Wednesday, February 18, 2015

2/18 Oil train safety, Winter 2070, Buckingham Cr., Elwha studies, grant boost, national park visits

(Steve Keenan/Associated Press)
W.Va. oil train derailment was 1 of 3 with safer tank cars
The fiery derailment of a train carrying crude oil in West Virginia is one of three in the past year involving tank cars that already meet a higher safety standard than what federal law requires -- leading some to suggest even tougher requirements that industry representatives say would be costly. Hundreds of families were evacuated and nearby water treatment plants were temporarily shut down after cars derailed from a train carrying 3 million gallons of North Dakota crude Monday, shooting fireballs into the sky, leaking oil into a Kanawha River tributary and burning down a house nearby. It was snowing at the time, but it is not yet clear if weather was a factor. John Raby and Jonathan Mattise report. (Associated Press) See also: West Virginia, Canada derailments renew focus on oil tank cars  Curtis Tate reports. (McClatchy)

The Winter of 2070
Climate scientist Cliff Mass writes: "There is a fascinating aspect of our present anomalously warm/snow-free winter. It is very similar in many ways to what will be experienced about a half-century in the future --more so than any year I can think of…."

Illegal tree cutting under investigation in Burnaby, B.C. salmon spawning creek
The City of Burnaby, B.C. is investigating complaints of illegal tree cutting after more than a dozen alder trees were cut down without a permit last week near a salmon spawning creek. Resident Alicia Schuurmans says she contacted the city when she saw someone had removed the trees from a property that backs onto Buckingham Creek…. The trees ranged in size and age, all were near Buckingham Creek, one of a number of sensitive waterways in the Central Valley watershed near Deer Lake. The city says the property owner did not have a permit to cut them down, and would likely not have been given one, because the trees provide shade and nutrients to spawning fish. (CBC)

Silt, sediment and change: Federal government releases scientific studies on Elwha River dam removal
Five peer-reviewed studies on the effects of the Elwha River dam removal were released this week. Authors with the U.S. Geological Survey, Bureau of Reclamation, National Park Service, Washington Sea Grant, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe and the University of Washington provide detailed observations about the changes in the river’s landforms, waters and coastal zone during the first two years of dam removal, which began in 2011. In the largest dam removal project in U.S. history, the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams were demolished, allowing the river to revert to its wild state. The five new papers can be found in Elsevier’s peer-reviewed journal, Geomorphology. (Peninsula Daily News)

Philanthropy Group Says Foundations Plan To Boost Grantmaking As Assets Recover
The stock market has bounced back from the recession, and philanthropy is climbing along with it. That’s the message from Philanthropy Northwest, a group that tracks grantmaking to nonprofit organizations in the Pacific Northwest.  "The trend here in Washington, the trend in the Pacific Northwest and the trend nationally are all aligned. Everybody’s feeling very positive," said Jeff Clarke, chief executive of Philanthropy Northwest, a member organization of foundations, corporations and individuals who make charitable grants. "I would say it’s probably the most positive sentiment that I’ve heard since pre-2008." Ashley Gross reports. (KPLU)

National parks set attendance record for 2014; Olympic 6th most-visited national park in system
The national park system in the United States has a new attendance record for 2014. More than 290 million people visited one of the many national parks or recreational areas in the country. The old attendance record was set in 1999 when more than 287 million people visited the park system.  The 2014 record was an increase from 2013 by 7 percent, or 19 million.  The actual attendance for 2014 was 292,800,082 million people, 3,243,872 of whom visited Olympic National Park. (Peninsula Daily News)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 258 AM PST WED FEB 18 2015
TODAY
SE WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING SW. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 13 SECONDS. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF RAIN.
TONIGHT AND THU
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 11 OR 12 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF RAIN.

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