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Gas prices fallen 1.1 cents in past week

Washington gas prices have fallen 1.1 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.76/g as of Oct. 18, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 2,666 stations in Washington.

Gas prices in Washington are 3.4 cents per gallon lower than a month ago and stand $1.06/g higher than a year ago.

According to GasBuddy price reports, the cheapest station in Washington is priced at $3.23/g, while the most expensive is $4.29/g, a difference of $1.06/g.

The lowest price in the state is $3.23/g while the highest is $4.29/g, a difference of $1.06/g.

The national average price of gasoline has risen 2.9 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $3.30/g. The national average is up 11.1 cents per gallon from a month ago and stands $1.15/g higher than a year ago.

Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, said that the national average closed the week by climbing to “yet another fresh seven-year high, as the price of oil continues to drag gas prices along for the wild ride, leaving motorists on empty."

“With OPEC holding back oil production and strong global oil demand, the situation will no doubt pave the road with even higher gas prices in the weeks ahead,” he said. “Until several bottlenecks ease, including supply chains and low global inventories of oil, natural gas and coal, we'll be stuck feeling the pinch of rising oil and gasoline prices. The bad news is that for now, all I see is the upward trend at the pump continuing into the weeks ahead with no sign of relief just yet."

GasBuddy data is accessible at FuelInsights.GasBuddy.com.

2021 Student Mock Election now open

The Office of the Secretary of State is calling on students and teachers across Washington to take part in the 2021 Student Mock Election.

Open until Nov. 2, the Student Mock Election is a non-partisan educational initiative that teaches K-12 students how elections work and how to become informed voters.

Students have the opportunity to participate in a mock election and vote on actual races and measures – including fictional issues pertinent to their daily lives.

Ballots, posters, voters’ pamphlets, and more are available for download and printing. Other resources include “I Voted” stickers and the curriculum book Teaching Elections in Washington State.

The lessons meet state and common-core standards and satisfy the civics coursework required for graduation. Classroom-based assessments are included with each lesson.

Washington’s Office of the Secretary of State oversees a number of areas within state government, including managing state elections, registering corporations and charities, and governing the use of the state flag and state seal.

The office also manages the State Archives and the State Library, documents extraordinary stories in Washington’s history through Legacy Washington, oversees the Combined Fund Drive for charitable giving by state employees, and administers the state’s Address Confidentiality Program to help protect survivors of crime.

Alzheimer’s Association offers virtual caregiver support group in Ferndale

Caring for someone with memory loss? Need information and support? Alzheimer’s Association virtual family caregiver support groups provide a consistent and caring place for people to learn, share and gain emotional support from others who are also on a unique journey of providing care to a person with memory loss.

Meetings are held the second Tuesday of the month from 2-3:30 p.m. at the Ferndale Library, 2125 Main St.

For information, call Leona Vandenberg at 360-933-1593 or call 800-272-3900.

Voting period has begun

On Nov. 2, Washington state voters will elect representatives to local governments and make decisions about local ballot issues.

Three advisory ballots will also appear on voters’ 2021 general election ballot.

LWVWA President Lunell Haught reminds voters that the 18-day voting period began on Oct. 15. 

"Now is the time to make sure your signature and address are up to date, and you have the information you need to cast your ballot,” Haught said.

Voters can check their registration status at VoteWA.gov. Register if needed, update if needed. Then, visit the LWVWA website to find information about candidates and how the voting process works.

Voters will find a checklist in English and Spanish to help make their voting plan, as well as Your Vote, published in partnership with The Spokesman-Review. This publication answers voters’ questions about how elections work. Selected stories are available in Spanish.

Voters can visit VOTE411 to find out where candidates stand on important issues. This personalized voter guide asks candidates to answer questions from the community in their own words.

Voters can also visit local League of Women Voters’ websites to learn about upcoming candidate forums or to view forums that have already occurred.

The elections in 2021 are about deciding who will represent community interests in races most close to home.

From school boards to city councils to ports and much more, voters will choose representatives who will make decisions that affect their daily lives.

“Local elections are where we have the greatest impact," Haught said. "Make sure you’re a part of the decision-making. Your vote is your voice. Vote.”

Peoples Bank kicks off Socktober campaign

Building on its 2018 and 2019 Socktober campaigns during which more than 12,000 pairs of socks were donated to non-profit organizations serving homeless communities in Washington, Peoples Bank has once again reintroduced its sock-gathering effort. Donations of new, unopened pairs of socks are being accepted at all 23 Peoples Bank branch locations in October.

Peoples Bank will also donate $1 for every pair of socks donated to Opportunity Council, which helps people improve their lives through education, support, and direct assistance while advocating for just and equitable communities.

According to a report released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), homelessness across the U.S. grew by more than two percent between 2019 and 2020.

Washington, however, experienced a 6.2 percent increase in homelessness during this period, the third-largest increase among all 50 states. This represents an estimated 22,923 people experiencing homelessness on any given day. Of that, 2,116 were family households, 1,607 were Veterans, 1,777 were unaccompanied young adults (aged 18-24), and 6,756 were individuals experiencing chronic homelessness.

Learn more about Socktober at peoplesbank-wa.com/socktober.

State Parks announces resignation of agency director 

Pete Mayer has resigned as director of the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission.

Mayer’s decision to resign is based on the best interest of his family and he steps down as director to pursue other opportunities closer to his new home.

The commission appreciates Mayer’s service to Parks and the citizens of Washington.

Mayer was initially appointed as director in March 2021.

Peter Herzog, a current assistant director with the agency, has been appointed as interim director by the commission. The commission is actively working towards the next steps to recruit and hire a new director.

Great ShakeOut celebrates 10th anniversary in Whatcom County

For the 10th year in a row, hundreds of thousands of people in Washington state will participate in the world’s largest earthquake and tsunami drill: The Great ShakeOut. 

At 10:21 a.m. on Oct. 21, you’re invited to drop, cover and hold on wherever you are – whether it’s at work, home or school.

At about the same time, Washington’s network of 122 coastal tsunami sirens will be tested using the wailing sound of a tsunami warning, not the Westminster Chimes that are used during the monthly tests.

Please do not call 9-1-1. NOAA Weather Radios will also sound an alarm.

There are many new sirens on the coast so the sound could come from new directions. Some new tsunami sirens are still being worked on and may not be used during the test. 

More than 1 million Washington residents have registered to participate in the earthquake and tsunami drill. Registration isn’t required but it helps us with understanding how effective our outreach is. It’s also free and easy to register at shakeout.org/washington.

If you’re continuing to work from home, take this opportunity to examine your environment for hazards and talk to family about where everyone would gather if your home was damaged and you were separated. If you’re at a workplace or have kids in school, ask about what plans are in place for when an earthquake happens.

During the event, use #ShakeOut on social media to join many others across the country posting pictures of themselves under desks or using proper earthquake protection techniques. 

We also encourage residents to do one more thing to get prepared. Download the free Prepare in a Year guide to find little steps to take each month to get prepared at mil.wa.gov/preparedness.

If you’re on the coast, consider walking your evacuation route – or at least figure out where you would need to go to evacuate. You can find maps and how the sirens work at mil.wa.gov/tsunami.

If you hear a tsunami siren wailing any other time than on Oct. 21, immediately follow the closest tsunami evacuation route inland or to high ground.

This is your warning that a tsunami is approaching, and you need to evacuate the inundation zone as soon as possible. If you are on the coast and you feel the ground shaking, drop, cover and hold on to protect yourself.

When the shaking stops, immediately follow the closest tsunami evacuation route inland or to high ground.

Do not wait to hear a tsunami siren or to receive an official tsunami alert – the shaking is your warning that a tsunami may be on its way.

Register at ShakeOut.org/Washington to practice and improve your level of earthquake and tsunami safety.

Everyone everywhere can participate! Individuals, families, businesses, schools, government agencies, and organizations are all invited to join in at 10:21 a.m. on Oct. 21.