County Briefs


August 31, 2023

Shellfish timeline pushed back

Mason County Hearing Examiner Phil Olbrechts issued an order to extend the post-hearing comment period on Taylor Shellfish’s proposed project in Oakland Bay.

According to an email from Mason County Community Services planner Luke Viscusi, Taylor Shellfish had until Wednesday at 3 p.m. to submit responses to public comment and information requests. Today, the county will post the new materials submitted by Taylor Shellfish on the project website. Public comment will reopen in regards to the Aug. 16 presentation and responses to the new materials produced by Taylor and will close at 9 a.m. Sept. 11. Any public comments emailed to Viscusi between Sept. 7 and Sept. 11 must also copy Taylor Shellfish’s Erin Ewald in the email.

Following the final public comment period, Taylor Shellfish will get one last opportunity to respond by 5 p.m. Sept. 18. The hearing examiner will send the final decision and hearing transcript to the county after Oct. 3.

For questions or to submit public comments, email Viscusi at [email protected].

Primary care facility in Hoodsport hosts celebration

Mason Clinic-Hoodsport Primary Care is hosting a 55th anniversary celebration and open house at 3 p.m Sept. 6 at the Fjord Oyster Bank in Hoodsport.

According to a flyer, a piece of artwork will be unveiled at Mason Clinic-Hoodsport and guided tours will be offered at the Hoodsport clinic. Refreshments and presentations will be available.

People can meet Hoodsport Medicare wellness providers, including Dr. Daniel Burris and Catherine Shutty.

Motorcyclist injured in guardrail crash on state Route 108

A 41-year-old Montesano man was injured in a motorcycle accident Sunday afternoon on state Route 108 west of Kamilche.

According to a Washington State Patrol news release, the motorcyclist was westbound on Route 108 east of Skookum Creek. The motorcyclist was traveling too fast for a curve and struck a guardrail on the westbound shoulder. The motorcyclist crossed into the eastbound lane and struck an embankment. The motorcycle came to rest in the eastbound lane and the driver was ejected and ended up in the westbound lane.

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The man was wearing a compliant helmet and was airlifted to Tacoma General. The motorcyclist was also charged with a DUI.

Fatal collision on Route 3 near Gorst

A 26-year-old man died in a two-car accident early Saturday morning on state Route 3 just north of the Bremerton Airport.

According to a Washington State Patrol news release, the man was driving a 2001 Toyota Tacoma southbound on Route 3 just south of Sunnyslope Road. A 2023 Ford F-150 was northbound, and the Toyota Tacoma crossed the centerline and struck the F-150. The road was closed for almost five hours.

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Two male passengers from the F-150 were injured and transported to Tacoma General.

Resident responds in records act case

Jeff Brittig, who filed a lawsuit against Mason County Fire District 6 for alleged Public Records Act violations, responded to the news release posted by the district last week.

Brittig told the Journal the Mason County Superior Clerk of court is responsible for preserving evidence of court hearings and trials, and lost a material piece of evidence relied upon by former Mason County Superior Court Judge Amber Finlay that imputed the credibility of fire chief Clint Volk and former commissioner Heinrich.

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The clerk of the court, Charles Rhoades, took no responsibility for losing the evidence, according to Brittig.

Brittig said the appellate court had an incomplete record because of the clerk’s error and Brittig was denied the opportunity to present a crucial link to evidence.

Brittig said the case is being appealed to the state Supreme Court.

Couture, Griffey criticize judge

State Reps. Dan Griffey and Travis Couture, Republicans from Allyn, called a decision by a Thurston County Superior Court Judge Allyson Zipp as part of a statewide pattern of putting the community at risk.

According to a news release, an 18-year-old Puyallup man, who is a suspected car thief, fled from deputies Aug. 16 when they tried to stop him for what was initially suspected to be a DUI.

The man was driving a stolen vehicle with five teenage passengers, leading deputies on a high-speed pursuit, according to the news release. The driver was booked on three felony charges that include eluding police, possession of a stolen vehicle, unlawful possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, and a misdemeanor hit and run.

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Couture and Griffey stated in the news release that the status quo isn’t working and are frustrated with the lack of accountability, saying it will likely promote more crime in the state.

“All we have to do is look around our community to see what these soft-on-crime policies have created in our neighborhoods. It is unacceptable to me and should be unacceptable to us all,” Couture said in the news release. “I will continue to work with my seatmates and House colleagues to pass legislation that makes our communities safer.”

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“The judge in this case noted the suspect posed a substantial risk of committing a violent crime. That should have been enough to require some bail,” Griffey said in the news release. “How this judge and so many others in our state continually release suspects who pose a threat to the public without bail is a mystery to me. We must do better if we ever want to turn things around in Washington and make our communities safe.”

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