Recently in Local Events Category

No farm this week

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Plans change.

Got invited to a party in Mt. Vernon (15 miles to the North) tomorrow night. This should be a lot of fun.

The CAA is having a private soirée on Friday (a Patron's party) and a public arts sale on Saturday so hanging out down here for those two events.

Leque Island

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I had visited there last Thursday and posted about its reversion from 250 acres of agricultural land back into the original salt-marsh. Here are two photos from that day. It was overcast so the images are not that photogenic. I keep track of extreme tides (which these were) and will take some more photos when I get better light.

Low tide:

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And High Tide:

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Quite the difference. Every time I drive over the bridge, there are more and more birds. It will be interesting to see what it is like in about a year when the ecology stabilizes. I was very much into salt marshes when living in Boston and majoring in marine biology. Fascinating systems - so much going on. So many interlinked cycles.

Leque Island

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What was once a salt marsh was diked and turned into 250 acres of agricultural land for 140 years. A group of people purchased the land and have removed the dikes turning it into what will become a salt marsh again. This is on the main road coming west out of Stanwood and heading on to Camano Island. From the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife:

Estuary restoration at Leque Island
It’s not something you see every day — tidal water rushing onto dry land for the first time in 140 years, the pressure of it finally pushing over the flimsy bridge of earth separating salt water from the fresh water inside.

Leque Island, in the city of Stanwood, was returned to the estuary on Monday evening, Oct. 14, 2019. This was the third dike breach I’ve experienced. The first was in 2016 at Fir Island Farm in Skagit County, three months after I started working at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). The second was in 2018, Snohomish County’s Smith Island project. Massive in scale, many years in the making, such a great accomplishment, and an honor to be there to watch it.

And here is a 1:28 annotated drone video (no sound) of the area in question (flying south to north):

It is fascinating to drive over the bridge and see the changes happening on a daily basis. This will be a major gain for the juvenile Chinook salmon as they transition from fresh to salt water, as well as shorebirds, waterfowl, and a host of other species in the area. Because Puget Sound's southern resident killer whales rely upon Chinook salmon for food, the project is also closely aligned with orca recovery efforts.

Corn maze

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A popular thing up here is a corn maze - a field of corn with a maze cut into it. I love this sign:

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A fun afternoon

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The Pumpkin fest was small but a lot of fun - four pictures:

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I would guess maybe 150 people in attendance. It was their third year running this and Sunday is an off day for public events on the island. Most things are on Saturday and yesterday was crappy weather for the first part of the day.

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Recognized this - some friends of mine have quite the collection of military vehicles. Five-ton towing a commissary trailer.

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Some good music - a local blues band

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The obligatory pumpkin carving. Really good work.

All in all, a fun couple of hours. Looking forward to this growing over the next year or so. The trebuchet was a bit of a bust - small arm and not that much distance.

Never got to the minnestrone

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Went to the Farmer's Market, had a nice conversation with some of the people. Really good music this time - their music varies in style and quality but it is a lot of fun. Last market of the season for this location. The Friday market still has two more sessions to run. Not as many vendors but a lot of customers - the people who have my favorite farm were pretty much sold out after one hour. They are doing the last farm supper next Saturday so staying down here for that.

Meeting tomorrow. This is the group that voted me Vice President (boy are they in for a surprise). There is an issue that the board voted on two weeks ago that is contentious to a few parties and they are raising a stink. Fortunately, the bylaws provide for a general quorum vote to decide and I think it will go in our favor. This association has been in operation for a long time - 20th anniversary in fact and from what I gather, people let things slide from time to time. The President and I are looking at putting an end to this. If it is not covered in the bylaws, either amend the bylaws or don't do it.

Finished with the market and decided I wanted Chinese food so went out for that. The beans will keep until tomorrow.

A Seattle landmark - Macy's

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From The Seattle Times:

Macy’s is closing its landmark downtown Seattle store in February
Macy’s landmark store at Third Avenue and Pine Street in downtown Seattle will close in February of next year, the company confirmed Saturday, ending a long history of retail and holiday tradition as its online rival Amazon has continued to grow under its own roof.

The announcement of the store’s upcoming closure came one day after employees were told of the decision by the longtime retailer, which took over the block-long building at 300 Pine Street from The Bon Marché in 2003. The closure ends a 90-year run of retail in that space.

“After careful consideration, Macy’s, Inc. has decided to sell the Downtown Seattle Macy’s building,” Blair Rosenberg, Macy’s director of corporate communications, said in a statement. Rosenberg’s statement did not detail the reasons behind the decision to sell.

Buried in paragraphs 13-15 is one possible reason:

Said Laura Heydrich: “My first thought is, is it closing for the same reason Bartell’s is closing?” she asked. “The crime?”

Last week, the locally owned drugstore chain announced it was closing its Third Avenue and Union Street location early next year because of the neighborhood’s crime rates and the city’s regulations on businesses.

“I come in (to Macy’s) when I get prompted, like when there’s a gift with purchasing makeup,” Laura Heydrich said. “The homeless people outside deter you from coming in. I feel safer at home (shopping online).”

Seattle's last Republican mayor left office in 1969. Used to be a wonderful city as cities go.

Apple festival

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Cider and apple donuts. Mmmmmmm... Got my sugar fix for the next month or so but really tasty.

A few photos:

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A sampling of the varieties they are growing - about 80 in all, some of the trees did not fruit this year as many of the plantings are only 2-3 years old. Lots of heirloom varietals - these are often much more delicious but to not respond well to cold storage or mechanical harvesting so they are not available for sale in stores.

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These apples (and pears) have been sweated - picked and then stored for a week or two until they get just a little mushy. This is a standard procedure and makes them yield a lot more cider.

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Making cider - William on the left is feeding cut apple pieces into the grinder. The pommace falls into a bag in the press basket and is then slid to the right. I forget the guy's name on the right but he is turning the screw to apply pressure and squeeze out the cider. The people in back are cutting the whole apples and pears into quarters so they grind more efficiently. The spent pommace in the wheelbarrow to the far right will be fed to their chickens, goats and alpacas.

They did a big pot of chili and one of the farm crew is an incredible baker - she did a bunch of doughnuts as well as pies and various other treats. Really good people there. I talked to their leader and he is definitely interested in my own commercial cider equipment as well as a bunch of my culinary bits and bobs - downsizing and it will be nice for these things to find a good home.

From local television station KIRO:

Bartell Drugs closing downtown Seattle location over crime concerns
Local drugstore chain Bartell Drugs says it’s closing a downtown location over crime concerns.

In March, surveillance video obtained by KIRO 7 showed a group of people who wandered in from the street, knocking items over and harassing employees inside the 3rd and Union location.

On Friday, Bartell Drugs confirmed the location will shut down before the lease ends. 

Bartell Drugs' CEO Kathi Lentzsch told KIRO 7 the cost of stolen items is too high. 

Lentzsch previously told KIRO 7 Barell Drugs would not be opening any new stores in downtown Seattle due to the crime. 

“It’s a concern. I think we’re sweeping it under the rug. The city council, the mayor, the state, the judicial system, the community -- we all have to come together to figure this out,” Lentzsch said. 

KIRO has done a couple other stories about the shithole that is downtown Seattle:

Used to be a really nice city - lived there for many years.

Looking forward to this - the 3rd Annual Historic Sites Tour. Lots of events scheduled and this area is ripe with historical sites.

Farm dinner tonight

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Yummy as always - here was the menu:

  • Hot and spiced Apple and Pear Cider
  • Roasted Tomato Soup with heirloom tomatoes and herbs
  • Farmhouse sourdough bread grilled with cheese and Zabergou apples
  • Mixed greens with Asian pears and hazelnuts
  • Rosemary Focaccia with lemon sorrel pesto, oven roasted garlic and herb infused olive oil
  • Roasted garden vegetables - squash, scarlet runner beans, purple peacock beans, tomatoes, carrots, golden cauliflower and pearl onions
  • Corn on the cob (from a local farm)
  • Mashed potatoes with cashew gravy
  • Baked Pear Crisp with apple butter, walnut rosemary shortbread and goat milk marscapone.

Incredible food and delightful people. We are seated at tables of six or eight and the conversations are wide-ranging and very intellegent. A lot of professionals retired to the island and are fascinating to talk with.

The grains for the bread were not grown on the farm but nearly everything else was.

Good meeting tonight

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Island meetings tend to be really well run. This is a local CERT group and we are planning a live drill sometime in October so doing some preliminary planning. The training materials offered by FEMA just keep getting better and better.

I love that amateur radio is now welcomed by the fire, police and rescue forces. Because of the FEMA materials, we are trained using the same organization as they use so if we are the first people to an event, they can take over seamlessly and integrate us into their chain of command.

Ten years ago, it was: "thank you but we will take it from here". Now it is: "thank you; keep doing what you are doing, we will dispatch our officers to work with your various teams and take over from there. You radio guys keep handling the local traffic while we take over the state channels." We work together as a team. Some really great people.

Also interesting is the wide range of ages - one girl was a high school student, some people in their 30's and 40's and some older retired farts like me. Those that are prepared stand a much higher chance of survival. Not if. When.

Saturday's thunder and lightning

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Great time-lapse video from Greg Johnson of Skunk Bay weather:

Greg's site is on the other side of Whidbey Island from me in Hansville, WA about 40 miles South. An amazing all-around website for Puget Sound weather and maritime activities. I have it bookmarked in my weather folder. Great stuff.

Good meeting - local group

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Met with a potential new member of one of the groups. I am the Vice President of this group so was wearing my "official" hat. Good people.

Some shellfish issues

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Algae bloom - from the local newspaper:

Biotoxin closes shellfish harvest throughout Skagit County
Due to the growing presence of a marine biotoxin, shellfish harvest is closed throughout Skagit County.

Skagit County Public Health on Thursday announced a closure of all recreational shellfish harvest in the county due to potentially dangerous levels of the marine biotoxin that can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning found in shellfish samples taken from area beaches.

The biotoxin is produced by a type of algae found in marine water and that tends to bloom in the region during the summer.

A seasonal problem and not linked to any pollution or human causes.

Heh - do you know why I pulled you over?

Story at the local FOX affilliate - happened last week

Boeing 737 MAX

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Seems to be getting back on its feet. This video from Seattle's KING 5 News:

Putting their money CEO and Chief Engineers where their mouth is.

They have so many 737's waiting for retrofit that they are parking them on the employees parking lots:

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Well that changed quickly - burn ban

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Nice to see Island County being proactive - even though spring was wetter and cooler than normal, the weather seems to have turned the corner and they just issued a burn ban.

Cool - one of my favorite pieces

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Bach's Triple Concerto is being played on period instruments in a local venue a couple weeks from now.
From the Stanwood-Camano News:

Salish Sea Early Music Festival: Baroque instruments are featured through June 21 in concerts performed in the Fir-Conway Lutheran Church, 18101 Fir Island Road, Conway.

    • Bach’s Triple Concerto: Wednesday, May 22, Carrie Krause (baroque violin), Courtney Kuroda (baroque violin), Steven Crewell (baroque viola), Caroline Nicolas (baroque cello) and Jonathan Oddie (harpsichord) perform one of the greatest orchestral works of the 18th century in this program of concerti.

Acoustics are a wee bit muddy but the playing is spot on - simply gorgeous:

And it is open - Highway 20

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Great suite of photos from the WA State DOT - the highway closes every winter due to snowfall. Here is one with Mazama the mascot keeping watch at the pass:

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More here: SR 20 - North Cascades Highway A gorgeous drive and part of the 400 mile North Cascades Loop

Close to home - American Legion

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I go to the local American Legion Post every month for their roast beef dinners and I knew that this branch was old but I did not realize that it was one of the originals. From the Stanwood-Camano News:

American Legion Post turns 100
A group of American World War I Doughboys gathered in Paris the weekend of March 15-17, 1919, to discuss ways to serve their country on the home front. At those meetings, the American Legion was born, and it is celebrating its 100th anniversary this month, as is American Legion Post 92 in Stanwood.

About 1,000 officers and enlisted men of the American Expeditionary Force attended that first meeting in 1919, according to John Buckley, historian for Post 92.

“It is considered to be the first American Legion caucus,” he wrote in an article for the post.

Post 92 was named in memory of a local man who was killed Sept. 26, 1918, in France. Frank Hancock was the first war casualty of World War I from Stanwood.

Hancock was held in high esteem in the Stanwood area, and his death cast a pall over the entire community. His mother became the first Gold Star mother in the community.

Quite the history in this place. Love it!

Something up?

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I live about 20 miles from the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station. Last couple of days it has been nothing but jets flying overhead. Wonder if this is a training excercise or is something developing...

No better road

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Like it says, there is a GOOD RD and a BEST RD - no BETTER RD (and I checked Google Maps).

Utsalady is on the North end of Camano Island - the word is Native for "place for berries"

Crap - a third one

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There was another fatality on I-5. From The Bellingham Herald:

Pedestrian on I-5 struck and killed by semi driven by Deming man in Skagit County
A pedestrian on Interstate 5 was struck and killed by a semitruck driven by a 42-year-old Deming man in Skagit County north of Burlington Tuesday night.

According to the Washington State Patrol release on the incident, which occurred at approximately 7:16 p.m., the pedestrian was in the left lane of southbound I-5, just north of milepost 229.

There was one accident that I had to drive through on December 30th and another one about five days prior to that. I do hope that this was not suicide by truck - what a horrible thing for the driver to have to deal with for the rest of his life.

An interesting book - Toxic Pearl

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Saw this on Cliff Mass' website:

An Important New Book Describes How the WA Shellfish Industry is Poisoning our Shoreline Environment
In 1962, Rachel Carson wrote a book, Silent Spring, that documented the profound harm of the pesticide DDT on the natural world. This book led to the of banning of DDT and energized the U.S. environment movement.

During the past week, an important new book has been published, one that may well join the ranks of Silent Spring. The book, Toxic Pearl, describes the poisoning of Washington State's shorelines by a politically connected and highly irresponsible shellfish industry. Toxic Pearl documents the spraying of herbicides and pesticides over State shorelines from Puget Sound to Willapa Bay, the careless spread of plastic pollution, and the physical destruction of shorelines areas by a shellfish industry more concerned with profit than the environment.

A lot more at the site - this will be big.

Seattle of course

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From Todd Herman (station KTTH) writing at My Northwest:

Q13 FOX editor fired over doctored Trump address video
A Q13 editor was fired Thursday, after it was revealed that they had doctored a clip of President Trump’s Tuesday Oval Office address.

A listener to my program sent me a video that appears to show a deceptively edited video of President Trump’s speech from the Oval Office. We performed a side-by-side comparison of the video from our listener, apparently taken by a smart phone recording of Q13, to the raw video of Trump’s speech from CNN.

That comparison revealed the Q13 video creating a loop of the President licking his lips — making it seem bizarre and unbalanced — it also seems that someone distorted the President’s face and may have added an orange tone to his skin.

Less than a day after placing the editor responsible on leave pending an investigation, Q13 terminated his employment.

“We’ve completed our investigation into this incident and determined that the actions were the result of an individual editor whose employment has been terminated,” said Q13’s news director in a Thursday update.

Video at the site - that is not just orange, the guy put our President firmly into oompa-loompa territory.

Yesterday's accident

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Sad story from The Bellingham Herald:

Man fatally hit by 3 vehicles as he ran across Interstate 5
STANWOOD, WASH. A 35-year-old Snohomish County man was struck by three different vehicles as he ran across the southbound lanes of Interstate 5.

The Washington State Patrol said in a press release that Brian Cooper of Stanwood was struck by several vehicles when he ran across I-5 at about 6 p.m. Sunday.

It was not immediately know why he was in the road or if alcohol and/or drugs were involved.

What a horrible thing for the three drivers - this is something that will be in the forefront of their minds for the rest of their life.

Local news

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Now this is interesting - from the local newspaper. They run articles about the history of the area:

10 YEARS AGO (2008)
More than 30 inches of snow had a near-crippling effect on Stanwood and Camano Island; the temperature dipped to 7 degrees. Businesses and schools closed.

Glad that I have a couple weeks of food and firewood laid in. This has happened before and it will happen again.

Seattle's homeless problem - some numbers

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From the always excellent City Journal:

Seattle Under Siege
Seattle is under siege. Over the past five years, the Emerald City has seen an explosion of homelessness, crime, and addiction. In its 2017 point-in-time count of the homeless, King County social-services agency All Home found 11,643 people sleeping in tents, cars, and emergency shelters. Property crime has risen to a rate two and a half times higher than Los Angeles’s and four times higher than New York City’s. Cleanup crews pick up tens of thousands of dirty needles from city streets and parks every year.

At the same time, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal, the Seattle metro area spends more than $1 billion fighting homelessness every year. That’s nearly $100,000 for every homeless man, woman, and child in King County, yet the crisis seems only to have deepened, with more addiction, more crime, and more tent encampments in residential neighborhoods. By any measure, the city’s efforts are not working.

Over the past year, I’ve spent time at city council meetings, political rallies, homeless encampments, and rehabilitation facilities, trying to understand how the government can spend so much money with so little effect. While most of the debate has focused on tactical policy questions (Build more shelters? Open supervised injection sites?), the real battle isn’t being waged in the tents, under the bridges, or in the corridors of City Hall but in the realm of ideas, where, for now, four ideological power centers frame Seattle’s homelessness debate. I’ll identify them as the socialists, the compassion brigades, the homeless-industrial complex, and the addiction evangelists. Together, they have dominated the local policy discussion, diverted hundreds of millions of dollars toward favored projects, and converted many well-intentioned voters to the politics of unlimited compassion. If we want to break through the failed status quo on homelessness in places like Seattle—and in Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, too—we must first map the ideological battlefield, identify the flaws in our current policies, and rethink our assumptions.

A long read but an excellent one. He cites the homeless-industrial complex - that is where most of your taxpayer money is going:

With more than $1 billion spent on homelessness in Seattle every year, one should keep in mind Vladimir Lenin’s famous question: Who stands to gain? In the world of Seattle homelessness, the big “winners” are social-services providers like the Seattle Housing and Resource Effort (SHARE), the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI), and the Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC), which constitute what I call the city’s homeless-industrial complex. For the executive leadership of these organizations, homelessness is a lucrative business. In the most recent federal filings, the executive director of LIHI, Sharon Lee, earned $187,209 in annual compensation, putting her in the top 3 percent of income earners nationwide. In my estimation, the executive director of DESC, Daniel Malone, has received at least $2 million in total compensation during his extended career in the misery business.

Like I said, an excellent read.

Interesting conditions  - from the Stanwood Camano News:

Year's highest tides on the way
The highest tides of the year, called king tides, are forecast to hit area shorelines Monday.

King tides are extreme high tides that occur during the winter, when the moon is closest to Earth.

They present an opportunity to preview what the state’s shoreline areas may look like in the future as sea level rises, according to the King Tides Program coordinated by the state Department of Ecology and Washington Sea Grant, which is a research and education program out of the University of Washington.

And how much rise are we talking about?

Sea level is predicted to rise about 2 feet in Skagit County by 2100, according to a report released in July by the Washington Coastal Resilience Project.

NASA says that sea level is rising about 3.2 millimeters each year.
2100-2018=82
82*3.2mm=262.4mm
262.4mm = 10.33 inches  (Bull *cough* shit)

Set your calanders:

King tides are forecast for nine days: Monday through Wednesday, Dec. 25-27 and Jan. 23-25.

Each of those king tides is forecast to occur between 7 and 10 a.m.

We do live on an interesting planet...

Go Spartans!

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The high school students here are known as the Spartans. From the Stanwood Camano News:

Spartans claim state FFA tractor driving title
Three Spartans teamed up to win the state FFA tractor driving competition Thursday, Nov. 15, at the Columbia Basin Technical Skill Center in Moses Lake.

Chris Whisman, Shawn Moyer and Jordan Koster placed first out of 44 teams from around the state. Individually, Koster finished third, Whisman took sixth and Moyer took ninth. FFA Advisor Darryl Main was their coach.

Participants completed an exam that tests their knowledge of tractor safety and operation, navigated their vehicle and trailer through an obstacle course, and participated in a team activity that challenges their problem-solving skills.

Very cool. That is the one thing I will miss when I sell the farm this spring and move down here permanently. Buttercup the Tractor. It is impossible to feel down when driving a tractor. There is an old adage that you never see a Harley parked at a psychiatrist's office. You can say the same for a tractor. Puts a smile on my face...

Well crap - long range weather forecast

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Looks like another warmish winter with reduced snow. The economy in my old area is driven by camping, hiking and general tourism in the summer (our biggest season) and by skiing in the winter (our second biggest season). Looks like winter will not be as good as I was hoping. From Cliff Mass:

El Nino is Strengthening
We have known for a while that the tropical Pacific was transitioning from a neutral situation (near normal surface and subsurface temperatures in the tropical central/eastern Pacific) to an El Nino (above normal tropical ocean temperatures). But during the past month, the warming has revved up and we will be officially in an El Nino very soon.

And we care about this, because El Ninos tend to make it warmer than normal in the NW with less snow, with the effect stronger as the sea surface temperature warms.

He follows up with some current measurements and forecasts. Bummer...

And in other news - Artist Point

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Closed today due to snowfall. From the WA State Department of Transportation:

October snow closes the road to Artist Point
As the season of scarves, pumpkins and colored leaves flutters in, the sun has set on the summer adventure season at Artist Point.

Washington State Department of Transportation maintenance crews have closed the State Route 542/Mount Baker Highway seasonal gate to Artist Point to vehicle traffic due to snow and unsafe conditions. This year the highway was open for 130 days, the second longest season on record. In 2014 it was open for 115 days and in 2015 for 171 days. 

The good news is that this brings us that much closer to the opening of the Ski Season on Mt. Baker.

And Winter has arrived - snow

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From the National Weather Service:

Special Weather Statement
National Weather Service Seattle WA
215 PM PDT Fri Oct 26 2018

WAZ567-271245-
Cascades of Whatcom and Skagit Counties-
215 PM PDT Fri Oct 26 2018

...SNOW IS LIKELY FOR THE HIGHER ELEVATIONS OF WASHINGTON PASS IN
THE NORTH CASCADES LATE SATURDAY NIGHT INTO SUNDAY MORNING...

Six to ten inches of snow are likely for elevations above 5500
feet in the Cascades of Whatcom and Skagit Counties late Saturday
night into Sunday morning. This amount of snow, if it occurs, will
result in accumulations at higher elevations of Washington Pass.

Looks like that is it for Artist Point for the 2018 season (the Fall foliage is gorgeous) - this is the last of the "tourist drivers" for this time of year until Mt. Baker Ski Area opens up for the season. Been a great year but the store is now going to be very slow for a couple of months. Nice to see a lot of familiar faces as people start moving into the area for their winter jobs.

A bit of excitement in our local waters

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Yours? No. Mine. From CNN:

Authorities detonate mysterious mine floating in Puget Sound
It's a really unusual day when state authorities have to call the Navy's Explosive Ordnance Disposal team.

But when there's what looks like a mine floating in a bay not far from a marina, that's what you do.

While people on land were told to stay inside, the Coast Guard on Tuesday set up a safety zone and Navy divers went into Port Orchard Bay in Puget Sound in Washington to lasso the big, round, rusted object with metal prongs bobbing in the water.

"Upon initial inspection, the unidentified moored mine was found to have decades of marine growth," the Navy said.

The mine broke loose from its anchor, spokeswoman Sheila Murray said.

The crew towed the mine away for hours while authorities tried to keep residents and news helicopters circling the area away.

They asked residents to take shelter in their homes, keep their pets inside and avoid the beaches.

Just after 8 p.m. local time, the decades-old mine was detonated, sending water rushing up into the air.

It was safer to detonate the mine far from the shore, the Navy said.

The US Coast Guard had established a 1,500-yard safety zone around the unexploded ordnance, Coast Guard spokeswoman Ali Flockerzi said.

The object was discovered by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources.

This is from August 29th - just found out about it now.

What with Hurrican Florence poised to wipe out significant parts of the Carolinas, it is good to remember that disasters are not a matter of IF but a matter of WHEN

Our local newspaper has a nice write-up - from the Stanwood Camano News:

Disaster resilience depends on being ready; Camano group can help
When disaster happens, communities come together. Emergency management staff, first responders and other professionals are the framework of disaster response, but the coordinated actions of trained residents can save many more lives and reduce suffering.

This is particularly true in places that face the prospect of large-scale disasters, whether earthquakes, volcano eruptions, landslides, wild fires or floods, according to Sue Ryan, Camano Preparedness Group program director. Camano Island also faces the possibility of being cut off from the mainland for weeks, she said.

“When a major earthquake strikes in our area, the need for first responders will immediately far exceed available resources. When that happens, we will be our own first responders,” Ryan said. “This is why we encourage people to get trained and be involved. It could take days to weeks before real help could arrive.”

Some good points - I have been meeting with these people and they are really clear headed and have a great grasp of what is needed.

Air quality - not good

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Back from working at the condo - starting to get one rooom pulled together - three more plus the garage to go.

The air quality is really bad today - much worse than a week ago and much worse than last year. Here is what Seattle looks like from AIRNow (great website):

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Driving into the farm I was struck by just how flammable everything looked - the grass is brown and the air is very heavy. All that happens is that someone gets distracted for a moment or does something stupid and the whole valley goes up in flames. It has happened twice before in our known (white man, not native) history.

And this just came in this afternoon:

...RED FLAG WARNING NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM PDT THIS EVENING FOR
GUSTY WINDS AND LOW HUMIDITY FOR FIRE WEATHER ZONES 653 and
656...

* AFFECTED AREA...Fire Weather Zones 653 and 656. This is mainly
intended to cover locations near and northeast of Bellingham.

* WINDS...Northeast wind of 10 to 15 mph in exposed locations,
with gusts near 20 mph.

* RELATIVE HUMIDITY...20 to 30 percent, and temperatures in the
mid 80s to lower 90s.

* IMPACTS...A combination of wind, low relative humidity, and
warm temperatures can contribute to rapid rates of spread and
down-wind spotting on existing fires.

And of course, I am solidly in the middle of zone 656. Keeping fingers crossed.

National Night Out - two events

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Went to two of these - the first one was in the town of Stanwood and they had about 500 people show up to meet the Police, Fire and Aid crews and oogle the equipment.

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An overall view of the crowd but this is less than 25% of the people - the event was spread over a large area. Love the Dalmatian Bouncy Castle.

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A bomb robot

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Fun old Ford Galaxie 500 police interceptor.

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Here is the event that was held close to my house - about 30 people showed up. Among the exhibitors was our local Amateur Radio organization and the Camano Island preparedness group. I have been getting to know people in both groups so spent about an hour chatting with them. Good people.

The Ladies Aid was started in 1908 with the intent of serving the growing needs of Utsalady. The ladies’ goal was simple: they wanted to improve the quality of life for their children and the families of their community.

Back in the mists of time I spent a number of hours flying Cessna 150's and 172's when living in New England so flying has always been an interest of mine. There is an annual air show at the Arlington airport and went for a visit today. Turns out it was the 50th anniversary of the event so a lot of people and lots of fun aircraft to look at.

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The guy in the safety vest and straw hat built this little scooter - cute idea. The Dr. Strangelove reference is to Slim Picken's wild ride in the movie.

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There were a number of old aircraft lovingly restored. This gorgeous Lockheed Model12

Some new designs as well - this is from a German company and is a combination airplane and glider. The propellor stows in the nose cone when not in use and the engine is mounted behind the cockpit. 

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A lot of walking - the runway was 5,000 feet long and there were things to see all along the length. Both sides. Proably got about four miles in today - nice weather and a fun event. Probably about 800-1,000 people attending and maybe 300 airplanes, 100 vendor booths.

Wildfire season is upon us and with all the dry weather, it is forecast to be a bad one:

October 2019

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