Monday, September 27, 2004

Uh-Oh, Here We Go Again!

Thanks for the Memory to Rusty at MyPetJawa (Actually, I'd already heard about it, but tracking back to Rusty gets me gobs of traffic!).

US volcano that wreaked havoc 24 years ago rumbles to back life

LOS ANGELES (AFP) Sep 27, 2004
Mount St. Helens, a volcano that devastated swathes of the US northwest when it erupted 24 years ago, has rumbled back to life, raising fears of a fresh explosion, seismologists said Monday.
Experts believe that a sudden and potentially dangerous event could be on the way after a wave of nearly 100 small earthquakes began hitting the area in the states of Washington and Oregon in recent days.

"We have had small swarm of earthquakes that begun last Thursday and are worried that a small explosion may occur without warning," said Peter Frenzen, a scientist from Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.

"The earthquake activity is occurring below the dome -- all this could increase the likelihood of small rock slides from the lava dome," he said, adding that the mountain had not been hit by waves of quakes since 2001.

Trails up the mountain were closed to climbers and hikers after quakes measuring between two and to 2.8 on the Richter Scale shook the area amid fears of mud and rock slides over an eight kilometer (five mile) area around the peak.

The area north of the peak was hard hit in the 1980 eruption of Mount St Helens that left 57 people dead, devastating hundreds of square kilometers (miles) and spewing ash over much of the Pacific Northwest region.

The mountain's top lies around 88 kilometers (55 miles) northeast of the Oregon's main city of Portland, which was also covered in a thick layer of ash in the 1980 eruption.

I remember. Here in the Pacific Northwest, unless you're talking to someone VERY young, all you have to do is say May 18th, and people know what you mean. Before she blew, St. Helens was called "The Fuji of America" because she was so perfectly symmetrical. The initial eruption pulverized a cubic MILE I was living just to the east of Washington in Idaho, and we got a light dusting. My church's camp is in Camas WA, less than 50 miles from MSH, but away from the direction of the blast. The ash there was a couple of inches think. The stuff was incredibly fine and got into EVERYTHING. It was abrasive and destroyed engines and paint jobs. Interestingly enough, if heated hot enough, it makes a beautiful glass that can be blown in artwork. It turned the skies black at noon. It was a weird time, kind of exciting as a kid, especially since I was a bit removed from it, but scary at the same time.

As I told Rusty, Washington's Mt. Rainier and The Three Sisters here in Oregon have both been showing signs of awaking. If The Sisters go, I'll have an incredibly good view, but a fairly safe one. It's the people in Central Oregon who will be screwed. That's cattle country, the cost of evacuating livestock will be phenomenal. We don't put up with tornadoes, or hurricanes (well, not true. Storms on the PNW coast are routinely of Hurricane force, and the Columbus Day Storm was the hardest blow to ever hit the US in terms of wind speed. But there's hardly anyone there to notice it), or as many bizzards as the midwest or earthquakes as California, but when we finally do have a disaster, we do it with flair.


Oregon won Saturday, 48-10 over Idaho. Yeah, it's "only" Idaho, but they had already lost to "only" Indiana, so it was a relief to see them stay focused. The only thing sad about the game for Ducks fans was the fact that Michael Harrington was the Vandals' QB, and it reminded us just how much we miss his older brother Joey.

Joey lost yesterday, to Philadelphia, but Detroit hung in there and played well, the Eagles are just scary. San Diego lost, that was a bit of a bummer, but the Vikings won, and so did Seattle, demolishing SF 34-0!!!! Who ever expected to hear the words "Seattle" and "Led by their defense" in the same sentence?

Worth the Trip

Pop on over to my friend Ricky V's blog Vices & Virtues and enter the Caption Contest. Even if you don't win, heck, even if you don't enter, it's worth the trip just for the photo.

DeFazio Violates Election Rules

The following press release was issued by the Oregon Republican Party, and forwarded to me by a local GOP activist. I'd appreciate any help I can get from other conservative bloggers, especially on the Left Coast, to get the news out:

DeFazio Campaign Website Violates House Ethics Rules

Eugene, OR—On Friday, Lane County Republican Central Committee Chair Robert
Avery filed a formal complaint with the U.S. House Committee on Standards of
Official Conduct against Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio.
House Standards Committee rules clearly state that no member’s campaign
website can include links to members’ House sites. However, DeFazio’s
campaign web site contains two links to his House site.
One link reads, “If you’d like to read about my current affairs in Congress,
or to contact my office about an issue, please click on this link:
The second states: “Read about my forest thinning legislation:”
Bruce Harvie, campaign manager for Republican 4th Congressional District
candidate Jim Feldkamp, said he was surprised to see such a blatant
violation go unnoticed.
“The rules state very clearly that campaign sites and House sites should not
be linked,” Harvie said. “Those links are still on his campaign site right
now, which is in clear breach of official protocol.”
Oddly enough, the Democratic Party of Oregon filed a complaint against
Feldkamp, alleging that trips he made to Washington D.C. for Naval Reserve
drills and to Boston to visit his daughter were in violation of election
rules governing the disclosure of campaign expenditures. Feldkamp, who was
recently endorsed by the Grants Pass Daily Courier, has documents that
verify his presence at those Naval Reserve drills.

“It’s ironic to me that the same people who would choose to file a frivolous
and unfounded complaint against Jim would be so unaware of a legitimate
violation taking place,” Harvie said. “Trips that he paid for out of pocket
are scrutinized, yet official misconduct goes unnoticed. I guess this just
demonstrates the extent that some people are willing to go to in order to
advance a partisan agenda.”
Havie said that a veteran legislator like DeFazio should be aware of such
rules by now.
“Anyone who has spent 18 years in the House should be familiar with the
basic laws set forth by that body,” Harvie said. “Either he’s unaware, or he
chooses to ignore them, and I don’t see either scenario as being very good.”