Monday, August 27, 2007

News Digest for August 27, 2007

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


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

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


Lunar Eclipse Visible Tomorrow Morning (KBKW Radio, Aberdeen)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ohio – Agencies call for regulating electricity (Cincinnati Enquirer)

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Growing controversy over sea lions (Inside the Bay Area)

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

United Kingdom - Ecotricity goes urban (The Guardian)

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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