Monday, February 24, 2014

2/24 Snow, oil train, herring fishery, BC LNG, tugboats, Mukilteo shore, drought, Skagit water health

Winter Garden Crocuses (Laurie MacBride)
If you like to watch: Little Yellow Messengers
Laurie MacBride in Eye on on Environment writes: "Patches of bright yellow, bearing a promise of spring: exactly what I like to see in my February garden. Some snow has fallen since I took this photo a couple of days ago, so I know we’re not completely out of the winter woods yet. Nonetheless, as I look at these little crocuses on my computer screen I feel reassured by their cheery, upturned faces. They seem to express an utter joy in being alive, and they tell me that spring is almost here...."

Northern Exposure: Bellingham area could get more snow Monday; thousands without power and Heavy snow forces Vancouver Island school closures

Anti-oil train rolls through Seattle City Hall
They marched up the steps of Seattle City Hall using cardboard cutouts to represent an oil train. Members of the group 350 Seattle were not there to protest the Seattle City Council, but to praise it. The group supports a council resolution that would push for more information about increasing oil shipments rolling down the rails through Seattle and increased inspections of rail cars and tracks. Gary Chittim reports. (KING)

Judge overrules minister’s decision to open herring fishery
B.C. First Nations won a major victory Friday when a Federal Court judge granted an injunction blocking the opening this year of a herring fishery on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The decision came after an internal memo revealed Fisheries Minister Gail Shea overruled recommendations of scientists in her own department. (Vancouver Sun)

If you like to watch: Tugboats pull the world into Puget Sound  
Sunday's Pacific NW Magazine features "Tugboats are the little engines that can," a peek into the powers that bring commerce from all over the world into our region by staff writer Susan Kelleher and photos by Bettina Hansen. (Seattle Times)

LNG industry job training discussions get thumbs up from labour, government
B.C. labour leaders say after months of work they are genuinely pleased with an olive branch proposal from Premier Christy Clark to develop a strategy to fill thousands of skilled jobs in the liquefied natural gas industry. B.C. Federation of Labour president Jim Sinclair said he and his labour colleagues have had “a positive discussion” with the government, First Nations and corporate employers in meetings since the premier launched the LNG working group in September. (Vancouver Sun)

Liquefied natural gas companies say B.C. LNG tax too high  
One of the first questions British Columbia's Finance Minister Mike de Jong was asked when he introduced the Liberal government's proposed Liquefied Natural Gas Income Tax as part of last week's budget, was how oil and gas companies would react to paying a tax that could top out at seven per cent. But de Jong pointed to a recent government-commissioned Ernst and Young survey that concluded B.C.'s all-in taxes — corporate, federal, provincial, municipal, carbon and the new LNG tax — put the province near or at the top of the heap compared to the tax regimes of potential competitors in Australia and the United States. (CBC News)

If you like to watch: The Growth in Oil-By-Rail in One Picture
Railroads now move 57 times more oil on trains than just a few years ago. Eric de Place draws you a picture. (Sightline)

Tentative plan made to divide former tank farm on Mukilteo's shoreline
The mosaic of the new Mukilteo waterfront is beginning to come into view. Five government agencies have drawn up a tentative plan for dividing the 22-acre former U.S. Air Force tank farm on the city's shoreline. The state for years has planned a new ferry terminal for the site, but that takes up less than half the land. As for the rest, it's been anybody's guess. The first step in determining how the property will be used — its ownership — may be settled soon. The Port of Everett recently received the land as a donation from the Air Force and is negotiating deals on parcels with the state, the city of Mukilteo, Sound Transit and the Tulalip Tribes. Bill Sheets reports. (Everett Herald)

Amid California Drought, Migrating Birds Enjoy Pop-Up Cuisine
Millions of birds migrate through California this time of year, but the waterways and wetlands they rely on for food and rest are largely dry due to the ongoing drought. So farmers are keeping their fields flooded to make temporary wetlands, providing a place for migrating birds to rest and eat. Rice farmer Douglas Thomas is one of these farmers. On a recent morning some 3,000 snow geese float in his rice fields in California's Central Valley. He's watching a young bald eagle awkwardly dive at the flock.... The birds come here because Thomas always keeps his fields flooded in January. The water decomposes the rice straw left over from the previous year's harvest. Usually, at the end of January, he says, "we would let our water go and start trying to dry our fields out because the lake that's in front of us has to be dry enough to drive a tractor in it and then we've got to seed it." But not this year. Thomas is leaving water on his fields a little longer as part of an experiment. Lauren Sommer reports. (NPR)

Learn about health of county’s waterways Thursday
An annual report on the health of local streams will be presented to the community Thursday by Skagit County, the Skagit Conservation District and the Padilla Bay Research Reserve. The agencies will present oxygen, temperature and fecal coliform bacteria data for the Samish and Skagit watersheds including both rivers, their tributaries and other creeks, sloughs and basins. County employees and volunteers with the Conservation District’s Skagit Stream Team and Storm Team collected the data from October 2012 through September 2013. The meeting will be held at the Padilla Bay Research Reserve, 10441 Bay View-Edison Road, Mount Vernon, 6:30 PM. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 847 AM PST MON FEB 24 2014
GALE WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM PST THIS MORNING
 SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT
TODAY
E WIND 25 TO 35 KT...EASING TO 20 TO 30 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. COMBINED SEAS 4 TO 7 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF
 14 SECONDS. RAIN AND SNOW.
TONIGHT
E WIND 20 TO 30 KT. WIND WAVES 3 TO 5 FT. W SWELL 2 FT AT 14 SECONDS. RAIN...THEN RAIN LIKELY AFTER MIDNIGHT.
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"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato@salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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