Thursday, October 11, 2018

10/11 Skipjack Is., BC gas pipe, Lolita lawsuit, tug spill suit, WA wildfire fund, "The Fifth Risk"

Skipjack Island [Dept. of Ecology]
Skipjack Island
Wilkes originally named the two adjacent islands north of Waldron Island as the Ship Jack Islands, probably after fish found in the area and commonly referred to as shipjacks. In 1853 the U.S. Coast Survey noted the contrast in the islands' appearances and renamed them Wooded and Bare islands. The latter was renamed as Penguin Island in 1858. Subsequently, the islands were officially charted under the present names of Skipjack and Bare islands. (Washington State Place Names)

Risk of power outages rises in Puget Sound after Canadian pipeline explosion cuts off natural-gas supply
A pipeline explosion in British Columbia on Tuesday has cut off the flow of Canadian natural gas to Washington, raising the risk of power outages in Puget Sound. Puget Sound Energy, the state’s largest private energy utility, said its natural-gas supply from the pipeline was halted between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. Wednesday. The company hasn’t been informed when the flow will resume and is looking to make up for the deficit by tapping all other energy sources that aren’t “already spoken for,” Duane Henderson, a PSE gas-systems integrity manager, said by phone. If the situation isn’t resolved soon and the energy deficit persists, the company may be forced to cut power to some of its customers, he said. Agueda Pacheco-Flores reports. (Seattle Times) See also: Precautions taken in wake of B.C. gas pipeline explosion   Local companies including two oil refineries, a natural gas supplier and a regional power utility are expecting to be impacted by a natural gas pipeline explosion that occurred late Tuesday in British Columbia. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald) And also: UBC issues urgent alert, braces for natural gas shortage after pipeline explosion  (CBC)

Federal court won't reopen case of captive orca Lolita 
Activist groups have lost the latest battle in a decadeslong fight to free an orca named Lolita from the Miami Seaquarium. The Miami Herald reports a federal appeals court on Tuesday rejected a petition to reopen a lawsuit over Seaquarium’s treatment of Lolita. Lolita lives in the country’s smallest orca aquarium, and has been Seaquarium’s star attraction since she was captured off the Puget Sound in 1970. The decision says that, at around 51, Lolita’s age makes the case “unique,” but there’s no threat of serious harm that could trigger a federal animal welfare law violation. The court also couldn’t identify a “realistic means” to return her to the wild without being harmed. (Associated Press)

Heiltsuk First Nation sues sunken tugboat operator, B.C. and federal governments
A B.C. First Nation is suing the operator of a sunken tugboat that spilled thousands of litres of diesel into waters near Bella Bella. The Nathan E. Stewart spilled an estimated 110,000 litres of diesel and another 2,000 litres of lubricants after it ran aground in the Seaforth Channel on Oct. 13, 2016. The Heiltsuk First Nation says the spill contaminated valuable clam beds worth up to $200,000 annually to the Indigenous community. Subsequent reports found the sailor on watch fell asleep before the crash.  Jon Hernandez reports. (CBC)

‘Historic’ Wildland Fire Funding Request Goes to Washington’s Legislature
Washington Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz is asking the state legislature to nearly double funding to manage and respond to wildfire. Since 2008, Washington’s Department of Natural Resources has received nearly $21 million dollars on average from the legislature to pay for fire suppression annually. But every year for the last decade, the DNR has had to go back to the legislature after the fire season to ask for more than twice the original allotment to cover costs.... This year Franz is requesting $55 million dollars for the next two-year budget cycle. She wants to create 30 full-time, year-round leadership firefighting positions. Her request includes nearly a million dollars for seven new outreach specialists to educate the public about fire. Franz also wants $17 million dollars in capital funds to thin fuels and address forest health across the state. Emily Schwing reports. (KNKX)

Michael Lewis Wonders Who’s Really Running the Government 
Michael Lewis is the poet laureate of computer-driven data analysis. He has written a series of wildly successful and eminently readable books about the Information Age revolutions in two fields of American obsession, finance and sports (with clever side-trips into behavioral psychology and economics). He has done this in a breezy, pellucid manner, with a rare talent for explaining abstruse concepts — say, collateralized debt obligations — so that even I can understand them. His technique is deceptively simple: The stories are told through sketches of brilliant, eccentric people, experts in their fields, who tend to speak in the same effervescent, colloquial way that Lewis writes. You can’t help liking them. Now, though, Lewis has taken on his most difficult challenge: He has chosen to apotheosize three obscure government agencies — the Department of Energy, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Commerce. In “The Fifth Risk,” his heroes are federal bureaucrats. Book reviewed by Joe Klein. (NY Times)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  254 AM PDT Thu Oct 11 2018   

TODAY  E wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 3 ft  at 10 seconds. Areas of fog in the morning. 

TONIGHT  W wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. W swell 3 ft  at 12 seconds. Patchy fog after midnight.

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