Monday, December 8, 2014

12/8 Rhapsody, storm, Growlers, coal air, enviro careers, pit-to-pier, Clearwater R., Mountains-to-Sound, bird flu

Rhapsody, J-32 (CBC)
Necropsy on killer whale J-32 reveals orca had full-term fetus
Canadian marine mammal scientists who spent most of Saturday performing a necropsy on killer whale J-32 say the female orca had been pregnant with a full-term fetus. The whale, nicknamed Rhapsody, was dissected as she lay on a concrete boat ramp at Bates Beach near Courtenay, B.C. However, Department of Fisheries and Oceans spokeswoman Lara Sloan said tests to determine the cause of death were inconclusive. She said more tests will be done on the whale, which scientists say would have contributed to its pod for decades. (CBC) See also: Killer whale J-32's teeth removed, prompts investigation into dead orca  (CBC)

The Whale Trail’s next West Seattle gathering: ‘Find light in the dark for the whales’
With the heartbreaking news these past few days of the death of pregnant Puget Sound-resident orca J-32, many wonder, can anything more be done to keep the Southern Resident Killer Whales’ numbers from dwindling further? Come hear and talk about them at The Whale Trail‘s next West Seattle event, 6:30 pm December 17th at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor). Tickets at  Brown Paper Tickets  (West Seatte Blog)

Storm warning: 'Incredible' subtropical storms bearing down on B.C.
Environment Canada warns resident to brace for 3 to 4 days of 'extraordinary' rainfall (CBC) See also: When is normal not normal? And the coming heavy rains  .... Very few days are normal and averaging conditions for a month, a year or whatever can be very deceptive.  This is going to be a very wet week for the Northwest and northern California, with a deep trough over the eastern Pacific that will bring very moist, warm air and the jet stream right into us. Cliff Mass explains and predicts. (Weather Blog)

Hundreds gather, speak minds at Port Townsend open house for proposed Growler jet additions
An open house focusing on a proposal to add up to 36 Growler jets to the 82 currently based at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island was heavily attended, with many expressing opposition to both the project and its presentation. According to Navy spokesman Ted Brown, 377 people were counted entering the open house at Fort Worden Commons on Thursday. Charlie Bermant reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Crowdfunding goal met for Bellingham coal train air-pollution study
A scientist who launched an online fundraising campaign for a coal-train pollution study met his monetary goal on Friday, Dec. 5, and will begin collecting data along the railroad tracks in Bellingham as soon as possible. According to Dan Jaffe’s Web page on experiment.com, he had received $13,172 in contributions as of Friday. Jaffe, a professor of atmospheric and environmental chemistry at the University of Washington-Bothell, had set his goal at $12,000 to cover student and staff salaries, equipment and travel. Ralph Schwartz reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Padilla Bay visit shows students environmental career options
Students involved in various environmental clubs at high schools from around the Puget Sound region convened Friday at the Breazeale Interpretive Center to explore environmental science, sustainability and related career paths. University of Washington oceanography professor Deb Kelly said during her keynote speech that today’s youth can look forward to opportunities for environmental exploration and discovery. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

'Pit-to-pier' claims against state back in county superior court
A month after a U.S. District Court judge dismissed its claims against state officials, the developer behind the controversial “pit-to-pier” project filed Nov. 21 an amended complaint against the state in Jefferson County Superior Court…. In October, U.S. District Court Judge Benjamin Settle dismissed with prejudice Hood Canal Sand and Gravel's claim that state officials violated federal law and its Fifth and 14th Amendment rights when granting the U.S. Navy an easement for tidelands along the Hood Canal shoreline, effectively blocking its plan to build a pier. Settle found the private developer has no right to sue a state agency and its officials in federal court. Nicholas Johnson reports. (Port Townsend Leader)

Nature Conservancy’s 2,538-acre land purchase conserves rain forest on Clearwater River in Jefferson County
he Nature Conservancy has purchased nearly 4 square miles of Jefferson County forestland along the Clearwater River from Fruit Growers Supply Co. The 2,538-acre sale, which closed last Wednesday, is part of an initiative to increase salmon populations, promote sustainable economies and restore temperate rain forest along coastal salmon streams, officials said last week. Combined with earlier acquisitions, The Nature Conservancy is now managing nearly 8,000 acres of forestlands along the Queets and Clearwater rivers in West Jefferson County. Rob Ollikainen reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

House passes Mountains to Sound legislation
The U.S. House of Representatives passed U.S. Congressman Dave Reichert’s Mountains to Sound Greenway Heritage Act on Thursday. The act would expand the Alpine Lakes Wilderness area and designate a stretch of scenic landscape from Seattle to Ellensburg as a National Heritage Area. A National Heritage Area is a large, lived-in area designated by the U.S. Congress where historical, natural, recreational and cultural resources combine to form a landscape worthy of national distinction. (Daily Record)

Seven countries impose restrictions on Canadian poultry due to avian flu
Seven countries have imposed trade restrictions on Canadian poultry as a fifth farm in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley was put under quarantine for avian influenza, officials said Saturday. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said that more than 140,000 turkeys and chickens from the affected farms will be euthanized. Jeremy Hainsworth reports. (Associated Press

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PST MON DEC 8 2014
GALE WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH TUESDAY MORNING
TODAY
SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT...RISING TO 25 TO 35 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. SEAS 10 TO 12 FEET WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 10 SECONDS.
 RAIN.
TONIGHT
SE WIND 25 TO 35 KT...BECOMING S AFTER MIDNIGHT. SEAS 11 TO 14 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 13 SECONDS. RAIN.

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