Centralia Steam Plant

Back in April I posted some photos of the steam plant. I visited the plant again last week, at night, and thought the night scene was interesting, so I will post a couple more versions, including another day time photo. I also got photos (and video, currently working on that,) of coal trains running North. Both were loaded, presumably heading for Roberts Bank, Vancouver B.C.. Empty coal trains also run North, after unloading at Centralia, or perhaps the Boardman (Oregon) plant too? The trains are truly awesome. It is too bad that they being used for such a narrow and short-sighted, reckless, wanton, dangerous, and environmentally destructive purpose as burning fossil fuels as fast as physically possible!!! Of course, all the benefits, for those of us in the 20% (or whatever it is) of the world's privileged population, are just great! (---sorry future generations.): And of course, if you're in the royal class of the 1%, it's never been better! Burn away! Full speed ahead! Pity on those poor desperate pawns.

Centralia Steam Plant

and day:
Centralia Electric Generating Station Steam Plant I

Large size versions below:

Port and Environment

Port of Olympia Marine Terminal has two main major clients, one is timber export, the other is proppant import. Both clients have questionable environmental impacts. Proppants are used in the hydraulic-fracturing process. Timber comes from clearcutting. Recently, the port has been appreciated for increasing its income to the point where it will no longer be operating at a financial loss. Much of this improvement is due to the hard work of port staffers, and they deserve commendation and congratulations for their hard work. Still, questions remain. If the port's business model depends on activities that harm the environment, then has the real cost to future generations been truly and accurately accounted for?

Here's a video of a recent bulk log carrier, the Aster K, loading up. As of the 1st of December, the Spinnaker SW has been loading logs.

Percival Landing Kiosk Shelter with Oyster Art History Exhibit
Percival Landing art exhibit, story of the Oysters of Budd Bay—Oysters have been in extreme decline, ever since over-harvesting and heavy industry combined to make conditions adverse.

Aster K — Bulk Log Carrier
Aster K, Weyerhauser ship, alongside Port Marine Terminal Pier

Port Shipping Proppants for Petroleum Hydro-Fracking

Yes, the Earth has been fractured for extreme oil extraction

MV Aracari in Port. This is one of the most recent shipments of "proppants" to support the North Dakota petroleum hydro-fracking industry of the Bakken Oil Formation.

Port of Olympia Marine Terminal, view of the ship unloading proppants, some of which have been stored in the warehouse.

The proppants are used in very deep wells, in the Bakken Oil Shale formation of North Dakota. Because of the extreme pressures in the wells (some are greater than 8,000 feet deep,) the proppants are used to prop open fissures (that have been blasted open by the hydraulic fracturing process.)

The practice of hydro-fracking has come under fire from social and environmental activists, based on several known harmful aspects of the industry, including local to global environmental impacts, harm to Native American communities, and harm to agricultural efforts.

MV Aracari Arrow
The proppants have been imported from China, notorious for non-existent labor and environmental protections. People have asked whether the material might be contaminated with toxins from the manufacturing process, and no clear answer has been provided for how the materials have been tested for toxic contaminants.

[update, correction:

Dr. Wendy Ring MD, MPH, Climate 911: The Health Effects of Climate Change

99 minutes,

Dr. Wendy Ring visited Olympia in July, on the first leg of her continental bicycle tour to Washington D.C. on a route to follow the coal trains, and Keystone XL Pipeline, and other prominent features of the fossil fuel industry. The goal of her journey is to raise awareness amongst the healthcare community of the health effects of climate change. For more information about her effort please visit Climate 911: What's the emergency?.

Dr. Ring's Olympia presentation was sponsored by Physcians for Social Responsibility, Transition Olympia, and Olympia F.O.R.

State of the Lake

Lakefair 2013 has ended. Last week, John Dodge wrote a column about Lakefair and the lake, and the problem of accumulating "sediments" in the basin. Tom Holz, contributor to a local environmental listserv, remarked that the discussion ought to be broadened to include the topic of the causes of the heavy sediment-loads that have been deposited in the basin.

Is it likely that substantial contributions have resulted from disturbances to Native Landscapes (whether forest or prairie?) That would seem to make sense.

So let me see if I have it straight. The government has sold or leased land on the cheap to big industry. Let's use timber here, for example. The industry performs clear-cuts in established forested areas, thus having opened the landscape to threat of extreme erosion during periods of heavy rain.

So then, who should foot the bill for dredging the lake? And why not consider asking the timber industry to account for these sediments, as an externality of their lucrative business at leveling native landscapes.

What do you think?

Log Export

Clear Cut Area

Clear Cut

Pollution at Abandoned Westbay Industrial Site

Stream at Abandoned Industrial Site
I was at this site last week to photograph one of the recent log carrier ships that has been in port, and while I was there I noticed a strong smell of sulphur emanating from the pit shown in the above photograph.

There is more information about the site clean-up at the Washington State Department of Ecology website, here.

BMT (Brown Minneapolis Tank) AKA Reliable Steel, has relocated their local operation to Elma, WA.

Governor Inslee, Please Address the Climate Crisis

On President's Day weekend national protests are planned against the "XL" pipeline (see Join the #ForwardOnClimate Rally on 2/17! .) This pipeline would be used to transfer tar sands oil. In solidarity with national efforts the Olympia F.O.R. Confronting the Climate Crisis task force has launched a petition, and is planning events for the weekend of the 16th and 17th. The petition asks Governor Jay Inslee to work to curb greenhouse gas emissions, in order to protect the climate for future generations. Please sign the Petition to Governor Inslee to Address the Climate Crisis.

And please mark your calendar for these upcoming events, coming up in about two weeks' time, over Presidents Day weekend, Save the Date!

1) 2/17 RALLY! the afternoon of Sunday the 17th, in solidarity with national events in Washington D.C.. National events are a project of, Sierra Club, and Hip Hop Caucus —a civil and human rights organization for the 21st century. Location for the local solidarity rally will be Heritage Park, site of the former Occupy Olympia encampment. This will include an update on the petition. Starting time: 3pm, rain or shine. And also join for a potluck gathering afterward, starting at 6pm at Traditions Fair Trade Café, later that same Sunday evening.

2) Flash Mob: on the day before the rally, Saturday the 16th at Noon, location and further details to be announced. Stay Tuned!

3) Then, on Tuesday the 19th, the Environmental Priorities Coalition will host Environmental Lobby Day. The day kicks off at 8:30am, and will be headquartered at United Churches, 11th and Capitol Boulevard, Olympia. And at 12 O'clock Noon there will be another rally, in the rotunda under the Legislative Building dome, where there will be opportunity to sing for the planet.

Please sign the petition!, and thank you!

And we hope to see you at any or all of the Presidents Day weekend activities, stay tuned!

Contact Rod Tharp,, Peggy Bruton, Mike Coday, or Bourtai Hargrove at (360) 352-6327 For information about the Olympia FOR contact Glen Anderson at (360) 491-9093 or visit and for more information. Sponsored by Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation Confronting the Climate Crisis.

Open Letter for Revenue

An open letter to legislators, for racial and economic justice, and revenue:

IMG_8749Today I joined the Statewide Poverty Action Network lobbying team, met with our LD 22 legislators, and delivered a version of the following letter to LD 22 legislators Hunt, Fraser, and Reykdal. I'm interested in broadcasting the ideas more broadly as open letter to all legislators. It's not perfect, just the best I can do at this time.

Monday 21 January 2013, Happy Birthday Martin Luther King Jr.
"It's time to end poverty."

Dear Legislator,

George W. Bush on the Cover

Cover of the September 2011 issue of National Geographic
Monday 2 January 2012, Olympia Washington—I saw this magazine yesterday at a local eatery, here in Olympia.

I was really interested in it because of the headline at the top, George W. Bush on TV talking about 9/11.

I didn't have my camera with me, and my phone battery was depleted.

Today I remembered it, and did a brief and cursory Google search of the Internet. And the images I found on the Internet were different!

The top search item didn't show any red text on the header, and the second one showed different words: the words, "Watch 911 Specials on National Geographic Channel".

So I went back there today, and fortunately it was still just sitting right there, and I grabbed a photo.

Now I am curious about what Former President G. W. Bush had to say about the events ten years after that terrible day of the 11th of September 2001.

I found a video that might be the one advertised here by searching for "George W. Bush" on the NGC website:

I can remember George W. Bush sitting there in that classroom on that day when those planes hit the towers. If memory serves correct, it seems that there was sometime, in the presence of journalistic reporters, after the second plane hit, and before he was evacuated from the premises...

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