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Archive for April, 2010

 Although Koootenai Environmental Alliance has made a pact with the IRS to not endorse candidates or otherwise engage in political work, we can still get the word out about the citizenship basics of election processes. And our friends at Conservation Voters for Idaho reminded us today that the primary election in Idaho is only 26 days away, and we’d thought we’d pass along their advice:

Some elections will be decided in the primary coming up on Tuesday, May 25th.  Friday, April 30th is the last day to register to vote before the primary election. You need to register or re-register if you have recently moved, changed your name, or have not voted in the last 4 years.

Go to www.IdahoVotes.Gov for voter registration information or directly download the Voter Registration Form (pdf). If the form is postmarked by the close of business on April 30th you will be registered to vote in the primary. You can also register to vote in person at your polling place with a valid photo I.D. that shows your current address.

Voters do not register with any political party and you can vote in either the Republican or the Democratic primary. You will receive both ballots when voting and if you mark choices on both ballots your vote will not count so be sure to only fill out one.

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Some of the things interesting to us lately:

The first administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency talks about environmental protection in these times — Wall Street Journal

March 2010, another very warm month on the planet — NOAA 

A new kind of non-non-profit corporation to benefit society — Chronicle of Philanthropy

Greening your company is good, but giving green is maybe even better — Huffington Post

The Giant Palouse Earthworm – FOUND! — University of Idaho

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Even as we refine our on-line presence (We’re on Twitter! And Facebook!) , we try not to get too caught up in click-counting here at KEA 2.0. Just as lawn signs are not a good predictor of election day outcomes, clicks are not necessarily a good indicator of commitment.

Still, we were fascinated as to why our blog’s most popular post, by far, was the one about the federal statute that created Woodsy the Owl. Well, it seems that our blog posting, for whatever reason, has made it to number one on Google if you’re searching for Woodsy Owl images.

For what it’s worth, we borrowed that particular public domain image from Wikimedia Commons. Still, we welcome the search engine traffic to our North Idaho outpost. So here are a couple more Woodsy the Owl images for our blog visitors from around the world.

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Our friends at Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness are ramping up their efforts to get commitments for wilderness designation for some of North Idaho’s best landscape.  The idea has been around for a long time, and we agree that it’s about time that we see some movement. Indeed, here in the KEA offices, we just came across an old fact sheet about Scotchman Peaks describing an early proposal.  So it got us to reading some stuff:

— Let’s protect Scotchman Peaks Wilderness once and for all — Idaho Conservation League, and an op-ed in the Bonner County Daily Bee.  (Take action at a nifty Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness page which will allow you to email your congressional representatives.)

— Meanwhile in Montana, EarthJustice has problems with Sen. Tester’s proposals about logging and wilderness — New West

— Politically, how’s Obama doing on western land policy? — Rocky Barker’s blog

— Climate and wilderness forces should be combined — Firedoglake

— Fine dining and wild rivers (featuring our friends at ROW Adventures) — New York Times

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Spokane River at State Line

In the post-Earth Day Sunday paper, the Spokesman Review published our take on the Spokane River cleanup. We agree that Idaho isn’t being treated fairly, but it isn’t like we have clean hands on our side of the border.

Here’s hoping we can just get on with the difficult business of getting the nutrients out of the river.

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Retiring Justice John Paul Stevens played a leading role in the development of modern environmental law — Legal Planet

Food and climate change and Anna Lappe at Get Lit! in Spokane — Out There Monthly

Off road vehicles vs. land protection — USA Today

A diminished environment is the new normal — Yale Environment 360

Two more glaciers gone at Glacier National Park — Spokesman Review

Idaho needs to re-start water quality monitoring.  Someday.  — Rocky Barker’s Blog

Where exactly do we live?  Some very interesting maps. — NRDC Switchboard  and The Map Scroll

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The CDA Press recently reported and editorialized about the recent development forum, which focussed attention on frustrations with County approval and enforcement processes in the Kootenai County Building and Planning Department.

 As perhaps the ardent environmentalists referred to in this CDA Press editorial, we would only say that not all of the blame can be laid in the Department. A huge problem is the failure of the Commissioners to adopt even minimal fixes to horribly dysfunctional building codes, zoning codes, hearing procedures, and site disturbance and flood control ordinances. And, of course, a comp plan decision is way overdue.

 It isn’t just the comp plan that is stuck in the Commissioners’ bottleneck. The County Commissioners have had a draft ordinance to fix at least some of their outmoded and inefficient hearing procedures sitting on their desks since last summer.  They’ve held hearings, but deliberations have stalled.

 Fairness, clarity, and consistency are values we can all agree on, but the Department could also use some supportive legislative action in that regard.  When it comes to the basic rules governing the county, the Department doesn’t have much to work with.

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