A commercial aquaculture facility will be built in the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge

I’d written a letter to the Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands and to the Department of Natural Resources in which I’d objected to a commercial aquaculture facility being built in the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge
(see https://michaelmaddoxconservation.com/2021/08/17/dont-build-aquaculture-in-the-dungeness-national-wildlife-refuge/).

I received an email letter of reply on 20 August (pasted below) stating that approval has been given to the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe to build the facility.     MRM

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Clams, the RVs of the Beach. [and a shout out for Salish Magazine]

Seeing the title “Clams: the RVs of the Beach,” and with me and my wife being in an RV this year, I had to see what the post on John Williams’s outstanding online Salish Magazine (https://salishmagazine.org/) said. Though only loosely connected with RVs (clams move their homes with them), this article (https://salishmagazine.org/rvs-of-the-beach/) by Tom Noland about bivalves is full of the science details and good pictures of beach creatures that you expect from Salish Magazine.

Update on where to go for quality national news

First, regarding local news:
     Today’s blog is about quality national news, but before delving into that, a brief mention about local news. As the Seattle Times article referenced below mentions, “most states lost half their working journalists.” The loss of so many reporters threatens communities with not having accurate and comprehensive news about what’s going on in their communities, and it also compromises the ability to hold local officials, agencies, businesses, and other groups accountable. Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington State recognizes the risk to communities and democracy, so she’s striving to strengthen local journalism. You can read more in this article: Brier Dudley, “Sen. Cantwell on local news and keeping Americans informed,” Seattle Times, 30 July 2021, Web, Senator Maria Cantwell strives to strengthen local news

Now, regarding quality national news:
     I posted “Where to go for quality national news,” to this blog on 16 Apr. 2021 (see https://michaelmaddoxconservation.com/2021/04/16/where-to-go-for-quality-national-news/) , referring to reliability ratings of the national news media that were made by Ad Fontes Media (which describes itself as a “public benefit corporation with a mission to make news consumers smarter and news media better”). Its Media Bias Chart can be accessed at https://www.adfontesmedia.com/.

The Factual also ranks news sources, and it’s ratings of which are the most objective can be found at https://blog.thefactual.com/most-objective-news-sources. To determine these ratings, The Factual reviewed 828,00 articles from 53 sources, covering the period from 1 Jan. 2020 to 18 May 2021. For those wanting to know how the analyses were done, The Factual’s browser extension and the microsite IsThisCredible.com lets you drill down into the details.

[Note: This list does not include “local” papers (such as the The Seattle Times) which report lots of national news, though it does list The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post.]

Per The Factual, these are the Top Ten most objective national news sources:

                                               Percentage Score
Factcheck                                86.2
Smithsonian Magazine          82.7
Undark                                    80.9
The Conversation                   76.4
Grist                                       76.0
The Intercept                          75.3
FiveThirtyEight                     74.0
Lawfare Blog                         73.3
Politifact                                 73.2
National Geographic             72.9

These are the objectivity ratings of those news sources after the Top Ten.

                                              Percentage Score
Vox                                        72.4
ABC News                            72.0
CNBC                                    71.5
ProPublica                              71.4
New Republic                        71.0
Business Insider                    70.7
Science Magazine                  70.4
Washington Examiner          69.6
Reason                                    69.0
New York Times                    68.4
MarketWatch                          67.6
The Norton                             67.4
NPR                                        67.2
Wired Magazine                    67.2
CBS News                              67.2
Mother Jones                          66.9
LA Times                                66.9
The Atlantic                            66.7
Washington Post                   66.1
Tech Crunch                           66.0
BBC                                         65.7
Daily Beast                             65.6
Politico                                   65.5
Quillette                                  65.1
The Guardian                         65.1
Cato Institute                         64.3
New Yorker                           63.0
Reuters                                   62.9
USA Today                            62.6
Real Clear Politics                 62.3
Wall Street Journal                61.8
Financial Times                     60.3
Voice of America                  58.8
The American Conservative  57.8
Popular Science                     56.7
Fox News                               55.3
The Federalist                        55.3
Al Jazeera                              54.3
CNN                                        53.6
Breitbart                                 52.8
National Review                    50.3
Washington Times                 50.3
Forbes                                    49.3

Don’t build aquaculture in the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge

This is the letter I mailed today to Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands, Hilary Franz:

From: Michael Maddox
(previously of Poulsbo)

Continue reading “Don’t build aquaculture in the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge”

Medora, North Dakota: What a fun surprise.

Medora Musical

My wife and I had come to Medora, North Dakota to explore the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, to see the Badlands and its animals and plants, and to see where TR attained solace after family tragedy, and where he established and then failed at two ranches. Those places and things  we saw, and we had a wonderful nature- and vista-filled experience in the park, but the unexpected surprise for us was the entertainment and learning to be had in the town of Medora. North Dakota residents know about Medora (for there were many natives at the Medora Musical the night we attended it), but many of us out-of-staters don’t. The combination of national park hikes and panoramas, and the shows and shops in Medora, made for an activity-filled five days.

Continue reading “Medora, North Dakota: What a fun surprise.”

We need climate leaders, infrastructure, and systems.

Kate Brown, “The West Is on Fire. It’s Past Time to Act on Climate Change,” New York Times, 3 Aug. 2021, Web, Governor Kate Brown, climate fires, climate action      

As Oregon governor Kate Brown relates in the opinion piece above, the West is on fire (my wife and I see smoky skies most days as we trailer travel around Oregon and Washington). She lists climate action measures that Oregon is instituting, and she demands that Congress act, too.
     In this climate crisis, it’s critical that we have insightful, courageous, and strong climate-action leaders like Brown and Washington governor Jay Inslee. We have some in Washington, DC (such as Biden, Murray, Cantwell, and others), but we also have many (much to our detriment) politicians there who are blocking desperately needed greenhouse gas controlling measures.
     As anyone who hikes, hunts, or fishes knows, nature has many blessings, but her hard reality does not suffer fools—and to not put in place now the United States infrastructure and systems that will dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions would be foolishness on a grand scale. We need wise, courageous, and strong climate-action leaders in state, federal, and city government positions, and in business too, and we need infrastructure and systems that will allow us to have a future.

Trees, trees, and more trees

“Trees, trees and more trees” was Golden Gate Park Supervisor John McLaren’s motto when he helped design the shaded, pleasant, walkable, and popular Lithia Park in Ashland, Oregon. Trees, we know, besides making our neighborhoods cooler and more pleasant, are part of the solution to the climate crisis.

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Learning about God, not only in his church but also in his nature

God gave us the minds, hearts, and souls to experience and learn from both his word and his nature. It’s good to learn about God in church (through worship, fellowship, and study) and while engaging in service and striving to walk in his ways. It’s also good to explore beyond human-built walls, within the miracle of God’s creation, appreciating not only its big beauty (the vistas) but also the details of Earth’s wondrous variety of life.
     Among the cornucopia of plants and animals, or while appreciating the beauty of seashores, sunsets, and stars, we contemplate not only God’s timelessness, but also our own mortality. Surrounded by circles of life, we inevitably think of our own life and death . . . and life again. Within nature, the sights, sounds, feelings, odors, and tastes of being suffuse our senses. We see that the great I am (who obviously likes life and variety of life, since he made so much of it) accomplishes life via complex webs of large-and small-species interactions in countless niches. Ecosystems are how God does life.
We thank God for the spark he put inside us, that we’re able to comprehend the preciousness of this blue-green Earth and of our time on it. We ask for his wisdom and love (which so manifestly comprise the one who engineered this miraculous biosphere) to be within us to guide our stewarding of nature.
     Church, the word, fellowship, and service are important, and so is regularly getting out into the garden, where we can be one-on-one with our creator. There, while thinking and praying, surrounded by miracles, we may learn some of his love, wisdom, glory, and life.

David Frederick and Coffee Oasis: Goodness Embodied

The Coffee Oases in Kitsap County, created by David and Cindy Frederick, provide refuge, hope, and work skills for youth, many of whom are from troubled homes or who are in troubled situations. Dave died recently, and celebration of his life will be on 24 July 2021 at 2 p.m. at Crossroads Neighborhood Church [7555 Old Military Rd NE, Bremerton, WA 98311]

To learn more about David and Cindy and about Coffee Oasis, please go to the following newspaper articles and announcements:

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