Monday, September 17, 2007

News Digest for September 17, 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.


Salubrious • \suh-LOO-bree-us\ • adjective – favorable to or promoting health or well-being

“C’mon dear, just take the spoonful of medicine like a good boy,” cooed Derwent’s mother. Even as a inarticulate child the boy knew that all salubrious brews smelled awful. “If only she’d give that dreck to me with a spoonful of sugar…the medicine would go down a lot better,” his inner voice intoned.



Test may map way for power project – On a larger scale; the test could lead to a new way to capture carbon dioxide that will play into where future power plants can be placed. A test that could be a key part of a $2 billion power project as well as a new tool to fight global warming may literally be going down early next year. (Walla Walla Union-Bulletin)

New York Subpoenas 5 Energy Companies – Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo of New York has opened an investigation of five large energy companies, questioning whether their plans to build coal-fired power plants pose undisclosed financial risks that their investors should know about. (NY Times)

Chelan County PUD surplus power sales double budgeted estimate – Public meetings focus on rate hikes, despite soaring revenues. Randy Lowe, executive manager of energy resources, reported that the PUD is having a good year so far in wholesale sales. (Leavenworth Echo)

Buffett, Gates, Pickens May Profit From Texas Power Shortage – Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Boone Pickens expect to profit from the rising electricity prices paid by the 23 million people of Texas. (Bloomberg News Service)

Commentary: Nuclear is risky; energy conservation is proven – From a limited perspective, it may appear that additional energy generation from nuclear power is necessary because of San Antonio's burgeoning population. (San Antonio Express-News)

Public dollars at work – The man who oversees the Northwest's only nuclear plant is the Tri-Cities' best-paid public official. (Tri0City Herald)

Nuclear Jobs – The nation's largest federally-owned utility plans to go on a hiring binge. The Tennessee Valley Authority says that it likely needs to bring on thousands of employees to construct and operate a slew of nuclear power plants that may get built in the Southeast. (PowerMarketers Industry Publications)

Alaska – Force utilities to cooperate, MEA requests. It's now or never for utility cooperatives between Homer and Fairbanks to combine generation plans and tie together South-central Alaska energy consumers, Matanuska Electric Association administrators say. (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News via

Alaska – Tanana will experiment with conversion to propane. Tanana is teaming up with the state on an ambitious demonstration project to use propane from the North Slope for heating, hot water, electricity and more. (Fairbanks Daily News-Miner)

Douglas Dam keeps up with technology – From its beginnings powering the development of the atomic bomb to recent upgrades that help protect the environment and streamline energy production, Douglas Dam has a long history of innovation. (Mountain News)

News Release – LPPC calls for full review of wholesale competition in organized markets
Net consumer benefits must be Commission’s priority. “…Claiming that organized markets have resulted in a “substantial transfer of wealth from customers to the generation sector…” (Electric Energy Online)

SITECRAFTING TO BUILD TACOMA PUBLIC UTILITIES’ WEB SITE – Tacoma Public Utilities recently announced it has awarded the redesign and development of its main Web site, plus sites for its three operating divisions — Tacoma Power, Tacoma Water and Tacoma Rail — to Tacoma-based SiteCrafting Inc. Plans include an updated design, and development of a robust platform and custom content management system for Tacoma Public Utilities. The project also includes an online permitting application that will allow the utility's business customers to view existing inspections related to permits they have applied for. Users will be able to request a change to or cancellation of an inspection appointment and request new inspections for existing permits. The four sites are scheduled to launch in February, with the online permitting application following. (South Sound Business Examiner)

Oregon – Economic developer to join Central Lincoln PUD management team (Newport News-Times)


Salmon plan's critics locked on single issue – Critics of the latest salmon recovery plan instantly dismissed it as more of the same. The problem, of course, is that the proposal doesn't call for breaching dams, and anything less is anathema to these true believers. Their knee-jerk position, however, is scientifically suspect and politically futile. (Tri-City Herald)

Salmon Spawn Baby Trout in Experiment – Papa salmon plus mama salmon equals ... baby trout? Japanese researchers put a new spin on surrogate parenting as they engineered one fish species to produce another, in a quest to preserve endangered fish. (The Associated Press)

Tough season for Columbia river tribal fishermen (KATU-TV, Portland)

First big step in Elwha Dam removal taken – Federal, city and tribal officials marked the start of a project necessary for the planned removal of the Elwha River dams Friday. (Peninsula Daily News)

An 'Offal' Meal for Idaho Trout – Cow manure and fish guts and maggots. It could all soon be dinner - if you're an Idaho rainbow trout. (Associated Press)

The Olympian Editorial – Capitol Lake study needs timely finish. The lake vs. estuary debate continues to divide this community as it has divided the committee assigned to decide whether to leave man-made Capitol Lake as it is, or remove the Fifth Avenue dam and let the lake revert to a marine estuary. "We've been dinking around with this for 10 years. It's time to get it done."

Water issues separate cranberry growers, landowner – To cranberry growers, Johnson Creek's water gurgling from the hills through stands of alder trees and cranberry bogs on its short trip to the ocean is "liquid gold." (Associated Press)

Oregonians throwing away more than ever – Since Oregon passed the nation's first bottle bill in the early 1970s it has been touted as a leader in recycling. (Associated Press)


The renewable energy future – Wind farms and solar energy have great potential -- but there are still clouds on the horizon. (Los Angeles Times. And Robert Zimmerman gets another 25 cents),1,2388408.story?coll=la-news-comment&ctrack=1&cset=true

New York – Bidder has new interest in Long Island wind farm. Weeks after Long Island Power Authority chairman Kevin Law said he would terminate a planned 40-turbine wind farm off the South Shore, a second bidder for the project is expressing renewed interest in taking it on. (Newsday)

Solar farm at sewage plant will be studied – Medford's City Council has approved exploring construction of a 15-acre, 11,000-panel solar farm at the regional sewage treatment plant. (The Associated Press)

The alternatives to alternative energy – Entrepreneurs look beyond solar and wind, to algae, giant kites, lightning (MSNBC)

Ethanol sparks food fight between corn growers and buyers (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

S.F. nonprofit's energy vision lights Nicaraguan villages' future – Wind, solar power sources provided free to remote areas (San Francisco Chronicle)


San Francisco Chronicle Editorial – A bright way to cut energy. State energy regulators just issued a decision allowing commercial building owners to charge tenants based on the amount of electricity each tenant actually uses.


The Olympian Editorial – Climate change event mishandled. Surely the Olympia City Council could have found a better use for the $25,000 they will spend to bring two environmental authors to town next month for a lecture on climate change.

State's emissions measure faces federal challenge – Washington state's effort to help control global warming could suffer a serious setback later this year when federal regulators are expected to block new standards designed to reduce by nearly one-third greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks. (The Olympian)

Wenatchee World Editorial – Dreaming a carbon fantasy

One Answer to Global Warming: A New Tax (NY Times)

Is California the world's last best hope against climate change? When it comes to energy, California has often been seen as the Promised Land. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Evangelicals and environmentalists are surprising allies – Creation care divides evangelicals in Idaho and the nation, and a Boise congregation and its pastor are among those at the heart of the debate. (Idaho Statesman)

Canada – Fuel incentive fad is eco-foolish: “…What concerns me…is the way the provincial and federal governments pick winners and losers on my behalf in the name of waging war on global warming.” (Vancouver Sun)


EU Court Dismisses Microsoft Appeal, Upholds $613M Fine – A European court has dealt a major blow to Microsoft, upholding a lower court ruling that the company is an abusive monopoly out to bury the competition. (KIRO-TV, Seattle)

Web 2.0 market may be slowing – There are some preliminary signs that investors in Web 2.0 startups may be taking a breather. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Seattle Times Editorial – Free the Internet ...

Seattle Times Editorial... Build broadband: the Internet is an important conduit to commerce and innovation, a medium that has wildly exciting communication potential. Yet, the United States' paltry broadband network lags behind most of the industrialized world.

Sharing could use community to provide free Wi-Fi – The recent collapse of San Francisco's plan to provide free Wi-Fi has spawned a new, community-based effort that could provide a model for other cities that have found themselves in the same situation. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Cable vs. Satellite TV Slugfest – But Watch Out for Fiber Optic. While Cable and Satellite continue their battle in the ever-crowded race among TV service providers, the newest TV entrant – Fiber Optics – appears ready to come on strong. (Seeking Alpha)

Back to School: Reading, Writing and Internet Safety – As students return to school in Virginia, there's something new in their curriculum. Virginia is the first state to require public schools to teach Internet safety. (National Public Radio)


Execs in scandal at Met Mortgage settle with SEC – Several key figures in the Metropolitan Mortgage & Securities accounting scandal have agreed to settle lawsuits filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission. (Seattle Times)

Two Wash. murderers escape from prison (Townsend, 37, was convicted of arson and murder in the shooting death of Gerald Harkins in Mason County.) KOMO-TV, Seattle

FATAL CRASH ON HIGHWAY 3 – A Grapeview man died Sunday night in a single vehicle crash on Highway 3 south Allyn. According to the State Patrol, 43-year-old Edward L. Koller was southbound on SR-3 in a 1993 Chrysler LaBaron about 8:30pm. Near the intersection with Grapeview Loop Road North, the Chrysler crossed the northbound lane and left the roadway to the left, coming to rest on the northbound embankment about 20 feet from the highway. Koller was transported to Mason General Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Cause of the crash is under investigation. (KMAS Radio, Shelton)

USA Today – At 25, ‘McPaper’ Is All Grown Up (NY Times)


Man in China dies after three-day Internet session – A Chinese man dropped dead after playing Internet games for three consecutive days, state media said on Monday, as China seeks to wean Internet addicts offline.

Duck! Here comes Super Teacher! A Japanese teacher who threw a chair at his students was named "super teacher" by the local board of education

"Dead" man wakes up under autopsy knife

Baboon adopts chicken at zoo