Heritage Hawks come up clutch with 66-57 win at Regionals

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

In the biggest game of the season, with a trip to State on the line, the Heritage Hawks overcame an early deficit, managed their foul trouble, and rode the flaming hot-hand of Jr. Shay for an emphatic victory.

The game was played on a neutral site, Jackson High School in Mill Creek, on Saturday, February 24 between the Tulalip Heritage Hawks and the Eagles from Pope John Paul II. These two team previously played two weeks prior, with the Hawks earning a hard fought 50-44 W.

During the 1st quarter, the Hawks came out lethargic and found themselves in an early 2-8 hole. After making a couple substitutions to shore up the defense, Tulalip got engaged on both ends of the floor and tied the game at 10-10.

Trailing 15-18 entering the 2nd quarter, Hawks senior guard Jr. Shay started to make his imprint on the game in a big way. Jr. bailed out back-to-back possessions late in the shot clock by knocking down 3-pointers. The outside shooting was contagious as Josh Iukes and Alonzo Jones both got buckets from perimeter shooting as well. At halftime Tulalip led 31-28.

In the 3rd quarter, with the score tied at 36-36, center Rodney Barber picked up his 4th foul, sending him to the bench. As a team, Heritage collected its 7th team foul with 1:15 remaining, meaning their opponent would be in a bonus free-throw situation for the remainder of the 3rd and entire 4th quarters. For their part, the Hawks navigated their foul trouble admirably by playing straight-up defense and contesting jump shots without fouling.

The game turned when Jr. Shay knocked down his fourth 3-pointer of the game, followed by Josh Iukes and Isaac Comenote both connecting on 3-pointers of their own. The offensive spurt put Tulalip ahead 49-39.

Down the stretch of the 4th quarter, Jr. Shay hit two more 3-pointers, giving him a season-high six 3-pointers made in the game. The Eagles from Pope John Paul II intentionally fouled to slow the game down, but the Hawks were hitting their free-throws to keep their lead in the double digits. When the final buzzer sounded, Heritage came away with the 66-57 win.

Jr. Shay led all scorers with 27 points, Alonzo had 13 points and team high 8 rebounds, and Josh Iukes added 12 points and 3 steals.

“My team was drive-and-kicking me the ball a lot because I was getting open, and I executed with six 3-pointers,” Jr. Shay stated with lots of energy following the W. “Me and Isaac were knocking down threes right off the bat and the team did a good job of riding the hot hand. If it wasn’t for the hustle of the guys down low, Rodney, Sammy, and Nashone getting into position and then kicking the ball back out to the guards, we wouldn’t have the outside shooting setup like we did.

“Honestly, as a senior today knowing this could be my final high school game, I had to take over at times because I wasn’t ready to go home. Now, we’re moving on to the Dome, to the State Tournament in Spokane. We’re going to try to make something special happen now.”

Puget Sound eagles show high levels of banned toxic compound

The significance of the exposure of the Pacific Northwest eagles to PBDEs is not clear, but PCBs were banned 40 years ago and we're still dealing with the residual affect of that toxic chemical compound in the environment. (AP Photo/File)
The significance of the exposure of the Pacific Northwest eagles to PBDEs is not clear, but PCBs were banned 40 years ago and we’re still dealing with the residual affect of that toxic chemical compound in the environment. (AP Photo/File)


By: Tim Haeck, MyNorthwest.com

A chemical flame retardant, banned in certain products in Washington state, is showing up in the environment, years later, in alarming levels.

Scientists studied the livers of 21 bald and golden eagles collected from Washington and Idaho and found polybrominated diphenyl ethers, known as PBDEs. Higher levels of the toxic compound were found in samples of eagles from urban areas. The compound has been commonly used as a flame retardant in all manner of consumer products, but it was banned in Washington in 2008.

“So PBDEs are not allowed to be used in Washington in the biggest uses, so furniture, TVs, computers, mattresses, that sort of thing,” explained Washington State Department of Ecology toxicologist Carol Kraege.

Over time, the compound breaks down.

“It gets in house dust, it gets in the air, it attaches to particles, things like dust, and then when you clean and wash, you rinse it all down the drain. It goes out into the water, gets in the fish,” said Kraege.

Another problem with PBDEs is that it’s bio-cumulative. In other words, creatures absorb it faster than it dissipates, with higher concentrations as you move up the food chain.

“You’ll find a little less in critters that live on the bottom of the Puget Sound and the top predator, like the eagle, will have the most,” according to Kraege. “For humans, we are at the top of our food chain, so it can be a problem for people. It has been detected in people, that’s part of what led to the ban was that it was detected in people and in high enough levels to start causing concern.”

PBDEs have been shown to reduce fertility in humans as well as other issues.

“The kinds of things that PBDEs can cause in people; learning disabilities, so if you’re exposed in utero or as a really tiny baby, it’s going to affect how your brain develops,” said Kraege.

The significance of the exposure of the Pacific Northwest eagles to PBDEs is not clear, but PCBs were banned 40 years ago and we’re still dealing with the residual affect of that toxic chemical compound in the environment.

Dead eagles found in Neb. used by Native Americans

By Associated Press

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (AP) — The carcasses of dead bald and golden eagles found in Nebraska are collected and recycled for religious purposes.

The North Platte Telegraph reports (http://bit.ly/1nwRtQ2 ) the state is part of an unusual federal recycling program that provides parts of eagle carcasses to Native Americans who hold valid permits.

The feathers and other body parts of eagles are considered sacred by some Native Americans. But federal laws designed to protect the birds make it illegal for most people to possess any part of a golden or bald eagle.

Lauren Dinan with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission says the state recently sent 37 eagles to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Eagle Repository in Commerce City, Colo.


Information from: The North Platte Telegraph, http://www.nptelegraph.com

Feds will let wind farms kill eagles for 30 years

By John Upston, Grist

The Obama administration recently sent a big message to the wind energy industry, imposing a $1 million fine under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act for a wind farm that killed birds in violation of wildlife rules.

On Friday, the administration sent a different message when it moved to make such rules more lenient.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it would begin handing out permits that give wind companies permission to unintentionally kill protected bald and golden eagles for 30 years, provided they implement “advanced conservation practices” to keep the number of deaths low. Such permits had previously been capped at five years.


Some wildlife advocates were appalled by the move, which they had opposed. From The Hill:

In a statement sent to The Hill, the president of the National Audubon Society, David Yarnold, said that the administration “wrote the wind industry a blank check,” and indicated that a court challenge court be in the works.

“We have no choice but to challenge this decision, and all options are on the table,” he added.

The wind energy industry, meanwhile, tried to put the bird-killing habits of some of its operators in context, pointing out that similar “take” permits are available for dirty energy producers. From an American Wind Energy Association blog post by John Anderson, an expert on turbine siting, which, when done well, can be one of the best ways of avoiding bird deaths:

The wind industry does more to address its impacts on eagles than any of the other, far greater sources of eagle fatalities known to wildlife experts, and we are constantly striving to reduce these impacts even further. In fact, the wind industry has taken the most proactive and leading role of any utility-scale energy source to minimize wildlife impacts in general, and specifically on eagles, through constantly improving siting and monitoring techniques.

Remember, the federal government won’t be handing out permits allowing wind turbine owners to kill birds carte blanche. “The permits must incorporate conditions specifying additional measures that may be necessary to ensure the preservation of eagles, should monitoring data indicate the need for the measures,” the new regulation states.

Sarvey center’s raptors still draw the eagle-eye of kids

A display of its birds of prey in Snohomish impresses kids as the wildlife center continues to request financial support.

Dan Bates / The HeraldSarvey Wildlife Center volunteer Robert Lee holds a red-tailed hawk with only one wing Friday at the Snohomish Library. Having lost a wing, the hawk will remain at Sarvey for the rest of its life, Lee said.
Dan Bates / The Herald
Sarvey Wildlife Center volunteer Robert Lee holds a red-tailed hawk with only one wing Friday at the Snohomish Library. Having lost a wing, the hawk will remain at Sarvey for the rest of its life, Lee said.
By Alejandro Dominguez, The Herald
SNOHOMISH — A line formed in the Snohomish Library 30 minutes before the show started.Eight-year-old Lily Westman and her brother, Cooper, 6, were first in line last week, waiting for the doors to open for the “Raptor Factor” show. They were eager to see all of the birds, but hoped to see a bald eagle.

“I want to know how they take care of them,” said Cooper, who goes to Cascade View Elementary School.

The show is put on by the Sarvey Wildlife Care Center, a nonprofit located between Arlington and Granite Falls that rescues, treats and releases wild animals. It’s one of the outreach efforts by the center that has been around since 1981.

Last month, the center announced that it was having financial difficulties. The center has an operating budget of about $450,000 a year, but donations have been down. Director Suzanne West said last month the center needed $95,000 to continue to care for animals, keep the doors open and continue their programs.

In the last couple of weeks, however, the center has seen an increase in donations and new donors have also appeared. The shortfall has been reduced to $50,000.

“We are still feeling the crunch,” West said. “We have been able to tighten our belts and we have received additional funding.”

Jennifer Cutshall, 44, of Snohomish, heard about Sarvey’s financial problems. She’s hoping that people step up to help out the center. She’s seen the raptor show herself. On Friday she brought her youngest son, Isaac Tavares, 4, for the first time.

“It’s a good chance to see these birds this close,” Cutshall said.

They were about 75 kids, parents, grandparents and others who attended the show and learned about the barn owl, great horned owl, red-tailed hawk and peregrine falcon.

The children asked questions about the birds, such as the length of their wings and how fast they could fly. They were amazed when some of the birds spread their wings.

Most of them gasped when volunteers took out the last bird of the show: a bald eagle named Askate.

Seeing the animal was the favorite part of 5-year-old Kaylee Broome who goes to kindergarten at Machias Elementary School.

“It was so cool,” Kayle said.

Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422; adominguez@heraldnet.com.

More about Sarvey

The Sarvey Wildlife Center is located at 13106 148th St. NE, near Arlington.

For more information on the center, including how to donate and what to do if you find an injured or orphaned animal, go to www.sarveywildlife.org/ or call 360-435-4817.

Back to Back! Northwest Indian College Wins National Basketball Title for Second Year in a Row

Source: Indian Country Today Media Network

Courtesy NWIC
Courtesy NWIC

To say the Northwest Indian College (NWIC) men’s basketball team challenged itself this year is to put it mildly. The Eagles’ season was filled with games against much larger schools, including an NCAA Division I and Division II teams.

The Eagles, who represent the only tribal college in Washington and Idaho, took on those large competitors with the hope that the games would prepare them for the tribal college basketball competition of the year: the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) national basketball tournament.

On March 17, the Eagles’ tough season paid off when – for the second consecutive year – the team claimed the AIHEC championship title at the basketball tournament, held in Cloquet, Minnesota.

In their first tournament game, on March 14, the Eagles played fast-paced against Oglala Lakota College (OLC), winning 73-67. They won the other two games in their pool as well, beating Navajo Technical College 61-40 and tournament host Fond Du Lac Tribal and Community College 61-57.

“We had some tough, hard-fought wins during pool play that really helped our team,” NWIC Assistant Coach Adam Lane said in a press release. “That helped us to realize that all of our games would only get tougher as we got into the tournament.”

On March 16, the Eagles played Fort Berthold Community College in the tournament quarterfinals and won 98-78. That win sent them into a semifinals match-up against Salish Kootenai College (SKC), who the Eagles played in AIHEC championship games the past three years. SKC took the titles in 2010 and 2011, but were defeated by the Eagles in 2012.

In the tournament this year, the rivals played hard against each other. “I think our guys played their best during the semifinal game against Salish Kootenai College,” Lane said. “They really came together as a team and played well.”

The teamwork paid off and the Eagles beat SKC 114-102.

For their final game, the Eagles were matched up with OLC, their first opponents in pool play. “The championship game was a battle from the start,” Lane said. “We had played Oglala Lakota College once and knew that it would be a hard-fought, physical game.”

Lane said OLC was the Eagles’ toughest opponent, with scores in both games against the team remaining close up until the end. At the end of the championship game, the score was dead even, sending the game into overtime. The Eagles defeated OLC in overtime 111-107. Lane attributed the win to hard work and teamwork, and said that having a large number of players return from last year’s championship team gave the Eagles an edge.

“We knew that if we played as well as we are capable, we would be right there at the end with a chance to win,” he said.

The Eagles’ Doug Williams was named tournament MVP. “Doug was our leading scorer or one of our top scorers in every game we played over there,” Lane said. “He played well on the defensive end as well. He was one of our leading rebounders and also led our team in blocked shots.”

The Eagles’ Josh Nelson and Mike Schjang made the All-Tournament Team. Lane said he thought Randy Evans and J.J. Nixon were also deserving of the All-Tournament Team honors.

“Both of them played very hard, especially defensively,” Lane said. “Matt Eriacho also had a very strong tournament, playing a great game in the championship to help us win.”

Lane said all of the players deserve recognition for all of their dedication this season.

“They all worked very hard throughout the year and each of them contributed to this championship,” he said.

Head Coach Greg Mahle shared a similar sentiment.

“It took the entire team working hard every day to bring home another championship,” Mahle said in the release. “Each and every guy deserves recognition for the commitment they made to each other and becoming a stronger team as the year progressed.”

Mahle thanked NWIC and the Lummi Nation for the team’s big welcome home on March 18, when the players were greeted with a celebratory parade in their honor. He also thanked NWIC President Justin Guillory for supporting the team by making the trip to Minnesota for the games.

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/04/01/back-back-northwest-indian-college-wins-national-basketball-title-second-year-row-148486

Eagles on the mend after scavenging euthanized horses

Seven eagles poisoned nearly to death after feeding on carcasses of euthanized horses in Lewis County should be well enough for release from wildlife shelters this week.


By Lynda V. Mapes, The Seattle Times

A volunteer at the West Sound Wildlife Shelter on Bainbridge Island nurses one of the eagles sickened by eating carcasses of euthanized horses. Photo: Dottie Tison
A volunteer at the West Sound Wildlife Shelter on Bainbridge Island nurses one of the eagles sickened by eating carcasses of euthanized horses. Photo: Dottie Tison


Seven eagles poisoned nearly to death after feeding on euthanized horse carcasses are expected to be released this week.

The eagles are alert, getting feisty and are being moved to outdoor cages, said Mike Pratt, wildlife director at the West Sound Wildlife Shelter on Bainbridge Island, which cared for six of the eagles. The shelter, funded by donations, takes in wild animals of all sorts that have been injured or orphaned.

The shelter started getting calls over the weekend about first one eagle, then a second found nearly dead on private property in Winlock, Lewis County. By the time shelter staffers arrived to pick up the birds on Sunday, four more had become sick, Pratt said. The six birds — five juveniles and an adult — were so ill they were convulsing, vomiting, and could not stand. Two were comatose.

Back at the shelter, volunteers and two veterinarians were waiting. They administered a charcoal purgative around the clock and, by Tuesday morning, even the sickest birds had revived. They may be released by the end of the week, right back where they came from, Pratt said.

A seventh poisoned eagle had been taken to the wildlife shelter at the Audubon Society of Portland on Friday. That eagle, a first-year male, looks excellent and will be released Wednesday, said Lacy Campbell, operations manager at the wildlife center.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating the incident, said spokeswoman Joan Jewett. It is a federal offense to poison an eagle, even accidentally.

It all started with horses, euthanized and left by their owner in a field, said Jewett, who added that the carcasses have since been buried.

Stephanie Estrella, director and wildlife rehabilitator of Raindancer Wild Bird Rescue in Olympia, which cared for the birds before the larger Bainbridge shelter could come collect them, said this was the first time she had encountered raptors poisoned by tainted carcasses.

Most of the raptors she has cared for were victims of car strikes, or torn up in fights with other raptors.

She got the first call from Sharon Thomas, a Winlock resident who saw an eagle acting strangely in a field in front of her house.

“It flopped and flew, and flopped and flew. It crashed several times,” Thomas said. “Then it came right to me, it sat right at my feet as if it had come for help.”

Thomas took the eagle to her house, put it in a kennel, took photos of it, and put them on Facebook asking for help. Ultimately, it was Estrella from Raindancer who came to collect the eagle.

Little did Thomas know she was in for a long weekend of more of the same, as she and her neighbors walked and drove the area, on the alert for more animals in distress. “It was heart-wrenching,” Thomas said. “Seeing a large, majestic bird falling over on its head is very sad. Picking them up, seeing them unresponsive and lethargic. Picking up the two others that seemed dead, their eyes were not open, they were barely breathing.”

Eventually, she and the neighbors walking the field and thickets found two horse carcasses, with eagles feeding on them. “I picked an adult off one of the horses. He was covered in rotten meat and blood and so was I,” Thomas said.

She and other neighbors collected six sick eagles, and drove off others trying to feed on the carcasses. “It was very hard to drive away from the work Monday morning,” Thomas said. “I don’t know what other wildlife may have been affected.”

The Longview Daily News reported Monday that the horses’ owner, Debra Dwelly, said she had no idea she had created a hazard until federal wildlife agents, alerted by the animal-shelter operators to the eagles’ plight, showed up at her home on Sunday, after cruising the area in a small plane and spotting the carcasses.

Dwelly told the Daily News the poisoning was an honest mistake that occurred because a friend’s backhoe had broken down, delaying burial of the horses she had put down earlier last week.

Washington state law requires the owners of animals or owners of land on which animal carcasses are found to bury or incinerate carcasses within 72 hours so they do not become a hazard.

Attempts by The Seattle Times to reach Dwelly were unsuccessful Tuesday.

Meanwhile, all seven eagles were getting stronger by the hour. Thomas said she is eager to seeing them released.

“I look forward to them returning and behaving as an eagle should,” Thomas said. “They should be aggressive. You shouldn’t be holding them in your arms.”