Wednesday, January 16, 2013

1/16 Red-flanked bluetail, WA lege, coal ships, monkfish, gray whale, Kitsap shores, coal comments, Dyes Inlet

Red-flanked bluetail (Justyn Stahl/Associated Press)
Birders from as far away from Seattle are expected to pack in Queens Park in New Westminster today in the hopes of spotting the red-flanked bluetail. The bird somehow made its way to the Lower Mainland from southern Asia and has been spotted in the park over the last few days — the first Canadian sighting of the bird. Rare bird spotted in New Westminster

Washington lawmakers convene for the start of the 2013 session. They face a $2B budget problem, an unusual political dynamic in the state senate and hot button issues like gun control. It’s like Downton Abbey. A new season of the legislature begins with plenty of intrigue and tensions between powerful personalities. There are familiar faces and new ones. Chief among them Governor-elect Jay Inslee. Austin Jenkins reports. New political dynamics, budget challenges face state lawmakers

The paradise of Cowichan Bay has been turned into a freighter parking lot, forcing residents to deal with the clatter of dropping anchor chains, rumbling generators and the glare of floodlights that illuminate the vessels at night. Many of the vessels are in the queue to load coal at Westshore Terminals, near Tsawwassen, which cut back operations after a Dec. 7 incident when a freighter rammed into a trestle leading to one of the two deep-sea berths. There were 10 vessels waiting to load coal at the time of the crash. Sandra McCulloch reports. Coal-ship backlog clutters Cowichan Bay

If you like to watch: What happened after the fishmongers at The Fish Company at Pike Place Market found out that the monkfish they tossed around are harvested off the floor of the Atlantic by bottom trawlers, a practice considered reckless and inefficient by ocean protection groups like the Seattle Aquarium? Gary Chittim reports. Market fish mongers turn to mock monkfish for new mascot

A gray whale that seems to be making the rounds of Puget Sound visited Tacoma’s Thea Foss Waterway early Tuesday afternoon, far from where experts say it should be this time of year. “It’s a very unusual situation,” Susan Berta, co-founder of whale education group Orca Network, said about the sighting. “To me, that signals that it’s either very hungry and sick or just a curious juvenile. It’s possible it’s just a friendly one that’s checking people out.” Gray whales are usually in their breeding grounds off the coast of the Baja Peninsula this time of year, and generally struggle to find food if they get lost in Puget Sound on the way, according to Orca Network. Alexis Krell reports. Gray whale in Tacoma: Hungry, sick or friendly?

Kitsap County commissioners have completed their deliberations on the county's proposed Shoreline Master Program and are expected to adopt the planning document Jan. 28. The shorelines plan spells out development regulations to protect the shoreline ecosystem. Final approval rests with the Washington Department of Ecology. Among the remaining sticking points discussed this week was how the county should address aquaculture, including potential geoduck clam farming along Kitsap's shorelines. Christopher Dunagan reports. Kitsap shorelines plan ready for approval  

A group that supports the proposal to build a coal and bulk cargo terminal at Cherry Point phished the email address used to accept comments on the scope of the environmental review for the terminal, according to a Washington state Department of Ecology spokesman. The group, believed to be based in Montana, used the email address to contact people and solicit comments on the Gateway Pacific Terminal, Ecology spokesman Larry Altose said. CH2M Hill, the company that operates the comment website for the regulatory agencies overseeing the project, last week contacted the agencies about the phishing, temporarily shut down the email address, and told the group responsible to stop. The email address was reactivated Tuesday, Jan. 15. More than 14,000 comments have been submitted about the project during the scoping period, and more than 9,000 people participated at scoping meetings in November and December. More than 5,000 or 6,000 of those comments are from a dozen organized comment campaigns, Altose added. The deadline to submit comments for this phase has been moved one day to Jan. 22 because the original deadline of Jan. 21 fell on a federal holiday, Martin Luther King Day. Kie Relyea reports. Cherry Point coal terminal comment deadline extended to Jan. 22

Kitsap County health officials will begin a new investigation of pollution problems in southern Dyes Inlet, where the waters of Phinney and Ostrich Bay creeks remain a public health concern. In years past, efforts to clean up Dyes Inlet resulted in the opening of 3 miles of shellfish beaches on the west side of Dyes Inlet and more than a mile of beaches on Erlands Point near Bremerton. But pollution in Phinney and Ostrich Bay creeks remains a persistent problem, and it is time to track down the sources, said Kimberly Jones of the Kitsap Public Health District. Christopher Dunagan reports. Dyes Inlet investigation to begin

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST WED JAN 16 2013
TODAY
E WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 13 SECONDS. AREAS OF FOG.
TONIGHT
E WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 13 SECONDS.
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