Tuesday, June 18, 2013

6/18 Skagit bridge, BC pipe, coal benefits, Surfrider, robot fish, Bill Nye Science Guy

Skagit River I-5 Bridge (Scott Terrell, Skagit Valley Herald)
Crews worked on a temporary span for the Skagit River Bridge Monday morning. The decking will need to be paved and striped before the bridge can open for traffic. Speed limit on the temporary span is expected to be approximately 40 miles per hour. The temporary span is planned to open before Saturday, but will need to be taken down to install a permanent span sometime in September. Bids to build a permanent fix for the Skagit River Bridge were turned in by six selected contractors Monday after they worked furiously for two weeks to design and plan proposals. The bidding is the latest step in what has been a historically fast process to bring traffic back to a crucial section of Interstate 5 after the bridge collapsed into the river May 23. Mark Stayton reports. Fast-tracked   Also see: Even after fix, Skagit bridge will be 'functionally obsolete'

Canada will be vulnerable to economic disaster should the Northern Gateway pipeline be rejected, the proponent told a federal review panel Monday as the final phase of public hearings got underway. Richard Neufeld, the lawyer for Calgary-based Enbridge, said there are billions of dollars at stake in the pipeline that would link the Alberta oil sands with a tanker port on the coast of British Columbia, and the lucrative oil markets of Asia beyond.... The $6-billion project would allow land-locked Alberta to expand its customer base beyond the United States, where the industry argues it is forced to sell oil for up to $8 less per barrel because it has no competing buyers. Should the pipeline be rejected, the whole country will face the economic consequences, Neufeld said. Northern Gateway in Canadians' interest, Enbridge tells review board  

The economic benefits of expanding Washington's coal ports are being underestimated, a Western Washington University professor's report said. However, the study did not provide specific estimates on costs and economic benefits. Instead, the study analyzed other reports and presented general conclusions. The Washington Farm Bureau, which supports developing the coal ports, commissioned the study and report by Steven Globerman, professor of international business at Western Washington University. The Farm Bureau unveiled the report Monday. John Stang reports. Coal isn't getting enough respect, study says

Volunteers of the Vancouver Island chapter of the Surfrider Foundation collected 590 kilograms of marine debris last week as part of their annual remote beach cleanup event, Combing the Coast. They collected Styrofoam, plastic bottles, hard plastics and other junk from Rugged Point Provincial Park, on the west coast of the north Island. Items found by the group are typically sent to the landfill, but this time around about half was taken to Ellice Recycle. Pedro Arrais reports. Good Neighbours: Surfriders clear debris at remote beach

Robots are everywhere these days. They’re working in factories, and the focus of student competitions. They’re also teaching us about Nature, especially in the case of robotic fish It might seem a little Hollywood to talk about "robo-fish," and as an engineering professor, Kristi Morgansen is a little shy about that. The robotic fish she's invented are about the size of a salmon, and shaped like one, in a crude way. They’re made from metal and plastic screwed together – with the sophisticated stuff on the inside. Keith Seinfeld reports. Underwater robots evolve, and teach us about Nature  

Bill Nye the Science Guy ‘takes on those who would demand that the public schools teach alternative theories of evolution and the origins of the earth — most famously, in a video clip from the site BigThink.com that has been viewed some five million times. In it, he flatly tells adult viewers that “if you want to deny evolution and live in your world — in your world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe — that’s fine. But don’t make your kids do it, because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future.”’ John Schwartz reports. Firebrand for Science, and Big Man on Campus   See also: Where's the science at KUOW? Why public radio wants to mix things up

Now, your tug weather--
 WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT TUE JUN 18 2013
TODAY
E WIND 5 TO 15 KT...BECOMING SE IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 3 FT AT 9 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF
 SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 3 FT AT 10 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.

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