Tuesday, January 31, 2017

1/31 Pipeline protester, Snake R. dams, Colstrip cleanup, Friday Harbor bag ban

American Kestrel [Gregg Thompson/BirdNote]
A small falcon, hovering over a field ...
The American Kestrel is the smallest, most numerous, and most widespread North American falcon. This bird is built for speed, its long pointed wings often bent back at the tip. While hunting, kestrels hover above an open field. These days, the lack of suitable nesting cavities, which limits American Kestrel populations in some areas, has lead to public interest in installing wooden nest boxes. (BirdNote)

Jury selected in trial of man charged with breaking into pipeline facility
The trial of Kenneth Ward, who faces charges for trespassing and tampering with oil pipeline equipment at a facility west of Burlington, began Monday in Skagit County Superior Court. Ward, 60, of Corbett, Oregon, was one of three arrested for breaking into the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline facility Oct. 11. Charges against the other two were dropped. Ward is facing felony charges for sabotage and burglary, and a misdemeanor charge for trespassing on Kinder Morgan property, according to court records. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Snake River dams examined after decades of lawsuits
Scientists and power providers are scrutinizing the Snake River dams to see just how damaging they are for wild fish, in accordance with a federal judge’s orders. For the first time in about a decade, the public has a chance to weigh in on the future of the dams. It’s an issue that’s captivated the attention of former Idaho Fish and Game biologist, Steve Pettit. He spent years fishing the Clearwater River on his lunch breaks, so if anyone’s watched the waters change over 40 years, Petit says he has. “It’s pathetic. Can’t buy a fish,” he said. Pettit blames a bad memory that’s stuck like a persistent nightmare. He was there in 1975 when the Lower Granite dam held back the Snake River for the first time. Alison Morrow reports. (KING)

Legislators Debate Requiring Detailed Cleanup Plan For Colstrip Units 1 & 2
The state senator from Colstrip is asking lawmakers in Helena to consider a bill requiring a more detailed cleanup plan for when two coal-fired electric generators in his town shut down. On Monday, Republican Duane Ankney proposed the first of several bills he is bringing forward this legislative session directed at the future of Colstrip… Ankney says his bill would provide more guidelines as to what the operators of Colstrip power plant units 1 and 2 must do before shutting down operation, which will happen by 2022 at the very latest. Corin Cates-Carney  reports. (Montana Public Radio)

Town holds public hearing on plastic bag ban
San Juan County passed an ordinance to ban single-use, carryout plastic bags, last November, but it didn’t include the Town of Friday Harbor. “There’s county code and then there’s the town,” said Town Clerk Amy Taylor to The Journal. “Sometimes they overlap and sometimes they don’t.”… Two changes were made to the town ordinance draft by council; the start date of the ban was changed from April 1 to May 1 to coincide with the county’s adoption and retailers were given additional time to use already purchased non-complying bags until out of stock. Hayley Day reports. (Journal of the San Juans)

Now, your tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  249 AM PST TUE JAN 31 2017  

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM THIS EVENING THROUGH
 WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON  
TODAY
 E WIND TO 10 KT BECOMING 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON.  WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 5 FT AT 12 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
 NE WIND 10 TO 20 KT BECOMING E 20 TO 30 KT AFTER  MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT BUILDING TO 3 TO 5 FT AFTER  MIDNIGHT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 12 SECONDS.

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