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

Along with Washington State Parks and the Pacific Northwest 4-Wheel Drive Association, participating groups include the Callam Bay-Seiku Lions Club, Discover Your Northwest, Olympia Coast National Coast Marine Sanctuary, Olympia National Park, and Surfrider Foundation. You can sign up for the beach cleanup of your choice by visiting online at www.coastsavers.org.

The Tribal nations of the Quileute and Hoh along Washington’s coastline also support and participate in tribal beach cleanup events during this event. 

To learn about additional International Ocean Conservancy Coastal Cleanup events in Washington, send an e-mail to [email protected] 

Stay connected to your state parks by following Washington State Parks at www.facebook.com/WashingtonStateParks, www.twitter.com/WAStatePks, www.youtube.com/WashingtonStateParks and www.foursquare.com/WAStatePks. Share your favorite state park adventure on the State Parks’ blog site at www.AdventureAwaits.com.

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages a diverse system of more than 100 state parks and recreation programs, including long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation. Washington State Parks turned 100 years old on March 19, 2013, and will celebrate with events in parks all over the state, all year long. For more information, visit www.parks.wa.gov/events/.

Support state parks by purchasing your annual Discover Pass today, and enjoy a whole year of outdoor fun on Washington’s beautiful state-managed recreation lands. For more information, visit www.discoverpass.wa.gov.

Murray, Cantwell Unveil Legislation to Support American Ports

Senator Cantwell and I have worked with small and large ports here in Washington state, the business community, and labor leaders to write the Maritime Goods Movement Act – which will make desperately needed improvements to the laws that impact ports of all sizes and business large and small – exporters and importers,” Senator Murray said. “This legislation will change the Harbor Maintenance Tax to give shippers new incentives to move their goods through American ports – particularly those in the Pacific Northwest.”

 

“I will continue to work with Senator Murray and my west coast colleagues on a solution that gives our ports relief and keeps us competitive,” said Senator Cantwell. “We know that Washington state goods and products are in high demand all over the world — from apples to airplanes to software. Fixing the H-M-T is about giving businesses and workers in our trade economy tools to succeed in a global marketplace. Because we know that if the playing field is level, Washington’s state ports and products will win out.”

 

More about the Maritime Goods Movement Act for the 21st Century HERE.

 

 

Senator Murray’s remarks, as prepared:

 

Thank you all for being here today.

 

“I’d like to start by thanking my colleague and partner in the U.S. Senate, Maria Cantwell, Tay Yoshitani from the Port of Seattle, John Wolfe from the Port of Tacoma, Dan McKisson from the ILWU, Port of Seattle commissioners Stephanie Bowman, John Creighton, and Courtney Gregoire, Port of Tacoma commissioners Don Mayer and Connie Bacon, Grays Harbor Port Commissioner Jack Thompson and Snohomish County Councilman Dave Gossett.

 

“Thank you all for your support on this important issue.

 

“And I’m thrilled to be here at one of our city’s beautiful piers to talk about the importance of our ports and the trade economy that’s supported our region for generations.

 

“As all of you know, Washington is the most trade-dependent state in our country…in fact, one in three jobs in Washington state is tied to international trade.

 

“And every day, millions of dollars in goods move through our state’s ports: bringing in products from every corner of the globe and shipping out goods manufactured or grown here in the Pacific Northwest.

 

“But we’re here today because some of the laws we have in place – specifically the Harbor Maintenance Tax – are actually hurting our ports and holding our economy back.

 

“Currently – the Harbor Maintenance Tax is diverting US-bound sea cargo, which should enter our country through the Port of Seattle, the Port of Tacoma, or other ports along our shores…

 

“Instead, shippers have decided it’s more cost-efficient to send those US-bound goods to Canada and Mexico first – only to ship them to the United States by truck or rail.

 

“That means fewer cargo containers coming into our ports. It means less work for longshoreman and pilots. And it means we can’t make investments in infrastructure that our ports need to be state-of-the-art and competitive.

 

“If that’s not a perfect example of an outdated law, I don’t know what is.

 

“So that’s why Senator Cantwell and I have worked with small and large ports here in Washington state, the business community, and labor leaders to write the Maritime Goods Movement Act – which will make desperately needed improvements to the laws that impact ports of all sizes and business large and small – exporters and importers.

 

“This legislation will change the Harbor Maintenance Tax to give shippers new incentives to move their goods through American ports – particularly those in the Pacific Northwest.

 

“And it will double the amount of funds we can use to re-invest in our ports each year to keep them competitive in the global marketplace…including remote and low-use ports that need our support.

 

“We’ll be introducing this new legislation when the Senate returns to session in September and we couldn’t have done it without the support of all the people here today.

 

“I also want to thank our colleague in the House of Representatives, Jim McDermott, who’s worked closely with us on this issue – we’ll need his support to get this passed through the House.

 

“So, thank you again for being here today, and now, I’d like to introduce my partner in the United States Senate, Maria Cantwell.”

 

 

Senator Cantwell’s remarks, as prepared:

 

“Thank you.

 

“I’d like to thank Senator Murray for that introduction.

 

“I’ve been proud to work with Senator Murray to further the growth of Washington’s ports.

Looking across the water here gives you a clear picture of why the ports of Seattle and Tacoma support 200,000 jobs.

 

“You can literally watch Washington’s trade economy in motion at the Port of Seattle – or the Port of Tacoma.

 

“When it comes to Washington state’s economy, ports are us. More than 1 in 3 Washington jobs are tied to trade. That’s why Senator Murray and I have worked to invest in Washington ports and the millions of jobs that depend on them.

 

“And we’ve made some significant progress in investing in our port infrastructure.

 

“One year ago – here at the Port of Seattle – I joined Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to announce a new national initiative for smarter freight planning.

 

“We are now on our way to developing America’s first comprehensive freight strategic plan. And that’s good news for ports in Washington state.

 

“But even with this progress, Washington state ports face major challenges.

 

“The Asia-Pacific market is growing. And Canada and Mexico are making major investments to capture more of that market.

 

“Today, we’re here to announce a step forward to make sure American ports can compete on a level playing field.

 

“The time to fix our Harbor Maintenance Tax (H-M-T) is now.

 

“Currently the H-M-T makes it harder for our ports to compete with Prince Rupert to the North – or the Port of Lazaro Cardenas to the South.

 

“The threat is real.  The Federal Maritime Commission found that up to 27 percent of container volume moving through West Coast ports is at risk of diverting to Prince Rupert. 

 

“Here in the Puget Sound, that cargo diversion threatens the employment of about 10,000 American workers.

 

“In fact, diversion of 10,000 containers from our ports in the Puget Sound could:

•           Cost businesses $1.3 billion

•           Reduce income for workers by $833 million

•           Cut local purchases by $192 million

•           And slash state and local taxes by $75 million

 

“That’s why Senator Murray and I are introducing this bill to fix our broken system. The inequality for our ports needs to end.

 

“I recently sent a letter to the chairman of the Finance Committee and stated that H-M-T reform must be included in any tax reform bill.

 

“I will continue to work with Senator Murray and my west coast colleagues on any solution that gives our ports relief and keeps us competitive.

 

“We know that Washington state goods and products are in high demand all over the world — from apples to airplanes to software.

 

“Fixing the H-M-T is about giving businesses and workers in our trade economy tools to succeed in a global marketplace.

 

“Because we know that if the playing field is level, Washington’s state ports and products will win out.

 

“West Coast deep-water ports like Seattle and Tacoma don’t need the same maintenance as shallow-water ports.

 

“So while Seattle and Tacoma generate 7 percent of the funds for the H-M-T, they only receive a penny for every dollar collected.

 

“Shippers are also moving goods through fast-growing ports in Mexico and Canada to avoid paying the H-M-T.

 

“Our legislation would fix the H-M-T with a user fee that would apply to all points of entry for U.S.-bound cargo.

 

“This would level the playing field for our ports and protect our jobs here in Washington.

 

“Trade affects all corners of our economy. And Washington’s ports are the heart of our trade economy.

 

“We’re ready to hit the ground running with our bill when we get back to DC in September.

 

“Because when it comes to shipping goods, Washington ports and Washington workers get the job done. And when we compete on a level playing field, we won’t lose.

 

“Thank you all for coming today.”

Electric vehicles find juice in the Northwest

START: 8 a.m. Blaine Peace Arch, Interstate 5
1st stop: 9 a.m. Burlington Tesla Supercharger station , 9384 Old Highway 99 N (49 mile leg)
2nd stop: 10 a.m. Everett Fred Meyer charge station, 8530 Evergreen Way(34 mile leg)
3rd stop: 12:30 p.m. Seattle South Lake Union Discovery Center , 101 Westlake Ave N, (30 mile leg)
4th stop: 1:45 p.m. Tacoma Glass Museum charge station, 1801 Dock St. (33 mile leg)
5th stop: 3:45 p.m. Olympia Shell Quick-Charge Tumwater, 6131 Capitol Blvd SE (30 mile leg)
6th stop: 6 p.m. Vancouver Fred Meyer Quick Charge station, 2500 Columbia House Blvd. (105 mile leg)



 West Coast Electric HighwayABOUT THE WEST COAST ELECTRIC HIGHWAY

The “West Coast Electric Highway” is an extensive network of electric vehicle (EV) DC fast charging stations located every 25 to 50 miles along Interstate 5 and other major roadways in the Pacific Northwest. The Washington State Department of Transportation oversees the Washington segment and the Oregon Department of Transportation heads up the Oregon segment. The West Coast has a robust EV charging network with thousands of Level 2 charging pedestals and dozens of DC fast chargers.
 

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

Performance testing of juvenile fish passage at the mainstem dams along the lower Columbia and Snake rivers indicate that all projects are on track to meet the BiOp performance standards of 96 percent survival for spring migrating fish and 93 percent survival for summer migrants. Part of this success is due to more efficient spill enabled by surface passages systems, such as spillway weirs, that allow fish to move past the dams near the water’s surface where they naturally migrate. 

“We are moving forward under the biological opinion,” said Rock Peters, senior fishery program manager for the Corps of Engineers. “This draft Comprehensive Evaluation offers a great opportunity to update the region on our progress.”

The draft Comprehensive Evaluation also shows the extensive coordination of efforts among federal, state and local agencies and non-government organizations to achieve gains for fish.

“The success of this program is built on unprecedented partnerships and collaboration with tribes, states, landowners, irrigators and watershed councils throughout the region,” said Lorri Lee, Regional Director for Reclamation’s Pacific Northwest Region. “Together, we have forged a strong commitment to increase the survival of salmon and steelhead in the Pacific Northwest.”

Some of the highlights from the report include the following:

* Most ESA-listed fish populations that spawn in the basin have increased in abundance since their listing in the 1990s. An important measure of progress is the increase in wild salmon and steelhead returning to their spawning grounds.

* Some 177,227 acre-feet of water have been secured by the Action Agencies for instream uses, increasing flow to important salmon habitat. That’s more than enough water to serve a city the size of Seattle.

* Projects geared toward fish access have opened 2,053 miles of spawning and rearing habitat to salmon – nearly twice the length of the Columbia River.

* Action Agencies have protected and restored 3,791 acres of estuary habitat. Fish can spend months feeding in the estuary, where they grow quickly, better positioning them to for survival in the ocean.

* Surface passage systems are now operational at all federal dams on the lower Columbia and lower Snake rivers, allowing fish to pass dams more quickly. Combined with refined spill operations, these systems provide some of the highest survival rates of all passage routes.

* A spill wall at The Dalles Dam significantly boosted survival rates in the tailrace by guiding fish into the main river channel, away from predators. Tests following the completion of the spill wall showed increased numbers of yearling and subyearling chinook passing the dam safely.

Copies of the draft Comprehensive Evaluation are available at www.salmonrecovery.gov. The document will be open for public comment from July 15 to August 16. Public comments can be submitted online at www.bpa.gov/comment or by mailing comments to: BPA Public Involvement, P.O. Box 14428, Portland, OR 97293.