Friday, December 15, 2017

12/15 Snowberry, BC pipe protest, Tacoma LNG acquittal, ed funding, fed fish bill, Fraser sockeye, Bothell park, stormwater, Storming the Sound, Portland Hbr cleanup

Snowberry [Starflower Foundation/WNPS]
Common Snowberry Symphoricarpos albus
The white waxy berries are considered poisonous by aboriginal people. They are given names like 'corpse berry' or 'snakes's berry' in several languages. One Stl'atl'imx story identifies the berries as 'the saskatoon berries of the people in the Land of the Dead.' However, one or two berries were eaten by the Stl'atl'imx to settle the stomach after too much fatty food. (Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast)

Pipeline protesters block trucks from entering Burnaby marine terminal
A group of protesters calling themselves the "Justin Trudeau Brigade" gathered Thursday morning outside the Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby. They have blocked vehicle access to the terminal with the goal of delaying construction on the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion project. "If there are more delays, the investors will realize this is a bad investment and they'll take their money elsewhere, they'll invest their money in something less dangerous, that's less likely to fail, " said protestor David Mivasair. (CBC)

Protesters of Natural Gas Plant at the Port of Tacoma Acquitted
Two activists were acquitted of felony charges Thursday for protesting a liquefied natural gas plant currently under construction at the Port of Tacoma. Marilyn Kimmerling, Cynthia Linet, and three other protesters linked themselves together last May to block construction crews from working on the future plant site. Kimmerling says she was protesting the project because the processing and burning of liquefied natural gas would contribute to climate change, and expose nearby residents to the risk of explosions. An explosion at a similar facility in 2014 sent five people to the hospital. Eilis O'Neill reports. (KUOW)

Inslee proposes tapping reserves, carbon tax in new plan to fully fund education
Gov. Jay Inslee wants to pull $950 million from budget reserves to satisfy a state Supreme Court deadline for Washington to end chronic and unconstitutional underfunding of public education. As part of a 2018 supplemental budget proposal announced Thursday, Inslee asked the Legislature to dip into the reserves to hasten a state investment in salaries for teachers and other public-school employees. To backfill the withdrawal, Inslee, a Democrat, said he’ll once again propose a tax on carbon pollution, with details to come next month. Inslee said his plan would finally bring the state into compliance with the 2012 school-funding order known as the McCleary decision. The state has been in contempt of that order since 2014, accruing a fine of $100,000 a day. Jim Brunner reports. (Seattle Time)

Federal Fisheries Bill Has Advanced, Despite Opposition From Scientists, Chefs and Seafood Producers
Legislation is moving through the U.S. House that would weaken how fisheries are managed. That has several groups calling foul, including scientists, seafood producers and chefs, many of them in the Northwest. Two bills, H.R. 200 and H.R.3588,  would revise and reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, which was first passed in 1976 to prevent overfishing and rebuild over-fished stocks. It did so by establishing regional management councils that can set quotas and other policies to ensure sustainability. The legislation would take many of those tools off the table, says Shems Jud, West Coast Fisheries Director with the Environmental Defense Fund. He says it eliminates annual catch limits on a number of fisheries and also gets rid of deadlines that protect vulnerable species. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

‘Endangered’ Fraser sockeye may never get official protection
The eight Fraser River sockeye spawning populations now assessed as endangered may never be officially protected by the federal government. The Cultus Lake sockeye run was deemed endangered in 2003 by a committee of independent scientists, but has still not been officially added to the list of endangered species under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). “In practice, most marine fishes that are (commercially) exploited are never listed under SARA, even though many of them are highly endangered,” said Eric Taylor, chairman of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, which advises the federal government. Randy Shore reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Old Wayne Golf Course becomes Bothell's largest parkland acquisition
A large property in Bothell, that was once almost turned into townhomes has now become the city's largest parkland acquisition ever. "Words can't describe what this park means to me," said interim Parks Director Tracey Perkosky. A few years ago, the old Wayne Golf Course was on the verge of turning into luxury townhomes. Now it's not only the city's newest park, but at 90 acres it's also the largest. "A group of very engaged citizens discovered that this land was going to be converted into housing, and they wanted to preserve this gem that is part of the center of our community," said Perkosky. Mitch Pittman reports. (KOMO)

Stormwater report urges cities and counties to get up to speed on rules
Christ Dunagan in Watching Our Water Ways writes: "In Kitsap County, stormwater has been a major issue — and the subject of ongoing newspaper stories — for a very long time. As a local reporter working for the Kitsap Sun, I followed the prolonged struggle among engineers, developers, planners and environmentalists to approve new rules for reducing toxic runoff washing into Puget Sound. After the legal battles were over, local governments were called on to update their stormwater codes, and many key provisions went into effect last year. It was with some surprise that I read a new report called “Nature’s Scorecard,” which reveals that more than half of the 81 cities and counties around Puget Sound have failed to follow through in a meaningful way to encourage low-impact development, which is required by state rules. Low-impact development, or LID, involves techniques that filter rainwater into the ground as close to the source as possible…."

Storming the Sound 2018
Registration is now open for the 19th annual conference connecting northwest Washington environmental educators. It's held at Maple Hall in LaConner, 9 AM to 4:30 PM, January 25, 2018. Register here.
 

Officials 'Cautiously Optimistic' About Portland Harbor Cleanup After EPA Meeting
A high-ranking Environmental Protection Agency official visited Portland to meet with state and local groups and officials Wednesday. Superfund Task Force Chair Albert “Kell” Kelly met with many people interested in understanding what it means to have the Portland Harbor Superfund identified as one of 21 sites the EPA says it’s targeting for immediate attention. Meanwhile, stakeholders are anticipating the release of a long-awaited plan for how to execute baseline sampling of pollutants at the Portland Harbor Superfund Site in the Willamette River — a plan that will determine how cleanup at the site is allocated amongst responsible parties. Officials, community members and Portland environmental groups expressed cautious optimism after the meeting. They say it quelled concerns about transparency in the cleanup process, but that the meetings didn’t lead to conclusive action plans.   Ericka Cruz Guevarra reports. (OPB)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  217 AM PST Fri Dec 15 2017  
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH
 LATE TONIGHT  
TODAY
 NW wind to 10 kt rising to 10 to 20 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1 ft or less building to 1 to 3 ft in the afternoon. W  swell 6 ft at 12 seconds. A chance of rain in the morning then a  slight chance of showers in the afternoon.
TONIGHT
 W wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 8 ft  at 11 seconds.
SAT
 Light wind. Wind waves less than 1 ft. W swell 6 ft at  11 seconds. Rain likely in the morning then rain in the  afternoon.
SAT NIGHT
 SE wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  5 ft at 11 seconds.
SUN
 S wind to 10 kt becoming W in the afternoon. Wind waves  1 ft or less. W swell 8 ft at 11 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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