Peninsula Daily News, Victoria News and The Associated Press
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B.C. Ferries last week awarded a $165 million ($154.8 million U.S.) contract to Remontowa Shipbuilding of Gdansk, Poland, to build three new intermediate-class vessels.
Two will replace the 49-year-old Queen of Burnaby on the Comox-Powell River run and the 50-year-old Queen of Nanaimo on the Tsawwassen-Gulf Islands route.
The third will be used for extra capacity in peak and shoulder seasons for the southern Gulf Islands.
The first new vessel is scheduled to be delivered by August 2016, with the second by October 2016 and the third by February 2017.
They will be equipped to use diesel and liquefied natural gas, a first for the BC Ferries fleet.
Window open house
PORT ANGELES — Hartnagel Building Supply, 3111 E. U.S. Highway 101, will host a free open house on replacement windows from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 16.
The public is invited to attend to learn about energy-efficient replacement windows and low-E glass and local weatherization rebates.
Local authorized installers will be available to discuss the installation process, including contractors from Alpha Builders, Cozi Homes and Kandu Enterprise.
For more information, visit www.tinyurl.com/WindowOpenHouse or phone Hartnagel Building Supply at 360-452-8933.
PORT ANGELES — Marc and Pat Thomsen, aka “Team Thomsen,” of Coldwell Banker Uptown Realty have been named the company's Agent of the Month.
The Agent of the Month award is attained by producing the highest amount of real estate business transactions in one month's time.
For more information, email Team Thomsen at MThomsen@olypen.com or phone 360-417-2782.
Shop open house
SEQUIM — Banana Belt Kelly Gift Shop, 481 Riverside Road, will celebrate its fifth anniversary with an open house from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday.
There will be cookies to snack on and a garden to walk through where peafowl can be seen.
For more information, phone the shop at 360-582-0339.
OLYMPIA — Gay and lesbian couples whose domestic partnerships automatically became marriages last Monday are eligible for a special health-insurance enrollment period.
The default marriages count as a “qualifying life event” that allows Washington residents to buy insurance on the individual market at a time when enrollment is closed to most people.
Other qualifying events include conventional marriages of gay or straight couples, having a baby or adopting, moving to an area with different insurance options, turning 26 and no longer qualifying for insurance through a parent, or losing insurance due to divorce, graduating college or COBRA coverage ending.
Residents generally have 60 days from the date of the qualifying event to buy insurance through the state's exchange, called Washington Healthplanfinder, or outside of the exchange through a broker or directly from an insurance company.
Couples now married due to the change in their domestic partnership status have until Aug. 28 to enroll.
More information on enrollment can be found here on the state's exchange website, www.wahbexchange.org.
OLYMPIA — Inmates in Washington state prisons will no longer be disciplined for hurting themselves or attempting suicide, a news release from the state Department of Corrections said.
Attempts at self-harm in the past have resulted in inmates losing good-conduct time. In cases where offenders lost good-conduct time only for attempting to hurt themselves, that time will be restored, the release said.
“For too long, there has been a short-sighted practice of punishing or isolating those who are unable to control their impulses,” said Scott Frakes, deputy director for prisons, in the release.
“This decision is consistent with current research on what works to prevent offenders from harming themselves.”
The agency made the decision while examining ways to be responsive to inmates' mental health needs while keeping staff members safe.
The corrections department has worked with Disability Rights Washington for the past year, examining issues surrounding segregation practices in state prisons.
Frakes said prison officials have other tools, including treatment programs and behavior-management plans, that can reduce the risk of inmates hurting themselves.
Disability Rights Washington will continue to monitor this and other issues through its prison project, Amplifying Voices of Inmates with Disabilities, Executive Director Mark Stroh said.
Cool new cars
NEW YORK — They're fun to drive, according to Kelley Blue Book, which picked these as the 10 Coolest New Cars Under $18,000 for model-year 2014:
2. Hyundai Veloster
3. Kia Soul
4. Honda Civic Coupe
5. Volkswagen Jetta
6. Fiat 500
7. Dodge Dart
8. Ford Fiesta
9. Chevrolet Sonic
10. Nissan Versa Note