Wednesday, January 27, 2016

1/27 Duwamish cleanup, Malheur arrest, Spirit Bear, Gabriola bridge, spill kill, sewer musings, I-735

Sand-verbena (PHOTO: Stephen Hume/Vancouver Sun)
Two-stage battle to save a native flower
The modest pink blooms of the pink sand-verbena, one of Canada’s rarest and most endangered wild flowers, are being propagated for reintroduction to restored sand dune habitat by Parks Canada’s scientists, students and volunteers in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on Vancouver Island’s stormy outer coast. Stephen Hume reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Seeking millions to clean up PCBs from Duwamish
The city of Seattle is suing to make Monsanto pay for cleanup of toxic PCBs from the city’s drainage system and the Duwamish River. Monsanto was the sole producer of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) for commercial use in the U.S. from 1935 to 1977, and continued to profit from their sale for years even as its officials knew the chemicals were polluting the environment, causing harm to people and wildlife, said Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes. “When the profit motive overtakes concern for the environment, this is the kind of disaster that happens,” Holmes said Tuesday. “I’m proud to hold Monsanto accountable.” Seattle is the sixth major city in the West to seek cleanup damages from the company, joining San Jose, Oakland, Berkeley, San Diego and Spokane, which Holmes said gave him the idea to file the federal lawsuit.  Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Ammon Bundy and 7 Others Held in Oregon; LaVoy Finicum Is Reported Dead
Ammon Bundy, the leader of an armed seizing of a federal wildlife refuge in rural eastern Oregon, was arrested and one person was killed Tuesday afternoon in a traffic stop in rural Oregon, the F.B.I. and the Oregon State Police said. Seven other people, including Mr. Bundy’s brother Ryan Bundy, were arrested, the authorities said. Another person was hospitalized with injuries that were not life-threatening. The authorities did not identify the man who was killed, but a member of the Nevada State Assembly, Michele Fiore, who has been a supporter of the Bundy family, said on Twitter that it was LaVoy Finicum. Mr. Finicum had become a de facto spokesman for the occupiers. Julie Turkewitz and Kirk Johnson report. (NY Times) See also: Malheur Occupation Costs Oregon Taxpayers $500,000  Chris Lehman reports. (KPLU) And also: Will The Oregon Occupation Ruin Bird Habitat?  (EarthFix)

Scientists ask B.C. government to preserve Spirit Bear habitat
On the eve of a long-awaited land-use agreement for the Great Bear Rainforest, scientists are decrying the fact that Gribbell Island — the greatest habitat on the coast for B.C.’s official mammal, the Spirit Bear — won’t receive official protected-area status. One of those scientists, veteran bear biologist Wayne McCrory, a director of the Valhalla Wilderness Society, fears that without full protection, Gribbell Island could be logged or mined in future, with involvement by the Gitga’at First Nation, and that the Spirit Bears’ critical habitat won’t be assured. Larry Pynn reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Bridge to Gabriola Island too costly says report
Residents of Gabriola Island are going to be depending on BC Ferries for the foreseeable future, after a new report concluded replacing the service with a bridge would be too expensive to justify…. The government says the engineering report, which was commissioned in 2014, found the cost of a bridge would range between $258 million and $520 million, depending on the route chosen. The report was commissioned after many islanders signed a petition asking the government to look into building a bridge after BC Ferries cut back service to the island. (CBC)

Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Devastated Killer Whales
More than two decades after the disaster, the future is bleak for a genetically unique pod of Alaskan orcas…. They’re the subject of a new National Geographic investigative documentary produced by reporter J.J. Kelley exploring the effects of the Exxon Valdez spill on this highly intelligent animal. Jani Actman reports. (National Geographic)

Victoria mayor casts off Saanich’s sewage ‘musings’
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps dismissed Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell’s “musings” about a made-in-Saanich sewage solution Tuesday, urging residents to focus instead on Capital Regional District treatment options now going out for public comment.... “A musing is not the same thing as a motion before council so if Saanich council is interested in going in this direction then I think we have some serious things to consider. But right now what we’re focused on is public engagements on the approved options which Mayor Atwell voted in favour of as did [Oak Bay] Mayor [Nils] Jensen at the CRD table.” Bill Cleverley reports. (Times Colonist)

Washington will get to vote on whether corporations are people
The Secretary of State's Office has certified Initiative 735, meaning Washington gets to vote this fall on whether it wants to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision, which opened the way to anything-goes campaign spending. The measure goes to the Legislature, which can approve, ignore or reject it. If  ignored or rejected, which seems likely, I-735 goes onto the November ballot. The fundamental message of I-735 -- that corporations are not people -- is defined in its ballot title: "This measure would urge the Washington state congressional delegation to propose a federal constitutional amendment that constitutional rights belong only to individuals, not corporations, and constitutionally-protected free speech excludes the spending of money." Joel Connelly reports. (SeattlePI.Com)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  300 AM PST WED JAN 27 2016  

GALE WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT
 

TODAY
 SE WIND 20 TO 30 KT...RISING TO 25 TO 35 KT BY  MIDDAY. COMBINED SEAS 11 TO 12 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 15  SECONDS. RAIN.

TONIGHT
 SE WIND 25 TO 35 KT...BECOMING S AFTER MIDNIGHT. COMBINED  SEAS 14 TO 15 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 12 SECONDS...BUILDING TO  18 TO 19 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 14 SECONDS AFTER MIDNIGHT.  RAIN.

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