HARBOR, Ore. (AP/WATE) – Transportation officials say a massive sinkhole has opened near a highway along the coast of southern Oregon.
Kyle Rice, posted a YouTube video of drone footage of the massive sinkhole from a bird’s eye view. Oregon. The Oregon Department of Transportation says the sinkhole off Highway 101 has been plaguing the Curry County town of Harbor since heavy rains last month.
A contractor was working on it Thursday when the erosion started to accelerate on a nearby road. Officials say the sinkhole didn’t swallow any vehicles, and there were no injuries. Signs have been placed along the highway directing traffic to a detour. ODOT spokesman Jared Castle says drivers can expect delays of five to 10 minutes.
The agency plans to get bids from contractors so repairs can start quickly, but repairs could be upwards of $4 million according to ODOT. Castle says ODOT wants the road partially opened within a week, but the entire repair could take eight weeks.
It’s not really the most wonderful time of the year unless there is snow involved. Fact.
This is your reaction when it snows (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Not only can snow be the greatest part of the British weather experience, but it also guarantees more happiness than a decent summer season.
Ah snow. Word on the street (the street being the Met Office) is that we are due a sprinkling of snow, with many places across the UK being treated to a flurry last night.
And snow lovers couldn’t be happier about this.
1. So PRETTY
Of course autumn is really beautiful, what with the leaves all turning to a cosy shade of orange. However, not even the prettiest autumn scene, trees lining a path through an empty park, could ever trump a field full of freshly fallen, untouched snow.
2. Makes Christmas better
There are only two things that could make Christmas Day even better; meeting Santa Clause, or a white Christmas.
Nothing could match the warm fuzzy feeling of waking up early in the morning on Christmas Day and seeing your street transformed as if it’s been draped in a layer of clean cotton wool.
Bing Crosby felt exactly the same way.
You love nothing more than grabbing a few sticks, buttons, pebbles and the obligatory carrot stick and assembling a small team to make an epic snowman.
Of course you take this very seriously, and every time you pride yourself on having the best snowman on the street.
In fact you have a strict method involving rolling a huge ball of snow down a slope in order to get your snowman as big as possible. You have also been known to shed a tear once he melts away. *Sob*
4. Snow days = best days
There are waves of excitement that still feel the exact same way when you’re an adult as they did when you were a child.
Stuff like watching Home Alone, birthday cake… and snow days.
A snow day feels just as amazing now, when you can’t get into the office, as it did when school was closed.
Especially when you get to the station only to be greeted with signs telling you that all trains are cancelled.
You take this opportunity to power walk home as quickly as possible, alerting everyone you meet on your way that it’s now an official snow day, whilst being busy with thoughts of how to make the most of it.
Of course throwing a few snowballs around is mandatory.
5. The memories
It doesn’t matter if your school days weren’t your best days, because the memories of snowy times during school definitely makes up for this.
The only thing to trump the mayhem of times when a dog managed to get into the playground was sitting in Maths and seeing thick heavy flakes falling and engulfing everything.
Most of the time your teachers would give up trying to capture your attention and let you out early which was always welcomed.
6. Perfect for long walks
There is something special about being able to stomp over fresh untouched snow whilst wrapped up head to toe in at least six layers of clothing.
Is there anything better than popping on some wellies and going for a long walk in the crisp cold air whilst feeling the soft snow underneath your feet?
7. Everything stops
Of course some people don’t like the snow because it causes disruption, but this can actually be a good thing.
It’s nice to have a bit of disruption which causes things to come to a bit of a stop, proving that it’s not the end of the world if you don’t manage to answer all your emails before 6pm.
8. Snow watching is intense
The only thing that could ever trump a snow filled walk, is sitting inside near the radiator with a hot drink and watching the snow fall and seeing the world turn into a winter wonderland.
Preferably whilst wearing thick woolly socks.
During this ritual you embark upon an emotional roller-coaster as you are glued to the window desperately wishing for the snow to become thicker, and heavier. Any sign of easing off leads to severe disappointment, which can only be ended by another flurry.
9. It’s very exciting
Waiting for the snow to arrive is a bit like waiting for a baby.
You know that it will come at some point, and despite having a rough time frame you still exhaust yourself with excitement waiting for it to arrive.
Once it finally arrives there is something magical about waking up and being able to tell from the silence outside, and the light reflecting off the snow into your bedroom that your wait is now over.
10. How to deal with haters
Being a lover of snow means you’ve developed a very thick skin to not only deal with the temperature drop, but also all of the people who don’t like the snow.
You’ve figured that if you can convert one snow hater to a snow fan then you’ve pretty much served your purpose on Earth.
11. SLEDGE TIME
You’ve probably got a customised beauty hidden in your garage, or garden shed that you always bring out as soon as the snow lands.
You also know the best parks within a 10 mile radius to go get revel in all the fun that sledging offers. And you head out with a sense of urgency, in order to get the best of the snow before pesky teenagers ruin it all.
12. It’s never enough
Chances are that most years you will end up slightly disappointed, as the UK tends to only get a small sprinkling.
But this just means that when we receive a heavy snow storm, you take full advantage of this rare event by spending as much time as possible outside.
You will even risk mild frostbite and soggy gloves in order to squeeze in as much time as possible in the snow. And it’s well worth it.
13. And it always goes too soon
The fact that snow melts away is one of the biggest tragedies in your life, and each time the sun comes out you are filled with dread.
Especially when it goes from being fresh white pure snow and disintegrates into a brown muddy slushy mess.
The only way to get through this is by remembering all of the good times you’ve had with it, and pinning your hopes on it returning next year. Courtesy of: The Metro UK.
Western Wildfires Update: Record $243 Million Spent Battling Forest Fires Last Week. Courtesy of: http://www.weather.com.
Cooler and wetter weather in the Northwest will be good news for those fighting several wildfires in the region.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack revealed Thursday a record $243 million was spent last week combatting wildfires raging around the country.
The U.S. Forest Service has been forced to borrow funds from forest restoration work, normally used to reduce the risk of wildfires, as it has already spent all the money allotted by Congress for its 12-month budget. Vilsack noted this has happened the past six of 10 years.
Much to his chagrin, Vilsack said the agency will likely be forced to borrow more funds and continue to expect spending $200 million a week battling the blazes.
Nearly 2,000 firefighters are working on the two big fire complexes that have burned more than 140 residences. Many other residents are still under evacuation notices.
Fire officials say they are both building lines around the fires and mopping up inside their borders.
Wildfires have taken their toll on the Western landscape this year. They’ve reduced entire neighborhoods to ash, forced thousands to evacuate and required a nonstop battle from countless firefighters, some who have come from other countries to help.
And there’s no indication that fire season is letting up at all.
There are currently dozens of large wildfires burning across the West; here’s an update on a few of them.
A massive Butte fire burned more than 50,000 acres across the counties of Amador and Calaveras near Sacramento.
The blaze has already destroyed 6 structures and was only 10% contained as of September 11. Evacuations were ordered for both counties and over 1,500 fire personnel were dispatched to fight the growing fire.
Officials reported that the steep topography in the area mixed with harsh weather conditions is making the fire grow at an unprecedented rate.
Firefighters battling a destructive wildfire near John Day are allowing people who have been evacuated for weeks to return to their homes.
The last evacuation alerts were lifted Wednesday, but residents in several neighborhoods were told to be ready to leave on short notice.
The fire has destroyed 43 homes and burned more than 165 square miles. It is 52 percent contained.
Crews focused Wednesday on containing spot fires that broke out beyond the containment lines during a period of hotter temperatures and lower humidity Tuesday. They were hopeful that cooler, more humid conditions Wednesday would allow firefighters to control the flames and strengthen their containment lines.
Fire crews are aggressively working to prevent flames from expanding on a 3-week-old blaze in west-central Idaho that has already burned 143 square miles of dry timber.
More than 900 firefighters are battling the fire, but it was only 30 percent contained. It’s burning in terrain surrounded by large amounts of unburned fuel.
Crews focused their efforts Wednesday on protecting structures along the Salmon River corridor, and rafters were still being stopped and evacuated before entering the fire perimeter.
In northern Idaho, flames crept overnight as close as a mile and a half to the historic Fenn Ranger Station, causing mandatory evacuations.
Idaho currently has 17 large fires, the most in the nation, the National Interagency Fire Center says.
A firefighter working to battle a wildfire north of Helena has been hospitalized after an ATV crash.
The Helena Independent Record reports that the injured man was adjusting hoses in steep terrain Wednesday at the time of the accident. A nearby firefighter/EMT helped with emergency care before the man was taken to a medical facility in Helena.
A Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation spokeswoman declined to comment on how the accident occurred. Officials have not released the injured man’s name.
Posted on June 29, 2015 by Bob Berwyn: Blue whale numbers holding steady; fin whales increasing…
Staff Report: FRISCO — A new acoustic survey in Southern California coastal waters is helping researchers track whale populations.The data analyzed by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego suggests that blue whale numbers are holding steady, while the number of fin whales is increasing.Both species are often seen in the Southern California Bight, the curved region of California coastline with offshore waters extending from San Diego to Point Conception (near Santa Barbara, Calif.), but little is known about their use of the area, where ever-increasing ship traffic has raised concerns about collisions between whales and boats.To learn more, researchers with the Scripps Marine Bioacoustics Lab and Scripps Whale Acoustic Lab set out specialized recording devices on the seafloor, tracking whale vocalizations from 2006-2012.The findings were described in the journal Endangered Species Research. The study was supported by the Office of Naval Research, and provides the first detailed view into the spatial use of Southern California waters by blue and fin whales, the two largest cetacean species in the world. Both are classified as endangered species.
Scripps marine acoustician Ana Širović found that blue whale calls were more commonly detected at coastal sites and near the northern Channel Islands, while fin whale calls were detected further off shore, in central and southern areas.
“I think it’s an interesting difference in trends because both of the species were subject to whaling earlier in the twentieth century, and now they’re clearly responding differently,” said Širović.
The acoustic data and overall trends outlined in this study are consistent with visual observations from another Scripps-led study. Širović said the parallel findings between the two studies as evidence that passive acoustics can be used as a powerful tool to monitor population trends for these large marine mammals.
“I think it’s very exciting that we see the same trends in the visual and acoustic data, because it indicates the possibility of using acoustics to monitor long-term trends and changes,” she said, adding that the new study suggests there is a resident fin whale population in the area.
The seasonal recordings of blue whale calls reinforces what’s already known about their migration from the waters off the coast of Mexico and Costa Rica, arriving in Southern California in late spring to forage through the fall.
The leave in early winter, but researchers aren’t certain where they go next. Although researchers have studied blue and fin whales for years, Širović said both species are particularly mysterious, and scientists still don’t know some basic information about them, such as their mating system or breeding grounds.
The Southern California Bight is a highly productive ecological territory for many marine animals due to strong upwelling of cold water, but researchers have not found any evidence that blue or fin whales are breeding there.
The productivity of the coastal region also makes it a hotbed for human activity, with large cities onshore and ships, commercial fishing vessels, and other human impacts ever-present in the water. Since fin whales generally live further offshore, Širović posits that they might have a slight advantage over blue whales, which tend to inhabit areas where there is more ship traffic–increasing their chances for ship strikes.
“It seems that for fin whales, things are probably improving,” she said Širović.
“For blue whales, it’s a little bit harder to tell. There is a question right now as to whether their population has grown to its maximum capacity, because there are many lines of evidence showing that their population is not growing currently,” she said. “So the question remains, is it because that’s just what their population size can be maximally, or are there factors that are keeping them from growing further?”
Širović hopes that future studies can help identify why there is this difference in population trends of blue and fin whales. Now that she and her colleagues have taken a first look at the broad trends of the two species, they want to dig deeper and look into environmental drivers and other factors and features that may be causing some of the spatial distribution patterns and long-term changes of the whales.
Blue whale numbers holding steady; fin whales increasing
FRISCO — A new acoustic survey in Southern California coastal waters is helping researchers track whale populations.
The data analyzed by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego suggests that blue whale numbers are holding steady, while the number of fin whales is increasing.
Both species are often seen in the Southern California Bight, the curved region of California coastline with offshore waters extending from San Diego to Point Conception (near Santa Barbara, Calif.), but little is known about their use of the area, where ever-increasing ship traffic has raised concerns about collisions between whales and boats.
How Can I Tell If An Animal Sanctuary Is Genuine, Or If They Are Taking Advantage Of Animals?!
There a many people across the world that put the safety and care of endangered animals above themselves. A great animal sanctuary’s first concern is always to the animal, making sure they are happy, healthy, and that they feel safe. The animals there are abused, abandoned, or simply displaced by circumstance. These animals are released into the wild when possible, but a great many don’t have that option. A good sanctuary will bring you to the brink of tears with their dedication and success. However, not every “sanctuary” is what it advertises. Some are glorified breeding houses that exploit the animals and don’t take their health into consideration. It’s tough to tell them apart, but it’s important that you go through a rigorous vetting before contributing or taking part in any sanctuary.
Image courtesy of: shutterstock
When I was 16 I found out about an exotic sanctuary near me in Wisconsin. It took in abused and abandoned big cats, as well as a few bears, horses, foxes, and various farm animals. Each animal came from a horrific environment. One Sumatran tiger, a breed quickly becoming extinct, had been defanged and declawed by the circus he lived in. Tiger teeth are actually part of the jawbone, meaning his jaw couldn’t close correctly, and he couldn’t eat anything but boneless meat. One of the Jaguars (who lived below the room I stayed in) had been beaten numerous times with a metal pipe by her drug dealer owner, causing brain lesions, and a massive mistrust for males. Far too many of the animals came from other “sanctuaries” that were shut down for animal abuse, as well as some that escaped euthanasia at zoos for being “too old.” Every animal had a similar story, but almost every one turned into a happy, friendly, and affectionate animal. They had large indoor and outdoor enclosures, fresh meat every day, and at no point where they exploited or used as an attraction. A great sanctuary will have happy, playful animals because they provide a safe environment for the animals.
There are a number of red flags to look for that can easily identify those animal farms that you should stay far away from. Of course, these are not the only signs to look for. If you feel uncomfortable with the sanctuary, walk the other way.
where did all these animals come from?
Sanctuary animals can be broken into two categories, rescue animals and commercial animals. Seems obvious right? It’s sadly more complex than that.
Rescue animals are going to come from circuses, zoos, those saved from hunters or disease, or private homes. None of them are capable of surviving in the wild, so they need a home to live out the rest of their days. Each animal will have a story, most likely not a good one. Pay attention to why the animal is there, and you’ll get a quick understanding of what the sanctuary is trying to accomplish.
“Commercial” is a broad term, but in essence it’s the best one. These animals are captured specifically for housing in the facility, or they are bred in captivity for the purpose of selling or displaying. Some hide behind the veil of “protecting the species,” but animals born in captivity can’t be released into the wild, so they are simply an attraction, which is exactly what real sanctuaries are trying to protect their wards from.
Are the animals available for photo ops with you? Can you ride around on them? This is a huge distinction, and an immediate way to know if you should run the other way. Being able to SEE the animals is great. Most sanctuaries give tours (the one I worked with limited tours to 5 people maximum), but they are small, and keep the psychological needs of the animals in mind. No animals wants to be smothered by people. Most come from backgrounds that bred mistrust of people, and even a “gentle” animal can turn deadly when scared. There should always be a significant barrier between the animals and the guests, and the animals should always have somewhere they can go to be alone if they become stressed. If you can pay for a photo with them, or you can interact directly with the animal right away, then the facility is certainly not a sanctuary.
Training should never be tolerated.
Rescue animals often come from abusive situations. Circuses and private owners often use cruel and violent training methods, leading to long-term physical and psychological harm, often times to the point the animal can never recover. When an animal is rescued, it should have a safe home. It isn’t there to do tricks or to be a showpiece. There is no need to train them! Yet, many commercial facilities have trainers on staff in order to keep their photo op animals in line. Things like bull hooks, electric fences or prods, and chains are all signs of an abusive facility. At no point should the animal be chained or tied up. All of these actions lead to abuse, and are the antithesis of what a sanctuary is trying to accomplish.
Everyone needs to play
Pay attention to how the animals are housed. No sanctuary will have the endless space that the animals would have in the wild, they should have ample space to run and play. They should have toys, enclosures to sleep and hide, and a way to separate them from the enclosure when it’s time to clean. At no time should an animal be tied up, and their enclosure should be on grass or natural ground, not cement! If the animal can only pace and turn around, then their welfare is being ignored, brazenly so. Imagine what you would need to be happy in that situation, and if you don’t see it, then you know the “sanctuary” is a sham.
Home sweet home?
We can’t read an animals mind, but there are a number of behaviors that are obvious signs of distress in the animals. Zoochosis is the unnatural behavior animals exhibit in captivity, and a common occurrence in the commercial shelter community. Acts like pacing constantly back and forth is the most noticeable sign. Their posture tends to be hunched and more predatory when pacing, showing how anxious and bored they really are. Other signs are sitting and rocking, self-mutilation, and chewing or licking the bars of their cage constantly. Each of these is a sure sign the animals is in a terrible situation.
. Welcome to Libby, Montana, population 2,691. In many ways, Libby is like any other small town. It sits nestled between bits of national forest, it has a train station and a few schools (go Loggers!), and for many years its economy was supported by the nearby logging and mining operations. But in other ways, Libby is very different.
Downtown Libby, Montana. Image: U.S. EPA.
Libby has a heartbreaking story to tell.
For decades, the company W.R. Grace operated a vermiculite mine in Libby. Vermiculite is a mineral used for insulation and fireproofing in many building materials. (By the way, it’s also the material used for those little white balls in potting soil.)
The vermiculite mine in Libby provided … over 70% of all vermiculite sold in the U.S. between 1919 and 1990.
The vermiculite mine in Libby provided hundreds of jobs, as well as over 70% of all vermiculite sold in the U.S. between 1919 and 1990. And while vermiculite itself isn’t known to be harmful, the Libby mine also included a large deposit of something much more dangerous: asbestos.
The asbestos in Libby’s mine has caused 400 deaths — and counting.
Mining the vermiculite that lay alongside asbestos released harmful asbestos fibers into the air. The asbestos appeared as a fine dust that coated the entire mine — it goteverywhere — and caused harm not only to the mine workers, but to their friends, family, and other town residents as well.
But it’s never easy to criticize a company that plays such a huge role in a town’s life. In the 2004 documentary “Libby, Montana” by High Plains Films, one resident explained:
“[W.R.] Grace was on the school board, Grace was on the hospital board, Grace owned the bank. And when you talked about dust control here and … what [the dust] was doing harmful to these people here, the first thing to come out of their mouth was ‘You gonna close that mine down, and you gonna put all these people out of work?’ Well you didn’t have very many friends here when you started talking like that.”
Mine manager Earl Lovick held town positions outside the mine. Images: “Libby, Montana.”
Fast-forward to today: An estimated 400 people in Libby have died from asbestos-related diseases, and more than 2,000 have been sickened by the asbestos. Hundreds more deaths are expected from these diseases, as they can take decades to manifest.
Records show that W.R. Grace knew about the adverse health effects from asbestos in the mine many years before the mine’s closure in 1990. Mine manager Earl Lovick, who died of asbestosis in 1999, testified to having knowledge of the presence and dangers of asbestos. (Check out 9:46 and 12:24 in the video below for clips of Lovick’s statements.)
The company has since paid out millions of dollars in settlement money for civil cases concerning the effects of the asbestos. In 2008, W.R. Grace faced thousands of personal injury claims and agreed to settle all present and future claims via a trust. The amount of money they’re doling out is nearly incomprehensible. But does it really make up for the deaths and the sickness?
Libby continues to heal … slowly but surely.
In 1999, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency responded to widespread concerns surrounding the asbestos in Libby. The agency collected hundreds of samples from around Libby. In 2002, the site was declared a Superfund site, and cleanup began.
A 2014 draft of the EPA’s human health risk assessment states, “It is now possible to live and work in Libby without excessive exposure to asbestos. … Remaining asbestos needs to be safely managed.”
The asbestos risk may be under control (or close to it), but that doesn’t mean the people of Libby have forgotten how W.R. Grace changed the course of their town’s history.
An abbreviated version of the feature documentary, LIBBY, MONTANA.
More about the Movie –
A small company town in Montana is beset by the worst case of a widespread toxic contaminant in U.S. history. For decades, the corporate conglomerate W. R. Grace knew what the residents of Libby did not: that they were being exposed to a deadly form of asbestos. All the while, the company allowed the spread of the contaminant all over the town — in the school grounds, the Little League baseball field, and in countless homes and yards. Now, the U.S. government has determined that nearly one quarter of the residents have some form of asbestos-related lung abnormality, and hundreds have already died of asbestos-related causes. Libby, Montana is the story of the American dream gone horribly wrong. Libby, Montana was broadcast on the national PBS Series, POV/The American Documentary. It was nominated for a national News and Documentary Emmy Award in 2008.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
Doug Hawes-Davis and Drury Gunn Carr, co-founded High Plains Films in 1992, and have collaborated on nearly 30 documentaries. Their most recent feature film, ALL THE LABOR premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in 2013. In 2012, their feature documentary FACING THE STORM: STORY OF THE AMERICAN BISON was broadcast on the national PBS series, Independent Lens, and won a Northwest Emmy Award for best documentary feature. In 2007, their documentary feature, LIBBY, MONTANA was broadcast nationally on the acclaimed PBS Series, POV, and was nominated for a National Emmy Award the following year. Other well-known High Plains Films include, BRAVE NEW WEST, KILLING COYOTE, VARMINTS, THIS IS NOWHERE, and THE NATURALIST.
Hawes-Davis is the founder of the annual Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. Now in its eleventh year, the festival is consistently recognized as one of the world’s finest documentary cinema events. Both Carr and Hawes-Davis remain involved in festival programming and development.