Crude by Rail?

My father personally experienced the collapse of two local industries in Grays Harbor county.  He had worked within the timber industry (based in Aberdeen) and as a commercial fisherman (based in Westport).  The spotted owl crisis shut down entire timber companies and put thousands of people out of jobs. And when salmon were placed on the endangered species list, the fishing industry in Westport slowed to a sea snail’s pace. Hypocritically, the seals and sea lions, who receive legal protection (since they’re mammals), reduce the salmon population by the tens of thousands every day. Despite the hardship that our family had faced during those years, I’m still a fan of smart growth. I believe we can have both economic prosperity and a beautiful, fully-functioning environment within Grays Harbor county.

Currently, there is considerable controversy over the Port of Grays Harbor’s proposition to rail crude oil to the Port for further shipping by vessels and barges. The opposition warn of potential environmental disasters, while the proponents focus on the economic benefits that this would bring to the Harbor. We believe that both sides of the argument have valid points. Since crude oil is among the heaviest cargo ever to arrive at the Port and many portions of the railway extend into and through environmentally sensitive areas (as most of our county is considered environmentally sensitive), the safety of this endeavor must be guaranteed. Since the oil industry, including its transport, is one of the most regulated of all industries, we can rest assured that the appropriate safeguards will be in place before a single drop of oil comes down the track (if you exclude the oil in the automobiles being shipped currently).  Crude by rail is an excellent economic opportunity for the County which should be implemented, with prudence.  What does all this have to do with Real Estate?  Well, what’s good for the local economy is good for local Real Estate, especially needed in Grays Harbor County which has had long-standing economic challenges. This proposal brings with it 80-85 permanent family-wage jobs and an increase of the tax base of the county of over $180,000,000.  Since success begets success, other economic benefits are sure to follow.

Let’s support smart growth.

10 Things to Consider When Planning for Your Home Renovation

1. It requires a budget

If the size of the renovation is big, it is wise for you to first save up for it so that you do not have to get a loan. However, if it calls for only a minor renovation then consult friends who have had a renovation before so you will have an idea about the estimated cost for renovation or you can determine your budget with the help of your contractor.

2. Choose the expert contractor for your project

The workmanship of an expert is always reliable, so it is best to be able to find an expert contractor. Be sure to have several referrals prior to signing any agreement. Choose the ones that are highly recommended by others such as from people you know.

3. Be realistic when it comes to how much you can accomplish with your renovation plans.

In terms of your resources, budget and existing home, be realistic about your capacity to accomplish. If your plan is bigger than your budget, then you may have to wait a while or renovate one step at a time

4. Research is needed for a successful home renovation

Research will give you a clear idea of what you can expect. By clipping pictures of your favourite design or style for your room, you will have an idea how the space will feel or look.

5. Pay special attention to details

To avoid the hassle of ordering the wrong materials or failing to order some materials, be sure to have a list. Check at least twice all orders and deliveries, etc.

6. Get advice

After consulting the experts, getting referrals and drawing up your renovation plans, consult your family or friends once more who have done the same before. They can give you a better assessment of your plans.

7. Regrets should have no place in your plans

Second guessing choices after they have been finalized, paid for and set up are never a good idea. If you observe steps 1 to 6, you will have more chances of not having any regrets.

8. Consider the long-term effect of your renovation

Choose the classic style that is lasting. Avoid following the fashion which does not last.

9. Daily check up

By monitoring the renovation work daily you will soon see and have certain mistakes that might come up corrected. This way you avoid spending even more for the corrections.

10. Consider energy efficiency

There is nothing more rewarding than reducing the carbon footprint in your home. This is possible by updating/adding insulation, sealing ductwork or caulking windows. Plus the additions of efficient and updated appliances in your home make a big difference.

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