also view here:
caribbean tsunami excercise just recently:
I’ve intentionally not posted part 1.
Added: 14. January 2010
Added: 14. January 2010
VANCOUVER – Tens of thousands of bald eagles that usually gorge on the late season chum salmon in rivers from Alaska to Vancouver have been forced from their usual feeding grounds by poor salmon runs, according to wildlife biologist David Hancock.
While the Brackendale eagle count registered only 627 birds in 2010 — its forth consecutive year under 1,000 after peaking at nearly 4,000 in 1994 — Chehalis [Harrison] attracted a record 7,400 eagles, more than double the normal count due to a moderately successful coho run.
The disappointing numbers at Brackendale are only a microcosm of what is going on right up and down the coast, said Hancock. As many as 50,000 eagles are searching for food and may range as far as the Mississippi River to find it.
Based on a count he conducted Monday (today), Hancock reckons that as many as 800 eagles are feeding at Boundary Bay and the Vancouver Landfill in Delta.
“I have about 100 eagles in front of me right now at Boundary Bay,” Hancock said. “They are all desperately looking for something as an alternative [to chum].”
– For Pilot in Stevens Crash, Flying Ran in the Family (New York Times)
Whatever problem the plane carrying former Senator Ted Stevens encountered before it crashed on Monday night, it was not pilot inexperience.
The pilot, Theron A. Smith, known as Terry, was a second-generation bush aviator and a 28-year veteran of Alaska Airlines, where fellow workers voted him a “Legend of Alaska” in 2001. He belonged to a flying family with a history of pioneering and of tragedy.
His father began flying in Alaska in the early 1940s. His wife, Terri Ellis Smith, a bush pilot herself, frequently co-piloted with him in their vintage Grumman. She is related to a founder of Ellis Air Lines, one of the carriers that merged to become Alaska Airlines.
And the Smith’s son-in-law, Maj. Aaron Malone, a pilot in the Alaska Air National Guard, was killed on July 28 in the crash of a C-17 cargo plane at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage. Three other airmen were also killed in the crash. Major Malone was married to the Smith’s daughter, Melanie.
Another child, Brian M. Smith, is a private pilot.
The plane that Terry Smith was flying on Monday, a single-engine DeHavilland DHC-3T, owned by GCI, an Alaska telecommunications provider, was not nearly big enough to need a cockpit voice recorder or a flight data recorder, so investigators will have to work without the “black boxes” to piece together what happened. And it was also flying in an area without radar coverage.
ANCHORAGE Alaska (Reuters) – Former Senator Ted Stevens, who for several years played a leading role in controlling the nation’s purse strings, died with four other people in a small plane crash in his home state of Alaska, officials said on Tuesday.
Four people survived Monday night’s crash near Bristol Bay in southwest Alaska. Among them was Sean O’Keefe, North American chief of European aerospace giant and Airbus maker EADS, and a former NASA Administrator who was a former aide and longtime friend of Stevens.
O’Keefe’s son, Kevin, also survived, the company said in a statement, but details of their condition were not disclosed.
Stevens, a gruff, hard-charging politician who rose to become chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, served 40 years in the Senate, longer than any Republican, before losing a 2008 reelection bid amid a corruption scandal.
He had been convicted days before the election on charges of failing to report over $250,000 in home renovations and other gifts from an oil executive. The case was later thrown out because of prosecutorial misconduct, including the withholding of exculpatory evidence from defense lawyers.
Stevens and O’Keefe, 54 and who once worked for the senator on the Appropriations Committee, were on a fishing trip in a remote part of Alaska with other former Senate staff members and their children, according to one congressional source.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) – The Trans-Alaska Pipeline, partly owned by BP, shut down on Tuesday after spilling several thousand barrels of crude oil into backup containers, drastically cutting supply down the main artery between refineries and Alaska’s oilfields.
The accident comes at a difficult time for BP — the largest single owner of the pipeline operator, holding 47 percent — as it struggles to plug a gushing Gulf of Mexico oil well.
The shutdown followed a series of mishaps that resulted from a scheduled fire-command system test at Pump Station 9, about 100 miles south of Fairbanks, said Alyeska Pipeline Service Co, the operator of the 800-mile oil line.
Criminals with one goal profit!
BP, the most important oil company in Alaska and the corporation at the heart of the Gulf of Mexico oil-drilling disaster, has struggled with perhaps the oil industry’s worst environmental and safety record of the last decade.
The British oil company BP produced the largest oil spill ever on Alaska’s North Slope, faced criminal charges for intentionally dumping hazardous waste near Prudhoe Bay and was excoriated by Congress for a string of oil-pipeline leaks on the tundra.
Members of Congress — Republicans and Democrats alike — have accused the company of everything from profiteering at the expense of employee safety to pressuring government contractors to whitewash draft reports that criticized its upkeep of worn-out Alaskan oil pipelines.
“BP’s policies are as rusty as its pipelines,” Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, told BP executives during a heated September 2006 hearing. “I’m even more concerned about BP’s corporate culture of seeming indifference to safety and environmental issues. And this comes from a company that prides itself in their ads on protecting the environment. Shame. Shame. Shame.”
Rachel Mike, who won a settlement in a case involving Father Poole, at her confirmation in the summer of 1975. Behind her is Father George Endal, accused of raping or molesting several boys and allegedly walking in on another priest performing oral sex on a 6-year-old boy and doing nothing to stop it.
One spring afternoon in 1977, 15-year-old Rachel Mike tried to kill herself for the third time. An Alaska Native, Rachel was living in a tiny town called Stebbins on a remote island called St. Michael. She lived in a house with three bedrooms and nine siblings. Rachel was a drinker, depressed, and starving. “When my parents were drinking, we didn’t eat right,” she says. “I just wanted to get away from the drinking.”
Rachel walked to the bathroom to fetch the family rifle, propped in the bathtub with the dirty laundry (the house didn’t have running water). To make sure the gun worked, Rachel loaded a shell and blew a hole in her bedroom wall. Her father, passed out on his bed, didn’t hear the shot. Rachel walked behind their small house. Her arms were too short to put the rifle to her head, so she shot herself in her right leg instead.
Rachel was found screaming in a pool of blood by her Auntie Emily and flown 229 miles to a hospital in Nome. The doctor asked if she wanted to see a priest. She said yes. In walked Father James Poole-a popular priest, radio personality on KNOM, and, according to allegations in at least five lawsuits, serial child rapist. Father Poole has never been convicted of a crime, but the Jesuits have settled numerous sex-abuse claims against him since 2005, in excess of $5 million, according to an attorney involved in four of those five lawsuits. Exact figures aren’t available because some of the settlements involve confidentiality agreements. The Jesuits have never let a single case against Father Poole go to trial.
In a 2005 deposition, Rachel testified that she had been molested by Father Poole in 1975, while in Nome for her second suicide attempt, an attempted overdose of alcohol and pills. He’d come sit by her bed, put his hand under the hospital blanket, and fondle her, she said.
She traveled between Stebbins and Nome several times in the late 1970s, spending time in hospitals and receiving homes. By 1977, Rachel testified, Poole had given her gonorrhea, and by 1978 she was pregnant with his child. In an interview with The Stranger, she said Poole encouraged her to get an abortion and tell the doctors she had been raped by her father. She followed his advice. “He brainwashed me,” she said. “He messed up my head, man.”
Rachel Mike’s father died in 2004. A year later, she heard Elsie Boudreau, another survivor of Poole’s abuse, being interviewed on the radio. Listening to Boudreau, Rachel was moved to finally tell the truth.
Alaska’s Mount Redoubt volcano has begun erupting over night, sending smoke billowing some 50,000 feet above sea level.
Geologists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory said the volcano, which is roughly 100 miles from southwest of Anchorage, erupted three times late on Sunday and early on Monday.
“This is a fairly large eruption, close to the larger cities in Alaska,” said John Power, a geophysicist.
More information: Q & A: Will Mount Redoubt erupt again? (MSNBC)
He said no cities have yet reported any ash fall from the volcano, but he added that it is still early.
Geologists said seismic activity around the volcano has been intense in recent days, and they expect that the volcano would blow soon.