Tuesday, July 14, 2015

7/14 Pluto, T46C2, The Big One, water price, drought aid, Polley mine, 3 Crabs, small nukes

Pluto ( NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI )
NASA’s New Horizons Spacecraft Zips by Pluto
It was like New Year’s Eve in Times Square as the countdown clock ticked down to zero. “We’re going to do our 10-9-8 thing and you can get your flags out,” S. Alan Stern, the principal investigator for NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto told the people gathered at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory here, which is operating the mission. “We’re going to go absolutely ape.” At about 7:50 a.m. Tuesday, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft made it closest pass by Pluto, coming within 7,800 miles of the surface. Kenneth Chang reports. (New York Times)

Rescued juvenile transient whale spotted reunited with family
Researchers studying whales off the coast of B.C. have finally got the good news they've been waiting for two years — Sam, a young transient killer whale rescued in August 2013 has been reunited with his family.  The young whale, T46C2, was two years old when he was stranded in a small cove near remote Aristazabal Island in the summer of 2013 for several weeks. Scientists kept a close eye on the juvenile, hoping he would leave the bay himself. (CBC)

The Really Big One
An earthquake will destroy a sizable portion of the coastal Northwest. The question is when. Kathryn Schulz reports. (The New Yorker) See also: If you think New Yorker’s earthquake story is scary, better read this  (Seattle Times)

B.C. to review ‘low’ water prices after complaints about Nestlé deal
Premier Christy Clark has ordered a review of the fees charged to bottled-water companies, amid a public backlash that accused her government of being too generous with the province’s water during a summer drought. Clark said the government is rethinking the new groundwater rate structure it plans to charge companies as of Jan. 1. The decision came after more than 200,000 people signed an online petition calling the rates too low, since a company like Nestlé can bottle 265 million litres of water annually for only $596. Rob Shaw reports. (Vancouver Sun)

State grants for drought aid available from Ecology
The state Department of Ecology is accepting applications for grants for projects to relieve hardships from drought. The agency received a $16 million appropriation from the Legislature for the grants. The funds can be used over the next two years to help protect public health and safety from effects of the drought, and reduce economic or environmental impacts from water shortages, Ecology said. (Peninsula Daily News)

Mount Polley restart ignores water concerns: First Nations
The T’exelc and Xatsull First Nations say they are extremely disappointed that the B.C. government has allowed Imperial Metals to partly restart the Mount Polley mine. The First Nations contend that allowing the gold and copper mine to reopen is premature, ignores their concerns and could place their and other communities at risk. Gordon Hoekstra reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Changing face of 3 Crabs: Neighbors object to proposed wetlands restoration project that would change road
A proposed restoration project intended to revitalize wetlands near 3 Crabs Road has angered residents living in the area. “We will be severely impacted by the proposed realignment project,” Julie Smyth, who lives in the 400 block of 3 Crabs Road, said during a public hearing Wednesday night at the Clallam County Courthouse. Smyth, 65, was nominated to speak for the 25 homeowners in her neighborhood, who have signed a letter opposing the project. Chris McDaniel reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Small nuke reactors: Search for site is planned
The Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council will begin searching for a potential manufacturing site for small modular reactors. That information came from a recent Energy Northwest blog entry. Energy Northwest is lined up to operate small modular reactors courts under a Northwest venture allied with the federal Department of Energy. The most likely manufacturing site is a half-built reactor located just north of Richland and near Energy Northwest’s sole existing reactor. John Stang reports. (Crosscut)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 224 AM PDT TUE JUL 14 2015
TODAY
W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...EASING TO 10 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 4 FT AT 10 SECONDS.

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