Friday, February 28, 2014

February 2014: Two Down, 10 to Go

Dying starfish (Photo: Don Noveillo/USA Today) 
February was a short month and I'm still waiting to see which of our elected officials in Olympia will choose to govern in the remaining weeks of the legislative session:  [“What I'm Looking For In 2014”]

At least we might have a tax put on those bringing crude oil by rail into the state, given that GOP energy and environment committee chair Senator Doug Ericksen (42-Ferndale) thinks that's a good idea.
“Every tanker coming into our refinery today pays a 5-cents-per-barrel tax that goes into oil spill prevention and response,” Ericksen says. “We believe we should apply that to rail cars coming in and we have a bi partisan bill that would apply the barrel tax to the rail cars also.” [“Washington State Senators Propose Tax On Oil Train Shipments”]  On the other hand, will a bill improving safety for all oil transport in Washington state (HB 2347)  which passed out the House and moved to the Senate see the light of day out of Ericksen’s committee? Probably not.

Is somebody going to solve the mystery of our West Coast starfish deaths? We’re still waiting, worried. Who needs more to worry about? Try scallops dying because of ocean acidification in Qualicum Bay north of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. [“Ocean acidity wipes out 10 million scallops near Qualicum Beach”]

Meanwhile, next week will be a month since Sheida Sahandy took over as the Puget Sound Partnership’s executive director. Clock’s running; what’s Sheida got to say about a fishable, diggable, swimmable Puget Sound?

And we’re hearted that there were fine words said at the Squaxin Tribe Center ceremony recognizing the 40th anniversary of the Boldt decision— and heartened that the news media could tear themselves away from the Seahawks victory parade long enough to report on the anniversary. [“The Boldt Decision turns 40”]

Now, anybody still excited about the Seahawks? Reading Beth Hackett’s blog [“Seahawks: What bandwagon fans like me helped bring to Seattle”]  brings to mind the movie “State and Main” with a Northwest version of fist bumps, chest bumps and shout outs of “Go, ‘Hawks.”

Hackett writes: “The Seahawks’  Super Bowl season brought people together.... I found people being kinder to one another because we had something in common. There was a little less distance between us. The football season created COMMUNITY and we all had a common goal, a common GOOD.  Something in common that we were working toward, together, without politics or all the other stuff that usually separates us, getting in the way.... We weren’t just rooting for the Seahawks. We were rooting for each other. And that should be celebrated and continued!”

Got community? 
You tell me. There are a few more months left in 2014. 

--Mike Sato