To the Editor: RE: Relocating Port Alberni’s public works yard ‘below low priority’

Dear Editor,

(The letter was sent on January 29, 2020. It has not been published yet)

I normally agree heartily with Mr Jardin’s letters so it is with some surprise that I felt compelled to write today regarding the need to relocate the City’s works yard. (T. Lyman Jardin: “Relocating Port Alberni’s public works yard ‘below low priority‘”)

Mr. Jardin makes a good point that the railway acts as a berm. However, as we saw in Fukushima, disaster was created not by the mega-thrust earthquake, but rather documents and testimony from engineers indicate the wall built was just shy of recommendations. 
(quote below added for this blog post)

“What doomed Fukushima Daiichi was the elevation of the EDGs (emergency diesel generators),” the authors wrote. One set was located in a basement, and the others at 10 and 13 meters above sea level — inexplicably and fatally low, Synolakis said.

….

Synolakis and Kânoğlu report that the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), which ran the plant, first reduced the height of the coastal cliffs where the plant was built, underestimated potential tsunami heights, relied on its own internal faulty data and incomplete modeling and ignored warnings from Japanese scientists that larger tsunamis were possible.

Japan provides us the precise timing of the last mega-thrust earthquake on the West Coast: around 9PM on January 26, 1700. This event is etched into Nuu-cha-nulth oral and living histories.  That earthquake created a series of inundations up to 16 metres (52ft) high. This informs the worst case envisioned by scientists as a 20 metre inundation zone. The railway is about 15 metres elevation at Rogers Street. The tsunami in 1700 washed up all the way to Glenwood Drive.  Imagine Rogers Creek flowing backwards nearly one third the way up under the railway trestle.
(image below added for the blog post, taken from this article dark shaded area is 1964 inundation zone, black line is estimated 1700 inundation zone)

If the paper mill ever closed, you can expect BC Hydro to move the substation out of the inundation zone. Their new office was built on Tebo. The old BC Tel building and yard on 6th sits nearly derelict.  The new RCMP building is between 8th and 9th Avenue.

There is no reason for panic, however, good planning means making a move when the time is right, as other agencies have done. A tsunami could happen tomorrow, or 100 years from now when sea levels are one or two metres higher. The City Works buildings and yard are in need of replacement or complete renovation today.  It is prudent of the City to find a location where there is much less chance of becoming part of any future disaster.

Sincerely,

Chris Alemany

P.S. John Cassidy, “@EarthquakeGuy” on Twitter, is a Canadian Government Earthquake Scientist. He is a great follow and tweeted some great information from other scientists about the 1700 Cascadia earthquake on its anniversary this past weekend.

Watching The Trump Impeachment Trial – Day One

Regardless of one’s political leanings we are in a historic moment in the Presidency of the United States of America.

In honour of that, I thought I would make a post of the proceedings today as the US Senate officially became a Court of Impeachment. You can view them through C-SPAN here:

There are three most interesting parts:

1: At the beginning when the appointed Managers from the House are accepted into the Senate chambers and they read the articles of impeachment which officially impeached President Donald J. Trump.

(Senators are informed by the Sergeant at Arms (pictured) that they must be silent, “on pain of imprisonment”)

Sergeant at Arms in the US Senate

2: In the middle when the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is sworn in to preside over the Court and asks all Senators to be sworn in.

Chief Justice being sworn in.

3: At the end, when the Republican majority leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell reads in the terms by which the President, and Congress are allowed to give their initial documentation. It is then adjourned until Tuesday.

Mitch McConnell reading in the unanimous consent requests.

The Senate will now go through a trial to determine whether to find the President guilty and remove him from office, or like Bill Clinton, to acquit him of the charges.

History in the making.

P.S. A super common misunderstanding is that if the Senate acquits President Trump, he is “un-impeached”. This is incorrect.

“Impeached” is like the US Constitution’s word for “charged” with a crime. Only the House of Representatives can decide whether a President is impeached or not impeached, charged or not charged, for a crime or misdemeanour. They have made their decision and it sticks forever. So Donald Trump will forever be known as having been impeached (Like Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson). 

The clearest definition I’ve seen is: “the act of charging with a crime or misdemeanor; specifically, the exhibition of charges of mal-administration against a high public officer before a competent tribunal.”

So the US House of Representatives acts as the Public Prosecutor.

The Senate, on the other hand, is the courtroom and senators are the jury. Only they can decide to remove a President (or other public officer) from office. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is appointed as Judge to preside over the “Court of Impeachment”.

So like a normal court case, you can be arrested and charged for a crime (impeached), and those will always be on your record, but whether the court finds you guilty or acquits you like OJ Simpson, that is a separate matter. 😉

No President has ever been found guilty and removed. Sometimes people say Nixon would have been impeached and removed, but we’ll never know. He had the good sense to resign even before he was impeached.

Installing the Weather34 skin on WeeWx with a remote server

Here’s a howto on installing the Weather34 Template provided by Ian Steeple using a remote webhost fed by a Weewx weather server.

This Howto assumes you already have a working weewx/remote web server setup for normal weewx operations.

Continue reading “Installing the Weather34 skin on WeeWx with a remote server”