Tuesday, March 1, 2016

3/1 Big ship, BC spill rules, PSE power poles, Clayoquot Is., bully owls, Site C dam, Navy e-warfare

Benjamin Franklin arrives (Mike Siegel/Seattle Times)
Massive cargo ship arrives in Seattle’s Elliott Bay
The largest cargo ship ever to visit the United States, the CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin, arrived at Harbor Island’s Terminal 18 on Monday, packed with electronics, clothing, furniture and sporting goods. Janet Tu reports. (Seattle Times) See also: After intense training, Puget Sound Pilots steer ship the size of a skyscraper into Elliott Bay  Patti Payne reports. (Puget Sound Business Journal)

B.C. government to introduce 'world-leading' oil spill response law
The B.C. government is set to introduce a new law requiring oil companies to have what it calls a "world-leading" response to oil spills on land — creating a path for industry to meet one of the province's five requirements for heavy oil pipelines. Environment Minister Mary Polak said the province's existing Environmental Management Act was "really out of date," and the amendments will require companies to prepare for an oil spill on land and clean up after one. (CBC)

Proposed higher-voltage power poles spark debate over safety and need on Eastside
Puget Sound Energy chose the name “EnergizeEastside” for its proposal to build 18 miles of new high-voltage power lines from Renton to Redmond, but the biggest jolt delivered so far has been to residents in five cities along the proposed route. The utility says it needs the new 230-kilovolt transmission lines and a substation in Bellevue to meet the growing energy needs of anticipated office towers, workers and residents, particularly in downtown Bellevue and the Spring District. Officials project that energy demand could outstrip supply at peak periods by 2018, resulting in rolling blackouts, if the system’s capacity isn’t expanded. The new lines could be installed along the same corridor as the utility’s existing 115-kilovolt lines. But critics, including a citizens group that has retained its own energy expert and a land-use attorney, say the utility’s estimates of need are overblown. They wonder if new technologies and increased conservation might meet some of the coming demand for more power. Lynn Thompson reports. (Seattle Times)

Nature Conservancy of Canada new owners of most of Clayoquot Island
Most of Clayoquot Island, a one-kilometre-wide forested island off the shore of Tofino, B.C., will become a nature preserve after a landowner donated a large portion of it to the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Susan Bloom purchased much of Stubbs Island (since renamed Clayoquot Island) in 1990 to protect it. Now that Bloom has donated the land to the Nature Conservancy of Canada, the forest will be protected in perpetuity. (CBC)

California biologists shoot scores of bully owls to protect endangered spotted owls
The barred owl has speckled brown wings, teddy bear eyes and a hoot that sounds like a puppy mouthing a sock. This one also has a red laser dot on its head. After getting a good look, Lowell Diller fires his rifle. The owl tumbles off its perch to the ground. Diller has pulled the trigger on barred owls more than 100 times in the forests of Humboldt and Del Norte counties, but he's no poacher or renegade woodsman. He's a wildlife biologist who, as part of an experiment sanctioned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, kills one bird to protect another. The northern spotted owl, a smaller Pacific Northwest native that became symbolic of the region's timber conservation battles, is threatened with extinction. Natalie Jacewicz reports. (San Jose Mercury News)

B.C. court rules against Site C dam protesters, says campers can be removed
Opponents of a hydroelectric dam in northeastern British Columbia have suffered another setback following a court decision granting a request from BC Hydro to remove protesters camped out illegally near the megaproject's construction site. Justice G. Bruce Butler of the B.C. Supreme Court ruled Monday that it would be "contrary to the public interest" to allow demonstrators to continue trying to shut down work on the Site C dam. The project has already received regulatory approval from both the provincial and federal governments, and has survived several grassroots legal challenges. Geordon Omand reports. (Canadian Press)

Activists seek national attention on Navy’s electronic warfare training plans for Peninsula
Environmental activists opposed to Navy plans to conduct electromagnetic warfare training on the North Olympic Peninsula are working to bring attention to the project to the national stage. “This is actually a national issue — an international issue,” Karen Sullivan, co-founder and spokesman of West Coast Action Alliance, said last week following the screening of a short film about the issue by Mitch Mattrow of Seattle. The screening at the Port Angeles Library was viewed by an audience of about 40 people. The untitled video can be viewed at http://tinyurl.com/PDN-ByAirLand-Sea. Chris McDaniel reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  250 AM PST TUE MAR 1 2016  

GALE WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 1 PM PST THIS AFTERNOON
 

TODAY
 E WIND 25 TO 35 KT...BECOMING SE 15 TO 25 KT IN THE  AFTERNOON. COMBINED SEAS 9 TO 10 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF  13 SECONDS...BUILDING TO 12 FT WITH A DOMINANT PERIOD OF 11 SECONDS  IN THE AFTERNOON. RAIN.

TONIGHT
 SW WIND 10 TO 20 KT...RISING TO 15 TO 25 KT AFTER  MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT...BUILDING TO 2 TO 4 FT AFTER  MIDNIGHT. SW SWELL 13 FT AT 11 SECONDS. SHOWERS.

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