Tuesday, January 23, 2018

1/23 Tony Angell, Zinke, TransMtn, quake, sewage spill, solar panels, logging slopes, old worms, tech crows

Tony Angell working on model of "Redhawk"
"You Don't know What You've Got Till It's Gone"
Artist and environmental educator Tony Angell writes: "A song echoes in my mind these days as I read the news about the condition of our natural environments here in the Pacific Northwest. Joni Mitchell's Big Yellow Taxi includes the refrain, "Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone?  Pave paradise, put up a parking lot." (read more)

The Mad King Flies His Flag
This monarch has control over the crown jewels of America's public land. They are not in safe hands. Tim Egan on Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. (NY Times)

Opponents of $7.9-billion Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion speak out
Private land owners and the municipalities of Burnaby and Coquitlam started National Energy Board hearings this week on their opposition of the planned route of the $7.9-billion expansion of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline. Final approval of the route is a key remaining hurdle that the Houston-Tx.-based Kinder Morgan must overcome before construction can begin on portions of the mega-project where the route is disputed. About 40 per cent of the planned route is approved already. Gordon Hoekstra reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Are you ready? Here comes a deluge of rain, snow across Western Washington  (Seattle Times) After stormy weekend, more snow on the way for B.C. ski hills  (CBC)

Tsunami Alert Is Downgraded Along Alaska's Coast After Powerful Quake
A powerful magnitude 7.9 earthquake struck off the coast of Alaska late Monday night, initially prompting a tsunami warning for a large section of the state’s coast and parts of Canada. As more data came in, the U.S. Tsunami Warning System downgraded the threat to an advisory for Alaska’s Chignik Bay. Several smaller aftershocks were also felt after the quake, whose epicenter was located about 6 miles below the surface and 175 miles southeast of Kodiak, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Bill Chappell and Scott Neuman report. (NPR)

Bangor sewage spill affects Clear Creek, Dyes Inlet
A power failure last week at a lift station at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor caused sewage to spill into a tributary of Clear Creek, prompting a warning from health officials.  Kitsap Public Health District issued a no-contact advisory Monday for much of Clear Creek and the north end of Dyes Inlet after it was notified of the spill by the Navy. The advisory will remain effect at least through Friday. Navy Region Northwest spokesman Sean Hughes said the spill occurred during a 22-hour period spanning Thursday and Friday last week. Hughes said sewage backed up in the system during a power outage, causing a pipe to leak. The volume of the spill was unknown. (Kitsap Sun)

Trump Approves 30 Percent Tariff On Imported Solar Panels
President Trump has approved a 30 percent tariff on imported solar panels in a decision that could both help and hurt the U.S. solar industry. The tariff approval, announced Monday by a U.S. trade representative, is expected to help U.S. solar manufacturers including Hillsboro-based SolarWorld — but many argue it will hurt the rest of the U.S. solar industry by raising the price of solar panels. The president approved a set of tariffs that would start at 30 percent and drop to 15 percent over the next four years. In each of those years, the first 2.5 gigawatts of imported solar panels would be exempt from the tariff. Cassandra Profita reports. (OPB/EarthFix)

Washington DNR Wants More Time to Decide About Logging Unstable Slopes
In the wake of the Oso landslide and the current situation unfolding at Rattlesnake Ridge, Washington state public lands commissioner Hilary Franz is asking the Legislature for more time to review proposals from timber companies to log potentially unstable slopes. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) currently has 30 days to evaluate timber harvest applications for landslide risk. Franz says giving DNR 60 days instead of 30 would give agency geologists “enough time to make sure we have all the materials, we’ve reviewed the science, we’ve gotten on the ground and been able to ensure that the public will be safe pursuant to any logging activities,” Franz explains.   Eilis O'Neill reports. (KUOW)

More than 500 fossils of new ancient worm species found in B.C.
Roughly 508 million years ago, this bristly worm roamed the waters of what is now British Columbia. Now, the newly identified species of ancient worm is helping researchers unravel an ancient mystery. Meet Kootenayscolex barbarensis, a new species of bristle worm. It worm belongs to a richly diverse group of animals called annelids. Today, the group contains leeches and earthworms, but also some of the most beautiful marine worms, like the orange fireworm found in coral reefs and around hydrothermal vents in oceans around the world. Nicole Mortillaro reports. (CBC)

New Caledonian crows show how technology evolves
Tool-making crows have allowed us to see the first foundations of a technological breakthrough. New Caledonian crows spontaneously make hooks out of plant material, using them to "fish" for grubs and spiders. Experiments have now revealed that these hooked tools are 10 times faster at retrieving a snack than the alternative tool - a simple twig. Measuring the hooks' effectiveness tells scientists something about what drove this tool-use to evolve. Beyond that, the scientists say the insight has provided them a first glimpse of the "evolution of a new technology" in the animal kingdom. The findings are published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution.   Victoria Gill reports. (BBC)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  250 AM PST Tue Jan 23 2018  
 E wind 25 to 35 kt easing to 15 to 25 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 4 to 6 ft. W swell 8 ft at 11 seconds  building to SW 10 ft at 10 seconds in the afternoon. Rain.
 SE wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. SW swell  10 ft at 10 seconds. Rain.

"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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