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Pages of the Past

120 Years Ago

Jan. 26, 1894

Sneak thieving is becoming more frequent and people are cautioned to keep their doors locked at night upon retiring. Several instances are reported the last few days, which indicates that someone is laying up supplies for future necessities. Sunday night, someone stole some canned fruit from Luke Craig living west of town. The following night, fruit and vegetables were taken from Lames Arland, and the same night thieves entered the house of J.W. Hall and carried away some canned fruit and a couple of buckets of lard.

If those who are engaged in the sneaking business of entering people’s houses will make it known that they are destitute, or they cannot live without canned fruit, their wants will be looked after. It is no disgrace to them that many people are in want these times, but it is contemptible and criminal to become a sneak thief.

100 Years Ago

Jan. 23, 1914

County Engineer H.S. Shorey has a new road scheme for building permanent hard surfaced roads outside the cities, that is littlerally the best idea we have heard advanced, in so far as securing a low cost road that will give long and adequate service is concerned. The plan in brief calls for a seven foot concrete roadway, built on one side of a five foot center of cobble stones and gravel, and on the other side of the gravel center another seven foot concrete roadway. Where traffic is not heavy, only one side of the road need be constructed. The initial cost of building such a road will be less than $4,000 a mile for a road with just one side strip of concrete. With both sides of concrete the cost will be less than $8,000 a mile and give a perfect, hard road.

On Monday, the county commissioners voted to build 5 ¼ miles of such roadway from the east side of Montesano to the Satsop River bridge, or such portion of that distance that can be constructed at an expense not to exceed $18,500.

75 Years Ago

Jan. 26, 1939

Congressman Martin F. Smith, following presidential revival of the Florida ship canal project, has asked Congress to consider the need for linking Grays Harbor with Puget Sound and the Columbia River with a canal. He says in the Congressional Record that the project is as meritorious as the Florida project and much less costly. He said the proposed $33 million canal would be a paying proposition and a boon to western industry. He said the project would provide 20,000 jobs.

50 Years Ago

Jan. 23, 1964

Three recommendations in the President’s budget for 1965, announced Tuesday, contemplate the expenditure of $1.4 million of federal funds In the Grays Harbor area. They are:

1. $200,000 for advance planning of the Wynooche dam project.

2. $500,000 for planning of the South Jetty project.

3. $700,000 for continuation of dredging in the Port of Grays Harbor.

If these recommendations are approved by Congress, local leaders expressed confidence that both the Wynooche and South Jetty projects will become realities within the foreseeable future.

25 Years Ago

Jan. 26, 1989

A coalition of Pacific Northwest forest industry trade associations have asked the Secretary of Agriculture to delay a U.S. Forest Service interim decision to set aside another 374,000 acres of prime timberland for the northern spotted owl pending completion of congressionally approved research into the owl’s habitat needs.

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The cost of the county providing an attorney for indigent defendants is becoming increasingly difficult, as far as funding is concerned. Monday evening, that fact was brought home hard to the commissioners as they opened two bids for such services in District Court No. 1, a position for which Kyle Imler, of McCleary, found it necessary to resign after having his bid accepted late last year.

Monday evening, the legal firm of Olsen and Raines of Montesano submitted a bid of $52,250 for the remaining 11 months of the year, and Steven Hyde of Aberdeen submitted a bid of $44,000.

Needless to say, the board accepted the lower bid and Commissioner Bill Vogler added, “If the counties don’t get some kind of legislative help in this area their annual budgets are going to eventually be decimated. It wasn’t but a year or two ago that we were getting bids of $20,000 or $25,000 for the entire calendar year. Now those figures are doubling and then some.”

10 Years Ago

Jan. 22, 2004

In the aftermath of an Elma High School student’s harassment and intimidation conviction, the Elma School District is teaching its students that what was once considered a joke or sarcasm could actually be ruled harassment.

Students are learning that they can get in trouble for name-calling or teasing. The problem school officials say, is that many students do not report being teased or witnessing teasing.

“We were unaware of (the student) being picked on prior to interviews with students and the police being involved,” Principal Mark Keating said of the freshman who was arrested Nov. 24 for writing a “slaughter list” of 48 students he thought about killing.

• • •

The director of the Montesano Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Information Center resigned suddenly last Thursday. Carol Smith, director for the past eight years, and the chamber’s only paid staff member, is candid about not liking some of the changes board members wanted her to make in the day-to-day management of the office.

“It’s a very hands-on board right now,” she said. “And it’s been difficult for me to accept somebody telling me what to do when I’ve been the one to be doing it for eight years.”

Despite her sudden decision, she doubts it was totally unexpected.

“There have been a couple of times over the past year when some things haven’t gone well and I have threatened to leave,” she said.