Monday, December 12, 2016

12/12 Dylan's Nobel, McMorris Rodgers, Growlers, water rights, KM pipe threat, fish money, bird count

Barred owl (Laurie MacBride)
The Surprise Visitors 
Laurie MacBride in Eye on Environment writes: "When you live on the Gulf Islands, you get used to having summer visitors, usually family members or old friends. But every once in awhile, unexpected characters drop by. Such was the case one evening last summer when we heard an unusual sound outside: a series of drawn-out whistling hisses, slightly ascending in pitch. It was late, but there was just enough light to make out a pair of Barred owls: one on each end of our raspberry trellis, just 15 feet from the back door…."

Listen and be moved: A Transcendent Patti Smith Accepts Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize
Patti Smith’s performance of Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,” to orchestral accompaniment, moved some audience members to tears. Read the story, watch and listen to the eight-and-a-half minute clip, and be moved.  Amanda Petrusich reports. (The New Yorker)

Eastern Washington Rep. McMorris Rodgers Emerges As Trump's Interior Choice
Eastern Washington lawmaker Cathy McMorris Rodgers is emerging as President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to lead natural resources policy as interior secretary…. Such an appointment would ensure that a Washington state resident remains at the helm of the Interior Department, which includes the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. But it would mark a philosophical shift from that of President Obama’s outgoing Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, a Seattle Democrat and former CEO of REI. (KUOW)

Navy's Growler open houses draw hundreds
Open houses held this week on the proposal to bring more EA-18G Growler jets to Whidbey Island Naval Air Station drew hundreds, including 110 to one Thursday at Seafarers’ Memorial Park. The Navy held the five open houses to provide information and take public comments about the draft environmental impact statement, or EIS, that looks at the environmental impacts of bringing more Growlers to the base. The draft EIS was released Nov. 10, and public comments are being accepted through Jan. 25. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Some building halted as counties react to water rights case 
As counties across Washington respond to a far-reaching state Supreme Court decision involving water rights, angry and frustrated property owners are finding they cannot depend on groundwater wells to build new homes as they have in the past. In October, the court sided with four residents and the group Futurewise who argued that Whatcom County failed to protect water resources by allowing new wells to reduce flow in streams for fish and other uses. The court said counties must independently ensure water is legally available before granting new building permits. The decision is likely to affect thousands across the state and represents the latest struggle to balance competing needs of people and wildlife for limited water. Phuong Le reports. (Associated Press)

Pipeline expansion worries some on behalf of southern resident orcas
Environmental activists from the United States and Canada are expressing concerns over a newly approved expansion of a Canadian oil pipeline, saying it could threaten the Puget Sound’s southern resident orcas. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in November approved the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which would drastically increase the amount of oil being transported from the oil sands in Alberta to Burnaby, B.C., a city just east of Vancouver. “It definitely will be a Canadian Standing Rock,” said Paul Magid, a member of the Jefferson County Stand with Standing Rock caravan, which recently returned from protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota. Cydney McFarland reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Skagit River fish projects net $900,000 in grant money
The state’s Salmon Recovery Funding Board announced Thursday that $901,833 in grant money will help further fish projects throughout the Skagit River watershed. The projects include planting vegetation along streams, removing barriers to fish passage and acquiring land in the floodplain. The projects were proposed by a variety of local organizations, including nonprofits, tribes and government agencies. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Bird-watchers get set to participate in annual count
The 117th annual Christmas Bird Count is approaching, and bird-watchers throughout the United States are encouraged to report the species they see to the National Audubon Society. The bird count will run Dec. 14 to Jan. 5. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  251 AM PST MON DEC 12 2016  

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON
 
TODAY
 NE WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 5 TO  7 FT AT 9 SECONDS. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
TONIGHT
 E WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 5 FT  AT 8 SECONDS. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE EVENING.

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