Friday, May 17, 2019

Salish Sea News Week in Review May 17 2019

Salish Sea News Week in Review May 17 2019

Tapanuli orangutan [Tim Lehman]
Aloha Endangered Species Friday!
In 1973, President Richard Nixon, a Republican, signed a piece of monumental environmental legislation, the Endangered Species Act, into law. The United States Congress created Endangered Species Day in 2006 to be celebrated on the third Friday in May. The day is for learning why it's important to protect endangered species, for learning how to take part in protection efforts, and for celebrating species that have recovered as a result of these efforts.

Inslee, Ferguson denounce EPA move to ease water standards for Washington state
The Environmental Protection Agency proposes to ease Washington water-quality standards for chemicals discharged into state waterways, a move embraced by industry groups that sought the change and denounced as “illegal” by Gov. Jay Inslee and state Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

Canada: Sanctuaries and food for our endangered killer whales
Canada has announced big-scale measures to safeguard and feed endangered killer whales in the Salish Sea, a day after Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law measures to protect endangered orcas on the U.S. side of the border.

Public environmental assessment hearings underway on proposed Roberts Bank container terminal
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency has kicked off the public hearing process on the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority's proposed $2 billion to $3 billion Roberts Bank Terminal 2 project.

North Dakota to sue Washington state over oil train standard
North Dakota is preparing to sue Washington state over a new Washington law requiring oil shipped by rail through that state to have more of its volatile gases removed, which supporters say would reduce the risk of explosive and potentially deadly derailments.

It was 84 degrees near the Arctic Ocean this weekend as carbon dioxide hit its highest level in human history
Over the weekend, the climate system sounded simultaneous alarms. Near the entrance to the Arctic Ocean in northwest Russia, the temperature surged to 84 degrees Fahrenheit (29 Celsius).


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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Salish Sea Communications: Truth Well Told

Monday, May 13, 2019

A Deadly Wind: The 1962 Columbus Day Storm

A Deadly Wind: The 1962 Columbus Day Storm

Reviewed by Floyd McKay


The icons that define us are all around in this land west of the great mountains: the mountains themselves, the miles of giant trees, the powerful ocean. Our friends. Until they come to destroy us.

As they did on October 12, 1962, the day of the greatest windstorm in the modern history of the Pacific Northwest. We call it the Columbus Day Storm, a monster that killed as many as 65 people, destroyed billions of dollars of our built world and made permanent changes in the way we live.

John Dodge was 14 years old when the storms broke over his Olympia home, and he remembers the falling trees and flying debris of his neighborhood. A worse terror was waiting just a few miles away in Spanaway; seven-year-old Charley Brammer was outside his home when he was attacked by an adult African lion, liberated from a neighbor’s holding pen by the crashing trees. Ray Brammer wrestled with the lion and with the aid of a baseball bat saved his son’s life. Perhaps the most spectacular of many heroisms that harrowing night.

During his four-decade career on the Olympian, Dodge became a specialist in natural disasters, including the Mt. St. Helens eruption. He turned to the storm upon retirement, and has combined riveting personal stories with exhaustive scientific research to produce a book important to the entire Cascadia region—for the winds came ashore at San Francisco Bay and blew themselves out on Vancouver Island two days later.

Dodge reminds us of the pioneering nature of storm forecasting in 1962, using as a key example the Portland meteorologist Jack Capell, who sensed the approaching danger before his former U.S. Weather Bureau colleagues were willing to make the call. Capell’s breathless warning to his KGW radio and television listeners barely preceded the storm at it roared into the mid-Willamette Valley, the ultimate center for storm damage in the state. “The Columbus Day Storm was a freak of nature, a weather outlier, a beastly wind that caught weather forecasters flat-footed and dumbfounded,” Dodge declared.

Typhoon Freda was at the root of the Columbus Day storm, swooping ashore in northern California and southwest Oregon on Thursday, Oct. 11; five deaths were already recorded. None of today’s whiz-bang electronic systems were in place; Navy picket ships at sea were the major warning systems and communications were easily lost.

Oregon suffered 27 deaths, Washington 11; 17 were caused by falling trees. The region’s forests were clearcut in a 24-hour orgy of roaring noise and crashing timber. An estimated 15 billion board feet—enough to frame a million homes—was felled in the storm. Cleanup was massive, and dangerous, and the replacement forests were managed under a new paradigm called The Managed Forest. Many of the salvaged logs were shipped to Japan, where growth in wood-frame homes opened a new market. 

Prune and filbert orchards were destroyed in Oregon, and the prune industry never recovered—it was replaced by pinot noir grapes, a new industry growing in the rubble of the old. Dodge explains all this, in what is really quite a remarkable overview of a storm for the ages. Many witnesses are now gone; this book will remind their heirs of a remarkable natural disaster and the people who survived and built in its wake.

Hear author John Dodge at Bellingham's Chuckanut Radio Hour on May 21, 7 PM, at Whatcom Community College's Heiner Center.

Reviewer Floyd McKay resides in Bellinghan and is the author of Reporting The Oregon Story: How Activists and Visionaries Transformed A State.

*Old enough to remember the Columbus Day Storm? Share your memories and stories here.*





Saturday, May 11, 2019

Salish Sea News Week in Review May 10 2019

Aloha Fintastic Friday!
"Fintastic Friday: Giving Sharks a Voice" was created by WhaleTimes, along with help from the Shark Research Institute. WhaleTimes director Ruth Musgrave...believed they needed a new voice and that kids could be that voice. Rightfully, the day celebrates and raises awareness for sharks, and is geared towards children.... Not only is the day dedicated to sharks, but to other elasmobranchs like rays and skates as well.


Inslee signs bills bringing Washington state closer to zero-carbon electricity
Gov. Jay Inslee signed a package of bills Tuesday to combat climate change headlined by legislation to rid Washington’s electric grid of fossil-fuel-generated power by 2045, a move that makes the state a leader in the national clean-power movement.


Gov. Jay Inslee speaks out against LNG plant in Tacoma, methanol facility in Kalama
Washington’s governor is changing course on his support of two fossil-fuel projects in the state.

After decades of debate, Victoria is building a sewage treatment plant
Along the rocky south coast of Vancouver Island, hundreds of construction workers are building a nearly $800 million dollar wastewater treatment facility — a project that has been debated for decades and described as long overdue by some, and completely unnecessary by others.

Gov. Inslee signs range of bills aimed at helping orcas
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed several bills Wednesday designed to help the Pacific Northwest's endangered orcas, measures that he said gave him hope the species might be saved.

National parks group sues U.S. Navy in pursuit of information on Growler jet training
A national parks organization filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Navy last week, related to jet training at Air Station Whidbey Island.



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

Friday, May 3, 2019

Salish Sea News Week in Review: May 3 2019

Salish Sea News Week in Review May 3 2019

Aloha World Press Freedom Friday
World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO's General Conference. Since then, 3 May, the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek is celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day.  "No democracy is complete without access to transparent and reliable information. It is the cornerstone for building fair and impartial institutions, holding leaders accountable and speaking truth to power." — António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General

Environmentalists win historic gains in Legislature despite a few stumbles
Environmentalists scored big victories — of historic size, especially on climate-change — but also suffered a few significant setbacks at the Washington Legislature’s 2019 session.

State budget scrimps on replacing salmon-blocking culverts
Washington faces a federal court order to fix under-roadway pipes that block migrating fish by 2030, but a budget passed by lawmakers puts the state at risk of missing the deadline and could delay salmon recovery even as the Pacific Northwest’s endangered orcas are starving.

Cooke Aquaculture agrees to pay $332,000 fine after net pen failure
Cooke Aquaculture has agreed to pay the $332,000 fine for the negligent release of thousands of Atlantic salmon in August 2017, the state Department of Ecology announced Monday.

B.C. ready for court battle as Alberta proclaims turn-off-the-taps law
Alberta has proclaimed a law that allows it to slow the flow of oil and gas to B.C. For its part, the B.C. government says it is ready to fight in court right away.

Vancouver to postpone ban on straws, Styrofoam and other single-use items
With Styrofoam takeout containers, plastic straws and disposable coffee cups everywhere in the food industry, the speed of the move to ban single-use items in Vancouver is running into resistance.

Washington Budget Funds Group To Study Snake River Dam Removal
Tucked into Washington’s $52.4 billion operating budget passed Sunday night by the Legislature is controversial funding for a “stakeholder group” tasked with looking into what would happen should the four Lower Snake River dams be removed or altered.


'Best day ever.' Scientist celebrates recovering sea stars
Earlier this week, a scientist in the San Juan Islands tweeted: “Best day ever." What triggered her joy? Sea stars. Hundreds of healthy, colorful sea stars.


SeaWorld publishes decades of data to help wild orcas
SeaWorld, which displays orcas at its parks in California, Texas and Florida, has recently published data from thousands of routine blood tests of its orcas throughout two decades, revealing the most comprehensive picture yet of what a healthy orca looks like.

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