I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones
-Albert Einstein (contemplating nuclear devastation)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Reminding the President of what he missed while visiting Puget Sound

[Letter to the Editor, Published in The Seattle Times, February 18, 2012 in response to Lance Dickie's opinion piece published February 16th]  Note: This is my original version as sent to The Times.

President should think about the Bangor Base

Editor, The Times:

Lance Dickie did a fine job of welcoming the president to Washington and reminding him of the “special point[s] of pride for the region and the national economy.” He left out just one critical point of pride, and the one of greatest impact [“While you’re here, Mr. President,” Opinion, Feb. 17].

He might have included the following:

Mr. President, just 27 miles from where you are lunching lies one of our nation’s greatest sources of military pride, The Bangor Trident Base, home port to eight ballistic-missile submarines, each one carrying enough nuclear warheads to incinerate an entire continent. These mighty denizens are the stars of our nuclear triad, and capable (on your orders) of killing millions, creating nuclear winter and a living hell for the survivors.

As your visit is, in large part, a celebration of creativity, I trust you will remember this as you consider plans that include a next-generation ballistic-missile submarine. Your stated goal of a world free of nuclear weapons requires vision, creativity and fortitude to create a new paradigm of conflict resolution before we can rid ourselves of these weapons for the sake of future generations.

— Leonard Eiger, coordinator, Puget Sound Nuclear Weapon Free Zone

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Editor's Note:  Glen Milner, who has worked long and hard to stop the U.S. Navy's plans to build a Second Explosives Handling Wharf at the Bangor Trident nuclear submarine base, believes we may have one last chance to slow the progress of this wasteful plan.  Read further to learn what you can do and how to make your comments on the plan.  Please pay attention to the details to ensure that your comments are taken into account!

A new public comment period is open for the second Explosives Handling Wharf at Bangor.  I believe this will be our last opportunity to enter comments before the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and an important time to address new issues with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

This involves three different types of environmental reviews and two different agencies. The Joint Public Notice, by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Washington State Department of Ecology, is at http://www.nws.usace.army.mil/PublicMenu/documents/REG/NWS-2009-572-PN.pdf

The existing Bangor Explosives Handling Wharf

The deadline for comments is February 26, 2012.  I think we should ask for a public hearing and a time extension because the Navy again failed to adequately notify citizens. So far I only know of one person who was notified.

The environmental reviews are for the entire second Explosives Handling Wharf and related buildings. We can discuss any aspect of the Draft EIS or Supplemental EIS in our comments. Environmental concerns are the most likely to be considered. The Navy’s website, with the Draft EIS and Supplemental EIS, is at https://www.nbkeis.com/ehw.

The Navy's proposal for a Second Explosives Handling Wharf

To ensure proper consideration of all comments, responders must include the following name and reference number in the text of their comments:

U.S. Navy (Bangor) NWS-2009-572

In order to be accepted, e-mail comments must originate from the author’s e-mail account and must include on the subject line of the e-mail message the permit applicant’s name and reference number as shown above.

First of the two groups of review: US Army Corps of Engineers

Environmental issues in accordance with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act are reviewed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. I believe the Section 10 review gives us the opportunity to raise new issues such as navigation concerns in Hood Canal, economic impact for the region and recreational concerns. These comments go to:

US Army Corps of Engineers
Regulatory Branch
Post Office Box 3755
Seattle, WA 98124-3755
Telephone (206) 764-3273
Attn: Ms. Catherine Blackwell, Project Manager

or by e-mail to catherine.m.blackwell@usace.army.mil

Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, see http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/guidance/wetlands/sec404.cfm

Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act, see

Also see http://apps.ecy.wa.gov/permithandbook/permitdetail.asp?id=36

Second of the two groups of review: Washington State Department of Ecology

Environmental issues in accordance with Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, with applicable provisions of State water pollution control laws and the Coastal Zone Management Act, are reviewed by the Washington State Department of Ecology. These comments go to:

WA Department of Ecology
SEA Program
Post Office Box 47600
Olympia, WA 98504-7600
Telephone (360) 407-6068
Attn: SEA Program, Federal Permit Coordinator

or by e-mail to ecyrefedpermits@ecy.wa.gov

Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, see

Also see http://apps.ecy.wa.gov/permithandbook/permitdetail.asp?id=43

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Holly Barker to speak: From Nuclear Weapons to Nuclear Energy

Holly Barker, cultural anthropologist and faculty member at the University of Washington, will speak on "From Nuclear Weapons to Nuclear Energy" on Friday, February 24th at University Temple United Methodist Church in Seattle at 7:30 PM.

Holly has 18 years experience working in the Marshall Islands including working as the Senior Advisor to the Ambassador, Embassy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), Washington D.C. She is the author of the book "Bravo for the Marshallese: Regaining Control in a Post-Nuclear, Post-Colonial World", co-author of "The Consequential Damages of Nuclear War: The Rongelap Report" and contributor to "Half Lives & Half Truths: Confronting the Radioactive Legacies of the Cold War".

"Consequential Damages of Nuclear War – The Rongelap Report" recently received the Millennium Award from the Society of Medical Anthropology for being the most significant and potentially influential contribution to medical anthropology over the last two years.

This event is co-sponsored by University Temple United Methodist Church, Hanford Challenge, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility and Heart of America NW.

See the announcement at FacebookClick here for the University Temple UMC Website.