Wednesday, October 31, 2007

News Digest for October 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.


Gargoyle • \GAR-goy-ul\ • noun – *1a: a spout in the form of a grotesque human or animal figure projecting from a roof gutter to throw rainwater clear of a building b: a grotesquely carved figure 2: a person with an ugly face

Alberto was quire pleased. He had replaced the downspouts on his home with colorful, gnome-like gargoyles. His pleasure with the architectural touch to his aluminum sided ranch home was slightly tempered by the fact that the jets of water that spouted from the various parts of the gargoyles looked less than flattering during heavy rains.



Region gets jump on plans for storm response – Last December's Hanukkah Eve Wind Storm left valuable lessons for the region's roads, utility and emergency-service workers who have vowed to be better organized should another storm strike this winter. (Seattle Times)

Avista 3Q loss $3.9 million – Avista reports a quarterly loss of $3.9 million compared with a $10 million profit a year ago. (The Associated Press)

Evergreen Pulp still interested in Washington mill – Grays Harbor PUD Connection. The international pulp market, the U.S. credit crunch, the dollar's weakness and renewable energy could all position Evergreen Pulp Inc. to buy a Gray's Harbor, Wash. area pulp mill. (The Times-Standard, Eureka)

Chelan PUD 2008 budget on track for goals – The Chelan County PUD is on track to meet its 2008 budget goals, but cost cutting, revenue boosting and possibly rate increases could be necessary to meet goals beyond that, commissioners learned Monday. (The Wenatchee World)

Rocky Mountain Power rate hike draws criticism – An increase in power rates proposed by Rocky Mountain Power is drawing criticism from seniors concerned about adding costs to those on fixed incomes and farmers forced to pay higher power rates this summer. (Casper Star Tribune: watch, as the utility pulls out all the stops, including the residential exchange in its selling of the rate increase)

S. F. supervisors endorse new fossil fuel power plant – The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to support a controversial project that would replace an aging fossil fuel plant on Potrero Hill with a newer fossil fuel plant. (San Francisco)

Coal-Fired Top Plants – IGCC demonstration plant at Nakoso Power Station, Iwaki City, Japan (POWER Magazine)

TACOMA: Police arrest two of three men suspected of stealing copper wire – Tacoma police arrested two men early Monday on suspicion of stealing copper wire and scrap aluminum from a construction site on Sixth Avenue. (The News Tribune)

BGE ad campaign features new 'We're On It' tagline – Baltimore Gas and Electric launched a new advertising campaign Tuesday focused on boosting awareness of the utility company's ongoing efforts to improve reliability and customer satisfaction. (Baltimore Business Journal)


Levee blasts signal a truce in water wars – Fifty-year-old levees blew up in a dramatic display of dirt and smoke Tuesday, freeing lake water as part of an unprecedented wetlands restoration effort to save protected fish and cool the water wars that have divided the Klamath Basin for decades. (The Oregonian)

Dam would flood delicate ecosystem – Washington county proposes to build reservoir on Similkameen River that would flood 7,200 hectares. A Washington state county is proposing to build a major dam on the Similkameen River near the Canada-U.S. border that would inundate extensive areas of ecologically rich southern B.C. (Vancouver Sun)

More dead birds found in water off north Kitsap Peninsula (Seattle Times)

Montana – Lake trout proliferate in Swan Lake – Netting turns up invaders by the thousands. The numbers are in, and the invasion of Swan Lake is well under way. (Daily Inter Lake)

An almost perfect razor-clam weekend on Washington coast (The Associated Press, via the Seattle Times)

Moses Lake – Cost of restoring Odessa Aquifer pegged at $2 billion to $6 billion (Tri-City Herald)


Sacramento Municipal Utility District Solar Array to Power Its Fuel-Cell Electric Vehicles (Renewable Energy Access)

United Kingdom – School could be wind powered in 12 months – A FURNESS headteacher hopes to have a wind turbine up and running at his school within the next 12 months. (The Evening Mail)


New kind of 'vampire' sucks power out of homes (Cable News Network)

Monroe prison gets 'green' certification – Expansion for 200 men cost $39.5 million (Seattle Post Intelligencer)

News Release – Dell Plugs in Energy Star 4.0 Consumer Desktop. Specially Configured Inspiron 531 Delivers Environmental Benefits Without Compromising Performance (BusinessWire)


Oregon Green Products Head To Chicago – A biofueled truck filled with some of Oregon’s "green" products headed for Chicago Tuesday to participate in a conference on sustainable building practices. (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

(British Columbia) Forestry can be carbon pioneer, industry says – Critics skeptical that emissions caused by logging will be addressed (The Vancouver Sun)


Internet access tax ban passes House, goes to president – A bill to extend a moratorium on Internet access taxes for seven years was approved 402-0 by the House today, less than two days before it was set to expire. (The Associated Press, via the Seattle Times)

U.S. to fight lag in broadband adoption with annual inventory – The United States is starting to look like a slowpoke on the internet. (The Associated Press, via CBC News)

News Release – Markey Broadband Census Bill Approved By Committee. Bill will lead to National Broadband Map, Better Data for Policymakers (Congressman Ed Markey)

Some ISP Users Struggle To Reach Google – Are problems related to Comcast traffic shaping? (Broadband Reports. Note: comment section may contain PG-13 language)


SEC agrees to settle with Met Mortgage CEO, Bellingham developer – The Securities and Exchange Commission has reached a tentative settlement with the former chief executive of Metropolitan Mortgage & Securities and with a Bellingham-based developer over fraud allegations related to the collapse of the Spokane investment company. (Seattle Times)

Guest Commentary for the Columbian – Watch out Washington, or Boeing may fly away. While parts for Boeing's new 787 "Dreamliner" are manufactured around the world, Washington elected officials should keep a close eye on South Carolina.

Blueberries — Washington's blue gold. Not only are blueberries good for you, they're healthy for the state's economy, too — a $30 million crop that's getting bigger all the time. (Seattle Times)

MASON COUNTY UPDATES RESIDENTS ON BELFAIR SEWERS – Mason County officials updated residents on the sewers planned for Belfair Tuesday night. Those who attended the County Commission's "Fifth Tuesday" meeting at the Theler Community Center heard from the engineering firm hired to complete design of the project, learned about the Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) technology that will be used, the total cost of the project and what it will cost users, the timeline of the project, and how residents will be updated on the project. Mason County has hired CH2M HILL to design the Wastewater and Water Reclamation Facilities that will serve the core of the Belfair Urban Growth Area. The Bellevue-based firm is currently conducting exploratory field work including surveys and geotechnical drilling, selecting the vender for the treatment facility, completing design, obtaining necessary permits and acquiring property and easements. Groundbreaking for construction is expected in late summer or early fall of next year with the system operational by the fall of 2010. The system will initially serve about 600 connections with a 20-year build out projected at 5600. Membrane Bioreactors use micro filtration and ultraviolet technology to remove the harmful elements from sewage leaving reusable water. The selection of the specific MBR technology will be made in December. Mason County has obtained funding to cover the entire cost of construction which is estimated between $24 Million and $27 Million. All funding except $3.3 Million is through grants. Monthly cost to users will be between $80 and $100. There will also be a one-time $3200 connection charge and about $3,000 in plumbing work to connect. Individual homes and businesses within 500 feet of the sewer alignment will be required connect to the new sewer system. CH2M HILL will be keeping residents updated on the project including where geotechnical work will be done and have set up a 24-hour hotline: (360) 801-2482. This is a local call from the North Mason/Belfair area. (KMAS Radio, Shelton)


Teenager escapes prison in suitcase

Judge Who Lost Pant Suit Loses Job – Roy L. Pearson Jr., the administrative law judge who lost his $54 million lawsuit against a Northeast Washington dry cleaner, lost his job yesterday and was ordered to vacate his office, sources said.

Smoker running late causes hours of flight delays, re-screening at New York airport

Student finds baroque painting inside old sofa

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

News Digest for October 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.


Sanguineous • \san-GWIN-ee-us\ • adjective – 1: bloodred *2: of, relating to, or involving bloodshed: bloodthirsty 3: of, relating to, or containing blood

Albert was unhappy with his Halloween costume. Freda had assured him that by dressing as Caesar Augustus he would be symbolically wearing the “royal purple”. “But it has more of a sanguineous hue,” he whined to his beloved. “Be quiet,” Freda snapped. “Royal purple was more a figure of speech in those days.”



Jefferson PUD leaders to look at taking over electricity service from PSE – Jefferson County Public Utility District leaders see Friday's acquisition of Puget Energy Inc., parent company of Puget Sound Energy, as a possible opportunity to provide electricity to most of East Jefferson County. (Peninsula Daily News)

Montana utility OKs $3 million in rebates – Record-setting revenues this year prompted Flathead Electric Cooperative’s board of trustees to approve $3 million in rebates to its electricity customers. (The Daily Inter Lake)

Oregon – Northern Wasco County PUD explores power options; Regional alliance may offer alternatives. The PUD mostly likely will be looking for regional assistance as it explores the uncertain future of Pacific Northwest power supplies. (The Dalles Chronicle)

Power Rates Could Be Going Up In Idaho – Don't forget to turn off the lights next time you leave your house because it could cost you more money. (KIFI-TV, Idaho Falls)

Budget error teaches tough lesson to the Kennewick Irrigation District – KID recently discovered a bookkeeping error that leaves it with about $500,000 less than expected. (Tri-City Herald)

News Release – BPA's Steve Hickok elected chairman of the members of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) (Bonneville Power Administration)

Alaska – Plan to tap lake angers Petersburg residents – Residents of Petersburg are hammering local officials about a proposed hydroelectric power project. They’re not happy, and neither are some members of the Whatcom County Council in Washington state, which covers Bellingham. (Anchorage Daily News)

TVA plans to build 2 nuclear reactors – The Tennessee Valley Authority is expected to file an application, perhaps as early as today, with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to build two new nuclear-power reactors at a site in Alabama. (Seattle Times)

World's coal habit growing (The Associated Press)

Iraq – Iraqi dam still a flood risk, report says. The top U.S. military commander in Iraq warned Prime Minister Nouri Maliki in May that the country's biggest dam, just up the Tigris River from the northern city of Mosul, is at risk of collapse, putting the city's 1.7 million people in danger of being inundated by a 65-foot flood wave. (Contra Costa Times)

Pennsylvania – Allegheny Power files deregulation plan – Allegheny Power, a division of Allegheny Energy Inc., announced today that it has filed a proposed plan with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission as part of its transition to electricity deregulation. (Pittsburgh Business Times)

Energy Dept. Audit Finds Overcharges On Contracts – The Los Alamos National Laboratory paid millions of dollars in questionable charges to a contractor affiliated with KBR, according to a recent audit by the Energy Department's inspector general. (Washington Post)


California commission recommends ripping out Klamath Dams – California Energy Commission analysts urged Oregon, California and Washington to deny any requests from PacifiCorp to increase electricity rates to help pay for upgrading Klamath dams. (The Associated Press, via the Seattle Times)

The Columbian Opinion – In our view: Help for Salmon. Third removable fish weir arrives at Snake River dam to aid fish migration

California – Central Valley salmon largely absent from fall run - but why? This year's Central Valley fall salmon run is worrying both fishermen and biologists, who say fewer of the prized Chinook are out in the ocean or making it up the rivers to spawn. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Olympia’s utility rates might rise Jan. 1 – Households in Olympia would pay $7.58 more every other month for utilities next year under a proposal the Olympia City Council is considering. (The Olympian)

Aquifer efforts 'turn corner' – Federal support has begun to rally for efforts to bring more groundwater to the Odessa Subarea. (Columbia Basin Herald)


$200 Million for Electric Cars? Software industry hotshot Shai Agassi has a well-funded plan to shake up the auto industry with a new approach to the electric car (MSNBC)

Google's love for solar may extend to other renewables – When it comes to bragging rights and solar power, Google's on top: it has the largest corporate installation of solar-powered electricity yet. (CNET News)

When Will Congress Pass Tax Credits for Renewable Energy? (Renewable Energy Access)

Converting Food Crops Into Fuel 'Crime Against Humanity' (Oregon Public Broadcasting)


State Recognizes Navy's Efforts to Save Energy – Local bases cleaned up in the latest Navy-wide energy conservation competition and got a nice pat on the back for their efforts Monday from Gov. Chris Gregoire. (Kitsap Sun, may require free registration)

News Release – JC Penney Stores Become First to Earn New ENERGY STAR Retail Rating – EPA Recognizes Four Washington State JCPenney Stores for Superior Energy Performance and Environmental Protection

News Release – Con Edison Offers Energy- and Money-Saving Tips for Winter. Natural Gas Supplies Adequate for Coming Heating Season (MarketWire)


Study: Seattle exceeding goal to fight global warming (KING-TV, Seattle)


Home phone line repairs slowed – As phone companies spend billions on souped-up broadband and wireless services, they're struggling with basic home phone line repairs. (USA Today)

Fiber Makers to Benefit From ISP Bandwidth Woes (Seeking Alpha)


Shelton clothier to move to Tumwater – Heated-apparel maker’s new home to be finished in June. Mason County manufacturer Gerbing’s Heated Clothing Inc. is coming to Tumwater next summer so that it can consolidate its operations under one roof, the company CEO said Monday. (The Olympian)

Canadian dollar jumps to 47-year high – Flaherty announces economic update due Tuesday as loonie hits US$1.05 in Monday trading (The Victoria Times-Colonist)

California – Cal can boot all tree-sitters, judge says. UC officials can remove all the tree-sitters at Memorial Stadium, even if police can't identify the protesters by name, a judge ruled Monday. (San Francisco Chronicle)


Science on the Web: Don't Try This at Home – Two million YouTube viewers recently sought the answer to the question, "Can water burn?"

Toddler Wouldn't Leave Plane Crash Wreckage Without Teddy Bear

At 79, he’s still clowning around – For decades, he delighted fans as the starring clown in “The J.P. Patches Show,” one of the longest-running local live TV shows in the country. Now Chris Wedes, 79, is battling blood cancer.

When a Penny Is More Than Just a Penny – When people toss quarters and dimes into tip jars or feed them into vending machines, chances are they are less interested in form than function.

Monday, October 29, 2007

News Digest for October 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.


Imbricate • \IM-brih-kut \ • adjective – Lying lapped over each other in regular order

Day after day Donatello stared, unfocused yet watchful at the shadowy shapes darting past the viewing windows at the mighty dam’s fish ladder. His fingers nervously clicked the counter in his hand. It wasn’t until years later that he actually wrestled with a fish in his hands that he marveled at the intricate beauty of nature: the subtle hues and the imbricate scales that ran down the sides of the large, flopping salmon.


Experts: 'La Nina' to bring wetter NW weather (The Associated Press)

Temperatures on the rise over the years in South Sound – Average temperatures in South Sound have grown slightly warmer in the past century. (The Olympian)


Need for cash spurs Puget Energy deal – With plans to spend billions on new power plants and equipment over the coming years, Puget Energy decided it needed a more stable — and more patient — source of new cash than the public stock and debt markets. (Seattle Times – Don’t miss the pie chart that shows most electricity customers in Washington State are served by public utilities!)

Recovery ongoing for storm victims – Thomas Thomas, 52, shows all the signs of what could be called PTSD: Post Traumatic Storm Disorder. (The Olympian)

What you can do to protect yourself – Lessons learned in South Sound. Windstorms. Power outages. Flooding. Earthquakes. These are some of the emergencies that are part of life in the Northwest all year. (The Olympian – Don’t try this at home: If a line falls on your car, stay in the vehicle…To exit, open the door, but do not step out. Jump, without touching any of the metal portions of the car's exterior, to safe ground and get away.)

Programs assist poor with winter heating bill – The Lower Columbia Community Action Program (CAP) is gearing up its energy assistance programs as the weather turns colder. (The Daily News, Longview)

Turning from coal means more demand for nuclear and alternative energy sources (Minnesota Public Radio)

Texas – Generators producing dispute, not electricity. Word on the river is that both generators at Morris Sheppard Dam are down and are not being fixed because of a dispute between Brazos River Authority and the electricity purchaser Brazos Electric Cooperative Inc. (Mineral Wells Index)

South Carolina – Proposed coal-fired plant assailed: Conservation groups claim studies show state could meet energy needs through renewable energy sources and efficiency programs -- to offset the need for the plant (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News via Power Marketers Online)

Electric plan to lock in northern Ohio's higher rates: Cost you're paying for power now could be 'floor’ for future rates – A new plan to set future electric rates in the state, keeping northern Ohio's high rates, was unveiled yesterday in the Ohio Senate. (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News via Power Marketers Online)

The Invisible Commodity – Electricity is the invisible commodity. But it's now in the limelight. Energy infrastructure has been labeled inadequate and ill-prepared to enable American businesses to compete in a global economy. (Power Marketers Industry Publications)


Tri-City Herald Editorial – Working weirs: Phase three of a Snake River success story should slip into action this spring. It's the third huge weir to be installed on the Snake River to help juvenile salmon pass the dams.

Salmon fishing on Oregon's famed Rogue River nosedives (KOMO-TV, Seattle)

Restoration work on N. Idaho spawning grounds begins – Workers in northern Idaho have started vacuuming silt off the bottom of Lake Pend Oreille so that kokanee, a prized sport fish that brings in millions of dollars to the area, will have a place to spawn. (The Associated Press, via the Olympian)

Oregon – After fish kill, rave reviews for chub-free Diamond Lake (The Associated Press)

San Francisco Chronicle Opinion – The public supports ocean access, not closures to sport fishing.

Environmental agency ponders request to head Alcoa cleanup – Federal authorities are continuing to weigh whether to take over a long-delayed cleanup of a highly contaminated stretch of Columbia River shoreline. (The Columbian)

Georgia – Georgia paying for lack of water planning. Lawmakers scrambling to cope with drought after years of lax zoning laws, pro-growth policies led to widespread urban sprawl (Contra Costa Times)

Georgia/Alabama’s water fight shifting to D.C. (The Dothan Eagle)


Mammoth wind farm slated for South Dakota – Plans for the world's largest wind farm, proposed to be built in South Dakota, have become more grandiose. (Associated Press, via the Columbian)

Wind farms generate bird worries – As more turbines churn in the gorge, wildlife biologists fear the blades will threaten raptor numbers (The Oregonian)

News Release – As Support for Cape Wind Erodes, Clean Power Now Rolls Out Another Flawed Poll. Less than one week after the Cape Cod Commission dealt a critical setback to the controversial Cape Wind project, the project's grassroots lobby group Clean Power Now is preparing to roll out yet another survey showing Cape Cod support for a project that has lagged in every independent survey. (PRNewswire-USNewswire)

For a Devotee of Solar Energy, a Shot at Earning Respect – The sun was shining for a change, which was good news for Richard Thompson, known throughout these parts as Solar Richard. (NY Times)

City wins green power award – Bellingham has again been recognized as a national leader in green power, receiving a Green Power Partner of the Year award from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Solar racers gain speed Down Under (CNET News)

DTE signs renewable power contract: Manure is used in electricity deal (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News via Power Marketers Online)

Creating power out of thin air – Imagine a material that can suck in heat from the environment and power a notebook. A New Jersey company is aiming to do just that. (CNET News)

Who's Fueling Whom? Why the biofuels movement could run out of gas (Smithsonian Magazine)


News Release – Fall Is Ideal Time to Plant Trees – Fall's cool temperatures are here, marking the best time for homeowners to plant trees that will flourish in the spring. (Oncor)


Report takes aim at smog-causing speed bumps – Speed bumps -- a Band-Aid solution for bad street planning -- not only fuel drivers' tempers and create noise pollution, they add greenhouse gases to the air we breathe, says a new federal housing agency report. (The Vancouver Sun)


FCC plan could be cable TV boon for renters – Exclusive contracts for apartments, condos would end (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Illinois – Plan for wireless Internet at rest stops halted again. IDOT cites lack of proposals from vendors as reason (State Journal Record)

San Francisco Chronicle Opinion – Bye-bye Wi-Fi. I never thought I'd see the day when San Francisco's volatile Supervisor Chris Daly comes across as the voice of reason, while Mayor Gavin Newsom is stuck in a rut of two years of being completely in the wrong.

Louisiana – Cities get wired. Areas with regional or citywide wireless, hot spots, municipal-use systems and those pondering one of the above have more than tripled in the past two years. (The Shreveport Times)

Confusion looks likely in digital TV conversion (The News Tribune, Tacoma)


Step away from the clock! Don't touch your clocks today. It's not time for daylight-saving time to end ... yet. (Seattle Times)

(A cautionary public affairs tale) FEMA leader apologizes for staged briefing (Seattle Times)

Telltale e-mails tracked down to ex-official – The e-mails came in a steady trickle, more than 20 over almost 13 months, often from a phantom sender who claimed to be a local builder fed up with impropriety in the Clark County's building division. (The Columbian)

The Olympian Editorial – KGY deserves a long-term lease. Port of Olympia commissioners must find a way to accommodate KGY radio when its lease expires at the end of 2009.

Wenatchee – Pay raise for mayor: 36 percent. Councilman questions timing of pay increases for elected city officials (Wenatchee World)

Hops scarce; glass, fuel costs up Crisis brews for beer makers (News Tribune, Tacoma)

UFO Reporting Center operates out of former missile site – To find the new home of The National UFO Reporting Center, you must go several yards underground at a former nuclear missile site in Eastern Washington. (Associated Press, via the Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Shelton topples Capital – Playoffs against Bellevue next (The Olympian)


He's not undead, just unsober...Passengers on a German train mistook a Halloween reveler dressed up as a gore-covered zombie for a murder victim and called the police.

Burglars-in-a-box busted after robberies (technically, these were burglaries NOT robberies)

Cell Phone GPS Leads To Suspect In Tree – Ex-Girlfriend Gives Police Suspect's Phone Number

Aliens caused Sicily fires, say officials – Aliens were responsible for a series of unexplained fires in fridges, TV’s and mobile phones in an Italian village, according to an Italian government report.

Speedometer can surprise when there's no gridlock – Patrol says driver was clocked at 122 mph on I-5

Friday, October 26, 2007

News Digest for October 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.


Flabbergast • \FLAB-er-gassed\ • transitive verb – To overwhelm with shock, surprise, or wonder: dumbfound

(See the first story under Energy and Utility Issues)



Trick or Treat! Canadian investors to buy Puget Sound Energy (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Here’s the Google news search on this story:,GGLJ:2006-46,GGLJ:en&q=puget+energy&um=1&tab=wn

Natural gas prices drop 18 percent – More than 2,000 local customers will pay less for natural gas this winter. The average Cascade Natural Gas residential customer will see the monthly bill drop by almost 18 percent, or about $13. (Wenatchee World)

Northwest Natural rates to be cut by 9 percent – Northwest Natural Gas Co. has been given the go-ahead to reduce rates, effective Nov. 1, the first reduction in five years. (The Columbian, Vancouver)

Pace of coal-power boom slackens – Rising construction costs and potential climate legislation in Congress halt at least 18 proposed power plants in the past nine months. (Christian Science Monitor)

California – City fires up power plant: Natural-gas facility will provide 40 percent of Roseville's power. Roseville's first power plant -- and largest construction project to date -- officially opened last week with a ceremonial flip of the switch. (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, via Power Marketing Association Online)

New era for nuclear could open via tax breaks, fast-track regulation and climate change: Milken Institute Review (Utility Automation and Engineering),-fast-track-regulation-and-climate-change:-Milken-Institute-Review/

Parties reach deal in California-Oregon Intertie dispute – The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission late Wednesday said a PacifiCorp, Pacific Gas and Electric and the California Independent System Operator had reached a settlement in their dispute over which would manage the entire California-Oregon Intertie, three major AC power lines that bring power direct from hydroelectric plants in the Pacific Northwest to Los Angeles. (Platts Energy News)

Power line will fire up Alaska, not B.C. critic suggests (

News Release – Women’s Energy Network: Calling All High School Girls – The Energy Industry Wants You! (Electric Energy Online)

News Release – USDA Awards More Than $1.6 Billion In Electric Loans. $38 million goes to Kodiak Electric Association (US Dept’ of Agriculture)!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?contentidonly=true&contentid=2007/10/0310.xml

FERC – Hydropower - Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Santee Cooper Hydroelectric Project located in Berkeley, Calhoun, Clarendon, Orangeburg, and Sumpter Counties, South Carolina. (Project No. 199-205)


British Columbia – Farmed Atlantic salmon found in Clayoquot rivers. The Westerly has confirmed that shortly after a net breach at a salmon farm in Clayoquot Sound last month a small number of Atlantic salmon were found in nearby rivers. (The Times Colonist, Victoria)

Schools of chum salmon charge through town. The Kennedy Creek estuary at low tide is a quiet place — until small schools of chum salmon blow into town. (The Olympian)

Oregon governor’s marine reserve survey has coast in turmoil (Eugene Register Guard)

Bureau provides Odessa study results – Columbia Basin residents got to hear the latest on a study of ways to increase groundwater into irrigated land within the Odessa Subarea. (Columbia Basin Herald)

Montana Environmental Standard Upheld – A judge upheld Montana water-quality standards aimed at protecting rivers in the Powder River Basin from pollution caused by coal-bed methane development. (The Associated Press)


Quilcene solar pair becomes Puget Sound Energy's 200th to feed power to grid (Peninsula Daily News)

Developer touts planned Moxee tire plant as green energy source – They are called ecoblocks, not baled tires. (Yakima Herald-Republic – Good God! As long as it’s not coal!)

Would use construction waste – Activists Oppose Wood-Burning Power Plant “…It's absurd that a power plant could emit 7,200 pounds a year of lead and 1,400 pounds per year of arsenic and be considered a clean energy source…” (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, via Power Marketing Association Online)

California – Wood-burning limits set. Air board OKs curbs on winter use of fireplaces, wood stoves in county. By an 8-3 vote, Sacramento air quality managers approved a two-stage plan to curtail wood burning in Sacramento County during winter. (Sacramento Bee, may require free registration. Now wait a minute. Isn’t wood burning supposed to be carbon neutral?)

Pacific Northwest “Hydrogen Highway” Proposed (NW Public Radio)


GE hopes to cut mercury in "green" light bulbs (Reuters)

News Release – Prototype "Energy Smart" office slated for construction in Vancouver (Bonneville Power Administration)


Cement Industry Is at Center of Climate Change Debate (NY Times)

Seattle P-I Guest Columnist – Be wary of climate policy development. Imagine you are an advocacy group and want to sway a government's policy development, but really want to keep your activism a secret. You could learn a lot by observing and then avoiding the practices of the Center for Climate Strategies, a group of global warming worrywarts.

British Columbia government eyes carbon tax in next budget – Levy on gasoline could be a start, says finance minister (The Times Colonist, Victoria)

(The Big Stick) The second inconvenient truth – We must tax greenhouse gases or they will keep rising; wishful thinking about voluntary cuts just won't work (Vancouver Sun)


Microsoft quarter brings back boom – Stellar first-quarter results and a substantially improved outlook spurred Microsoft shares to levels not seen since July 2001. (Seattle Times)

Senate OKs 7 more years of tax-free Net access, e-mail – Scarcely a week before an existing ban on Internet access taxes is set to expire, the U.S. Senate late Thursday voted to let the prohibition live on for seven more years. (CNET News)

Telcos: IPTV Needs Fiber To The Home – Service providers at TelcoTV endorsed fiber to the home (FTTH) as the best access medium for IPTV, but said it's the services that will really set them apart from cable and satellite competitors. (Light Reading)

After major projects fail, Wi-Fi reborn as cities refine approaches – Municipal Wi-Fi projects, all the rage last year, have fallen into a funk, if you believe the press reports about delays and problems for big deployments in cities like San Francisco, Chicago and Houston. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Trio who ripped off Microsoft get prison – Three people convicted of scamming Microsoft Corp. out of millions of dollars by reselling sharply discounted software were sentenced to lengthy prison terms. (Associated Press, via the Columbian)


Cost of gas soars again, state hit hard – Washington now has third-highest price in U.S. (Seattle Post Intelligencer)

Tight supplies, speculation send oil, gas prices to new highs (San Francisco Chronicle)

A cautionary tale – Largest PDC fine hits hospital administrators. The state Public Disclosure Commission imposed the largest out-of-court fine in its history Thursday, accepting a settlement that would require two administrators at a Renton hospital to pay more than $120,000 for using public money on a tax levy and annexation proposal. (Associated Press, via the Columbian)

Insurance agents' letters broke rules, group says – Letters sent by some of the state's largest insurance companies warning policyholders that their rates would increase if Referendum 67 passes are illegal campaign contributions, an advocacy group for retired people said Thursday. (Seattle Post Intelligencer)

Skydiver memorial Saturday in Snohomish – A memorial service for nine skydivers and the pilot killed in a plane crash near White Pass is scheduled for tomorrow in Snohomish.

Everett wood chip fire burns for months, upsets neighbors (KOMO-TV, Seattle)

Fox’s Coverage of World Series Has Taco Filling – I’ve rarely seen a sponsor so overtly and shamelessly integrated into a game, which is great news for those who love what Taco Bell is giving away: crunchy seasoned beef tacos. (NY Times)

FEMA Workers Masquerade As Reporters – One way to get decent coverage in this rough-and-tumble city is to arrange to have your own employees interrogate you at your news conference.


Judge returns disputed Oregon deer to family

Stupid signs for everyone! Oops! Drivers sink into wet concrete – As many as 10 vehicles drove around barriers and onto freshly poured concrete on a busy thoroughfare during rush hour.;_ylt=AnHZNANOIWphP6hMpZAHk7vtiBIF

Harry Potter a left-wing hero? Harry Potter -- left-wing hero of the intellectual aristocracy against the materialist middle classes? Well, yes, according to the French daily Liberation.;_ylt=AlZ9oZjizDTEAUo9F2GCeeftiBIF

Teenager in go-kart leaves police standing – A teenager speeding through a German town in a go-kart with seven squad cars in hot pursuit managed to give the frustrated officers the slip, police said on Friday.;_ylt=AvxEL9StyGOGvxVMdEqMoVntiBIF

Man arrested after saving pair from fire;_ylt=Agfotm08jPQKpZ0XQXnpRSTtiBIF

Thursday, October 25, 2007

News Digest for October 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.


Vaudeville • \VAWD-vill\ • noun – 1: a light often comic theatrical piece frequently combining pantomime, dialogue, dancing, and song *2: stage entertainment consisting of various acts (as performing animals, acrobats, comedians, dancers, or singers)

“Look daddy,” piped the curious five-year old. “That man over there is putting on a show for us!” Unbeknownst to the precocious little boy, the vaudevillian appearance of Derwood’s herky-jerky dance was being caused by the invasion of yellow jackets from a nearby nest into his clothes. “That back flip was outstanding,” exclaimed the little boy’s father.

From Merriam-Webster: In the 15th century, several amusing songs became popular across France. These songs were said to have been written by a man named Olivier Basselin who lived in the valley of the river Vire in northwest France. The songs eventually became known as "chansons de vau-de-Vire," meaning "songs of the valley of Vire." Other people began writing and performing similar songs, and as this form of entertainment became more widespread, the link to vau-de-Vire was forgotten. The nickname was shortened to one word, "vaudevire." As the phenomenon spread beyond France, further changes in pronunciation and spelling shifted "vaudevire" into "vaudeville." The meaning also broadened to include humorous performances and variety shows.



Benton PUD may cut electric rates – Benton PUD announced Wednesday that it is working on a plan to reduce electric rates for the fifth time since 2003. (Tri-City Herald)

Alcoa to PUD: Don't delay – Alcoa could lose interest in its Wenatchee Works aluminum smelter if Chelan County PUD commissioners fuss too much with the contract on the table that would have the utility supplying power to the smelter through 2028. (Wenatchee World)

Clallam County PUD adding new outage tracking program (KONP Radio, Port Angeles)

Blackouts averted after Southwest link restored – San Diego County came within minutes yesterday afternoon of adding electricity blackouts to the list of woes caused by the wildfires. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

New York – Lawsuit Over Nuclear Plant Defense. Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo filed legal papers yesterday arguing that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission must require the owners of nuclear plants to defend their reactors from an aerial attack. (NY Times)

South Dakota – Basin Electric chooses S.D. site for plant. Basin Electric Power Cooperative has chosen an eastern South Dakota site for a new $331 million power plant with turbines fired by natural gas and steam, the company announced Wednesday. (The Jamestown Sun)

Massachusetts – GreatPoint to build gasification plant in Somerset. A Cambridge coal gasification company today revealed plans to build a pilot-scale manufacturing plant and research and development center in Somerset. (Mass High Tech: The Journal of New England Technology)

New York – Questions raised about Long Island Power Authority appointment – Two state senators from Long Island this week asked Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to review the recent the appointment of former KeySpan director James Larocca as chairman of LIPA, saying the move "raises serious conflict of interest issues." (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News via the Power Marketing Association Online)

Utility’s Profit Surges – American Electric Power said Wednesday that its third-quarter earnings rose 54 percent, helped by a warmer than normal summer that increased energy usage. (NY Times)


$125,000 in pollution fines to help Duwamish salmon (Seattle Times)

Huge weir arrives at dam – After some 280 miles of smooth sailing, a 1,000-ton aid to salmon migration reached its new home here Tuesday. (Walla Walla Union Bulletin)

Weather eases up after last week, allowing river fishing to rebound – Weather put the brakes on river fishing last week, but conditions have improved and so has fishing. (The Olympian)

Hook your fill of salmon on the world-class runs of Chilliwack, B.C. (Idaho Statesman)


Pint-size hydro power on tap (CNET News)

Green Power Suppliers: Marketing Renewable Energy to the Masses – Department of Energy recognizes six companies for helping the U.S. 'go green' during 7th Annual Green Power Leadership Awards. (Renewable Energy Access)


Sealing Leaks Can Lower Heating Costs – Heating costs are rising again this year, but there are steps families can take to save money and still keep warm. (KMSP-TV, Eden Prairie, MN)


Climate Change Testimony Was Edited by White House (NY Times)


Self-Appointed Traffic Cop – Is the company you pay to bring you the Internet blocking parts of it instead? That's been a fear of some Internet users for a long time. Now many Comcast customers are anxious after reading the Associated Press report last week that the cable-modem service interferes with the BitTorrent file-sharing program. (Washington Post)


CITY OF SHELTON’S REMOVAL OF CONTAMINATED SOIL TO BEGIN MONDAY – Work to remove gasoline contaminated soil from two intersections in downtown Shelton will begin Monday. The intersections are Fourth and Franklin and First and Franklin. Work at Fourth and Franklin will begin Monday as the State Department of Ecology is requiring a section seven feet deep to be dug from curb to curb to eliminate contamination. Fourth Street will be closed between Railroad Avenue and Franklin Street from Monday to next Thursday (November 1). The First and Franklin site was initially thought to have much higher contamination. However, current tests have revealed that the contamination may not be as high as initially thought, but a specialized crew may still be needed to clean up the site. The clean up at First and Franklin will require the intersection to be closed for two weeks beginning November 12. The City is continuing to test and gather information on both contaminated sites. Again, the intersection at Fourth and Franklin will be closed from Monday to next Thursday, and the intersection at First and Franklin will be closed for two weeks beginning November 12 so crews can clean up gasoline contaminated soil. If you have any questions, contact Shelton City Engineer Mike Michael at 432-5125. (KMAS Radio, Shelton)

Hospitals backtrack on keeping mistakes secret – The Washington State Hospital Association has changed its stance on the public disclosure of hospitals' preventable mistakes, saying now that it won't try to block the release of information about errors such as leaving instruments inside patients and performing the wrong operations. (Seattle Times)

'No evidence mascots are demeaning' – A state panel heard strongly negative reviews Tuesday from local school officials about a proposal to ban American Indian high school mascots from 15 Oregon schools. (The Daily Astorian)


Free Publicity – Brewer in Dispute With Real Sam Adams. The Boston brewers of Sam Adams beer objected when they learned that a mayoral campaign here included Web sites invoking the name of their product.

Only in Mossyrock – Man Accused Of Killing Trees May Have Poisoned Neighbor

Mom helps cheerleaders grab boys' beer – A woman let her teenage daughter lean out of a moving van to take beer from a vehicle that was driving alongside on a southeastern Nebraska highway, authorities said Wednesday;_ylt=AoCDkjYm4Wnuw0RVyZIuKLbtiBIF

Undressed sleepwalkers set off alarm for hotel chain – A surge in naked sleepwalking among guests has led one of the country's largest budget hotel groups to re-train staff to handle late-night problems.;_ylt=Aq4i.NxZ1WMq5OQIS0HJCbHtiBIF