Wednesday, August 15, 2012

8/15 Gates' toilet, Hoquiam coal, Enbridge, shark fin ban, whale mitts, Spee-Bi-Dah, BC odors, Ancich Netshed

Next Big Thing (PHOTO: Michael Hanson/Gates Foundation)
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Tuesday unveiled the winner of a contest to design a replacement for a technology that hasn't changed much since the 19th century: the flush toilet. The new toilets are designed primarily for the developing world, where the lack of plumbing often makes conventional toilets impractical. The winning loo, a solar-powered model designed by researchers from the California Institute of Technology, or Caltech, generates hydrogen and electricity to boot. Theodoric Meyer reports.  Caltech toilet is No. 1 in Gates Foundation contest  

Regional railroad operator RailAmerica told Port of Grays Harbor commissioners Tuesday that it is shelving current plans to build a coal storage and export facility at the port's Terminal 3 in Hoquiam. The company now believes there are other uses for the terminal that are more likely to generate jobs, tax revenues and business for the port and for the company.  Rail company shelving Hoquiam WA coal export plans

About 1,000 square kilometres of islands have disappeared from Douglas Channel in an animated depiction of Enbridge Inc.'s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline and tanker route. The project would send bitumen by pipeline from Alberta's oilsands to Kitimat, where it would be loaded onto tankers for export to Asia. A video on the Enbridge website shows Douglas Channel as a wide open funnel leading from Kitimat to the Pacific, omitting the narrow channels, islands and rocky outcrops that make up the potential tanker access route.  Enbridge stirs up controversy with depiction of waterway

Nanaimo has joined a growing list of communities that have banned shark fin products. Council voted unanimously Monday night to ban the trade, sale or distribution of shark fin in Nanaimo after a presentation by Anthony Marr of the Vancouver Animal Defence League. Shark fin soup, a traditional Chinese delicacy, is the result of shark finning, the practice of slicing off the fins of a shark and then dumping the live animal back into the water. Canada bans the practice, but there is no federal or provincial law banning the sale of shark fins, leaving it to municipalities to outlaw the product. Walter Cordery reports. Nanaimo joins shark fin ban

Wearing a whale on your hands is the best way to get the warm fuzzies this winter, says Susan Berta of Orca Network, and she's looking for whale-loving knitters. Tara Melendez, a knitting pattern designer and Orca Network supporter who lives in Washington, has drawn up a pattern for mittens depicting Lolita, a killer whale captured in 1970 and sent to Miami Seaquarium. Activists, including Orca Network, are waging a campaign to have Lolita removed from her small performance pool and returned to a net pen in her home waters so she can once again hear the voices of her family.  Whale group hopes for hand-knit help  

Julie Muhlstein shares Jack Bartlett's fish story and the story of Spee-Bi-Dah, a private beach community on the Tulalip Tribe reservation.  Fish tale turns into local history lesson  

Metro Vancouver is drafting a bylaw that may soon see pungent processing plants pay in accordance with the odours they emit. The move comes after a spike in odour complaints at West Coast Reduction Ltd., a rendering plant located at the north end of Commercial Drive in Vancouver. The plant renders more than 10,000 tonnes of animal byproducts each week, converting them into such things as tallow and byproduct meal. Vancouver polluting plants to pay for pungent odours, not taxpayers   

At a special meeting on Aug. 6, the Gig Harbor City Council authorized the purchase of one of the last pieces of waterfront property that provides public access to the shoreline. The property, which City Administrator Denny Richards refers to as the Ancich Netshed, comprises three adjacent lots on Harborview Drive that total .31 acre. According to Lita Dawn Stanton, the city’s historic preservation officer, the Ancich Netshed is one of the two netsheds on the City of Gig Harbor Register of Historic Places, the other being the Skansie Netshed to the south. City votes to purchase waterfront property and historic netshed  

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT WED AUG 15 2012
TODAY
NE WIND 10 KT...BECOMING E IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 12 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
E WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 11 SECONDS.

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