Category Archive 'Washington'

08 Jan 2018

There’s Something Happening Here

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The Landslide Blog has an imminent winner:

Rattlesnake Ridge is a large hillside located above the I-82 highway to the south of the town of Yakima in Washington State, NW USA. The Google Earth image below shows the location of the site (at 46.524, -120.467), taken in May 2017. The image is looking towards the east – note the large active quarry on the south side of the ridge, and other signs of earlier (and smaller scale) excavation on the slope. Note also the proximity of the slope to I-82.

In October 2017 a major fissure started to develop through Rattlesnake Ridge. Over the last three months this apparent tension crack has widened to encompass a volume of about 3 million cubic metres.

The latest reports suggest that the crack is widening at a rate of about 30 cm per week at present. Interestingly KIMA TV reports that the expectation is that the slope will self-stabilise:

    Senior Emergency Planner Horace Ward said they have not determined a cause yet and said it’s just nature. Ward said the ridge is being monitored and they think the slide will stop itself.

    “It could continue to move slowly enough to where it kind of just keeps spilling a little bit of material into the quarry until it creates a toe for itself to stop and stabilize the hillside,” he said.

The implication of this is that it is a rotational slip. However, the tension crack has quite a complex structure, with some evidence of the development of a graben structure.


25 Aug 2014

Yesterday, 200 Years Ago

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Two hundred years ago, Admiral Cochrane with 4500 troops defeated a mixed American force of militia and naval personnel at Bladensburg, Maryland, then captured and occupied Washington, D.C. On August 24, the British burned the President’s Residence, the Capitol, and the Library of Congress. The British, however, refrained from burning the Marine barracks and the Marine Corps Commandant’s House, as a compliment to Captain Samuel Miller and the 116 Marines who had brought two 18-pounder guns and three 12-pounder guns from the Washington Navy Yard, and placing them astride the Washington turnpike, defied British frontal assaults, until out of ammunition and under attack from the flank, the Marines made an orderly withdrawal functioning as a rear guard and preventing the British from overtaking the routed American militia.


Marines at Bladensburg

12 Apr 2014

Hamilton Corner Sign Says

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The “Hamilton Corner” sign – otherwise known as the “Uncle Sam” sign is located ln Lewis County, Washinton, along side exit 72 on the I-5 corridor mid-way between Seattle and Portland.

Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

14 Feb 2014

Who’s Afraid?

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It’s the overweight, sedentary blogger out in the country in northern Washington, a couple of hundred yards from his car, who sees “four animals silently streaking along in my general direction. My first thought, in the fading light, is that they are deer… but they aren’t running like deer. They also appear much bigger than coyotes, which are common in the area.”

Jon’s story

If we were to go back a century, nobody would be silly enough to go wandering around in a wilderness setting inhabited by large predators (bear, mountain lions, wolves) and not carry a sidearm. Living in cities and their adjoining suburbs, where the possibility of being the object of predation is totally unthinkable, and where carrying guns is severely frowned upon, inculcates the mindset of the domesticated herbivore.

Hat tip to Vanderleun.

16 Jun 2013

Anti-Gun Crusader Decides to Start Packing

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Heidi Yewman

Heidi Yewman, board member of the Brady Anti-Firearms Campaign and an activist who organizes anti-gun demonstrations in her home state of Washington, recently had a bright idea.

My hands are shaking; my adrenaline is surging.

No, it’s not from the latte I just inhaled or because this is the first time in two years I’ve been in a Starbucks since declaring a boycott on its open-carry gun policy.

What’s got me jittery this morning is the 9mm Glock that’s holstered on my hip. Me, lead gun policy protester at the 2010 Starbuck’s shareholder meeting. Me, a board member of the Brady Campaign. Me, the author of a book about the impact of gun violence, Beyond the Bullet.

Yes, I bought a handgun and will carry it everywhere I go over the next 30 days. I have four rules: Carry it with me at all times, follow the laws of my state, only do what is minimally required for permits, licensing, purchasing and carrying, and finally be prepared to use it for protecting myself at home or in public.

Why? Following the Newtown massacre in December, the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre, told the country, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” I wondered what would it be like to be that good guy with a gun? What would it be like to get that gun, live with that gun, be out and about with that gun. Finally, what happens when you don’t want that gun any more?

I decided to find out.

It would be fitting, plot-wise, if Heidi happened to find herself armed and present at a crime scene and drew that Glock, made a citizen’s arrest, then converted completely and was found thereafter shooting caribou weekends with Sarah Palin and serving as the local NRA firearms safety instructor. But I suspect it won’t happen.

For one thing, it is not apparent that, despite all the tumescence and pumping adrenaline, she has ever actually loaded that Glock.

Gun-dealer Tony deserves a good swift kick in the slats for selling a really-safety-less Glock, the handgun of choice for people who need to shoot themselves in the leg, to a person totally unfamiliar with automatic pistols, firearms generally, and gun safety, who is a chick to boot.

Glocks have their virtues. They are cheap, reliable, low maintenance, and easy to shoot, but they are a terrible choice for someone like Heidi as a first gun. She would have been a lot better off with a J-Frame Smith & Wesson .38 Special Revolver. Autos are too complicated, too difficult for novices like Heidi to understand, and too easy to make mistakes handling. Especially Glocks, which are autos pretending to be revolvers with a pretend safety on the trigger. Besides, Glocks are black, made of industrial synthetic material, and are ugly. Heidi’s first gun ought to have had some actual beauty of line and design, so that it might have at least some small chance of insinuating its way into her affections.

Of course, it is not only the clueless Tony, but Heidi herself is to blame if something goes wrong. Americans have a right to keep and bear arms, but anyone who is going to do so also has a personal responsibility to seek advice and instruction so as to choose the right weapon and to know how to handle it safely. Simply going out, buying the first gun some yoyo offers you, and then driving down the street needing to ask a cop to show you how to take out the magazine and investigate whether your gun is loaded doesn’t cut it. I will grant that the scene of the pistol-packing and trembling-with-adrenaline hoplophobe approaching an on-duty cop and trying to explain that she is armed and clueless is damned funny though. Heidi probably never even realized that with the wrong cop or if that Glock had really been loaded the result could have been her own arrest.

She never mentions any of this, but Washington state requires a permit for concealed carry, and the same permit is required to have a loaded handgun in your car.

Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds.

24 Oct 2012

Damn! This Photo Is Going to Gain Votes For the Democrat

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Amy Biviano, née Nabors, posed as one of the “Women of the Ivy League” for Playboy in 1995.

Amy Biviano, Democratic candidate for Spokane Valley’s 4th District House of Representatives, has been “outed” for having posed for Playboy magazine’s “Women of the Ivy League” in 1995. She was a student at Yale at the time.

The lucky candidate even attracted coverage by Xbiz Newswire, a porno industry news feed.

Curiously, Ms. Biviano is not locatable in the on-line Yale Alumni Directory under either “Biviano” or “Nabors.”

Nonetheless, there really is a contemporary Yale Herald article on-line which identifies her as a member of the Class of 1997, so I expect the Alumni Directory has just made some kind of mistake.


Apparently, Ms. Biviano, at the time foresaw the possibility of her Playboy pictures coming to light later in life, and discussed that possibility in the Yale Herald.

Picture this…you are applying for a job for which you know that you’re perfect. It is unthinkable that your experience, your high grades, and your real interest in the company could be disregarded. Yet, as the decision is made, somehow, you are looked over. Why? The answer has nothing to do with your college education and everything to do with your college behavior – you posed for Playboy, and now your job market will be forever limited.

The above scenario is every Yalie’s worst nightmare – being rejected just because of one stupid, rash college prank. You know that you would never make the same mistake twice if you had the chance. Alright, so I did pose for Playboy. Do I feel that one day the above scenario will apply to me? No. You might ask, “Why not?” Do I have career plans that allow for borderline behavior and overlook my indiscretions? Well, originally I did. I had planned to spend my life doing anthropological research on sex; thus, Playboy may have even enhanced my career. But now? Now, among other options, I am considering law, obviously a less-forgiving field.

So why do I still consider posing for Playboy to have been the right move for me? What I have learned this summer in the face of this scandal has taught me more about myself and the others around me than I could ever have learned by sticking to my role as the sweet little girl next door. …

[D]o I believe that my future might be affected by posing for Playboy? Yes, I believe that it will. But, it has made a positive contribution to my life – I gained a sense of self-reliance which I lacked before the posing scandal. Yes, it was fun to have my five minutes of fame both on the Yale campus and on the national scene. It is a nice little boost to the ego to know that some people consider me to be attractive enough to be in Playboy. But of course I know now, and I knew when I first chose to pose, that these benefits will fade, and they will only be remembered by a few people searching through dusty archives. However, posing for Playboy has permanently changed me by making me think a little bit differently about myself – I’m now more of a risk-taker, fear social approval less, and know a bit more about what I’m capable of. I may never do something this controversial again, but it’s nice to know that I could and did.

Amy Nabors, SM ’97, is an anthropology major.


Despite the alarmed tone of the liberal news coverage, I think the publicity (and the exposed boobs photo) will do nothing but win admiring 4th district male votes for the candidate.

04 Sep 2011

Firemen Rescue Fawn

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Clark County Fire District 3 is a full-service fire department, even coming to the rescue of the local black-tailed deer in Brush Prairie, Washington. Everybody likes to see a fawn reunited with its mother.

28 Jul 2010

State Governments in Action

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The Massachusetts Legislature passed a bill intended to bypass the US Constitution and eliminate the function of the Electoral College in presidential elections.

Illinois, New Jersey, Hawaii, Maryland, and Washington have already passed similar legislation as advocated by National Popular Vote Inc.

Can’t you just picture the inevitable denoument in which, a few years down the road, the liberal democrat wins the Electoral College despite the conservative Republican gaining a majority of the popular vote, whereupon there is some serious scrambling in Massachusetts, Illinois, New Jersey, Hawaii, Maryland, Washington and so on?


With its budget in bad shape, the state of Washington casually gave away an attractively located 10-acre island it purchased for $211,000 nineteen years ago, despite the fact that the island could have been sold for for millions.

24 Aug 2009

Talking Back to Congressional Democrats

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In a perfect vignette from those Town Hall Meetings on Health Care Reform that have been making news, David Hedrick, a Marine Corps veteran, makes mincemeat out of Rep.Brian Baird (D- Wash) at a meeting somewhere in Washington State.

Hedrick’s point, that Congress has absolutely no right to interfere with our right to chose our own health insurance, is dead on.

2:19 video

Mr. Hedrick was clearly far from alone in his sentiments. The crowd cheered his remarks.

From Simon at Classical Values via Bird Dog at Maggie’s Farm.

05 Oct 2008

Web 2.0 Armored Car Robbery

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John Murrell admires the fellow’s ingenuity.

Taking inspiration from similar ploys seen in the movies and adding a Web 2.0 twist, an armored-car robber in Monroe, Wash., escaped Tuesday with the unwitting help of a dozen or so decoys responding to a Craigslist job ad.

According to reports, the suspect — wearing a yellow vest, safety goggles, a blue shirt, and a respirator mask — approached the truck in a Bank of America parking lot, gave the guard a face full of pepper spray, grabbed the cash bag, sprinted about 100 yards to a creek, hopped into a waiting inner tube and floated off to freedom. The getaway vehicle was later found about 200 yards downstream, sans passenger. At the bank, meanwhile, there was no shortage of people matching the robber’s description. A dozen or so men dressed in identical gear were wandering around wondering if their potential employer had stood them up. Each had responded to a Craigslist ad purportedly seeking to hire road maintenance workers for $28.50 an hour, and each had gotten e-mail instructions to show up at 11 a.m. Tuesday near the bank wearing certain work clothing — “yellow vest, safety goggles, a respirator mask … and, if possible, a blue shirt,” said one. The FBI is on the case, hoping the offender was less clever in covering his digital tracks.

Seattle Times

Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

04 Sep 2007

Bear Attacks 51 Year-Old in County Park

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Seattle Times:

The man was biking, with his two dogs, in Banner Forest Heritage Park near Olalla around noon when he encountered the bear, said Ron Powers, a battalion chief for South Kitsap Fire and Rescue. The dogs were in front of him on the trail when he heard them barking. He came around a blind corner and was face to face with the bear, Powers said.

The bear charged, and the man picked up his bike to protect himself. But the bear reached through the bike and ripped at the man’s arm, face, back, neck and ear before backing off, Powers said.

“We haven’t had an unprovoked attack like this in a lot of years,” Jackson said. “You’d have to go back 30 or 40 years at least.”

The man was able to get on his bike and ride away. He eventually encountered two other bikers, who called 911. He was transported to St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma, where his condition was upgraded Monday from serious to satisfactory.

Authorities set five bear traps Monday at the park, which is expected to remain closed for two weeks. When caught, the bear will be killed. “When it attacks a person, we put it down,” Jackson said.

But some left coast neighbors are defending the bear:

The Department of Fish and Wildlife has set up traps for a bear that attacked a bicyclist on Sunday, and officials say the bear will likely be killed.

But people who live near Banner Forest Heritage Park say the animal did nothing wrong.

Anthony Blasioli, 51, was biking with his two dogs alongside him when he encountered the bear Sunday morning.

The bear charged at the man, cutting his arms, back and neck before he managed to get away. He’s being treated at a Tacoma hospital and was listed in satisfactory condition.

Officials think the bear may have been defending its cubs, and that is what has area residents protesting plans to kill the animal.

“It’s mean, it’s cruel, it’s bad,” said Mike Leathers. “We’re in their territory. The bear and her cubs need to be relocated.”

Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Duane Makoviney it’s very rare for a bear to attack a human, and they have no choice but to euthanize it.

“It could have been worse. We could have a fatality here and we certainly don’t want that to happen,” he said.

Carol Maddux lives just miles from the park and she says bears are seen frequently in the area.

“They’re not aggressive,” she said. “They will back away from you anyone knows that.”

10 Aug 2007

Washington Man Bitten by Beheaded Rattlesnake

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A Prosser, Washington man learned the hard way the fact that the severed head of a rattlesnake remains capable of biting for a long time after being separated from its body. The old-timers in rural Pennsylvania always swore that a snake couldn’t die before sundown. I doubt that sundown has anything to do with it, but there is no doubt that the body of a decapitated snake will twist and coil for many hours and a decapitated snake’s head can definitely continue to bite for a very long time.

In this case, the perpetrator was probably the Western rattlesnake (Crotalus viridus).

AP story.

13 May 2006

Mount St. Helens Volcano Grows New Rock Slab

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A new rock slab is growing at more than one meter a day on the Mt. St. Helens volcano in the state of Washington. You can actually see it grow in this very brief time-lapse photopgraphy video. Hit replay, and watch closely a few times.

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