Thanks for another great year


While this blog is not a commercial endeavor, I do pay attention to the stats. It did really well this year, up substantially from last year. This blog was viewed about 34,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 13 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

There were 84 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 28 MB. That’s about 2 pictures per week. Given that I am very conscious of not violating photo rights, it’s about as good as can be expected for a part time journalist and blogger. If you send me an announcement or story, please include a photo. It doesn’t need to be professionally done.

The environmental story of the year for the Olympic Peninsula had to be the Navy’s hidden announcement (that was found out by a woman in Forks who forwarded it to friends and we reported here within a day, before any of the Peninsula papers reported on it). It galvanized thousands of people, forced a number of public hearings, and has now created a number of web sites and activist groups opposing it. This will also become the likely top story of 2015, as the decision to approve the Forest Service Environmental Assessment for the Navy will be decided mid year, and probably create a number of lawsuits in the process. Hopefully the FS will have the good sense to say no to the Navy.

The Navy story created the busiest day of the year for our web site was December 5th with 598 views. The most popular post that day was Hundreds turn out for Navy Growler EIS Scoping Meeting in Port Townsend Thursday.

 Ocean Acidification also was widely viewed and reported on during the year. The issue has brought hundreds of people out to educational activities on it. Die offs at hatcheries were in the news, and the Governor’s blue ribbon panel has been weighing in and helping the State put action items in place. OA and it’s sister issue, ocean level rising, is affecting the Peninsula in many ways, from ongoing losses at shellfish farms, to storm surges that threaten homes along the Strait and Canal.

The Starfish Wasting Disease mystery  came close to the top issues of the year. The news in November that the likely root cause is densovirus, came as a relief, though it still remains to be seen why this particular version of the virus has been so lethal to starfish this time. It’s been present for many decades. More will be coming on this in 2015 as researchers work with this new information at hand. Peer review still needs to happen on the paper published in November, and more isolation and testing will continue.

The Elwha River restoration continues to be a topic of great interest, as shown by the ongoing sold out audiences for Peninsula filmmakers John Gussman and Jessica Plum’s outstanding film, “Return of the River”. We posted about lots of articles on changes to the river this year.

The Washington State Legislature got virtually nothing done this year on the environmental front, kicking cans down the road to 2015, when we expect them to do the same. The Coal and Oil train issues continue to consume all the available bandwidth of environmental groups on the east side of the Sound, and showed a distinct lack of ability by any groups other than Sound Action to focus on the Sound issues. As to tasks accomplished in Olympia, there was little more than study being accomplished by our esteemed paid legislators. Not that there weren’t some who were trying to get stuff done!

There were many more stories, lots more, but these were the headliners. Feel free to search our archives for any that you might have missed.

If you have any desire to help do articles for this blog, I’m more than willing to work with you on getting the information up and out. Just contact me.

Please support local journalism by subscribing to our local newspapers. Because of declining subscriptions, many are now behind pay walls and refuse to allow even cursory overviews of their stories to be published in blogs like this, and force readers to pay to see any stories, even though it drives readers to their door.  Our goal is never to reproduce a story from elsewhere, but to show folks that an interesting story exists, explain why you should pay attention, and provide a link to the full story. This should benefit everyone, as my ability to cull stories from around the web helps both sides, you the reader to know a story exists, and the publishers to get more readers. I think it’s counterproductive to the publishers to cloak themselves from free public advertising of their stories,especially from non commercial sites.  It continues to close off news sources and stories to people who if they knew about them, might actually subscribe or work with their advertisers. The leaders in closing off access to specialty sites like ours is the Port Townsend Leader and the Kitsap Sun.

Thanks again for your support, and I have some new ideas up my sleeve for 2015 to expand the reach of this site. Stick around. Have a great New Year.

Al Bergstein – The management

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