Friday, December 9, 2016

12/9 Monsanto sued, Scott Pruitt, restore Kitsap, cruise ships, people power, Seattle Times cuts

Pileated woodpecker (Paul Bannick/BirdNote)
No Pounding Headache
The Pileated Woodpecker makes loud, hard whacks, as it leans back and then slams its bill into the side of a living tree. Sounds painful, if not downright disabling! How does the woodpecker's brain withstand it? All woodpeckers have an enlarged brain case, so the brain sits above the level of direct hammering impact. The skull's frontal bones - together with a set of muscles at the bill's base - act as a shock absorber. (BirdNote)

Washington state suing Monsanto over PCB pollution 
Washington says it’s the first U.S. state to sue the agrochemical giant Monsanto over pollution from PCBs. Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced the lawsuit at a news conference Thursday afternoon. The chemicals, polychlorinated biphenyls, were used in many industrial and commercial applications, including in paint, coolants, sealants and hydraulic fluids. PCB contamination impairs rivers, lakes and bays around the country. The lawsuit, which seeks potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in cleanup costs, was filed in King County Superior Court and says Monsanto long knew about the toxic dangers PCBs posed. Gene Johnson reports. (Associated Press)

Scott Pruitt, Trump’s Industry Pick for the E.P.A.
Garvin Isaacs, the president of the Oklahoma Bar Association, isn’t one for understatement, but he topped himself in his reaction to the news that Donald Trump is expected to nominate Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general, to run the Environmental Protection Agency…. Isaacs is a colorful and respected local litigator who has long been a thorn in the side of Oklahoma’s powerful. He claims the fossil-fuel industry “owns the whole darn state.” But his worries at the state level are now national. By choosing Pruitt, Isaacs said, Trump has outsourced his environmental policy to the Republican Party’s most powerful private donors—the oil-and-gas magnates who have funded Pruitt’s campaigns in Oklahoma. Jane Mayer reports. (New Yorker)

Fighters for Puget Sound pleased with Kitsap's work
Jay Manning walked along a wide and free-running stretch of Chico Creek that, until recently, had been girdled by a culvert and buried under a road. Manning and the other members of the Puget Sound Partnership's leadership council toured several Kitsap Peninsula stream and shoreline restoration sites Wednesday. The council, which oversees the state's Puget Sound recovery agency, held its winter meeting Tuesday in Port Orchard. It was the council's first visit to Kitsap in nearly a decade. Tristan Baurick reports. (Kitsap Sun)

Cruise ships named in U.S. pollution case have stopped in Victoria
Four vessels which have visited Victoria in recent years were named in a pollution case against Princess Cruise Lines for illegal dumping of contaminated waste at sea. The Star Princess, Grand Princess, Coral Princess and Golden Princess have brought thousands of visitors to Victoria's busy Ogden Point cruise ship terminal through the summer months.  But a cruise ship industry expert expects Princess and its parent company, Carnival Corporation, will now have their images tarnished after entering a guilty plea to seven felony charges in a U.S. court earlier this month. Princess Cruise Lines was fined $40 million US last week for deliberate ocean pollution and intentional acts to cover it up. Deborah Wilson report. (CBC)

Put people at the center of conservation, new study advises
People must be part of the equation in conservation projects. This will increase local support and the effectiveness of conservation. That’s the main conclusion of a study published online Nov. 29 in the journal Biological Conservation. In it, an international group of scientists recognizes the need to consider humans’ livelihoods, cultural traditions and dependence on natural resources when planning and carrying out conservation projects around the world. Michelle Ma reports. (UW Today)

The Seattle Times plans staffing cuts as advertising revenue falls
The Seattle Times is planning more staffing cuts as Washington state’s largest daily newspaper faces falling advertising revenue – a journalism industry trend that has forced buyouts and layoffs around the country. “I want to be very honest: The impact of these cuts will be significant,” Executive Editor Don Shelton wrote in an email to Seattle Times editorial staff, obtained by the Puget Sound Business Journal. “This will be a different newsroom next year, and every one of our jobs will change as we reduce staff and move ahead with changing our culture to become more digital, more nimble and more reader focused.” Around this time last year, the newspaper announced staffing cuts as part of a 6 percent newsroom budget reduction. Ultimately, 14 newsroom employees took voluntary buyouts and the newspaper avoided layoffs. The Seattle Times currently has 178 people in the newsroom, making it the largest in the Pacific Northwest, according to Times spokeswoman China E. Levy. Ashley Stewart reports. (Puget Sound Business Journal)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  300 AM PST FRI DEC 9 2016  

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT
 
TODAY
 SE WIND 20 TO 30 KT... BECOMING SW 10 TO 20 KT. WIND  WAVES 4 TO 6 FT...SUBSIDING. W SWELL 5 FT AT 9 SECONDS. RAIN.
TONIGHT
 S WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL  BUILDING TO 10 FT AT 12 SECONDS. RAIN.
SAT
 S WIND 15 TO 25 KT...BECOMING W LATE. WIND WAVES 2 TO  4 FT. W SWELL BUILDING TO 13 FT AT 12 SECONDS. RAIN.
SAT NIGHT
 W WIND 20 TO 30 KT...EASING LATE. WIND WAVES 3 TO  5 FT...SUBSIDING. W SWELL 12 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
SUN
 W WIND 10 TO 20 KT...BECOMING NW 10 KT OR LESS. WIND  WAVES 1 TO 3 FT...SUBSIDING. W SWELL SUBSIDING TO 7 FT AT 11  SECONDS.

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