Friday, February 3, 2017

2/3 Wetlands Day, Ericksen redux, Wells Fargo, Blanchard Mtn, Navy dock, orca capture, protest trial

Buttertubs Marsh, Nanaimo BC [Laurie MacBride]
Treasuring the Wetlands
Laurie MacBride in s wrote on Feb 2, World Wetland Day: "With so much ill-informed and noisy rhetoric lately about “draining the swamp”, this year’s World Wetlands Day is more important than ever. Wetlands are among the world’s most productive habitats, every bit as important as tropical rainforests. Thanks to the many vital ecosystem services they provide, they’re as critical for human survival as they are for the myriad species of plants and animals that live in and around them. Yet over the past century the world has lost almost two thirds of its wetlands, with most of the loss in the last 50 years…." (read more)

State Sen. Ericksen defends second job in Trump transition, jabs at Democratic critics
Washington state Sen. Doug Ericksen Thursday defended his dual role as lawmaker and member of President Trump’s transition team, saying his situation was ethically tenable and suggesting Democrats sought to raise the issue for political advantage…. Ericksen pointed to Wednesday evening’s Senate vote on a K-12 education-funding bill, intended to satisfy the state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision, as an example that the Senate is functioning normally…. At the news conference, Ericksen also hinted at changes to come at the EPA under a Trump administration, suggesting a faster environmental cleanup of the Hanford nuclear reservation and “new science” concerning climate change. Ericksen is a noted skeptic of the consensus among scientists that humans cause global warming. Joseph O'Sullivan report. (Seattle Times)

Seattle To Vote Monday On Wells Fargo Divestment And Fair Business Practices
Hundreds of anti-pipeline demonstrators chanted and waved signs outside of Seattle’s City Hall early Wednesday, before dozens crowded in to council chambers to testify in front of Seattle’s Finance Committee. They urged swift passage of an ordinance that would pull $3 billion from Wells Fargo Bank, in large part because of its role in financing the Dakota Access Pipeline. The measure passed out of committee with a vote of 8-0. It directs the city to divest from Wells Fargo by ending its current contract when it expires in 2018. It would also direct Seattle officials to refrain from making new investments in Wells Fargo securities for a period of three years. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

What’s new on effort to protect Blanchard from logging? Call lawmakers to find out
Two state legislators have organized a Feb. 9 telephone town hall meeting about the future of Blanchard Mountain, where the race is on to secure $7.7 million needed to protect all 1,600 forested acres on the mountain in Skagit County from being logged. Gov. Jay Inslee set aside $1.5 million toward that in his proposed budget, but supporters of full funding said this legislative session is the last chance to secure money for a 10-year agreement. If the money isn’t allocated, logging likely will begin this year, possibly as soon as summer, on some part of the 1,600-acre core. Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Tips from residents lead to major crab-poaching bust
Charges are in the works after the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) arrested three men suspected of large-scale crab poaching on the Sunshine Coast. Posters headed “Poacher Alert” placed along Ocean Beach Esplanade by community members and showing a picture of a boat working the area between Roberts Creek and Gibsons urged people to keep an eye out and call DFO. Last week, tips from the public paid off. Tom Hlavak, a DFO conservation and protection area chief, said the men were arrested Jan. 26 in an operation involving six fisheries officers. Their boat and several crab traps were also seized. Sean Eckford reports. (Coast Reporter)

Pile-driving begins for Navy pier project at Ediz Hook
Pile-driving began Wednesday on the Navy’s $25.6 million pier project on Ediz Hook. Not that city residents, going about their business downtown on the other side of Port Angeles Harbor, would know it. The vibratory hammer began driving the first piles for the 425-foot pier and trestle at 9:54 a.m. Wednesday off the southern shore of Coast Guard Air Station/Sector Field Office Port Angeles. While the project, which faces the city shoreline, also will include louder impact pile-driving, a quiet clatter issued Wednesday from the vibratory APE 200 hammer during a frigid visit to the worksite. Paul Gottlieb reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Larsen calls on Congress to end orca captivity once and for all
Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) is once again cosponsoring the Orca Responsibility and Care Advancement (ORCA) Act, a bill that aims to end the captivity of orca whales once and for all The ORCA Act would permanently end orca captivity across the United States and prohibit orca breeding, the wild capture of orcas, and the import or export of orcas for purposes of public display. (News Release/San Juan Islander)

First trial begins for Break Free PNW protestors
A trial began Thursday in Skagit County District Court for four of 52 people arrested during the Break Free PNW protest in May. The defendants each face a misdemeanor trespassing charge for blocking BNSF Railway train tracks that lead to the Shell and Tesoro oil refineries at March Point near Anacortes. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  223 AM PST FRI FEB 3 2017  

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT
 
TODAY
 E WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 5 FT  AT 13 SECONDS. RAIN AT TIMES.
TONIGHT  E WIND 15 TO 25 KT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT. SW SWELL  6 FT AT 11 SECONDS BUILDING TO 8 FT AT 11 SECONDS. RAIN.
SAT
 SE WIND 5 TO 15 KT BECOMING E 15 TO 25 KT IN THE  AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS BUILDING TO 2 TO 4 FT. SW  SWELL 6 FT AT 10 SECONDS. RAIN.
SAT NIGHT
 S WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL  5 FT AT 12 SECONDS.
SUN
 E WIND 5 TO 15 KT RISING TO 15 TO 25 KT IN THE AFTERNOON.  WIND WAVES 1 TO 2 FT BUILDING TO 2 TO 4 FT. W SWELL 7 FT AT 13  SECONDS.

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