I just decided this week to tell you where I go in the second week each month. On Monday I attended the Willapa Chamber of Commerce meeting.
It was held at the Carriage Museum in Raymond. This is a beautiful museum and has fabulous carriages and a fascinating director. They also have a fully equipped school room with the rules for the students and also for the teachers. They conduct tours every week day and can schedule on Saturdays too. They have two Studebakers that sold for $35 in 1895. That evening we attended a group of citizens in Elma who are trying to find a way to build a football and soccer stadium so Elma can once again have home games for our teams. Many times the old playing field was like playing in a mud puddle. The school board has done a great job in making the bonding as reasonable as possible. At the last election the rate for each home owner was about $100 per year. At the rate of interest currently being charged on bonds, we could save thousands of dollars if the plan were approved now.
Tuesday morning I attended the Port of Grays Harbor board meeting. This meeting is always informative and seems to be at the heart of the commerce for this region. The newest tenant at the Port is TNG. Mr. Lim said they will ship live seafood from Sea Tac airport to Korea, Japan and China. They already have 20 employees and believe they will soon need 50.
We also heard from our short line railroad, Genesee & Wyoming, Our line is Puget Sound and Pacific. G & W is in 41 states of the Union and operates in several other countries. They have spent millions in making our railroad line safe for all the cargos that come into this area. In Elma we see many trains going into the Harbor and out. The engineers have fun with the signal they are required to blow, particularly at night. One of their primary customers is the auto exporter, Pasha Automotive. Their general manager is Penny Eubanks, a very good member of East County Rotary. It would be great if we could find something to ship back after the cars that bring in cars are empty.
On Wednesday we had a very interesting Chamber meeting at the Elma Grange. The lunch was sponsored by the Dennis Company. We had a very good report about the new Pharmacy that will be located in the new clinic being built across from City Hall in McCleary. We also heard from Summit Pacific Medical Center a bout many of their activities. Susan Shultz, our new Chief of Police finished the speakers and told us about the many activities of the Elma Police department. I believe we have successfully shut down four drug houses. The Chief should be removing her boot protecting her broken ankle this week.
On January 23, 2016 at the Grays Harbor Fairground will be the Winter Wine Festival. This is a great party and the one big fund raiser for our Chamber. There will be live music, several food and other vendors and will be very well attended.
East County Rotary is getting going on The Pair of Hearts Ball to be held at 6 pm on February 20, 2016 at the Quinault Beach Resort and Casino.
We still have a few table sponsorships available. The tickets are only $40 until February 15th when we have to raise them to $45. The Resort has a special rate for people attending the ball or for the vendors. For tickets please talk to Amy Thomason, Ken Albert, Angela Coulter or Fred Rapp. If you have items to donate for the silent or live auction to help us support the Children's Advocacy Center, please call me, Fred Rapp at 360 481 2842. All of us are looking forward to seeing you. It is a great party and a great cause. This is the best way to celebrate Valentine's Day.