Monday, June 30, 2014
Friday, June 27, 2014
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Monday, June 23, 2014
Friday, June 20, 2014
(TENINO, WA) -- The Thurston County Coroner’s Office has identified the man killed in the explosion and fire at a fireworks manufacturing plant in south Thurston County on Wednesday as 75-year old William Hill of Olympia. Lt. Greg Elwin with the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office says Hill died from his injuries before he could be airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The explosion at Entertainment Fireworks is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Washington Department of Labor and Industries. Two other people were injured in the explosion.
Thursday, June 19, 2014
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
(ONALASKA, WA) -- More homes around the Onalaska and Salkum area now have access to high-speed internet service. TDS Telecom says its broadband internet project is now complete. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus-funded project makes high-speed internet service accessible to more than 400 area homes and businesses. The project included installing about 10 miles of fiber optics cable throughout its McDaniel Telephone Company area. The cost of the project was $1.6 million.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Litigious Environmental Groups Refuse to Acknowledge Success of Federal Salmon Efforts, File another Lawsuit (News Release, Northwest RiverPartners, Portland, OR)
(PORTLAND, OR) -- So-called fish conservation groups again are blaming the Obama Administration for “forcing” them into the courtroom. It’s ironic. It’s also not true.
“They are hardly being dragged into court,” said Terry Flores, Executive Director of Northwest RiverPartners. “They are the ones bringing the litigation, despite unprecedented support for this latest salmon plan from federal and state agencies and more than a dozen Northwest tribes.”
Earthjustice, National Wildlife Federation, Save Our Wild Salmon and various commercial and sport fishing groups are the plaintiffs in a long-running lawsuit against NOAA Fisheries, the federal agency responsible for ensuring protection of salmon and steelhead listed under the Endangered Species Act. Today, these plaintiffs made sure that salmon protection efforts will continue to remain mired in the courtroom—instead of allowing them to work on the ground and in the rivers, where they could help fish. They filed yet another legal challenge against the federal salmon plan, known as the Biological Opinion or BiOp, in U.S. District Court – Court of Oregon.
“For these perennial critics, it is déjà vu all over again as they repeat claims they’ve made for years, despite documented progress that includes the most abundant salmon returns we’ve seen in decades,” said Flores of Northwest RiverPartners (NWRP), an alliance of farmers, utilities, ports, businesses and other river users that is a party to the litigation.
The plaintiffs claim that the federal salmon plan reduces or rolls back spill (water spilled over the dams to help young fish moving downstream). This is simply not true. Last Friday (June 13), federal dam operators filed a “Fish Operations Plan” that continues spill at current levels to allow the parties in the litigation to focus on the merits of the case.
“The agencies have been spilling at the dams at safe levels for fish for years,” Flores said. “The litigants’ demands for ever more spill could actually harm or kill the very salmon they say they want to protect.”
As for the overall salmon plan, “contrary to the plaintiffs’ claims, the truth is that the plan approved by NOAA Fisheries accomplishes exactly what the law demands—and more,” Flores noted.
Federal law demands that federal hydropower dams do not jeopardize fish survival. The salmon plan that’s now under fire already meets this standard through the use of new fish-passage technologies and safe levels of spill. According to NOAA Fisheries, these methods are helping salmon survive at levels similar to those seen in rivers without any dams at all. But the plan also goes further, putting salmon on the path to recovery with extensive habitat improvements that make this the most comprehensive and expensive effort to protect an endangered species in the nation. The plan is based on the best available science and has been vetted and endorsed by the Obama Administration’s top scientists.
“For proof of the plan’s success, look to the healthy fish returns over the last decade, including the historic return of more than one million fall Chinook to the Columbia River last fall,” Flores said. ”This year, Spring Chinook returns already are well over that of the ten-year average, and 1.6 million Fall Chinook and 1.2 million coho are forecasted to return.”
Three out of four Northwest residents agree that it’s critical for dams and salmon to co-exist, according to results of a March 2014 poll conducted for Northwest RiverPartners by DHM Research of Portland. By refusing to acknowledge that the existing salmon plan not only fulfills—but goes beyond—the demands of federal law, the plaintiffs show they are out of touch with public sentiment, Flores said.
“It is past time to acknowledge the obvious: Dams are only one of many factors that determine the fate of salmon in the Columbia and Snake rivers. The hydropower system is doing its part to prevent harm and speed salmon restoration, despite the fact that most salmon mortality occurs in the ocean—making ocean conditions a much larger factor affecting their survival,” Flores said.
It will be up to U.S. District Judge Michael Simon to consider the salmon plan and detractors’ complaints, a process that is likely to take most of 2014 and possibly beyond to resolve.
“We look forward to defending this plan in court and showing that the hydro system—and the Northwest families and businesses who pay for restoration efforts through their power bills—are more than doing their part to protect these iconic fish,” Flores said.
Monday, June 16, 2014
Friday, June 13, 2014
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Monday, June 9, 2014
Friday, June 6, 2014
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Port Angeles City Council Action Could Lead to End of ‘Smart’ Meters; Vote Scheduled for Tonight (Peninsula Daily News, Port Angeles, WA)