Thursday, January 9, 2020

1/9 Jay, Trump's NEPA, Seattle fossil fuels, homelessness, BC pipe, goldfinches, Lanai electricity, Democracy Rebellion

Steller's jay [Jeff Maw]
Steller's Jay Cyanocitta stelleri
Scientists have described 16 subspecies of the Steller’s Jay in North and Central America, showing varying combinations of black and blue on the crest, head, and body. The Queen Charlotte Islands off British Columbia are home to the largest and darkest race. In mainland North America, you can notice differences between darker Pacific forms, with blue streaks over the eye, and lighter Rocky Mountain forms with white streaks and a partial white eye ring. Steller's Jays are the provincial birds of British Columbia. (All About Birds)

White House wants to change environmental rules to speed up highway projects, pipelines and more
The White House is moving to exempt projects without significant federal funding from environmental reviews that have been required for 50 years, a major shift that would make it easier to build mines, expand airports and lay pipelines, among other things, according to three people familiar with the proposal...The proposed changes would narrow the scope of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which requires federal agencies to assess the impact of a major project before a spade of dirt is turned and to include the public in the process. Environmental groups, tribal activists and others have used the law to delay or block a slew of infrastructure, mining, logging and drilling projects since it was signed by President Richard Nixon in 1970. Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis report. (Washington Post)

Seattle will get city-owned buildings off fossil fuels, Mayor Durkan says
Seattle will no longer use fossil fuels like natural gas to heat, cool and cook in new and substantially altered city-owned buildings and will come up with a plan by 2021 to transition all city-owned buildings to clean electric systems over time, Mayor Jenny Durkan said Wednesday, including those directives in a “Green New Deal” executive order... Neither the new KeyArena now under construction at Seattle Center nor the massive Seattle Aquarium expansion pavilion planned for construction starting next year will be covered by the city’s new fossil-fuel ban, however, Durkan said. That’s because the projects are underway, she said. Both city-owned structures will use a lot of energy. Daniel Beekman reports. (Seattle Times)

Across the entire state, WA voters rank homelessness as the No. 1 issue lawmakers must address
In new Crosscut/Elway Poll, 31% of respondents named homelessness as the state's top issue, a 10-point increase from 2019. Melissa Santos reports. (Crosscut) See also: KNKX, Seattle Times partner to produce in-depth podcast series on homelessness  Kari Blog reports. (KNKX)

Coastal GasLink gives pipeline opponents 72-hour notice to clear way to work site
Coastal GasLink has posted an injunction order giving opponents to its pipeline project 72 hours to clear the way to its work site in northern B.C. The order, stamped Tuesday by the B.C. Supreme Court registry, addresses members of the Wet'suwet'en Nation and supporters who say the project has no authority without consent from the five hereditary clan chiefs. It comes one year after RCMP enforcement of a similar injunction along the same road to the work site sparked global rallies in support of Indigenous rights and raised questions about land claims. (Canadian Press)

Goldfinches
A reader writes in response to yesterday's goldfinch profile: "[J]ust recently I discovered the Lesser goldfinch.  I was on the Oregon DFW website reading about American goldfinches because I was so happy they are back this year after taking a break from us for a few years and it said that the Lesser goldfinches flock with them.  Sure enough when I started looking, the group outside the kitchen window was a mixture of the two.  It had never occurred to me to look more carefully at the individuals."

Pulama Lana‘i looking to buy Lanai island’s electric utility
Pulama Lana’i and Hawaiian Electric have begun “exploratory discussions” about the possibility of the Lanai company “owning the grid.” he utility said Monday that it was approached by Pulama Lana’i, the company owned by tech billionaire Larry Ellison that owns about 98 percent of the island, about acquiring the assets of the utility after the release of request for proposals last month for 9.5 megawatts of solar power paired with energy storage for the island...Pulama Lana’i said Monday that “our journey toward 100 percent sustainability now leads us to investigate the potential benefits of owning the grid.” ... Pulama Lana’i said that its “initial transition phase” calls for creating microgrids with the Four Seasons Resort Lana’i at Manele and the Four Seasons Resort Lana’i at Ko’ele, a Sensei Retreat. Lee Imada reports. (Maui News)

TONIGHT--2020 MUST WATCH: The Democracy Rebellion
It’s the missing story of American politics. Not Washington, but grassroots America. Not stale gridlock, but fresh reforms. Not negative ads and billionaire donors, but positive change and citizen activists pressing for gerrymander reform, voting rights for former felons, exposing dark money, and winning surprising victories to give voters more voice and make elections fairer in states as disparate as Florida and California, North Carolina and South Dakota, Ohio, Michigan, Colorado, Missouri, Utah and more. Veteran Frontline Correspondent Hedrick Smith, one of PBS’s most trusted voices over three decades, takes viewers into half a dozen states with citizen activist leaders. Watch January 9 at 8 PM on KBTC-28 or January 11 at 11 PM on KCTS-9. For a sneak peek, click here.

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  255 AM PST Thu Jan 9 2020   
TODAY
 NW wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  7 ft at 10 seconds. A chance of showers in the morning. 
TONIGHT
 SW wind 5 to 15 kt becoming S 10 to 20 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 ft or less building to 2 to 4 ft after  midnight. W swell 6 ft at 11 seconds. A chance of showers in the  evening then rain after midnight.



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