Tuesday, June 2, 2015

6/2 Snowmelt, spartina, WA budget, eating fish, Shell drill, BC LNG, plant zoo

Red-winged blackbird (PhotoNerd/Birdnote)
What's Different this Year? We Ask Listeners
Changes in habitat mean changes in species. BirdNote asked our Facebook fans about the birds they observed in their yards this spring. Some people say they have more birds. Others say fewer. And why? Changes in habitat mean changes in species. In one person’s yard on San Juan Island, in Washington State, more trees mean more Barred Owls. One gardener said she has “lots more birds,” because she let a lot of plants go to seed last fall. And in the foothills of the Sierras, a fire last summer has made room for Red-winged Blackbirds. (BirdNote)

The Olympic Peninsula Faces A Summer Without Snowmelt
The peaks of the Olympic Mountains are a familiar sight on the western horizon for people in the Puget Sound region. Well into summer, those mountains are usually snowy white. But not this year. The snow is gone and rivers are at flow levels not normally seen until late summer. That has farmers, fish managers and community leaders worried about the season ahead. Ashley Ahearn reports. (KUOW)

Warm weather brings heightened search for spartina
The summer search is beginning for spartina — a plant the state has been targeting for removal for 20 years. “It is an invasive plant that can cause a lot of trouble for coastal communities, and we want to take care of it,” state Department of Agriculture spokesman Mike Louisell said. “It outgrows and out-competes native plants for space.” The amount of the plant found in the state’s coastal counties — including Skagit County — has been reduced from 9,000 acres in 2003 to 8 acres as of 2014. But battling the persistent plant is far from over. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

State lawmakers show signs of movement toward budget deal
Efforts to reach agreement on a state budget seemed to be creating momentum on Monday as Gov. Jay Inslee met with legislative leaders of both parties and House Democrats rolled out a new plan they called a “substantial compromise.” Inslee huddled with House and Senate leaders of both parties Monday morning in the first of what are intended to be daily conversations about the budget.  Jerry Cornfield reports. (Everett Herald) But: Washington Democrats Renew Call For Capital Gains Tax, Republicans Steadfast  Washington House Democrats are doubling down on their pitch for a state capital gains tax while Republicans are reiterating their no-new-taxes mantra. The war of ideas played out Monday as budget negotiators returned to the capitol for a second special session.Austin Jenkins reports. (KUOW)

Consumers can see who caught that fish they’re eating
Consumers can scan a QR code on a restaurant menu to get information about how and where the fish on offer was caught. A Vancouver non-profit is rolling out a seafood tracing system that allows consumers and chefs to learn where their food was harvested and exactly who hauled it out of the water. ThisFish also recently launched an artisanal brand of canned salmon with a picture of the fisherman who caught the fish on the label. The sockeye — caught in Barkley Sound — is sold in Maple Ridge at Bruce’s Country Market and in Vancouver at The Fish Counter. Randy Shore reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Shell to DNR: We're In Seattle--Legally--Through End Of June
Shell Oil has rejected state officials' position that parking an Arctic oil rig at the Port of Seattle's Terminal 5 violates the state constitution. Shell's Polar Pioneer rig has been at the port since mid-May. Its arrival in environmentally minded Seattle has sparked protest and government scrutiny at various levels. John Ryan reports. (KUOW)

TransCanada reaches deals with three more B.C. First Nations for LNG pipeline
TransCanada Corp. says it has reached project agreements with three more First Nations in northern British Columbia as part of efforts to build a pipeline across the province to a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal on the coast. Specifics of the agreements weren't announced but TransCanada said they provide for annual legacy payments over the commercial life of the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission pipeline plus benefits upon signing and at other milestones. (Canadian Press)

‘Zoo of plants’ grows near Stanwood
You're driving north along I-5 northeast of Stanwood and all of a sudden you see it. An array of big letters on red kiosks with green things growing on the rooftops. What's up with that? It's a botanical garden of dreams come true for David Thomsen, 71, a former high school biology teacher. He's the force behind Bonhoeffer Botanical Gardens, a 9-acre spread with a winding boardwalk path and enchanting pond. “It's a zoo of plants,” Thomsen said. “There are 1,000 native plants in Western Washington and our goal of the garden is to have them all.” Andrea Brown reports. (Everett Herald)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 250 AM PDT TUE JUN 2 2015
TODAY
W WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 12 SECONDS. SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
SW WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 11 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY.

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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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