Friday, September 28, 2007

News Digest for September 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.


Faute de Mieux • \foe-duh-MURE\ • adverb – for lack of something better or more desirable

Brandon loved “Jolt Cola”. One day while dozing through another philosophy exam he was horrified to learn that his mother had provided him with generic, store brand cola. Through shaking hands and cold sweats, he thanked the lord for his No-Doze tablets that in combination with the syrupy brew he guzzled faute de mieux.


La Nina expected to make months ahead wet, cold – More snow and windstorms likely (The Olympian)


Mason County PUD No. 3 Newsletter for October – Supporting Northwest Salmon: We All Pay; PUD 3 Supports Green Dams, Blue Skies Program; Fuel Mix Disclosure Notification, Hydropower helps minimize Pacific Northwest “Carbon Footprint”; Daylight Savings Time Ends November 4 (Links to PDF File)

Nuclear power surge coming – With this week's application to build a new nuclear plant – the first such filing in nearly 30 years – the industry says the US is on the verge of a nuclear power renaissance. (Christian Science Monitor)

LA Times Guest Editorial – Nukes still work when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow. UC Riverside professor critiques Times editorial on solar and wind power,0,6999790.story?coll=la-opinion-center

California – Nuclear plant testing gets OK: Fresno's waste water could benefit project. The Fresno City Council approved testing for a proposed nuclear power plant, even though construction of one is prohibited under state law. (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News via

TVA to add gas-fired generator – Five years after scrapping plans for a natural gas plant in Tullahoma, Tenn., at a $150 million loss, the Tennessee Valley Authority is expected today to authorize building a similar gas-fired plant elsewhere in Tennessee. (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News via

Oklahoma – EDITORIAL: Next generation: States eye plans to cut power usage. Among the several peripheral issues in a recent noisy debate over a large power plant are conservation and efficiency. Are Oklahoma's public utilities doing enough to promote a lowering of demand for electricity as an alternative to increasing supply? (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News via

Survey Of State Utility Regulators Documents Retreat From Deregulation – A new nationwide survey confirms a dramatic reversal of support among state utility regulators for deregulated energy markets. In fact, one third of regulators in currently competitive states say they are now seriously considering re-regulating utilities in their jurisdictions, according to this survey. (Power Online){A040313C-6A21-4748-84F1-0EC22B47CC0A}&VNETCOOKIE=NO

TVA board approves $9.7 billion budget (Memphis Business Journal)

Northern Wasco County PUD considers building expansion – the PUD took a first step toward expanding its 10-year-old building “…Construction with an eye toward energy conservation and solar power are part of that initial concept…” (The Dalles Chronicle)


Toxic algae moves from PacifiCorp reservoirs into Klamath River – Authorities will be posting the Klamath River in Northern California next week to warn of high concentrations of toxic blue-green algae that can harm people and pets that swim in or drink tainted waters. (The Associated Press)

California – Coalition plans to sue government, power firm to save delta smelt – Angered by a decision to cut water allocations to save the delta smelt, a group of officials representing agricultural water agencies announced plans Thursday to sue the government, a power generation plant and maybe others they contend are responsible for the demise of the fish. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Kittitas County conservation projects awarded more than $5 million in grants (The Daily Record)

No Single Source to Blame – Future looks hazy for gorge air quality – Several dozen of the nation’s most prominent air quality experts gathered in this Columbia Gorge town under clear, sunny skies Tuesday to share and debate six years’ worth of studies on the sources of persistent gorge haze. (The Columbian)

MASON COUNTY P.U.D. 1 TO DISCUSS SYSTEM UPGRADES AND POSSIBLE RATE IMPACTS FOR CANAL MUTUAL WATER SYSTEM CUSTOMERS – The Mason County P.U.D. No. 1 board of Commissioners is holding its next meeting at the Hoodsport Fire Hall Tuesday. The regular meeting is set to begin at 4pm. A public hearing for Canal Mutual Water System customers is scheduled for 6pm Tuesday. During the hearing, P.U.D. 1 officials will discuss improvements to the system and associated costs that will reflect an increase in customers' monthly facilities charge. Again, that's a hearing before the Mason County P.U.D. No. 1 Commissioners on rate increases for the Canal Mutual Water System, 6pm Tuesday at the Hoodsport Fire Hall. (KMAS Radio, Shelton)

Cities won’t get Lake Tapps – for now. Auburn, Bonney Lake and Sumner will have to wait their turn to try to buy Lake Tapps and its valuable water from Puget Sound Energy. (The News Tribune, Tacoma)

Restoring the natural flow at Cathlamet refuge “…a $5.15 million federal project slated to begin next summer should help boost endangered salmon populations by restoring adequate river connections to eight sloughs in the refuge…” (The Olympian)


Latest Oregon plant going online burning methane from landfill – A new power plant is going online in Southern Oregon that produces electricity from methane gas drawn off a landfill. (The Associated Press)

PG&E to Become Nation's Biggest Solar Utility (Green Wombat)

Nevada Senator Calls for National Renewable Energy Zones – New legislation urges U.S. to invest in new transmission lines to bring renewable energy to the grid. (


5 (sic) Signs The Computer Industry Is Finally Going Green – With New Technology And Exciting Announcements, The Wired World Is Taking On Its Toxic, Energy-Hungry Legacy. (The Daily Green)

United Kingdom – Standby Saturday campaigns to stop overnight energy wastage – Standby Saturday, 20th October 2007, will see the first nationwide overnight switch-off of non-essential electrical appliances (PR-GB)


At Its Session on Warming, U.S. Is Seen to Stand Apart (NY Times)


'Innovation zones' vying for cash – Next week, Washington plans to kick off one of its new economic development strategies -- the promotion of industry clusters -- by designating several geographic areas for special attention and money. (Seattle Times)

Wyoming – Powell keeps working away at fiber optics plan. After missing the chance to start construction this summer on a municipally owned fiber optic telecommunications network, backers of the plan say they are optimistic they can strike a deal to finance the project by next spring. (Billings Gazette)

Burlington, N.C. – Who doesn't have high-speed internet in Alamance County? (Burlington Times)

Ohio – Toledo mayor seeks moratorium on telecom boxes. The proliferation of large metal cabinets for telecommunications equipment placed in the city's right-of-way by AT&T has prompted a request for a moratorium. (The Toledo Blade)

Fios in Your Neighborhood? Don't Ask Verizon – You'd be a little crazy to shop for a home without considering the Internet, phone and TV options waiting in a new neighborhood. But good luck finding that out, especially when it comes to new services. (Washington Post)


ROBBERY ATTEMPT AT SHELTON ATM – Shelton Police are looking for three men suspected in an attempted robbery early this morning at the Bank of America at Fourth and Franklin in downtown Shelton. The incident occurred at about 5:45 as the victim was using the A-T-M at the bank and was hit over the head from behind. The victim chased the suspects on foot before they fled in a green Toyota Corolla, which was last seen heading west on Franklin. License plate number is reported as 285 WKI. Any one who sees this vehicle or has any information should call 9-1-1. (KMAS Radio, Shelton)


The 50 Worst Cars of All Time (This is great…thanks to Jay Himlie for the tip!),28757,1658545,00.html

Navy To Remedy Swastika-Shaped Barracks – View Of Navy Buildings From Air Resembles Nazi Symbol

Yuck! Jones Soda bottles the grime and stink of the NFL – Ever wonder what the Seahawks' locker room tastes like after a big game?

Snacks laced with marijuana shipped to Seattle (How ironic! Getting the munchies while EATING munchies!)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

News Digest for September 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.


Acerbic • \uh-SER-bik\ • adjective – Acid in temper, mood, or tone

The entire office was walking on eggshells…literally…after Donatello’s outburst. His acerbic wit could not be suppressed when one office worker asked lightly, “What came first the chicken or the egg.” At that point, crates of farm fresh “AA” eggs came spewing from Donatello’s cubicle. “That answer your question?” he crowed! All the employees were looking over their shoulders the rest of the day, preparing for the next onslaught, which most likely was to be dozens of Cornish broiler chickens.



Tacoma Public Utilities picks director from within – Board chooses Tacoma Power boss to lead entire public utility agency. The Tacoma Public Utility Board named Bill Gaines director of Tacoma Public Utilities on Wednesday night. (The News Tribune, Tacoma)

Voters recall Clatskanie PUD's Ollila – Clatskanie and Quincy residents turned Clatskanie PUD board member Rod Ollila out of office Tuesday by a margin of nearly two to one --- 293 yes votes to 158 no votes. (The Daily News, Longview)

Clatskanie PUD Board plans next move after Ollila's ouster – The Clatskanie PUD Board will soon seek resumes from applicants who want to replace board member Rod Ollila, who was voted out office in Tuesday's recall election. (The Daily News, Longview)

Oregon – Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative's board forces out Stewart. OTEC’s board of directors has fired Cliff Stewart, the cooperative's general manager since 1993, over Stewart's recent decision to fire an OTEC employee. (Baker City Herald)

Just in time for winter: A break in heating costs – Puget Sound Energy’s natural gas customers soon will see a 13 percent cut in their rates. (The Associated Press, via the Olympian)

Mouse click could plunge city into darkness, experts – Researchers who launched an experimental cyber attack caused a generator to self-destruct, alarming the government and electrical industry about what might happen if such an attack were carried out on a larger scale (Cable News Network)

Oregon – Central Lincoln PUD rates change: Five percent increase effective Oct. 1 (Newport News-Times)

Snohomish County PUD is preparing for foul weather; are you? After floods, snow and windstorms in 2006, and a wetter and colder than normal winter on the horizon, utilities and emergency responders are getting prepared. (The Everett Herald)

For second straight day, manhole blows top in Grand Rapids – Pardon the motorists in Michigan's second-largest city if they appear to be apprehensive while driving downtown. (WOOD-TV, Grand Rapids)

News Release – Idaho Power Company and U.S. Geothermal Sign 13-Megawatt Power Purchase Agreement (Yahoo Finance)

Mistakes will happen and how they are resolved makes all the difference for utility customers (Electric Light & Power)

Florida – Cape Coral man fuming over trimmed tree. Utility cuts banyan after branches cause outages (Coral Cape News-Press)


Suit filed for Willamette fish plan – Endangered species: Environmental groups say federal progress on recovery is too slow (The Oregonian)

Changes should have Columbia River anglers smiling – The Columbia River reopens Saturday to keeping Chinook salmon from Buoy 10 at the mouth upriver to Pasco, Wash. Fishery officials in Oregon and Washington made the decision after Chinook numbers jumped the past week. (Salem Statesman Journal)

Oregon – Rain will jump-start fall fishing – High tides in the nine-foot range early afternoons this week should push fresh Chinook into coastal estuaries, creating additional angling opportunities. (The News Register)

California – Fish ladder to help trout spawn. Project aims to reduce obstacles along Alameda Creek that are impeding steelhead's instincts (Contra Costa Times)

Itinerary of fish tag stuns biologists – A hunter in New Zealand finds the steelhead's implant in a bird (The Oregonian)


California – PG&E may miss renewable-energy deadline, but not by much – Pacific Gas and Electric Co. probably won't meet the state deadline for ensuring that 20 percent of the power it sells comes from renewable resources by the end of 2010 (San Francisco Chronicle)

British Columbia, Canada – Wind farm project advances, but angers crabbers. The company building an offshore wind farm off the coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands has recently installed a marine meteorological station, but not everyone is happy the project is proceeding. (

Alternatives to Alternative Fuels Explored – Growing canola to make biodiesel isn't exactly setting Northwest farmers' hearts aflutter. (Northwest Public Radio)

Arizona – Solar power? Wind? Nope, green goo (The Arizona Republic)


News Release – Eight Utilities Seek To Increase Energy Efficiency Investment by $500 Million Annually (PR Newswire)


White House Taking Unearned Credit for Emissions Cuts – Pushing Voluntary Curbs on Greenhouse Gases, Administration Lauds Results of Programs It Opposed (Washington Post)

The Climate Change Peril That Insurers See – Montana is burning again. This summer, some of the nation's worst wildfires incinerated homes, barns and fences, killing livestock and forcing families to evacuate. (Washington Post)

NY Times Op-Ed Contributor, Vaclav Havel – Our Moral Footprint. Over the past few years the questions have been asked ever more forcefully whether global climate changes occur in natural cycles or not.

Computer maker Dell to be carbon neutral next year – Buying offsets is key part of plan (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)


WiMax World 2007 – Industry primed to go with Internet on the go. WiMax is hardly a household word, but the industry is starting to show signs it has hit a groove, especially now that commercial availability is imminent. (Seattle Times)

Microsoft retools to catch Google – Live Search gets overhaul (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)


Family leave costs become clearer – A paid family leave program on the drawing boards for Washington state workers might eat up 25 percent of its cost in overhead in its early years, a task force learned Wednesday. (The Olympian)

Blaze clears way for a vibrant prairie, but don't try this at home – Intentional fires swept across chunks of Mima and Weir prairies in south Thurston County Wednesday to help restore rare habitat. (The Olympian)

Bill Virgin, Seattle Post-Intelligencer – They're old media, but newsletters are staying

High-schoolers or free agents? Top prep athletes in Oregon are switching campuses and uniforms, putting a spotlight on the competitive practice (The Oregonian)


Ouch! Siberian Woman Delivers Healthy 17-Pound Baby

Police Say Jaws Of Life Used In Vandalism – Volunteer Firefighters Accused

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

News Digest for September 26, 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.


Bodacious • \boh-DAY-shuss\ • adjective – 1: outright, unmistakable *2: remarkable, noteworthy 3: sexy, voluptuous

“Just look at that bodacious, fertile farmland,” enthused Fred to his companion Darryl. But Darryl had heard only part of what Fred had said. At the word “bodacious” Fred’s mind had gone to “Dollywood”.


Snow expected in the passes this week – If Tuesday's soggy weather didn't tip you off, weather prognosticators are predicting a sure sign that summer is at an end -- snow is coming to the lower Cascades. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)


Supreme Court to rule on Snohomish PUD energy case (Everett Herald)

Snohomish PUD case goes to Supreme Court (Seattle Times version)

Will 'Nuclear Renaissance' Spread To Northwest? An Idaho company says it’s at least one year away from submitting the paperwork to build a nuclear power plant about an hour’s drive south of Boise. (Oregon Public Radio)

Chelan PUD prepares to react to climate laws – Less than a decade from now, the Chelan County PUD could be required to pay a dirty East Coast coal-fired utility for the right to continue to operate the PUD's own diesel-powered electricity generators in remote Stehekin. (Wenatchee World)

Seattle City Light told to buy substation land now –Seattle City Light should spend millions to buy three acres in South Lake Union for a new electricity substation that may not be needed. (Seattle Times)


Cantwell works to erase Craig's last gambit “…Last week, Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., set out to undo Craig's last gambit -- his furtive backdoor bid to use a federal spending bill to dictate water flow for Snake River fish…” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Senate Authorizes Oregon Water Projects – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Gordon Smith (R-OR) today announced the Senate passage of the Water Resources Development Act, which authorizes $96 million in federal funding for water projects in Oregon. (Salem News)

Thousands of fish go belly up as poisoning of Lake Davis starts – The poison began flowing into scenic Lake Davis early Tuesday morning, and by midday thousands of dead fish were washing ashore or floating belly-up in the northern Sierra reservoir. (San Francisco Chronicle)

California Poisons Lake, Targeting Invasive Pike – California's Department of Fish and Game has begun poisoning Lake Davis, near the small Sierra Nevada community of Portola. (National Public Radio)

Oregon – Marine reserve plan sparks turf war. Commercial fishermen on the North Coast say they can't afford to have the government close any more nearshore ocean fishing grounds (The Daily Astorian)

Canada – Massive salmon kill caused by algae blooms. Around 260 tons of farmed Atlantic salmon have been killed by algae blooms at a farm in Klemtu, British Columbia, operated by Marine Harvest Canada. (


NW Awash in Tidal Energy Projects – There’s a veritable gold rush underway on Northwest waters. Developers, governments, and utilities have staked claims on the most promising wave energy and tidal power sites. (NW Public Radio)

PUD moves ahead on tidal project (Seattle Times)

New Zealand Commits to 90% Renewable Electricity by 2025 “…The country already uses 70% renewable electricity, primarily hydro- and geothermal power…” (


California – 'Green' building may become the law – In their high-profile campaign against climate change, California lawmakers have set goals for curbing carbon emissions from cars, factories and power plants -- and now they are taking aim at homes and offices. (North County Times)


Seattle Post-Intelligencer Editorial Board – Greenhouse Gases: Let states lead. We are proud that Washington state is following California in the effort to limit cars' greenhouse gas emissions. So, we're alarmed (but not surprised) that the Bush administration is using political tricks to block the limits.

Green Dreams – Producing fuel from corn and other crops could be good for the planet–if only the process didn't take a significant environmental toll. New breakthroughs could make a difference. (National Geographic)

Alaskans pitch plea to fight global warming – Burning tundra and coastal erosion are taking a toll. (Anchorage Daily News)


Retailer’s weak encryption exposed it to credit theft, investigation finds (News Tribune, Tacoma(


Three WA men indicted for old-growth timber theft – Three men were arrested Tuesday on a federal indictment accusing them of illegally harvesting old-growth cedar trees in Washington's Olympic National Forest. (The Associated Press)

Cutting down save a nature preserve? – Some people in Renton are confused. They're watching crews cut down dozens of trees -- all in an effort to help save a nature preserve? KOMO-TV, Seattle)

New Looks for Pennies (NY Times)


Man Accused Of Sawing House In Half – Man Charged With Vandalism, Aggravated Menacing

Cubs Fans Name Their Newborn Son Wrigley Fields

Pygmy goats to be allowed as pets in Seattle (Awww, how cute!

Man Buys Smoker, Finds Human Leg Inside – A man who bought a smoker Tuesday at an auction of abandoned items might have thought twice had he looked inside first.

Don't monkey with an orangutan

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

News Digest for September 25, 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.


Commensurate • \kuh-MEN-suh-rut\ • adjective – 1: equal in measure or extent: coextensive *2: corresponding in size, extent, amount, or degree: proportionate

Abner was confused by the one dollar bill he found in his pay envelope. The crafty paymaster had used a little known clause in Abner’s contract that allowed the company to pay him the amount that was commensurate with his work output. “It must have been that month long daydream I took last month,” he pondered.



Tacoma Public Utilities ready to hire new director – Tacoma Public Utilities board members are expected to choose a successor for Director Mark Crisson at their Wednesday meeting (The News Tribune, Tacoma)

NRG to Submit First New Nuke Application – Power producer NRG Energy Inc. will submit the first application for a new nuclear reactor in the U.S. in nearly 30 years, the company's chief executive said Monday. (NY Times)

Bid to Build Reactors Is First in Three Decades – NRG Energy will request permission to build two new nuclear reactors, a move that could revive nuclear power in the U.S. (National Public Radio)

Utility: hunting at eastern Ore. ranch must await dam license – Hunters eager to get at the elk hiding out on a 10,000-acre ranch that Idaho Power Co. bought at the urging of wildlife agencies will have to wait until the utility gets a new license for three upper Snake River dams, an official says. (Associated Press)

Opponents ask court to block Potrero peaker power plant – Opponents of a planned cluster of small power turbines in southeast San Francisco filed a last-ditch legal challenge Monday, asking a federal judge to block the project until the federal government sets standards for emissions that contribute to global warming. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Idaho – Otter moves state energy office to his direct oversight – Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has moved the Division of Energy Resources to his own office from the Department of Water Resources, making it a cabinet-level position. (Associated Press, via the Olympian)

Squirrel scurries into Kelso substation, causes outage – An agile but unlucky squirrel lost a confrontation with a high-voltage line Sunday morning, causing a power outage for 6,891 Cowlitz PUD customers. (The Daily News, Longview)


Idaho Statesman Editorial – Our View: One powerful voice can reshape the salmon debate. Salmon recovery is as much a political battle as it is a scientific struggle.

Watching the salmon come home – This is an ideal time for nature watchers to get a close-up view of salmon migrating back to the North Olympic Peninsula streams of their birth to spawn. (Peninsula Daily News)

Pikeminnow reward program extended two weeks – With catch rates taking a recent jump, officials in Oregon and Washington have decided to extend the northern pikeminnow reward program on the Columbia and Snake rivers for two more weeks. (Statesman Journal)

Montana – Water availability may not keep up with growth. The availability of water in Missoula's urban fringe could affect the valley's future landscape. The Missoulian)


Montana – Smaller Glasgow wind farm still possible. A large wind farm planned 300 miles east of Great Falls in Valley County has been scaled back a second time — but not killed — because of objections to its proximity to a prairie wilderness study area. (Great Falls Tribune)

The sun king of Tacoma has power to spare – The city of Tacoma paid "Solar Richard" Thompson $273.24 for electricity he sent back to them last year. (The Seattle Times)


Clothesline regulation hangs the environment out to dry – A Bend woman discovers that aesthetics outweigh her energy-saving efforts in an upscale neighborhood (The Oregonian)

“Green Homes” – Seattle considered a bellwether. Green may sound good, but will consumers pay more for a house even if it saves money over the long run? And what's the right balance of voluntary compliance and regulation to achieve green? (Seattle Times)


Big businesses look at energy use – The world's biggest companies are making climate change a higher priority, in part through more widespread disclosure of carbon emissions, according to an annual report released Monday by a nonprofit group. (Seattle Times)

However…Gas Emissions Rarely Figure in Investor Decisions – Corporations have become better about disclosing their greenhouse gas emissions and somewhat better about curbing them. But few investors are using that information to decide where to put their money. (NY Times)

U.S. Trying to Block Calif. on Emissions – The Bush administration has conducted a concerted, behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign to try to generate opposition to California's request to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks (Washington Post)

Nations Agree to Speed Up Climate Goal – A deal by 191 nations to eliminate ozone-depleting substances 10 years ahead of schedule is a "pivotal moment" in the fight against global warming, Canadian Environment Minister John Baird said on Saturday. (NY Times)

The ‘carbon offset’ child labourers – Indians work off West’s holiday guilt (Sunday Times of London)


Report: Microsoft May Buy Facebook Stake – Setting the stage for a possible bidding battle, Microsoft Corp. is mulling an investment in Facebook Inc. that would value the rapidly growing online hangout at $10 billion or more, according to a report published Monday. (San Francisco Chronicle)


124 arrested in nationwide steroid investigation; 4 from Aberdeen (Seattle Timers)

Navy seeks to expand Northwest Training Range activities – The Navy is eying Hood Canal, Puget Sound and the Washington coast for a significant expansion of testing and training exercises, including underwater weapons research and high-frequency sonar. (Peninsula Daily News)


Magna Carta Is Going on the Auction Block

Idaho county teeming with stray, feral cats – Coeur d'Alene shelter closed; options limited

British speeder clocked at 172 mph in company car;_ylt=AqWUkB72qGQR3h56m0TwPVPtiBIF

Dog Dancing – Dogs, handlers learn to boogie and disco;_ylt=Ao16aIZD0V5oT_yUfbqSsUHtiBIF

Monday, September 24, 2007

News Digest for September 24, 2997

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.


Exculpatory • \ek-SKUL-puh-tor-ee\ • adjective – tending or serving to clear from alleged fault or guilt

Fredo’s guilt in the boardroom doughnut theft seemed like an open and shut case for the wily corporate security director. “I know it was you Fredo,” he cried shrilly. Unfortunately for the security personnel, the trail of crumbs down the hallway, along with traces of powdered sugar on the CEO’s chin provided the exculpatory evidence that set Fredo free.



Seattle P-I Energy Blog – WA Saying No to New Coal Plant in Longview (Well, NEAR Kalama actually)

Carbon Capture and Storage: Carbon capture and storage: the race is on to find a winner (Power Engineering)

Utah – Legislative panel says nuclear power proposal's costs needs more study. Lawmakers on Wednesday slowed the rush toward Utah's first nuclear power plant. (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, via

Xcel seeks Colorado rate hike to offset higher fuel costs – Residential and small-business customers would see electricity bills increase about 11 percent beginning in October under a proposal Xcel Energy submitted Friday to Colorado regulators. (Rocky Mountain News, Denver),2777,DRMN_23914_5698524,00.html

California – Energy firm convicted in Walnut Creek pipeline blast that killed 5. An energy company was convicted Friday of six felony counts and will pay $15 million in connection with a 2004 gasoline pipeline explosion in Walnut Creek (San Francisco Chronicle)

Congressional Research Reports – Omnibus Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Legislation: A Side-by-Side Comparison of Major Provisions in House-Passed H.R. 3221 with Senate-Passed H.R. 6

To protect power lines, trees are sacrificed – The 2003 blackout that left millions without power in the northern United States and Canada could spell the death of the pine and cedar in Judy Austin's yard. (The News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C)

PSE&G Advises Residents to Test Their Heating Systems Now, Before Cold Weather Arrives (Electric Energy Online)


Montana – Project to restore native trout begins with poisoning hybrids (Great Falls Tribune)

Here's a look at future of Craig's agenda – Resignation may threaten senator's work on salmon, immigration, dam relicensing and mining reform. The Idaho Statesman)

For Salmon And Human Communities, 'Resilience' Emerging As Key Concept (Science Daily)

Secret lives of fish – A federal fisheries biologist has recently wrapped up a study hunting juvenile salmon fitted with sophisticated electronic tracking devices that promises to significantly boost scientists’ knowledge of an important, federally protected fish. (The Eureka Reporter)

News Release – Bruce Babbitt Renews Call for Statewide Solutions to Save Washington's Endangered Salmon. Former Interior Secretary says lower Snake River dam removal can benefit region's fishing and farming communities (Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition)

Always, Celilo – No falls. Fewer fish. Marginal land. But it’s home. (the Oregonian)

Auction to Name Fish Species Nets $2 Million for Conservation – An auction of rights to name 10 newly discovered species of fish raised more than $2 million for conservation efforts in eastern Indonesia (Washington Post)

Forum taps into water concerns – Grandmas and scientists, students and politicians, natives and bureaucrats from Canada and the U.S. gathered last week with just one thing in common: an interest in the water of the Okanagan Basin — on both sides of the border. (Penticton Western News)

Maryland – Growth in Area Draining Supply Of Drinking Water. Survey Projects Depletion by 2030 (Washington Post)


Reciprocating engines: Giving wind farm reliability a lift – Electricity generation based on wind power can lack the easy controllability of power output from fuel-based power generation, resulting in difficulties in matching electricity production with demand Wärtsilä, looks at how the use of reciprocating engines can address this. (Power Engineering)

Seattle Post-Intelligencer Editorial Board – Electric Car: More quiet whirs. Here they come with a quiet whir. Electric vehicles are on their way to streets around the Puget Sound area.

Biofuels hold much promise, analysts say – The biofuel initiative -- missteps and all -- will offer Latin America a chance to build a new industry and the United States an opportunity to reduce its dependence on foreign oil. (Miami Herald)


With help from Cowlitz PUD – A mission to conserve: Many small energy-saving measures lead to federal recognition for hospital (The Daily News, Longview)

New fluorescents have a dark side – Bulbs contain mercury, shouldn't be tossed in trash (Louisville Courier Dispatch)

Start insulating job in the home's attic (Akron Beacon Journal)


It takes a city to limit greenhouse gases – If you could give a rip about global warming and the pressure to do environmental good to stop it, the city of Seattle is going to drive you nuts. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Columbian Editorial – In Our View: Get in Gear. Feds dragging their feet on emissions

NY Times Editorial – Climate Week

Buy your way to carbon neutrality? The Oscar-winning film "An Inconvenient Truth" touted itself as the world's first carbon-neutral documentary. “…The producers said that every ounce of carbon emitted during production — from jet travel, electricity for filming and gasoline for cars and trucks — was counterbalanced by reducing emissions somewhere else. It only made sense that a film about the perils of global warming wouldn't contribute to the problem…” (So, Gore gets a free pass, while Energy NW gets pilloried for its proposed offsets?) (Seattle Times)

Climate change doomsayers keep hope – Scientists say they're optimistic because there's time to avert problems. (Associated Press via The Everett Herald)

Rising seas likely to flood U.S. history – Ultimately, rising seas will likely swamp the first American settlement in Jamestown, Va., as well as the Florida launch pad that sent the first American into orbit, many climate scientists are predicting. (Christian Science Monitor)

Silicon Valley companies going green in a big way (San Francisco Chronicle)


Investors can cash in as demand for fiber optics takes off – Despite the countless miles of unused fiber-optic cable laid during the dot-com bubble, demand for the high-capacity lines has been rising. And that bodes well for the stocks of companies that produce not only the cable but also the equipment that runs it. (USA Today)

Utah – Woods Cross to study fiber-optics. City may join dozens in UTOPIA, which is Comcast alternative (Deseret Morning News),5143,695212431,00.html

Maine – Bangor area businesses to receive fiber-optic broadband Internet service (Bangor Daily News)

A primer on how fiber optics works (Bangor Daily News)

Missouri – Rural communities are stuck in the Net's slow lane (Saint Louis Dispatch)

WiMax expected to shine at show – Wireless broadband equipment and service providers are gathering in Chicago this week to discuss what's just around the corner: live networks serving thousands of people. (Seattle Times)

Selling a Long-Shot Idea: Free Internet Access – Former Regulator Bucking Telecoms, Internet Giants and a Skeptical FCC (Washington Post)

Global deal on laptop: Buy 1 for needy child, and you get 1 yourself (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Personal Technology – Goodbye floppy disks, hello to fast flash drives (Seattle Times)


State's primary is in hands of top court – The U.S. Supreme Court takes up a case next week that could turn Washington's election system on its head. (Seattle Times)

Public meetings, if you dial in – People already rely on telephones to pay bills, order takeout and find potential soul mates. Now elected leaders are authorizing themselves to conduct government business via long distance. (The News Tribune, Tacoma)


New service eavesdrops on Internet calls – A startup has come up with a new way to make money from phone calls connected via the Internet: having software listen to the calls, then displaying ads on the callers' computer screens based on what's being talked about.;_ylt=AjCMwwcvsppo8OXGK5xteI_tiBIF

Resort charges $14,500 for dessert;_ylt=At5TG1ergLeHvTDfvyCg09vtiBIF

Town says teen can't keep pet rooster – Melissa Hensler got a "Most Unusual Pet" prize from her township two years ago for her pet rooster — but now the same township says the bird is a farm animal in a residential area and it's got to go.;_ylt=AviN.Wq4M__mq7hbJR447n3tiBIF

Judge makes 'Green Eggs and Ham' ruling;_ylt=AnzmZ9kc7909IFIC9TMx2PXtiBIF

Friday, September 21, 2007

News Digest for September 21, 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.


Genial • \JEE-nee-ul\ • adjective – 1: favorable to growth or comfort: mild *2: marked by or diffusing sympathy or friendliness 3: displaying or marked by genius

“Come on in. Set a spell,” drawled the genial Mr. Clampett



Oregon farm community protests proposed natural gas pipeline – About 200 people attended a federal hearing on a proposed 117-mile buried natural gas pipeline Oregon LNG wants to build from Astoria to Molalla, and most of them were mad. (The Associated Press)

Montana – Highwood plant has objectors within co-op membership. As three Montana cities - Missoula, Helena and Bozeman - turn down a chance to plug into the Highwood Generating Station, some co-op members in south-central Montana wish they could do the same. (Billings Gazette)

British Columbia – 196-megawatt independent power project among biggest. Vancouver-based Plutonic Power signs $500-million construction contract (The Vancouver Sun)

California – Thousands of PG&E customers stand to get refunds for billing violations. Pacific Gas and Electric Co. must refund $35 million to customers who received long-overdue or estimated bills in violation of state rules, California regulators decided Thursday. (San Francisco Chronicle)

North Dakota – Basin plans second power line extension. Basin Electric Power Cooperative is planning a second major power transmission line in western North Dakota (Bismarck Tribune)

Kentucky – Utility Fined $11.4 Million for Acid Rain. A Kentucky utility has agreed to pay the largest-ever fine for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act's acid rain program, the Environmental Protection Agency said yesterday. (Washington Post)

California – Bad PG&E cable causes Sunset power outage

California – Energy-saving moves may pay off for utilities (LA Times),1,4564880.story?coll=la-headlines-pe-california&ctrack=1&cset=true

New York ISO outlines its plan for meeting future power demand (Platts Energy News)

State regulators defend FERC role in policing financial markets (Platts Energy News)

News Release – FERC Announces Creation Of Office Of Electric Reliability (Power On Line)

News Release – Commission acts to assure independence of PJM market monitoring. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today acted to assure independence of market monitoring in the PJM Interconnection and preserve the integrity of PJM market operations by directing all parties to enter into a settlement process. (FERC Web Site)


Tribe doesn't have right to kill seals, NOAA says – Squaxin representatives reject implied link to deaths. The Squaxin Island tribe does not have authority under the 1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act to kill harbor seals that interfere with its gillnet salmon fishery in South Sound (The Olympian)

Clear passage for fish at stake – Salmon and trout would have many more places to spawn and grow if more than 1,000 state-owned road culverts didn’t stand in the way, biologists say. (The News Tribune, Tacoma)

Left high and dry, salmon make powerful friends in Nevada – The fishermen who remember salmon running thick in Northern Nevada's rivers are gone. (Las Vegas Sun)

Reviving ocean habitat: Fishing limits mean businesses will see modest hit; some worry staffing inadequate to protect the 29 marine areas (Contra Costa Times)

A stay, at least briefly, for trees on Columbia levee – A drainage district fears the loss of U.S. certification, but residents say the cutting adds flood risks (The Oregonian)


Irony Watch! Remodeled barge to transport biofuels on Columbia River “…barge remains the most efficient mode of transport compared with railcars and trucks in load capacities, fuel consumption and emissions…” Ed Note: barging made possible by Columbia Basin Dams (Tri-City Herald)

Farmers And Scientists Search For Super Fuel Crop – Growing canola to make biodiesel isn't exactly setting Northwest farmers' hearts aflutter. Government statistics show just a slight increase in canola plantings, despite layers of incentives to support homegrown fuel. (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Wind Power's a Breeze in Europe – The EU's renewable power sector, led by wind, is growing, and those who build wind farms are having trouble keeping up with demand (Business Week)


California – Energy nonprofit group is target of investigation: Berkeley is investigating alleged misuse of funds at a nonprofit group it created 22 years ago to pursue energy conservation after firing its director in August. (Contra Costa Times)

Reduce Your Energy Costs (The Motley Fool)


Record sea ice melt this summer larger than Texas and Alaska – Shattering previous records, the sea ice in the Arctic shrank 1 million square miles more this summer than the average melt over 25 years, an area larger than Alaska and Texas combined, according to NASA satellite data released Thursday. (San Francisco Chronicle)


Cities turning off plans for Wi-Fi - Complexity, cost doom efforts to create access (USA Today)

Portland, OR – Wireless alternative to blanket city in 2008: WiMAX technology is used in other parts of Oregon and will be included in some Intel laptops (The Oregonian)

U.S. Helps Bring WiMax to Rural Vietnam (Broadband Reports, Note: comments may include PG-13 language)

Sen. Smith: Ban Internet tax forever – Oregon U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith, chairman of the Senate Republican High Tech Task Force, on Thursday called for immediate action to permanently ban taxes on the Internet. (Portland Business Journal)

NY Times Editorial: Regulating Microsoft – Microsoft’s resounding defeat in a European antitrust case establishes welcome principles that should be adopted in the United States as guideposts for the future development of the information economy.

The doctor will e-mail you now – Secure connections offer access to medical records, test results (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)


Peninsula weighs in as Canada's dollar reaches parity with greenback (Peninsula Daily News)


'God' apparently responds to lawsuit;_ylt=Agguc3qijbKkCT_KeUFuBg_tiBIF

Government wants kids to get hunting – The citizens of Alberta just aren't going after big game at the pace they once did, according to the government of the western Canadian province, but a remedy is in the works.;_ylt=AmiKhqKBXRpScugmJEHMD9ftiBIF

Cop faces heat over squad car joy ride – Prosecutors have filed two misdemeanor charges against a former police officer who authorities say crashed a squad car while showing off for three female college students riding with him.;_ylt=AgNjJymtO42_PsdbDpD9vUrtiBIF

Errant text message leads to drug bust – A man who thought he was asking a friend about a drug deal instead sent a text message to the state police and was arrested, authorities said.;_ylt=Asp0ShouhF409bcyMdk44QDtiBIF

Thousands of hyphens perish as English marches on – About 16,000 words have succumbed to pressures of the Internet age and lost their hyphens in a new edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary.;_ylt=Ap5AcPE1Up1qKHOn9cXsrCXtiBIF