Coal Ship Collisions Study Is Released

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Thu, Dec 18, 2014, 4:04 pm  //  John Servais

Possible anchorages for the over 1,000 foot monster coal ships. Up to 13 a day may anchor in some or all of these bays and coves.

Today the ship collision study for the proposed mega coal terminal at Cherry Point was released.  The Washington Department of Ecology has posted the study - the "Vessel Traffic and Risk Assessment Study" - as a pdf file.  It is on a special website that Ecology set up for this project and linked from their site. It is called:  http://www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov    It seems strange this is not on the Ecology site.  

There are others better equipped than I to explore this study. Hopefully we will have an article explaining this soon. For now, I want to make sure all know about the study and have access to it.  

There is one area of the report I can comment on - and which has been ignored by the coal port proponents. The study investigates where the enormous ships can anchor for one to several days while waiting their turn to be loaded with coal - and Bellingham Bay is listed as one of those possible anchorages. While the study says Bellingham Bay is not one of the preferred sites because of the hard bay bottom, the ships could be anchored by installing huge permanent ship mooring buoys in the bay floor. Padilla Bay and down toward Anacortes are also possibilities, as well as Port Angeles, inside Ediz Hook. How lovely. Wonder if anyone has told the good folks down there.

If the coal port goes in, we will have the pristine views across Bellingham and Padilla bays forever blotted with monstrous mega coal carrier ships. The study notes there should be capacity to anchor up to 13 large ships at a time between all the locations. These capesize coal ships are larger than nuclear aircraft carriers and we may well see up to five huge coal ships anchored in our beautiful Bellingham Bay most days of the year. The coal port facility will receive trainloads of coal every day and night of the year and ships must be available to make the loading continuous without a break, 24/7/365. Years ago I lived downwind of what was at the time the largest coal loading docks in the world and there were up to 10 ships waiting at any given time. So regardless of the theoretical predictions and claims, we citizens need to be aware that mooring buoys are always a possibility.

Another odd note is that the study authors requested ship information from the U.S. Coast Guard - information on what ships have anchored in our bays and coves over the past several decades. The odd thing is that the Coast Guard came up empty on much vital information such as ship sizes, ship types, etc.  Well, maybe the routine information is somewhere and the Coast Guard just can't find it. The CG provides minimal numbers.

I hope others more qualified than I am will read the sections of this report and inform us. If my concerns are misplaced, then correct me.  But I suspect it is potentially worse.  

With mooring buoys, Bellingham Bay could see up to 5 mega coal ships anchored most days. The study passes by this possibility, but it is real.

Mike Rostron  //  Thu, Dec 18, 2014, 7:38 pm

But of course all those nasty little sailboats doing so much damage to our view and environment had to go!

One looks out now on the bay and sees the occasional fishing boat, the Coast Guard and Border Patrol boats, but little else. The waters have been made safe for the “coal porters” it seems.


Coal Ship Collisions Study Is Released

Thu, Dec 18, 2014, 4:04 pm  //  John Servais

One part of the environmental study for the proposed Cherry Point mega coal terminal has been completed and released. It deals with ship collisions - they call it…

1 comments; last on Dec 18, 2014

Twas the Week Before Christmas…

Thu, Dec 18, 2014, 11:26 am  //  John Servais

Bellingham Public Works shows how tone deaf they can be to business concerns. They insisted on street work that takes away up to 80 parking spaces in Fairhaven…

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Johns Repair

Specializing in German vehicles...

Ship Breaks Loose at Port of Bellingham

Tue, Dec 09, 2014, 12:31 pm  //  John Servais

The Horizon Lines ship - the many year resident of the Port of Bellingham - broke loose this morning due to failure of some system. A few photos.

3 comments; last on Dec 10, 2014

Howard Harris Dies - More Testimonials Added

Wed, Nov 12, 2014, 12:51 pm  //  John Servais

Updated Nov 12. Howard Harris, the founder of the Bellingham silent peace vigil at the Federal Building in Bellingham, has died. He and Rosemary were leaders in our…

0 comments

A Veterans Day Note

Tue, Nov 11, 2014, 1:34 pm  //  John Servais

On this Veterans Day, a note about how vets need our government to step up - as has never been done. And a personal note on the power…

3 comments; last on Nov 13, 2014

Doug Ericksen’s Tax Lien

Tue, Nov 04, 2014, 11:28 am  //  John Servais

While smearing Seth Fleetwood over a common tax arrangement, we discover Doug Ericksen also has a benign tax lien - one he denied.

6 comments; last on Nov 11, 2014

Election Recommendations

Thu, Oct 30, 2014, 1:18 am  //  John Servais

A link to Riley's Political Junkie for excellent recommendations - and a few thoughts of my own.

1 comments; last on Oct 30, 2014

Bham Planning Director - Rick Sepler Chosen

Wed, Oct 08, 2014, 5:24 pm  //  John Servais

Three final candidates for Bellingham Planning Director spoke today at a cozy 'meet and greet' of government employees and developers.

6 comments; last on Oct 11, 2014

Samish Way Experience - Drug Dealing Dangers?

Wed, Sep 17, 2014, 9:26 am  //  John Servais

We post a disturbing report of a personal encounter along Samish Way, with the permission of John Stark, who experienced it.

2 comments; last on Sep 17, 2014

The Rule of Law - Bellingham Style

Mon, Aug 11, 2014, 10:31 pm  //  John Servais

Bellingham City Council abruptly changes zoning codes to force Planning Department plan on Sunnyland residents.

7 comments; last on Aug 14, 2014

Final Updated Election Results

Fri, Aug 08, 2014, 9:10 am  //  John Servais

Updated Wed evening. The Tuesday evening 8:20 pm Auditor report on the election is in.

5 comments; last on Aug 08, 2014

City Council Approves Resident’s Sunnyland Plan

Tue, Jul 22, 2014, 6:22 pm  //  John Servais

Sunnlyland residents win one - after a seven year effort. Planning Department failed them and all of us.

2 comments; last on Jul 23, 2014

Herald and Weekly Withhold the News

Wed, Jun 11, 2014, 10:39 am  //  John Servais

Wyoming Senators and coal honchos were in Whatcom County June 10 - to hold a news conference with select reporters.

7 comments; last on Jun 20, 2014

Dawn Sturwold Retiring End of Month

Tue, Jun 10, 2014, 10:20 am  //  John Servais

Bellingham Hearing Examiner, Dawn Sturwold, retires in three weeks. Successor selection is hidden from all of us.

3 comments; last on Jun 11, 2014

Riley scoops Herald - again

Fri, May 09, 2014, 9:02 am  //  John Servais

The Political Junkie for Whatcom County - that would be Riley Sweeney - has Overstreet not running for reelection in the 42nd.

1 comments; last on May 13, 2014

SweenyPolitics:  Fleetwood files against Ericksen

Wed, Apr 30, 2014, 7:20 am  //  John Servais

Riley posted this morning that Seth Fleetwood has decided to challenge Doug Ericksen for state senate in the 42nd District.

1 comments; last on Apr 30, 2014

Fukushima Radiation Found In Canada

Fri, Mar 14, 2014, 9:47 am  //  John Servais

Fukushima radiation has been found 20 miles from Whatcom County farmland along the Fraser River in British Columbia.

1 comments; last on Mar 17, 2014

Whatcom Watch Editor Resigns

Sun, Mar 02, 2014, 2:22 pm  //  John Servais

The editor of the Whatcom Watch, Richard Jehn, has resigned effective today. Chalk up a victory for Craig Cole and Pacific International Terminals.

8 comments; last on Mar 05, 2014

Relevant Documents to Libel Threat

Tue, Feb 25, 2014, 8:29 pm  //  John Servais

The full text of Craig Cole's threatening letter of libel against the Whatcom Watch. And the emptiness of the threat.

16 comments; last on Mar 20, 2014

Craig Cole Threatens Libel Suit

Wed, Feb 19, 2014, 4:48 pm  //  John Servais

Craig Cole, the local contact for the proposed Cherry Point coal port has threatened the Whatcom Watch with a libel lawsuit.

6 comments; last on Mar 20, 2014

Reid Boiler Works Burns Down

Sun, Feb 09, 2014, 9:13 am  //  John Servais

The old empty Reid Boiler Works industrial building in Fairhaven burned to the ground Saturday night.

0 comments

The Marijuana Bowl

Sun, Jan 19, 2014, 8:39 pm  //  John Servais

Super Bowl ... Weed Bowl ... This bud's for you ... Bong Bowl ... Marijuana Bowl ... whatever. It is on!

1 comments; last on Jan 20, 2014

Gary Jensen Not Running for State Senate

Mon, Dec 16, 2013, 12:30 pm  //  John Servais

Ferndale Mayor Gary Jensen has decided not to file for the 42nd state Senate seat currently held by Doug Ericksen.

5 comments; last on Dec 24, 2013

Video Exposes City Council Dysfunction on Waterfront Plan

Thu, Dec 05, 2013, 11:58 am  //  John Servais

The Political Junkie has posted a 3 minute video showing Bellingham City Council members explaining their idiocy for all of us to watch.

2 comments; last on Dec 06, 2013

Cascadia Weekly Blasts Waterfront Plan

Wed, Dec 04, 2013, 10:53 am  //  John Servais

Bellingham City Council and Port of Bellingham finalize the waterfront plan. In his weekly Gristle, Tim Johnson blasts the corrupt public process.

4 comments; last on Dec 05, 2013

Election Results - November 2013

Tue, Nov 05, 2013, 8:21 pm  //  John Servais

With lots of outside county money flowing in to our local races, this election is weird. But real - and we county residents have spoken.

11 comments; last on Nov 09, 2013

Boulevard Park Reopens

Sat, Oct 26, 2013, 7:36 pm  //  John Servais

Beach reconstruction is done at Boulevard Park on the Bellingham waterfront. Paths along shore are again open - and it looks good.

6 comments; last on Nov 01, 2013

Ken Bell and Renata for Port

Sun, Oct 20, 2013, 7:07 pm  //  John Servais

Ken Bell has my vote over Mike McAuley for port commissioner. And Renata Kowalczyk has it over Dan Robbins.

8 comments; last on Oct 30, 2013

Government is Good

Sat, Sep 28, 2013, 2:20 pm  //  John Servais

As the right wing radicals seek to shut down our national government this week, we need to push back with common sense.

8 comments; last on Oct 01, 2013

Syrian War Perspectives: Jon Stewart

Wed, Sep 04, 2013, 8:37 am  //  John Servais

An attempt at linking to one or more writers who can help us make sense of going to war with Syria. An alternative to Kerry-Obama.

0 comments

We Citizens Get a Say on War

Wed, Sep 04, 2013, 12:36 am  //  John Servais

Contacting Rick Larsen and Susan Delbene is actually a viable citizen exercise just now. Tell them to vote NO on bombing Syria.

1 comments; last on Sep 04, 2013

Riley Covers Anti Syria War Demo

Sat, Aug 31, 2013, 2:10 pm  //  John Servais

Saturday afternoon - and a rally is taking place in downtown Bellingham against bombing Syria. Riley Sweeny and his Political Junkie site cover it.

0 comments

To Obama:  No.  Do Not Bomb Syria

Fri, Aug 30, 2013, 11:08 am  //  John Servais

Gee, can we make it any clearer? Publisher opinion. So sad that we have to write this to Obama - who got our vote in 2008 because he…

4 comments; last on Aug 31, 2013

Privacy Story of Feds Stripping All

Wed, Aug 14, 2013, 11:24 am  //  John Servais

The Feds gag an Email service owner - so he cannot even tell us why he is gagged.

2 comments; last on Aug 15, 2013

So Long Lawrence O’Donnell

Thu, Aug 08, 2013, 12:05 am  //  John Servais

Liberal talking head Lawrence O'Donnell went into a bullying rant against a well qualified guest - and showed he's just like O'Reilly.

2 comments; last on Aug 08, 2013

Advertising Rates & Specs

Tue, Jul 30, 2013, 11:59 pm  //  John Servais

Ad rates are in the norm of Internet rates and reach a well educated local audience.

0 comments

Celebrations More Racist than Verdict

Sun, Jul 14, 2013, 10:25 am  //  John Servais

The explosion of hate and racist rhetoric is the saddest aspect of the verdict. The evidence was complicated and the verdict difficult to make.

2 comments; last on Jul 16, 2013

Zero Public Process for New Jail

Fri, Jul 12, 2013, 8:29 am  //  John Servais

Riley Sweeney has a short but important expose over at the Political Junkie today.

1 comments; last on Jul 12, 2013

The Irony of City Council Attitudes

Wed, Jul 03, 2013, 11:06 am  //  John Servais

Public process ignored. Citizen commenting castigated. Paranoid city legal department. Our city council merrily goes through another session.

6 comments; last on Aug 06, 2013

Greenways Levy Money Used for AstroTurf

Sun, Jun 30, 2013, 10:28 am  //  John Servais

Bellingham City Council ready to approve $500,000 of trails money for resurfacing plastic grass on Civic Field.

15 comments; last on Jul 02, 2013

NWCitizen Stands With Edward Snowden

Mon, Jun 10, 2013, 12:53 pm  //  John Servais

Edward Snowden is a very courageous patriot, in the opinion of the publisher of NWCitizen.

3 comments; last on Jun 14, 2013

Intersection Art Comes to Happy Valley

Sun, Jun 09, 2013, 9:37 pm  //  John Servais

Intersection art - the painting of a design on the actual streets - is being developed in the Happy Valley neighborhood.

1 comments; last on Jun 15, 2013

Riley On An Astounding Practice by the Herald

Sat, Jun 08, 2013, 3:21 pm  //  John Servais

Over at the Political Junkie, Riley Sweeney has a report on one criteria the Herald uses to reject letters to the editor.

1 comments; last on Jun 10, 2013

Bellingham Passes Fireworks Ban

Mon, Jun 03, 2013, 9:05 pm  //  John Servais

City Council passes long-debated ban 4 to 3. It is effective in 2014.

0 comments

Caught In The Whatcom Court System

Fri, May 31, 2013, 4:43 pm  //  John Servais

Luba Pekisheva has been given a confusing run around in our Whatcom County courts for over three years. Judges, prosecutors and clerks have all participated.

0 comments

Who is filing for elective offices???

Fri, May 17, 2013, 4:44 pm  //  John Servais

Tuesday morning and nothing in today's Bellingham Herald. Nor online. We provide the basics to fill in this latest omission by our "daily" newspaper.

9 comments; last on May 23, 2013

Coal Trains and Unhealthy Air - Any Connection?

Sun, May 05, 2013, 2:45 pm  //  John Servais

Help fund a scientific study looking for links between diesel locomotives, coal trains and unhealthy air.

0 comments

Krugman Spells It Out In Plain English

Sun, Apr 28, 2013, 9:30 pm  //  John Servais

New York Times columnist, Paul Krugman, has a masterful short article that explains why austerity is not working.

3 comments; last on May 23, 2013

Cascadia Weekly Tribute to Paul de Armond

Wed, Apr 24, 2013, 10:58 am  //  John Servais

The Gristle in today's Cascadia Weekly is devoted to a tribute to Paul de Armond. Tim Johnson gets it right.

0 comments

Paul de Armond has passed away

Sun, Apr 21, 2013, 12:59 pm  //  John Servais

Well known political writer has died.

5 comments; last on Apr 23, 2013

No City Housing Hearing on March 20

Tue, Mar 19, 2013, 9:05 am  //  John Servais

The Bellingham Herald article today is wrong. There is no hearing tomorrow, March 20

0 comments

Valuable Article in the Whatcom Watch

Sun, Mar 17, 2013, 8:42 pm  //  John Servais

Wendy Harris writes about the proposed $8 million concrete bridge along the Bellingham waterfront - using Greenways funds to build.

3 comments; last on Mar 20, 2013

Senator Ericksen Displays His Colors

Fri, Feb 22, 2013, 3:01 pm  //  John Servais

Riley Sweeney has posted a great video clip of Sen. Doug Ericksen flouting rules and legal procedures at a Senate hearing in Olympia.

0 comments

City Controls Chuckanut Park - Not New Park District

Fri, Feb 22, 2013, 2:47 pm  //  John Servais

The election created a new park district with taxing power - but with NO control over Chuckanut Ridge - the 100 acre woods.

1 comments; last on Feb 23, 2013

Thoughts on the Park District Vote

Wed, Feb 13, 2013, 3:42 pm  //  John Servais

The Park District vote is close and we will not know final results until late ballots are counted.

6 comments; last on Feb 19, 2013

Time to Vote on Park District

Sat, Feb 09, 2013, 12:14 am  //  John Servais

The proponents have avoided the issues on the Park District as the close of voting nears this weekend.

2 comments; last on Feb 12, 2013

Check the Protect Bellingham Parks Website

Wed, Feb 06, 2013, 10:42 pm  //  John Servais

When is a vote No the most positive and common sense action? Check the park district opponents website to learn why.

15 comments; last on Feb 10, 2013

Ironies With the Park District

Tue, Feb 05, 2013, 12:59 pm  //  John Servais

This Park District proposal has several ironic twists and facets - some involving the advocates.

10 comments; last on Feb 07, 2013

A note from the publisher

Sat, Feb 02, 2013, 11:18 am  //  John Servais

The Chuckanut Park District ballot issue has another 10 days to run. A few notes about NWCitizen and this issue.

11 comments; last on Feb 05, 2013

Why I am voting NO on the Park Disttict

Wed, Jan 30, 2013, 9:40 am  //  John Servais

The Park District is a panic action that over taxes a small group. A city wide solution is by far the better way to proceed.

13 comments; last on Feb 01, 2013

 

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