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Watch "Blackfish" On CNN at 8 PM Tonight: A New Documentary On the Plight of Orcas at SeaWorld

"They're an animal that possesses great spiritual and emotional power. They are not to be messed with."

No wild orca has been known to kill a human. Yet at places like SeaWorld, where orcas are held in captivity in extreme conditions, human deaths are increasingly frequent.

Blackfish—a new documentary that premiers on CNN starting October 24—delves into the subject of orca captivity and its psychological effect upon orca whales.

Captive-orca

Columbia River Treaty Hearings Scheduled in Olympia and Portland This Week: Speak Up for Salmon!

This week the U.S. and BPA will hold a "Round Table" on proposals for modernizing the Columbia River Treaty with Canada. Groups opposed to the draft's proposed adoption of ecosystem management, protection of wild salmon runs, and adoption of clean energy will likely turn out in force. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to turn the Columbia River Treaty into a powerful tool for promoting salmon recovery and combating the effects of climate change. Make your voice heard! The hearings will take place at the following locations and times:
  • Olympia WA Tuesday, Oct. 15, 1 – 3 p.m.: The Olympia Center: 222 Columbia Street NW (Website) Parking is available: Visit the front desk to get a free parking pass.
  • Portland OR Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2:30 – 5 p.m.: BPA Rates Hearing Room 1201 N.E. Lloyd Blvd., 2nd floor You can also call into the Portland hearing remotely via Microsoft Office Live Meeting. Get detailed information on how to call into the Portland hearing on the Columbia River Treaty.
  • Can't attend a hearing? You can still submit your comments online until October 25 at: www.bpa.gov/comment , or mail your comments to: CRT Review (DKE) P.O. Box 14428, Portland, OR 97293.

December 6: Meeting On the Governor's Climate Legislative and Executive Workgroup (CLEW) (Olympia)

Friday, December 6th, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm, Dec 6th 2013

Important: This is not a hearing. The purpose of the meeting is to review and discuss the status of additional information requests; hear proposals from CLEW members on program of actions and policies; review and provide input on the Workgroup report outline; and finalize details for the December 13th public hearing.

For the meeting agenda, click here.

Governor Inslee’s Climate Action bill created the Climate Legislative and Executive Workgroup (CLEW). CLEW set ambitious goals and now we need to get specific about how we'll reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

Speak Up for Green Transit: Attend a State Senate Transportation Hearing in Seattle

Monday, October 14th, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm, Oct 14th 2013

Hey Seattle! Got a gripe-- or a wish list-- for our state's mass transit system? You're in luck. Throughout the fall, Senate Transportation Committee co-chairs Sens. Curtis King, R-Yakima, and Tracey Eide, D-Federal Way will be holding public meetings to discuss the transportation budget.

This month brings many opportunities for Seattleites to participate in decisions made in Olympia. You can follow up on the transportation meeting by telling Governor Inslee how you want our state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the CLEW hearing at the Bell Harbor Conference Center on October 23. Opportunities to help shape public policy for decades don't come around often. So let's make the most of it.

Governor Inslee Needs Your Ideas for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Attend a CLEW Hearing

Governor Inslee’s Climate Action bill created the Climate Legislative and Executive Workgroup (CLEW). CLEW set ambitious goals and now we need to get specific about how we'll reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. You can help by submitting your ideas at a public hearing or sending them to the Workgroup by email.

  • December 6, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. | House Hearing Room A - State Capitol Campus Olympia

We are fortunate to have such a visionary governor. This is an exciting opportunity for us to support clean energy and help build an effective program for climate action for Washington. Give the workgroup your ideas for reducing greenhouse gases, and let them know that people across the state support strong climate action. Can’t make it to the hearing? You can still submit your suggestions to: climateworkgroup@ecy.wa.gov 

Updating the Columbia River Treaty: An Opportunity to Restore Ecosystems and Protect Wildlife

On Friday September 20, the United States released its draft recommendations for updating the Columbia River Treaty. Established 50 years ago, the treaty created a framework for establishing and maintaining hydroelectric dams in the Upper Columbia River basin. Now the treaty is being updated to reflect 21st century priorities. In a win for environmental groups, the draft recommends:

  • Restoring the Columbia River ecosystem
  • Improving flood management to mitigate damage to salmon habitat and promote healthy fish populations
  • Making adaptation and flexibility in the face of climate change a key priority
  • Partnering with Canada on a new program to improve fish passage so that salmon and other migrating fish can reach their traditional Canadian spawning grounds.

For the full text of the recommendations, visit: http://www.crt2014-2024review.gov

State Senate Transportation Hearings: Coming This Fall To a Location Near You

Throughout the fall, Senate Transportation Committee co-chairs Sens. Curtis King, R-Yakima, and Tracey Eide, D-Federal Way will be holding public meetings to discuss the transportation budget.

The dates and locations of the public meetings are:

  • Oct. 14 – Seattle 6-9 p.m. First Presbyterian Church, 1013 8th Avenue (between Madison & Spring Streets)
  • Oct. 15 – Bellingham 6-9 p.m. Port of Bellingham Cruise Terminal, 355 Harris Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225

Don't Miss the Sept. 17 Longview Coal Exports Hearing

Tuesday, September 17th, 1:00 pm - 8:00 pm, Sep 17th 2013

Foreign coal companies like Ambre Energy hope to make big profits by shipping coal to Asia, and bringing 16 loud and dangerous coal trains through our community every day. This plan would cut off emergency responders from the neighborhoods they serve and clog daily commute traffic for hours. You've sent messages, signed petitions, and written letters. Now is the time to stand up for our families and protect Longview. This is our best chance to tell state and local leaders that coal is wrong for our communities. RSVP now to attend the hearing on the proposed coal terminal at Longview, WA and protect your family and community from dangerous coal exports!

On Sept. 21, Draw the Line Against Keystone XL in Seattle. Say NO to Fossil Fuel Exports With Bill McKibben!

Saturday, September 21st, 11:00 am - 2:00 pm, Sep 21st 2013

The Northwest says NO! to Fossil Fuel Exports in conjunction with 350′s National Day of Action. Please like, join, and invite friends! Please bring BRIGHT RED FABRIC to Myrtle Edwards on Saturday (scarves, shirts, fabric 2 feet or more in length by 8 inches or more in width). We’ll be encouraging people to hold these up to show where they’re willing to do the work to help us all “Draw the Line”, and after the speakers are done, we’ll stand in a line for a group photo, between the tracks and the water, and ...hold up our red fabric- – drawing a clear red line together, and saying NO to fossil fuel exports. We’ll have some available for those who forget, but since we’re hoping for thousands, we need you to bring your own if at all possible.

Care for Nature and It Will Reward Our State

This Op Ed piece by Rep. Suzan DelBene in last Sunday's HeraldNet passionately argues that taking care of Washington State's environment is good for business, generates new jobs, and helps our economy. We could not agree more!

We are fortunate that Washington state's economy has a diverse array of strengths as we work to continue our recovery from the Great Recession.

We build the world's best airplanes. We design software that's changed the way we work and socialize. We grow some of the country's best fruits and vegetables, producing, in fact, 92 percent of the nation's red raspberries. But to keep our economy growing, we need to recognize all of our strengths and leverage them to our advantage.