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Tag Archive for Pacific Northwest

Whooping cough cases decrease in WA but not gone

LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) — As Oregon and national health officials raise the alarm about whooping cough in the Pacific Northwest, Washington health officials report the illness is declining.

The Daily News reports (http://is.gd/kcEqfK ) that by mid-July this year, there were 419 cases of whooping cough or pertussis in Washington state. That’s down considerably from the same period in 2012 when 3,237 cases were reported.

State health officials say 14 Washington counties have reported no pertussis at all this year.

These statistics clash with a statement issued Tuesday by the Oregon March of Dimes, which said pertussis cases in the Northwest have essentially tripled over several years.

Oregon cases did increase from 2011 to 2012, but they started declining in 2013. Michele M. Larsen of the March of Dimes Greater Oregon Chapter told The Daily News chapter officials were not aware of the latest figures.

Washington CoastSavers Partner with Operation Shore Patrol

Volunteers needed to clean up state park coastal beaches.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and its partners invite the public to participate in Operation Shore Patrol and the International Coastal Cleanup on Sept. 21.

Washington State Parks and the Pacific Northwest 4-Wheel Drive Association have been organizing beach cleanups on the third weekend of September since 1971. This is the first time CoastSavers is joining the efforts to expand the participation for this event. Volunteers cleaning the beach on Sept. 21 will be joined by thousands of others around the world, all sharing the common goal of protecting the marine environment. 

“Marine debris is a serious threat to our ecosystems and our enjoyment of the coast,” said Don Hoch, director of the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission. “Garbage and debris harm coastal vegetation, wildlife, and marine organisms and mar the beauty of the coastline.”

Volunteers of all abilities are needed. If you can hold a bag, you can help. While some people carry garbage bags to roadside dumpsters, others simply fill bags and leave them on the beach to be collected by volunteers driving four-wheel drive vehicles. 

Murray, Cantwell Unveil Legislation to Support American Ports

SEATTLE, Wash. – On Thursday, August 15th, U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, Port of Seattle CEO Tay Yoshitani, and Port of Tacoma CEO John Wolfe held a press conference at the Bell Harbor Conference Center rooftop deck to announce new legislation that will significantly strengthen American ports, including many in the Pacific Northwest.  The Harbor Maintenance Tax, a long-established tax on imports that funds the operation and maintenance of America’s large and small ports, is not being fully collected.  Because of that, American ports, which drive job creation and anchor our export economy, can’t make the infrastructure investments they need to support American businesses. Senator Murray and Senator Cantwell are addressing this threat to America’s maritime economy with legislation to create a more equitable playing field for American ports. 

Specifically, the Maritime Goods Movement Act for the 21st Century would:

  • Repeal the Harbor Maintenance Tax and replace it with the Maritime Goods Movement User Fee, the proceeds of which would be fully available to Congress to provide for port operation and maintenance.  This would double the amount of funds available for American ports, which will help our export economy thrive.
  • Ensure that shippers cannot avoid the Maritime Goods Movement User Fee by using ports in Canada and Mexico.
  • Set aside a portion of the user fee for low-use, remote, and subsistence harbors that are at a competitive disadvantage for federal funding.
  • Create a competitive grant program using a percentage of the collected user fees to improve the U.S. intermodal transportation system so imported goods and goods for export can more efficiently reach their intended destinations.
  • Pay for expanded infrastructure investments by closing loopholes that allow the largest oil and gas companies in America to receive billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies every year, even though they enjoy profits in excess of $100 billion annually.

Electric vehicles find juice in the Northwest

SEATTLE, Wash. - The Cascadia Cruise is an Electric Vehicle (EV) road trip on Interstate 5 from the Canadian border to Vancouver, WA with stops at Burlington, Everett, Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, and Vancouver in a Tesla Model S to demonstrate the West Coast Electric Highway’s easy and efficient charge stations in Washington state’s growing EV economy.
 
Electrician Rich Hildreth will drive a Tesla Model S from Blaine to Vancouver on Tuesday, July 30th,  from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., with 6 stops, demonstrating the complete chain of charge stations that make it possible to drive across Washington state in an electric vehicle (EV) and the growing economic impacts of EV infrastructure. Along the way, Hildreth will stop at six charge stations and meet with local officials and media to promote the Washington portion of the West Coast Electric Highway, a series of charge stations stretching along the West Coast from the Canadian border to Mexico.
 

Coastal Doppler down for maintenance this week

COPALIS BEACH, Wash. – Not that you’d notice much with the recent weather, but a familiar blind spot is returning to your forecasts this week. The National Weather Service reports their techs will be going ‘under the hood’ of the coastal radar in Copalis Beach this week for some scheduled maintenance. Metorologist Don Price said if all goes well, the dual polarization radar should be back up in full operation by Friday.
The State-of-the-Art Doppler radar went live in September of 2011 to improve detection of severe storms in the Pacific Northwest.

Draft report from Federal agencies shows gains for Columbia River Basin fish

PORTLAND, Ore. – Federal agencies and their partners outlined today five years of accomplishments in improvements to hydrosystem operations and facilities, habitat rehabilitation and hatchery reforms to protect and benefit Columbia and Snake river fish.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation and the Bonneville Power Administration – collectively known as the Federal Action Agencies – have released the 2013 draft Comprehensive Evaluation that assesses biological results under the first five years of the 2008/2010 Biological Opinion developed by NOAA Fisheries. Work under this BiOp is the largest effort of its kind ever undertaken in the Columbia River Basin.

The draft report, which is open to a 30-day public comment period, shows wild, or natural origin, salmon and steelhead returned to the Columbia and Snake rivers and tributaries and spawned in greater numbers since the first Endangered Species Act listings.

“The draft Comprehensive Evaluation shows the strides we’ve made to bring more fish back to the river,” said Lorri Bodi, vice president for BPA’s Environment, Fish and Wildlife.

Halfway through the 10-year term of the BiOp, the Action Agencies and their partners have already met or exceeded the tributary habitat goals for more than half the salmon and steelhead populations. These fish have quickly returned to re-opened habitat, spawning in greater numbers in restored reaches and increasing in abundance.