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DOT yanks campaign signs | Around the Island

Campaign signs yanked

As candidates make the final push towards the November elections, many of their political signs are being pulled down.

Workers from the Washington State Department of Transportation removed hundreds of signs from State Route 305 on Monday as they cracked down on campaign advertisements that were either too large or encroached on state land, said DOT representatives.

According to state law, it is illegal for campaign signs to be posted on highway right-of-ways, which is usually defined as the space between utility poles or boundary fences and the highway. State laws also prevents signs larger than 32 square feet from being posted on public land.

According to WSDOT representatives, work crews with spare time will cruise state highways removing signs. It had taken so long to get to Bainbridge because no staff are dedicated to enforcing sign regulations in Kitsap County, which also makes it hard to tell if there are more signs this year than in previous years.

“We do not have statewide numbers telling us if WSDOT has removed more campaign signs this season as compared to previous ones,” said WSDOT communications representative Emily Pace. “However, our local maintenance technician said from what he knows, his crews have removed fewer signs this year only because there is not enough manpower to have people out every day taking down signs.”

Pace said that those candidates or campaigners who wanted to retrieve the signs that had been removed could do so – confiscated signs are held for up to 30 days by WSDOT.

State law also requires that signs be removed with 10 days of an election’s completion.

Flu vaccines arrive

Flu season is here and the Washington State Department of Health has prepared with a record number flu shots.

Over 435,000 doses of the vaccine have arrived to combat influenza and to meet new recommendations by the Center for Disease Control that kids and young adults aged 6 months to 18 years should be given an annual vaccination – previously it was recommended that children under the age of 5 be vaccinated.

According to the DOH, all of the vaccines have been delivered to local health departments and should be available around the county.

In Bainbridge, the Virginia Mason Winslow clinic already is offering flu shots. They have also been administering vaccinations at a drive-through service on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Shots are also available at Safeway and some local pharmacies. Locations and times of vaccinations can be found at: http://flucliniclocator.org.

In Washington State, the rate of inoculation among children is lower than the national average – only 25.5 percent of children between the ages of 6 months and 23 months received vaccines. That number decreased to 16 percent for for follow-up flu shots.

Flu season typically lasts from November to March.

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