Friday, August 31, 2007

September 3 is a day off for the the News Digest

The News Digest will be taking Monday, September 3rd off to enjoy the Labor Day holiday. It will return on Tuesday, September 4.

News Digest for August 31, 2007

All the links in today’s news digest lead to current stories. Please note that some media organizations update their web sites regularly, which may result in broken links in the future.


virescent • \vuh-RESS-unt\ • adjective – *1: beginning to be green: greenish 2: developing or displaying the condition of becoming green due to the development of chloroplasts in plant organs (as petals) normally white or colored

Bartholomew was weathering his first sea voyage quite well. That is, until the ocean liner exited the protected bay and met the long rollers of the Atlantic Ocean. The color of his face faded to white and then took a virescent tinge that was quickly followed by a phone call to Ralph on the “big white phone.”


Ore. climatologist forecasts wet, cold winter – Oregon State University climatologist George Taylor has issued his annual fall and winter forecast, and it says snow might be in Western Oregon's future. (The Associated Press)


State of California dodges power problems, thanks to conservation (San Francisco Chronicle)

BROKEN GAS LINE FORCES SHORT EVACUATION IN DOWNTOWN SHELTON – A broken natural gas line forced a short evacuation in downtown Shelton Thursday morning. According to Jay Ebbeson, Public Works Director for Shelton, a worker from Merlino Construction Company, working on the City's Basin Two project, hit and broke an unmarked service line to St. David's Parish Hall just before 9am. As a precaution, a four block by four block area was evacuated as Cascade Natural Gas was called in to shut off the gas and repair the break. The effected area was between Front and Fourth streets, and between Railroad Avenue and Alder Street. The gas line was shut off shortly after ten. People were allowed back in the homes and businesses by about 10:30am. No injuries were reported. (KMAS Radio, Shelton)

Pend Oreille PUD, Kalispels reach terms over flooded land – District to pay tribe yearly with at least $200,000 in power (Spokane Journal of Business)

Snohomish County PUD reinforces Stanwood with new power line (The Everett Herald)

Recycling Business Owner Arrested In Metal Theft Sting (KIRO-TV, Seattle)

Recycler arrested in purchase of stolen metal (KOMO-TV, Seattle)

Ohio – Firelands Electrical Cooperative offers $500 reward for information on missing copper (The Morning Journal)

Puget Energy wants gas rate cut, its first in five years (Puget Sound Business Journal)

Minnesota – Unpaid bills for natural gas are up sharply – About 160,000 CenterPoint Energy customers across Minnesota are in arrears on their natural gas bills, up from a 70,000 to 100,000 at the end of summer in years past, the company said Tuesday. (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, via

Canada – The 'N' word that makes politicians quake – Environmentalists demanding an end to global warming are calling on the world's governments to adopt clean, zero-emission energy. But mention "nuclear power" -- one of the safest energy sources available with no greenhouse gases -- and their reaction can be summed up in a word: radioactive. (The Province)


The Columbian Newspaper on U.S. Sen. Larry Craig – Local angle: Salmon debate may be affected. U.S. Sen. Larry Craig represents constituents located well beyond Southwest Washington, but the senator has had a direct interest and effect on natural resource policies in the Columbia River basin.

Here it comes! Sen. Craig no friend to 'greens' in NW (Seattle Post Intelligencer, Joel Connely)

Want to save Puget Sound? Do the science first (Crosscut Seattle)

David Dicks Spells Out Tasks Ahead to Save Puget Sound (Kitsap Sun, may require free registration)

Fox News Commentary – The Endangered Species Act Out of Control. Is a salmon born in a hatchery a different species from the same salmon born in the wild?,2933,295359,00.html

Ilwaco Salmon Fishery Reopens September 2 – The recreational fishery in Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco) will reopen to retention of chinook, coho and pink salmon at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 2, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today. (KBKW Radio, Aberdeen)


Turbines shortage boosts wind-power costs – A prolonged shortage of wind turbines is pushing up prices for wind energy projects and forcing developers to scramble for deals long before construction begins. (Seattle Times, Golly…is anyone surprised by this?)

California IOUS want new renewable energy goals to apply to munis – California's investor-owned utilities Tuesday said they would support a 33% renewables target by 2020 in proposed legislation only if municipal utilities are required to meet the same target. (Platts Energy News)

United Kingdom – Assessing the UK's 'wind rush' . Wind lobby rebuts claims: Wind power is the fastest growing renewable energy sector in Britain. (British Broadcasting Corporation)

Reach for the sky: Could flying wind farms help beat global warming? (CNN Technology)

News Release – Consumer Reports Reveals Ten Things Consumers Can Do Now to Save Hundreds on Energy Costs. October issue also explains personal carbon footprints; The dark side of compact fluorescent light bulbs (Electric Energy Online)


Global warming – who pays and when? The economics of climate change is driving what kind of pact nations may be willing to make. (Christian Science Monitor)

United Kingdom –Petrol-driven cars could be banned across Britain by 2040, under radical Liberal Democrat plans to tackle climate change. (The Guardian),,2157621,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=environment


Are e-mails public records? A case against a DSHS employee raises the issue of whether the public has the right to see the e-mails and Web-viewing habits of state workers. (Seattle Times)

Google a victim of EarthLink woes with cancellation of S.F. Wi-Fi – The collapse of Mayor Gavin Newsom's ambitious plan to bring free wireless Internet access to San Francisco dealt a blow to Google Inc., which had hoped to use the system to test an array of new products. (San Francisco Chronicle)


Ore. troopers catching more triple-digit speeders – For some drivers, breaking the speed limit is just not enough. They have to smash it. (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Craig fallout: Idaho will lose millions, influence –Idaho stands to lose influence and millions of federal dollars now that the state's senior U.S. senator has lost committee leadership positions and faces increasing pressure from Republican leaders to resign. (the Associated Press via the Columbian)


Meteor 'outburst' expected Saturday morning – Find a place to lie down and look up Saturday morning, because a meteor "outburst" is forecast over the Pacific Northwest.

Got Arachnophobia? Here’s Your Worst Nightmare

Japanese men girdle up for battle of the bulge

Russian man arrested for stealing bridge

Naked man does hula, steals beer at store;_ylt=AlEy_HwKRqh1LomXRqGookHtiBIF

Thursday, August 30, 2007

News Digest for August 30, 2007

All the links in today’s news digest lead to current stories. Please note that some media organizations update their web sites regularly, which may result in broken links in the future.


Protean • \PROH-tee-un\ • adjective – 1: of or resembling Proteus in having a varied nature or ability to assume different forms *2: displaying great diversity or variety: versatile

Woody Allen’s film “Zelig” celebrated the ultimate protean character. Titled the “Human Chameleon”, Leonard Zelig took on the attributes of those around him as a way to fit in. (I especially love the hidden camera interview where Zelig, under hypnosis, goes on and on about his psychiatrist’s lousy pancakes.)



Oregon – Manufacturer says design probably not cause of turbine collapse – Turbine blades turning at excessive speeds might have caused last weekend's fatal tower collapse at an Eastern Oregon wind farm, according to a spokeswoman for the manufacturer. (Associated Press)

Energy case kicked back to regulators – A ruling says new info needs to be studied in 2000-01 energy crisis. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered federal regulators to re-examine evidence that electricity wholesalers in the Northwest, including Portland General Electric, may have overcharged buyers for power on the spot market in 2000 and 2001. (The Oregonian)

Senator takes aerial tour of hydro dams operated by BPA – As U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., flies over the sprawling system of hydroelectric dams in the Columbia River Basin, he can't help but think this power network could play a role in boosting renewable energy in Montana. (Billings Gazette)

Lawsuit delays Montana power plant – Construction of a coal-fired power plant near Great Falls will be delayed pending resolution of a lawsuit that challenged the project's $650 million federal loan request, the project's general manager said Wednesday. (The Associated Press, via the Jackson Hole Star-Tribune)

Clatsop officials endorse LNG plan – Proponents of a proposed LNG terminal on the lower Columbia River got a boost Wednesday when the Clatsop County Planning Commission endorsed the project. (The Daily News, Longview)

News Release – Pickering Community Celebrates New Bell Tower at Historic Grant School (Mason County PUD No. 3 web site)

Suit tests Arizona Corporation Commission 'no' to Calif. power line – A new lawsuit will test how much state utility regulators can restrict companies shipping power generated here to other states. (Arizona Daily Star)

New York – Low water in river means loss of hydropower to Alcoa plants – Power supplied by the New York Power Authority to Alcoa's two smelters here is curtailed because of low water in the St. Lawrence River. (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, via

Ex San Miguel Power Association SMPA employees tell of drinking, “inappropriate graphical images” – Management at the SMPA seeded an office culture where lewd e-mails circulated and employees drank at work and drove home in company vehicles, two former employees said in interviews. (Telluride Daily Planet…”Great Caesar’s Ghost!”)

Ohio Governor calls for mix of market-based, regulated electric rates (Columbus Business Journal)

Ohio governor proposes re-regulation of electricity (Reuters)

Deregulation/Restructuring Prove To Be a Long Term Force For Change And Utility Decision Making (

Utility's federal lobbying heavy: Spending to sway legislation may near company's peak – Duke Energy Corp. has spent more than $1 million this year trying to influence legislation in Washington, including proposed global-warming regulations (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, via

Ontario to spend $25B on nuclear plants (CBC News)

Canadian activists board, chain themselves to coal ship –Several Greenpeace activists who boarded a coal-carrying bulk ore carrier on Lake Erie en route to a power plant in Nanticoke, Ont., have now chained themselves to the ship. (Globe and Mail)

Oops! Power outage hits nuclear weapons lab – An electric transformer failed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory this morning, causing a six-hour power outage that affected 107 of the lab's 700 laboratories. (San Francisco Chronicle)


Little pink salmon in really big trouble – A huge run of pink salmon is backed up behind a White River dam. The problem highlights a dispute over fish and river management. Biologists will try to help.(News Tribune, Tacoma)

Salmon Will Get an Upstream Route on Bainbridge Island Creek (The Kitsap Sun, may require free registration)

State, tribes agree to try negotiating over culverts (The Everett Herald)

Canada – If Sockeye's back, why not Coho in Alouette River?

Olympia man among finalists for Wild Salmon Hall of Fame – An Olympia man is one of five finalists, one of whom will be selected for induction into the Wild Salmon Hall of Fame. (News Tribune, Tacoma)

Archaeological tests find no more Beckett Point remains –Work on a nearly $3 million Jefferson County Public Utility District community septic system at Beckett Point, which stalled in late May after prehistoric Native American remains and artifacts were uncovered, has been cleared to resume (Peninsula Daily News)


North American Renewables Market to Reach $24.6 Billion in 2010 (Renewable Energy

Ohio Considers Renewable Portfolio Standard – Governor will include "clean coal" and nuclear projects in the proposed energy portfolio. (Renewable Energy

Toronto turns to lake water for air conditioning – Cold water drawn from Lake Ontario cools buildings and provides big energy savings. (Christian Science Monitor)

South Carolina utility will pay you for electricity – Starting in October, Santee Cooper will buy excess power from customers who make electricity with solar panels and other generators in a bid to bolster its green energy offerings and silence criticism from environmentalists. (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, via


Tri-City Herald Opinion – A regional goal -- reducing emissions. It's more a leveling than it is a breakthrough, but the Western Climate Initiative is good news just the same.

United Kingdom – Rating needed for eco claims (The Times Online)


PUD NETWORK TO UPGRADE EQUIPMENT OVERNIGHT – Mason County Public Utility District No. 3 will upgrade equipment on its fiber-optic network from 11:30 p.m. Sunday to 2 a.m. Monday, curtailing Internet traffic over the PUD network. The upgrade will improve reliability, according to a PUD news release. (The Olympian)

Join the club…San Francisco citywide Wi-Fi plan fizzles as provider backs off – Mayor Gavin Newsom's high-profile effort to blanket San Francisco with a free wireless Internet network died Wednesday when provider EarthLink backed out of a proposed contract with the city. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Missouri – Light poles create delay in rollout of city's Wi-Fi network: Still waiting for citywide Wi-Fi in St. Louis? It might be awhile. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Arkansans Call for Better Web Access – Rural advocacy groups and educators told two members of the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday that a lack of high-speed Internet is hurting Arkansas' Delta and other poor regions (Associated Press, via the Houston Chronicle)

Yahoo’s New President Oversees a Shake-Up – Susan L. Decker, Yahoo’s new president, is reorganizing the company’s management ranks with a new division responsible for generating the bulk of the company’s revenue. (NY Times)


Craig's Problems Have Mixed Implications For Oregon “…The delegation sticks together and works together in terms of timber payments, also on issues dealing with the Bonneville Power Administration, what to do with Hanford…” (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Women must repay Indian advocates – Two women have one year to pay $62,400 in restitution to an advocacy group for American Indian education, or else face conviction on felony theft charges for stealing from the group when they were board members. (The Olympian)

That buttery aroma might be toxic, too – Common chemical in popcorn at center of concern (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)


This is awesome! Comcast's Official Make a New Pot of Coffee Policy (The Consumerist, Note that there may be PG-13 language in the comments section)

Helmsley leaves dog $12M, two grandkids zero (“My inheritance is for the ‘little people’”)

Toddlers Can Still Marry In Ark. – Gov.: Special Session Not Worth Expense

Police Arrest Boys Suspected Of Milkshake Attacks

Thief steals case, but misses $13,000 inside

Teenage driver held over 140 mph YouTube video

Tree Sitter Update – University of California decision to erect fence results in protest, 2 arrests. With more than 72,000 people expected to converge on Cal's Memorial Stadium on Saturday for a sold-out football game, the university on Wednesday erected a chain-link fence to separate fans and the band of protesters living in trees near the stadium.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

News Digest for August 29, 2007

All the links in today’s news digest lead to current stories. Please note that some media organizations update their web sites regularly, which may result in broken links in the future.


Crambo • \KRAM-boh\ • noun – A game in which one player gives a word or line of verse to be matched in rhyme by other players

I love the movie “Princess Bride”. Especially the game of crambo between Fezzik and Inigo. Let’s review it now! (Thanks to the Internet Movie Database)

Inigo Montoya: That Vizzini, he can *fuss*.
Fezzik: Fuss, fuss... I think he like to scream at *us*.
Inigo Montoya: Probably he means no *harm*.
Fezzik: He's really very short on *charm*.
Inigo Montoya: You have a great gift for rhyme.
Fezzik: Yes, yes, some of the time.
Vizzini: Enough of that.
Inigo Montoya: Fezzik, are there rocks ahead?
Fezzik: If there are, we all be dead.
Vizzini: No more rhymes now, I mean it.
Fezzik: Anybody want a peanut?


Oregon – Siemens looks at excessive blade speed in tower fall. Preliminary findings seem to move suspicion away from a structural problem (The Oregonian)

Okanogan County PUD moves forward with transmission line design – The PUD is going forward with design plans for the Pateros-to-Twisp 115-kilovolt transmission line. (The Omak Chronicle)

The Grant County Public Utilities District offers workshop to study service costs – The PUD holds a public workshop next week to study electrical costs and determine the utility's future revenue requirements. (Columbia Basin Herald)

Montana – Missoula Drops Proposal to Buy Power From Electric City Power. The Missoula City Council Monday approved Mayor John Engen’s motion to officially withdraw a proposal for purchasing energy from a Great Falls public power company with plans to build a coal-fired power plant. (New West)

Seattle Times Columnist – Coal comes cheap, but it's still costly

British Columbia border towns balk at Alberta nuclear plan – Mayors of towns in B.C.'s Peace River region said Tuesday they want a voice in discussions about a proposal to build the first nuclear power plant in western Canada (The Vancouver Sun)

California – As temperatures rise, state officials urge power conservation (San Jose Mercury-News)

Maryland – Power rival of BGE falters: PSC suspends Ohms' license – Sheirmiar White launched Ohms Energy Co. in spring 2006 with a promise to beat Baltimore Gas and Electric's rates, hoping to show that deregulation could deliver lower electricity prices. (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News)

Massachusetts - Compact: Don’t Expect Good News On Electric Bills. Take an antiquated infrastructure and outdated government energy policy, and add to it the region’s heavy dependence on fossil fuels and a lack of competition, and you’ve got the recipe for Cape Cod’s sky-high residential electrical rates. (Cape Cod Chronicle)

Canadians seek better information, service from electric utilities – survey (CBC News)

New Hampshire – Town Says Lights Out To Cut Costs. Official Says Move Saves Nearly $50,000 A Year


Endangered-species suit planned – An environmental organization served notice Tuesday that it intends to sue a federal agency over 55 endangered species in 28 states and seek restoration of 8.7 million acres of protected habitat. (The Seattle Times)

Washington State Governor Gregoire offers to negotiate over fixing culverts for salmon (The Associated Press, via the Columbian)

Chelan County PUD adjusts Lake Chelan water levels – The level of Lake Chelan will be a little lower this fall to help salmon and a little higher next June to help recreation. (The Wenatchee World)

Tearing down dams helps build up fish – Marmot Dam on the Sandy River and Brownsville Canal Company Dam on the Calapooia River (The Eugene Register-Guard)

Log airlift helps fish return to their roots – The logs added to the Stillaguamish River delta will help restore lost habitat. (The Everett Herald)

Oregon fish project is conservation award-winner “…The money came from Bonneville Power Administration, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, the Conservation Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife…” (Salem Statesman Journal)

Irrigation district shuts off taps early in SW Idaho – Come this weekend, a southwestern Idaho irrigation district is turning off water to hundreds of farmers in Nampa and Meridian. (The Associated Press, via the Olympian)


California Looks to Neighbors for Green Energy – California is looking to tap green energy projects in bordering states to meet its ambitious renewable energy targets. “…developers can avoid the state's intensive regulatory process while reaping the benefits of selling it green power…” (Green Wombat)

Long Island, NY – Wind farm debate split environmentalists (Newsday),0,7975620.story

Light Bulbs and Lost Opportunities - Part I A Case Study (Energy Pulse Commentary)

Light Bulbs and Lost Opportunities - Part II The Big Picture (Energy Pulse Commentary)


Hot year blamed on greenhouse gases (USA Today)

Trying to Connect the Dinner Plate to Climate Change – The biggest animal rights groups do not always overlap in their missions, but now they have coalesced around a message that eating meat is worse for the environment than driving. (NY Times)


City of Chicago disconnecting from Wi-Fi vision – Chicago is curtailing its digital dreams, deciding to back away from municipal Wi-Fi service after failing to reach agreement with either of two companies that sought to build a wireless Internet network in the city. (Chicago Tribune, tip from Baller/Herbst),1,5694863.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

Illinois – AT&T cancels citywide Wi-Fi plan. AT&T has scuttled plans it had to deploy wireless Internet with some free access throughout Springfield, according to Mayor Tim Davlin’s top aide. (Springfield Journal-Register)

EarthLink's Wi-Fi dreams may be fading – EarthLink's dreams of competing against the big telephone and cable companies are fading as it slashes nearly half its total work force in an effort to cut costs. (CNET

Report: Wi-Fi to supersede wired Ethernet – Wi-Fi will start replacing wired Ethernet within the next two to three years, as users and applications go mobile, an IT analyst group has claimed. (CNET

Japan's Warp-Speed Ride to Internet Future – Americans invented the Internet, but the Japanese are running away with it. Broadband service here is eight to 30 times as fast as in the United States -- and considerably cheaper. (Washington Post)

Congressional Research Service – Broadband Internet Regulation and Access: Background and Issues

Oregon – Telecom bust survivor bulking up. Portland-based Integra will buy a Minnesota phone company and is looking at an IPO within two years (The Oregonian)


Hoodsport – Neighbors Angry Over 13-Year-Old Rapist Living Nearby (KIRO-TV, Seattle)

Seattle Times Editorial – Gorton could be just what the nation needs: Slade Gorton could be the answer to President Bush's latest challenge — replacing his embattled attorney general, Alberto Gonzales.

Copper thieves cost farmers millions in losses – Metal used widely in agricultural operations sells for about $3.50 a pound (Contra Costa Times)


Portland Water Bureau posts mug of soaper on Web site – Portland hopes to humble vandals, like the 19-year-old who put dish soap in a popular fountain

Artist Arrested in Burning Man Torching (OK, maybe we can’t all related to the event, but I just HAD to post this story for the mug shot alone…priceless!)

Drivers warned: Don't trust your Sat Navs

In Italy – Roadside window-washers threatened with jail

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

News Digest for August 28, 2007

All the links in today’s news digest lead to current stories. Please note that some media organizations update their web sites regularly, which may result in broken links in the future.


Auriferous • \aw-RIF-uh-russ\ • adjective – containing gold

The auriferous traits of the goose were well known by the locals. Less well known was the bird’s unnerving habit of dropping her two-pound golden eggs while in flight over the pedestrian mall near the farmer’s market. “Try to explain that to your insurance agent,” she was known to honk as she flew to her next victim’s noggin.



Authorities identify victim of Oregon wind turbine accident as 34-year-old Goldendale, Wash., man (The Oregonian)

Investigators look for cause of Ore. turbine collapse (The Associated Press)

BPA to workers: Bring the stuff back – If you work at Bonneville Power Administration and happen to be in possession of a gently used bucket truck, high-voltage transmission tower or pair of pliers marked "property of BPA," the agency would like it back -- no questions asked. (The Oregonian)

Clatskanie PUD's Ollila decides to fight recall effort (The Daily News, Longview)

COWLITZ PUD REPORTS SOME SUCCESS SINCE REPLACING STOLEN COPPER WIRE WITH STEEL – Work that began in December to replace stolen copper ground wires from Cowlitz PUD utility poles is nearly 40 percent complete, according to utility spokesman Dave Andrew. The high price of copper was leading metal thieves to steal the copper wires, which protect the electrical equipment from power surges. The PUD has been replacing the stolen wires with steel wire has a low resale value and is more difficult to cut, said Andrew. The tactic is working, according to Andrew. "We have found some vandalism on the new ones, and it's obvious people aren't having much luck," Andrew said. "It's much harder to cut. Hopefully the word's on the street that it's not worth the time." The copper wire thievery was not concentrated in any one area. "It's all over," Andrew said. "We found ground wires missing in every corner of the county. Everywhere we see a residential area, we see more, but that's because we're closer together." Ground wires have been stolen from thousands of poles, and Andrew previously estimated it would cost about $300,000 to repair the damage. He did not have a summary of costs to date on Friday. (The Daily News, Longview)

New York – City Street Lights Carry Con-Ed Shock. Stray Voltage A 'Concern' (The New York Post)

Plants are fueling debate on energy – Nearly half of all Americans wouldn't be able to turn the lights on if the country were to immediately ban the use of coal-fired power plants. (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, via

(Meanwhile) With coal production, cleaner skies could mean more landfills – As the nation's coal-fired power plants work to create cleaner skies, they'll likely fill up landfills with millions more tons of potentially harmful ash. (The Associated Press, via the Charleston Daily Mail)

To clean coal, start-up GreatPoint makes gas – A group of environmentally oriented entrepreneurs has landed in an unlikely spot: the coal business. Their company, GreatPoint Energy, is commercializing a technology to convert coal to natural gas--turning one of the dirtiest fuels into one of the cleanest. (CNET News)

But, does it play in Peoria? Court upholds coal plant construction – Plant near St. Louis would employ 450 permanent workers (Peoria Journal Star)

Texas PUC bares weak teeth on TXU deal: In notes, regulators worry about how to protect public (The Dallas Morning News, via Utility Automation & Engineering)

Oops! Armed Guard Found Asleep at Nuke Plant – A federal inspector found an armed guard asleep at a gate inside the Indian Point nuclear power plants but officials said Monday there was no security breach. (Associated Press, via Huffington Post)

The Columbian’s look back at past editorials – Rewind: '57: Atomic race is on. Cheap nuclear power is the goal of a costly technological race between the U.S., Great Britain, and Soviet Russia.

United Kingdom – Time to pull the plug on dual-fuel power deals. Getting gas and electricity from the same supplier may no longer make financial sense (The Times Online)

Michigan – DTE under fire for late pay: Utility admits payments to some vendors are tardy because of switch to new computer system, crippling some businesses. (The Detroit News)

Texas – Oncor uses nanotechnology to fight copper wire theft. Oncor Electric Delivery will implement a new technology that is designed to both discourage would-be criminals from stealing copper from the company's substations and switchyards (Utility Automation & Engineering)


Jefferson County PUD to Benefit – $50,000 grant to aid Beckett Point project: Jefferson County has been awarded a $50,000 grant to help with the expenses of the Beckett Point septic project, which was delayed by the finding of Native American remains and artifacts. (Peninsula Daily News)

Montana – Restoring cutthroats to habitat requires first choking out nonnative brook trout (Billings Gazette)


Wind power group spent $384,000 lobbying – The American Wind Energy Association, which represents the wind power industry, spent nearly $384,000 to lobby the federal government in the first half of 2007, according to a disclosure form. (CNN Money)

Backer is out, but plans for Moses Lake ethanol plant continue – A Redmond company will continue to work on building a huge ethanol factory in Moses Lake, even though a key backer is no longer involved. (The Associated Press, via the Olympian)

What is the Cause of the Parts Shortages in the Wind Industry? (Renewable

Missouri - Large-scale energy users try to conserve. As City Utilities announces record usage, its largest customers look for ways to save (Springfield Business Journal)

As an Energy-Saver, the Clothesline Makes a Comeback (WABC-TV, New York)

Body heat touted as power source – German scientists claimed to have a developed a procedure that harnesses body heat in order to generate power, which in the future may be used to power mobile devices – Ectotherms need not apply. (Techworld)


Climate Change: Get Over Objectivity, Newspapers – The industry still has a lot of power to influence people. How about if newspapers abandon their old way of doing things when it comes to the issue of global warming, and turn their influence to good? (Editor and Publisher magazine)


Rural broadband drought puts hurt on retailer – The lack of broadband access in rural areas isn't just hurting individuals and small businesses. Even large retail chains, which often have stores in rural shopping centers, find that they can't get online. (Computerworld, Tip from Baller/Herbst)

Speed up, with fiber – Cities across Minnesota consider building fiber optic networks as Internet connections around the globe zoom past those available in the U.S. (Pioneer Press, Tip from Baller/Herbst)

P-I Columnist Bill Virgin – Internet is no longer the next big thing. The Internet is boring. It's obsolete; it has outlived its usefulness. The Internet is for old people. Hey, don't shoot the messenger with your rolled eyes and scoffing, dismissive remarks. Blame Mark Cuban.


MILL FIRE ON JOHNS PRAIRIE – A fire substantially damaged Shearer Brothers Chipping operation on John's Prairie Monday night. According to Tim McKern, Assistant Chief for Mason County Fire District Five, firefighters responded to 500 East Millwright Road about 11pm to find the company's two story high lumber facility fully involved. Fire crews from Mason County Fire Districts Two, Three, Four, Six and Shelton Fire battled the blaze through the night, stopping the fire at what McKern called the "hoppers". Crews remained on the scene Tuesday morning mopping up hot spots. No one was in the mill and no injuries were reported. Cause of the fire is under investigation. (KMAS Radio, Shelton)

Scrap Metal Thieves Make Off With Bend Bleachers – A thief made off with a set of Bend High School's stadium bleachers last week, but was caught hours later when he allegedly tried to resell them as scrap metal. (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Coalition: Christmas trees are eco-friendly – Oregon’s two largest Christmas tree growers are joining forces to convince consumers that their product is the environmentally correct holiday choice. (Corvallis Gazette-Times)


Oregon men accused of using rodent glue to steal park money

Wedding couple, back from honeymoon, get bad news – Wedding crasher made off with their cash gifts

Really? The Claim: Swallowed Gum Takes a Long Time to Digest

Monday, August 27, 2007

News Digest for August 27, 2007

All the links in today’s news digest lead to current stories. Please note that some media organizations update their web sites regularly, which may result in broken links in the future.


Phalanx • \FAY-lanks\ • noun – 1 : a body of heavily armed infantry in ancient Greece formed in close deep ranks and files; broadly : a body of troops in close array 2 plural phalanges: one of the digital bones of the hand or foot of a vertebrate *3a: a massed arrangement of persons, animals, or things b : an organized body of persons

The energy trader strode into the room, head held high, surrounded by his phalanx of high-priced Philadelphia lawyers. One could not imagine a more impressive sight, until a small child squeaked, “Mamma look, that man has no clothes!”


Lunar Eclipse Visible Tomorrow Morning (KBKW Radio, Aberdeen)


Worker at Ore. wind farm killed – A support column for a wind turbine crashed to the ground at a wind farm west of The Dalles, killing one worker and injuring another, Sherman County authorities said. (The Columbian)

Montana probes Alberta Energy and Utilities Board spy allegations – agency had received complaints that two American citizens, including a former prominent Greenpeace member, were spied on during a conference call. “…EUB hired four private investigators to monitor opponents of a high-power transmission line at spring hearings held in Rimbey…” (Calgary Herald)

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals – Port of Seattle vs. FERC: This is another in a series of cases arising out of the energy crisis that occurred in California and other western states in 2000 and 2001. We are asked to review the decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”) to deny refunds to wholesale buyers of electricity that purchased energy in the short-term supply market at unusually high prices in the Pacific Northwest. (Links to a PDF File)$file/0374139.pdf?openelement

Ninth Circuit Court revives California bid for electricity refunds – A federal appeals court has revived California's request for at least $1 billion in refunds to electricity customers, saying federal regulators who denied the repayments had ignored tapes in which Enron traders joked about gouging customers during the energy crisis (San Francisco Chronicle)

Proposed Cowlitz plant to test new pollution law (Associated Press)

Montana seeks $484,800 penalty for air violations at power plant (The Associated Press)

Montana – BPA plans to rebuild power lines. Bonneville Power Administration, a U.S. Department of Energy agency, is planning to rebuild a 17-mile section of power transmission lines between Libby and Troy next summer. (The Western News)

PSE plans to fix line through Ebey Slough – Puget Sound Energy's plans to improve system reliability will take a turn through Snohomish County. (Seattle Times)

Snohomish County PUD expects budget for electricity to grow – The Snohomish County Public Utility District believes its electricity budget for 2008 could be about $45 million larger than what was approved for 2007. (Seattle Times)

Ohio – Debate about to begin on electric deregulation: Nine years after cheering the loudest for Ohio to end utility monopolies and enter an electricity market they promised would bring lower prices, the state's biggest manufacturers like Daimler-Chrysler and General Electric want to shove as much of that genie as possible back into the bottle. (The Toledo Blade)

Ohio – Agencies call for regulating electricity (Cincinnati Enquirer)

Alcoa Spent $820,000 Lobbying in 2007 – The company lobbied on tariffs affecting world aluminum trade, the licensing of hydroelectric dams, defense spending, energy legislation, global climate change and the Bonneville Power Administration (Associated Press)

Franklin PUD Loans – Franklin PUD is loaning out $300,000 in loans to help new businesses grow and develop in Franklin County. (KNDO-TV, Tri-Cities)

California – Reclaimed water to cool power plant: Concerns about Barstow water supply evaporate (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News)


Tribes win ruling on salmon – The state has breached its duties to Indian tribes under treaties dating to the 1850s by failing to maintain the road system, cutting off salmon from spawning grounds and robbing tribes of fish they were promised (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Court ruling on salmon targets hundreds of Olympic Peninsula road culverts – A federal judge’s ruling may open thousands of miles of Washington streams to salmon heading out to sea or returning to spawn. (Peninsula Daily News)

Seattle Times Editorial – Healthy fish runs were in the treaty. A federal judge articulated and reinforced a long-standing deal with Northwest tribes. Sign a treaty that cedes millions of acres, and the right to take fish from healthy runs will be protected. Forever.

Dicks promotes wild salmon stocks – Too many hatchery salmon are spawning with wild salmon in the state's rivers, U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks said Tuesday, and their offspring are less likely to survive in the wild and return to the river as adults. (The Olympian)

Wild salmon prices likely to skyrocket from expected closure – Sockeye runs on the Fraser lower than forecasted (CBC, Canada)

Tribes to sell Columbia River salmon – The only commercial tribal salmon fishery remaining on the Columbia River opens Wednesday, making Indian-caught fish from the unusually reliable fall Chinook run available for sale to the public. (Seattle Times)

Forest Service Promises to Complete Review on Fish-Killing Fire Retardant (NW Public Radio)

On the Carbon River – Carbon Road may be left to the bull trout…There are bull trout swimming in Carbon Road, which is doubling as a riverbed for a rebellious arm of the Carbon River. (The Olympian)

Task force in Ore. to recommend fate of predatory sea lions – A federal task force will be meeting in Portland soon to make a recommendation to federal officials on what should be done about California sea lions. (The Associated Press)

Growing controversy over sea lions (Inside the Bay Area)

3,000 may see water rates rise – About 3,000 water customers of the Thurston County Public Utility District face rate increases that would go into effect Oct. 1 (The Olympian)

Annexation fight fuels water rights lawsuit in Puyallup – A North Puyallup businessman is asking a Pierce County judge to force the City of Puyallup to provide much-needed water so he can expand his recreation enterprise, which is located outside city boundaries. (The News Tribune, Tacoma)

California Looks to Desalination for Water Woes (National Public Radio)

San Francisco Chronicle Op/Ed – On Water: California's real water war

Budd Inlet dredging gets OK to begin – The Army Corps of Engineers gave environmental clearance Thursday to a dredging project in Olympia's outer channel, opening the way for removal of spoils as soon as Oct. 1 (The Olympian)

Choking on Growth: As China Roars, Pollution Reaches Deadly Extremes (NY Times)


Long Island utility scrapping plans to build $700 million wind energy park in Atlantic Ocean (The Augusta Chronicle)

Alaska – Mat-Su winds create megawatts of power. The winds of change could bring megawatts of clean power to the Mat-Su Valley. (Juneau Empire)

Are energy answers in the wind? Corzine has plan for turbines off S. New Jersey coast (The Star-Ledger)

Wind data offers some surprises – Information collected 200 to 300 feet above the ground indicates the wind energy potential in South Dakota has been underestimated (Sioux City Journal)

Texas blows past California in energy – Recent Texas developments suggest that California's lead in one alternative-energy area may be gone with the wind -- the wind turbine, that is. (Contra Costa Times)

Contract Signed for First Powerbuoy at Oregon Wave Park between Ocean Power Technologies, Inc and PNGC Power in Douglas County near Reedsport, Oregon. (Renewable Energy Access)

Wall Street Journal Opinion – Shell Game: The greens try to sue their way to an energy policy.

Renewable Power Plays – The planet isn't the only thing heating up because of climate change. Some renewable-energy stocks have been pretty hot, too. (Washington Post)

United Kingdom - Ecotricity goes urban (The Guardian)

Oregon's Largest Solar Array Made Possible by State Incentives (Renewable Energy Access)

There's power in conservation – Saving energy is like creating new energy; and it's easy to do (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Olympian Op/Ed – Energy-efficiency idea would lead to lower electricity bills (and let’s not forget decoupling!)

Home wins nation's highest green rating – Designed to be earth-friendly, energy efficient (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)


News Tribune Editorial, Tacoma – A flanking maneuver on global warming: When it comes to global warming, the states – at least some of them – get it. Unlike the Bush administration and much of Congress.

Quarter-Degree Fix Fuels Climate Fight – Never underestimate the power of the blogosphere and a quarter of a degree to inflame the fight over global warming. A quarter-degree Fahrenheit is roughly the downward adjustment NASA scientists made earlier this month in their annual estimates of the average temperature in the contiguous 48 states since 2000. (NY Times)


Tri-Cities Research District finally getting off the ground “…The plan includes providing a fiber optics network and demonstration project on sustainable, clean technology…” (Tri-City Herald)

Fiber optics almost ready in Edmonds – The city is on the verge of lighting up its new fiber-optic broadband network, which can deliver phone, high-definition television and Internet services at speeds that far surpass DSL or cable technology. (The Everett Herald)

Utah – 2 Davis cities join UTOPIA: Fiber-optic network in Centerville and Layton should be ready in '08. By early 2008, residents and businesses in Centerville are expected to be able to subscribe to voice and data service that runs over a 94-mile fiber-optics network (Deseret Morning News),5143,695204449,00.html

WSTA Data Center Seminar: An expert talks about everything you need to consider when choosing where to put your data center. (ISP Planet)

As Google expands horizons, some raise concerns – Cyberspace - The company is poised to become a leading broker of advertising (The Oregonian)

Role of Telecom Firms in Wiretaps Is Confirmed (NY Times)

Minding the Meeting, or Your Computer? The Web site lists seven rules for using laptops in meetings…in some meetings, especially if the topic is sensitive, it just seems more respectful to leave the laptops closed…” (NY Times)

Rituals: At a Family Gathering, an Internet Cafe Breaks Out – The electronic and informational needs of our houseguests have expanded. (NY Times)

Seattle Times Columnist – Net addiction? Don't be silly


No Shortage of Second Opinions on Belfair's Health-Care Needs (the Kitsap Sun: may require free registration)

Famous Ketchum resort asks people to stay away because of fire – The legendary Sun Valley ski resort began running snowmaking equipment Sunday to protect against surging flames from a wildfire driven by winds so high they couldn't be attacked by aircraft. (The Associated Press)

North Idaho tribe to issue field burning permits – The Coeur d'Alene Tribe in northern Idaho has announced that permits will be issued Monday so farmers can begin burning fields, a practice banned on non-tribal lands in the rest of the state. (The Associated Press)

Moses Lake touts self as U.S. water sports capital – Moses Lake - water sports capital of the United States. (The Associated Press)

Foul Play? Officials investigating the deadly Minneapolis bridge collapse are looking at an unlikely culprit: pigeons. (Newsweek)


Man leaves dead mother in armchair for two years – A German left his dead mother seated in her favorite armchair at their shared home for two years because he could not face organizing a funeral;_ylt=Arz9D3wKK9FhHr6jVUi5iqztiBIF

Fake money doesn't fool Tenn. Strippers – A man who authorities say used his computer to make fake $100 bills to buy lap dances at a strip club has pleaded guilty to counterfeiting charges;_ylt=ApQ2nPIKPfgU512hlNPQba_tiBIF

Fire damages controversial crematorium – Israel's only commercial crematorium, viewed by Orthodox Jews as an abomination, was severely damaged in a suspicious fire Wednesday;_ylt=Apx13SsFaa3vkUfl040_VevtiBIF

Suspected peeping Tom fit to be tied – A group of campers tied a peeping Tom suspect to a tree, keeping him bound until police arrived.;_ylt=AqFbXj9NSxvqABeDjIVPJj3tiBIF