Rep. Dicks wants Vinson based in Bremerton

BREMERTON – Basing a second aircraft carrier in Bremerton could save the Navy $141 million every six years, said Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash.

After the USS Carl Vinson completes a major overhaul in Virginia, the ship will need a new home port. The Navy is expected to announce its selection in April. Bremerton, Everett, San Diego, Hawaii and Guam are competing.

The Vinson had been based in Bremerton until 2005, when it was deployed and later entered maintenance. The USS John C. Stennis replaced it.

The Navy could save millions in personnel costs by basing the ship at Naval Base Kitsap because the base is next to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, the only West Coast facility licensed for nuclear maintenance, Dicks said.

San Diego, however, is home to the Vinson’s air wing and provides more Navy training opportunities, Dicks said. It might also have the fewest initial costs.

Seattle: Rove to speak to GOP next month

White House adviser Karl Rove will be the guest speaker at a King County Republicans dinner next month.

The annual Lincoln Day Dinner is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the Hilton Seattle Airport in Sea-Tac on April 14. Rove will give the keynote speech and participate in a round-table discussion.

King County GOP Chairman Michael Young said Tuesday he doesn’t know what Rove plans to say, but expects him to focus his remarks on the future of the Republican Party.

“In the past when he’s come out to do these kinds of things, they’re very optimistic, forward-looking speeches for the most part,” Young said.

That Rove is coming “shows a commitment of the national party to our state and our county,” he said.

Ashford: Rainier park road to reopen by May

A major Mount Rainier National Park entrance road that was damaged by flooding last fall will be open to the public by May 1, the National Park Service said Tuesday.

Park Service Director Mary Bomar said the Nisqually Road, the park’s main year-round corridor, will open even as repairs to the park continue. At least four sections of the road were damaged or obliterated by severe floods last November.

The total cost for repairs could approach $100 million, Bomar said in testimony to a House Appropriations subcommittee.

More than 18 inches of rain fell in the park in less than 36 hours in early November, touching off floods that swept away roads, campgrounds, trails and other facilities. The park was closed for weeks.

Most of the park remains closed, though there is limited foot access to Longmire and along the Carbon River Road. But the hike can be dangerous. Two people drowned in the park last week trying to cross a creek.

Associated Press

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