Chaney to Announce Earth Day Awards


Moscow Mayor Nancy Chaney will announce the recipients of the 2012 Mayor’s Earth Day awards at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 16, during the City Council meeting.  The awards recognize Moscow residents for activities conducive to environmental sustainability.

For information, contact Jen Pfiffner at jpfiffner@ci.moscow.id.us or 208-883-7123.

(The Moscow-Pullman Daily News)

Moscow Mayor’s 2012 Earth Day Awards


Congratulations, Moscow community megaload protesters!

Remember all of those cold and lonely nights that we stood together outside Moscow City Hall and protested the largest, most energy intensive and ecologically destructive industrial project in the world, Alberta tar sands operations?  Our good consciences understood and resisted the myriad environmental and social injustices and pollution- and climate-caused suffering that now results from the Idaho Transportation Department’s permission and our City Council’s acceptance of ExxonMobil/Imperial Oil megaloads rampaging our city streets, state highways, and civil rights.

But a full year of speaking at public hearings, writing letters, encouraging citizen involvement, monitoring overlegal loads, broadcasting updates, offering information to the media, searching for lawyers, and testifying in court managed only to re-route the industrial parade of climate chaos through communities who have yet to overtly display their concerns.  With no other remaining recourse in Moscow, we upheld our most significant redress of our grievances with unresponsive government officials and industry executives, as we publicly protested EVERY megaload passage.

On Monday, April 16, Moscow Mayor Nancy Chaney will acknowledge our vigilant and valiant efforts.  At the onset of the regular City Council meeting at 7 pm, our mayor will announce the recipients of the 2012 Mayor’s Earth Day Awards that recognize Moscow residents for activities conducive to environmental sustainability.  Mayor Chaney has requested the honor of our presence in (not outside!) the Moscow City Hall Council Chambers (206 East Third Street) as she commends the megaload protesters of our Moscow community.  Please join us!  For more information, see the Moscow-Pullman Daily News article, the City Council meeting agenda, or contact Jen Pfiffner at jpfiffner@ci.moscow.id.us or 208-883-7123.

Kootenai County Judge Dismisses Megaload Monitor Charge


On Wednesday, April 11, in Idaho’s First District Court, Judge Robert Caldwell dismissed an infraction for failure to use a vehicle safety restraint imposed on organizer Helen Yost of the Moscow, Idaho-based climate change activist group, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT).  Idaho State Police (ISP) Corporal Ronald Sutton charged Yost with the seat belt infraction and a misdemeanor of resisting and obstructing an officer early on August 27, 2011, when she subsequently refused to identify herself, citing Idaho codes regarding passenger IDs and seat belts in non-moving vehicles (see the attached Early Summary of Megaload Monitor Case).

The incident occurred as Sutton covered his regular patrol route on Highway 95, south of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, just before midnight on August 26.  When he noticed a Toyota 4Runner parked for a few minutes near milepost 421, he approached its four female occupants who had been traveling for about an hour in the vicinity of an ExxonMobil/Imperial Oil tar sands transport and convoy of a dozen pilot trucks, flagger vehicles, and state trooper cars.  On the previous night, six WIRT activists had sat, stood, laid down, and effectively blocked the same 200-foot-long, 400,000-pound, two-lane-wide “megaload” for a half hour as it traversed a gauntlet of 150 protesters in downtown Moscow, Idaho. Continue reading

Megaload Protest at the Port of Pasco


Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) activists are carpooling to a Sunday, April 15, demonstration at Jon Dam Plaza in Richland, Washington, organized by Occupy Portland and called A15 Hanford Rally: North America’s Fukushima?  At this event between noon and 5 pm, participants will express their dismay with the failure and corruption of clean-up efforts at the U.S. Department of Energy’s nuclear waste site with nine decommissioned weapons-production reactors, as well as their concerns about the safety and health of facilities contractors and workers and resident Native Americans and downwinders in the Tri-Cities and surrounding region, whose lives has been decimated by Hanford.  Occupy Portland and local protesters plan to heighten the American priority, increase the funding, transparency, and efficiency, and spur the external oversight of the Hanford clean-up, while uniting the people and communities affected by the Hanford situation.  To learn more about this massive, nationally supported rally, featuring speakers such as Dr. Helen Caldicott, John Brave Hawk, Paul Gunter, and Paige Knight, and about the millions of gallons of radioactive waste leaking from underground storage tanks at the most contaminated high earthquake risk zone in North America, visit the event facebook page or website.

Ever vigilant of the root causes of climate change, Wild Idaho Rising Tide organizers are networking throughout the region to raise awareness and instigate protests against ongoing Alberta tar sands transportation ventures originating at the Ports of Pasco and Vancouver in Washington.  During the Hanford rally, we plan to talk with plenty of local activists opposed to dirty energy projects and, at 5 pm after the demonstration, travel with them five miles north to the Port of Pasco to protest ExxonMobil/Imperial Oil megaload traffic across our region.  Approximately 100 tar sands modules remain at the port, where we will converge with signs, banners, musical instruments, and voices, to exert pressure on oil companies considering and/or currently staging transport of their deadly construction components to escalating Alberta tar sands operations.  As radioactive waste poisons the Earth and its waters and greenhouse gases cloud the skies and scramble the planet’s climate, take a stand with us in Richland and Pasco: it is our responsibility to halt and remedy our collective industrial energy bad habits.  Meet your WIRT comrades and Moscow community members on the south, Troy Highway side of the Eastside Marketplace parking lot at 9 am on Sunday, April 15, to drive or ride to the Tri-Cities and return by 9 pm that evening.

The Port of Lewiston Minus Megaloads


Port of Lewiston Resuming Normal Operations

What a difference a year makes.  Last April, I spent a good portion of the month tracking the only Imperial Oil megaload that took U.S. Highway 12.

It was a test module in the same dimension and weight as the largest of the extra-big shipments that Imperial Oil wanted to send along the Clearwater and Lochsa river corridor in Idaho.

That shipment, which is under security around the clock, made it a little past the Montana border and hasn’t moved, said Dave Barbe, general manager of Lolo Hot Springs, a business that’s located near its parking spot. Continue reading

Lewiston Dock Expansion Work Could Begin in Summer of 2013


The yellow shaded area next to the existing cargo loading dock at the Port of Lewiston shows the downstream area where the dock would be expanded (Port of Lewiston photo).

Containers are loaded into barges at the Port of Lewiston cargo dock, where an expansion project would significantly increase shipping volume capacity (The Lewiston Tribune/Barry Kough photo).

Unknowns for port include decision by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, grant money

The Port of Lewiston is getting a little closer to a $2.9 million expansion of its container dock, a project it initiated in 2007.

Plans are to begin the work in July 2013 and have it finished by September of that same year, said port Manager David Doeringsfeld.  “It’s not that big or difficult a project.”

That schedule, however, depends on a number of variables falling into place.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers received more than 50 public comments after it issued a draft finding of no significant impact, said Bruce Hendrickson, a spokesman for the Corps in Walla Walla.  That feedback will weigh into its final decision on the work. Continue reading

Climate Justice Forum: Brad Read & Cass Davis 4-9-12


On the Monday, April 9, Climate Justice Forum radio program, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) activists will host Brad Read of Envision Spokane, who taught the Spokane Democracy School last weekend and has organized a city-wide coalition supporting 2009 and 2011 ballot initiatives instituting a community bill of rights.  Cass Davis will read and talk about the statements that he and Jim Prall presented at their Friday sentencing for disturbing the peace of megaload traffic through Moscow, Idaho.  Also hear a review of dirty energy projects and resistance by listening to KRFP Radio Free Moscow online or at 92.5 FM between 7:30 and 9:00 pm PDT and support progressive, volunteer radio by adopting WIRT as your KRFP DJ!

Megaload Protesters Proud to Disturb the Peace


Two megaload protesters pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace for blocking a convoy of Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil shipments in Moscow on March 4, before being given the opportunity to explain how their perception of the environmental devastation tied to the Kearl Oil Sands project left them no choice.

James Prall, 67, and Cass Davis, 47, both of Moscow, had been facing obstruction charges, but a deal brokered with counsel Dana Johnson of the Northern Rockies Justice Center and city of Moscow prosecuting attorney Rod Hall amended the charges to disturbing the peace with the penalty being a $240 fine. Continue reading

Megaload Blockers’ Statements at Sentencing Hearing


Cass Davis and Jim Prall appeared before Judge John Judge in the Latah County Courthouse on Friday, April 6, for their sentencing on misdemeanors of disturbing the peace.  Both had peacefully linked arms and sat in Washington Street with Jeanne McHale and Pat Monger, attempting to stop three transports of Alberta tar sands processing equipment from crossing Moscow, Idaho, on Sunday night, March 4.  After Idaho state and Moscow city police dragged all four protesters to the side and the two men re-entered the road, Cass and Jim were arrested, jailed, and charged with resisting and obstructing officers.  Dana Johnson of the Northern Rockies Justice Center represented both defendants, who ultimately pleaded guilty to reduced charges and, at their open, public, hearing on Friday, read personal statements for the record, describing their reasons for their non-violent civil disobedience.  Listen to the Thursday, April 5 KRFP Radio Free Moscow Evening Report, Montana Move to Amend, between 13:38 and 12:42 for their sentencing hearing announcement.  Hear Cass Davis’ statement between 28:33 and 22:01 of the Friday, April 6 Evening Report.  The transcripts of both Jim’s and Cass’ statements are available at Cass Davis and Jim Prall Sentencing Statements 4-6-12.

Sentencing Hearing of March 4 Megaload Blockaders


On Friday, April 6, at 1:00 pm, Cass Davis and Jim Prall will offer statements that describe their reasons for protesting and blocking three transports of tar sands processing equipment that traversed Moscow, Idaho, late on Sunday evening, March 4, 2012.  Idaho state and Moscow city police arrested, jailed, and charged Cass and Jim for disturbing the peace at the intersection of Fourth and Washington streets.  Represented by Dana Johnson of the Northern Rockies Justice Center, both defendants have pled guilty to their misdemeanors and will personally present their motives during their sentencing hearing before Judge John Judge in the Latah County Courthouse.  The officially recorded session is open to the public and reporters, but normal courtroom policy disallows recording devices such as cameras and camcorders.  Please join community members and friends at 1:00 pm on Friday afternoon for this hearing at 522 South Adams Street in Moscow. Continue reading