Friday, November 15, 2013

11/15 New & old birds, BC coal, Grays Harbor oil, coal comments, BC farmland, sewers, pol cliches

PHOTO: BirdNote/Chris Peterson
If you like to listen: BirdNote: Learning to Band Birds - Puget Sound Bird Observatory
Picture yourself holding a tiny, Black-capped Chickadee like this one. Or a big, blue Steller’s Jay! Volunteer Mark Purcell did just that while learning to net and band birds with the Puget Sound Bird Observatory...

Oh. Seattle Named Smartest City in North America

'Oldest bird tracks in world' found in B.C.  
Paleontologists hunting for dinosaur tracks in B.C.'s Peace Region have unexpectedly discovered tiny footprints that they believe could be among the oldest bird tracks in the world. The amazing find was discovered when a huge rock slab was sent from the nearby canyons to the Peace Region Paleontology Research Centre for analysis of tracks possibly made by the meat-eating theropod Allosaurus. But next to the large dinosaur footprints, Tumbler Ridge paleontologist Lisa Buckley found four tiny tracks, likely belonging to ancient shore birds.

Coal’s health impact in the crosshairs in Metro Vancouver
A soon-to-be released environmental impact assessment ordered by Port Metro Vancouver does not adequately address the health impacts of the proposed coal terminal at Surrey Fraser Docks, say the region’s chief medical health officers. Vancouver Coastal Health Authority chief medical health officer Dr. Patricia Daly and her Fraser Health counterpart have read the draft assessment report and sent a letter Wednesday to Port Metro Vancouver detailing their concerns. Daly said they will release the letter — also signed by Fraser Health Authority chief medical health officer Dr. Paul Van Buynder — to the public if the port does not. Gordon Hoekstra reports.

State Blocks Permits For 2 Grays Harbor Oil Terminals
A state regulatory board is blocking permits for two crude oil shipping terminals in Grays Harbor, Wash., saying backers have failed to address public safety and environmental issues... The Washington Shorelines Hearings Board said the permits didn’t adequately assess the environmental risk of oil spills, seismic events, greenhouse gas emissions, and impacts to cultural resources. The denial of these permits won’t necessarily stop the projects from going forward, but the Department of Ecology may require a more comprehensive review. Ashley Ahearn reports.

How Public Officials Manage To Review 200,000 Comments On Coal Exports
Across the Northwest, thousands of people are crowding into meeting rooms to submit their comments on coal export and oil-by-rail projects. Many of them wear T-shirts in protest or in support; they wait hours for a chance to speak for two or three minutes. The crowd isn’t allowed to clap or cheer so they silently wave their hands or put their thumbs up if they agree with the people speaking. Officials listen as people sound off one by one. What happens after that? Cassandra Profita reports.

Developers winning out over farmland preservation, B.C. planner says
The way farmland is managed in British Columbia and across Canada is being put under the microscope in a three-year study that will involve nine researchers from six different universities. The biggest cities in Canada are where the best farmland is, said David Connell, an associate professor of environmental planning at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George, and that has led to constant and increasing pressure to develop agricultural land for golf courses, condominiums and shopping malls – or rodeo grounds, as happened this year in Fort St. John, B.C. Mark Hume reports.

Thurston County announces completion of major septic to sewer conversion project
Thurston County Public Works officials say they have reached a “significant milestone” to improve water quality in Woodland Creek and Henderson Inlet thanks to a recent septic to sewer conversion project. According to a county news release, the project changed 128 homes in Woodland Creek Estates and the adjoining Covington Place subdivision from septic to public sewer. Lisa Pemberton reports.

New Big Lake sewer plant starts operation
A Big Lake-area sewer district began the switch to a new sewer plant Thursday, but some residents remain unhappy about the rate hikes that come with it. Skagit County Sewer District No. 2 serves about 800 customers, and residential rates were raised from $45 to $68 per month beginning last fall to help pay for the new wastewater treatment facility, which cost about $7 million. The district is required to upgrade the facility when it reaches 85 percent of design capacity, which happened about four years ago, said Kelly Wynn, district manager. Rachel Lerman reports.

9 overused political cliches reporters in WA are sick of hearing
Melissa Santos lists "some of the political phrases that News Tribune and Olympian staffers would like to see retired..."

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 230 AM PST FRI NOV 15 2013
GALE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM PST THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH LATE TONIGHT
TODAY
W WIND 15 TO 25 KT...BECOMING SW 20 TO 30 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 3 TO 6 FT. W SWELL 6 FT AT 13 SECONDS. RAIN.
TONIGHT
W WIND 25 TO 35 KT. COMBINED SEAS 9 TO 10 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 8 SECONDS...BUILDING TO 13 TO 14 FT WITH A
 DOMINANT PERIOD OF 10 SECONDS AFTER MIDNIGHT. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
SAT
NW WIND 20 TO 30 KT...EASING TO 10 TO 20 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 3 TO 6 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 TO 3 FT IN THE
 AFTERNOON. W SWELL 12 FT AT 11 SECONDS. SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
SAT NIGHT
W WIND 15 TO 25 KT...EASING TO 5 TO 15 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 TO 2 FT AFTER
 MIDNIGHT. W SWELL 9 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
SUN
SW WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
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