Tuesday, July 3, 2018

7/3 Bird photo winner, WA carbon initiative, Eastside toll road, big tsunami, Pruitt's EPA

Cobalt-winged parakeets [Liron Gertsman]
Vancouver teen sweeps bird photo awards
A Vancouver teen has flown away with a historic sweep of the U.S.-based National Audubon Society awards celebrating the year’s best bird photography. On Monday, the 113-year old non-profit conservation society announced that Liron Gertsman, 17, had won all three podium spots in the youth category of its photo contest, which drew submissions from all 50 U.S. states and 10 Canadian provinces. Gertsman’s sweep marked a first in the ninth annual Audubon Photography Awards. In an emailed statement Monday, National Audubon Society photography director Sabine Meyer said: “Judging is anonymous, so we had no idea that Liron swept the entire youth category, not only the winning image, but also two honourable mentions … He is not afraid to push the conventions of classical bird photography aside and invent his own visual vocabulary — it’s rare, at any age! I look forward to seeing what he produces in the years to come.” Dan Fumano reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Fight heats up over Washington state carbon 'fee' likely to make fall ballot 
Proponents of a Washington carbon-fee initiative showed up at the Secretary of State’s office in Olympia with more than 370,000 signatures to put their measure on the November ballot. The signatures tally for Initiative 1631 — backed by a broad coalition that includes environmental, labor, tribal and social-justice groups — is more than a third higher than the minimum number required for a measure to be put to a vote.... Though still early in the campaign season, the measure already has galvanized high-powered energy-industry opposition. A No on 1631 political-action committee formed by the Western States Petroleum Association has obtained pledges from BP, Shell Oil Products, Chevron Corporation, Phillips 66 and other contributors, according to state Public Disclosure Commission records. Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

A 40-mile, Eastside commuter corridor pushes ahead
ove over, Interstate 5: The section of I-405 from Renton to Bellevue is now the state's most congested highway.... A solution is gaining traction: Unite two highways to create a 40-mile commuter corridor. The plan calls for express toll lanes along the length of I- 405, a bus rapid transit line, and an improved connection where I-405 and Highway 167 meet in Renton.... Express toll lanes from Bellevue to Renton are already funded. The rest of the money could come because of the financial success of tolling north of Bellevue. It has netted more than $30 million so far. That’s making WSDOT think a fully-functioning 40 miles of highway could easily pay for itself. Next stop: approval from the legislature, maybe next year. Carolyn Adolph reports. (KUOW)

New DNR model shows how big a tsunami a Cascadia quake could create for Bellingham
Should a great earthquake occur along the Cascadia subduction zone, Belingham residents theoretically may have only an hour and a half to prepare before an 18-foot-high wall of water from a resulting tsunami arrives, according to a study released Monday by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. The state DNR published new maps showing the potential impacts to communities on the north Salish Sea from a tsunami generated by a magnitude 9 earthquake along the Cascadia subduction zone — an event that geologic history shows can occur approximately every 2,500 years and one that current building codes now prepare for in the region, according to a DNR release. David Rasbach reports. (Bellingham Herald)

Former E.P.A. Aide Says Pruitt Asked Her to Help Find Work for His Wife
Samantha Dravis, the former policy chief at the Environmental Protection Agency, told a congressional committee that Scott Pruitt, the administrator, asked her to help find his wife a job as a fund-raiser at the Republican Attorneys General Association, according to two people familiar with the interview. The fresh allegation that Mr. Pruitt enlisted a subordinate to perform personal duties comes on top of reports that he asked an aide to seek a business opportunity for his wife from the fast-food franchise Chick-fil-A, and that she received $2,000 from Concordia, a Manhattan-based nonprofit that had asked Mr. Pruitt to speak at an event last year. Mr. Pruitt, before taking the helm of the E.P.A., was the attorney general of Oklahoma and served two terms as chairman of RAGA, the Republican network for state attorneys general. The request to help his wife, Marlyn Pruitt, a former school nurse, find a job at the organization came during the summer of 2017, the people with knowledge of the interview said. Ms. Dravis, who then was the E.P.A.’s associate administrator for the policy office, told congressional investigators that Mr. Pruitt hoped for his wife to earn a six-figure salary and asked her help in finding a political fund-raising job with the attorneys’ network. Lisa Friedman reports. (NY Times)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  242 AM PDT Tue Jul 3 2018   

TODAY  Light wind becoming W 5 to 15 kt this afternoon. Wind  waves 2 ft or less. W swell 5 ft at 8 seconds. 

TONIGHT  W wind 10 to 20 kt becoming light. Wind waves 3 ft or  less. W swell 4 ft at 8 seconds.

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