Thursday, September 17, 2015

9/17 BC vote, McCallum Slough, RR quiet zones, BC Hydro exemption, Coho dock

(PHOTO: Jeff Poklen/BirdNote)
Jaegers Give Chase in September
A tern or gull plunges headfirst into the water, then bounces aloft grasping a small fish in its bill. But before the bird can swallow its catch, a Parasitic Jaeger swoops in. The jaeger nips the bird's wing, and it drops its hard-won fish. The pirate catches the fish in mid-air and gulps it down. The jaeger (German for hunter) is built for sprinting speed and predatory feats. Here's a photo of a jaeger in pursuit of a juvenile Western Gull. (BirdNote)

B.C. residents split on oil pipeline projects
B.C. residents are split on proposed oil pipeline projects, but fairly optimistic about the economy despite news of a mild recession, according to a recent poll. Mainstreet, a national public research firm, polled residents on Sept. 15 about some of the key issues going into the federal election and came away with an indication that there could be more three-way races in this province than in any other. The poll shows Vancouver Island painted in New Democratic orange, B.C.'s north bathed in Conservative Party blue, and the Lower Mainland pulsing with Liberal red. But in many ridings, particularly those in the Lower Mainland, the leading party did not appear to have much breathing room, said Quito Maggi, the president and CEO of Mainstreet. Matthew Robinson reports. (Vancouver Sun)

B.C. government steps in to save endangered fish
The B.C. government has stepped in at the 11th hour to fill a void created by the weakened federal Fisheries Act, providing the District of Kent with a series of conditions before it can conduct flood-related excavations in a known hot spot for endangered species…. The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations provided The Sun with a copy of its conditions for conducting works on McCallum Slough near Agassiz. The district must, in part: provide a plan to ensure existing environmental features are maintained or enhanced; replant along riparian areas to shore up the banks and reduce in-stream growth; hire a professional biologist to monitor the work; complete in-stream work by Oct. 15 to protect spawning fish. Larry Pynn reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Rules for setting up railroad quiet zones need adjustment, residents say
Residents of Blanchard decried Tuesday what they called a unclear payment structure and excessive liability on individuals wanting to create railroad quiet zones. The residents spoke at a public hearing with Skagit County Commissioners and county Public Works. About 10 members of the community, which has four rail crossings in close proximity, spoke, advocating for a streamlined process for requesting quiet zones — areas where train conductors do not need to blow their whistles. The criticism stems from a draft of the procedure for establishing quiet zones, which would require a majority of those living within a half-mile of the crossing to sign on. County officials agreed to rework the draft. Brandon Stone reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Province seeks to exempt two BC Hydro projects from review
The provincial government is seeking to bypass a regulatory review to fast-track two major projects designed to supply the natural gas industry with clean energy for production. The bid to exempt the transmission line projects from an independent evaluation comes on the heels of a commitment last spring from the B.C. Liberal government to restore the powers of BC Hydro’s watchdog, the B.C. Utilities Commission. The Crown corporation says it needs to move quickly to respond to what it calls “some of the most dramatic, single industry load growth in a discrete area that it has experienced over the past 50 years.” That demand is fuelled by plans to electrify gas plants developing the Montney shale gas deposits in the Peace region in B.C.’s northeast. Justine Hunter reports. (Globe and Mail)

Coho ferry dock work in Victoria Harbour expected to start next month
Work could begin as early as Oct. 13 on new docks in Victoria Harbour for the Coho car ferry. The project, which could take about 18 months and cost more than $10 million, will see Black Ball Ferry Line rebuild its docks, replace the dolphins and car ramps, improve U.S. Customs facilities and establish covered walkways for passengers. Andrew Duffy reports. (Times Colonist)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT THU SEP 17 2015
TODAY
E WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING NE IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 10 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY IN THE MORNING...THEN A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
W WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING S AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 9 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
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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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