Ashley Ahearn

Pages

Actic Drilling
4:21 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

Port Of Seattle Unswayed In Decision To Host Shell's Arctic Drilling Fleet

Hundreds of people attended the Seattle Port Commissioners' public meeting to voice their feelings about a controversial lease that would allow Shell Oil to keep its arctic drilling fleet at the Port of Seattle.
Credit Ashley Ahearn

The Port of Seattle will host Shell Oil’s arctic drilling fleet. That includes ships and drilling rigs. The Port signed a lease earlier this month that has caused a stir among some citizens and elected officials, who say the lease goes against the Port and city’s commitment to green leadership.

The room was packed when a group of graying ladies who call themselves “the raging grannies” took the microphone to sing their testimony.

Read more
Snowpack
5:10 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

BPA Not Worried About Low Snowpack

The Northwest’s record-low snowfall has delivered a frustrating ski season this winter.
Credit Panda Poles / Flickr

The Northwest’s record-low snowfall has delivered a frustrating ski season this winter. And when summertime comes, the thin snowpack could make for low stream levels and tinder-dry forests.

But people who manage the Northwest’s biggest dams say they’re not worried.

"We’re doing just fine at the moment," Mike Hanson said.

Hanson is a spokesman for Bonneville Power Administration. It operates 31 federal dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, and provides about one-third of the electricity for the Northwest.

Read more
Coal Terminal Dispute
7:23 am
Wed January 7, 2015

Northwestern Washington Tribe Calls On Feds To Halt Coal Terminal Permit Review

Two members of the Lummi Nation harvesting crab from Puget Sound. The tribe is calling on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to halt the review of a coal terminal.
Credit Katie Campbell / KCTS9

The Lummi Nation of Northwestern Washington sent a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers Monday.

It called on the Corps to halt the permitting process for the Gateway Pacific Terminal. The terminal would be located near Bellingham and would transport up to 48 million tons of coal to Asia by ship each year.

Read more
Skagit River Water Dispute
6:55 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Court Case Is The Latest Battle In Water Wars Of The Skagit River

It might be wet this time of year in the Northwest, but that hasn’t stopped an ongoing battle over water in Washington’s Skagit river valley.
Credit pfly / Flickr

Richard and Marnie Fox wanted to build a new house on their land but they couldn't get a building permit. The Foxes took legal action and their case will go before a judge on Tuesday.

The state said there was not enough water in the area to support anymore new residences without endangering salmon, especially during the drier parts of the year.

Richard Fox walked out to his back field with his leather hat and raincoat on. A bunch of sopping wet cows looked at him, vaguely curious. His backyard was flooded. 

Read more
Orca Calf Missing
7:43 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Newest Endangered Orca Calf Missing, Presumed Dead

A calf born this year to a resident Puget Sound orca has not been seen recently and scientists think it may have died.
Credit EarthFix

Orca enthusiasts rejoiced when a newborn calf was spotted seven weeks ago. But as of this morning the endangered killer whale calf has not been seen.

L120 was the first calf born in the past two years. Over the weekend, the calf’s mother was spotted three times, without her baby. Orca experts believe the calf is dead, though no carcass has been found and it's unclear how it died.

Read more
Seattle Train Tunnel
6:46 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Seattle's Great Northern Tunnel Turns 110 Years Old

Great Northern Tunnel South Portal
Credit Joe Mabel / Wikimedia Commons

If you've ridden a train to or from Seattle you have probably passed through the heart of the city via the Great Northern Tunnel.

This month, the tunnel turns 110 years old.

Back in the fall of 1904, when it was finished, the mile-long tunnel was the tallest and widest in the United States.

Local historian Michael Sullivan tells the story:

Read more
Climate Change
5:27 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

CO2 Not To Blame For Climate Change In The Northwest?

The Oregon Coast in Woods, Oregon. A new study says that the change in wind patterns are causing warming temperatures.
Credit Patrick M / flickr

Changing wind patterns are to blame for warming temperatures in the Northwest, according to the study. Climatologist James Johnstone was the lead author, and he says, "Basically all of the warming in the Northeast Pacific ocean has been wind driven."

Read more
Puget Sound
8:02 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Shellfish Tell Puget Sound's Polluted Tale

Credit Ingrid Taylar / Flickr

Scientists are using shellfish to conduct the broadest study of pollution levels in Puget Sound. Filter-feeders, like mussels, provide a snapshot of the contaminants along the shores of the Sound. And … in some areas, they’re pretty contaminated.

Read more
Coal Risks
5:47 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Is Coal Dust Risky? Scientists Are Looking Into It

Scientists are studying the effects of coal on the surrounding environment after it leaves the train.
Credit Mark Herren / Flickr

Coal has been transported around the country by rail for decades. But very little research has been done on what coal does to the environment when it escapes from trains.With two large coal export terminals proposed for Washington state, one federal agency is hoping to add good science to the debate over coal in the Northwest.


Read more
Wildfires
6:37 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Models Project 3X Increase In Probability Of Large Fires In The Northwest

Credit National Interagency Fire Center

Fire season in the Northwest is winding down for this year.

But scientific models suggest that with climate change, the region can expect more large wildfires in the future.

Read more

Pages