Friday, March 3, 2017

3/3 March weather, EPA cuts, poop woes, Ericksen recall, Rick Perry, Kalama methanol, gull deaths

House finch [PHOTO: Jan Lewis/BirdNote]
Light and Song - Sparks in Winter
Even in winter, some birds — including Black-capped Chickadees, House Finches, and American Robins — greet the sunrise with song. We normally hear the dawn chorus in springtime, when birds sing to define territory and attract mates. But birds don’t breed by warmth alone. Day length is a far more reliable spark than weather. We know that photo-receptors in birds’ brains sense the increasing light. It triggers the production of hormones, which helps bring on the breeding season. Our early birds aren’t breeding in February. But they’re warming up. (BirdNote)

Special weather statement issued for B.C.'s South Coast  Environment Canada says snow is a possibility throughout the weekend (CBC) Weekend storms ahead: Rain, wind — and snow for some  The month of March turns into a lion. (KCPQ)

Here are 42 of President Donald Trump's planned EPA budget cuts
…. The Trump budget, the basic outlines of which were revealed Wednesday, is not yet final, and the EPA's new administrator, Scott Pruitt, has cautioned that he will make changes. But it offers the first glimpse into Trump's vision for an agency he has attacked as a job-killer. The EPA did not respond to a call for comment. Some highlights:
    *Puget Sound. Funding for restoration work in the country's second-largest estuary would be cut from $28 million to $2 million.
     *The Great Lakes. Funding to combat algae blooms, invasive species and other water pollution problems in the world's largest group of freshwater lakes would be cut from $300 million to $10 million.
      *The Chesapeake Bay. Funding for restoration in the country's largest estuary would be cut from $73 million to $5 million. Rob Davis reports. (Oregonian)

As sewage still spills, no timeline for fix to treatment plant's Katrina-scale damage
It’s going to be a long road back to recovery for the crippled West Point wastewater-treatment plant in Seattle. A workhorse of the regional wastewater-treatment system, the plant is estimated to have sustained at least $25 million in damage in a flood Feb. 9 and cannot presently function properly. Recovery of the plant remains in very early stages. Damage had never occurred at the plant at such a scale. It has taken Hurricane Sandy or Katrina-scale damage to produce similar wreckage elsewhere in the country. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Judge: Insufficient grounds to recall Sen. Ericksen
The petition to recall Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, was dismissed Thursday by Whatcom County Superior Court Judge Raquel Montoya-Lewis. The recall effort was based “on the way in which some of his constituencies would like him to carry out his duties, but not a legal requirement about how he must carry out those duties,” Montoya-Lewis ruled Thursday. “Therefore, the court concludes that is best answered through the electoral process rather than the recall process.” Kie Relyea reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Senate Confirms Rick Perry as Energy Secretary
The Senate confirmed Rick Perry on Thursday as the head of the Energy Department, an agency he had once pledged as a presidential candidate to eliminate. The vote was 62 to 37. Mr. Perry, a former Texas governor, will lead an agency that, despite its name, is largely focused on overseeing the nation’s vast arsenal of nuclear weapons, as well as a network of 17 national scientific laboratories. In his confirmation hearing, Mr. Perry told senators that he regretted his call in the 2012 campaign to eliminate the agency. His inability to remember the name of the Energy Department in a 2011 debate, even as he called for getting rid of the agency, was widely seen as helping to sink his campaign. Coral Davenport reports. (NY Times)

Methanol plant gets OK; opponents want state to block permits
Cowlitz County this week approved permits for a $1.8 billion methanol plant proposed for the Port of Kalama. The Northwest Innovation Works methanol refinery would convert large quantities of gas into methanol and ship the chemical to China. The plant would create some 200 full-time jobs, offering an economic boost to the Kalama area. But the prospect of a major chemical plant along the Columbia River — and a sharp increase in tanker traffic along that waterway — has drawn strong opposition from environmentalists as well as from some Cowlitz County residents. (Seattle Times)

Botulism blamed for dozens of gull deaths near Port of Tacoma
The Port of Tacoma’s dead gull mystery has been solved, partly. Dozens of dead and paralyzed gulls found around the port earlier this year were the victims of a botulism outbreak, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife said Thursday. Although testing at a federal lab in Wisconsin couldn’t pinpoint where the birds caught the botulism — as scavengers, their poisonous prey could have been rotting fish or old human-dumped food — the tests revealed the botulism was a strain not associated with human illness. Derrick Nunnally reports. (News Tribune of Tacoma)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  300 AM PST FRI MAR 3 2017  

TODAY
 SW WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL  8 FT AT 10 SECONDS. RAIN.
TONIGHT
 W WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL  7 FT AT 10 SECONDS. RAIN IN THE EVENING THEN SHOWERS AFTER  MIDNIGHT.
SAT
 S WIND TO 10 KT BECOMING SE IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES  1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 7 FT AT 10 SECONDS. SHOWERS LIKELY.
SAT NIGHT
 E WIND 15 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL  7 FT AT 12 SECONDS.
SUN
 E WIND 5 TO 15 KT BECOMING TO 10 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND  WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 7 FT AT 13 SECONDS.

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"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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