Thursday, August 30, 2007

News Digest for August 30, 2007

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


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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ohio governor proposes re-regulation of electricity (Reuters)

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

Police Arrest Boys Suspected Of Milkshake Attacks

Thief steals case, but misses $13,000 inside

Teenage driver held over 140 mph YouTube video

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