Tuesday, June 17, 2014

6/17 Football, toxic fish, smelt catch, BC pipe, oil trains, seastar wasting, Columbia sea lions

First kick (Walk Again Project/New Scientist)
Something to really cheer about: Watch mind-controlled exoskeleton kick off World Cup
Juliano Pinto, a 29-year-old Brazilian who has paralysis in his lower body, took the first kick of the World Cup [Thursday] – using the power of his mind and a whole lot of cutting-edge technology. Pinto used an exoskeleton controlled by his thoughts to take the first swing at the ball of the football tournament in yesterday's opening ceremony in São Paulo, Brazil. The exoskeleton belongs to the Walk Again Project, an international collaboration using technology to overcome paralysis, led by Brazilian neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. Pinto kicked the ball a short distance along a mat laid down near the touchline. Jessica Griggs reports. (New Scientist)

Unions join fight over Washington fish consumption
Unions representing Boeing machinists and mill workers are siding with businesses in a bitter fight over how much fish people eat, and thus how clean Washington state waters should be. The Machinists union and others are worried a new water quality standard being developed by the state would hurt jobs and economic development -- concerns that Boeing Co. and other industry groups have also raised. The unlikely allies have found common ground, uniting over the topic of environmental regulations. Phuong Le reports. (Associated Press)

State opts to curtail recreational, commercial fishing for smelt in Puget Sound
The state will curtail recreational and commercial smelt fishing in Puget Sound in hopes of increasing protection for the species. The decision was made by the state Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting Friday. The new regulations demonstrate the agency’s conservation objective to maintain a healthy population of forage fish, which are an important food source to a variety of species in Puget Sound, Miranda Wecker, commission chairwoman, said in a news release. Jeffrey Mayor reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Final decision on Northern Gateway pipeline going down to deadline Tuesday
The federal government will announce its much-anticipated decision on the Northern Gateway pipeline after markets close on Tuesday. Under its own rules, the Conservative government has a June 17 deadline for the final word on whether the 1,200-kilometre pipeline can be built linking the Alberta oilsands to a port on the British Columbia coast. A joint review panel of the National Energy Board and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency released a report in December recommending approval, and Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford has hinted the cabinet decision will be a positive one for the project. Dene Moore reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Government numbers on crude-oil train safety don’t add up
The State Department projects 28 more fatalities and 189 more injuries a year if crude oil moves by rail instead of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Sounds bad, but is it true? The railroad industry and its Washington regulators boast that more than 99.99 percent of hazardous materials rail shipments reach their destinations safely. Sounds good, but is it good enough? The debate over moving the nation’s surging oil production by rail has generated a heated debate, and some impressive-sounding numbers that both sides have used to bolster their cases. On closer scrutiny, however, some of those numbers don’t add up. Curtis Tate reports. (McClatchy)

If you like to watch: Hood Canal Wasting - Sund Rock  
Laura James documents seastar wasting in Hood Canal.

Salmon munching sea lions at Bonneville Dam shifting to different species, new problems
New data suggest that while fewer California sea lions are showing up at Bonneville Dam and eating fewer spring salmon than just a few years ago, the number of Steller sea lions could be increasing, and along with them, the volume of salmon they eat. Data also show over the last several years that sea lions -- mostly Stellers -- are increasingly showing up in the fall to prey on that fish run. Experts say these two factors mean there's a chance the sea lion removal program, which includes trapping and killing animals, could be expanded to new species and seasons. Thomas Boyd reports. (Oregonian)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT TUE JUN 17 2014
TODAY
SW WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING W 10 TO 20 KT AFTER NOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS...BUILDING TO 1 TO 3 FT AFTER NOON. W SWELL 5 FT AT 8 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING 10 TO 15 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 8 SECONDS.

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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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