Monday, August 29, 2005

Brahmaputra River Update

Chennai Online News Service: "Guwahati, August 28: Flood situation in Assam remained grim today with the Brahmaputra and its tributaries inundating vast tracts of land including several areas of the famous Kaziranga National Park. "

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Support Makah Treaty Rights

Floods & Debris Flows in Assam

The Telegraph - Calcutta : Northeast: "Guwahati, Aug. 25: Heavy rain continued to lash the Assam capital even as the death toll in landslides and flash floods rose to 12 with more bodies being found under tonnes of debris in the affected areas."

Friday, August 26, 2005

NASA scientists say liquid water formed recent gullies on Mars

SpaceRef - Your Space Reference: "'Our model indicates that these fluvially-carved gullies were formed in the low temperature and low pressure conditions of present-day Mars by the action of relatively pure liquid water,' said Heldmann. The science team found that the maximum length of gullies simulated in the computer models were comparable to the martian gullies studied. 'We find that the short length of the gully features implies they did form under conditions similar to those on present-day Mars, with simultaneous freezing and rapid evaporation of nearly pure liquid water,' Heldmann said. In addition, images taken by the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft show 'geologically young' small-scale features on the red planet that resemble terrestrial water-carved gullies, according to scientists. 'The young geologic age of these gullies is often thought to be a paradox, because liquid water is unstable at the martian surface,' Heldmann said. At present martian air pressure and temperature, water will boil and freeze at very rapid rates, the scientists reported. Team scientists noticed that images of some of Mars' gullies show that they taper off into very small debris fields ? or no debris fields at all - suggesting that water rushing through the gullies rapidly froze and/or evaporated. 'In the martian case, fluid well above the boiling point (which is a very low temperature at Mars' low atmospheric pressure and air temperature) is suddenly exposed to the atmosphere,' said Heldmann. 'The difference between the vapor and ambient pressures relative to the ambient pressure is large, and flash boiling can occur, leading to a violent loss of fluid.' "

Public Hearings on Makah Whaling "The public process on the Makah tribe's request to resume whaling will start in October with hearings in Neah Bay, Port Angeles and Seattle."

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Science, Regulation and the Florida Panther

PLoS Biology: Why Not the Best? How Science Failed the Florida Panther: "While peer review is not without its problems - unsound interpretations and conclusions slip through the process from time to time - the case of the panther is unusual in that the peer-review process failed to catch such seriously flawed inferences in science used to manage an endangered species."

Friday, August 19, 2005

South Asian Monsoon Flood Forecasting Proves Tough task

BBC NEWS | South Asia : "Officials at the World Meteorological Organisation have not lost hope on regional co-operation."

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Assam villagers get a breather from rains

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Finally Home

DoD News: Twelve MIAS from Vietnam War are Identified: "Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today the identification of the remains of 12 U.S. servicemen missing in action from the Vietnam War. Five of those identified are being returned to their families for burial, and the remaining seven will be buried as a group in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. The men who were individually identified are: Cpl. Gerald E. King, of Knoxville, Tenn.; Lance Cpls. Joseph F. Cook, of Foxboro, Mass.; Raymond T. Heyne, of Mason, Wis.; Donald W. Mitchell, of Princeton, Ky.; and Thomas W. Fritsch, of Cromwell, Conn., all of the U.S. Marine Corps. Additional group remains are those of: Pfcs. Thomas J. Blackman, of Racine, Wis.; Paul S. Czerwonka, of Stoughton, Mass.; Barry L. Hempel, of Garden Grove, Calif.; Robert C. Lopez, of Albuquerque, N.M.; William D. McGonigle, of Wichita, Kan.; and Lance Cpl. James R. Sargent, of Anawalt, W. Va., all of the U.S. Marine Corps. Additionally, the remains of U.S. Army Sgt. Glenn E. Miller, of Oakland, Calif. will be included in the group burial."

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Growth Management Act Problems in Jefferson County

The Port Townsend Leader OnLine: "Port Townsend resident Nancy Dorgan, who appealed along with Irondale Community Action Neighbors to have the Tri-Area Urban Growth Area declared invalid, said this week that she and her legal team hope to have the entire UGA boundary thrown out."

Small Land Owners in Skagit County Become AWARE

SKAGIT VALLEY "What she found, she said, is that she had much less control over her 21-acre farm than she previously believed."

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Pierce County & the Growth Management Act

Panel backs strategies that fight urban sprawl | "Some Pierce County farmers might find it easier to farm but harder to sell their land to developers. Cities will find it harder to loosen their belts and spill new development outward. And a swath of land in central Pierce County will remain rural on paper, if not always in reality. Those are the results of a 53-page decision Thursday by the Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board. The board, one of several panels appointed by the governor to resolve land-use disputes, considered challenges filed by an eclectic group of opponents against policies adopted by Pierce County last year to curb sprawl and preserve farmland."

Friday, August 05, 2005

A Strong Marine Finally Succumbs

DoD News: " The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Staff Sgt. Chad J. Simon, 32, of Madison, Wis., died Aug. 4, while under hospice care in Madison, Wis., from wounds he received on Nov. 8, 2004 from an explosion while conducting combat operations in Babil Province, Iraq. Simon was assigned to Marine Forces Reserve's 2nd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Madison, Wis."

National Environmental Policy Act New Horizons Mission

SpaceRef - Your Space Reference: "The New Horizons mission is planned for launch in January-February 2006 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), Florida, on an expendable launch vehicle. With a launch in mid January 2006, the New Horizons spacecraft would arrive at Pluto as early as 2015 and would conduct scientific investigations of Pluto and its moon, Charon, as it flies past these bodies. The spacecraft may then continue on an extended mission into the Kuiper Belt, where it would investigate one or more of the objects found there. The spacecraft would require electrical power for normal spacecraft operations and to operate the science instruments. One radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) containing plutonium dioxide would be used for this purpose. A backup launch opportunity could occur in February 2007 with an arrival at Pluto in 2019 or 2020 depending upon the exact date of launch."

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Thurston Co. Commisioners Back Up, a Bit

The Olympian "Thurston County commissioners relaxed their temporary moratorium on residential subdivisions Monday so property owners with applications that are ready to submit or already submitted won't be shut out."

Monday, August 01, 2005

Duwamish recognition effort revived

A canoe journey through time "Scores of young paddlers on the 2005 Tribal Canoe Journey are following ancient paths across the water in traditional canoes, singing songs they learned from their elders, carrying on a culture hundreds of years old into the 21st century. They are nothing less than travelers in time. Even when they arrive at Hollywood Beach in Port Angeles on Monday, their spiritual destination will be a place far older than the memories of their elders' elders -- the ancestral village of Tse-whit-zen, where Native Americans lived for at least 2,700 years. Theme of the Paddle to Elwha is ``Reflections of Our Past: Honoring Tse-whit-zen Village.''"

NASA's New CEV Launcher to Maximize Use of Space Shuttle Components

SpaceRef - Your Space Reference "Cargo vehicle studies using Space Shuttle ET and SRB hardware focused on two major variants: so-called "side-mounted" and "in-line". Side-mount designs hang cargo and/or crew off the side of a large external fuel tank as is currently done with the space shuttle. In-line designs place the cargo (or crew) directly atop a lower first stage as did Saturn launch vehicles. Budget pressures have intensified due to the grounding of the shuttle fleet after last week's foam and debris shedding. This grounding and a possible hiatus before flights resume could lead to increased pressure to develop a side-mounted shuttle-derived heavy lifter similar in overall concept to the Shuttle-C launch vehicle proposed in the 1990s. This side-mounted launcher would allow many existing shuttle facilities to be used either unmodified or with slight modification since the shuttle orbiter would be replaced with a cargo carrier and use the same 'footprint' as does the current space shuttle. The costs required to transition to such a new system would be less, and current cargoes (ISS components) could be integrated in a fashion nearly identical with how they are launched in shuttle orbiter cargo bays. The larger, more capable in-line shuttle-derived systems that have been studied would require substantial modifications to launch pads and ground support infrastructure."