The only difference between adventure and disaster is preparedness.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Lewis River Dredging Project

PacifiCorp has advised that they will have crews dredging at the foot of the Lewis River Hatchery fish ladder on August 1st.  This will reduce the river's flow to about 600 cubic feet per second (CFS) (normal flow during this time is 1200 cfs).  The low stream flow is anticipated to only last one day.  Please adjust your fish ladder and recreating needs accordingly.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Join Search and Rescue!

If you are looking for a great volunteer opportunity, look no further than Cowlitz County Search and Rescue.  If you are interested in volunteering, there will be an orientation meeting on Thursday, August 2nd at 6:00 p.m. at the Rizad Building at 1800 Western Lane in Kelso.  If that date/time doesn't work for you, there will be another offered on Sunday, August 5th at 6:00 p.m., also at the Rizad Building. 

To get an accurate count of people interested, it is important that you RSVP either by calling our office at 577-3130 or by emailing

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Dept. of Ecology Watershed Study

Should you happen to find yourself near Mill or Germany Creek this weekend, don't be alarmed if the water is a little orange.  We received notification that the Department of Ecology will be doing a time-of-travel study using a fluorescent dye.  According to the DOE, it is "very visible at the point of injection, but disperses as it moves downstream."  It is a harmless Rhodamine WT dye at a low concentration.  They track the dye with fluormeters installed at the upstream end and the downstream end.  It tells them how long it takes for the water to travel. 

So, there you have it.

Need More Participants for Box Oven Class

I need 5 more people to register for the box oven class or else I'll have to cancel.  If you want to take the class and haven't signed up yet please click here to register by Thursday afternoon. 

The class is $25, but not only to you get to make and keep your own box oven, you get to actually learn how to use it and learn other methods of cooking without electricity.  You never know when those skills will come in handy.  Sign up today!

Sobering Statistics

Here are some sobering drowning statistics that I ran across from Parents magazine:

Drowning is the leading cause of injury related death in children 1-4 years old and the second-leading cause in children up to 15 years old.  Over 1,000 American children die every year from unintentional drowning.  Even more are hospitalized after being pulled from the water and revived.  The longer a child is underwater and the longer it takes to start CPR, the worse the outcome.  It only takes four to six minutes for irreversible brain damage to occur; 5-10 percent of survivors suffer permanent brain damage.

Please, please exercise extra caution around water during these hot summer days.  Have children wear lifejackets near water, never leave your child alone around water (even for a minute) and have children take swimming lessons. 

STP This Weekend

You may encounter cyclists this weekend during the annual Seattle to Portland bike ride.  Please be courteous and exercise extra caution while driving.  Remember:  it's only once a year and these people are doing something amazing!  Be nice, take some extra time and imagine what your backside would feel like after riding 200 miles on a bike. 

The following press release has been issued by the Washington State Department of Transportation:

OLYMPIA – Pedaling more than 200 miles might sound painful, but those gearing up for the Group Health Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic this weekend look forward to it all year.

More than 10,000 cyclists, plus their support teams and STP officials, will be spinning on state and local roads July 14 and 15. The Washington State Department of Transportation asks drivers to share the road and prepare for traffic delays along the STP route. WSDOT also reminds STP participants and all bicyclists of their responsibility to follow the rules of the road.

Based on past years, traffic delays are expected:

Early morning Saturday, July 14, on SR 7 in Pierce County

Mid-morning to afternoon on SR 507 in Thurston and Lewis counties

Early Sunday, July 15, on SR 411 Castle Rock to Kelso

All day Sunday near the SR 432 Lewis and Clark Bridge

Drivers can expect nearly 20-minute delays 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, July 15, as Washington State Patrol and flaggers stop southbound traffic on State Route 432 to allow STP cyclists, escorted by the Goldwing Motorcycle Club, to cross the Lewis and Clark Bridge. On Saturday cyclist will share the bridge with traffic unescorted.

To aid cyclists and drivers, STP organizers and WSDOT will provide traffic control at the following locations:

Saturday, July 14

· SR 507 between SR 7 and Yelm

· SR 507/ Third Street in Yelm

· SR 507/Mossman Street in Yelm

· SR 507/Tenino Trail crossing

Sunday, July 15

· SR 411/Castle Rock area

· SR 411 between Castle Rock and Longview

· SR 411/Lexington area

· SR 432/433 in Longview at the Lewis and Clark Bridge

Hyperlinks within the news release:

Alice Fiman email:

STP Route:

Washington’s Rules of the Road:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Expect Delays on SR 503

Expect delays on SR 503 for summer paving work

WOODLAND – Daily and recreational drivers on State Route 503 should expect 20-minute delays the next two months while crews repair cracks and potholes on 20 miles of the scenic route between Yale and Woodland.

Contractor crews with the Washington State Department of Transportation hit the road on Monday, July 9 to install signs and prepare the highway for paving. Starting next week, crews will grind out damaged pavement, lay fresh asphalt and chip seal sections of the highway to preserve the road surface.

Traffic will be reduced to a single lane and a pilot car will guide drivers through the work zone, which begins south of Yale at Ham Road, and ends near Rudy Ross Road just east of Woodland.

Granite Construction Inc. of Vancouver is constructing this $2.5 million preservation project, which is scheduled for completion in September 2012.

Stay informed of traffic impacts by visiting WSDOT’s travel alerts and construction update web pages.

Never leave dogs or kids in the car!

Above is a handy chart to see how hot it gets inside a car when the sun is out.  Cracking a window is NOT enough!  Sometimes the pictures don't show up to those who receive the blog posts in email form, for those of you who can't see the chart here's the breakdown:
When it's 75 outside, within minutes it will be 118 in your car.
When it's 81 outside, it will be 138 in your car.
When it's 94 outside, it will be 145 in your car. 

If you can't sit in your car with the A/C off, your kids and pets certainly can't.  Be sun safe!

Box Oven Class Coming Up!!

Only a few more days to sign up for the Box Oven Cooking Class.  This is a hands-on class where you will be able to make your own box oven and learn other methods of feeding your family without using electricity. We will review water storage options, meal planning without using electricity and safe, alternative light sources.

You will receive step-by-step instructions for assembling your own oven, receive all of the materials (with the exception of briquettes) and learn how to use your new oven.

The class will be held at the Cowlitz County PUD Auditorium on Saturday, July 14th from 10:00 a.m. to Noon. The class is $25 per person. This class is very popular and fills up fast, so sign up soon. To RSVP and pay online, please visit: Call (360) 690-5882 if you have questions.

Monday, July 2, 2012

9-1-1 Scam Making the Rounds Again

Residents in Washington and other states have reported receiving calls from someone requesting money for 9-1-1 services. The caller claims that residents must pay a fee to register their house in a 9-1-1 database so first responders can locate the home in an emergency. The caller also requests names and medical information from the residents.

This is a scam. 9-1-1 services are funded through dedicated 9-1-1 excise taxes on telephone bills and by other local government funds. Any request for 9-1-1 funds over the phone is fraud, and residents who receive these calls should hang up and report the suspicious call to their local police or sheriff’s non-emergency phone number.

Become a Cowlitz County Reserve Sheriff's Deputy

The Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office is accepting applications for new reserve deputies.  Applicants for the volunteer positions must be at least 21 years old, have a valid driver's license and high school diploma or GED and pass an in-depth background investigation.

Applicants who pass the background investigation will be required to participate in a reserve academy, which begins in January.  Successful candidates must volunteer at least 16 hours each month assisting sheriff's deputies in their day-to-day duties.  Reserve deputies also must attend bimonthly training sessons.

Applications are available at the sheriff's office in the Hall of Justice, 312 SW 1st Ave, Kelso, between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. weekdays.  Please contact Deputy Jordan Spencer at 577-3092 for more information or go to  The sheriff's office will continue to accept applicaitons through October 15th.