Thursday, September 20, 2007

News Digest for September 20, 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.


Quidnunc • \KWID-nunk\ • noun – A person who seeks to know all the latest news or gossip: busybody

Bursting with the news, Magda couldn’t resist blurting the latest rumor about the peccadilloes of her co-worker one cubicle over. Unfortunately for her, the company quidnunc (who had overheard the conversation) was fast on his way to the boss with the news, which ultimately spelled doom for Magda’s promotion to “coffee monitor” for section B on floor ten.



State agencies blast Port of Kalama power project plan – Two state agencies and six environmental groups will ask the state's Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council today to grant them intervener status in the public power consortium's efforts to build a $1.5 billion coal gasification plant at the Port of Kalama. (Tri-City Herald)

Seattle Post-Intelligencer Editorial Board – Coal Power: Make the case. The use of coal to provide electrical power looks more dubious every day. The burden of proof rests entirely with a group of public power agencies to defend plans for a coal-based generation facility in Kalama.

Region faces energy quandary – Analysts have long held that electricity consumers would save money by meeting more of the Pacific Northwest's future energy needs through conservation and wind generators, rather than traditional coal or gas. “…Some have proposed breaching dams to assist fisheries and aquatic systems, but the council report warns toppling just four dams on the Lower Snake River would result in an additional 5.4 million tons of CO2 per year, as thermal plants fire up to cover the hydroelectric losses…” (The Missoulan)

Clatskanie PUD board members lash back at Ollila – Two Clatskanie PUD board members took exception Wednesday to written comments by their colleague Rod Ollila, who faces a recall election Tuesday. (The Daily News, Longview)

The Daily News Editorial – Withholding Clatskanie PUD report leaves voters in dark (This’ll be gone tomorrow)

Possible snag in Port Angeles City Light building move – The Port Angeles City council last night voted to reject a bid for the remodeling of space at Airport Industrial Park, for use as an interim Light Operations facility. (KONP Radio, Port Angeles)

Truck on Port Angeles bridge project snares line, cuts power to mill “…a dump truck with its bed extended snagged a high-voltage power line…” (Peninsula Daily News)

Grays Harbor County PUD project at Elk River this weekend (Daily World, Aberdeen)

State regulators to consider plan to unite energy providers – The state’s second largest electric utility believes the time is right to revive a much-discussed plan to unite energy providers throughout the Railbelt. (Fairbanks Daily News-Miner)

California – Tree trimmer electrocuted in Marin. A 26-year-old San Rafael man was electrocuted by a 12,000-volt power line as he trimmed a redwood tree in Marin County, authorities said today. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Canada – Southern Saskatchewan hit by massive blackout

North Carolina – Coal plant draws applause: Proposal will add jobs, tax income; effect on environment criticized. Strong local support Tuesday greeted Duke Energy's plans for its first coal-fired power plant expansion in decades as environmentalists decried what they say is obsolete technology. (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News via

Illinois – Ameren creates new rate relief programs. Ameren Illinois utilities continued rolling out rate relief initiatives with a package designed to help residential customers. (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News via

News Release – Emphasis On Worker Safety Producing Results for Puget Sound Energy – Fewer Injuries and Lost-Work Time as Utility Steps up Safety Training for Employees (Yahoo! Finance)

News Release – Windsor residents say public power is best for consumers and environment – In a telephone poll conducted by the Ontario Electricity Coalition, more than 80% of Windsor residents said they think publicly owned, non-profit utilities are better for consumers and the environment than private corporations. (CNW Group)


Harbor seals discovered dead in unusual numbers – Dead harbor seals are washing ashore in South Sound in higher-than- normal numbers this late-summer season, including four in the past four days, according to Olympia-based Cascadia Research, a marine-mammal research group. (The Olympian)

Salmon Viewing at Gorst Creek This Weekend – Chinook salmon returning to Gorst Creek can be seen Saturday and Sunday during an open viewing event at the City of Bremerton's Jarstad Park. (Kitsap Sun, may require free registration)

BPA News Release – Program puts students into critter habitat feet first


Seattle Times Editorial – Let the wind blow. Gov. Christine Gregoire ruled for the future in deciding to approve a controversial wind farm northwest of Ellensburg.

Wenatchee World Editorial – Local rulings matter not “…State law promotes ... no, demands ... the construction of large wind power projects. There will be many, many more coming. If Eastern Washington NIMBYism is allowed to rule, the entire program will turn to muck…”

Snohomish County PUD tidal power passes first test – Currents in Sound are strong enough to make electricity (Everett Herald)

Ranoke Times Editorial – Highland wind farm keeps moving forward. Virginia should allow the developers to prove that their clean energy project will not match neighbors' fears.The Virginia Supreme Court last week cleared the way for a wind farm in Highland County, at least for now. The next move belongs to the State Corporation Commission, which, despite the sincere concerns of the wind farm's opponents, should approve the project.

PG&E helps Habitat for Humanity go solar – Many eco-conscious Californians love solar power. Few can afford it. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Seattle Post Intelligencer Guest Columnist – Energy Farming Worsens Global Warming. The rush of the world's largest corporations to squeeze car fuel out of food is an effort to force industrialization on the tropics and end small family farming in the industrialized north.

New England Wood Pellets: An Environmentally Superior Source of Heat (;jsessionid=96B7C760EC61B75726E7F2803426B0E3?id=50005&src=rss


Public forum calls for 'Cool Communities' – If the demand for energy in Maine continues to increase at its current rate, 10 new power plants will be needed by 2018. (Democrat News, Dover, New Hampshire)


Tip from Terry Flores @ NW River Partners – National Views on Global Warming, Moore Insight: Our recent survey of U.S. voters confirms global warming is a leading concern among environmental issues. However, in the context of all national issues, it still barely registers. Further, voters are divided in their willingness to pay for programs to fight global warming, and several differences by key subgroup suggest that there will be significant disagreement in how we address global warming as a nation. (Links to PDF File)


Bremerton, Southworth Ferries Waiting for Wi-Fi – Wireless Internet service on the Bremerton-Seattle ferry route has been delayed again (Kitsap Sun, may require free registration)

Verizon gets OK to bundle services in Washington State (Everett Herald)

Qwest tops in West for broadband service – Qwest Communications International Inc. ranked the highest in customer satisfaction for broadband Internet service. (The Denver Business Journal)


MURDERER ESCAPED FROM ARIZONA PRISON STILL AT LARGE, MAY HAVE HAD HELP – Roy Townsend, the convicted murderer from Mason County, remains at large after escaping from a private medium security prison in Florence, Arizona on Monday. At this stage, authorities believe that Townsend had help from friends or family who may have also helped plan the escape. Investigators suspect he may have access to a vehicle. Also, Florence police claim since Townsend had no outside communication for months it is likely that the escape was planned well in advance. Townsend was convicted of arson, theft and murder in the 1996 shooting of Gerald Harkins in Mason County. Townsend is described as a white male, 5 feet 11 inches tall, with black hair and brown eyes. At the time of the escape Townsend was wearing blue jeans and a white T shirt or blue top. Anyone with information on Roy Townsend or his escape should contact law enforcement immediately. (KMAS Radio, Shelton)

Environmental groups petition U.S. to regulate air fresheners – A group of heavyweight environmental organizations is asking the federal government to crack down on air fresheners, products that scientific studies show can aggravate asthma and pose other health risks. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Zoning the 'enemy' of affordable homes – Seattle code needs updating, says housing expert (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)


Bees Escape Hives in Mont. Road Accident

`Leave It to Beaver' actor sues Screen Actors Guild “Golly, you look nice today Mrs. Cleaver!”;_ylt=AsTXFLJWouAl4eh5mNyiXAhI2ocA

$5 bill to have splashes of purple, gray;_ylt=Alec94F_C5kMMw8EpUJNYSlI2ocA

Judge orders burial of mummified baby – A judge has ordered a man to lay an unusual family heirloom to rest: a mummified baby has been passed down for generations.;_ylt=AktZkql83kAwIrnVTTV4JAftiBIF

Couple who wanted baby sue over having twins – A lesbian couple in Australia are suing their doctor after they had twin girls from an in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure when they only wanted one child.;_ylt=AgLci6CRPsWDg9gwr2DYvL3tiBIF

'Queenie' the errant Cow corralled in NY – An errant cow is headed for greener pastures after being corralled by police following a two-mile chase through the streets of Queens.;_ylt=Av_1osRxL4NQEVYTX80mdOrtiBIF