One Found Dead Among Boat Wreckage- katu- february 7, 2006

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One Found Dead Among Boat Wreckage- KATU- February 7, 2006
TILLAMOOK, Ore. - Coast Guard officials have reported finding one person dead and several survival suits following reports of distress flares seen at 1:20 a.m. Tuesday morning near Tillamook Bay.

A large debris field was found along the beach near Garibaldi and Tillamook Bay.

The wreckage is believed to be from a 45-foot commercial fishing vessel out of Warrenton, Oregon.

Coast Guard officials say they do not yet know how many people were on board the boat, and they say the search for any survivors is continuing by helicopter and boat.

Storm blows through coast, leaves sunshine- The Daily Astorian- February 6, 2006
Power outages, fallen trees, boats torn from moorings and wind damage seen on North Coast over weekend

The strong storm that blew through western Oregon and Washington Friday and Saturday knocked down trees and utility lines but caused little major damage around Clatsop County.

Despite the balmy weather Sunday and today’s morning sunshine, the National Weather Service issued a small craft advisory for rough seas at the Columbia River Bar through late tonight. Today was expected to be mostly sunny throughout the North Coast, clear tonight and sunny and clear Tuesday and Wednesday. Cloudy weather is expected by Friday.

During the storm, peak winds were clocked at 77 mph at Clatsop Spit and power outages were reported periodically around the county beginning at 10:30 p.m. Friday. Some of the worst outages were in the Knappa-Svensen area, where it was Sunday night before the last customers had their power restored.

A major line serving Warrenton, Seaside, Gearhart and Cannon Beach failed late Saturday morning but was quickly repaired. Isolated outages were also reported in and around Astoria.

PacifiCorp brought three repair crews from Portland to assist local workers, according to company spokesman Dave Kvamme.

In the Alderbrook area, a structure that was formerly part of the Bumble Bee complex sitting on pilings over the slough came loose Saturday morning and floated east before coming to rest near the foot of 51st Street.

“That was really a shocker to see that thing go floating by,” neighbor Jessie Schofield said today.

A 58-foot fishing vessel broke loose from its slip at the East Mooring Basin some time Friday night and drifted against the nearby breakwater, but apparently suffered no significant damage.

Elsewhere, a resident on Oregon Highway 202 reported Saturday morning that their garage had blown down, and a tree reportedly fell onto a house in Knappa.

The high water caused another breach in a dike in Knappa, near the spot where a break on New Year’s Eve caused the closure of a nearby road and bridge. This latest breach, about 100 yards to the east of the first break, isn’t threatening any roads this time, according to Ed Wegner, Clatsop County Public Works director, and the county will let the local diking district take responsibility for the necessary repairs.

Other than the dike breach, the department was primarily busy with downed trees, Wegner said.

Despite flood and high wind warnings, there was little storm damage in the south county over the weekend.

One Gearhart house lost part of its roof because of high winds, and some of U.S. Highway 101 in Gearhart is still flooded. Cannon Beach suffered a power outage Friday night, but no wind damage was reported. The Seaside Police Department took reports of a large number of fallen trees and some power and cable outages, but no property damage.

Firefighters in Gearhart went into a burning house, hosed down the flames and tore open the walls to deal with the fire burning inside at 5 a.m. Friday. While no one was hurt, Gearhart Fire Chief Bill Eddy estimates $20,000 in property damage.

He said it was probably caused by a chimney fire.

Eddy believes the chimney caught on fire, then ignited some structural members of the house, located at 89736 Seales Road. He advised the public to have their chimneys cleaned and inspected before using them.

Eddy also asks that residents keep their driveways cleared of low-lying brush, as it delays response time if the fire truck has difficulty getting close to the house.

In Washington, a 38-year-old Kalama woman was killed Saturday morning when her car was struck by a tree on State Route 4 east of Cathlamet. A rockslide near the town of Stella west of Longview closed the highway Saturday, and forced motorists to detour to Oregon Highway 30 at Astoria and Longview and on the Westport Ferry. The highway is expected to be closed for four weeks while the slope above the roadway is secured against future slides.

The ferry is limited to passenger cars only, because of problems with floats on the Washington side.

Two people are safe after their boat broke loose from the dock in stormy weather at Washington’s Westport Harbor Saturday, although attempts to salvage the fishing vessel failed this morning.

The 80-foot Golden Sable, homeported in Grays Harbor, was one of six that broke free from the dock in wind gusts topping 70 knots Saturday morning, said Bob Coster, civilian search-and-rescue controller at U.S. Coast Guard Group Astoria.

The U.S. Coast Guard responded with a 47-foot motor lifeboat and a 52-foot lifeboat from Station Grays Harbor. Those crews managed to secure five of the drifting vessels and to safely take the Golden Sable’s two occupants on board and back to the station, Coster said. However, the Golden Sable remains aground after salvage attempts failed this morning. He said additional attempts will be made during high tide Tuesday.

In a preliminary report, the Oregon State Police troopers reported a slight increase in the number of intoxicated driver arrests for Super Bowl weekend. In addition, preliminary information indicates there were the same number of fatalities over the weekend as last year.

OSP troopers made 46 DUII arrests Saturday and Sunday, 17 of which occurred Super Bowl Sunday after noon. Last year, troopers recorded 42 arrests during the weekend, including 17 on Super Bowl Sunday.

Preliminary reports indicate six people were killed in four separate crashes, including three who died in a Salem wreck Saturday afternoon.

Coast Guard says it erred in issuing powerboat recall- Mail Tribune-

February 7, 2006

The U.S. Coast Guard admitted Monday it erred in issuing a public recall of an Alumaweld powerboat model last week, saying safety officials jumped the gun in their investigation.

The Coast Guard announced in a Wednesday news release that an 18.3-foot Super Vee LT boat built at Alumaweld’s factory in Eagle Point and bought from a dealer had sunk during a neutral- buoyancy test conducted by its Boating Products Assurance Division.

Instead of opening a case and contacting Alumaweld to continue their investigation, division officials issued a public recall notice and safety warning — even before Alumaweld was notified of the test results.

In its Boating Safety Alert, the Coast Guard said it ordered the boats recalled and urged owners to use "extreme caution" when operating the boats until the flotation "defects" were corrected.

The agency rescinded the original alert Monday.

"It’s something that got out of control because our procedures weren’t followed," said Phil Cappel, chief of the products assurances division, which is responsible for safety tests on recreational boats.

"We need to investigate this further," Cappel said. "We may eat crow on this or he may still have to do the recall."

Alumaweld President Doug Rein insisted Monday that the boat tested by the Coast Guard left his factory with the proper flotation to meet federal standards that all recreational powerboats under 20 feet long must remain partially afloat when swamped or capsized.

Rein said the flotation was removed at an out-of-state boat dealership and not replaced before the boat was sold to the Coast Guard. Rein did not identify the dealership, but said he believed selling the boat without the proper flotation was unintentional.

Some media outlets reported the erroneous recall last week, and Rein said the false publicity has hurt the company during the heart of the winter boat-show season.

"This has had a huge impact on us," Rein said.

Rein declined to say Monday whether he planned any court action against the Coast Guard.

"I’m just trying to get this thing resolved at this point," Rein said. "I hope the Coast Guard’s retraction will help get things turned around."

The Alumaweld saga sheds light on this little-known Coast Guard program responsible for assuring that recreational boating manufacturers follow safety regulations in the new boats they produce.

The division randomly selects new boats to run through the testing, and buys them off the shelf as a consumer would, said Dan Shipman, boating-safety program manager for the Coast Guard’s 13th District based in Seattle.

After the failed buoyancy test on the Super Vee LT, the Coast Guard opened a formal case on the boat Dec. 17, Coast Guard records show.

But someone within the division mistakenly listed the boat as a recall, though no actual recall "campaign" existed, Cappel said.

Shipman said he saw the recall notice in intra-Coast Guard correspondence, and passed it on to some media outlets Wednesday in a press release.

Alumaweld had eight Coast Guard recalls on boats between 1980 and 1992 but none since then, Coast Guard records show. Most past recalls involved failed labeling requirements and all were settled prior to Rein joining Alumaweld in 1993.

Port of Seattle sets container, cruise records in ’05- Port of Seattle Press Release- February 6, 2006
The Port of Seattle was North America’s fastest growing container port in 2005 as a record 2,088,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) moved through the harbor, a 17.6 percent increase over 2004.
It is the second year in a row in which Seattle’s container business has grown, on a percentage basis, faster than any other U.S. port. Port officials project further growth in 2006. Eventually, the Seattle harbor could reach more than 3 million TEU’s.
“The ongoing investments we’ve made in our marine terminals, waterways and landside transportation connections are paying off,” said Port of Seattle Commission President Patricia Davis. “Growth in trade with China and the addition of major import distribution centers in the Puget Sound region are solidifying our position as a major gateway for waterborne commerce.”
The Port has invested nearly $1 billion in its maritime facilities and infrastructure over the past 12 years. Importers such as Home Depot, Target, Wal Mart and Pier 1 Imports have opened import distribution centers in the area, bringing more cargo to Seattle.
Port CEO Mic Dinsmore noted that part of the growth comes from aggressive marketing of its facilities by Port officials. And, he added, the efficient cargo-handling facilities and direct connections to two railroad mainlines means shippers can get their goods to inland markets without delay.  
“Importers have realized that distributing goods from the Pacific Northwest provides greater flexibility and makes them less vulnerable to disruptions,” Dinsmore said.  “They can re-route cargo while it’s underway to take advantage of local sales trends,” he said. “And if a rail route is out of service due to weather conditions, they can still get products to stores or factories in a timely manner.”
“Our partners and customers, including ocean carriers, terminal operators and longshore workers, played a key role in reaching this milestone and we know they’ll be vital in our future success,” Dinsmore said.
Containers weren’t the only record setters in 2005. Grain volumes and the cruise business also reached new heights.
The Port’s grain terminal at Pier 86 handled the second highest volume on record – 5.05 million metric tons of corn and soybeans grown in the upper midwest and shipped to Seattle by rail. The only year that saw more grain move through Pier 86 was 1995 with 5.4 million metric tons.
The phenomenal growth of the Port’s cruise business also continued in 2005 with a 22 percent increase in passenger volume to 686,357 two-way passengers and a 14 percent increase in the number of cruise ship calls to 169.
“All in all the Seaport’s performance is strong and headed for another year of growth,” Davis said.
Overall spending has skyrocketed under Bush, GOP- Seattle Times-

February 7, 2006

WASHINGTON — President Bush renewed his call for spending restraint when he sent his proposed fiscal 2007 budget to Congress on Monday, but one thing is clear: The era of big government is far from over.

Over the past five years, Bush and the Republican-led Congress have been far better at expanding government than shrinking it. Spending for national security and government entitlement programs has skyrocketed, without offsetting cuts in other programs.

"At the beginning of the year, there's a lot of talk about spending restraint and reducing the deficit. At the end of the year, that's all kind of forgotten," said Steven Kosiak, the director of budget studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a Washington think tank that specializes in defense issues.

The government produces a budget deficit when its total spending exceeds its total revenues. Budget deficits cause the government to borrow more money by selling Treasury securities to domestic and foreign investors. As the government seeks to borrow ever more to finance those deficits, rates on Treasury securities rise to entice investors. That pushes up other interest rates, such as home mortgages, many auto loans, some home equity lines of credit and some credit cards.

In a worst-case scenario, foreigners who finance the U.S. budget and trade deficits would sour on U.S. investments and unload their holdings. The prices of U.S. stocks and bonds could plunge. Interest rates, including those for mortgages, could soar.

The making of the federal budget

The process for deciding how the federal government should spend your tax dollars:

The president proposes his budget, which is only the starting point for the budget process; the proposal includes spending cuts the administration knows Congress won't approve. But by proposing the cuts — and assuming that lawmakers will not add funding for any local projects — the total appears lower than the eventual bottom line.

House and Senate budget committees draw up a budget resolution setting overall spending goals for the year. Full House and Senate vote on the resolution, although Congress sometimes skips this step. That makes it harder for lawmakers to pass the individual spending bills that spell out where the money will go.

Various House and Senate committees hold hearings on the 11 spending bills covering all federal departments and agencies that Congress must pass each year for the coming fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. They do not have to follow exactly the budget resolution, but they are binding. At the start of the current fiscal year, Congress had passed only two of the 11 required budget bills. After passing temporary budget extensions to keep the government operating, Congress finished the rest before the end of 2005. But in previous years, Congress has had to roll several unrelated budget bills together to get them through, allowing less time for scrutiny, critics say.

Gannett News Service

Tax revenues flowing to the federal government declined in the first three years of Bush's presidency, driven down by tax cuts and a mild recession. They have since rebounded as a result of economic growth and other factors, but federal spending has increased even more.

The $128 billion budget surplus that Bush inherited in 2001 has turned into a deficit of at least $337 billion this year.

So where's the money going?

More than 60 percent of the budget is devoted to programs that are essentially on autopilot — interest payments and the so-called entitlement programs, primarily Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Roughly another 20 percent is devoted to defense and homeland security.

Bush's proposed defense budget for 2007 is $439 billion, up from $334 billion the year he took office. Spending for homeland security has more than doubled, from $17 billion in 2001 — in a budget approved before the Sept. 11 attacks — to $50 billion this year.

Those figures don't include the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That's another $440 billion so far, mostly for Iraq, where expenses are piling up at a rate between $4.5 billion and $8 billion a month.

In the post-Sept. 11 world, national-security spending is virtually sacrosanct in Congress. Entitlement programs are considered even more untouchable, although lawmakers took a rare stab at cutting them Wednesday.

In a 216-214 vote, the House of Representatives approved a five-year, $39 billion deficit-reduction bill that included cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. It was a bruising fight, requiring a tiebreaking vote from Vice President Dick Cheney in the Senate, but the cuts will have little impact on the massive programs.

The Medicare spending reductions are minuscule compared with the cost of the prescription-drug benefit that Congress added to the program in 2003. It is expected to cost more than $30 billion this year alone. The anticipated cost over the next 10 years is $678 billion.

Robert Bixby, the executive director of the Concord Coalition, a bipartisan group that advocates a balanced federal budget, said lawmakers were merely "nibbling around the edges" of entitlement costs with their $39 billion in cuts.

"It's not very significant at all," Bixby said. "My guess is that they won't take another plunge into the entitlement pool."

With national security and entitlements essentially off the table, the only real targets for budget cuts are the "nons" — non-defense, non-homeland security domestic programs. In other words, the roughly 18 percent of the budget that goes for things such as education, environmental protection, transportation and other government services. They're feeling the pinch.

Last year, Bush proposed to cut non-security spending by about 1 percent. His 2007 budget cuts is expected to cut a little deeper. But the cuts are spread unevenly. For example, Bush targeted the Environmental Protection Agency for a 6 percent cut last year, while the Interior Department escaped with a 1 percent cut.

While the president's proposed cuts in those domestic programs always generate howls of protest, they don't really change the overall budget picture.

"It's just not that big a chunk of the budget. You've got to go where the money is," Kosiak said, referring to the entitlement programs. "There's a lot of rhetoric about spending restraint, but there's been no serious effort to actually address the deficit. Part of the problem is there's no consensus on how to do it."

Few in Washington expect to see much restraint this year, especially with lawmakers looking ahead toward the November elections.

"Spending has gone up dramatically in this administration and taxes have gone down dramatically," Bixby said. "My definition of fiscal responsibility is, are you paying for the government that you want? And we're not."

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office forecasts deficits every year through 2015; that is as far out as the office projects. The White House forecast, which runs to 2010, also expects annual shortfalls.

In 2008, the oldest of the boomers will reach 62, the earliest age at which they can tap Social Security retirement benefits. Three years after that, in 2011, they will reach 65 and become eligible for Medicare.

No new Katrina aid in Bush budget- Seattle Post-Intelligencer

WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration offered no new aid for Hurricane Katrina victims in the budget it released Monday, instead putting modest amounts of money into preparedness and response plans for future disasters.

A Republican senator from the still-reeling Gulf Coast said he doubted that those funds would be enough to overhaul federal programs that created a sluggish government response to the Aug. 29 storm. A House Democrat criticized the spending blueprint for cutting $15 million in state and local grants to, in part, help communities create evacuation plans.

In all, millions of dollars would be used to retool disaster response plans or better coordinate federal, state and local efforts during catastrophes. By contrast, more Gulf Coast aid will be provided in an upcoming $18 billion package that the administration announced last week - the last emergency funds planned for the region for at least a year.

"This budget really talks about what we're doing within the department itself, which is strengthening our leaning-forward in the face of preparing both for natural disasters and man-made disasters or terror attacks," said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.

"The whole issue of disaster recovery for the Gulf, I think, is an issue separate and apart from this budget," he said.

The $18 billion package will bring federal relief funds for Katrina and Hurricane Rita to over $100 billion. But Sen. David Vitter, R-La., said he was concerned about the dearth of relief aid in the 2007 fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

"This is going to be a marathon, and not a sprint. And any suggestion that that's it for a couple of years would be disastrous to the recovery," Vitter said.

Bush's request also includes:

-More than $100 million in FEMA funds to help people move out of flood plains or better prepare properties to withstand disasters.

-$500 million to help federal disaster plans complement corresponding state and local programs, especially for helping elderly, sick and poor people.

-An $11 million increase for the Department of Homeland Security inspector general to continue looking into waste and fraud in Katrina relief spending.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., criticized the department for proposing to cut a grant program that helps state and local authorities deal with evacuations, mass casualties, and managing catastrophes. The planned cut - from $185 million to $170 million - comes after President Bush ordered Homeland Security to review emergency response and evacuation plans for the nation's 50 largest cities.

"This $15 million cut places state and local governments in a precarious position," Thompson said in a statement.

Homeland Security officials said the deleted funds could be replaced with money from other state and local grants.

The Army Corps of Engineers budget calls for $25 million to restore some of Louisiana's coast. Another $20 million would create a national inventory and database of flood and storm-damage reduction projects, as well as to assess structural risks in the nation's levees.

"This would be just the start," said Lt. Gen. Carl Strock of the Army Corps, acknowledging the large scope of the project, which he said was prompted by the Katrina disaster.

Outdoors Notebook: Spring run has few highlights

By Mark Yuasa
Seattle Times staff reporter

A decent spring chinook run is expected in Wind River and Drano Lake (Little White Salmon River) above Bonneville Dam, among the few highlights in what is expected to be an overall poor return.

"The Wind and Drano forecasts for 2006 are nearly double and over triple the 2005 actual returns, respectively," said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist. "The Little White Salmon [forecast] is especially strong."

This year, 12,500 spring chinook are forecasted for Drano Lake (7,600 forecast last year with 4,000 actual return), and 7,400 (8,300 and 3,800) for Wind River.

"We had a strong return of jacks (3-year-old chinook), so the bulk of the run to Wind and Drano are 4-year-old fish in the 10- to 14-pound range," Hymer said.

This year's Klickitat River return of 1,300 fish is expected to be similar to last year's actual return.

The sport-fishing season will be set once state Fish and Wildlife meets with the Yakama Indian Nation and after a public meeting with sport constituents who fish the tributaries above Bonneville.

"One of the things the state is looking at is whether or not the fishery [in Wind and Drano] should be selective [hatchery-marked spring chinook only], since mass-marking started with the 2000 broodstock of fish," Hymer said.

About 98 percent of the spring chinook in Wind and Drano were marked with a missing adipose fin last year, and it was about 90 percent in the Klickitat.

Hymer said adult spring chinook returns to tributaries below Bonneville Dam are expected to be slightly down from last year in the Cowlitz and Kalama rivers, but higher in the Lewis River.

The Cowlitz forecasted return this year is 8,700 fish (9,200 actual return last year); Kalama is 2,100 (3,100); and Lewis is 4,400 (3,400).

The Cowlitz, Kalama and Lewis are currently open for salmon with a daily limit of six, with no more than two adult fish.

"There will be no changes to fishing seasons in the lower tributaries from last year," Hymer said. "There will be in-season monitoring of the runs to make sure the seasons are as forecasted."

The overall Upper Columbia spring chinook run is 88,400 this year, which is the worst in past six years, and the Willamette is expecting a run of 46,500.


• The Puget Sound Anglers of Lake Washington meeting is 7 p.m. Thursday at the Mercer Island Fire Station, 3030 78th Ave. S.E. Dave Adams of Boater's World will discuss marine electronics for fishing. Details: 425-823-0704.

• Three Rivers Marine and Tackle in Woodinville is offering a steelhead-fishing seminar at 9 a.m. Saturday with Bob Ball, owner and guide of Piscatorial Pursuits in Forks. Cost is $5. Details: 425-415-1575 or 877-661-1571 or

• The North Kitsap Chapter of Puget Sound Anglers meeting is 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Driftwood Key Club House in Hansville. Tom Pollack, from Auburn Sports and Marine and instructor for Salmon University, is the guest speaker. Details: 360-626-8216.

• The Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust has started trail-maintenance projects and is looking for volunteers. Work is needed for trails on Tiger Mountain, Squak Mountain, Rattlesnake Mountain, Mount Si, and in the South and Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Basins.

Volunteers are needed on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through June 24. Details: 206-812-0122 or

• The Northwest Trek volunteer information session is 9-11 a.m. Saturday. Volunteers don't need any prior training in biology or teaching. Training sessions in March. Details: 360-832-7162 or

• The Northwest Ice Fishing Festival at Sidley Lake is Feb. 19. Along with fishing, the festival offers food, entertainment, a groomed ice-skating area, a demo of 3-on-3 basketball on ice skates, arts and crafts, and a dog-sledding demo.

The fishing contest is $10 for adults, $5 for students ages 14 and under. Details: 509-485-2224 or e-mail

• The Orvis Store, 911 Bellevue Way N.E., is hosting a free seminar at 1 p.m. Saturday titled "Birding Around Puget Sound." Learn to locate and identify wild birds in the Puget Sound area with MaryFrances Mathis. Details: 425-452-9138.

• The Northshore Chapter of Trout Unlimited meeting is 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the American Legion Hall, 19213 Bothell Way N.E. Retired state Fish and Wildlife biologist Curt Kraemer will talk about the role of recreational anglers in fisheries management and conservation. Details: 206-362-6358 or

• Lynnwood Parks and Recreation Dept. is offering a Team Extreme Rock Climbing class for kindergarten to sixth-grade children 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday. Cost is $30 for non-residents, $25 for Lynnwood residents. Details: 425-771-4030.

• The Northend Bass Club meeting is 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Crystal Creek Café, 22620 Bothell-Everett Highway in Canyon Park. Gary Morris, president of the Washington State Bass Federation, will be the guest speaker. Details: 206-789-4259 or e-mail Gary Millard at

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