Tuesday, September 4, 2007

News Digest for September 4, 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.


Pillory • \PILL-uh-ree\ • noun – 1: a device formerly used for publicly punishing offenders consisting of a wooden frame with holes in which the head and hands can be locked *2: a means for exposing one to public scorn or ridicule.

Abernathy slowly trod towards the public square, framed on both sides by the beefy security guards who had watched over him during the two days he spent languishing in the small town’s dungeon-like jail. It wasn’t until he entered the bright light of the square he was astonished to see that his punishment for selling bootleg videos of H.R. Pufnstuf was to be pilloried and pelted with aged Betamax tapes of Richard Pryor.


Gray skies define this summer – It's not in your head. It really has been a cooler, rainier summer than usual — throwing off crop schedules, attracting fewer swimmers to area pools and reducing the amount of water local lawns and gardens have needed to thrive. (The Olympian )


California Heat Wave Kills 2, Leaves Thousands without Power (Fox News)

Labor leaders find few takers for good jobs – As head of a public power utility, Steve Klein has faced some sticky issues over the years, mostly centered on keeping electricity prices low in an era of ever-spiraling rates from the Bonneville Power Administration. (Everett Herald)

A New Push to Regulate Power Costs – More than a decade after the drive began to convert electricity from a regulated industry into a competitive one, many states are rolling back their initiatives or returning money to individuals and businesses. “…One prominent critic of competitive pricing — Marilyn Showalter, a former Washington state utility regulator who has become an advocate of publicly owned power systems — has calculated that, in the year ending May 31, customers in competitive states paid an extra $48 billion for their power, compared with what they would have paid under rates in regulated states…” (NY Times)

Moses Lake allows overhead power lines – Grant County PUD upgrading substation (Columbia Basin Herald)

Dam important asset to the area – There's no doubt there's a lot to see on a tour of Wanapum Dam. (Mattawa Area News)

For the Chelan County PUD Mannequins take plunge to save lives – Bobby and Bernie survived the ultimate, extreme, 100-percent-adrenaline Rocky Reach Dam tour Friday. (Wenatchee World)

Part One – Hydro power in Southeast intrigues leaders (Alaska Journal of Commerce)

Part Two – Hydro's bad image gets boost in Southeast – Big dams built by big government. Fish movements blocked. Habitats flooded. Wildlife and people displaced. (Alaska Journal of Commerce)

Idaho Transmission Dispute Settled – The Idaho Public Utilities Commission approved a negotiated settlement last week between wind developers and Idaho Power Co. over who should pay for transmission upgrades required to accommodate about 200 megawatts (MW) of new wind generation planned in Idaho's Magic Valley region. (RenewableEnergyAccess.com)

Hydropower sees peril, promise in climate change – It's been likened to a giant bellows or a massive fire hose, sending huge amounts of water roiling and churning between Puget Sound's southern and northern basins with every change of the tides. (Associated Press via the Olympian)

Coal Rush Reverses, Power Firms Follow – Plans for New Plants Stalled by Growing Opposition. The mayor of Missoula, Mont., is the latest person to discover just how unpopular coal plants have become. (The Washington Post)

Utah utility lacks coal – The shutdown of the Utah coal mine where a huge collapse trapped six men has a major customer scrambling for fuel to keep a power station operating. (The Daily Herald)

Pacific Gas and Electric Co: Power costs to increase in '08 – Big hit for business, 0.4 to 1.8 percent hike for homes. customers will pay more for power in 2008, with businesses taking the biggest hit. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Power crazy – Across Canada, provincial governments are aggressively following the call of green power and energy conservation. No watt of electricity is exempt, from mandated fluorescent light bulbs to subsidies for windmill farms to the campaign to rehabilitate the granddaddy of power boondoggles, nuclear energy, out of long-term care. (The Financial Post)

News Release – Risky Electricity Plan Will Cost Consumers Billions: The Ontario Power Authority's (OPA) new electricity plan will damage this province's economy, cost unsuspecting consumers billions unnecessarily and increase the likelihood of more blackouts, says the Power Workers' Union. (From the Power Workers' Union)


Idaho Statesman – Rocky Barker's blog: Craig's departure would fundamentally change salmon debate in Congress

Seattle Post-Intelligencer Opinion – Salmon Recovery: A priority now. It's well known that replacing culverts is important for salmon recovery. It should not have taken a successful lawsuit by 20 tribes to get the state to act on this concern.

The Columbian Editorial – In our view: Lethal Force. Sea lions drive officials toward tough choices

Severe drought conditions spread – Severe drought conditions are expanding across the Inland Northwest, with forests and fields crackling under weeks of heat and rivers trickling with record-low flows, according to a briefing issued Thursday by the National Drought Mitigation Center. (The Spokesman Review, Spokane)

Abuse of water laws jeopardizes supply for people, fish – Counties are asked to pay closer attention to housing projects claiming not to need a permit. (Everett Herald)

Restoring nature – Near the banks of Toppenish Creek, 75 years of corn and hay have been replaced with native wapato roots, dogwood and tule reeds taller than a man. Funding comes from a variety of places, including the Bonneville Power Administration, mandated by the Northwest Power Act of 1980 to pay for efforts to mitigate the loss of habitat caused by hydroelectric dams. (Yakima Herald-Republic)

Wanapum leader finds ancestors' stories in the rocks – Wanapum leader Rex Buck Jr. studies the basalt cliffs above the Columbia River where his ancestors tucked their stories in shadows and caves. “…The Grant County PUD and the Wanapum formed (patrols) with a unique pact to make sure the ancient and sacred safely co-exist with the river's modern users…” )Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Celilo Village Ore., Tribal members bid goodby to their old village – To those who zipped past it on Interstate-84, Celilo Village near The Dalles seemed a horrid slum, but it has been home to many Columbia River tribal members for a half-century. (The Associated Press)

The crush to catch Chinook at peak of salmon season (The Daily News, Longview)

San Francisco Bay – Ruling to protect delta smelt may force water rationing in Bay Area. Cities around the Bay Area face the possibility of mandatory water rationing next year as a result of a federal court decision Friday to protect a rare fish found only in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, state officials and water experts said. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Brown Water in Bremerton Not Dangerous, City Says – Some people who live between Gorst and the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard got a surprise Monday morning when they turned on the tap: brown water. (The Kitsap Sun, may require free registration)


News Release – Shelton accounting firm takes the 100 percent renewable energy pledge with Mason EverGreen Power (Mason County PUD No. 3)

Judge denies wind farm petition – The petition for review of a Columbia County conditional use permit for construction and operation of a 90-megawatt wind farm project was denied today. (Walla Walla Union-Bulletin)

Canada wind industry grows amid opposition storm – Canada's fledgling wind power industry, late off the global starting blocks, has stumbled on growing local resistance to the idea of massive turbines dotting the country's relatively unmarked landscape. (ScientificAmerican.com)

Scotland – Row blows up on wind farm locations. It was a claim that sent shockwaves through the wind-farm industry: the UK's turbines are being built in the wrong place, far from the strong winds that would make them efficient sources of electricity. (The Scotsman.com)

Seattle Times Editorial – Political attacks knock wind out of Kennedy's sails – The source of unhappiness is Kennedy's efforts to kill an offshore wind farm on Nantucket Sound. Cape Wind was to be the first such project in the United States and a source of pride to environmentally-minded New Englanders. Polls show 84 percent of Massachusetts residents in favor.

Beyond Wind and Solar, a New Generation of Clean Energy – Entrepreneurs see green in ocean power, methane, old tires and more (Washington Post)

Researchers deploy test buoys in quest for renewable electricity – Advocates of wave energy plan to float two buoys off the Oregon coast near Newport in coming days as part of a wider effort to find renewable sources of electricity. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Green Power: The New Generation – In the name of fighting climate change, solar, geothermal, wave and tidal energy are getting a new look (Special reports from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Nebraska – Mercer farm to sell bio-gas power: Fort Recovery poultry farm reaches deal with Midwest Electric. The electric cooperative, based in St. Marys, has entered into an agreement with a Mercer County poultry farm to purchase bio-gas power. (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News via PowerMarketers.com)

Q & A: Lights Off! Does it really use more energy to turn a fluorescent bulb off and on than to keep it burning? (NY Times)


Wenatchee World Opinion – Using forests is good for us. Fight global warming. Harvest timber.

What might global warming mean for Washington (Associated Press via the Seattle Post Intelligencer)

State's water woes could intensify – Climate experts say global warming stands to dramatically change the way Washington residents use water on their yards and in their homes. (The Olympian)

Atlantis Effect? Rising sea level worries shoreline areas – Washington's low-lying capital city is a bit nervous in planning a new $38 million City Hall near the shoreline of Puget Sound, fearing that global warming and rising waters could submerge much of the downtown in this century. (Associated Press via the Olympian)

U.N. Climate Talks End in Cloud of Discord – Industrialized, Developing Nations Still at Odds Over How and When to Cut Emissions (Washington Post)

An Analysis of the Carbon Emissions Impact of the Senate Energy Bill (Energy Pulse Commentary)


San Francisco Chronicle Editorial – Don't hit Wi-Fi delete key. It’s time for Wi-Fi 2.0 if San Francisco is serious about overcoming the financial and leadership problems that killed the first version.

Google grows into a target (Seattle Times)

Dial-up holdouts ask: Why go to broadband? Holdouts don't see the need for broadband (Dallas Morning News)

Inslee Fears Copyright Fees Will Mute Internet Radio (Kitsap Sun, May require free registration)

Telemarketers May Reach Cell Phones (KIRO-TV, Seattle)

Wi-Fi gets this bunny hopping (The Seattle Times)


PLANE CRASH AT MASON LAKE – No one was injured when a float plane crashed on Mason Lake Monday. According to the State Patrol, a 1949 Aeronca S15AC aircraft attempted to take off from Mason Lake about 2:30pm. The plane became airborne momentarily but returned to the water. The plane's pontoon struts collapsed and the right wing tip entered the water. The aircraft came to rest right side up and did NOT make contact with any structures, vessels or the shoreline. The float plane was towed ashore by a passing boat. There were two people on board the plane with it crashed. The pilot was William A. Morris, 68 of Shelton. The passenger was Luke T. Aikins, 33 of Graham. The cause of this crash is being investigated by the F-A-A and the National Transportation Safety Board. (KMAS Radio, Shelton)

North Mason Schools Pursuing Land Swap with County – North Mason School District took a big step toward acquiring nearly 40 acres of land near North Mason High School this week. (The Kitsap Sun, may require free registration)

Plastic bags get boot, but paper isn't perfect – Stores try alternatives, ask shoppers to pitch in. Plastic, paper, canvas or polypropylene? Or maybe just a cardboard box? (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)


Malaysia's 'King Tooth' Pulls Train With Teeth In World Record Bid

Death Notice Sent To Man Who's Alive, Well – Health Benefits In Jeopardy

Police Say Impaired Mom Let Son, 5, Drive – Boy Tells Police He Can't Reach Pedals

Squirrel to Blame for Fire in Burbank – A fire destroys an abandoned trailer and four abandoned vehicles this morning.

Dumb pickup lines are revealing, study says

Radio Legend Paul Harvey Turns 89 (National Public Radio)