WIRT Newsletter: April Climate Activism and Event News

Dear climate concerned co-activists,

With coal, Bakken oil, and liquefied natural gas (and tar sands?) poised to hemorrhage out of the Northwest, and extraction supplies for Alberta (and Utah?) tar sands mining and Bakken fracking invading from Asia, our regional resistance movement grows every day, gratefully with your co-leadership!


Taking Action (March 28 Lewiston Tribune)

One of the last feature stories written by Alan Solan for the Inland 360 entertainment section of the Lewiston Tribune (possibly read by Boise lawmakers) highlighted Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) and our dirty energy resistance campaigns and second annual celebration/benefit concert.

lur apparel Sustainable Leader Award (March 29)

Thanks to everyone who participated in this contest that closed on Friday, March 29, and garnered almost 100 votes for Helen Yost of WIRT.  Your active, daily support of our entry attempted to win $500 in sorely needed funds for Wild Idaho Rising Tide, the same value in new clothes for Helen, and wider involvement in and national coverage of our shared activism to halt dirty energy development.  Although two years of community organizing, protests, and events, group newsletters, action alerts, website and facebook pages, and a radio show, and personal arrests and court battles have won us extensive affirmations of our work, they could not match the 700-plus votes and subsequent prize of the winning co-contestant.  Nonetheless, we are relieved that the distraction of inadvertently promoting a more lucrative company has passed so that we can focus more intently on our campaigns vanquishing fossil fuel extraction and transportation ventures in our region.  Thanks for your support (the donation link on the WIRT website functions more easily)!

Flashpoints Interview of Helen Yost (April 1 Flashpoints)

Between 21:52 and 33:07 of the Monday evening, nationally broadcast Flashpoints radio show, Helen Yost of WIRT talked with program host Dennis Bernstein during a recorded interview about megaload and tar sands operations and their impacts on the places and people of Canada and Idaho, expressing gratitude for KRFP Radio Free Moscow and promoting WIRT’s radio show, upcoming events, and internet interactions.

Andrew Nikiforuk Visit (April 4-5)

We greatly appreciate award-winning journalist and author Andrew Nikiforuk’s visit to the Palouse region and Highway 12, and his numerous presentations, conversations, signed copies of his books, and the opportunities that he provided all of us to expand our community knowledge of the Canadian Mordor that we work so diligently together to oppose.  We offer our apologies for delaying his travel toward Missoula as dusk descended and hope that his experiences of one of the largest expanses of wild rivers and forested mountains in the lower 48 states in such twilight conditions only further buttress his considerations of sharing the ‘Big Wild’ with his family and Idahoans assisting such an adventure in the future.

Wild Idaho Rising Tide extends our earnest gratitude to everyone who facilitated Andrew’s visit.  A thousand thanks to Jeanne McHale for connecting us with Jakob Magolan and his amazing Oil/Tar Sands Speaker Series; to Jakob for organizing this great educational foray and providing recorded material for the KRFP Radio Free Moscow news; to Carol Spurling of BookPeople of Moscow and Lioubov Baugh of the Washington State University (WSU) Bookie for swiftly arranging book signing opportunities for Andrew and for obtaining books for event participants; to Brian Koepke for working with his fellow WSU students, even while celebrating his ‘Big One,’ to reserve WSU space and post flyers for Andrew’s Friday, April 5, presentations; to Lin Laughy and Gary Macfarlane for sharing their vast understanding of the Clearwater/Lochsa valley and megaload issues with Andrew on his Friday afternoon tour; to Borg Hendrickson for inviting all the good people on the Fighting Goliath email list to purchase Andrew’s books at BookPeople (521 South Main Street in Moscow, 208-882-2669) and the Bookie (WSU Compton Union Building, 1500 NE Terrell Mall in Pullman, 509-332-2537) while they remain in stock (please buy some books, WIRT activists!); to Leigh Robartes of KRFP for promoting and reporting on the Oil/Tar Sands Speaker Series and Andrew’s additional appearances; and to the Associated Students of WSU Environmental Task Force, WSU Environmental Science Club, and Palouse Environmental Sustainability Coalition for co-sponsoring the multiple aspects of Andrew’s visit.  Explore the following links for more insights into Andrew’s beneficent work.

Andrew Nikiforuk

Andrew Nikiforuk Interview (November 21, 2012, Alternatives Journal)

Andrew Nikiforuk – The Energy of Slaves (October 12, 2012, CBC)

What is the Petro-State? Andrew Nikiforuk (January 17 Parkland Institute)

Paradise Ridge Defense Coalition Meeting (April 15)

The board and members of the Paradise Ridge Defense Coalition (PRDC) are meeting on Monday, April 15, in the reserved back room of One World Café between 5:15 and 7 pm.  (Space at neither The Attic nor the former Sisters’ Brew was available.)  All PRDC members and citizens concerned about proposed Highway 95 realignment are welcome!  We plan to discuss a mid-May field trip to the area potentially affected by the E-2 route and other native Palouse prairie remnants, outreach opportunities and plans during the warmer seasons, and ongoing campaign initiatives.

2013 Moscow Earth Day Award to David Hall (April 15)

Congratulations to David Hall for his intensive work over the years vigilantly serving the best interests of the Moscow community through his endeavors with PRDC and several other grassroots organizations.  Dave analyzed the U.S. 95 Thorn Creek Road to Moscow draft environmental impact statement, wrote extensive comments, and developed the PRDC website.  He currently guides the Palouse Prairie Foundation as its board of directors’ president and has worked on local water issues as a board member of the Palouse Water Conservation Network.  David has also contributed extensively as a core activist with Wild Idaho Rising Tide and as a volunteer for the Moscow Renaissance Fair, where he deservedly reigned as its king in 2012.

In response to nominations by community members, Mayor Nancy Chaney has chosen and will present David with a Earth Day award at the April 15 Moscow City Council meeting beginning at 7 pm in City Hall.  Let’s all support Dave and other Earth Day award recipients with our encouragement and award ceremony attendance, as Moscow recognizes their hard work and honors them on Monday evening.  WIRT activists are infinitely grateful for everything that David has accomplished for the Highway 95 megaload campaign and for PRDC and the Moscow community.

Tabling at Earth Week Environmental Occupation of WSU Terrell Mall & Moscow Hemp Fest 2013 (April 17 & 20)

WIRT is eagerly anticipating the participation of various Washington State University student and Palouse region groups (and maybe even a few WIRT volunteers?) at the Earth Week Environmental Occupation of Terrell Mall on the WSU campus in Pullman, between 9 am and 3 pm on Wednesday, April 17.  Thanks to WSU grad student activist Brian Koepke for organizing this great convergence of our allies!  On Saturday, April 20 (420!), the 17th annual Moscow Hemp Festival opens again, freely to everyone, at 10 am in East City Park in Moscow.  With arts and crafts vendors, advocacy speakers, food, and live music, it concludes with the last musical performances at dusk.  The activists of Compassionate Idaho, who have promised assistance with our fracking ban initiative, will also host a booth to gather signatures for their November 2014 medical marijuana ballot measure.  Please contact WIRT to join these tabling enterprises and extend our outreach to our community at WSU on Wednesday and/or at East City Park on Saturday.

Oil/Tar Sands Speaker Protest (April 17)

Some WIRT activists are far past talking about the Alberta tar sands and hope to catalyze some action and resolution emerging from the Oil/Tar Sands Speaker Series.  Education is not enough!  So WIRT is staging a protest starting at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, April 17, to express our resistance to tar sands development and welcome to our frontline Don Thompson, a 30-year veteran of the oil sands industry and past president of the Oil Sands Developers Group.  Mr. Thompson is now an executive advisor for Canadian Oil Sands Ltd., a member organization of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.  Although Don says that he is committed to a balanced conversation about what he considers ‘one of Canada’s greatest treasures, the oil sands,’ American Chemical Society organizers of his last presentation of the series anticipate difficult, oppositional, audience questions.  Please volunteer to dig up some dirt on Mr. Thompson and his cohorts and join us in the University of Idaho parking lot near the corner of Rayburn and Sixth streets with your or WIRT’s protest signs and noise-making apparati.

Monthly WIRT Meeting & Potluck (April 18)

Please join in the ever exciting tasks, initiatives, and strategies of our great, continentally recognized, direct action collective and assist a few well-intentioned but rigorously overworked souls!  As you have already contributed and witnessed, a few hours of your involvement can change the world!  Meet at 7 pm on Thursday, April 18, at the WIRT Activist House for some brainstorming, planning, potlucking, beer and wine drinking, and offering your creative ideas for WIRT responses to regional dirty energy proposals and recent spill disasters.  All are welcome: See you there!

Bidder 70/Tim DeChristopher Event (April 22)

Wild Idaho Rising Tide, our Utah anti-tar sands allies with Peaceful Uprising, filmmakers Beth and George Gage, and movie distributor Gathr Films are happy to announce that we reserved enough $10 movie tickets for you and your friends and family to see the documentary Bidder 70 and participate in a live-streamed, nationwide conversation with climate activist Tim DeChristopher on Earth Day, Monday, April 22.  The theater doors of the Kenworthy Performing Arts Center (508 South Main Street in Moscow) will open for this seminal event at 5:30 pm PDT, and the film will promptly begin at 6 pm, followed by an address and question-and-answer session with Tim, on the day after his release from federal prison.

For WIRT to stage this community show and discussion, we necessarily pre-purchased 38 of the 60 movie tickets required to reserve the Kenworthy Theater and host this great educational opportunity.  Please buy online some of the last nine of 60 seats needed for Gathr Films and Gage and Gage Productions to break even or obtain some of WIRT’s tickets at the Kenworthy door, by donating toward our almost $400 faith in our community.  Please also find attached an 11-by-17-inch event flyer for your color printing and posting and share this invitation via every possible social and electronic media.  For further event information, please see the WIRT website and facebook pages.

Missoula Direct Action Training (April 28)

Hosted by Blue Skies Campaign, WIRT, and other groups, and led by Backbone Campaign’s Kim Marks, a direct action workshop in Missoula on Sunday, April 28, will help us confront first Idaho fracking and ongoing tar sands megaloads and coal exports for the sake of everyone’s grandchildren (not to mention the air we breathe)!  As more information becomes available about this session teaching non-violent civil disobedience tactics and skills, we will further announce it.

Rising Tide National Gathering (~July 18-20)

Organizers will send updates about this convergence happening in Moab or Salt Lake City, before a Utah tar sands action camp, when we finalize plans.


Voices of Coal: An EarthFix Multimedia Special (March 2 EarthFix)

Three Rail Cars Derail in Missoula, Spilling Coal (March 5 Missoulian)

Montana Rail Link spilled 80 tons of coal from three Portland-bound cars that derailed around midnight in Missoula.  Each upright, tilted, or tipped car caused no injuries or traffic delays.  Crews cleaned up the spill and repaired tracks, while the accident cause was under investigation.

Anti-Coal Export Billboards in Montana (March 8 Columbia Riverkeeper)

What Coal-Train Dust Means for Human Health (March 11 EarthFix)

Idle No More Goes to the Port of Seattle (March 14 Black Orchid Collective)

Coal Exporter Ambre Energy Faces Five-Month Delay on Oregon Permit (March 14 Oregonian)

[Washington Governor] Inslee Takes Tough Stand on Coal Train Proposal (March 25 SeattleMet)

Port of Coos Bay Coal-Export Proposal Ends after 18 Months of Work (April 1 Oregonian)

Two coal ports down, four to go, with one faltering (see the previous article about Ambre Energy)!  “The Port of Coos Bay said today that it has ended its exclusive negotiating agreement with Metro Ports of California,…[whose] option ended on Sunday, after 1 1/2 years of work and several extensions.  Earlier this year, two other players in the deal dropped out: Mitsui and Korean Electric Power Corporation…The port may still pursue coal export,…but expensive rail improvements needed to accommodate coal trains make the prospects ‘highly unlikely’…It’s the second coal export project to fall by the wayside.”

Sierra Club Plans to Sue Railroad, Coal Companies over Coal Dust Pollution in Northwest (April 2 Oregonian)

On April 2, “five environmental groups filed their biggest legal blast so far, warning BNSF Railway and six coal companies that they plan to sue them in 60 days in federal court for violating the Clean Water Act.  If successful, the challenge would require coal trains to have water-pollution permits for the first time.”

Oregon: Groups Give Notice of Suit over Coal Dust (April 2 New York Times)

$1.7 Million Penalty Proposed for ExxonMobil Oil Spill into Yellowstone River (March 25 Billings Gazette)


Hanford: Transporting Nuclear Waste through the Gorge (March 12 Columbia Riverkeeper)

Nuclear Waste Dump May Explode, Pacific Northwest Screwed (April 4 Earth First! Newswire)

“State and federal officials have long known that hydrogen gas could build up inside the [waste] tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, leading to an explosion that would release radioactive material.”  With an active nuclear power generation facility, Hanford lies about 120 miles upwind of Moscow/Pullman’s prevailing west-southwest winds during April through September, which are easterly during October through March.

Hanford: Our Nuclear Neighbor (May 8)

WIRT members intend to depart the WIRT Activist House at 4 pm to carpool to this Wednesday, May 8, 6 to 8 pm event with free public admission and light refreshments, hosted by Columbia Riverkeeper, Spokane Riverkeeper, and Gonzaga University.  Do not miss this rare, overdue opportunity to regionally converge and discuss the historic and ongoing impacts and opportunities for resolution of downstream and downwind radioactive pollution from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.  In the Barbieri Moot Court Room at Gonzaga University School of Law, Columbia Riverkeeper will describe Hanford’s dirty past and the current state of disrepair of its clean-up.  Spokane Riverkeeper will examine Hanford’s historic and potential effects on our area, and together the Riverkeepers will talk about their (and your!) work to stop further contamination of our air and water by Hanford.  Columbia Riverkeeper will also offer a seat on their Hanford Paddle Trip, an 18-mile journey through the free-flowing Hanford Reach of the Columbia.  For more information, please contact Theresa Labriola at theresa@columbiariverkeeper.org or 541-490-2411.

Wild Idaho Rising Tide

P.O. Box 9817, Moscow, Idaho 83843

WildIdahoRisingTide.org & on facebook


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