Friday, January 16, 2015

1/16 Warming, Snake dams, free Lolita, Grace Islet, safe trains, BC wolf hunt, Blyn sewer line, bird flu, Icicle farms

Overall, last year was very warm in Washington state 
Last year, Washington state experienced its fifth-hottest year in 120 years of records maintained by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways) See also: Scientists: Human activity has pushed Earth beyond four of nine ‘planetary boundaries’  At the rate things are going, the Earth in the coming decades could cease to be a “safe operating space” for human beings. That is the conclusion of a new paper published Thursday in the journal Science by 18 researchers trying to gauge the breaking points in the natural world. Joel Achenbach reports. (Washington Post)

Send a message to the "other" Washington: Remove The Four Lower Snake River Dams To Save The Southern Resident Killer Whale From Being Dammed To Extinction
Patagonia, Save Our Wild Salmon and the folks who made the film "DamNation" are in Washington DC the last week of January lobbying Administration officials, agencies like the Army Corps, and our NW delegation. It would be great to show the “other” Washington that the petition to save our endangered orcas by removing the damn dams had at least 10,000 supporters. Sign the petition and keep in touch on Facebook.

New blog: Having A Drink With Bill Gates
“Starting out a new year writing with a blank sheet of paper requires examining the kinds of things I’d enjoy writing about. Oh, there’s the obligatory flogging of elected officials and regulators, black-hatted oil and coal and railroad guys, obscene profit-taking developers and bankers. But we’ll save that for another time because today, at the end of the first week of our national Congressional session and our state legislative session, here are three stories I’d rather tell you about:...”

March for Orcas: Free a Whale From Solitary Confinement
Brenda Peterson writes: "This Saturday there are worldwide marches for the wild-born Lolita, the orca who has spent 44 years in captivity in a Miami Seaquarium, performing three shows a day for us -- as if we have not grown up…. Join the Miracle March to Free Lolita, including one on Alki Beach, in Seattle. [March for about a mile along Alki, starting at 1:15 pm at Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza, 61st/Alki] (Huffington Post)

Grace Islet controversy ends as B.C. steps in to buy land
A controversial development on Grace Islet, the site of a a First Nations burial ground, has been stopped after the province stepped in with a plan to purchase the land. The islet, which is located just off Saltspring Island, B.C., drew attention last year as the private owner began building a house on land that contains at least 16 ancient burial cairns. According to a government statement, the province has partnered with local First Nations and the Nature Conservancy of Canada to create a "framework agreement" to purchase the land from the current owner. (CBC)

Oil train safety draws quick attention in Olympia
Two competing oil-train safety bills have come into quick play in the Washington Senate. A Republican measure, proposed by Sen. Doug Ericksen of Ferndale, received a hearing on Thursday before the Senate Environment, Energy & Telecommunications Committee, which he chairs. Also on Thursday, Democratic Sens. Christine Rolfes of Bainbridge Island and Kevin Ranker of Orcas Island introduced a bill to cover what Gov. Jay Inslee wants to do. John Stang reports. (Crosscut)

People warned to avoid water at Titlow Beach after sewage spill
Health officials suggested Thursday that people stay out of the water at Tacoma’s Titlow Beach after a sewage spill there. It wasn’t immediately clear where the sewage came from, or when the spill happened. Alex Krell reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

B.C. to hunt wolves by helicopter in order to save endangered mountain caribou herds
Government-contracted hunters were in helicopters over two regions of British Columbia on Thursday as the province launched a controversial culling program that will sacrifice as many as 184 wolves this year alone in an attempt to save endangered caribou. The province announced a plan to immediately start killing wolves during the next four years in the South Peace region, located in northern B.C., and in the South Selkirk region along the border with Washington state and Idaho. (Vancouver Sun)

New wastewater line may fuel resort plans near Blyn casino
A humble wastewater main line could pour revenue into the coffers of both the Jamestown S’Klallam tribe and the city of Sequim. Building the 6.5-mile-long pipe may pump new life into the tribe’s dream of a resort near 7 Cedars Casino and drain off some of the city’s excess sewage-treatment capacity. The project will cost the tribe $8.3 million, according to the city. The resort was estimated to cost $7.5 million in 2010, when the tribe temporarily shelved the idea. James Casey reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Avian Flu Detected In Oregon Wild Duck
Wildlife officials in Oregon say a mallard duck shot by a hunter near Eugene has tested positive for avian flu.   The strain of influenza (H5N2) is relatively common in Europe and Asia and has not caused any human sickness.  The flu does not appear to cause illness in wild waterfowl, which have evolved with the virus.  But it could kill falcons and hawks.   The real concern, though, is an outbreak in domesticated birds. Jes Burns reports. (EarthFix) See also: Backyard poultry owners in Whatcom County urged to get their flocks tested for bird flu

Cooke likely to look at Icicle salmon farms
The acquisitive Canadian salmon, seabass and seabream farmer and processor Cooke Aquaculture is likely to be interested in up-for-grabs Icicle Seafoods’ salmon farms, located on the West Coast of the US, where the Canadian firm is not present, sources said. With private equity group Paine & Partners looking to sell US harvester and processor Icicle, which it acquired in 2007, the seafood sector is rife with speculation as to whether Icicle will be sold as a whole or broken up into its various pieces…. The business produces over 6,000 metric tons of salmon a year in Puget Sound, with farms at Bainbridge Island, Cypress Island, Port Angeles and Hope Island, Washington. Tom Seaman reports. (Undercurrent News)

Lynden-based fishing boat owner fined $11,000 for spill
The Lynden-based owner of a fishing vessel has been fined $11,000 because one of its boats spilled diesel into Elliott Bay in Seattle, the Washington state Department of Ecology announced Thursday, Jan. 15. The Sept. 13, 2013, spill occurred while the Bristol Leader was refueling from a tank truck at Terminal 91. The spill totaled 181 gallons. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 244 AM PST FRI JAN 16 2015
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON PST TODAY
TODAY
W WIND 15 TO 25 KT...EASING TO 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 FT OR LESS IN THE AFTERNOON.
 W SWELL 12 FT AT 12 SECONDS...SUBSIDING TO 9 FT AT 13 SECONDS IN THE AFTERNOON. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE MORNING.
TONIGHT
S WIND 10 KT...BECOMING SE 10 TO 20 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS...BUILDING TO 1 TO 3 FT AFTER MIDNIGHT. W
 SWELL 9 FT AT 13 SECONDS.
SAT
SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT...EASING TO 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 2 FT OR LESS IN THE AFTERNOON.
 W SWELL 7 FT AT 13 SECONDS. RAIN.
SAT NIGHT
SE WIND 5 TO 15 KT...RISING TO 15 TO 25 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS...BUILDING TO 2 TO 4 FT AFTER
 MIDNIGHT. W SWELL 8 FT AT 13 SECONDS.
SUN
SW WIND 20 TO 25 KT...BECOMING 20 TO 30 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 3 TO 5 FT. W SWELL 9 FT AT 13 SECONDS...BUILDING TO
 11 FT AT 11 SECONDS IN THE AFTERNOON.
--
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