Thursday, November 28, 2019

Salish Sea News Week in Review November 29 2019

Aloha Pong Friday!
One of the very first arcade games to hit the market, Pong was a 1 or 2 player video game similar to tennis, where the goal is to use a paddle to hit a ball. Around 35,000 Pong consoles were sold around the world. Pong was released by Atari on this day in 1972.

William D. Ruckelshaus, who refused to join in Nixon’s ‘Saturday Night Massacre,’ dies at 87
William D. Ruckelshaus, a pragmatic and resolute government official who shaped the Environmental Protection Agency in the early 1970s as its first administrator and returned to the agency a decade later to restore its shattered morale after its watchdog powers had been muzzled, died Nov. 27 at his home in Medina, Wash. He was 87....A longtime Seattle resident, Mr. Ruckelshaus served from 2007 to 2010 as the first head of the Puget Sound Partnership, an environmental agency in Washington state. In 2015, President Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. Timothy R. Smith reports. (Washington Post)

King County judge presses pause on car-tab fee initiative
A King County Superior Court judge granted a temporary injunction blocking implementation of Initiative 976, which was scheduled to go into effect next week.  In order to get a preliminary injunction, attorneys have to show they're likely to win the case on its merits and that any harms resulting from the initiative would be immediate. Judge Marshall Ferguson agreed with a coalition of cities, counties and transit agencies on both of those counts. Simone Alicea reports. (KNKX)

Vancouver has banned plastics — but will it hold up, legally?
The City of Vancouver says its plastic ban bylaw will withstand legal challenge because it is governed by a different charter than the City of Victoria, which had a similar bylaw struck down earlier this year after a legal battle. On Wednesday, Vancouver city council voted to phase in a ban on plastic straws and plastic shopping bags. Under the bylaw, plastic straws will be banned starting in April, and plastic bags will be banned in January 2021. However, in July, a similar bylaw proposed by the City of Victoria — banning plastic bags — was struck down by the B.C. Court of Appeal after being challenged by the Canadian Plastic Bag Association. (CBC)


UN Indigenous rights bill approved unanimously in B.C.
B.C. has become the first jurisdiction in Canada to formally implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The bill was approved unanimously in the legislature on Tuesday.


Atlantic salmon farms in Puget Sound taken to court
Atlantic salmon farms go on trial Monday, Dec. 2 in Seattle. Environmentalists have taken the owners of a salmon farm that collapsed two years ago to court for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act.


Kelp crisis? Decline of underwater forests raises alarms
They rival tropical forest in their richness and diversity, but Puget Sound's kelp beds have declined steeply in recent decades. Scientists are just starting to understand the extent of these losses through mapping projects and consultations with local tribes. What they are finding is bringing kelp to the forefront of Puget Sound's environmental concerns. Sarah DeWeerdt reports. (Salish Sea Currents)


Climate change: Greenhouse gas concentrations again break records
Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases once again reached new highs in 2018. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says the increase in CO2 was just above the average rise recorded over the last decade.

Washington state deals setback to massive methanol plant
Washington state dealt a setback Friday to efforts to build one of the world’s biggest methanol plants on the Columbia River, saying that five years in, its backers had failed to provide enough information about its greenhouse gas emissions and how they would be offset.


Port Angeles city manger outlines objections to Rayonier cleanup proposal
City staff members plan to submit comments by Tuesday’s deadline objecting to the state Department of Ecology’s preferred alternative for cleaning up the former Rayonier pulp mill site, the city manager said. Port Angeles City Manager Nathan West said that the preferred approach “effectively creates a landfill on the highest and most usable portion of the Rayonier site and it creates a landfill in perpetuity.”


How to become an ink-stained wretch.
'I subscribe to a daily email roundup and summary of local environmental news called the Salish Sea News and Weather. Yesterday’s installment contained a story from Seattle’s KOMO News called “Got squid? Why officials say you should catch and eat it out of Puget Sound.” It went on to say, “Forget fishing for salmon. Puget Sound crab pots are so passé. Squid is in.” The upshot was that officials had tested local squid for heavy metals and other contaminants, declared them fit for consumption, and now we Pacific Northwest salmon-loving denizens should all switch to squid....' Karen Sullivan writes.


These news clips are a selection of weekday clips collected in Salish Sea News and Weather which 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.

Now, your weekend tug weather:
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  756 PM PST Thu Nov 28 2019  
FRI
 E wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell 2 ft at  9 seconds. 
FRI NIGHT
 SE wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell  1 ft at 9 seconds. 
SAT
 E wind 5 to 15 kt rising to 15 to 25 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1 to 2 ft building to 2 to 4 ft. W swell 2 ft at 9  seconds building to 4 ft at 18 seconds. 
SAT NIGHT
 E wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell  6 ft at 16 seconds. 
SUN
 E wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 6 ft at  14 seconds.

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Friday, November 22, 2019

Salish Sea News Week in Review November 22 2019

John F. Kennedy
Aloha JFK Friday
On November 22, 1963, John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The 35th President of the United States was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald, while traveling in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas. He was the 4th American president to be assassinated while in office. The other 3 were Abraham Lincoln, James Abram Garfield, and William McKinley.

How the American environmental movement dealt a blow to Alberta's oilpatch
The strategy to stifle Alberta's oilsands came together in a hotel near a mall in Minneapolis over a decade ago. It was the fall of 2008, and a group of environmental activists spent part of a conference there brainstorming tactics for slowing down the growth of the oilsands — and they identified pipelines as the most vulnerable target.

Trans Mountain received $320M in government subsidies in 2019, report finds
The Trans Mountain pipeline received $320 million in subsidies from the Canadian and Alberta governments in the first half of 2019, says a new report by an economic institute that analyzes environmental issues.


Colstrip owner speeds up exit plans 9 years to 2025
A Colstrip Power Plant owner has accelerated its exit plans by nearly a decade and has agreed to compensate the community. Avista Corp. agreed to be financially ready to exit both Units 3 and 4 by 2025.

Washington's greenhouse gas emissions continue to trend higher in latest inventory
As scientists issue increasingly dire warnings over climate change, Washington state’s greenhouse-gas emissions continue to trend higher, according to the latest state inventory.


Climate change may impact kelp’s ability to reproduce
Marine heat waves may be impacting one of the ocean’s major sources of food and shelter for sea life—kelp.

Federal Court: Klamath Basin Tribal Water Rights Outrank Farmers' Rights
A federal appeals court has found that the water rights of Klamath Basin tribes take priority over those of farmers who sued the federal government in 2001 for reducing their irrigation water supply after a dry year.

These news clips are a selection of weekday clips collected in Salish Sea News and Weather which 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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Friday, November 15, 2019

Salish Sea News Week in Review November 15 2019

Aloha Georgia O'Keeffe Birthday Friday!
Born on November 15, 1887, Georgia O'Keeffe was an American artist. She was best known for her paintings of enlarged flowers, New York skyscrapers, and New Mexico landscapes. O'Keeffe has been recognized as the "Mother of American modernism". (Wikipedia)


PSU study finds microplastics in majority of razor clams and oysters collected on Oregon coast
The synthetic fibers that make up much of our modern clothing are making their way into the stomachs of the animals we eat, according to a new study from researchers at Portland State University.

Scientists breathe easier as marine heat wave off west coast weakens
Scientists say a marine heat wave that blanketed a large area of the west coast has weakened, but the potential disruption to ocean life isn't over yet.

New Report: Puget Sound Marine Waters See Effect of Climate Change in 2018
A new report details the effects of a changing climate on Puget Sound in 2018, and describes how these changes trickled down through the ecosystem to affect marine life and seafood consumers. 

Federal Lawsuit Aims To Kill Stalled Methanol Refinery Project Along Columbia River
A federal lawsuit filed Tuesday aims to keep one of the world’s biggest methanol refineries from being built along the Columbia River in Washington state.

Makah tribe heads to court — with NOAA support — in effort to resume whale hunt
The Makah whale hunt is back in court. The tribe wants to resume a limited hunt of gray whales off the Washington coast.  An administrative judge in Seattle will hear arguments for and against over several days, starting Thursday at 1 p.m.


Salish Sea blog: Remembering Tom Jay
Tony Angell writes: "My friend Tom Jay passed away a few days ago and yet he remains amid us..."

These news clips are a selection of weekday clips collected in Salish Sea News and Weather which 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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Tony Angell: Remembering Tom Jay


Tom Jay and a big fish [PHOTO: Jeff Day]
My friend Tom Jay passed away a few days ago and yet he remains amid us. 

I say this feeling his presence when I read his essays and poems in his recently published book Blossoms are Guests at the Wedding or come upon his many monumental sculptural pieces celebrating the Pacific Salmon that we find in communities along Puget Sound. 

I can sense Tom's influence and presence in his community of Chimicum on the Olympic Peninsula where he and his wife Sara invigorated the sense of awareness and commitment to understanding and sustaining the health and vitality of their vast and complex watershed. 

In the most personal way I can converse with Tom in memory of the adventures we shared together, our creative projects.  When I fashion a form from clay or stone I remember the wisdom and skills he so selflessly shared with me just as he did with countless other artists.   Tom's friendship, crafted over time, will remain with me forever. 

Even with all the prodigious and singular work Tom produced he still had more to complete and such was a feature of his life.  He always seemed to have another honorable community goal or sculptural project out there to achieve.  Such self expectation kept him going.  He was instructed by his mistakes and unavoidable setbacks.  His indomitable will is an enduring reminder that we can choose a path to wisely use every moment of the precious life we are fortunate to possess.  He provided worthy examples for us in the diversity of his work and commitment to aligning with Nature. 

The path he followed is one we will always walk together.

Artist, author and environmental educator Tony Angell lives and works in Seattle and on Lopez Island.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Salish Sea News Week in Review November 8 2019

Aloha Remembrance Poppy Friday
The remembrance poppy is an artificial flower that has been used since 1921 to commemorate military personnel who have died in war, and represents a common or field poppy, Papaver rhoeas. The remembrance poppy was inspired by the World War I poem "In Flanders Fields", and promoted by Moina Michael and the “Originator of the Poppy Day” Madame Guérin. Prior to this, Madame Guérin had been raising funds for French and American war charities throughout World War I for widows, orphans, veterans, the Red Cross, the charitable organisation Food for France, U.S. Liberty bonds and other causes. (Wikipedia)

More than 11,000 scientists from around the world declare a ‘climate emergency’
A new report by 11,258 scientists in 153 countries from a broad range of disciplines warns that the planet “clearly and unequivocally faces a climate emergency,” and provides six broad policy goals that must be met to address it.

New drone, underwater footage of orcas stuns researchers, gives intimate look at killer whales' family life 
Who knew orcas were so playful, so full of affection, so constantly touching one another? New footage taken by drone as well as underwater stunned researchers who spent two days with the southern resident orca J pod off the British Columbia coast, including with the newest baby, and more time with northern resident killer whales in B.C.’s Johnstone Strait.


Feds Propose Pacific Northwest Habitat Protections For Orcas And Humpback Whales
Federal wildlife regulators are proposing to designate large swaths of the Pacific Ocean off Oregon, Washington and California as critical habitat for endangered humpback whales and orcas.

This Bellingham waterfront proposal could help save the orca population
In an attempt to bring salmon numbers back to 1985 levels, ultimately helping the local orca population, plans are in the works to bring a large fish hatchery to Bellingham’s waterfront.

Feds agree to more environmental scrutiny of sea walls, bulkheads on Puget Sound shoreline 
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will give more scrutiny to sea walls, bulkheads or other armoring of the Puget Sound shoreline under a court-approved plan to resolve a lawsuit. Scientists have found that such shoreline development, though it may ease erosion, can cause serious damage to areas that are vital to some marine life, such as spawning forage fish, at the base of the Puget Sound food chain.

Cypress Island eyed as potential site for whale sanctuary
An international nonprofit with the goal of establishing the first whale sanctuary in the world is eyeing a location in Skagit County.


Snoqualmie Tribe buys land around Snoqualmie Falls for $125M
The Snoqualmie Tribe announced Friday that it has purchased the land surrounding Snoqualmie Falls, its traditional territory.

These news clips are a selection of weekday clips collected in Salish Sea News and Weather which 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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Friday, November 1, 2019

Salish Sea News Week in Review November 1 2019

Aloha Hallowmas Friday!
Halloween is actually just the beginning of a string of otherworldly holidays. The tricks, treats, and customs of Halloween, now mostly secular, are based in part on an ancient Celtic and Christian festivals. November 1st is All Saints’ Day, when all Christian saints are recognized. The Roman Catholic Church sometimes calls All Saints Day the Solemnity of All Saints, but an older English term for it is Allhallows or Hallowmas (shortened from the feast of Hallows’ mass, with hallow meaning “holy person; saint”). The day after All Saints’ Day, November 2, is All Souls’ Day. This day honors the souls of all the dead. In Mexico and parts of the United States, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day coincide with Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.

Wall Street spends millions to buy up Washington state water
Follow the water and you’ll find the money. That’s how it often works in the dusty rural corners of Washington, where a Wall Street-backed firm is staking an ambitious venture on the state’s water. Crown Columbia Water Resources since 2017 has targeted the water rights of farms on tributaries of the mighty Columbia River.

Washington's latest plan to save its endangered orcas: hatch more salmon
A new type of chinook salmon hatchery is being proposed as part of a state effort to revive Puget Sound’s orca population. State Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, plans to introduce a bill this January calling for a $2.5 million study to determine the feasibility of a public-private hatchery in Bellingham.


Feds called on to enforce emergency closure of B.C.’s last herring fishery
Conservation groups are calling for the immediate closure of the herring fishery in the Strait of Georgia following the release of new federal government data showing a four-year population biomass decline of almost 60 per cent.

Cooke Aquaculture seeks to farm native steelhead in Puget Sound after 2017 Atlantic salmon escape 
Last month, a net pen used for fish farming and operated by Cooke Aquaculture Pacific began to dip below the surface off Bainbridge Island. A hole in a pontoon left the structure’s southeast corner partially submerged. Repairs were eventually made. But now as Cooke seeks to farm steelhead trout — instead of the nonnative Atlantic salmon that state law will soon ban — the incident has caught the attention of state regulators. Evan Bush reports. (Seattle Times)

General Motors Sides With Trump in Emissions Fight, Splitting the Industry
Breaking with some of their biggest rivals, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and Toyota said Monday they were intervening on the side of the Trump administration in an escalating battle with California over fuel economy standards for automobiles.


Keystone Pipeline leaks 383,000 gallons of oil in second big spill in two years
Approximately 383,000 gallons of crude oil have spilled into a North Dakota wetland this week in the latest leak from the Keystone Pipeline, further fueling long-standing opposition to plans for the pipeline network’s extension.


E.P.A. Set to Roll Back Rules on Toxic Metals From Coal Plants
The Trump administration is expected to roll back an Obama-era regulation meant to limit the leaching of heavy metals like arsenic, lead and mercury into water supplies from the ash of coal-fired power plants, according to two people familiar with the plans.


These news clips are a selection of weekday clips collected in Salish Sea News and Weather which 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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

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Friday, October 25, 2019

Salish Sea News Week in Review October 25 2019

1st Place (Teresa Zgoda & Teresa Kugle)
Aloha Small World Friday!
The winners of the 45th Annual Nikon Small World photography competition combine art and science to show a beautiful, miniature world. (Washington Post)

Swarm of sea urchins wreaks destruction on US West Coast
Tens of millions of voracious purple sea urchins that have already chomped their way through towering underwater kelp forests in California are spreading north to Oregon, sending the delicate marine ecosystem off the shore into such disarray that other critical species are starving to death.

Export markets cool for Washington's giant clam, the geoduck, as tariffs mount and Chinese consumers get picky 
 ...[T]his year, the Asian market has cooled, and U.S. producers are finding it’s more difficult to wrest big profits from the Chinese geoduck market. That also means a sharp cut in revenue for the state of Washington, which has earned millions of dollars annually by auctioning off geoduck harvest rights.

Oyster growers agree to abandon quest to use controversial insecticide in Southwest Washington tidelands
A Southwest Washington oyster growers association has abandoned a quest to use a controversial insecticide that combats burrowing shrimp, a creature that can make tidelands unfit for shellfish farming. In a settlement reached last week, the Willapa Grays Harbor Growers Association agreed to accept a 2018 state Ecology Department denial of the proposed use of imidacloprid and drop an appeal to the state Pollution Control Hearings Board.


B.C. tables historic Indigenous rights bill in move to implement UN declaration
B.C.'s promised bill on Indigenous rights has been tabled in the legislature, and if passed, the province will be the first in Canada to legally implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

Canada election: Trudeau's Liberals win but lose majority
Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party has retained power in a narrow Canadian election win but he will now be prime minister of a minority government.


Trudeau extends olive branch to Western Canada, vows to build Trans Mountain despite opposition
Two days after much of Western Canada rejected the Liberals on election day, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today vowed to be more sensitive to the needs of Alberta and Saskatchewan and to build the Trans Mountain expansion pipeline in the face of entrenched opposition from environmentalists.


Feds ask public to weigh in on whale-watching regulations near endangered orcas 
The federal government is asking the public to weigh in on current and potentially new regulations for whale watching near endangered southern resident orcas.



These news clips are a selection of weekday clips collected in Salish Sea News and Weather which 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.

Salish Sea News: Communicate, Educate, Advocate

Follow @savepugetsound

Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told