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NEWS BRIEFS

Call 9-1-1 for emergencies only

The Washington State Patrol is asking for help in reducing non-emergency calls to the emergency dispatch centers. This will allow staff to focus on critical incidents and improve emergency response.

Calling 9-1-1 should be reserved for reporting life-threatening emergencies.

Many calls to 9-1-1 are inquiries about road conditions. Washington State Department of Transportation provides traffic conditions, construction information and mountain pass reports on its Web site, www.wsdot.wa.gov, that can be extremely useful for travelers. This Web site has links to closures, detours, traffic congestion maps, near real time camera views, weather, etc.

While traveling, traffic information can also be accessed by calling 5-1-1 from a cellular phone. If the cell phone is based in area codes outside Washington, direct dial 800-695-7623.



Beach openings and closures

The state Department of Health has opened the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Dungeness Spit westward to Cape Flattery for all species of shellfish. Discovery Bay and Sequim beaches remain closed to butter clams only.



Meeting set for county parkland lease

The Clallam County board of commissioners will hold a public meeting at 10 a.m. March 4 during its regular meeting to discuss the county's intent to lease five acres of public parkland to Olympic National Park.

The five acres at Robin Hill Farm County Park, just west of Carlsborg, would be used for plant propagation and a greenhouse. The native plants grown there would be used for a variety of projects, the largest of which is restoring the exposed banks of the Elwha River after the river's two dams are removed.

The seldom-used section of the park is clear of trees. The agreement with ONP is likely to be modeled after one with the Master Gardeners, who have a sustainable, chemical-free vegetable and fruit garden in the park.



Highway memorial one step closer

A portion of State Route 112 is one step closer to being named the "Vietnam War Veterans' Memorial Highway" thanks to the passage of Senate Joint Memorial 8024. Sen. Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam, sponsored the designation that calls for the naming of the highway in Clallam County between the junctions of U.S. Highway 101 and State Route 113.

"When people put themselves in harm's way to protect our freedom, in this country wherever they are fighting in the world, no matter what you think about that particular war, we need to remember that and honor them and that is what this particular resolution will do," Hargrove said.

Between 1965 and 1975, 1,134 Washington residents and nine Clallam County residents were killed in action. _The memorial passed by the Senate by a vote of 47-0.



Hoh Rain Forest road reopens

The Hoh Road is open after a two-month storm-damage closure. The road has been closed since the record-breaking storm of Dec. 3, 2007, when heavy rain and floodwaters severely damaged the road. The most significant damage occurred outside the park boundary at Mile 7 where the road was reduced to one lane. Minor damage also occurred at Snyder Creek in Olympic National Park.

Visitors are asked to use caution when traveling the road as a portion of the roadway has a gravel surface. Caution is also advised at West Twin Creek where contractors continue to repair damage from the 2006 storms.

The Hoh Campground is closed due to storm debris and two feet of snow still on the ground. With the road now open, park crews will begin working in the campground, removing the storm debris and plowing the snow.

For current road information, call the Olympic National Park recorded road and weather information line at 360-565-3131.



Irrigation Festival fair

seeks entertainment

The 113th Sequim Irrigation Festival Arts and Crafts Fair is accepting applications for entertainment. The Arts and Crafts Fair will be May 3-4. Applications are available online at www.

IrrigationFestival.com or call Jean Wyatt at 360-477-3750. Applications will be accepted until March 1.



Send in your best manuscript

Peninsula College is accepting manuscripts from Peninsula College students and community residents interested in being part of a two-day writing workshop in May, which will be led by the college's writer-in-residence Jacqui Banaszynski.

The workshop is 2:30-4:30 p.m., May 13, 15, on the college campus. The course is capped at 10 students to encourage discussion.

The deadline for submitting a manuscript is March 15. Manuscripts should be long-form, narrative nonfiction and no more than 20 pages in length (double spaced, 12 pt.). Banaszynski will perform the final screening of manuscripts.

Banaszynski has more than 30 years of professional experience as a journalist and editor. In this seminar-format workshop, she will discuss what is working in your nonfiction narrative and what might make it more effective.

All manuscript submissions for the workshop should be sent to the attention of Alice Derry at Peninsula College, 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd., Port Angeles, WA 98362.

For additional information, call 417-6575.



Irrigation Festival Royalty

Pageant tickets on sale

The Irrigation Festival Pageant is a scholarship event to select the royalty that will best represent the Sequim community. The festival royalty accompany the float as it travels throughout the state on the float parade schedule. The royalty are community-minded high school students who volunteer their time by working with the festival committee and promoting community involvement. The 2008 Royalty Pageant will be held at 7 p.m. March 1 at the Sequim High School auditorium. Advance tickets are available at Solar City and Westsound Bank. Tickets also will be available at the door. Tickets are $5.



Tree trimming in progress

PUD #1 of Clallam County has contracted with Asplundh Tree Expert Company to trim trees in its service area. Their work is part of an annual program of trimming problem trees that might come in contact with transmission or distribution lines, causing damage to the lines and/or outages. For questions regarding this work, contact the Operations Department at 360-565-3203 or 800-542-7859.















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