will hear the results of surveys conducted to assess the performance of Washington State Ferries and attitudes of ferry riders.
The meeting starts at 8:30 a.m., both Tuesday and Wednesday, July 19 and 20, at the Transportation Building, 310 Maple Park Ave. SE, on the Capitol Campus in Olympia. This meeting is open to the public and persons wishing to speak to the commission may do so during public comment periods at 11:50 a.m. Tuesday and at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday. Public comment on the I-405 express toll lane changes will be heard at 1 p.m. Tuesday, prior to commission action.
Tuesday’s meeting begins with an overview of toll and rate setting by other agencies in-state and across the country, followed by a presentation on travel trends in the rapidly growing central Puget Sound region.
On Tuesday afternoon, the commission is scheduled to finalize a rule change to open the I-405 express toll lanes to all drivers on evenings and weekends. The express toll lanes, which opened in September 2015, allow drivers to choose a faster and more reliable trip by paying a toll to access the HOV lanes. Toll rates adjust depending on traffic, and drivers pay the rate they see upon entering the lanes. Other tolling topics on Tuesday and Wednesday include reports on overall I-405 express toll lane performance, the State Route 167 HOT Lane extension project, and preliminary work on tolling the State Route 99 tunnel in Seattle.
Also Tuesday afternoon, the results of three ferry-related surveys will be presented. Members of the Ferry Riders Opinion Group (FROG) and the Voice of Washington State (VOWS) survey panels were surveyed earlier this year on: WSF performance during the winter season; statewide attitudes on WSF; and freight movers’ use of WSF. For several years, thecommission has utilized the 24,000 member FROG and the 30,000 member VOWS survey panels; both are voluntary and representative of the population. The purpose of the surveys is to better understand travel behavior, satisfaction with WSF performance on key attributes, and statewide opinions regarding key issues currently facing the state ferry system. Approximately 9,500 people participated in the surveys this year.
On Wednesday, the Washington State Department of Transportation will present the final draft of the State Aviation Plan, and the Port of Seattle will update the commission on its expansion plans for Sea-Tac International Airport. The nation’s fastest-growing major airport in 2015, Sea-Tac is developing plans to increase capacity, including more gates and terminal space and restructuring passenger pick-up and drop-off.
WSDOT Acting Secretary Roger Millar also will talk about the department’s new emphasis on highway worker safety and the importance of using social media, humor and personal stories as ways to educate drivers to slow down in construction work zones.
For more information about the commission and a complete meeting agenda, visit: www.wstc.wa.gov/
- Written by Wai Peterson
Regular Board Meeting
142 Pedoi St., Bumgarner Building, July 14th, 2016, 4:00pm
I. Call to Order
II. Flag Salute
III. Agenda Deletions and Additions
IV. Public Comment/Questions
V. Approval of Minutes
a. Minutes of the June 9th, 2016 Regular Meeting
VI. Financial Review
a. Review Monthly Financial Reports
b. Review and Approve Monthly Voucher
VII. Old Business
a. Director’s Report
b. Park Improvements
i. Downtown Waterfront Master Plan
ii. Willow Point
iii. Project Priorities (Park & Ride, Right of Way Parks, Singleton Old Mill Trail,
Old Mill Day Use Parking)
c. Old Mill Sailboat Parking
d. Old Mill and Manson Bay Street/Parking Lights
VIII. New Business
a. Boat Club Agreement
b. Resolution 2016-03 Banking
c. Park Video Surveillance
Next Regular Meeting: Aug 11th, 2016 at 4:00pm, 142 Pedoi St., Bumgarner Building
- Written by Rich Magnussen, CCSO
On July 11, 2016, The Board of Chelan County Commissioners designated, based on recommendations from the Fire Advisory Board, that road travel and activity restrictions in unincorporated Chelan County be raised to “High”. This action was taken to prevent occurrences of fires which might be caused by recreational, residential, commercial, industrial and other activities in unincorporated Chelan County.
High Fire Hazard Travel and Activity Restrictions are as follows:
1. Travel Restrictions:
A. No operation of any motor vehicle off the roadway
B. Restricts travel on county roads, except for the following:
a. Bona fide residents;
b. Landowners and leaseholders to access land to perform work to protect property;
c. Authorized and official business only;
d. Access to open public lands for legitimate purpose/use.
2. Area activity restrictions include:
A. No fireworks
B. No outdoor fires. No person shall build, ignite, or maintain any outdoor fire of any kind or character or for any purpose whatsoever, in any High fire hazard area, except by the authority of a written permit from the appropriate fire protection agency. No permit will be required for outdoor fires within habited premises or designated campsites where such fires may be built in a permanent barbeque, portable barbeque, outdoor fireplace, incinerator, or grill. Such a permit shall incorporate such terms and conditions to reasonably safeguard public safety and property.
C. Restricted open flame devices: No person shall operate or use any device liable to start or cause fire in or upon any high fire hazard area, except for the approved open flame devices listed below or by the authority of a written permit from the appropriate fire protection agency.
a. Approved open flame devices. Liquid gas stoves or fires, including:
i. Pressurized gas camp stoves, catalytic heaters, and white gas camp stoves and lanterns.
ii. Commercially made barbeque devices.
iii. Stove or fireplace fires completely contained within a home or residence.
iv. Propane or pressurized white gas warming devices with a shield and base.
v. An enclosed solid fuel fire that utilizes a wick to distribute the flame.
If anyone has questions about the current restrictions, contact your local fire protection district.
- Written by Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal
On 07/02/16 at 1:50 AM Douglas County Deputies were on routine patrol in 2500 Blk. of Foster Creek in Bridgeport. They observed a vehicle being driven by a male they suspected to have a suspended driver’s license. They ran the vehicle and discovered it was listed as stolen. The vehicle pulled into a minimart. The driver and one passenger exited the vehicle and went inside the store. The Deputies followed and located the subjects inside the store.
Upon questioning, the driver, 29 year old Leonardo Lopez of Bridgeport, said the vehicle belonged to his cousin and he had permission to drive it. He was not certain what his cousin’s name was. Lopez’s driver’s license was suspended. The passenger was identified as 20 year old Victor Valdovinos of Bridgeport was found to be in possession of 13.3 grams of suspected methamphetamine. He was also minor in consumption of alcohol.
Lopez was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle and driving with a suspended driver’s license. He was booked at the Okanogan County Jail without incident.
Valdovinos was arrested for possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver and minor in possession/consumption of alcohol. He was booked at the Okanogan County Jail without incident.
The Deputies used great observation skills and quick action to bring these suspects to justice. I appreciate their good work.
Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal
- Written by Sergeant Kent Sisson, CCSO
Update 07/02/2016 at 4:00pm
On Saturday July 2, 2016 at approximately 8:45am, a team of Chelan County Mountain Rescue (CCMR) members located the body of Qi He (24yoa) under the snowpack on what is known as Aasgard Pass above Colchuck Lake in the Enchantment Wilderness. Qi He disappeared into a hole in the snow on June 5th while glissading down Aasgard Pass with co-workers. The hole in the snow was created by a waterfall and then became a creek running down the mountain side under the deep snowpack. Initial attempts to locate him were unsuccessful due to the deepness of the hardened snow. A team of CCMR members, and one Sheriff’s Office SAR deputy had pre-planned a recovery search for this morning. The body is in the care of the Chelan County Coroner’s Office pending an autopsy next week. Family members have been notified.
Update 6/8/16 at 1015 hours
Sheriff Burnett has identified the missing Aasgard hiker as 24 year old Qi He. Mr. He is a Chinese citizen who was living and working as a Student/Intern in the Seattle area. With assistance from local Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents, the Chinese Embassy and Mr. He’s employer, his family was notified of the incident.
# # #
Update 6/7/16 at 1100 hours
The active search for the missing hiker on Aasgard Pass has been suspended for now. The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue unit will monitor the weather conditions and snowpack levels with the intention to resume an organized recovery effort in the future.
The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office has identified the missing hiker as a 24 year old male from the Seattle area. The release of his name is being withheld pending next of kin notification.
Update 6/6/16 at 1300 hours
As of 1:00 p.m. today Chelan County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Unit has suspended their search efforts to locate the missing hiker. Ground units located the waterfall hole were the missing hiker entered. Search crews entered approximately 40 feet into the hole, but the missing hiker was not located. The area searched is filled with fast moving water and is covered by several feet of snow and ice. Search crews could not check beyond the 40 feet because of the hazardous conditions and safety concerns. Ground crews believe the hiker was swept a lengthy distance downstream from the location he entered. The stream ultimately enters into Colchuck Lake.
Chelan County Search and Rescue crews and Chelan County Detectives are still trying to identify the missing hiker. We currently do not have any updated information on his identity.
Original Media Release June 6, 2016
On June 5 shortly before 10:00pm Sheriff Brian Burnett reports a group of individuals were glissading down the snow on Aasgard Pass. One of the subjects, who was in front of the others, slid over the edge of a waterfall hole and into rushing water. The current water flow is heavy and leads underneath the snow. The Sheriff’s Office requested assistance from the U.S. Navy, who provide a helicopter with FLIR capabilities to search for the individual. The Navy searched without success and then returned to their base. The Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue unit is currently inserting ground rescue members in an attempt to locate the individual.
The Sheriff’s Office only has a first name of the missing subject, which has not been verified. The only confirmed information we currently have is the missing subject is a male and approximately 24 years of age. The group had just met each other the previous day.
“Glissading” is described as sliding down a steep slope of snow or ice with the support of an ice axe.
Additional information will be released as it is gathered.
- Written by Undersheriff Jason Mathews, CCSO
Update July 1, 2016 at 0900 hours
Sheriff Brian Burnett reports that the victim from yesterday’s shooting has been identified as Manson resident Anna Sanchez. Preliminary investigation indicates that the shooting was accidental. All known involved individuals were interviewed and no arrests were made. The shooting occurred in a bedroom in a mobile home in the Lakeview Trailer Park on SR 150 in Manson.
Original story 6-30-16
On June 30, 2016 Sheriff Brian Burnett reports an early morning shooting in Manson, Washington. Shortly after 3:00 a.m. this morning, Chelan County Deputies responded to a residence in Manson for a reported gunshot wound. The victim, a 23 year old female, appeared to have a single gunshot wound to the head and was airlifted to an out of the area hospital. At this point in the investigation the name of the victim is not being released.
Chelan County Detectives are still on scene investigating the incident. It’s early in the investigation and more information will be released as it is gathered.
- Written by Janalyn Brincat, CCSO
Sheriff Brian Burnett reports the Board of County Commissioners has enacted a prohibition on the discharge of fireworks in the unincorporated areas of Chelan County effective June 27, 2016, and until further notice.
Sheriff Burnett supports the decision of the Board, based on the severity of fires in recent years, and in order to protect life and property. Although it was a difficult decision for all involved, Sheriff Burnett is hoping the outcome will ensure a safe and happy Fourth of July Weekend for all Chelan County residents and visitors.
- Written by Stan Suchan, WSDOT
Connecting people, connecting communities
OLYMPIA – The 2016 Washington State Public Transportation Plan is now available. The plan provides a 20-year diverse and integrated framework for public and private transportation systems and services. Two years in the making, the plan represents a collaborative effort between the Washington State Department of Transportation, statewide partners, and communities.
“People throughout Washington rely on public transportation, whether it’s buses, rail, rideshare, bike trails or even walking to get where they want to go,” said WSDOT Acting Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar. “This plan sets a future direction for Washington’s public transportation that supports families, communities, the economy and environment.”
Washington’s citizens helped shape the plan with ongoing participation in advisory committees, workshops and organizations, as well as during the public comment period. One of the key elements of the plan is a program of near-term actions that can be implemented in the current biennium. WSDOT and its partners are continuing to collaborate on these actions to make measurable progress on the plan. The first progress report is expected in December 2017.
About the plan
The 2016 Washington State Public Transportation Plan describes a broad array of public transportation services and systems that do not involve a single person in a motorized vehicle. The five goals in the plan cover thriving communities, access, adaptive transportation capacity, customer experience and transportation system guardianship. Strategies, early actions and partner organizations are identified for each goal.
For more information
- Written by Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is happy to announce the implementation of the AlertSense (company name) Public Alert Warning System. This will enhance public safety in two ways:
- First, once requested by a public safety entity, the service will automatically alert anyone with a cell phone or hardline phone within a defined area. For example, if there is a fire closing in on a populated area, I can call RiverCom and have them basically draw a polygon around the imperiled location. The software activates the cell towers in the area and sends a message to all cell phones regardless of the carrier. It also sends a message to all hardline phone. That data was populated using the white and yellow pages.
- Second, citizens can sign up to receive the alerts. This allows subscribers to receive the alerts even if they are not in the defined area. In this case, a homeowner would be able to receive the alert via cell and e-mail. The subscriber would be able to enter locations such as their home, a child’s school, or the home where aging parents live. Simply put, add all locations that matter to you. There is no cost and persons may sign up at: http://public.alertsense.com/SignUp/?regionid=1183 One may also go to: http://www.douglascountysheriff.org/ and click on the AlertSense logo at the bottom of the page.
We will still use local media, and when appropriate, law enforcement personnel to alert community members of danger. This is just another layer of notification to keep the public informed.
This has taken us some time to plan and put into use. I am extremely grateful to my Undersheriff, Kevin Morris, my Emergency Management Specialist, Mike Dingle, and my Administrative Assistant, Tiffany Augustson for all their work on this project. I also appreciate all the support we were given by our board of county commissioners.
Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal
- Written by Janice Stewart
Don Vanderholm, Manson High School Principal was the recipient of the RJH. Don was selected representing medium size school districts in the state. He was recognized at the WASA Summer Conference held in Spokane, Washington on June 27, 2016.
The Robert J. Handy Most Effective Administrator Award, sponsored by PEMCO Insurance and WASA (Washington Association of School Administrators), recognize outstanding public school administrators in Washington State. One highly effective superintendent, central office administrator, or building administrator is selected from a small school district (up to 500 students), medium size school district (501–2,000 students), and large school district (over 2,000 students). A $10,000 award is equally divided among the three winners. A peer committee selects the recipients from nominations that describe how each nominee is taking part in realizing the nine characteristics of high performing schools/districts as defined by research from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
Colleague Heather Ireland shared, “Don has worked with his staff, students and members of the community to enhance student learning and experiences in a rigorous and meaningful way. I am very proud of my colleague and I’m excited to see him honored by school administrators from across the state.”