Thursday, January 19, 2012

1/19 Ice, ferry behavior, regulatory incentives, ferry budget, ribbon seal, squid, airport bacteria, pipelines, fish farm libel, bag ban, SOPA, Tulip Beds

Ribbon Seal (PHOTO: Vancouver Sun)
“This is a highly unusual situation here in western Washington: outside of the famous ice storms of the western Columbia Gorge (also known as the silver thaw), western Washington does not get freezing rain very often.  The last big event was over the southern Sound in December 1996, when Sea Tac airport closed,” writes Cliff Mass. Ice Storm: Freezing Rain and Sleet  Meanwhile, up north: Drivers warned to stay off slippery roads, despite calm-weather forecast

If you like to watch: Watch Eric Becker’s Environmental Lobby Day Video, then register for the Jan. 25 Lobby Day in Olympia

Senate Bill 6245 introduced by Sen. Kevin Ranker would make inappropriate behavior on a ferry boat or at a ferry terminal illegal. Smoking, spitting, littering, playing radios, urinating or defecating in places other than approved plumbing fixtures, carrying firearms or flammable liquids, roller-skating, skateboarding, gambling, trying to pass oneself off as a ferry worker, and letting a pet off its leash would be misdemeanors with a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Bill would make bad ferry behavior a misdemeanor

Meanwhile, Skagit County will meet compliance on state critical areas rules by enrolling in the state’s newly formed Voluntary Stewardship Program. The program was approved by the Legislature last year as a way for counties to maintain current regulations protecting critical areas on agricultural lands while providing incentives for landowners to do more to protect them. Skagit County nears compliance on critical areas

State Transportation says that, If no new funding for the state ferry system is found, only the top ridership routes would remain: Edmonds-Kingston, Mukilteo-Clinton and Seattle-Bainbridge. Service would also continue for the island access routes of Anacortes-San Juans and Fauntleroy-Vashon. State officials say without funding five ferry routes would be scuttled

Larry Pynn at the Vancouver Sun reports on the sighting (and photographing) of a ribbon seal in Seattle’s Duwamish River on January 11. Ribbon seals are native to the North Pacific and Arctic; marine marine experts say there are no prior recorded sightings in Washington state or B.C., although one did make its way to California in 1962. Rare Arctic visitor found lounging on Seattle dock

Before Southeast Asian residents immigrated to Puget Sound, few folks jigged for Pacific squid that migrated to the Sound and Strait every winter to spawn. Now everybody’s out jigging.  Puget Sound squid jiggers woo tasty tentacles

Portland International Airport will meet pollution standards by feeding toxic de-icing runoff to bacteria that it’s raising. Bonnie Stewart at EarthFix explains. Airport-Raised Bacteria Eats Toxic De-Icing Fluids  

President Obama yesterday rejected, for now, the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline, saying the $7 billion project could not be adequately reviewed within the 60-day deadline set by Congress.  Rejecting Pipeline Proposal, Obama Blames Congress  Undaunted, Canadian crude will move without Keystone XL, industry insiders say

Gitxsan hereditary chiefs voted 28-8 on Tuesday to reject the deal with Embridge, Inc. that would have given the First Nation $7 million in profits over 30 years from construction of the Northern Gateway pipeline from Alberta to Kitimas. B.C. First Nation rescinds earlier support for Northern Gateway deal

An environmental film series, “All Things Salmon” and “All Things Shellfish,” starts on Saturday, Jan. 21 and continues on Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Northwest Maritime Center (NWMC) in Port Townsend.  Salmon, shellfish recovery focus of film series at Northwest Maritime Center

A request by B.C. fish farm critic Don Staniford to broaden the libel suit against him to include a wider public inquiry into the practices of global aquaculture was rejected by the B.C. Supreme Court. The aquaculture company Mainstream Canada is accusing Staniford of damaging the company by comparing farmed salmon to tobacco. Judge tosses fish farm critic’s bid to cast alleged libel as industry-wide critique

Hawaii island joined Kauai and Maui in banning plastic bags. The ban goes into affect in a year, after which businesses can sell plastic bags for another year.  Hawaii island becomes third county to ban stores from giving out plastic bags  http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/breaking/137643788.html?id=137643788

Support for a pair of anti-piracy bills unraveled Wednesday amid an Internet blackout and huge public backlash. Wikipedia shut down for 24 hours and directed users to send messages to Congress;  Google put a big, black bar across its logo and directed users to a petition.  Internet's dark day: Anti-piracy bills take a beating    While it worked to move legislators, did we survive without Wikipedia for a day?  So, what did we learn after a day without Wikipedia?

Researchers working in the Middle Cambrian Burgess Shale, nicknamed the Tulip Beds, situated in the Canadian Rockies, have discovered tulip-shaped creature, officially named Siphusauctum gregarium, that lived about 500 million years ago. The creature, about 20 centimetres with a unique filter feeding system, lived in large clusters as indicated by slabs containing over 65 individual specimens. Fossils of ancient sea creature discovered  

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 900 AM PST THU JAN 19 2012
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT
 GALE WATCH IN EFFECT FROM FRIDAY MORNING THROUGH LATE FRIDAY NIGHT
TODAY
E WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. SW SWELL 8 FT AT 11 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF RAIN...SNOW...AND SLEET.
TONIGHT
SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. SW SWELL 8 FT AT 11 SECONDS. RAIN...AND A CHANCE OF SNOW IN THE EVENING.

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