Tuesday, May 2, 2017

5/2 May Day, growth, shore cleanup, bird vote, EPA climate web, clean coal, Terrestrial, spot shrimp, monuments

Stinging nettles
Stinging nettles Urtica dioica
The stinging hairs are hollow, and each arises from a gland containing formic acid. As the brittle tips are broken, acid is secreted causing an irritating rash on contact with the skin. Nevertheless, the leaves can be cooked and eaten as greens when young. Called 'Indian spinach," the young leaves and stems were eaten by both costal and interiors tribes, but is is questionable whether this was a tradition use or whether it was introduced by Europeans. The plants were, however, an important source of fibre for making fish nets, snares and tumplines. (Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast)

Dozens Arrested As May Day Marches Turn Violent In Northwest
May Day protests turned violent in the Pacific Northwest as demonstrators in Portland, Oregon, threw smoke bombs and Molotov cocktails at police while elsewhere thousands of people peacefully marched against President Donald Trump's immigration and labor policies. From New England to the Midwest to the West Coast people chanted and picketed against Trump along with the traditional May Day labor rallies. Protesters flooded streets in Chicago. At the White House gates, they demanded "Donald Trump has got to go!" (Associated Press)

Legislature passes bills panned by growth-management watchdogs 
It's been a bad year for Washington state's Growth Management Act, according to growth-management watchdogs. In an attempt to close an extremely lenient loophole for developers, Democrats largely went along with the concerns that traditionally have been embodied in Republican critiques of the law. But Republicans refused to reciprocate with the Democrats' bill to close the loophole. The growth watchdogs are asking Gov. Jay Inslee to veto several bills. Adiel Kaplan reports. (Investigate West)

Citizen-led marine cleanup tackles West Coast shorelines of Vancouver Island
Debris from across the Pacific Ocean is washing up throughout Clayoquot Sound and residents and First Nations on the west coast of Vancouver Island say they're worried nothing is being done about it. So, though a new organization, Clayoquot CleanUp, they've decided to take matters into their own hands and initiate a major citizen-led clean-up effort. The first large debris removal is set for June 1. Capt. Josh Temple, with Ocean Outfitters in Tofino, is one of the people behind the environmental initiative. Anna Dimoff reports. (CBC)

Vote for Vancouver’s official bird: Here are the four in the running
No pressure: One of four species will soon be selected by the public to become the City of Vancouver’s official permanent bird and avian ambassador to what may be the world’s largest gathering of birders. The final list of candidates for the job include: Anna’s hummingbird, varied thrush, spotted towhee and northern flicker — all west coast birds that are thought in some way to encapsulate the spirit of Vancouver. (Postmedia News)

EPA website removes climate science site from public view after two decades
The Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday evening that its website would be “undergoing changes” to better represent the new direction the agency is taking, triggering the removal of several agency websites containing detailed climate data and scientific information. One of the websites that appeared to be gone had been cited to challenge statements made by the EPA’s new administrator, Scott Pruitt. Another provided detailed information on the previous administration’s Clean Power Plan, including fact sheets about greenhouse gas emissions on the state and local levels and how different demographic groups were affected by such emissions. Chris Mooney and Juliet Eilperin report. (Washington Post)

Environmentalists, Coal Companies Rally Around Technology To Clean Up Coal
Coal has long had a grip on American politics. That's why politicians worry about its fate. They tout the fossil fuel's contribution to the U.S. economy, but lately they've also been trying to find a way to clean up coal's image. President George W. Bush said in his 2008 State of the Union address, "Let us fund new technologies that can generate coal power while capturing carbon emissions" — emissions that contribute to global warming. That same year, candidate Barack Obama visited coal country in Virginia and said this about cleaner coal: "We figured out how to put a man on the moon in 10 years. You can't tell me we can't figure out how to burn coal that we mine right here in the United States of America and make it work. We can do that." And now President Trump is on board the coal train, saying recently: "My administration is putting an end to the war on coal. We're going to have clean coal, really clean coal." Christopher Joyce reports. (NPR)

New Terrestrial Podcast Explores Choices That Come With A Changing Environment
…Ashley Ahearn is the host of terrestrial, produced by KUOW, Puget Sound Public Radio, in Seattle. Before terrestrial, Ahearn was a founding member of the EarthFix reporting team, telling environmental stories of the Northwest since 2011 for public media audiences in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. You can subscribe at iTunes and listen online at KUOW.org. And terrestrial has a Facebook group; join it to talk out all the issues raised by the podcast. Starting with terrestrial’s launch on Tuesday, each episode will explore a personal question through the lens of the environment and climate change.  (KUOW/EarthFix)

Spot shrimp time set for Saturday’s opener in central, south-central and south Sound
State Fish and Wildlife has set the dates for the spot shrimp fishery – set to begin Saturday (May 6) in marine areas – in central, south-central and southern Puget Sound (Marine Catch Areas 10, 11 and 13). In those three areas – including Elliott Bay – fishing will be allowed from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday (May 6) only. State fisheries will assess the catches, and then decide if additional fishing date(s) are possible. Elsewhere, the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Sekiu to Port Angeles (5 and 6) and San Juan Island West (7)  are open daily starting Saturday (May 6) and will close once the catch quota is achieved. Hood Canal (12) opens Saturday (May 6), and May 10, 17 and 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day. Mark Yuasa reports. (Seattle Times)

National monuments: Presidents can create them, but only Congress can undo them
…. The key question at issue is whether the Antiquities Act gives presidents the power to alter or revoke decisions by past administrations. The U.S. Constitution gives Congress the power to decide what happens on “territory or other property belonging to the United States.” When Congress passed the Antiquities Act, it delegated a portion of that authority to the president so that administrations could act quickly to protect resources or sites that are threatened. Critics of recent national monuments argue that if a president can create a national monument, the next one can undo it. However, the Antiquities Act speaks only of designating monuments. It says nothing about abolishing or shrinking them. Nicholas Bryner, Eric Biber, Mark Squillace and Sean B. Hecht write. (The Conversation)

Now, your tug weather--
 WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  257 AM PDT TUE MAY 2 2017  

TODAY
 SE WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 4 FT  AT 9 SECONDS. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF RAIN IN THE MORNING THEN A  CHANCE OF RAIN IN THE AFTERNOON.
TONIGHT
 E WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL  5 FT AT 9 SECONDS. RAIN.

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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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