Feeling our pain: Seattle named most miserable sports city in America

Forbes Magazine has named Seattle America's most miserable sports city for our lack of titles and loss of the Sonics. (AP image)

Forbes Magazine has named Seattle America’s most miserable sports city for our lack of titles and loss of the Sonics. (AP image)

BY JOSH KERNS  on July 31, 2013

MyNorthwest.com

 

Whether it’s a decade of futility from the Mariners, the failed efforts to bring the NBA back to town or last season’s heart-breaking, season-ending Seahawks playoff loss in the final minutes to Atlanta, Seattle sports fans know misery. And now Forbes is making sure the rest of the country feels our pain, naming Seattle the most miserable sports city in America.

The annual ranking isn’t solely about absolute futility, Forbes says. Coming up short in the playoffs can cause even greater agony, like the Seahawks’ 2005 Super Bowl loss to Pittsburgh.

Writer Tom Van Riper came up with the list based on a misery index, giving the most misery points for the worst records in pro-sports championship round play. That includes the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals and NHL Finals. Teams then get fewer points for futility in preceding playoff rounds. All told, only major U.S. sports towns with at least 75 cumulative NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL seasons are eligible.

Close, but no cigar isn’t the only criteria. Van Riper also gives points for championship droughts, adding points based on how long it’s been since the last title (Seattle’s last was the Sonics in 1979, as the WNBA isn’t counted in his rankings.)

The index also gives bonus points for cities that lost a team to relocation. We certainly know how painful that is with the Sonics move to Oklahoma City.

The new rankings could spark plenty of arguments from fans in other cities who’ve certainly suffered more than their fair share. Atlanta comes in just behind Seattle, thanks to a regular pattern of playoff disappointment from the Braves, the Falcons frequent playoff losses and the city losing its NHL franchise twice.

Fans in Phoenix have experienced plenty of playoff pain with the NBA Suns making it to nine western conference finals and two NBA Finals without a title. In Buffalo, the faithful have suffered four Super Bowl losses by the Bills while the NHL Sabres have yet to win the Stanley Cup despite making the playoffs 29 times since 1973.

As they say, misery loves company. So I guess we can take some comfort knowing we’re not alone. And with Super Bowl hopes so high for the Seahawks, maybe we’ll get off the list by this time next year. Or at the very least, we can solidify our spot atop the index. We certainly spend plenty of time there. Seattle was most miserable in 2011, slipping to number two a year ago before reclaiming the top spot.

Forbes most miserable sports cities:

1. Seattle

2. Atlanta

3. Phoenix

4. Buffalo

5. San Diego

6. Cleveland

7. Kansas City

8. Houston

9. Washington, DC

10. Denver

Huge whale carcass washes up on Washington beach

Researchers perform a necropsy on a gray whale that washed up on the Washington coast near Westport. (David Haviland/KBKW image)

Researchers perform a necropsy on a gray whale that washed up on the Washington coast near Westport. (David Haviland/KBKW image)

BY JOSH KERNS  on July 31, 2013

MyNorthwest.com

A dead gray whale that washed up on the Washington coast overnight Sunday was likely killed in a collision with a ship, researchers determined after a preliminary necropsy. And you’ll soon be able to see the skeleton up close.

The 39-foot adult female was found Sunday night on the beach in Grayland near Westport. Its carcass will be stripped and the skeleton sent to the Westport Aquarium, the owner of the aquarium told KBKW in Aberdeen. Marc Myrcell says he plans to put it on display in the future.

Jessie Huggins, with Cascadia Research, says the whale suffered broken bones and bruising in front of the blowhole, near the whale’s jaw. “It’s like the bridge of the nose near the cheek” on a human, though that comparison is not exactly equivalent, Huggins tells theDaily World.

Myrcell plans to get a backhoe to drag the carcass about 1,000 feet up the beach in the next couple of days to private, wooded land, where it will be allowed to decompose.

The whale is the second to wash up on the Washington coast in the last month. A fin whale was found dead on the beach near Ocean Shores in early June. Its carcass eventually washed out to sea. In April, another fin whale was found on the shore in Burien. Wildlife officials towed it to another beach where it was allowed to decompose.

Related:
Photos: Huge dead whale on Washington beach
Reeking, dead whale draws crowds to Burien beach

Senecas give state of New York $349 million check

31 Jul 2013 Ed Drantch

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) – Casino cash is flowing once again into Western New York now that the financial standoff between New York State and the Seneca Nation has ended.

On Wednesday, the Senecas delivered a check for more than $300 million, putting those disagreements in the past. Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster says without this money there would have been big budget problems by November. And Governor Andrew Cuomo says he’s unsure how the city even managed to make ends meet.
“The Seneca agreement is one of the best pieces of news we’ve received in a very, very long time,” Mayor Dyster said.

Governor Cuomo added, “I think it’s a new day today in Niagara Falls. I think it’s been a new day for Western New York and I think today is just emblematic of that.”
The $89 million given to Niagara Falls is part of a larger pot of $349 million presented to the state. The money was withheld after years of back and forth over exclusivity rights and the establishment of “racinos.”

Seneca Nation President Barry Snyder said, it’s all in the past.
“We’re going to keep this compact intact cause we’re going to communicate and we’re going to move forward,” he assured.

The City of Buffalo also received $15.5 million and $34.5 million was given to Salamanca. But of all the host cities, Niagara Falls was impacted the most.
“Tens of millions of dollars that we had budgeted for our schools, our roads, our infrastructure were held back because the state and the Senecas couldn’t reach common ground. It was a very difficult time, but somehow we got through it,” Mayor Dyster said.

The governor praised the mayor, saying he rose to the occasion under rough economic conditions. Cuomo said he believes state government failed Niagara Falls, but this agreement will move them forward.
“It’s good for the Seneca Nation; it’s good for Niagara Falls; it’s good for Western New York; it’s good for the entire state. This is a symbol of a new day and a new relationship,” Governor Cuomo said.

The governor says all the money due to New York State by the Seneca Nation been paid, both past and present, and they’ll continue to make regular payments.

The $89 million check given to Mayor Dyster will be on display in City Hall.

Copyright WIVB.com

Sioux Students Kindle Solar Knowledge

It started with a spark — an interest in green energy. This glimmer of curiosity led Lyle Wilson, an instructor at Oglala Lakota College in South Dakota and U.S. Army veteran, to start researching renewable energy technologies such as solar, wind and geothermal. Now sparked by Lyle’s interest, members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe of the Pine Ridge Reservation are finding new possibilities in their clean energy capabilities.

Students and instructors at Oglala Lakota College designed, connected and built a mobile solar energy system over the course of two days. | Photo courtesy of Oglala Lakota College.<br /><br />
July 24, 2013 Energy.gov
Minh Le
Program Manager, Solar Program
 
 
 

As part of his work at Oglala Lakota College, Lyle works with students in the applied sciences department to construct houses for members of the tribe. He envisioned taking the work a step further by integrating solar panels into new homes to help reduce power bills. To make it happen, Lyle reached out to Solar Energy International (SEI), which helps coordinate solar training courses for the Energy Department’s Solar Instructor Training Network.

From there, a group of students and instructors at the college signed on for SEI’s Photovoltaic (PV) 101: Solar Design and Installation course, in which they set up their first grid-tied photovoltaic system. This introduction served as fuel for their solar fire. Next, about 20 people took part in SEI’s PV 203: Solar Electric Design (Battery-Based) class. This course allowed them to install two 250-watt solar panels on their construction trailer.

“Most kids don’t want to sit in class — they want to get out and do things,” said Lyle. “We did a short one-day lesson in the classroom then went down to the yard and designed, connected, and built the system over two days. Our students were actually sort of stunned to learn how easy it is to do something like this once they understand the fundamental concepts.”

The mobile solar energy system built through the PV 203 course now provides enough power to run electric tools at construction sites, supports community service projects and serves as an educational resource for school-aged children.

Lyle sees these accomplishments as just the start. With more knowledge, more possibilities come into focus. Up next, the students hope to take another SITN course on setting up their own power grid. This would offer potential savings for the tribe, provide a degree of energy independence and empower students by bringing new job skills into the community.

“We could install 40 panels as a test to see how much money we could save by getting power from the sun,” said Lyle. “Then we could pass that information on to the tribe.”

Progress against 2 big Washington wildfires

Published: July 31, 201

The Associated Press

WENATCHEE, WASH. — Firefighters are making progress against two big wildfires burning near Wenatchee and Goldendale in Eastern Washington.

They have completed a line around the fire that burned about 35 square miles around Satus Pass, about 15 miles northeast of Goldendale. Spokesman Dam Omdal says more than 1,300 firefighters are mopping up hot spots and strengthening the lines. Evacuations have been lifted. Highway 97 remains closed between Goldendale and Toppenish.

At the 93-square mile fire south of Wenatchee, spokeswoman Linden Lampman says fire retardant drops Tuesday and about 80 hot shot firefighters working overnight prevented the fire from spreading south into Kittitas County where some residents have been evacuated. Nearly 400 firefighters are on the scene.

This Monday, July 29, 2013 photo shows the Colockum Pass fire burning in the mountains which has also burned its way down to the banks of the Columbia River. The Colockum Pass fire has grown to more than 10 square miles burning 5 five homes in addition to other structures 20 miles south of Wenatchee. (AP Photo/The Seattle Times, Steve Ringman)

This Monday, July 29, 2013 photo shows the Colockum Pass fire burning in the mountains which has also burned its way down to the banks of the Columbia River. The Colockum Pass fire has grown to more than 10 square miles burning 5 five homes in addition to other structures 20 miles south of Wenatchee. (AP Photo/The Seattle Times, Steve Ringman)

The fire danger remains high through Thursday with the threat of lightning strikes from thunderstorms.

Ecology will study impact of coal trains when considering Gateway Pacific Terminal

Whatcom County and its regulatory state and federal partners have announced they will conduct a sweeping review of Gateway Pacific Terminal’s environmental impacts — an apparent victory for the coal terminal’s opponents.

By JOHN STARK — THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

July 31, 2013

In a joint press release issued Wednesday, July 31, the three levels of government announced that they “will closely study their direct effects at the site and evaluate a broad range of indirect and cumulative impacts likely to occur within and beyond Washington.”

Whatcom County, the Washington Department of Ecology, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are producing a joint environmental impact statement for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal and BNSF Railway Custer Spur track expansion.

A coal train heads through downtown Bellingham alongside Roeder Avenue Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013.PHILIP A. DWYER — THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

A coal train heads through downtown Bellingham alongside Roeder Avenue Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013.
PHILIP A. DWYER — THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

The Gateway Pacific Terminal – proposed by SSA Marine subsidiary Pacific International Terminals – could handle as much as 48 million tons of Asia-bound U.S. coal per year. Combined with smaller quantities of other bulk cargoes, the terminal could generate 18 train trips per day through Bellingham and other cities along the rail line. That includes northbound loaded trains and returning empty trains.

According to the press release, Whatcom County and the Department of Ecology have determined that the State Environmental Policy Act require examination of impacts on “earth, air, water, plants and animals, energy and natural resources, environmental health, land and shoreline use, transportation, and public services and utilities.”

Among other things, that means “a detailed assessment of rail transportation impacts in Whatcom County near the project site, specifically including Bellingham and Ferndale.”

The study also will include “an assessment of how the project would affect human health, including impacts from related rail and vessel transportation in Whatcom County.”

The state and county also have agreed to take it one step farther, to require “an evaluation of greenhouse gas emissions from terminal operations, and rail and vessel traffic.”

Gateway Pacific supporters had argued for a narrower focus, saying it was unfair to consider project impacts far from the site. Some business leaders said such broad environmental review requirements could have a chilling effect on other major industrial development projects in the state.

This story will be updated with more details and reaction throughout the day.

Reach John Stark at 360-715-2274 or john.stark@bellinghamherald.com. Read his Politics blog at

blogs.bellinghamherald.com/politics or follow him on Twitter at @bhamheraldpolitics.

Bigfoot Captured On Video By Canadian Hikers?

Bigfoot is once again causing a big stir, thanks to two new videos from British Columbia that allegedly capture the hairy creature on camera.

 

or view AZCentral video here http://www.azcentral.com/video/2575416299001

The Huffington Post  |  By  Posted: 07/30/2013

 

The two videos came to light after a Canadian app company called Play Mobility put out a request for videos of Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster and its Canadian cousin, Ogopogo, on behalf of itsLegend Tracker app, which drops legendary creatures such as Sasquatch and the Loch Ness monster into real settings.

The first video was posted to YouTube on July 18 and appears to show a group of Chinese tourists in Mission, British Columbia, taking photos of a large ape-like figure in the forest.

It’s hard to make out what the creature is, but one tourist helpfully provides a hint by grunting “Sasquatch,” the same way Japanese actors shout “Godzilla!” in the movies.

The other video, posted July 24, shows the distant image of what could be another ape-like creature ambling in a forest, just a little too far away to be seen clearly.

The videos, while compelling, are raising skepticism since the Legend Tracker app allows people to fake their own Sasquatch and Nessie pics.

Blogger Brian Abrams thinks the video footage stinks more than a non-bathing Bigfoot.

“What a coincidence that ol’ Bigfoot made his way into PlayMobility’s neck of the woods. British Columbia, where tech novelties and ancient mysteries collide!” he wrote on his blog, DeathAndTaxesMag.com.

To be fair, the Pacific Northwest is a hotbed for Sasquatch sightings. Legend Tracker spokesman Miles Marziani insists the company had nothing to do with the allegedly user-submitted videos.

Marziani would not confirm whether the videos were faked to HuffPost BC.

He claims the company is trying to pinpoint the exact location of the July 24 sighting.

Crowd-sourced cryptozoological expeditions have their charms, but that may not be the most effective way of proving the existence of Bigfoot, according to Idaho State University professor Jeffrey Meldrum, author of “Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science.”

He has created “The Falcon Project,” a drone plane that will fly over Bigfoot territoryand capture conclusive evidence of its existence.

“These unmanned drones, I believe, are the next step in proving the nature of these creatures,” he told the Mountain Express newspaper.

Native American journalists tackle tough issues during July conference

Stan Bindell
The Observer 7/30/2013

TEMPE, Ariz.-Journalists covering Indian country received training and discussed Native American issues during the 29th annual National Native Media Conference in Tempe July 18-21.

Native American Journalists Associaiton President Rhonda LeValdo speaks with Dr. George Blue Spruce about the state of dentistry in Indian country. Photo/Stan Bindell

Native American Journalists Associaiton President Rhonda LeValdo speaks with Dr. George Blue Spruce about the state of dentistry in Indian country. Photo/Stan Bindell

The Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) and Native Public Media sponsored the conference.

The theme of this year’s conference was “Our voices, Our stories, Our future.” The conference was designed to empower native journalists and media professionals to tell their own stories. Journalism professionals lead sessions to train native journalists to tell their stories in a professional manner.

Arizona was well represented with journalists attending from the Navajo Hopi Observer, Navajo Times, Tutuveni and KUYI radio station among many others.

The issues those in attendance focused on included violence against women, dental care and the availability of radio frequencies for Indian communities.

Deborah Parker, vice chairwoman of the Tulalip Tribe in Washington state, fought successfully to have native women included in the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. The act was signed into law this past year and promises sweeping changes in the way violent offenders on tribal land are held accountable.

Parker spoke about the legislative process and media coverage of the fight to protect women in Indian country.

“This is also an opportunity to teach our young people about laws, the past and what our future looks like,” she said.

When Parker first started to look into the Violence Against Women Act, people told her that it didn’t have the steam to include native women on reservations because “they have no face here.”

“That made me angry,” she said. “I could see all these faces that were from my bloodline.”

With the help of U.S. Sen Pat Murray, D-Wash. Parker put on a news conference and spoke about the lack of prosecutions of non-Indians committing crimes against women on reservations.

“It was amazing to be that voice,” she said. “The Senate was abuzz. How could they not include Native American women?”

Parker continued to work with the National Congress of American Indians to see the bill passed with inclusion of protecting native women. She said many racist comments came out of the House of Representatives. Some congressmen doubted whether Indian governments had the ability to arrest non-Indian men.

At the beginning of the process, she said one congressman was outspoken against the inclusion of Indian women, but Parker was able to get him to change his mind. She said the way to change the minds of elected officials is to personalize the stories.

“So many children, women and men came forward with what happened to them as children, teenagers and adults,” she said.

Tribes have until 2015 to implement the law with help from the U.S. Department of Justice.

One statistic states that 88 percent of crimes against women on reservations are committed by non-Indians. She said some congressmen did not believe that statistic.

Eric Cantor, R- Va., a conservative congressman, was one of those opposed to including native women in the law. When Parker met with Cantor’s aide, she told Parker that neither she nor the congressman had met a Native American.

“There are a lot in congress who don’t understand us politically, spiritually and traditionally,” she said.

Parker said she knows of several hundred women who have been murdered on reservations without any justice.

Parker said the media was a big help in covering the Violence Against Women Act.

Another topic at the conference was the crisis in rural America, including on reservations, where there are no oral health providers. Lack of dental services and dental problems can cause disease and sometimes death.

Indian Health Service’s dental provider vacancies average 20-30 percent.

Alaska natives have offered one solution by creating the Dental Health Aide Therapist program. Tribes could replicate the program in other parts of the country.

The Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health at A.T. Still University in Mesa recently graduated six American Indians to help fill the need.

Dr. George Blue Spruce, the first native dentist in Arizona, said the dental problem also includes a lack of Native American dentists.

Spruce, 82, said until Native Americans can go to a native dentist, Indian self-determination remains a myth.

The others leading this session included Dr. Todd Hartsfield, DDS faculty at A.T. Still; Maxine Brings Him Back-Janis, faculty at Northern Arizona University; Connie Murat, dental aide therapist at Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation and Yvette Joseph, project manager at Kaufman and Associates. W.K. Kellogg Foundation sponsored the dental session.

Geoffrey Blackwell, chief of the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) Office of Native Affairs and Policy, announced that those seeking non-commercial radio stations on reservations can apply for low frequency FM radio stations between Oct. 15 and Oct. 29.

President Barack Obama recently signed the Local Community Radio Act, which mandates expansion of low power FM radio stations that provide listening areas of three to 10 miles.

Since 2000, the government has licensed more than 800 low power FM stations.

A session also took place on the importance of bringing more broadband services to reservations. Those leading this session included Loris Taylor from Native Public Media; Traci Morris from Homaholta Consulting, Michael Copps, from the FCC and Blackwell.

Taylor, a member of the Hopi Tribe, said in order for native radio stations to be successful they need champions on the inside who are non-Indians. She pointed to Coppes as one such champion.

Coppes said that better broadband means more money creating more jobs, education and health care. He said that broadband services throughout the U.S. are not as good as they should be.

“It’s not just Native Americans. Everybody in the country is being held back, especially in the rural villages. We need a sense of mission,” he said.

Blackwell said broadband is as important as roads and water. He said the FCC and tribes need to work together on bringing more broadband services to Indian country.

Blackwell noted that local radio stations continue to provide life saving services such as announcing when tornadoes will hit.

“Lives can be on the line when you can’t get a signal,” he said.

Blackwell said his office works with 50 Indian tribes at any given time. He hopes that his office will soon announce that there will be consultations and trainings to bring more broadband to Indian country this coming fiscal year.

Tim Giago was one of the founders of NAJA and one of the many elder journalists who received recognition during the conference. He founded the Lakota Times in 1981 when the Pine Ridge Reservation was located in the poorest county in America.

Giago, 80, had his office firebombed, his office windows shot out and his life threatened, but he continued publishing until he sold the paper in 1998.

Giago urged the young journalists not to get discouraged. He also offered them some advice.

“You can do a thousand good things, but if you do one bad thing that is what will be remembered,” he said.

Don’t dismiss versatile kale

By Lisa Abraham, Akron Beacon Journal

Kale is one of the most versatile greens. It can be substituted for spinach in any dish, and pairs well with many foods: pasta, potatoes, sausage and white beans, to name a few. When you spot it at local farmers markets, don’t shy away from this hearty green.

Check out the recipes below for two different ways to prepare kale.

Braised curly kale with garlic and soy sauce

1 pound green curly kale
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh red chili pepper
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
Salt and pepper

Remove any yellowing bits or tough stalks from the kale, then reserve the leaves in cold water. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and season with salt. Drain the kale, add to the pan, and cook for 6 minutes. Drain again and keep warm.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet, add the chili and garlic, and fry gently for about 3 minutes, until the garlic begins to brown. Immediately put the cooked kale into the pan and stir well. Season lightly with pepper and the soy sauce, and cook for 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Serve warm.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Creamed purple kale with pepper and lemon

11/2 pounds purple kale
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 shallots, finely diced
3/4 cup medium-dry white wine
1 cup heavy cream
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and white pepper

Remove any yellowing bits or tough stalks from the kale, then reserve the leaves in cold water. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and season with salt. Drain the kale, add to the pan, and cook for 6 minutes. Drain again and keep warm.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet, add the shallots, and fry gently for 4 to 5 minutes, until they begin to brown. Pour in the wine and allow it to evaporate before adding the cream. Just as the cream starts to bubble, add the cooked kale and squeeze in the lemon juice. Grind in some white pepper and season lightly with salt. Allow the liquid to reduce slightly, then serve.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Recipes adapted from “Eat Your Vegetables” by Arthur Potts Dawson

Roasting ramps up the strawberry flavor

Photo by Rose McAvoy

Photo by Rose McAvoy

By Rose McAvoy, The Herald

Roasting produce is a terrific way to take the usual flavor and turn the volume way up. Boosting the volume of flavor is among my top tips when it comes to lightening your cooking. We tend to read a lot about roasting vegetables such as potatoes, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Roasting fruit can be equally if not even more rewarding. Roasted apples, for instance, with some cinnamon and honey can be a real crowd-pleaser on a crisp fall evening.

Not long ago I got the urge to bake a whole mess of scones featuring fresh strawberries. I’ll share that recipe in my next post. In the meantime we need to get the strawberries de-juiced so they can be mixed into the scone batter. Scones are one of those slightly touchy pastries. The dough needs to be just moist enough to hold together, but too much liquid and you don’t have a scone you have a mess. Fresh off the vine strawberries can bring too much liquid to an otherwise perfect scone batter. You could use home or commercially dehydrated strawberries but I really wanted to keep as much of the peak of season flavor as possible. This brought me to roasting.

In my ears, roasted strawberries sounds fancy and sophisticated. Once I figured out the process I was delighted by their rustic simplicity. The result is a caramelized strawberry flavor minus most of the moisture that is just perfect for folding into a scone, muffin, pancake, or most other pastry.

Give roasting strawberries a try while they are still fresh and affordable, then stay tuned for the scone recipe!

Roasted Strawberries

2 pounds of fresh strawberries – washed & dried, stems removed, cut into 3/4 inch pieces (probably quarters or 1/8th depending on the size of your berries)

1. Lay the berries in a single layer on a parchment or silicone baking mat lined cookie sheet.

2. Bake the berries at 325 degrees for 30-45 minutes. I prefer a lower temperature for a longer time to really concentrate the flavor of the berries.

3. Most of the liquid will leak out of the berries and puddle up around them. (Once the berries have cooled you can peel up the juice and enjoy it as a faux fruit leather.)

4. Scoop the roasted berries into a sealed container and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake with them. The chilled roasted strawberries should keep for a couple of days. 2 lbs of fresh berries should leave you with about 1 cup after roasting.