Tuesday, October 8, 2013

10/8 Invasive mussel, bag ban, LNG tax, Mukilteo shore, BC shipyard, Vic sewer, octopus havens, GMO vote, Longview coal

Dying starfish (Vancouver Aquarium)
An invasive species of mussel has arrived in British Columbia, carried over by a boat that appears to have been pushed across the Pacific Ocean by the massive Japanese tsunami of 2011. The six-metre boat, which washed up on Vancouver Island's Long Beach on Sunday, appears to have faded Japanese writing on the hull and is encrusted with Mediterranean mussels and large pelagic barnacles. John Chapman, an invasive species biologist who studies tsunami debris at Oregon State University, said the mussels could threaten the local B.C. habitat. Invasive mussels land on B.C. coast with Japan tsunami boat    Meanwhile: Vancouver Aquarium 'alarmed' at mass die-off of starfish on B.C. ocean floor

Olympia is poised to become the third jurisdiction in Thurston County to ban thin, grocery-style plastic bags. The Olympia City Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed ban at its meeting Tuesday, which starts at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 601 Fourth Ave. E. If approved, the prohibition would take effect in July, along with bans recently approved in Tumwater and unincorporated Thurston County. Matt Batcheldor reports. Hearing set for Tuesday on bag ban for Olympia

Orca Watcher Monika Wieland blogs on her Saturday trip seeing transient orcas and a wealth of other cetaceans and marine critters in the San Juans. Whales Everywhere! In October!

The B.C. government will reveal next month its export-tax rates for the multibillion-dollar liquefied natural gas sector and the minster in charge of LNG is promising the plan will hit a “sweet spot” between the interests of the province and the industry. While Premier Christy Clark has said a plan was close, Rich Coleman offered the more specific timeline Monday while announcing a trip to South Korea, China and Malaysia to promote the development of B.C.’s LNG sector. The tax would specify the price energy companies will pay to export natural gas. Ian Bailey and Justine Hunter report. B.C. plan for LNG aims to hit 'sweet spot' between province and industry interests  

The future appears to be finally taking shape for a half mile of Mukilteo coastline that lay dormant for decades. Ownership of the former Air Force tank farm on Mukilteo's north-facing waterfront, between the business district and the Everett city limits, was transferred last month. The Port of Everett formally accepted the land from the Air Force on Sept. 10 and now owns most of the 22 acres. The port plans to transfer much of it to the state, the city of Mukilteo and possibly to Sound Transit for public use. The most well-known plans for the property involve construction of a new $140 million ferry terminal to replace the current aging dock located in the business district.  Bill Sheets reports. Land transfer to transform Mukilteo tank farm's future

A $3.3-billion federal contract awarded to Vancouver Shipyards Monday will have as many as 1,000 skilled workers rushing to fill an order for ten new non-combat ships for the Canadian Coast Guard. The project is in addition to seven non-combat vessels that the company is already slated to build after it was awarded an $8-billion deal by the federal shipbuilding procurement project in 2011. Work is yet to start on any of those vessels. The deal is expected to create numerous jobs in the skilled trades — at wages of more than $40 an hour — including welding, pipe fitting, electrical and mechanical. Kevin Griffin and Matthew Robinson report. $3.3-billion contract for Coast Guard ships will bring up to 1,000 jobs to Vancouver Shipyards  

Greater Victoria’s contentious sewage treatment project was rebranded the “Seaterra Program” Monday by a civilian commission of experts that’s taken day-to-day decision-making away from local politicians. The new name and logo for the long-running and divisive $783-million megaproject came amid a publicity blitz by the new program director, Albert Sweetnam. Rob Shaw reports. Greater Victoria's contentious sewage project rebrands itself with $15,000 image makeover  

Washington Conservation Voters awarded state Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, its highest honor by naming him the 2013 “Legislator of the Year.” Ranker was bestowed the award for his leadership during and following the 2013 Legislative Session. Ranker earns environmental group's top award

In hopes of adding to America’s lack of knowledge of public affairs, Peter Callaghan asks 30 questions but provide absolutely zero answers.  Not all questions come with answers (Well, at least not these ones)

When a 19-year-old man lured a giant Pacific octopus from its lair off Alki Beach in West Seattle last year – legally, it turned out – a small group of activists were aghast that the charismatic cephalopod wasn’t protected. They lobbied the state for more protections for the octopus, and triumphed when the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted rules to prohibit recreational octopus harvesting at seven popular dive spots in the Puget Sound region. The law went into effect on Sunday. Meghan Walker reports. Octopuses’ Gardens: WA Designates 7 No-Hunt Spots

GMO foods are again on the hot seat on the West coast. Last year California’s Prop 37 to label genetically modified organisms at the grocery store was narrowly defeated, 51 to 49%. This year in Washington the issue is giving rise to conflicting claims and a record $21.9 million flooding the state, with over $17 million coming from opponents led by the Grocery Manufacturers Association, Monsanto and Dow and the remainder from proponents led by Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, the Organic Consumers Fund and Mercola Health Resources. Martha Baskin reports. Should GMO Foods Be Labeled? Industry & Public Showdown as State Prepares to Answer the Big Question  

The public can comment at an Oct. 9 meeting in Ridgefield in Clark County on the scope of environmental impact statements for a proposed coal export terminal near Longview. Cowlitz County, the Washington Department of Ecology and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will create two EISs - one meeting federal requirements and one meeting state requirements. The meetings will be held from noon to 8 p.m. at the Clark County Fairgrounds Event Center, 17402 N.E. Delfel Road, Ridgefield.

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT TUE OCT 8 2013
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 11 AM PDT THIS MORNING
TODAY
NW WIND 20 TO 25 KT...EASING TO 15 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 8 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
 SHOWERS LIKELY.
TONIGHT
N WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING LIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT...THEN LESS THAN 1 FT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 9 SECONDS.

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