Jobs picture continues to strengthen
LONG BEACH — Pacific County’s estimated jobless rate was 6.4 percent in June, down from 6.9 percent in May and 7.9 percent in June 2016. Although it was in a group of 15 mostly coastal and northeastern counties with rates above 5.1 percent, Pacific’s June rate was the lowest it has been for that month since 1990 when it stood at 6.0 percent.
There were 8,036 jobs in the county in June, according to the Washington State Employment Security Department. This compares to, 7,636 in June 2016. This marked the first month since December 2009 with more than 8,000 jobs in the county.
In Clatsop County, where the state applies a season adjustment to employment statistics, June’s jobless rate was 3.6 percent, about the same as the state rate of 3.7 percent.
Clatsop bank reports stock buyback
SEASIDE — Clatsop Community Bank said July 27 that its Board of Directors approved a new $350,000 share repurchase authorization for the company’s common stock.
“Over the last six years, Clatsop Community Bank has consistently increased capital through core earnings growth,” said Joe Schulte, President and CEO. “This stock repurchase reflects the Board of Directors commitment to delivering shareholder value. The Bank’s capital base is strong and continues to be enhanced by stable earnings.”
The bank reported a net profit of $156,000 or $0.14 per diluted share, for the three months ended June 30, compared to net profit of $147,000, or $0.14 per diluted share, for the same period the year prior. For the six months ended June 30, 2017, the bank reported a net profit of $281,000, or $0.26 per diluted share, compared to net profit of $269,000, or $0.25 per diluted share for the same period in 2016.
Artist turns beach rope to baskets
LONG BEACH — There’s new proof that one man (or woman’s) trash is another person’s treasure: Susan Spence, Long Beach Peninsula resident and artist/graphic designer, is recycling foraged flotsam into proverbial gold with a line of artfully designed and hand-crafted baskets made from discarded rope that washes up onto Washington’s beaches.
Walking daily on the Long Beach Peninsula shore is physical therapy for Spence, who recently underwent double-knee replacement. With her designer’s mind constantly at work, Spence was fascinated by various rope strands she routinely spotted on outings.
“I saw so many colors, textures and designs in these pieces of old rope and I thought there needed to be a way to reuse it instead of tossing it in a landfill,” Spence said.
Spence is creating one-of-a-kind art baskets from this cast-off cordage. Each piece of foraged rope is carefully cleaned then hand-stitched and finished by Spence into a one-of-a-kind piece.
Beach Baskets is the name Spence has given this new-but-old art. For more information or to commission a custom piece, contact Spence by calling 360-665-5515 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pacific EDA scores planning grant
ILWACO — Pacific County in partnership with the Pacific County Economic Development Council received unanimous Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) approval for $49,200 to fund an Overall Economic Development Plan (OEDP). The award was made immediately following July 27’s presentation to CERB in Olympia by EDC Director Jim Sayce, EDC member/consultant Kelly Rupp and Pacific County Commission Chair Lisa Ayers. The EDC will provide $16,400 match for the $65,600 project to develop the countywide OEDP over the next two years.
A six sub-region area strategy is deigned to ensure that the OEDP will address economic needs/issues in North Cove/Tokeland, Raymond/South Bend, Willapa Valley, Bay Center/Nemah, Naselle Valley, and South County.
“We are all ecstatic about receiving funding for this critical and very timely project,” Sayce said.
Mortgage lending buoys bank results
ABERDEEN — Pacific Financial Corp., holding company for Bank of the Pacific, reported strong performance in the second quarter of 2017.
Net income increased 17 percent to $1.9 million, or $0.18 per share, for the second quarter of 2017, compared to $1.6 million, or $0.15 per share for the first quarter of 2017, and grew 6 percent from $1.8 million, or $0.17 per share, for the second quarter of 2016.
The bank has branches in Clatsop and Pacific counties, along with other areas of the Pacific Northwest.