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Texting while driving law began Jan. 1

The Washington State Patrol is vigorously enforcing the state's new law against sending text messages while driving; that law took effect Jan. 1. "Texting while driving was always a bad idea," said WSP Chief John R. Batiste. "Things happen too fast on the highway to take your eyes off the road long enough to read or type a message." Because texting while driving is a secondary violation, troopers cannot stop drivers if they see it occurring. But it could mean drivers end up with two tickets instead of just one. If a text message or cell phone call requires immediate attention, you should pull off the road safely. Handle the matter and then get back on the road when you can give driving your full attention. It's also time to start shopping for a hands-free device to use when talking on a cellular phone. The law requiring hands-free devices goes into effect on July 1 and will be enforced with similar vigor.

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Tickling the ivories

Olympic Theatre Arts is in need of a piano player to play for rehearsals and performances of the Missoula Children's Theatre production of "The Little Mermaid." A piano player is needed for two hours every afternoon beginning at 3:30 p.m. the week of Jan. 7 and for the performances that are at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., Jan. 12 at the Sequim High School auditorium. If you are interested or for more details, call 683-7326.



Goodbye Christmas tree

The city shop in Sequim at 169 W. Hemlock St., will accept Christmas trees at no charge on Friday, Jan. 4, and Saturday, Jan. 5, from noon to 3 p.m.



Conservation District board

position up for election

This year's Clallam Conservation District board of supervisors elections will be Feb. 26 from 3-6 p.m. Polling places will be the Port of Port Angeles Office located at 338 W. Fir St. in Port Angeles, and the Sequim High School cafeteria located at 601 N. Sequim Ave. in Sequim.

Anyone residing in and registered to vote in Clallam County is eligible to run for the position of Conservation District supervisor. To be listed on the election ballot, a nomination petition for elected supervisor form signed by 25 or more registered Clallam County voters must be submitted to the Clallam Conservation District._ Nomination petition for elected supervisor forms may be obtained from the Clallam Conservation District, 1601 E. Front St., Building A, Suite A, Port Angeles, WA 98362, telephone 360-452-1912, ext. 5 or by visiting the Washington State Conservation Commission Web site, www.scc.wa.gov , telephone 360-407-6215. The completed nomination petition, including the 25 signatures, must be verified by the Conservation District or county auditor by Feb. 11.

The three-year term of office presently held by Bob Forde is up for election.

Visit the Clallam Conservation District Web site at http://clallam.scc.wa.gov for general district information._ Election of board of supervisor information can be found by visiting the Washington State Conservation Commission Web site at www.scc.wa.gov. _

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Sleep Country hosts pajama drive

Even though the holidays are coming to a close, it's still important to remember those in need throughout the year, especially those who might not be with a permanent home this winter. For Washington state's nearly 18,000 foster children separated from family and friends, the winter nights can prove especially long and lonely. That's why Sleep Country USA will be holding its annual pajama drive, running from Jan. 14-Feb. 25. Residents can bring gifts of pajamas, packaged socks and underclothes to the Sequim Sleep County store, located at 1041 W. Washington St. There donations will be distributed among a number of foster care organizations, the gifts being matched with a foster child in need. For more information, the store can be contacted at 683-3480 or 681-5312.



Beaches closed

Washington has closed the following beaches in Clallam County to shellfish collection (for the species noted) after samples collected last week showed elevated levels of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxin: In Clallam County, the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Dungeness Spit westward to the Lyre River is closed to all species of shellfish. There are no closures on the Strait of Juan de Fuca from the Lyre River westward to Cape Flattery. Discovery Bay and Sequim Bay are closed to butter clams only. _All species means clams (including geoduck), oyster, mussels and other invertebrates such as the moon snail._ All areas are closed for the sport harvest of scallops._ These closures do not apply to shrimp._ Crabmeat is not known to contain the PSP toxin, but the guts can contain unsafe levels._ To be safe, clean crab thoroughly and discard the guts (butter). For additional information, call the Clallam County Environmental Health Food Safety Program at 360-417-2328.



New council members

to call a special meeting

Originally Laura Dubois, Susan Lorenzen, Ken Hays and Eric Eriksen were scheduled to be sworn in at the beginning of the Sequim City Council meeting on Monday, Jan. 14, but the incoming councilors requested that they be sworn in the morning of Jan. 2. Although Eriksen was sworn in in late November, filling out the remainder of Bob Anundson's appointed term, he must be sworn in again to serve his full, four-year term.

According to Lorenzen, the decision to reschedule was due to the new council members' desire to influence the upcoming Jan. 14 meeting.

"There are some things we wanted to accomplish before Jan. 14 and we wanted to weigh in on the agenda for Jan. 14," Lorenzen said.

Any three members of the city council can call for a meeting of the city council, provided they give 24 hours notice to the remaining council members. Being sworn in on Jan. 2 enables Lorenzen, Dubois, Hays and Eriksen to call a special meeting for Friday, Jan. 4, at 11 a.m., which will take place at the Transit Center. According to Lorenzen, the reason for the meeting is to establish the agenda for Jan. 14.

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