Thursday, September 13, 2007

News Digest for September 13, 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.


Schmegegge • \skmuh-JEGG\ • noun – (Yiddish) baloney; hot air; nonsense; hokum, meaninglessness, nonsense, nonsensicality, bunk

“You little Mensch,” warbled the Rabbi to the trembling Hebrew school student. “Rosh Hashanah began at sundown last night. Anyone who says different is just spouting schmegegge”

You may also want to look up the word mensch. It’s easy and fun. Happy new year everybody!



Power prices set to surge – From expensive construction costs to uncertainty over global warming laws, experts say electricity bills are only headed higher. (CNN Money)

LEWIS COUNTY PUD LOAD GROWTH IS UP – Here’s another sign of Lewis County’s expansion. The demand for power is up sharply at the Lewis County PUD. The so-called “load growth” is up 10 percent. Local power providers describe that as “aggressive." The pervious year’s load growth was 6 percent. A large share of the growth comes from the Cardinal Glass plants. It’s also from the new I-5 retailers in Chehalis, and new housing. (KELA Radio, Centralia/Chehalis)

Oregon – Availability of power is Coos-Curry Electrical Cooperative’s biggest future issue. The biggest issue facing the CCEC in the years to come is not the building of the new transmission line to Brookings, nor who will be the next general manager, but something much more basic. (Curry County Reporter)

Rural electric chief warns of energy challenges – A “perfect storm” is brewing, with the converging issues of climate change and growth in demand for electricity, the CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association said Wednesday in La Crosse. (La Crosse Tribune)

Clatskanie Prepares to Sell $19.5 Million in Bonds for System Expansion and Improvements (Clatskanie Chief)

Okanogan – Fire burns in Manila Creek area of reservation. “…Fire officials are working with Ferry County PUD to shut down power to most of Keller as the fire is burning wooden power poles. The length of the outage is unknown. (Omak Chronicle)

Hopes Dim for Measures to Conserve Energy – The prospect of a comprehensive energy package’s emerging from Congress this fall is rapidly receding, held up by technical hurdles and policy disputes between the House and the Senate and within the parties. (NY Times)

TVA readies petition for new type reactors – On the site of Alabama's biggest unfinished construction site, the Tennessee Valley Authority is developing plans for a new type of nuclear reactor it hopes will be cheaper and safer than those built in the 1970s. (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News via

North Dakota – Carbon dioxide has become most profitable byproduct: Carbon dioxide once spewed freely from the metallic jumble of smokestacks and towers at the Great Plains Synfuels Plant. Now, almost seven years later, carbon dioxide is the most profitable of a lineup of byproducts sold to supplement revenues from the sale of synthetic natural gas. (The Forum)

New Orleans – Businessman Avoids Jail in Dispute With Utility. A Texas businessman avoided jail Wednesday in a dispute with Entergy, the Louisiana electric utility holding company, when a judge approved his letter of apology to the company’s chief executive. (NY Times)


Makah leaders apologize to federal officials – Leaders of the Makah Indian tribe were in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday and expressed regret to federal officials and members of Congress for the unauthorized killing of a gray whale off the coast of Washington state. (KOMO-TV, Seattle)

San Juan County strengthens orca protection laws (KING-TV, Seattle)

Craig's parting shot hurts NW salmon (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Dredging project at full throttle – A fleet of five dredges is scouring the Columbia River bottom in the biggest deployment of manpower since Congress authorized the long-sought project to deepen the river's channel for bigger, modern ships. (The Columbian)

However…3-year effort to fortify jetties nears its end – A deeper upriver channel is useless if ships can't pass through the notoriously rough Columbia River bar. (The Columbian)

Fishing – Salmon fishing options abound (Seattle Times)

Prison's leak costs state $220,000 Agency will pay City of Monroe for 19 million gallons of water – The state Department of Corrections has agreed to pay the city for 19 million gallons of water lost through a leaky pipe at its prison complex. (Everett Herald)

Groundbreaking set for Elwha water treatment plant (KONP Radio, Port Angeles)

Problem dams on the rise in US (Christian Science Monitor)

Water bottle company uses Clallam County PUD well – The only water bottle company in Jefferson County that delivers to homes and businesses gets its water from a Clallam County Public Utility District well in Sequim.

Washington State recycling plan could be poison for other countries (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Ecology fines Manke Lumber Co. $16,000 – A Tacoma Tideflats sawmill and wood-pellet producer has been fined $16,000 for violations of its stormwater discharge permit, officials said. (The News Tribune, Tacoma)


Emerald People's Utility District `walks the talk' on solar – The shamrock-colored roof atop the EPUD headquarters just got a little greener. This even though 90 black panels - each 5 feet long - now obscure much of EPUD's green metal roof. (The Register-Guard)

Discount retailer Costco making solar conversions – Costco is looking to turn Hawaiian sunshine into electricity in order to save on costs. (Associated Press, via the Olympian)


How to build political backing for a better light bulb – It's a bright idea: Get one of the Senate's biggest skeptics of the causes of global warming to co-sponsor legislation that encourages conservation. (Seattle Times)


Federal judge gives boost to states on limiting vehicle emissions (San Francisco Chronicle)

Olympia dips into coffers to bring high-profile warming experts to town “…The council will pay each speaker $12,500 — plus travel and lodging costs — from discretionary funds…” (The Olympian)


Google in Oregon: Mother Nature Meets the Data Center (Information Week, thanks to the tip from John Bennett);jsessionid=MUZLGMKHW0NEYQSNDLRSKH0CJUNN2JVN?queryText=google+is+building+data+centers

And here are the pictures of the mysterious “Google Complex” and its environs;jsessionid=5YVE1EY4SE2HYQSNDLRSKH0CJUNN2JVN?galleryID=62&noCache=true

Qwest pulls bid to ease price rules – Qwest withdrew a petition with federal regulators late Tuesday that sought to ease restrictions on what the Baby Bell can charge competitors for access to its communications network. (Denver Post)

Columnist Timothy Karr – Exposing the Justice Department's Hit Job against an Open Internet (The Huffington Post)

At Home, Cheaper Alternatives to Office – In the workplace, Microsoft Office is as inevitable as drawn-out meetings and bad coffee. But Microsoft's combination of Word, Excel and PowerPoint is not the only way to write, crunch numbers or prepare slideshows. And for home users, it isn't even the best way anymore. (Washington Post)


Man dies after falling almost 70 feet from tree in Spokane, WA (KREM-TV, Spokane via the Columbian)


Can't quit chocolate? Don't fret, it's no addiction

Surfer rescues dog swept off Mich. Pier;_ylt=AnRh2aIs.86O5IiqFcX8GlLtiBIF

Woman drives stolen car to courthouse;_ylt=AnsBa08l01CxP8ywd0CDfpLtiBIF

Couple tries to name child '@'