Thursday, October 4, 2007

News Digest for October 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.


Astute • \uh-STOOT\ • adjective – *1: having or showing shrewdness and perspicacity 2: crafty, wily

The gimlet-eyed member of the censorship board was crushed. He had expected to be assigned to the latest Busby-Berkeley flesh-fest “Gold Diggers of 1933”. To his dismay, the cigar-chomping studio boss smiled grimly while swirling his diamond tie-tack, announcing that the censor’s astute talent was to be applied to a new Marx Brothers film, “Duck Soup”. “And don’t let any of those double-entendres get through editing,” the boss intoned….or it’s curtains for you!”



Chelan County PUD considers automated meters – The PUD is considering switching to automated electric meters that would eliminate the need for house-hopping meter readers. (Wenatchee World)

Power lines needed to prevent blackouts – The U.S. Department of Energy took a stand against electricity blackouts on Tuesday by giving utility companies the ability to override local opposition to power lines. (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News via

Southern California designated national electric corridor – The odds increased Tuesday that San Diego Gas & Electric Co.'s proposed $1.3 billion power line will be built after a wide swath of Southern California was designated a national electric corridor.

Mid-Atlantic Power Firms Win New Federal Backing – The federal government announced yesterday that it was giving power companies new leverage to force landowners to permit the installation of electric transmission lines. (Washington Post)

Georgia TVA nominee loyal to nuclear energy

Report shows industry ramping up debit and credit card acceptance options – With consumers increasingly using credit and debit for everyday purchases, utilities are pumping up electronic options to cater to "generation plastic" (Utility Automation & Engineering)

Former CIA director discusses U.S. energy security – Plug-in hybrid cars are part of the answer in breaking oil's monopoly on the country's transportation system, former Central Intelligence Agency Director James Woolsey said Wednesday. (Tri-City Herald)


Montana – Governor touts state's booming 'restoration economy'. It's not an economy that anyone has quite figured out how to measure, but the business of cleaning up environmental messes is booming. (The Missoulian)

PSE's new system aims to save baby salmon – Puget Sound Energy has a new formula it hopes will allow salmon and dams to mix without the danger. The utility is testing out their new idea at Baker Lake, where the utility's upper dam drops 312 feet. (KOMO-TV, Seattle)

A Tug Boat Ride Down the Snake River – The Modern Day Columbia River – Part Three. Every year, tug boats push millions of tons of products like wheat, barley, potatoes and sawdust up and down the Columbia and Snake Rivers. (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

California – GOP makes ultimatum on dams: Water bill must include funding for new facilities, Republicans say. Assembly Republicans said Wednesday that they will reject any plan to improve the state's water supplies unless it includes funding for new dams. (Contra Costa Times)


Golly, I hat to say I told you so… Clean energy can't meet growing demand – Demand for renewable energy is outstripping supply, pushing up prices and raising the specter that some states may not meet clean-energy mandates. (USA Today)

Olympic Peninsula – Solar tours to show value of sun in rainy places (Peninsula Daily News)

Where to see solar power systems on the North Olympic Peninsula (Peninsula Daily News)

Nev.: Reid Pushes Military on Wind Farms – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, continuing a clean-energy push, said Wednesday he has asked Defense Secretary Robert Gates to get the military to finally decide whether to support potential wind-farm sites in Nevada. (Forbes Magazine)


Bulb brilliance at Wal-Mart as CFLs go mainstream – One of the biggest hurdles to widespread approval of the energy-efficient light bulbs is price, and the big-box company is working on that. (Christian Science Monitor)

Pacific Gas and Electric starts a campaign for better light bulbs – PG&E wants you to use a better bulb. (San Francisco Chronicle)

A New Ball for New Year’s, Brighter Yet More Efficient – Times Square Icon will use LED lights. (NY Times)


Montana – Electric co-ops ponder coal's future, effects of climate change. The future of coal-fired power figured prominently in a panel discussion on climate change Wednesday at the annual meeting of Montana's electric cooperatives at the Heritage Inn in Great Falls. (Great Falls Tribune)

Lawmakers Will Proceed on Climate Plan – Leaders Focus on System of Tradable Allowances for Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Washington Post)


Verizon accused of fraud – …lawsuit charges the firm with overstating subscriber numbers for its new TV service that runs on the network.

GAO: FCC Tips Lobbyists on Phone, Cable Issues – The Government Accountability Office releases a report accusing the Federal Communications Commission of leaking tips to business interests before they're made public. (National Public Radio)

San Francisco, CA – Audit finds city's information technology in disarray. The absence of central oversight and planning in the purchase of computer and information technology by San Francisco City Hall is wasting millions of dollars a year, inhibiting efficient use of government data and creating technological backwaters across municipal government (San Francisco Chronicle)

Networks Are Streaming Into Prime Time Online (Washington Post)


In a Mason County case, high court rules campaign lies is protected free speech – A sharply divided state Supreme Court has ruled that a law that bars political candidates from deliberately making false statements about their opponents violates the First Amendment right of free speech. (The Olympian)

Software upgrades bring down state job-hunting Web site (The Columbian)

Republican Domenici Is Set to Retire From Senate – Senate Republicans are bracing for another potentially costly 2008 retirement, with veteran Sen. Pete V. Domenici (N.M.) expected to announce today that he will not seek a seventh term. (Washington Post)


Mark Morris principal cancels dances – After nagging students five years about freak dancing, Mark Morris High School Principal Chris Fritsch took a stand last week.

Hashish "spacecakes" become chicken-friendly

Drugs hidden in Mr. Potato Head toy;_ylt=AmS5F327mHMtxDu8ve14PKbtiBIF

"Gift rage" lands worker in court?