In brief: Interior chief to talk wolves with governors
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – The governors of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming plan to meet with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in Denver on Monday to talk about wolf management.
Wildlife managers and sportsmen in all three states are concerned growing numbers of wolves are taking a toll on wildlife. But environmental groups have succeeded so far in preventing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from ending federal protections for wolves.
Chris Boswell, chief of staff to Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal, said Salazar asked to meet with the governors. But Boswell said Wyoming doesn’t expect a final settlement of wolf management issues from Monday’s meeting.
Cancer foundation closing its doors
ELTOPIA, Wash. – The nonprofit Fighting Children’s Cancer Foundation is closing next month.
The foundation’s director, Alice Didier, told the Tri-City Herald that the organization couldn’t find enough people willing to serve in key positions. The foundation is based in the small town of Eltopia near the Tri-Cities.
Her son, Clint Didier, unsuccessfully ran this year for the U.S. Senate. He helped with the nonprofit’s golf fundraisers.
Alice Didier said it also is getting difficult to raise money because of competition from other charity golf tournaments.
She said the organization is distributing the $67,500 it raised during its tournament in June for children’s cancer care and research.
Pipe break floods urban waters labs
TACOMA – Tacoma’s new Center for Urban Waters has sprung a leak.
The building houses the city’s science and engineering laboratories that test marine water quality and work on cleanup. The News Tribune reported that on Thanksgiving morning, a thawing pipe burst and flooded three floors with water more than an inch deep. There’s no damage estimate yet, but firefighters who responded hurried to move the expensive lab equipment to safety.
The $38 million building opened last spring. It also houses the state’s Puget Sound Partnership and the University of Washington Tacoma’s marine research center.
Commuters’ times improve, study says
SEATTLE – Believe it or not, the Department of Transportation says Washingtonians are spending less time stuck in traffic.
In the department’s latest annual congestion study, researchers say that commuters spent on average 1 hour less in congestion in 2009 than in 2007, while travel times improved on 31 of 38 high-use routes in the Puget Sound area.
The Seattle Times reported that the state partly attributes the drop in driving time to a drop in employment. Between 2006 and 2009, unemployment in Washington spiked from 4.9 to 8.9 percent, meaning fewer people are commuting to work.