Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Letter to ECY on Whatcom Waterway Cleanup...

04.28.2011: As an update to this post, here is the location of the official evacuation procedure for Bellingham in the event of a tsunami.

Far below is the e-mail I sent to Lucille T. McInerney  of WA State's Department of Ecology on the Whatcom Waterway Cleanup. We have until April 27 (tomorrow) to submit comment on Whatcom Waterfront environmental remediation. Although ECY probably can't be said to be directly responsible for Earthquake/Tsunami protection, any work they do will probably be for naught should the predicted 9.0Mw Cascadia Subduction Zone event happen in our lifetimes.  What I think most people do not realize is that the logarithmic Richter scale for Earthquakes makes a 9.0M about 100 times stronger than a 7.0M.  But that really doesn't speak to the difference in energy between two such events. Here's how the current Wikipedia article looks at this issue as they convert some historical known earthquakes into equivalent tons of TNT:

476 kilotons Haiti Earthquake 7.0Mw
476 megatons Sendai Earthquake 9.0Mw
or 476,000 tons of TNT vs 476,000,000 tons TNT 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Coal Trains in Bellingham Part III

Tim Johnson covers coal export plans for Whatcom County in this weeks Cascadia Weekly. It is worth the time to pick up a copy downtown.The print issue contains numerous, lengthly comments from concerned citizens in the letters to the editor and a notice of two upcoming meetings:

I can't help but point out the irony/tragedy of possibly running 43 million metric tons/year of coal through the South Fork Valley.  The closest thing Whatcom County now has to a "start-up community" of entrepreneurs are all those young families farming the rich earth of Whatcom County's South Fork Valley. Now that they are established  feeding healthy, organic local produce to residents of the Northwest, of course we are going to run coal right through their farming. Yep, we really support small business here in the Northwest... By the way, if you don't think coal is dirty and dangerous, just plug the phrase "coal ash" into Google... Or read this article...

Friday, April 15, 2011

A poster child for overbuilding and lack of middle class jobs

The Fourth Corner is a poster child for overbuilding and lack of middle class jobs. With an aging population, Whatcom County's housing market is traveling in one direction only. Down. I posted a bitmap of the Realty Trac's foreclosure stats.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Magdalena's Creperie

09/26/2011 Update:
I ordered the 'Chef's Special' crepe sometime last week: Incredible folded triangle with wholesome, delicious, filling ingredients and pot of french press!  I hope this restaurant continues to do well and make it. If  we were flush, I would be a regular.

Magdalena Thiesen (and friends I think) have run for quite some months now, an excellent Polish restaurant in the Fairhaven district of Bellingham, WA.  Magdalena apparently hails from Lubin, Poland and has brought her knowledge of her country's cuisine with her. The exterior of Magdalena's Creperie is almost non-descript, which provides a convenient reason for me to apologize for not sampling Magdalena's heart-warming and wholesome faire much earlier.

The interior of Magdalena's Creperie somehow reminds me of a home. Not a dirty, dusty home, but a tall grand home with high ceilings and a warming tile floor and friendly people in the kitchen. (The service, by the way, was extraordinarily friendly without being ostentatious.)  I selected today, from the many menu choices, a cup of borscht soup and a 1/2 salmon sandwich, both of which were very wholesome, delicious and heart-warming.  The borscht soup, a pink-red mixture seemingly made of  beets, cream, cabbage, potatoes, and beet tops, tasted just like heaven. Not salty or too spicy. Not harsh in any way. Simply very wholesome and filling, as if I was eating something produced by my Swiss-Italian great grandmother; grown from her garden.  This I followed with a salmon sandwich with greens which was equally wholesome and refreshing. Once again, flavorful without being overly spicy, wholesome without being too hearty, filling without being overly-rich.

By the time, I had finished the soup and the sandwich (reasonably priced at $9.00 together), I just had to ask about dessert. I selected a type of  "Polish Pastry" (whose name I could not pronounce correctly) that seemingly consisted of a graham cracker like crust, a berried fruit filing, and a buttery, but crunchy topping.  It was a served with  a pot of french-pressed coffee that was brewed to perfection.  The pastry was as wholesome and as comforting as the soup and sandwich.  By the time, I had finished most of it, I was thoroughly on my way to a very happy afternoon. For some reason, Christmas carols rang through my mind as I exited Magdalena`s!  What a nice lunch!  I love it when I walk out of restaurant feeling better than when I entered. Magdalena's Creperie, which is now open 7:30 - 4:00 PM seven days of the week, is a find.  Next time, I am going to show up at breakfast for a crepe...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Radiation Monitoring Part III

100 Sieverts/HR in Fukushima No. 1 after April 8 7.1M aftershock. 
Fukushima is still today, a month after the Tsunami hit Japan, a bleeding scab of radiation on the face of the Earth. Millions of gallons of radioactive water have already been released into the sea, Readings as high as 1000s of micro Sieverts/Hour are routinely being reported by Tepco, and  picocuries of  radiation are showing up in the air, water, and  milk of the world.  60,000 tons of radioactive water still needs to be dumped into the Ocean. Two Japanese journalists took a makeshift tour of the evacuated zone with their Geiger counters. This is twelve minutes long: