Candidates supporting the environment rock the primary vote!

The story of the night is that the Democrats came out to vote in August. Early results show significant voter preference, even in the midst of the “Trump Upheaval”, for Democrats along with the status quo of incumbents. Good news for supporting environmental legislation.  Also it appears that in many areas of Jefferson County, where we are located, Bernie’s troops that were trying to upset local Democrats have not seen turn out approach enough to win across the board, as they hoped.

Bizarre results in Clallam County. Have they been smoking a bit too much of that new legal substance? Dems win almost all positions, from federal on down in large margins, until you get to Lt. Governor, which an R wins. What? She must have camped out in Port Angeles for the month. Overall, when you add up the votes all D’s got in Clallam races, it seems very likely that they will win all of them in November. Barring a huge Trump turnout that didn’t want to bother to vote in August. Ron Richards won the popular vote, but if you tally all his rivals he may have a hard time winning in November. Better hit the streets, Ron. Start doorbelling.

This is all based on early returns.

Solutions sought for fish-blocking Hood Canal bridge – Kitsap Sun

We have been reporting on this issue since before it was found. When I interviewed old timers in 2010 who had fished the Canal all their lives some told me they believed the bridge was the cause of the salmon’s demise in the Canal. That they had seen a dramatic reduction in fish since the bridge was installed. Now, we are getting real data that validates the “local knowledge” that some scoffed at. While no one is saying that the bridge should be removed, at least at this point, there is new work being done to see if there are some quick fixes that can be done to help the salmon, and the water, flow better.

A cloud of little fish loiters alongside the Hood Canal bridge’s floating lower deck. They don’t go around and they don’t go under. Instead they seem to aimlessly swirl about. Lurking nearby is a plump seal, apparently well-fed on the logjam of fish.

There’s mounting evidence that the bridge is a major fish barrier, blocking a third of migrating steelhead trout from reaching the ocean. The bridge also might hamper water circulation, lowering dissolved oxygen levels and altering the canal’s temperature and chemistry.

Submarine, support vessel collide off Washington coast – AP via Q13Fox

While not fatal to the environment (at least that we know about due to Navy secrecy), it is a reminder of how at risk our Strait and Coast are to possible radioactive contamination if one of these vessels has a catastrophic failure due to a crash. How their support vessel crashed into them is something  I hope we get more information on, from the Navy. Perhaps Derek Kilmer’s staff can ask for clarification?

BANGOR, Wash. (AP) — The Navy says a ballistic-missile submarine and a support vessel collided off the coast of Washington state.

There were no injuries from the Thursday evening incident in the Strait of Juan de Fuca involving the USS Louisiana and the offshore support vessel. In a statement, the Navy said the collision occurred during routine operations.



Nippon paper mill, cogeneration plant in Port Angeles for sale – PDN

So often in the past, we have seen possible losses of industries used as justifications to attack environmentalists and government environmental regulations. There is often a knee jerk reaction by certain politicians using these tactics to make political hay. But before people jump to conclusions about what is triggering this sale, here’s some key facts in the article. They point to a number of issues that have nothing to do with government regulations, environmental concerns, etc. In fact, biomass has been given more than it’s fair share of government giveaways in the areas of regulations. Some might ask, “what regulations? Because it was exempted from EPA rules.

We have been reporting on those issues for over 8 years now. Search on this web site for the word “biomass” to see the whole series of articles.

What is known: Nippon has  been trying to make a living in a declining market segment, while expanding their product offerings. Apparently that hasn’t been working out.

Nippon is the only maker of telephone book paper in the United States…..Company officials have said they have been trying to move away from telephone-book paper by offering other paper products.

Also: the co-generation plant has cost them much more than expected, and apparently the manufacturer was sued by them over the defective boiler. To be clear,  biomass plants (burning of “hog fuel”) like this were allowed by a bill that was passed in the Washington State Legislature  during the height of the last decades’ fuel crisis (remember about 2004-08 when fuel was extremely expensive?). It was supported by both Kevin Van De Wege, and Steve Tharinger, among others. I asked Steve and Kevin personally at the time about the concerns but they shrugged them off. It was clear that to them, they saw biomass as a ‘job creator’ technology.

Many other environmentalists challenged the idea that burning what was essentially ‘slash’ (left over biomass from logging) was a bad idea, and that it was unproven as a technology. The bill clearly stated, at that time, that the technology was ‘experimental’ and that the legislature was going to re-evaluate it later. They never have. It’s still considered an experimental technology.  

This blog covered the protests when they happened.

EPA allows biomass to be exempt from greenhouse gas emissions rules for 3 years.

Protests over biomass plants being licensed.

Mason County biomass plant shut down.

Scientists disturbed at biomass as future “green” energy source.

What else is known: 

The cogeneration plant was built to produce “green energy” for sale that is generated by burning biomass material.

But the plant was plagued with operational problems and higher-than-expected construction costs.

Construction ended up costing $20 million more than the original $71 million estimate projected in 2010.

Nippon and FSE Energy, which manufactured the boiler, reached a confidential, out-of-court settlement over the facility’s defective boiler and $17 million in disputed monetary charges.

Hopefully Nippon can find a buyer that can guide this plant into production of products that the market wants, and that the biomass plant finally gets working, or shut down, which may be the right thing to do. It would be interesting to understand whether the paper mill would be able to buy cost effective electricity compared to the biomass plant.

Support local journalism. Subscribe to local news, such as the Peninsula Daily News

DFO shutting down all salmon sports fishing on Lower Fraser to protect sockeye – Vancouver Sun

More bad news for salmon and salmon lovers.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada has taken the extraordinary measure of shutting down all sports salmon fishing on the Lower Fraser River because of a lower-than-anticipated return of sockeye. The closure of all recreational fishing for salmon — including Chinook and possibly Chum when they arrive later in the year — is taking place so that sockeye aren’t inadvertently caught while other salmon species are being fished. Anglers can still fish for trout, steelhead and sturgeon. The closure was to go into effect one hour after sunset Thursday until further notice. It covers the mouth of the Fraser River to the Alexandra Bridge south of Hell’s Gate in the Interior, a stretch of about 200 kilometres of river. Gordon Hoekstra reports. (Vancouver Sun)

DNC Hack More Extensive Than Thought – NY Times

A sideline from environmental issues. Folks, as someone who has managed computer networks with thousands of users, let me take this moment to tell you that this is all too common a story. If you are not using password programs like 1Password and others, you are leaving yourself at risk. Using simple to remember passwords is going to leave you very vulnerable. I know people who have had their life savings wiped out by bad guys. it’s rare but does happen.  If you can use what’s called Two Factor Authentication, you are helping to keep the bad guys out of your accounts and let them attack those without it. Nothing is foolproof but this is way better than simple passwords.

For Apple Users.

For Windows 10 Users

If you aren’t using Windows 10 or Apple’s latest operating system, you should be. They have done extensive work to put in two factor authentication into both operating systems. Windows 7 is now no longer being supported by Microsoft because it’s too old. They have produced two new versions since then. they include a system that can do facial recognition to go along with passwords, and my ipad and iphone use my fingerprints just fine.

Reward them for the efforts by getting their upgrades. Is it more of a hassle? Sometimes. But we have been fighting this problem for over 15 years, and the answers are here. Time to use them!

If you need help with security in your home computers or business, feel free to get me involved, and I’ll help you out. I do not chrage individuals for basic work. if you have a business I work on a sliding scale. I’m not trying  to get more work, but I think I have something to offer if it’s important to you. I’ll just say that I do have the knowledge to help folks that need it. I can easily do a basic vulnerability assessment to help you figure out next steps. There are folks out there that do much more indepth ones, depending on need.

 The following article was very likely avoidable.

Enough said..

 A hundred of party officials’ personal accounts may have been breached, along with the Democratic Governors Association’s. [NYT]

Awesome Perseid Meteor Shower set to dazzle Northwest skies this week – KOMO

Stay up late or wake up early. Either way, be prepared. Greatest show not on earth.

The best meteor shower of the year is upon us, and for once, the weather around the Pacific Northwest is going to cooperate! Dare we even say, perfect? The Perseid Meteor shower peaks around Aug. 11-13 each year (this year it’s Aug. 11-12) as the Earth moves through the dust and debris about the size of Grape-Nuts cereal left over from the Swift-Tuttle Comet, which comes around these parts every 133 years. As the leftover dust and rocks from the comet burn up in our atmosphere, they make for the streaks of light in the sky – commonly known as “shooting stars.” Scott Sistek reports. (KOMO)

Shoreline restoration project at Fort Townsend nears completion – PDN

Not mentioned in the article is the fact that there will be better beach access for boaters, including a camping site for kayakers. Brought to you by the efforts of the Northwest Straits and your local Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee.

Shoreline restoration providing easier access to a beach at Fort Townsend and habitat for shorebirds, forage fish and other marine animals is nearly complete. The $400,000 project, managed by the Northwest Straits Foundation, includes removing about 1,700 cubic yards of large rock and soil, which are being moved out by barge. The remaining small landing will be reshaped. “The purpose of this project first and foremost was to uncover habitat that had been buried by the fill pad,” said Lisa Kaufman, project manager for the Northwest Straits Foundation. “Also equally important was to improve public access.” Jesse Major reports. (Peninsula Daily News)


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