Public Health impacts stable as the smoke invasion enters its 2nd week

By Bruce A. Smith

As our smoke-filled skies broached its second week, local health experts report that they haven’t seen any increase in respiratory distress.

Fortunately, we haven’t seen a uptick in 911 calls for breathing problems,” South Pierce Fire and Rescue Chief Lloyd Galey told the Mountain News on Monday, August 7.

Chief Galey’s observations were buttressed by the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department’s smoke expert Judy Olson:

The good news is that we haven’t seen any change in the number of Emergency Department visits,” she told the Mountain News on Monday. “But we will be looking at cardio-vascular issues in the upcoming days and week because there are often delays between exposure and a hospital visit for those patients.”

Official concerns exist across agencies.

Everyone is concerned about the health impacts of the smoke,” affirmed Camille Saint-Onge, Communications Director for the Department of Ecology, who forecasted unhealthy air through Wednesday for western Washington.

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Smoke continues to choke Washington even as temperatures drop a few degrees

By Bruce A. Smith

Day 6 – August 6, 2017.

Smoke from regional forest fires continues to plague Washington residents, especially in the Puget Sound Basin. Air quality has improved somewhat since Thursday, August 3, the nadir of air quality, but we still have gray-brown skies throughout much of our area.

Over twenty major conflagrations are raging in British Columbia, and northern winds are pushing smoke from those blazes into our skies. We also have smoke coming from fires in Chelan and the Okanogan in Washington, along with smaller fires located on both sides of the Cascades.

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Posted in Environment, Health, Politics, Weather | 9 Comments

Smoke fills our skies as the heat scorches everything else

Bruce A. Smith

Heavy clouds of smoke descended upon the Eatonville area on Tuesday, August 1, accompanying a severe heat wave. Temperatures have been in the 90s throughout the week, but more distressingly the heavy, gritty smoke has walloped many people, such as asthma suffers and cardiac patients, as air quality plummets and breathing becomes problematic.

The Washington State Department of Ecology (WA-DOE) announced Thursday afternoon that air quality in the Puget Sound region had reached “very unhealthy” levels.

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Posted in Environment, Health, Nature, Politics, Weather | 4 Comments

Exercise classes for seniors to start in Graham

Special to the Mountain News-WA , from the GKCC.

The Graham – Kapowsin Community Council (G-KCC) is excited to announce that the long- awaited Golden Age exercise classes will begin on Thursday, June 8th!

There will be six (6) classes this summer. The dates are: June 8 and 22, July 6 and 20, August 10 and 24. All classes will be held on Thursdays starting @ 10:15 a.m. at the Graham Public Library, located at 9202 224th St. E. Graham. Continue reading

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Untidy Beaches – An update on the medical waste wash-ups along New York and New Jersey beaches

By Bruce A. Smith

An Insider’s Story of the Medical Waste Wash-Ups in New York during the Summer of 1988 and Current Update

In the summer of 1988, the beaches of New York and New Jersey were hit with wash-ups of syringes and slimy medical wastes, including bloody bandages. The gunk, particularly the syringes, still comes ashore, but no one knows about it because the media doesn’t report it, and the beach managers and politicians keep it a secret. But I’ll tell you what I know, and what I think is occurring.

In 1988, I was the owner and founder of Sandsifter Beachcleaning Company, the biggest commercial beachcleaning service in the metropolitan New York area. My clients were many of the small and mid-sized beaches of Long Island and the Jersey Shore. I was also the area representative for Cherrington Beachcleaner, the manufacturer of the machines I used to sift the sands. Through my efforts to sell and service these machines I became acquainted with most of the mangers of the major beaches in the area.

The ’88 wash-ups radicalized me to become an environmental activist, and it was also my first experience with governmental cover-up and media complicity. Continue reading

Posted in Back East, Environment, Nature, Politics, True Stories for Fake Times | 2 Comments

Nisqually Land Trust expands river protection in Yelm

Special to the Mountain News, from the Nisqually Land Trust:

May 23, 2017 Susan Callender

The Land Trust recently added two more highly prized properties to its acquisitions along the Whitewater Reach of the Nisqually River, near Yelm, which is rated the highest priority for protection in both the Nisqually Chinook Salmon Recovery Plan and the Nisqually Steelhead Recovery Plan.

The properties total twenty acres and just over one-third mile of shoreline, and they provide spawning and rearing habitat for all five Pacific salmonid species native to the Nisqually Watershed, including Chinook, coho, chum, and pink salmon and steelhead trout. Both Chinook and steelhead are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

In addition, the purchase of one of the properties completes the goal of securing land for the potential extension of the Yelm-Tenino Trail all the way to, and possibly across, the Nisqually River. The property and one purchased in 2016 bookend railroad tracks, owned by the city of Yelm, that cross the river and run to Roy, in Pierce County. The track and its trestle could be converted to a pedestrian and bike crossing, which would be the first on the Nisqually River.

“It’s a bold vision,” said Land Trust Outreach Coordinator Cris Peck, who will work with Yelm on planning for the potential project, “but it’s an inspiring one. The Yelm-Tenino Trail already connects with the Chehalis Western-Woodard Bay Trail in Thurston County. If we can extend it across the river to Roy, and connect the Thurston County network with the planned Pierce County trail network, we’ll have a regional jewel.”

The two new property acquisitions, and a third completed in 2016 are part of a combined project funded by Thurston County Conservation Futures and the Washington Salmon Recovery Funding Board. Total cost for the three properties was $490,000.

The two new properties are undeveloped, with largely intact shoreline, forest, and wetland habitat. “Acquiring high-quality habitat while it’s still healthy – before it has to be restored – is unquestionably the most cost-efficient strategy for salmon recovery,” said Land Trust Executive Director Joe Kane.

All three properties will be managed as part of the Land Trust’s Yelm Shoreline Protected Area, expanding it to 227 acres and 2.79 shoreline miles.

Nisqually LT, Yelm properties, 5. 30. 17

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On Becoming a Presidential Candidate

From a new series: What I would do if I were President

By Bruce A. Smith

After attending a retreat at Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment (RSE) in April 2003, I became very ill for several months with recurring fevers and sweats, bronchial congestion, and unrelenting fatigue. Except for lots of Twilight meditation in bed, I was unable to do any of my normal meditative disciplines, such as a morning power-breath exercise called “C&E.” Rather than focusing on mind-over-matter issues like healing myself, I played endless rounds of solitaire while listening to jazz on the radio, and eating gallons of Breyer’s peach ice cream. Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Resistance and Justice, What I would do as PresIdent | 3 Comments