1. On top of the Seattle Times' impressive spot reporting about the Oso mudslide tragedy, investigative reporters added a new, political dimension today reporting that a forest clear-cut "appears to have strayed into a restricted area that could feed groundwater into" the zone impacted by last week's catastrophic landslide, contributing to its instability.
The logging could have contributed to the instability of the slope, which collapsed on Saturday, killing at least 24 people.
2. With the death of the Columbia River Crossing project (a proposed new I-5 bridge, including light rail, connecting Portland and Vancouver), the Columbian reports that the CRC's project office is closing shop.
The CRC was killed after the Washington state legislature failed to provide funding in 2013 and the Oregon legislature followed suit this year, declining to fund the two-state bridge on its own.
The state of Oregon has spent 10 years working on the CRC project.
3. Washington state U.S. Representative Dave Reichert (R-WA, 8) was a rare Republican vote against a bill in the U.S. House to severely curtail the President's ability to designate new national parks monuments, the PI.com reports.
The anti-Obama bill, also known as the "No More National Parks Act," would overturn a 108-year-old law that presidents of both parties have used to protect American wilderness and other iconic places, including the Statue of Liberty and the Grand Canyon.
Three other Republicans in the state delegation—Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA, 3), Doc Hastings (R-WA, 4), and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA, 5)—voted for the bill.
As Think Progress notes, despite arguments from Hastings and other House Republicans that they simply want Congress to have more power to designate national parks, "the House has effectively shut down all legislative efforts to protect wilderness, parks and monuments since the Tea Party takeover in 2010."