Wednesday, October 7, 2015

10/7 BC pipe, Padilla poop, climate initiative, Neil Young, BP settlement, crows & death

‘Floating Life Forms,’ Ed Kroupa (DavidMontesino/TNT)
Puget Sound creatures inspire new art along Thea Foss in downtown Tacoma
Some of the creatures from Puget Sound have — in an artistic sense — leaped out of the water and onto Thea Foss Esplanade. People strolling down the walkway in downtown Tacoma will now see six hollow bronze spheres decorated with harbor seals, octopus, sea stars and more. The pieces, created by Tacoma artist Ed Kroupa and dubbed “Floating Life Forms,” are part of the city’s efforts to beautify and to help train artists. Stacia Glenn reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Ottawa defends ‘thorough’ Northern Gateway review at Vancouver court hearing
The Canadian government is asking the Federal Court of Appeal to uphold its controversial decision to approve the $7-billion Northern Gateway pipeline project. First Nations, environmental groups and a union are asking the court to quash the decision because of an alleged failure to consider environmental threats or consult with aboriginal bands. But government lawyer Jan Brongers argued Tuesday that the federal review was extensive, and there must be a high bar for a court to overturn a democratically elected cabinet’s decision. Laura Kane reports. (Globe and Mail)

County, state step up efforts to keep waste out of Padilla Bay
The search is on for sources of fecal coliform bacteria in the Padilla Bay watershed. Skagit County and the state Department of Ecology are stepping up efforts to remedy the pollution problem. The presence of the bacteria indicates human sewage and/or livestock manure is getting into the water. “We have a state park where people can’t swim. What’s the deal with that?” Skagit County Water Quality Analyst Rick Haley said at a public meeting last week. “You shouldn’t have to worry about poop in the water when you’re out there recreating.” Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Second group plans state initiative on climate change
Washington voters could see two competing initiatives to fight climate change vying for their support on the 2016 fall ballot. A coalition of environmental, labor, social-justice and other groups announced plans Tuesday for an initiative that would impose fees on carbon emissions from fossil fuels. and spend proceeds on clean-energy investments and other government programs. The initiative’s details were not released during a news conference at a downtown Seattle steam plant…. Meanwhile, backers of a competing measure have been gathering signatures for months on a different carbon-pricing approach. Initiative 732 would tax carbon emissions, but would take a “revenue neutral” approach — offsetting the new tax with cuts in business and sales taxes. Jim Brunner reports. (Seattle Times)

Neil Young says political leadership ‘trashed’ Canada
Weighing in on the federal election campaign, Canadian music icon Neil Young says Canada’s “backwards” political leadership has “trashed” the country’s resources and diminished Canada’s image on the world stage….  Mr. Young made the comments at a news conference at which he and David Suzuki announced that $100,000 from Mr. Young’s concert on Monday night would be donated to the Blue Dot campaign. The goal of this Suzuki Foundation movement is to get the right to a healthy environment enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Marsha Lederman reports. (Globe and Mail)

US Settles Claims Against BP Over Deepwater Horizon Spill
Federal and state claims against BP for the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill have been resolved, the Justice Department says, with the oil and gas company agreeing to pay more than $20 billion in penalties. Calling it “a historic resolution,” U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said Monday that the deal is “the largest settlement with a single entity in American history,” with a record environmental penalty. The deal was first announced in July…. According to BP, the settlement announced today “does not reflect a new settlement or any new money.” Instead, the company says, the figure touted by U.S. officials today includes money that was previously spent or announced. (OPB)

Crows may learn lessons from death, UW research shows
In recent years, a peculiar sort of public performance has taken place periodically on the sidewalks of Seattle. It begins with a woman named Kaeli N. Swift sprinkling peanuts and cheese puffs on the ground. Crows swoop in to feed on the snacks. While Swift observes the birds from a distance, notebook in hand, another person walks up to the birds, wearing a latex mask and a sign that reads “UW CROW STUDY.” In the accomplice’s hands is a taxidermied crow, presented like a tray of hors d’oeuvres. This performance is not surreal street theater, but an experiment designed to explore a deep biological question: What do crows understand about death? Carl Zimmer reports. (NY Times)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 300 AM PDT WED OCT 7 2015
TODAY
E WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 3 FT AT 12 SECONDS. RAIN.
TONIGHT
E WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 4 FT AT 10 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF RAIN IN THE EVENING.

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