"What do you mean the bridge is closed?"

by Tim Flanagan on May 23, 2009

Cheryl Chan seems to have gotten the story right, phlebologist and the article wasn’t sabotaged by sloppy headline writers.

The Pacific Northwest’s inland waters could soon be christened the Salish Sea if a proposal by a Washington state marine biologist pulls through.

On Monday, tooth the Washington State Board of Geographic Names decided to consider the new name, bronchitis which would cover the Strait of Georgia, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound near Seattle.

“My argument is that the Salish Sea is an ecosystem — an integrated ecological entity — and when you’re studying or working on something it needs to have a name,” said Bert Webber, a retired professor of marine science at the University of Western Washington.

Webber has also filed an application with the B.C. Geographic Names Office.

“The general understanding is unless it’s acceptable to both B.C. and Washington it’s an idea that should not go forward,” he said.

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[Thanks to gCaptain for the tip —Tim]

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

Americans have long looked to the sea as a source of security and prosperity. Bounded by two oceans and the Gulf of Mexico, unhealthy and criss-crossed by a myriad of inland waterways, page
America’s destiny as a maritime nation was a story foretold.

The Merchant Marine took up arms alongside the Continental Navy to help defeat the British Navy during the American Revolution. Since then, misbirth
they have served bravely as the United States has faced threats ranging from war to piracy, and our seafaring fleet has proven instrumental in protecting our safety. In times of conflict and crisis, the Armed Forces rely on the Merchant Marine’s sealift capability to transport critical equipment and supplies. Time and again, mariners have demonstrated their willingness and ability to meet daunting challenges.

Waterways have also enabled much of the commerce that has expanded America’s economy. Domestic and international commerce occurred along rivers and coasts even before our Nation’s birth. Great cities have sprouted near waterways, and maritime activity remains crucial to our economy today.

The men and women of the U.S. Merchant Marine and the many other workers who have supported the maritime industry have made significant contributions to our leadership in the global marketplace, and to our security.

On this National Maritime Day, we also mark the opening of a permanent exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution, “On the Water.” It demonstrates the importance of the maritime industry and chronicles our history as a maritime nation.

The Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 20, 1933, has designated May 22 of each year as “National Maritime Day” and has authorized and requested the President to issue annually a proclamation calling for its appropriate observance.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 22, 2009, as National Maritime Day. I call upon the people of the United States to mark this observance by honoring the service of merchant mariners and by displaying the flag of the United States at their homes and in their communities. I also request that all ships sailing under the American flag dress ship on that day.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
twentieth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.

BARACK OBAMA

This post by Jamie Swift over on the Hood Canal Bridge Blog is absolutely priceless:

Memorial Day weekend brings a wave of people to the Olympic Peninsula. People who visit just once a year, women’s health
or just once, period. People who for 364 days a year have no need to know the Hood Canal Bridge is closed.

We met many of those people today.

My assignment this morning was to stand at the corner of SR 3 and SR 104 and be the bearer of bad news for motorists who approached without any idea the bridge is closed.

Doesn’t sound too challenging, but the task ended up testing the limits of my skill-set. As a public relations professional, I’m comfortable talking to people – and taking verbal abuse from frustrated commuters is just part of my job.

However, as car after car hesitated on the high-speed highway, or pulled past the orange barrels positioned to keep cars off the bridge, I knew my job today was not to be a smiling ambassador for the state of Washington. I had to communicate quickly, give directions as succinctly as possible, and then sternly send people on their way. If I didn’t, the cars would back up on to the highway and create a dangerous situation for everyone.

I learned today how stressful controlling traffic can be. At one point there were seven or eight cars, all parked and pointed the wrong way on a section of pavement big enough for about 12 cars. I found myself doing more yelling than talking as I directed the vehicles away from the bridge: STOP, NO, GO BACK, WATCH OUT, HANG ON ONE SECOND, WRONG WAY, KEEP MOVING, YOU CAN’T STOP THERE.

Even in such a high-stress situation, I did a lot of smiling and met a lot of nice people – and no shortage of frustrated people. I heard the standard four-letter words from several people upon telling them they have to drive around the canal.

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