Puget SoundCorps bill passes Senate, heads to Gov. Gregoire for signature

by Tim Flanagan on March 29, 2011

[Press release from Orca Network]

Join Orca Network, buy the City of Langley, viagra buy and Gary the Gray Whale for the 8th annual Welcome the Whales Day Festival & Parade
Saturday, illness April 23, 10 am – 5 pm
Langley, Whidbey Island, WA.

Orca Network and the Langley Chamber of Commerce are sponsoring the eighth annual Welcome the Whales Day in Langley, on beautiful Whidbey Island. This event honors and celebrates the spring arrival of resident gray whales to Whidbey Island with fun and educational activities, music, presentations, and a parade of species featuring the handsome 20 foot Gray Whale, Gary. Begin now to design your critter costume for the parade – or if you don’t have time to make a costume, come early in the day to create your costume before the parade.

The day begins with hands-on educational displays, costume-making, and kid’s activities at the Methodist Church Fellowship Hall (3rd and Anthes St.), beginning at 10 am. Staging for the "critter parade" begins at 1 pm in the parking lot at Cascade and 6th St. The parade begins at 1:30, down the hill on Cascade and First Streets, ending at the Langley Waterfront Park for music and celebration, a blessing by Windwalker Taibi, and hopefully viewing gray whales swimming nearby. We are hoping some Gray whales will join us for the day, so we can ring the "Whale Bell" installed in Langley’s waterfront park.

After the parade, learn more about our local gray whales during presentations at the Methodist Church from 3 – 5 pm. Orca Network will give an update on how the local Gray whales are doing, and will share photos and stories from their recent trips to San Ignacio Lagoon, Baja, where the Gray whales mate and have their calves, and where there are carefully controlled "friendly" whale encounters!

We are pleased to welcome Michael Bennett, Small Planet Adventures owner, for our afternoon presentation, bookreading, and book signing throughout the day. Over the past 20 years Michael has piloted boats for many National Geographic magazine and film expeditions. An ardent diver and skilled Captain, Michael teamed with world-renowned photographer Flip Nicklin in Patagonia, Panama, Brazil, Hawaii, Sri Lanka, Canada and Costa Rica to document whales, dolphins and other exotics. Prior to launching Small Planet, Michael was an Expedition Cruise Ship Captain, steering vessels through nearly every corner of the globe. He then went on to launch one of the first successful luxury yacht cruising companies. A fervent advocate for whales, Michael is past president of the Whale Watch Operators Association, and has helped develop the guidelines for responsible whale watching presently in use today. He was also one of the captains who drove Springer the orphaned Orca from the US back to her home in Canada. His enthusiasm and respect for the wonderful places and experiences on our planet is infectious, and he is happiest when he is sharing them.

Michael’s new book, "Devil Dolphins of Silver Lagoon and Other Stories" is a fun romp through his adventurous life. From the sailing whales of Patagonia to the neurotic attack dolphins of Brazil, a behind-the-scenes view of the making of many of Flip Nicklin’s National Geographic Magazine stories of the last few decades (and other assorted craziness). If you appreciate the beautiful photos of whales and dolphins that appear in your books and calenders, then you’ll appreciate these engaging, often hilarious, tales of what went into the making of some of them.

Welcome the Whales Day is part of Whidbey Island’s "Earth & Ocean Week", beginning with the Bayview Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 16 with special events such as an Earth and Ocean Art show at the Bayview Cash Store hub running all week. For more on Earth and Ocean Week, go to: www.visitlangley.com.

For more information, go to: orcanetwork.org/news/events.html and www.WhidbeyCamanoIslands.com or contact Orca Network at 360-678-3451 or info@orcanetwork.org; or the Langley Chamber of Commerce at 360-221-6765.

[Press release from Washington State Ferries]

It just got even easier to plan a ferry trip. Now riders can avoid the busiest times and skip long lines with a new tool that highlights the best times to catch a ferry.

Washington State Ferries (WSF) added color-coded sailing schedules to its website that pinpoint the least and most congested sailing times for drive-on passengers.

“We’re excited about this new tool, drugs
” said David Moseley, hospital assistant secretary for WSF. “Ideally, store
it will allow ferry customers to avoid long waits by choosing a sailing time that’s historically less congested.”

The schedules will be particularly beneficial for weekend and leisure travelers, who typically have more flexibility.

The Edmonds/Kingston route is very popular and busy on weekends, especially Friday nights and Saturday mornings, and the new schedule pinpoints the peak travel times.

www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/schedule/ScheduleDetailByRoute.aspx?route=ed-king

Currently, the schedules are available for all routes except the San Juan Islands, Tahlequah and Vashon Island. WSF expects to have them for all routes by this summer. The schedules were created based on ridership data from 2010.

The color-coded schedules are available on the right side of each route schedule page beneath a tab titled Best Travel Times. Sailing schedules are available at www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/schedule

DNR’s Ear to the Ground blog has this release:

The Washington Senate today passed a measure that will consolidate the administration of four Washington Conservation Corps programs into one, internist
creating the Puget SoundCorps composed of young adults and returning veterans. The measure, info
which was approved on a 39-9 vote, cialis earlier received the approval of the House of Representatives. It now goes to Gov. Chris Gregoire for her signature.

The bill, requested by Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, was sponsored by Sen. Kevin Ranker, San Juan Island; and Rep. Steve Tharinger, Olympia.

The Puget SoundCorps will put more young people to work and, by emphasizing restoration on public lands, leverage federal funding for Puget Sound’s recovery. Photo: DNR.

An editorial a few weeks ago in The Olympian explained how the proposal would help the state get even more value from its currentWashington Conservation Corps (WCC) program. SoundCorps members would work on projects such as beach cleanup, removing bulkheads that are damaging habitat, removing barriers to fish passage in streams, and helping to repair or remove forest roads that are polluting streams with sediment.

The Washington Conservation Corps is a state-run program that provides on-the-job training to 18-to-25 year olds. Its projects currently take place on both sides of the Cascades. They work on habitat restoration, environmental assessment, toxics cleanup and air and water quality, emergency response, among other programs. Members receive an hourly wage, and, after working for a year or a six-month term, they get federally funded awards to help pay for college.

The Puget SoundCorps proposal could be a big boost to the effort to restore the Sound to health by 2020 and to job creation for young people and veterans – all the while using federal, not state dollars.

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