WIRT Newsletter: May & June Events

Dear comrades,

Please consider participating in these upcoming May and June events.  We will send a separate announcement about the third annual Tar Sands Solidarity Journey, on June 25 to July 1, to and from the fifth and final Tar Sands Healing Walk, June 27 and 28 near Fort McMurray, Alberta.  Also anticipate pending alerts about eco-performer Dana Lyons and activist Matt Krogh of ForestEthics bringing their Oil Train Tour to Moscow on Tuesday, June 24, to Spokane on Wednesday, June 25, and to Sandpoint on Thursday, June 26.  Check the Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) website page, Events Calendar, often for updated WIRT schedules.

May 16: WIRT Activists House Party

Instead of WIRT’s usual, third Thursday, monthly potluck meeting, we invite you and your friends and family to our humble base camp house, for a Friday evening gathering to celebrate our collective’s amazing activists and allies, and to strategize and energize for a summer of successful actions.  Bring beverages, snacks, or entrees to share with your comrades, for a lively night of radical fun on a beautifully balmy May Moscow evening.  The party starts at 7 pm on Friday, May 16, and continues far into the evening, with potential to enjoy home-made acoustic music playing, dancing, relaxing, and enjoying the company of friends.  WIRT would be delighted and infinitely grateful for the honor of your presence (especially on Helen’s birthday and with a tenuous Highway 95 megaload victory)!

Thanks to everyone who has contributed toward the success of the hundred-year-old, two-bedroom house serving as our organizational hub over the last two years.  With your myriad provisions of essential furniture and household goods, we have accommodated several traveling presenters, performers, and activists in our downtown abode beneath a huge cottonwood tree.  The WIRT Activists House is open daily between noon and 8 pm, to provide our group a combined working space, monthly meeting place, information resource center, and visiting/resident climate activist home.  We are again searching through our network for one or two house mates to support some of the monthly rental and utility costs.  Please contact us at 208-301-8039 with your suggestions and questions about the house party, its location, and other WIRT business.

May 18: John Crock Memorial Service

This note comes to us from John’s long-time partner and recent wife, Laurene Sorensen, P.O. Box 9826, Moscow, Idaho 83843: “John departed on his last adventure on Monday, April 28, shortly after noon.  He was traveling light, carrying only a smile.  We’ll be celebrating his life on Sunday, May 18, from noon to 4 pm at the Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute (PCEI), 1040 Rodeo Drive, Moscow, Idaho.  We’ll start with a potluck lunch and then have an informal, outdoor memorial service.  Please bring a dish to share, a picnic blanket, and your stories and pictures.

If you are traveling from out of town, you are welcome to camp on the PCEI grounds or at my farm.  The nearest airports are Pullman (seven miles away) and Lewiston (35 miles away); you can also fly into Spokane, but that’s about 80 miles from Moscow.

We’ll be setting up from 3 to 5 pm on Saturday, May 17, and there’ll be a barbecue and beer for anyone who’d like to help.  Please accept/decline by email to Laurene Sorensen at laurenesorensen@gmail.com, or to Lauretta Campbell at hyperspud2@yahoo.com.”

May 21: No Oil Trains People’s Hearing

Washington state and city government agencies have again dismissed opportunities for public scoping hearings in Spokane and the inland Northwest, as communities risk their health and environments along the sacrifice zone rail lines of potentially explosive unit trains, each transporting 3.36 million gallons of oil.  In January 2014, Imperium Terminal Services and Westway Terminal Company requested environmental reviews of their proposed crude oil terminals and bulk storage facility expansions at the Port of Grays Harbor in Hoquiam [1].  Proponents of the Grays Harbor Rail Terminal proposed by U.S. Development also submitted permit applications and a State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) checklist to the City of Hoquiam in April 2014.  Per SEPA, co-lead agencies Washington Department of Ecology and the City of Hoquiam are conducting ongoing, statewide, Environmental Impact Statement scoping processes, accepting public comments between April 10 and May 27, 2014 [2].  But they only held public scoping meetings in Hoquiam and Centralia, Washington, respectively on April 24 and 29, even while trackside Idaho and Washington cities from Hope and Sandpoint to Spokane Valley, Spokane, and Cheney lie in the project crosshairs. Continue reading

Port of Lewiston Wants Megaloads Back

Megaloads are still on the table, as the Port of Lewiston crafts its budget for the coming fiscal year.

The port is seeking to increase the amount it sets aside for legal expenses, from $9,000 this year to $33,000 next year, to be prepared for litigation to keep the U.S. Highway 12 corridor open for megaloads.  It has also more than doubled the money available for administration travel to $21,500.

Those two items are part of a draft budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, which Lewiston port commissioners reviewed on Wednesday.

No megaload taking up two lanes of traffic has moved on U.S. Highway 12 since last summer, after a federal judge imposed a preliminary injunction halting the shipments in response to a lawsuit filed against the U.S. Forest Service by the Nez Perce Tribe and Idaho Rivers United.  The two groups are in mediation on the issue.

Even though that matter hasn’t been resolved, port commissioners are giving Port Manager David Doeringsfeld the go-ahead to recruit more megaloads. Continue reading