Friday, August 10, 2007

News Digest for August 10, 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.


The News Digest will be on vacation August 13 through August 24. Kokanee brewery here I come!


Ailurophile • \eye-LOOR-uh-file\ • noun – A cat fancier: a lover of cats

Norma was instantly on the alert. At some point during her talk about the drinking bowl habits of kittens, a low, warbling purring was heard in the audience. As a pre-eminent ailurophile, she quickly spotted the culprit: a poorly disguised cat in the front row who had found the catnip in the workshop’s gift bags.



Washington State agency may certify Kalama gasification plant – A state commission will consider certifying a proposed 680-megawatt coal gasification power plant at the Port of Kalama, over the objections of the state Attorney General's Office. (The Columbian)

Biomass Cofiring – Cofiring is a near term, low-cost option for efficiently and cleanly converting biomass to electricity by adding biomass as a partial substitute fuel in high-efficiency coal boilers. (Links to PDF file at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

The Canadian Province of Ontario walks tightrope on plan to end coal use – Ontario aims to close its last coal-fired power plant in 2014 and become the only jurisdiction in North America to completely phase out coal, a strategy that some critics deride as reckless and others say is overly timid. (Reuters)

California – Engineers' union warns of more blackouts: Pacific Gas & Electric criticizes claim of its failings amid contract talks. A union that represents Pacific Gas and Electric Co. engineers warned Thursday that the utility is understaffed, running behind on maintenance and may suffer more blackouts like the one that recently struck downtown San Francisco. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Victorville, CA – Past in play for power plant – Disturbance of archaeological sites is a possibility during the construction of the city's massive new hybrid gas-solar power plant north of the airport. (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News)

Shocking electricity prices follow deregulation (USA Today, check out the God-like picture that goes along with this story!)

Georgia – High temperatures putting strain on power plants (Gainesville Times)

News Release – Avista Corp. Board Declares Common Stock Dividend: Board authorizes preferred stock dividend (PR Newswire)

News Release – Demand Response Sets New Record in PJM Interconnection Consumers' Voluntary Reductions in Use Help Stretch Power Supplies During Emergency (Electric Energy Online)


FUNDS TO REPAIRING DAMAGE ALONG SKOKOMISH RIVER – The Skokomish River is the top priority of a coalition of groups working together to improve water quality and fishing conditions. The Skokomish Tribe has received $150,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as part of a cleanup fund to repair decades of logging damage in the Olympic National Forest and to repair landslide areas that are compromising fish and wildlife habitat. According to Ron Figlar Barnes, with the Skokomish Tribe, the federal money should speed up the cleanup. The tribe is one of 20 organizations and agencies working together on the restoration effort. They have a three-year plan that includes not only the river, but the entire Olympic National Forest. It includes about 16-million dollars worth of restoration work. The Skokomish Tribe has jurisdiction over much of the river, which runs through its reservation. The coalition is called the Skokomish Watershed Action Team ("SWAT") and includes Mason County, the Olympic Forest Coalition, the Wilderness Society, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Washington Department of Ecology. (KMAS Radio, Shelton)

Fast Detection ID Technology Keeps Tabs On Millions Of Salmon – Cattle aren’t the only ones sporting high-tech identity tags. In the Pacific Northwest, salmon migrating from fresh waters in the Columbia River Basin to the Pacific might as well be on a leash. (Cattle Network)

Groups meet to update Walden on Walla Walla River Basin plan – A $200,000 feasibility study will provide the groups with information they need to better manage the basin. (Walla Walla Union Bulletin)

Columbia River halibut fishery to close in Oregon and Washington – The Columbia River halibut sports fishery will close at one minute before midnight on Sunday (Associated Press)

Head start for hard shells – Zoo-grown Western pond turtles are released in the Columbia gorge area. Supporters include Woodland Park Zoo, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bonneville Power Administration. (The Oregonian)


Idaho Silicon Plant – Hoku picks contractor for Idaho plant. Hoku Scientific said Thursday it has hired a Washington-based company to build its production plant in Pocatello, Idaho. (Pacific Business News)

New York – Cost prompts calls for end to wind power plan. With a report from LIPA about the financial feasibility of its offshore wind-energy project due out in weeks, two state senators are calling on the authority to immediately scuttle the costly plans. (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News)

Energy geeks compete for coolest solar home – Upcoming Solar Decathlon contest will judge 20 solar-powered homes built by college students. Right behind the solar car on every environmentalist's wish list is a home powered entirely by the sun. (CNET News)


Maryland – Pollution, without all that guilt: Silver Spring nonprofit sells 'offsets' to carbon dioxide, but some are skeptical (The Baltimore Sun),0,1207585.story

Canada – Good news on climate change: We're using a lot less water. Conservation measures credited (The Vancouver Sun)


Oregon Governor Kulongoski says no to OMSI, wireless funding. Some money would have gone to the Oregon Wireless Interoperability Network. (Portland Business Journal)


FIRE IN DOWNTOWN SHELTON APARTMENT – A small fire in a second floor unit displaced residents of the apartments at 101 Railroad Avenue Thursday night. According to Shelton Fire Chief Jim Ghiglione, the fire was reported at 7pm and was controlled by the building's sprinkler system and fire crews from Shelton Fire, Mason County Fire District Four and Mason County Fire District 11. However, the sprinkler system caused a problem with the building's fire alarm panel so residents were displaced. Many were able to find shelter with friends or relatives, while others were given Red Cross Vouchers allowing them to stay at a hotel. Those residents should be back in their apartments later today or tomorrow morning. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is being investigated. (KMAS Radio, Shelton)

Countdown to I-5 gridlock – Starting tonight at 10 p.m., I-5 through Seattle shuts down to two lanes for repair work, causing chaos for the next 19 days. (KING-TV, Seattle)

Cash infusion accelerates Pacific Northwest logging – The Bush administration action pushes cutting to a high not seen in years (The Oregonian)

North Mason School District Looks to End Year With $456,000 Balance (Kitsap Sun, may require free registration)


Clerk Grabs Shotgun Robber Left On Counter – A robber's clumsy pursuit of cash left him staring at the barrel of his own shotgun after he set it on the convenience store counter and the clerk snatched it up, officials said.

Snake's Decapitated Head Bites Man – A man was bitten by the decapitated head of a rattlesnake on his property near Prosser.

Lava lamp crop circle appears near Soap Lake – Resident estimates object 999 feet long

Ore. woman loses her $1 million jackpot – A judge ruled that a woman who used a stolen credit card to buy a winning scratch-it ticket has no right to the $1 million prize.

Wienermobile gets parking ticket;_ylt=AtC4EM9KOvyHzaBPIllEnlLtiBIF

Teen burned after lighting fire near gas – An 18-year-old man was severely burned Thursday after he lit a flame while trying to steal gasoline from a riding lawnmower.;_ylt=AhYu6SC95QVegvE_Z6qNipztiBIF