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Seattle/Western Wash. News Releases for Fri. Aug. 29 - 1:00 am
08/28/14
Road Map Region Race to the Top Executive Committee Issues Preliminary Awards of $1.5 Million for Second Round of PreK-3rd Grade Systems Investment Fund
Puget Sound ESD - 08/28/14
The Executive Committee for the Road Map Region Race to the Top grant issued preliminary awards of $1.6 million in Investment Funds for Project 3B (PreK-3rd Grade Systems) as part of the second round of awards to districts participating in the consortium. Five of the proposals were continuing or expanding from the first award process and two proposals were new.

The consortium's Race to the Top grant includes 12 funded projects spanning from "cradle to career." Four of the 12 projects were specified in the grant as Investment Funds, whereby districts apply through a process to use the funds in ways that advance student achievement and help the Road Map Project reach its goal of doubling the number of students prepared to graduate from college or earn a career credential. These four projects, Teaching and Leading, PreK-3rd Grade Systems, College & Career Readiness and Community-School Partnerships, represent nearly half of the consortium's total grant, $18 million out of $40 million.

A total of $3.9 million will be awarded through Project 3B (PreK-3rd Grade Systems) in three disbursements. The first distribution of these funds totaled $1.2 million and the second distribution totaled $1.6 million, which included the following preliminary awards:
* Auburn School District: Furthering Alignment of PreK through Third Grade, $276,150
* Federal Way Public Schools: Development of Comprehensive PreK-3rd Grade Plan, $67,780
* Highline Public Schools: Expand Early Access to Culturally Relevant, High Quality Early Learning Programs and Parent Education, $286,756
* Kent School District: Kent Kids: Ready to Go!, $151,463
* Renton School District: Strengthening Preparation of At-risk Students for School through Cross-Sector Work and Engaged Families, $250,000
* Seattle Public Schools: Strengthening P3 Systems in Seattle Public Schools, $417,129
* Tukwila School District: Start Strong: Kindergarten Readiness, $120,840

Project 3B supports and leverages district PreK-3rd grade action plans as developed through Project 3A, specifically with high-needs schools. The main goal is to significantly improve students' kindergarten readiness, early literacy, and math skills, resulting in successful students and the reduction of achievement gaps through: 1. building leadership capacity; 2. improving the instructional core; and 3. expanding the use of data and formative assessments to drive improvement.

"The proposals put forth in Round 2 will help move our region forward in supporting students PreK through 3rd grade" said Project 3B Lead Matthew Gulbranson. "Creating and sustaining Prek-3rd Grade systems is incredibly important for the Road Map region, ensuring that students enter Kindergarten with the skills they need to succeed and continue through grades K-3. The impact of Prek-3rd grade systems that support teachers, students, and families along the P-3 continuum will have lasting effects for student success throughout their educational journey."

One of the successful projects implemented through these investment funds is Seattle Public Schools' Jump Start program. Jump Start is a way to help children and their families begin school ready - and excited - about learning. It is a weeklong experience for new kindergarteners and their families to learn about their new school. Children become familiar with the school building, staff, and typical school-day activities and practices.

This summer, over 50 elementary and K-8 schools across the city of Seattle offered Jump Start the week of August 18-22. Jump Start ran for five consecutive half-days (usually 9 a.m. to noon). Parents/guardians met with the school principal during the week. Interpreters were also available for children who are English-language learners.

Highline Public Schools offered a new preschool program to families called Pre-K Play and Learn. The program is an early education program for incoming kindergarten students who have not had access to high-quality preschool programs.

"We recognize the importance of high-quality early learning in the success of our students in school and beyond," said Early Learning PreK-3 Specialist Lindsey Durant. "Pre-K Play and Learn provides incoming Highline children with an opportunity to become more school-ready and will foster strong partnerships between families and school."

"The program brings equity to our system by providing as much access to high-quality education as possible," said Midway Principal Rebekah Kim. "In addition to preparing our future students for school, it also helps parents and families who may have anxiety or stress about sending their child to school for the first time."

An independent panel was assembled to score the proposals and make recommendations to the Executive Committee. Award recommendations were made based on points received as well as other factors that impact the region such as return on investment and scalability. Following preliminary award decisions, PSESD will finalize the terms of each award with districts through a contracting process.


About the Road Map Region Race to the Top Grant
The Auburn, Federal Way, Highline, Kent, Renton, Seattle and Tukwila school districts competed together for $40 million in Race to the Top federal funding as the Road Map District Consortium. The districts' grant was among 16 winners picked from nearly 400 applications by the U.S. Department of Education. The Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD) is responsible for managing the grant's implementation and functions as the fiscal agent. For more information visit www.roadmapracetothetop.org
Raymond School District Saves Taxpayers Money
Raymond SD - 08/28/14
Raymond, WA - August 28, Raymond School District took advantage of historically low interest rates in the municipal bond market and completed the refinancing of its 2004 Unlimited Tax General Obligation Refunding Bonds. The original 2004 bond proceeds had been used to refinance the District's 1999 and 1994 prior voted debt (which financed the construction of the new high school, renovated the elementary school and added classrooms and a gymnasium).

The refinancing will reduce debt repayment costs by approximately by a total of $170,000 over the next four years, when the debt will be retired. Working with Martin Nelson and Company, the District was able to replace the 3.87% average interest rate currently paid on its outstanding 2004 debt with a new rate of 1.22%.

The District was able to secure such low interest rates through the use of an inaugural credit rating from Standard and Poor's and the utilization of a guarantee from Washington State to pay the District's debt service in the event of default. The District's first effort to acquire its own credit rating yielded a strong result. Standard and Poor's awarded the District an "A+" ranking as a result of its highly stable finances, strong liquidity and modest debt load.The S&P rating award also reflected the District's financial success from prior e-learning programs.

"We continue to seek ways to be effective and efficient with taxpayer funds" said Superintendent Dr. Steve Holland. We know our residents are concerned about the economy and we felt these cost reduction efforts were important. The District chose to enter the bond market now so that taxpayer savings could be achieved while interest rates are still at generational lows".

"The refinancing opportunity surfaced in June of this year and we felt it was important to complete the project now before interest rates turned volatile and we found ourselves missing an opportunity to reduce interest costs by 2.65% per year," said Fiscal Officer, Tera Stephens.
08/22/14
Highway 35 crash injures three people - Photos (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 08/22/14
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According to Lieutenant Patrick Shortt, on August 21, 2014 three people were injured in a two vehicle crash that occurred approximately 8 miles south of Hood River at the intersection of Highway 35 and Booth Hill Road. According to Lieutenant Shortt, a black 1989 Chevrolet pick-up driven by WESLEY BAKER, age 36, from Parkdale, Oregon was southbound on Highway 35. A red Toyota Corolla with three occupants operated by SHARYE STRUIKSMA, age 33, of Lynden, Washington had been traveling eastbound on Booth Hill Road. As the black Chevrolet pick-up reached the intersection of Booth Hill Road, the red Toyota Corolla entered the highway in front of the pick-up. The two vehicles collided. The collision forced the red Toyota Corolla off of roadway with it coming to rest on the east side of Highway 35. The black Chevrolet pick-up came to a rest in the southbound lane of Highway 35.

STRUIKSMA, was transported to Emmanuel Hospital in Portland via Life Flight for treatment of critical injuries. JUDITH STRUIKSMA, age 63, from Lynden, Washington who had been seated in the right front passenger seat of the red Toyota Corolla, was transported to Providence Hospital in Hood River for treatment of serious injuries. LUKE STRUIKSMA, age 10, from Lynden, Washington was also transported to Providence Hospital in Hood River for treatment of minor injuries. The operator of the black Chevrolet pick-up, WESLEY BAKER, was not transported for treatment. All occupants of the red Toyota Corolla, as well as WESLEY BAKER, were wearing safety restraints.

Highway 35 was partially blocked for approximately 2 ?1/2 hours while emergency crews investigated the crash and cleared the scene. Troopers from The Dalles Area Command are continuing the investigation into the crash. Recruit Jason Walters is the lead investigator.
The Hood River County Sheriff's Office, Westside Fire Department, WyEast Fire Department, Hood River Fire Department and the Oregon Department of Transportation assisted at the scene of the crash.


### www.oregon.gov/OSP ###


Attached Media Files: 2014-08/1002/77108/006.JPG
08/19/14
Successful Energy Northwest bond sale benefits BPA ratepayers
Bonneville Power Administration - 08/19/14
Portland, Ore. - Energy Northwest and the Bonneville Power Administration took the first step in an effort that could save BPA ratepayers as much as $1.8 billion in gross interest savings and restore up to $1.2 billion of BPA's U.S. Treasury borrowing authority through 2044.

In particular, Energy Northwest sold BPA-supported bonds on Aug. 5 to refinance approximately $321 million of outstanding regional cooperation debt previously issued by Energy Northwest and associated with the never-completed nuclear Projects 1 and 3. This is the first of several potential bond sales that could lead to the refinancing of Energy Northwest nuclear assets that could yield the savings mentioned above.

"This agreement offers unique opportunities for savings," said Nancy Mitman, BPA acting chief financial officer. "The net effect of refinancing through regional cooperation bonds is that both the weighted average interest rate and maturity of BPA's overall debt portfolio will be reduced over the life of the proposal, thereby lowering interest costs by hundreds of millions of dollars and increasing U.S Treasury borrowing capacity for making much-needed investments in our infrastructure."

Regional cooperation debt refers to existing debt associated with the Columbia Generating Station in Richland, Wash., and Projects 1 and 3 that also serves as a regional financial resource, providing remarkable debt management opportunities to lower costs of power for the benefit of the Pacific Northwest.

Similar efforts in the past helped BPA preserve and restore approximately $2 billion in U.S. Treasury borrowing authority and saved approximately $500 million in interest under BPA's Debt Optimization Program.

The bond proceeds will be used to pay off Energy Northwest debt that is due to mature in 2014. The new bonds will be paid prior to the end of BPA's existing regional power sales agreements in 2028. More particularly, the bond sale allows Energy Northwest to extend regional cooperation debt that was due in 2014 into the period between 2025 and 2028, a period that more closely matches the useful lives of the Energy Northwest facilities expected at the time the related facilities were initially financed.

The Energy Northwest bond sale is set to close Aug. 21, 2014. The bond sale means that amounts recovered in BPA's rates to pay Energy Northwest principal will instead be available to pay off like amounts of more expensive federal debt. The new Energy Northwest regional cooperation bonds have a true interest cost of 3.17 percent. The resulting availability of additional amounts in the BPA fund will help assist in the prepayment of a like principal amount of BPA's federal debt bearing interest rates of 7.15 to 7.19 percent. The present value of the interest savings to the region will therefore be $135 million. The savings also will help BPA hold down rates in fiscal years 2016 and 2017.

"Energy Northwest and BPA worked closely to establish and implement a broad view of the regional debt portfolio as a crucial tool for providing the region with prudent, long-term value," said Brent Ridge, Energy Northwest vice president, Corporate Services/chief financial officer.

BPA is a nonprofit federal agency that markets renewable hydropower from 31 federal hydro projects in the Columbia Basin and power from Energy Northwest's Columbia Generating Station. BPA also operates three-quarters of high-voltage transmission line capacity in the Northwest and funds one of the largest wildlife protection and restoration programs in the world. BPA and its partners have also saved enough electricity through energy efficiency projects to power four large American cities. For more information, contact us at 503-230-5131 or visit www.bpa.gov.
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08/18/14
Annie Wright Schools Announce Year-Round Learning Program for Early Childhood (Photo)
Annie Wright Schools - 08/18/14
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Tacoma, Wash. -- Annie Wright Schools announced changes today that impact the schools' Early Childhood program for boys and girls, ages three to five. Beginning with the 2014-2015 academic year, Preschool and Prekindergarten will be offered year-round, only closing on major holidays, with no impact to the current tuition costs.

Annie Wright Schools will still offer the same educational curriculum rich in discovery, exploration, play and inquiry, integrated with program highlights that include Spanish, swimming, lab science, art, library and physical education. Early Childhood families now have the additional convenience of extended care and programming before and after the school day begins, with no added fees. Early Childhood students will also be cared for during the schools' typical breaks, closing for major holidays ten days per year. Classes will remain small, with 16 students maximum and two teachers per class.

"Annie Wright Schools have decided to make a further substantial investment in the education and care of our youngest students," says Christian G. Sullivan, Head of Annie Wright Schools. "We understand that families, especially dual working parent homes, thrive on more options and flexibility for their younger children. This is a very significant addition to our current program aimed at meeting those needs."

Tuition rates for Annie Wright Schools' Early Childhood program will not change, giving families the option of learning and care from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm. Half-day and full-day options are available. The schools are still accepting applications on a space available basis for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Families interested in learning more about the Early Childhood program at Annie Wright Schools should contact Joy Phelps, Day School Admissions Director, at joy_phelps@aw.org or 253.284.8602.

Founded in Tacoma in 1884, Annie Wright Schools are two schools on one campus. Annie Wright Day School serves boys and girls in Preschool through Grade 8, while Annie Wright Upper School offers all-girls day and boarding programs for Grades 9 through 12. Annie Wright is proud to be an International Baccalaureate World School. Learn more at www.aw.org.


Attached Media Files: 2014-08/4311/76982/AWS_11.13-0067.jpg
08/13/14
Districts Unified in Rejecting the Label "Failing" to Describe Local Schools School districts in the Puget Sound area experience success in raising achievement for all students.
Puget Sound ESD - 08/13/14
Superintendents in 28 school districts in the Puget Sound region are rebuffing the "failing schools" label imposed by the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, calling the label regressive and punitive. The leaders are countering the negative messaging of NCLB by pointing to numerous successes in student achievement. (See example Shining Success Stories, attached.)

"The outstanding student progress in Tacoma School District and districts across the region is due to the hard work of students, staff and schools," said Superintendent Carla Santorno. "This progress is the result of high-quality instruction delivered by dedicated teachers, effective leadership at the school and district levels, and collaborative partnerships with parents, families and community."

Washington State has been operating under a conditional waiver from the accountability requirements of NCLB for the past two school years. The waiver exempted schools from NCLB sanctions, including the requirement to inform parents if test scores failed to meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). However, the federal government refused to renew Washington's waiver for the 2014-15 school year.

This spring, Washington State will once again be required to report AYP. AYP is an annual measure of student achievement on state tests in reading and math. NCLB's goal is for 100 percent of students to reach proficiency in both subjects by 2014. Under that standard, nearly every Washington school will fail to meet AYP and will be labeled as failing.

In the two years under the waiver, the state has experienced significant gains in student growth and school improvement.

"Educators and congressional leaders have acknowledgment that NCLB isn't working," commented John Welch, superintendent of the Puget Sound Educational Service District. "School districts across the state, with leadership from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), have made significant progress under the state's accountability plan that more accurately reflects progress in our schools and school districts."

"As educators, we are fully committed to each and every student reaching his or her full potential and are proud of the significant academic progress our students are making," said Kent School District Superintendent Lee Vargas. "While 100 percent of our students have not reached proficiency, we are making clear progress."

NCLB sanctions actually reduce the resources available to districts to meet AYP. Districts that do not meet AYP are required to "set aside" 20 percent of their Title I funds they receive from the federal government. This money must be reserved either for private vendors to provide tutoring or to bus students who want to transfer to a school that did not fail to meet AYP.

Over 95 school boards have passed resolutions calling on Congress to pass a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Congress reauthorized the original ESEA of 1965 every five years until 2001, when Congress passed the current version of ESEA. Since that time, the mandates and requirements of the law have been left in place.

The resolution noted that the accountability provisions in the current law "unfairly and inaccurately reflect the academic progress of students, schools and school districts," resulting in public schools being labeled as "failing" and subject to punitive sanctions

The Puget Sound Educational Service District took similar action. In explaining its rationale, Board President Joanne Seng noted, "The districts in our region are successfully addressing the needs of our most-challenged students and reverting to an ineffective and outdated law will harm our children, staff and schools. We believe local control and decision-making is the best use of resources and what's right for our students."


Attached Media Files: 2014-08/4161/76856/Success_Stories.docx
08/12/14
American Red Cross continues to have an urgent need for blood and platelet donations
American Red Cross Blood Services - 08/12/14
(see downloadable file for a list of upcoming blood donation opportunities in the area)

PORTLAND, Ore. (August 12, 2014) - The American Red Cross continues to have an urgent need for blood and platelet donations, even as thousands of people answered the urgent call to donate last month.

Through the end of July, the Red Cross saw an increase of approximately 7.5 percent in the number of donors coming to give blood, resulting in more than 11,800 additional donations beyond what was anticipated. Despite the increase, blood products are currently being distributed to hospitals as quickly as donations are coming in, maintaining the urgent need.

To prevent a shortage and ensure an adequate blood supply for patients the rest of the summer, the Red Cross especially needs platelet donors and those with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood.

"The Red Cross is grateful for those who stepped up to give this lifesaving gift and reminds eligible donors that hospital patients are still counting on them to roll up a sleeve," said Jared Schultzman, communications manager for the Red Cross Pacific Northwest Blood Services Region. "As summer draws to a close, you still have the chance to give hope to patients in need."

How to donate blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver's license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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Attached Media Files: 2014-08/1812/76784/American_Red_Cross_Blood_Drives_(Aug_16_-_Sept_1)_4.docx
08/11/14
Sign Up Your Child For Kindergarten Today
Puget Sound ESD - 08/11/14
Children who turn five before August 31, 2014 may sign up for kindergarten for the next school year.

To sign your child up for Kindergarten, it is important to bring:
* Your child's birth certificate
* Proof of your address (rental agreement, purchase agreement, or utility bill)
* Your child's immunization records
* Two emergency contacts, including addresses and phone numbers

Several districts have collaborated to produce checklists for families to use to get an idea of what skills and activities are typical in our Kindergarten classrooms. These checklists are available in the following languages: English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Cambodian, Arabic, Marshallese, Somali, Oromo, Tigrigna and Amharic.

Parents and families should contact their local school district for kindergarten registration information.
* Auburn School District - Phone: 253-931-4900
* Federal Way Public Schools - Phone: 253-945-2001
* Highline Public Schools - Phone: 206-631-3153 and 206-427-2905
* Kent School District - Phone: 253.373.7235
* Renton School District - Phone: 425-204-2300
* Seattle Public Schools - Phone: 206.252-0760
* Tukwila School District - Phone: 206-901-8000
08/06/14
Photo/Video Release: Oregon Army National Guard assists with state's fire fighting efforts (Photo)
Oregon Military Department - 08/06/14
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*** PHOTO/VIDEO RELEASE ***

140804-Z-UI440-678
An Oregon Army National Guard CH-47D Chinook helicopter awaits launch instructions at a helibase at the Beaver Complex Fire, near the Oregon-California border, Aug. 4. As part of the overall fire suppression efforts, the Oregon Army National Guard has provided two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and two HH-60M Blackhawk helicopters to assist local authorities with fighting the wildfires. Photo by Spc. Alisha Grezlik, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs.

140804-Z-UI440-688
An Oregon Army National Guard HH-60M Blackhawk helicopter refuels at a helibase near the Beaver Complex Fire, near the Oregon-California border, Aug. 4. As part of the overall fire suppression efforts, the Oregon Army National Guard has provided two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and two HH-60M Blackhawk helicopters to assist local authorities with fighting the wildfires. Photo by Spc. Alisha Grezlik, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs.

140805-Z-UI440-002
Fires burn near Ashland, Ore., in this aerial view of the Oregon Gulch fire, Aug. 5. As part of the overall fire suppression efforts, the Oregon Army National Guard has provided two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and two HH-60M Blackhawk helicopters to assist local authorities with fighting the wildfires. Photo by Spc. Alisha Grezlik, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs.

140805-Z-UI440-003
An Oregon Army National Guard CH-47D Chinook helicopter drops water on a portion of the Oregon Gulch fire, near Ashland, Ore., Aug. 5. The "Bambi" bucket used on the Chinook helicopters can carry 2,000 gallons of water with a cable length of 120 feet. As part of the overall fire suppression efforts, the Oregon Army National Guard has provided two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and two HH-60M Blackhawk helicopters to assist local authorities with fighting the wildfires. Photo by Spc. Alisha Grezlik, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs.

140805-Z-UI440-048
Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber briefs Oregon Army National Guard Maj. Gen. Daniel Hokanson, Adjutant General, Oregon, emergency managers and other fire managers at a fire camp near Ashland, Ore., Aug. 5. The Oregon Army National Guard is supporting firefighting efforts for the Oregon Gulch fire in the area. The Governor thanked all the workers, highlighting how important it is for Oregonians to be aware of the ongoing fire season. Fire managers have said this is the worst fire season to date. As part of the overall fire suppression efforts, the Oregon Army National Guard has provided two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and two HH-60M Blackhawk helicopters to assist local authorities with fighting the wildfires. Photo by Spc. Alisha Grezlik, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs.

140805-Z-UI440-132
An Oregon Army National Guard CH-47D Chinook helicopter picks up a load of water from a river while assisting with the Oregon Gulch fire, near Ashland, Ore., Aug. 5. The "Bambi" bucket used on the Chinook helicopters can carry 2,000 gallons of water with a cable length of 120 feet. As part of the overall fire suppression efforts, the Oregon Army National Guard has provided two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and two HH-60M Blackhawk helicopters to assist local authorities with fighting the wildfires. Photo by Spc. Alisha Grezlik, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs.


To see and download video b-roll of the Oregon Army National Guard's firefighting support, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQiyDSSBLV0&feature=youtu.be

To see and download more photos from our Flickr page, visit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/oregonmildep/sets/72157645435953557/


Attached Media Files: 2014-08/962/76636/140805-Z-UI440-132.jpg , 2014-08/962/76636/140805-Z-UI440-048.jpg , 2014-08/962/76636/140805-Z-UI440-003.jpg , 2014-08/962/76636/140805-Z-UI440-002.jpg , 2014-08/962/76636/140804-Z-UI440-688.jpg , 2014-08/962/76636/140804-Z-UI440-678.jpg
08/04/14
Red Cross On Alert For Wild Fire Response
American Red Cross - Cascades Region - 08/04/14
On 8/4/2014, at approximately 6:00 PM, the Red Cross was notified of an active wildfire near Goldendale, Washington. The Red Cross is currently evaluating the impacts of the fire and services delivery options. The Red Cross remains on alert throughout Oregon and Washington during this intense wilfire season to assist authorities and communities with response and shelter operations.
BPA's credit ratings affirmed, bond sale will save BPA rate payers millions of dollars
Bonneville Power Administration - 08/04/14
Portland, Ore. - The three major credit rating agencies affirmed the ratings on BPA-backed debt last week, paving the way for Energy Northwest, with BPA's support and encouragement, to issue refinancing bonds that will result in substantial savings for the benefit of BPA's ratepayers.

Energy Northwest will refinance approximately $321 million of outstanding debt associated with Energy Northwest's never-completed nuclear Projects 1 and 3. That debt would otherwise be repaid in fiscal year 2014, but the repayment date is being extended by means of the new Energy Northwest Projects 1 and 3 bonds to more closely match the original expected useful lives of the projects.

This "regional cooperation debt" transaction will free-up funds that BPA expects to use to prepay equal amounts of higher-interest rate federal debt and thereby obtain approximately $130 million of present value savings. Regional cooperation debt refers to existing debt associated with the Columbia Generating Station and projects 1 and 3 that also serve as a regional financial resource, providing remarkable debt management opportunities to lower costs of power for the benefit of the Pacific Northwest.

This transaction is part of a larger debt restructuring proposal that could allow BPA to lower its Federal Columbia River Power System interest expense and reduce the weighted average maturity of BPA's overall debt portfolio -- which includes Energy Northwest bonds, BPA's appropriations repayment responsibilities and the bonds BPA issues to the United States Treasury, among other items. This transaction is expected to price on Aug. 5 and close on Aug. 21.

"Debt management measures such as this one have saved, and can continue to save, rate payer money," said Javier Fernandez, BPA acting Treasury manager. "They can also provide us capital spending flexibility, which is important as we undertake capital intensive efforts to preserve and enhance the value of our hydro and transmission infrastructure."

Similar efforts in the past helped BPA preserve and restore $2 billion in U.S. Treasury borrowing authority and saved $500 million in interest.

Energy Northwest, also with BPA's support, may in the future refinance approximately $1.4 billion aggregate principal amount of outstanding regional cooperation debt that would otherwise mature in fiscal years 2015-2018. These possible future transactions would be similar to the 2014 regional cooperation debt transaction and could provide similar economic benefits. If the entire proposal is implemented, the projected savings would reduce BPA's aggregate interest cost and restore valuable U.S. Treasury borrowing authority, an essential element in financing necessary capital investments in the Federal Columbia River Power System. Broad regional support led to the 2014 transaction and BPA believes that regional support appears to be building for the future possible regional cooperation debt transactions.

"BPA is extremely appreciative of the leadership of the Energy Northwest executive board and the management and staff of Energy Northwest for grappling with these refinancing efforts for the region," added Fernandez.

The three bond rating agencies affirmed ratings on BPA-backed debt include:
Standard & Poor's (AA-), Moody's (Aa1) and Fitch (AA).

BPA is a nonprofit federal agency that markets renewable hydropower from 31 federal hydro projects in the Columbia Basin and power from Energy Northwest's Columbia Generating Station. BPA also operates three-quarters of high-voltage transmission line capacity in the Northwest and funds one of the largest wildlife protection and restoration programs in the world. BPA and its partners have also saved enough electricity through energy efficiency projects to power four large American cities. For more information, contact us at 503-230-5131 or visit www.bpa.gov.

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American Red Cross encourages blood donations leading into Labor Day weekend
American Red Cross Blood Services - 08/04/14
(see downloadable file for a list of upcoming blood donation opportunities in the area)

The American Red Cross continues to have an urgent need for blood donors of all blood types to give before the Labor Day holiday, even after many more donors stepped up to give following an urgent call issued in late July. Donors with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood are especially needed.

Blood donations often decline during the summer months, particularly around summer holidays. With school starting back up and summer activities coming to an end, there is still time for eligible donors to make a difference in the lives of patients this summer.

To encourage donations over the Labor Day holiday weekend, all donors who come out to donate blood August 30 through September 1, will receive a Red Cross mason jar tumbler, while supplies last.

To learn more and make an appointment to donate blood, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS.

How to donate blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver's license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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Attached Media Files: 2014-08/1812/76550/American_Red_Cross_Blood_Drives_(Aug_16_-_Sept_1)_4.docx