Friday, November 4, 2016

11/4 Future coal, CP reserve, KM prez, toxic poles, DAPL protest, train vote, Stanley Park, more bag ban

Fly amanita (Wikicommons)
Fly amanita (Amanita muscaria)
This is the mushroom pictured in European fairy tales. It is most abundant in late autumn on the ground in conifer forests or mixed woods, or on their edges, sometimes in bushes near open fields. Known as the "fly agaric," it is also called the "fly amanita" because it is thought a decoction made from it kills flies. It is considered poisonous and easily recognized (and avoided-- unless one were into hallucinogenic adventures) by its bright red, orange or yellow cap with white warts. What a beautiful work of Nature! (from The New Savory Wild Mushroom)

New guest blog: Summary and Comments on the 2016 Puget Sound Partnership Action Agenda
In light of the recent federal announcement regarding formation of a federal Puget Sound Task Force and proposed major funding for the recovery and restoration of Puget Sound, it might help to see what the current Puget Sound Partnership Action Agenda entails in order to ponder whether and how the federal effort might dovetail with it. Read Skagit volunteer Peter Haase's independent personal unpacking of his reading of the Action Agenda.

Is Coal’s Political Heft Plunging? One State May Be Canary in Mine
The American coal industry, with its billions of dollars and army of lobbyists, has a storied history of muscle and might. But in this northwest corner of Washington, people like Christopher Grannis, a 69-year-old building contractor and stalwart in local civic causes, are standing up to coal. And coal is losing. “There are financial rewards for a few, but risks are borne by many,” Mr. Grannis said, standing at a microphone at a recent Whatcom County Council meeting in support of a moratorium on new applications for fossil fuel transport through the county. Council members passed the moratorium later that evening. Kirk Johnson and Coral Davenport report. (NY Times)

State considers adding 45 acres for terminal to Cherry Point reserve
People have until Nov. 18 to comment on a proposal to add 45 acres to the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve. That land had been set aside for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal, which would have been the largest coal terminal in North America had it been built. In May, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied GPT a needed permit because it would impact Lummi Nation’s treaty-protected fishing rights. The state Department of Natural Resources followed suit, denying a separate lease application because the federal permit hadn’t been obtained. In September, Lummi Nation asked DNR to add the 45 acres, referred to as a “cutout,” to the reserve, citing treaty rights as well as Cherry Point’s cultural and spiritual importance to the tribe. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Kinder Morgan Canada president clarifies climate change views 
The president of the company that hopes to build the $6.8-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion said today that he doesn't know whether humans are contributing to climate change. Kinder Morgan Canada president Ian Anderson told the Vancouver Board of Trade on Thursday that there is disagreement about the degree to which people influence global warming…. Anderson reiterated his comments later to reporters, but said he accepts public opinion that over time the impact of fossil fuels should be minimized…. But in a statement he sent to reporters later in the day, he clarified further, saying: "The discussion around climate change is an important one and one that I have not shied away from. There should be no misunderstanding in what I think or believe. Climate change is real. Fossil fuels lead to higher CO2, which in turn contributes to climate change." Laura Kane reports. (Canadian Press)

PSE installed toxic utility poles in Kenmore wetland 
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife says Puget Sound Energy needs to fix toxic utility poles installed in a Kenmore wetland. The poles are right next to Marilyn Knutson's home, where she keeps her horses in a fenced in pasture. Knutson says she alerted WDFW about the new transmission line, which violates PSE's own permit. The wood is treated with a carcinogenic preservative called penta. It's not allowed in wetlands like the one around Swamp Creek. Alison Morrow reports. (KING)

Group gathers at Elwha River for pipeline protest
Prayers and songs rang out over the mouth of the Elwha River on Thursday as a group of about 60 people gathered to show solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in its fight to prevent the Dakota Access Pipeline from crossing the Missouri River at North Dakota’s eastern border. Several members of the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe joined the group of people from various faiths in a gathering organized by the Rev. Gail Wheatley of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church of Port Angeles to stand against Energy Transfer’s $3.7 billion pipeline, which would move 470,000 barrels of domestic crude oil per day from North Dakota’s Bakken region through South Dakota and Iowa into Illinois. Jesse Major reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Memo To Spokane City Council Says Proposed Oil Train Ballot Initiative Isn't Legal
An initiative proposed for next year’s ballot in Spokane, Washington, would restrict coal and oil transport through the city by train. But now a hearing examiner for the city of Spokane says the proposal cannot be enforced. According to an eight-page memo to the city council from Hearing Examiner Brian T. McGinn, the proposed law would be preempted by federal law. That’s despite the proposal’s intent “to ensure public safety and prevent environmental damage.” McGinn cited several cases from various circuit courts all the way to the Supreme Court that show state and local laws that govern the activities and location or that have an economic impact on railroad operations are routinely held invalid and preempted under federal law. Emily Schwing reports. (KNKX)

Biodiversity on the rise a decade after windstorm leveled Stanley Park
Nearly ten years after Vancouver's Stanley Park was ravaged by a windstorm things are looking up for the health of the forest, says one ecologist. On Dec. 15, 2006, a powerful storm ripped through southwestern British Columbia and the northwestern U.S. leaving tens of thousands of people without power, closing bridges and roads, and resulting in the deaths of at least four people. An estimated 41 hectares of forest in Stanley Park — including some centuries-old trees — were leveled. (CBC)

Maui County considers ban on plastic bags, foam containers
Maui County officials say they need more time to decide on two proposals that would extend the county’s ban on plastic bags to include reusable ones and do away with food containers. A County Council committee chose to defer the matter at a meeting Monday until Corporation Counsel can review the proposals, The Maui News reported. (Associated Press)

Editor's note: In a comment to the recent blog "Since The First Time I Voted For President” a reader wrote: "…I have been harangued and had the cyber equivalent of rotten tomatoes thrown at me online for trying to challenge Trump supporters. Critical for me beyond everything else is the sexual predator component to his character. None of the supporters would flat out say, we think that's not important enough to rule him out.  Makes me ashamed for my country (and many high school classmates)." In response, I suggested the article by David Frum, the conservative pundit now arguing for why conservative Republicans should vote for Hillary. Frum writes: "If the polls are correct, many disaffected Republicans are making their peace with Donald Trump in the final hours of the 2016 campaign. The usual term for this process is “returning home.” This time, we need a new phrase. The familiar Republican home has been bulldozed and replaced by a Trump-branded edifice. It will require long and hard work to restore and rebuild what has been lost…" The Conservative Case for Voting for Clinton

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  300 AM PDT FRI NOV 4 2016  

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY FOR HAZARDOUS SEAS IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS
 AFTERNOON
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY FOR WINDS IN EFFECT FROM THIS EVENING
 THROUGH LATE TONIGHT  
TODAY
 SE WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 12 FT  AT 13 SECONDS. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF RAIN IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
 SE WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 14 FT  AT 14 SECONDS. RAIN.
SAT
 E WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 13 FT AT  13 SECONDS. RAIN.
SAT NIGHT
 SE WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL  15 FT AT 15 SECONDS...SUBSIDING TO 13 FT AT 16 SECONDS AFTER  MIDNIGHT.
SUN
 S WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 13 FT AT  14 SECONDS.

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