Wednesday, October 3, 2007

News Digest for October 3, 2007, the belated edition

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.


Lodestone • \LOAD-stoan\ • noun – 1: magnetite possessing polarity *2: something that strongly attracts

When trying to come up with the example sentence for the word of the day, my inner “Douglas Adams” can unfortunately become the lodestone for my mental wanderings; sometimes with eerie, otherworldly results.


Early season snow advisories issued for Washington Cascades (The Columbian)


Colorado – Five Workers Dead After Power Plant Fire. Five workers trapped at least 1,500 feet underground survived an initial chemical fire at a hydroelectric plant, but died before emergency workers could rescue them. (Associated Press via the Washington Post)

Colorado – Power Plant Workers Initially Survived Fire – Underground Fire Killed 5 Xcel Energy Contractors (KIRO-TV, Seattle)

MASON COUNTY PUD No. 3 SUPPORTS FORMATION OF SECOND HOSPITAL DISTRICT – The Mason County Public Utility District Number Three Board of Commissioners has adopted a resolution that supports the formation of Mason County Public Hospital District Number Two. In its resolution, the P.U.D. 3 Commissioners state that a goal of the P.U.D. is to maintain and enhance the quality of life for its customers, and having excellent healthcare available to the citizens is a key component in quality of life. On November 6th, voters in the North Mason area will be asked to form a second public hospital district and be asked to tax themselves in order for Kitsap-based Harrison Medical Center to locate and operate an urgent care clinic in Belfair. The P.U.D. 3 Commissioners voted Tuesday to support that ballot proposal. (KMAS Radio, Shelton)

Casey won’t back Timmons for Grays Harbor County PUD Board – The two remaining Grays Harbor PUD Commissioners are taking applications for the seat once held by Diane Ellison (The Daily World, Aberdeen)

Timmons says he’s still the best candidate (The Daily World)

Snohomish County PUD budget includes money for new power lines, substations (The Everett Herald)

Okanogan County PUD board names new general manager – PUD commissioners named John Grubich of Fairbanks, Alaska, as general manager Oct. 2. (Omak Chronicle)

Idaho Governor: Solar, wind too expensive, so ID should focus on nukes – Idaho should bolster its ties to the nuclear power industry to underpin economic growth and curb greenhouse gas emissions because alternative energy sources like solar or wind are too costly (The Associated Press)

Montana – Never mind the typos, just sign it: Great Falls City Commissioners approve power contract. Proofreading became a big issue at a City Commission meeting Tuesday night as commissioners unanimously approved a new wholesale power contract. (Great Falls Tribune)

Montana – Group head: Co-ops must get in on grassroots activities. There's no question that climate change is a national issue, David Wheelihan, Montana Electric Cooperative Association chief executive officer, told the more than 300 people at the organization's annual meeting Tuesday.

Enron accuses Citigroup of muzzling ex-staff – The claim reignites a lawsuit over whether the bank and others schemed to misstate the energy company's finances (The Oregonian)

Appeals court: keep pipeline data under wraps for now (The Columbian)

Oregon – LNG decision falls on county's shoulders. Clatsop County Planning Commission recommends approving rezoning for Bradwood Landing (The Astorian)

British Columbia’s far northwest will finally get electricity – $400-million initiative will bring power to communities now using diesel generators (The Vancouver Sun)

Canada – Electricity coalition brings campaign to stop hydro privatization to Niagara. The Ontario Electricity Coalition brings its campaign for public power to the Niagara region tomorrow. (CNW News Service)


Still Waters Run Deep And Deadly For Columbia River Salmon – The Modern Day Columbia River – Part II (Oregon Public Radio)

Endangered white sturgeon stolen from Bonneville hatchery (The Associated Press)

California – Lake poisoning seems to have worked to kill invasive pike – There may be something that is still alive in Lake Davis, but crews with the state Department of Fish and Game have not yet found it. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Canada – First Nations in B.C., Alberta, to fight construction of new dam. First Nations in British Columbia and Alberta vowed to fight plans to build a new hydro dam near Fort St. John in northeastern B.C., a band chief said Monday. (CBC News)

Cities want to proceed with property water rights case – On the heels of the lender's request to proceed with the foreclosure sale of the former Miller brewery, the cities of Lacey, Olympia and Tumwater seek court authority to proceed with their lawsuit to condemn the property's water rights. (The Olympian)

NY Times Editorial – Pipe Dreams: The need to replace aging pipes and equipment over the next two decades offers an opportunity to reinvent the way we deliver our drinking water.


North Carolina – Put teeth in energy law, urge critics: Alternative-energy companies want utilities to be fined if they don't use renewable power as rules spell out. A contentious alternative-energy law is generating sparks again. This time, the dispute is about whether electric utilities should be fined for failing to meet their obligation to sell electricity generated from alternative-energy sources, (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News via


Singin’ for their Supper – Speakers exhort crowd to act on Earth’s behalf. Two environmental authors roused a crowd of about 1,000 people Tuesday night at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, calling for action to stop global warming. “…They were paid $12,500 each plus lodging and expenses for their appearances...” (The Olympian)

Chelan County PUD approves principles on climate change – PUD commissioners Monday approved seven principles designed by PUD staff to steer the utility’s role in future debate about meeting state- and federally mandated goals of reducing air pollution. (Wenatchee World)


Unlike U.S., Japanese Push Fiber over Profit – The United States may be the world’s largest economy, but when it comes to Internet connections at home, many Americans still live in the slow lane. By contrast, Japan is a broadband paradise with the fastest and cheapest Internet connections in the world. (New York Times)

Chelan County PUD fiber planned for Plain, part of Entiat next year – Fiber-optics-starved residents of Plain, Lake Wenatchee and a part of Entiat are scheduled to get Chelan County PUD fiber-optic service by mid- to late 2008, PUD officials said Monday. (Wenatchee World)

Sprint Presses for Cheaper Access to Broadband Lines – Sprint Nextel is picking a fight with the country's largest phone companies over the price it pays for access to their fastest networks. (Washington Post)

GAO Slams FCC For Leaks – The General Accounting Office has issued a report (pdf) slamming the FCC for leaking information to companies and lobbyists while leaving consumer advocates and the public in the dark. The study found lobbyists are given ample information on when (and sometimes how) the agency plans to vote, while consumer advocates get no such insight. (Broadband Reports – Note: Comments section may contain PG-13 language)

Seattle Times Guest Columnist – FCC fiddles while nation's broadband falls behind

More storage for Google e-mail – Google Inc. is sprucing up its corporate e-mail service by adding new security tools and more than doubling the storage capacity. (The Associated Press)

77 Arrested in E-Mail Scam Crackdown (San Francisco Chronicle)

Van De Wege’s IPZ Legislation A Boon for Grays Harbor – High-tech economic development is a key component for a bright future on the Harbor. (KBKW Radio, Aberdeen)


PORT OF SHELTON TO FILE SUIT TO REMOVE FUEL TANK – The Port of Shelton is filing a lawsuit in order to have the final fuel tank removed from the former C.C. Cole property. Recently, caution tape was put around the tank across Highway 3 from the Shelton Yacht Club but that does NOT meet the Port's requirement of removal work beginning by last Tuesday. Next week, the Port's Attorney will be filing a summons and complaint. This lawsuit will ask the court to uphold the purchase agreement for the property adjacent to the Oakland Bay Marina. That agreement states that all the fuel tanks be removed and the soil clean. The Port needs the tank removed to allow them to proceed with landscaping and paving work. (KMAS Radio, Shelton)

NEXT YEAR'S MASON COUNTY FAIR WILL FEATURE FREE ADMISSION – The Mason County Fair will celebrate its 100th year in 2008 and the Fair's board plans on letting every one in for free. According to Dawn Twiddy, the Fair's Director, a free gate will draw in people who may not know what is inside the fairgrounds. In order to do this, sponsorships are needed. A building sponsorship package has been set up for each building and arena for $1,000. The main stage sponsorship is $5,000. With a sponsorship, your business' banner will be displayed for the year. Other sponsorships are also available. For more information, contact the Fair Office at (360) 427-7789. Donations can also be sent to the Mason County Fair, P.O. Box 2286, Shelton, 98584. (KMAS Radio, Shelton)

Did last year's winter storm result in a "baby boomlet?" (Seattle Times)


Man Accused Of Stealing 123 Parking Meters – Meters Found In Man's Home

Man Accused Of Trying To Flee From Police While Riding Lawnmower Drunk

Courts asked to decide if song too holy for school – A former Everett student wants a higher court to decide whether an instrumental version of "Ave Maria" is too holy for high school.

Minister accused of ripping off Ore. Newlyweds

Tree-sitters add perches as University of California goes back to court