Thursday, February 15, 2018

2/15 Hobo, fish farm ban, BC activism, BC pipe & wine, Quinault trees, EPA science, dirty trucks, Billy Frank park

Hobo spider [Healthline.com]
Hobo spider Eratigena agrestis
The hobo, or funnel-web spider is a common one found in houses of the Pacific Northwest region. While not nearly as venomous as black widows, their bites may cause moderate epidermal damage and flu-like symptoms. They are also quite aggressive. 1.6 to 2 inches in diameter, hobos are a brownish color with a light vertical stripe along their sternum. They live in funnel-shaped webs, usually in dank, dark places, like under rocks. Hobos are very similar in design to some harmless Northwest spider species, with only microscopic differences. (Sciencing.Com)

Washington state House votes to ban Atlantic salmon farms
The Washington House of Representatives has voted to phase out farming of non-native fish in state waters, drawing the end of Atlantic salmon farming in Puget Sound one step closer. The move comes one week after a similar vote by the state Senate. Both bills let existing salmon farms keep operating only until their current leases run out, in the next 4 to 7 years. John Ryan reports. (KUOW)

Panel to offer testimony from the front lines of environmental battles
The environmental and First Nations rights movements are evolving quickly as social media provides new and more democratic spaces for influence and organization. Vancouver Sun and Province environment reporter Larry Pynn will moderate presentations and an audience-involved discussion on the history of environmental activism in British Columbia with veterans from the front lines of B.C.’s  most iconic mass protests. “We can start with the formation of Greenpeace here in the early 70s and talk about the action with First Nations and environmentalists at Clayoquot Sound, which is still one of the biggest acts of civil disobedience in Canadian history,” said Pynn.  The Museum of Vancouver is hosting the event Thursday in conjunction with a photo-based exhibition about how mass demonstration have shaped Vancouver’s identity, called City On The Edge: A Century of Vancouver Activism. Randy Shore reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Payback or coincidence? Pipeline tensions between Alberta and B.C. ramp up
Political hurdles in the form of delays, bans and tolls have been raised in British Columbia in the weeks since the province served notice that it would temporarily ban expanded shipments of bitumen on the Trans Mountain pipeline. While the federal and Alberta governments denied Wednesday they were moving in retaliation, B.C.'s Opposition Liberals are pointing to the coincidence of a steady stream of obstacles. B.C.'s decision to halt increased shipments of the diluted bitumen until further environmental studies are concluded saw Alberta cut off talks to purchase $500 million worth of electricity from B.C. and then ban the province's wine imports. Dirk Meissner reports. (Canadian Press) See also: King County Executive Dow Constantine: Buy B.C. Wines To Protect Local Waters  Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

More than 100 giant trees snapped off their trunks at Lake Quinault in Olympic National Park by mysterious weather phenomenon
It came in the night, snapping trees like chopsticks. During the early hours of Jan. 27 more than 100 gigantic old growth trees fell on the north shore of Lake Quinault. The resulting thud at about 1:30 a.m. was strong enough to register as a small earthquake, according to a seismic monitor at Quinault. Fallen trees, their splintered trunks left pointing in the air, blocked North Shore Road and damaged utility lines along a 1,000-foot stretch. The sides of the blowdown area were about one half-mile long. Craig Sailor reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Top EPA Science Adviser Has History Of Questioning Pollution Research
In 2015, the top toxicologist for the state of Texas, Michael Honeycutt, was interviewed on Houston Public Radio. At the time, the Environmental Protection Agency was pushing for tighter limits on ozone, a type of air pollution that is hazardous for people with asthma and other respiratory diseases. But Honeycutt said reducing air pollution could be dangerous…. Now, Honeycutt is the top science advisor for the EPA, a position that gives him potentially broad influence over how scientific data is incorporated into EPA policy. But many scientists say his comments on ozone and air pollution are one indication that he’s a poor choice for the position. Rebecca Hersher reports. (NPR)

How $225,000 Can Help Secure a Pollution Loophole at Trump’s E.P.A.
The gravel parking lot at the Fitzgerald family’s truck dealership here in central Tennessee was packed last week with shiny new Peterbilt and Freightliner trucks, as well as a steady stream of buyers from across the country. But there is something unusual about the big rigs sold by the Fitzgeralds: They are equipped with rebuilt diesel engines that do not need to comply with rules on modern emissions controls. That makes them cheaper to operate, but means that they spew 40 to 55 times the air pollution of other new trucks, according to federal estimates, including toxins blamed for asthma, lung cancer and a range of other ailments. The special treatment for the Fitzgerald trucks is made possible by a loophole in federal law that the Obama administration tried to close, and the Trump administration is now championing. Eric Lipton reports. (NY Times)

Port of Olympia commission votes to name trail and park for Billy Frank Jr. 
The Port of Olympia commission has unanimously approved a waterfront project that will name a trail and park for Billy Frank Jr., the legendary Nisqually tribal activist who died in 2014. The project is expected to begin with a dedication ceremony March 9, Frank’s birthday. Once complete, a trail that runs along East Bay, as well as a park at the north end of the port peninsula, will be named for him, port spokeswoman Jennie Foglia-Jones said. Rolf Boone reports. (Olympian)

Now, your tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  551 AM PST Thu Feb 15 2018  
TODAY
 SE wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 8 ft  at 12 seconds. A slight chance of showers in the morning then a  slight chance of rain in the afternoon.
TONIGHT
 SW wind to 10 kt rising to 10 to 20 kt after midnight.  Wind waves 1 ft or less building to 1 to 3 ft after midnight. W  swell 5 ft at 11 seconds. A chance of rain in the evening then  rain after midnight.

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