Monday, May 5, 2014

May 2014: 4 Down, 8 To Go

Billy Frank, Jr. 1931-2014 (AP)
We’re now a third of the way through the year and I’m checking on some of the items I said I’d keep track of in 2014:

I’ll miss Bill Frank Jr.’s big hugs and big smiles and tough talk (Billy Frank Jr., Nisqually elder who fought for treaty rights, dies). Maybe it’s fitting that Billy leaves us on the 40th anniversary year of the Boldt decision. (
The Boldt Decision turns 40) Thanks, Billy. We fight on.

A few bright spots about leadership: One is a hooray to Governor Jay for his executive order to limit carbon emissions (Inslee orders a move toward limits on carbon emissions). It will require legislative support and it’s good news that Democrat turncoat Rodney Tom will not be running for re-election (State Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom drops re-election bid) and that Bellingham attorney Seth Fleetwood will be challenging 42nd District GOP incumbent Doug Ericksen (Fleetwood plans to challenge Ericksen for state Senate), giving the Democrats a chance to take back the state senate. And, regarding local governance, it’s good to see strong leadership coming from Whatcom County Council chair Carl Weimer and the newly elected members of the county council (Progressive Whatcom council thaws relations with environmentalists).

Still no definitive word on what’s killing our sea stars (West Coast starfish being killed by pathogens, scientists suggest). Watch closely if the disease spreads north of Keystone on Whidbey Island and if the deaths ramp up as the water warms.

Did you know that May is Puget Sound Starts Here month? (It all adds up: How are you going to protect Puget Sound?) 10th Man! Go to the Seattle Mariner’s game on May 10 and cheer them both on.

--Mike Sato


  1. Thanks for the updates. I'm getting more and more concerned about our oceans after my beach cleanup weekend and all that plastic, SEA Times piece on acidification, and a NY Times article I stumbled on about studies at Tatoosh Island and noticeable drops in waterfowl and marine life numbers in the last 10 years. Have you heard of Dark Mountain movement? Hate to be a pessimist but they might have it right.

  2. You are referring to Dark Mountain Project, ? Your concern is well-founded but the way I look at it, the result need not be pessimism but being critically realistic. I think Paul Kingsnorth in his piece "Dark Ecology: Searching for Truth in a Post-Green World" lays out the equation pretty well. I tried to grapple with that after reading the piece, "Discussing 'Dark Ecology'" Actually, I think you know where the light resides: it's in Thoreau's dictum, " Wildness is the preservation of the world."


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