Grizzly bears in Washington State may get a boost from the federal government.
  • Adam Van Spronsen/Shutterstock
  • Grizzly bears in Washington State may get a boost from the federal government.

Feds Consider Moving Grizzly Bears into Washington: The National Park Service is considering whether to restore grizzly bears in the North Cascades of Washington State, reports the AP. Officials will begin developing an Environmental Impact Statement this fall—a process that’s expected to take three years. Among the possibilities to be explored are whether to move grizzlies into the state. As many as 100,000 grizzlies once roamed the Western US before trapping and hunting pushed them near extinction. Today, biologists estimate there are fewer than twenty bears in the North Cascades.

Pot Bus Bust: The state Utilities and Transportation Commission has put the kibosh on weed buses, reports the Seattle Times.

KIRO reporters observed Judge Fred Bonner driving alone while using carpool privileges at a city garage.
  • KIRO reporters observed Judge Fred Bonner driving alone while using carpool privileges at a city garage.
Seattle Judge Busted: KIRO TV reports that a Seattle municipal court judge appears to have been violating city regulations by falsely claiming he’s carpooling. Fred Bonner has enjoyed a highly discounted parking rate at a city garage by saying he drives a three-person carpool when in fact KIRO reporters have observed him only driving himself. Bonner denied the charges but couldn’t provide names of his carpool riders, saying “I cannot tell you that because… I consider that is privileged.” KIRO estimates the judge—who makes $150,000 a year—has saved about $12,000 over the past decade.

Head's Up: State Route 99 will be closed for four days starting tonight at 10 p.m. King 5 has the details.

NAACP Rally in Central District Draws 100: The gathering was a show of solidarity with the protests in Ferguson, reports the Seattle Times.

Meanwhile, White People in Missouri Are Perplexed About Ferguson: Reports the Times: “…the events of the last two weeks have left many whites perplexed, not only as to how this police shooting could ignite a neighborhood like a tinderbox, but that there was a tinderbox at all.”

The US West is missing about 62 trillion gallons of water.
  • Ed Berlen/Shutterstock
  • The US West is missing about 62 trillion gallons of water.

California’s Drought Is Really, Really Bad: So bad, in fact, that it’s made the earth rise about an average of .15 inches, and about half an inch in the mountains. The movement is the result of a massive loss of water, says the Smithsonian.

Three former SeaWorld workers said they experienced long hours and dangerous work.
  • Irina Silvestrova/Shutterstock
  • Three former SeaWorld workers said they experienced long hours and dangerous work.

Horrifying Horribleness: Outside interviews three former SeaWorld workers about their traumatizing experiences, including dealing with stillborns and watching mothers kill calves. Here’s one particularly heartbreaking passage:

I was on night watch when Nootka had a stillborn. The supervisors determined that they had to take the baby immediately. I was told it was for Nootka’s health and safety. Nootka was in the back pool, which is long and rectangular. They dropped a net the width and depth of the pool, and I saw her push the baby over the top of the net after carrying it around for a while. As she pushed the baby around, they were trying to get it from her—not just one guy, a swarm.

I asked, “Please, can’t she just have a minute?” She was vocalizing and distressed. There was a shallows on the perimeter of the pool. Most of the guys were in the shallows, using nets and poles to get the calf close enough so they could grab it. I remember Nootka did get the calf back a few times, and in the end it was a very fast heave to get it out of the pool. Nootka was panicked. It was gut-wrenching to watch.

She about killed a couple of staff. She was mad. But they took the calf, and she did everything she could to get it back. There was no honor or care. There was nothing. They just pulled the calf and threw it in the back of a truck. And they put Nootka in the med pool [a small side pool with a floor that can be raised], and that’s where she stayed the entire night. I’ll never forget it. She cried and cried for her calf.

Burning Man has a money-free policy, although it takes a lot of money to organize.
  • Bexx Brown-Spinelli/Flickr (CC)
  • Burning Man has a money-free policy, although it takes a lot of money to organize.

The Weird Economics of Burning Man: The Atlantic looks at the effect of Burning Man on the economy, as well as ponders whether the event’s money-free ethos could have applications beyond the Playa.