Environment

Storm water runoff
12:20 pm
Tue September 6, 2011

Seattle removes rain gardens in Ballard

This photo, taken in the winter of 2011, shows one of the failed rain gardens in Ballard the city is spending $500,000 to remove.
Ballard Raingardengue blog

Just a year ago, Seattle was promoting its roadside rain garden project in Ballard. Now, the city is spending half a million dollars to dismantle huge sections of it.

Some neighborhood residents say, despite good intentions, the whole thing has been a fiasco.

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Environment
11:24 am
Tue September 6, 2011

Electric vehicles becoming more mainstream

With these new all-electric plug-in Nissan Leaf hatchbacks added to its fleet, King County "raises the bar" for van pool programs, says Executive Dow Constantine. Children's Hospital installed the first 4 of 20 at their campus in Seattle.
Photo courtesy Children's Hospital

It’s been eight months since Nissan made its first delivery of its all-electric Leaf car to a customer in the pacific Northwest.

Now, driving an all-electric vehicle is well on its way to becoming mainstream reality. A pilot program is installing thousands of electric car charging stations in the Puget Sound region and making them more available to regular folks.

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Environment
12:21 pm
Thu September 1, 2011

Report calls for reduction in chemical spraying on Oregon highways

The Eugene-based Oregon Toxics Alliance has published a report that looks at pesticide use on 5 state highways in Lane County. The organization wants the state to reduce its use of chemicals along roadways.

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Environment
9:35 am
Thu September 1, 2011

Efforts to control seabirds doing more damage to salmon

Efforts to coax terns from one island to another at the mouth of the Columbia River have not helped the salmon.
Tim Flickr

EAST SAND ISLAND, Wash. — An attempt by government wildlife experts to control seabirds at the mouth of the Columbia River has led to some unintended consequences, all of which have been detrimental to salmon.

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Wolf hunting
4:39 pm
Tue August 30, 2011

Wolf advocates call for Idaho boycott

Members of Friends of Animals protesting.
Northwest News Network

BOISE, Idaho – As Idaho opened it’s 2011 wolf hunt today, critics started voicing their concern across the country.

One group asked people at Central Park in New York City to call Idaho Governor Butch Otter and ask him to stop the hunt.

The New York based group Friends of Animals says this is a last minute effort in response to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision last week to turn down a request to stop the wolf hunts in Idaho and Montana.

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Fraser River salmon
1:00 pm
Tue August 30, 2011

Sockeye salmon in Canada to be tested for radiation from Japan

Sockeye preparing to spawn.
Chris Pike Flickr

Sockeye salmon returning to Canada this year will be tested by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for radiation contamination that might be picked up in the North Pacific from Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster.

However, Washington state officials have no plans to test salmon specifically for radiation related to the Japanese disaster because earlier environmental testing showed so few signs of radiation that current levels in fish, if any, would be "undetectable," a spokesperson for the Department of Health said.

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Wild animal care
11:00 am
Tue August 30, 2011

Update with photos: 9 orphaned owls returned to wild

The released barn owls photographed at the Northwest Raptor and Wildlife Center in Sequim.
Melissa Randazzo Courtesy of the Northwest Raptor and Wildlife Center

SEQUIM, Wash. — Nine orphaned barn owl owlets that were raised with the help of a couple of surrogate mother barn owls have flown the nest at the Northwest Raptor and Wildlife Center in Sequim.

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Grizzly bears
4:25 pm
Mon August 29, 2011

Grizzly bear case inspires politicos to take shots at federal regs

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service file photo of a grizzly bear.

More details are coming out about the north Idaho man accused of killing a grizzly bear on his property. That's spurring Idaho politicians to take aim at the federal government and the environmental regulations the man is accused of violating.

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Grizzly bears
4:17 pm
Mon August 29, 2011

More people plus more bears equals more bear attacks

This U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service file photo shows a grizzly bear in a field at Yellowstone National Park.

Wildlife experts say bear attacks are rising – but then, so is the number of people in bear country. Yellowstone National Park officials confirmed that a grizzly bear killed a hiker from Michigan. That's the second grizzly-caused death in the park this summer.

According to the Montana-based Center for Wildlife Information, run-ins with grizzly and black bears have increased in the last 20 years in North America. To some degree, that's expected. Bear populations have dramatically increased, and more people live and recreate in bear habitat now.

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Environment
2:33 pm
Mon August 29, 2011

New photos and video of clouded leopard cubs at 2 months

Point Defiance Zoo has released new photos and video of its clouded leopard cubs.
Seth Bynum Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Now a little over two months after their birth, Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium's two clouded leopard cubs, named Taji and Sumalee, are more active than ever, if the new photos released are anything to go by. (More photos inside.)

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
2:08 pm
Mon August 29, 2011

Hastings pushes bill to preserve Hanford reactor

Hanford's "B Reactor can be seen between the water towers on the right side of this World War II photo.
Courtesy of the Department of Energy.

RICHLAND, Wash. — U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings says he is pursuing legislation to recognize the world's first full-scale nuclear reactor as a national historic park.

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Environment
5:09 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

Grizzly bear killing in Idaho gets political

Idaho politicians are questioning the federal government's decision to press charges against a man for killing a grizzly bear near his house. Governor Butch Otter sent a letter to the Department of the Interior asking Secretary Ken Salazar to look into the north Idaho case. Senator Mike Crapo is also pushing for answers from the Interior Department.

Thirty-three-year-old Jeremy Hill faces up to a year in prison and a $50,000 fine for killing a grizzly bear. The grizzly is a threatened species.

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Environment
5:06 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

Battelle researchers study efficient carbon capture

RICHLAND, Wash. – Researchers recently received a grant to develop a better process to capture carbon dioxide that could save more than half of what coal-fired power plants now spend on the technology.

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Environment
4:37 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

Portland's underwater cleanup clay used in other states

An oil-loving clay used to sop up creosote in the Portland Harbor has been so successful that it will be applied to a much larger project this fall on the Grand Calumet River in Gary, Indiana.

University of Texas Professor Danny Reible worked on the Willamette River cleanup site. Thousands of tons of a specially-formulated clay were used to cap the sediment.

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mustard agent
4:24 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

Depot burning chemical weapons at quicker pace

The Umatilla Chemical Depot.
Sam Beebe Flickr

The U.S. Army says its contractors have quickened the pace of weapons incineration at the Umatilla Chemical Depot. Fewer than 400 ton-sized containers of deadly liquid mustard agent remain at the northeast Oregon site.

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