The only difference between adventure and disaster is preparedness.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Fire Weather Watch in Effect

The National Weather Service in Portland has issued a bulletin for expected abundant Lightning along the Cascades and Foothills in Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington. This has caused them to issue a Fire Weather Watch for our area. (Fire Weather Zone 660) Weather conditions over the next few days, starting tonight at midnight through Thursday evening have a high chance of creating Dry Lightning Storms which could effect and increase the fire danger in our region. Thunderstorms - should increase from the south overnight and continue through Thursday evening. They will be mainly dry to start with a potential for increased precipitation Wednesday night and Thursday. Lightning - These storms have the potential to be prolific lightning producers. Impacts - Increasingly dry forest fuels will be receptive to new fire starts due to lightning.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Androids Attacked by Malware

Android phones are increasingly vulnerable to Malware attacks unless their Operating System (OS) is updated.
If you use a Droid, check its OS-Version in “Settings” and then “About Phone” to find your “System Version.” 
If the version is 2.3.3 or 2.3.7, you need to tap “System Updates” to get a newer OS-Version and defend against the Malware attacks.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Cowlitz Co. Sheriff's Office looking for Reserve Deputies

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, high school diploma or G.E.D and pass a basic physical and written test as well as 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 must also attend the bi-monthly training sessions.

Applications and explanations of the basic physical and written tests are available at the Sheriff's Office in the Hall of Justice, 312 SW 1st Ave, Kelso, between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays. For more information, contact Deputy Jordan Spencer at 360-577-3092 or go to

The Sheriff's Office will accept applications through October 1.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Looking for a good cause to support?

I received this email from our Cowlitz Chaplaincy group this morning and thought I'd share:

As chaplains we want to thank you for your gifts, duty, and service to our community. It is our privilege to come alongside of you and provide you with support and encouragement in your difficult work.

Cowlitz Chaplaincy is now in its thirtieth year providing support to all first responders and their families, as well as providing crisis intervention to all the citizens of our county free of charge regardless of their faith background.

The chaplaincy has never, nor does it now, receive any public funding. We exist solely by the gifts of faithful individuals, churches, and businesses, as well as law enforcement associations and guilds.

We are writing to you individually to ask for your financial help. The chaplaincy is struggling financially, and if our monthly income does not improve by $3,000.00 per month, we will have to make some tough decisions. Tom and Doug are paid $3,270.00 per month with no benefits. Doug drives the chaplain truck, but it is a 1998, and needs to be replaced. Mario and Tom provide their own vehicles, and their fuel is only paid for the week they are on call. We try to be frugal in all our financial obligations.

If you could commit to sending us $10 or $20 per month, or whatever you are lead to give, we will be able to keep providing the 24/7 crisis response services we have for the last 30 years.

The chaplaincy is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation, so all your donations are fully tax deductible. Our tax exempt number is 91-1312328.

Please feel free to share this email with family members and friends who you feel will like to join you in support of our service to the county.

Thank you so much for your help and support.

Chaplain Mario, Chaplain Tom, and Chaplain Doug

Friday, July 12, 2013

News from Dept of Ecology

Three Cowlitz County creeks to turn red for salmon

OLYMPIA – Weather permitting, scientists from the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) will release a harmless red-orange, fluorescent dye into Germany, Mill and Abernathy creeks, west of Longview, sometime during the weeks of July 15 and 22.
The harmless dye helps state researchers measure the speed of water through a section of a stream. It dissipates quickly.
At the low concentrations used for the study, the dye doesn’t affect humans, fish or wildlife.  The effort is funded by the state Salmon Recovery Funding Board.
“This effort is important because it’s used to help determine whether actions to restore salmon habitat are working,” said Stephanie Estrella, a scientist with Ecology’s Environmental Assessment Program, who will be conducting the work.
The creeks are tributaries to the Lower Columbia River. They, receive intensive monitoring as part of several experimental, watershed-scale evaluations to help environmental scientists better understand how salmon and trout respond to the latest approaches to restore habitat. These improvements include adding shade, woody debris and protecting natural streamside areas.
Ecology has received permission to access the sampling sites.
Researchers will track the dye plume with fluorometers that measure dye concentration in the water. Tracking the speed of the dye from upstream to downstream helps researchers calculate how long it takes for water to travel through that section of stream. The information will be incorporated into calculations so scientists better understand the creek’s overall water quality.

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Bikes, Bikes, Everywhere!

Don't forget, the annual Seattle to Portland Bike Ride is this weekend.  Ten thousand riders from 45 states and 6 countries will be traveling through Cowlitz County.  Probably best to avoid Westside Hwy, Industrial Way and the Lewis & Clark Bridge.  Please be patient and cautious when driving near cyclists and remember the amazing feat they are accomplishing!  Did you ride a bike 200 miles through 2 states over the weekend?  Probably not, so be nice.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Boil Water Advisory for Carrolls Residents

From the State of Washington Department of Health

Effective immediately, the Washington State Department of Health, Office of Drinking Water (ODW) is advising people consuming drinking water supplied by the Carrolls Water Association Water System that the water might not be safe for human consumption.

DO NOT DRINK THE WATER WITHOUT BOILING IT FIRST.   Bring all the water to a boil.  Let it boil one minute at a rolling boil and let it cool before using.  Boiled or purchased bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice.  Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water.  If you are experiencing illness symptoms, we recommend that you see your health care provider.

This advisory is based on the following:

*  Due to water shortages, wells with a history of E. coli bacteria contamination have been put into service.
*  It is not known if the water is safe to drink.

Follow-up will include the following:

*  When the water system has stabilized, water samples will be collected and tested.
*   This advisory will be rescinded when water sample tests have satisfactory results.

Department of Health will continue to work with the operator until the problem is resolved.  Contact Bob Choate of Columbia Technical, LLC at (360) 281-2650 if you have questions.  This advisory will remain in effect until lifted by the Washington State Department of Heath, Office of Drinking Water. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Don't Traumatize Your Pets This 4th of July

Animals do not like fireworks, ya'll.  Please keep your pets inside during the festivities to keep them safe and at home where they belong!  Click here for tips on keeping pets safe and calm when the bombs are bursting in air.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Be Safe This Independence Day!

Now, I know that the freedom to purchase fireworks of dubious quality and light off those fireworks in nearly any manner you choose is as American as processed cheese.  However, much like ingesting processed cheese, this pastime has its inherent risks. 

From the National Fire Prevention Association Website:

Facts & figures 

  • In 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, including 1,200 total structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated eight reported civilian deaths, 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage.
  • In 2011, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 9,600 people for fireworks related injuries; 61% of 2010 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 34% were to the head.
  • The risk of fireworks injury was highest for children ages 5-19, and adults 25-44, in an atypical year of a very comparable risk across much of the population.
  • On Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.
Please be safe this 4th of July and use common sense and caution when lighting fireworks.