Monday, October 8, 2007

News Digest for October 8, 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.


Orgulous • \OR-gyuh-lus\ • adjective: proud

“Pride goeth before a fall,” muttered Ambrose as his opponent strutted to the center circle of the arena at the National Tiddlywinks Championships. The hand-slapping lap around the stadium, the orgulous appearance, the tossing of personalized chips into the stands did nothing to hide the weakness of Ambrose’ opponent: an obvious hangnail on his thumb. “I must break you,” was the first thing Ambrose growled as they met at the center table.


Seattle readies for winter storms – City and county urge residents to be prepared (Seattle P-I)


PUBLIC POWER WEEK THIS WEEK – Mason County PUD No. 3 is celebrating Public Power Week this week along with more than 2,000 other electric utilities that provide their citizens electricity services on a not-for-profit basis. Public Power Week celebrates affordable electricity and wholesale telecommunications services for customers in Mason County. The week-long observation also honors the democratic tradition of community decision-making that led to the founding of the PUD in the 1934 general election. PUD 3 began serving homes with electricity in 1939. PUD 3's Public Power Week activities include a daily drawing (Monday through Friday) for a multi-pack of compact fluorescent light bulbs at both the Shelton and Belfair offices. Public Power Week is celebrated in conjunction with the American Public Power Association (APPA) in Washington, D.C. APPA is a national service organization for community and state-owned electric utilities. Mason County PUD No. 3 is a locally controlled public utility that provides electricity to nearly 32,000 customer/owners in most of Mason County and small portions of Kitsap and Grays Harbor Counties. PUD 3 also provides wholesale telecommunications services to its customers through a fiber optic network. (KMAS Radio, Shelton)

Tri-County Electric marks National Cooperative Month – "Cooperatives: Owned by Our Members, Committed to Our Communities" is the theme of the national annual celebration of cooperatives. (The Times Democrat, Orangeburg, SC)

County, feds seek public opinion on gas terminal – Cowlitz County and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will host a series of open houses this fall to gather public's opinion of a Houston company's plans to build a liquefied natural gas terminal in Bradwood, Ore. (The Daily News, Longview)

Carbon issue raises quandary – Beneath the towering smokestacks of the state's largest single producer of greenhouse gases -- the Colstrip coal-fired power plant -- Montana lawmakers last week began to unravel the daunting legal and economic questions raised by the state's drive to mitigate climate change. (Jackson Hole Star-Tribune)

Nuclear Power Primed for Comeback – Demand, Subsidies Spur U.S. Utilities (Washington Post)

Case could benefit Enron investors – High Court's Fraud Case Widely Seen as Stand-In for Enron (Washington Post)

Ohio – Ohio's electric utilities divided on Strickland energy proposal. What had so far been a united front presented by Ohio's utilities fractured yesterday as the parent of Toledo Edison trashed Gov. Ted Strickland's energy plan and another utility serving the Cincinnati area largely endorsed it (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, via

Western energizes first segment of transmission line along Colorado River in Arizona – The Western Area Power Administration (Utility Automation & Engineering)

New York – Region's energy needs debated. Is the massive power line that could slice our region necessary? (Times Herald Record, Hudson Valley)

California – 'Flying rope' is tool for Pacific Gas & Electric – Copter lowers lines to utility workers atop power poles. (Sacramento Bee, may require free registration)

FERC News Release – Commission accepts consensus, orders facilitation for PJM Settlement Case

United Kingdom – Energy firms 'plagued' by thieves. Theft of copper cables from power substations in the East Midlands continues to plague electricity firms and customers. (THE- BBC)


Chinook count at Ballard Locks hits record level – A record number of threatened Chinook salmon are passing through the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard this year, bound for East King County rivers. (Seattle Times)

Cormorants conquer the Columbia – Once ignored, a fish-hungry bird overruns an island at the gateway to endangered salmon runs, leaving biologists at a loss (The Oregonian)

Yakima River has bad grass “… it covers salmon spawning grounds and fishing holes…(and) begins to extract from the water oxygen needed by fish and aquatic animals…” (Tri-City Herald)

Shampoo, coffee, etc., harming fish in area rivers (The Daily News, Longview)

Maggots may be answer to fatter trout, less waste – Cow manure. Fish guts. Black soldier fly maggots. It could soon be dinner, if you're an Idaho rainbow trout. (The Associated Press via the Seattle Times)

Canada - Salmon need help to survive climate change. Warming waters will render some streams uninhabitable as global warming takes its toll (Globe and Mail)

Canada – Conservation group says its not too late to save Pacific salmon fishery. The collapse of last summer's Fraser River sockeye run was the latest red flag that climate change may be threatening the once abundant stocks of B.C. salmon. (The Canadian Press)

Oil found beneath old Port Angeles landfill (KONP Radio, Port Angeles)

Ephrata water rates increase – Funds to be used for road repairs (Columbia Basin Herald: Now here’s a unique use of enterprise fund revenues)


Washington State a leader in new energy sources – The Evergreen State is getting greener. When it comes to developing renewable energy sources, Washington is among the fastest growing states in the U.S. It ranks No. 3 this year (News Tribune, Tacoma)

Tapping tidal energy: the wave of the future – The future of clean power in the Northwest may look like the 75-foot-tall yellow buoy now bobbing like a cork in the waves off the Oregon coast. (Seattle Times)

Ethanol plant begins production – The Northwest's first ethanol plant rises from an arid tract of land along the Columbia River, where trainloads of Midwest corn are being turned into 200-proof alcohol motor fuel and cattle feed. (Seattle Times)

The drive for bio-fuels – A refinery boom emerges as questions arise about the benefits of using food crops for fuel “...Much of the green fuel produced in the Northwest could end up in other states…” (The Oregonian)

Florida – Wind making great strides as energy provider (Palm Beach Post)

Australia – Energy plan confuses wind farm companies. The federal government's clean energy target - expected to replace state-based schemes by 2010 - is causing uncertainty for renewable energy providers, a company behind plans to build a $2 billion wind farm in NSW says. (The West Australian)

Scaling Geothermal for Reliable Baseload Power (Renewable Energy Access)

Energy Lost From Hot Engines Could Save Billions If Converted Into Electricity (Science Daily)


Kansas – Energy efficiency moving to front burner. Utilities might be forced to establish conservation programs (Lawrence Journal-World)

News Release – Esurance Helps Light the Way for Energy Conservation in San Francisco. Auto Insurance Company Works With Lights Out San Francisco (CNN Money)

News Release – Detroit Edision Offers Tips To Save Energy and Manage Heating Bills This Winter (Yahoo! Finance)


Seattle P-I Columnist Joel Connelly – For West, climate change is about water

Seattle P-I Guest Columnist – Neo-Terraforming? The last green taboo: engineering the planet


Portland, OR – Free Wi-Fi's future seems up in the air – The future of Portland's experiment with free wireless Internet access appears precarious after city officials said wireless contractor MetroFi Inc. plans to stop expanding the Wi-Fi network. (The Oregonian – Ha, Ha…very clever headline)

(Meanwhile, who’s on first?) MetroFi says wireless network will expand – The company that administers Portland's free wireless Internet system said a miscommunication with the city may have led to reports that it will no longer expand the network. (Portland Business Journal)

High-speed broadband network could be a cash cow for Edmonds (Everett Herald)

Major Internet hubs' influence declines as ad networks extend (Associated Press, via the Columbian)

Internet's unsung guardians labor in obscurity to keep Web moving – Ask Derek Schlecht what he does for a living and he'll tell you he's an IBX site engineer. He may then hit you with a string of technical jargon about cooling units and backup power systems. What Schlecht's job really is, though, is keeping the Internet running. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Users' complaints to FTC show another side of Google (San Francisco Chronicle)

Texas – Verizon, Time Warner going head-to-head. In a world of fiber optic wonder, there’s little room to fathom what could possibly be next. (Plano Courier-Star)

Server farm goes solar – A data storage company generates all its own power using solar panels. (CNN Money)

The Greening of Google – Corporate rooftops are the latest frontier in solar energy generation (Spectrum Online)

Preoccupations – E-Mail Is Easy to Write (and to Misread) (NY Times)


Fuel leak suspected in Tacoma blast – Investigators say it could take days to determine what caused a propane tanker truck to explode, igniting a massive fireball that shut down a highway, cut power to thousands and injured four. (Seattle P-I)

LOOK! We’re in the New York Times! Law on Lies by Politicians Is Found Unconstitutional (NY Times)

When it’s metal, even scrap is precious – World market raises value of copper, aluminum, more (News Tribune, Tacoma)

For Wood Carver and Business Owner, Allyn Story Pole ‘Is Our Lasting Contribution' – What was once a more than 80-foot tall cedar tree sitting in front of Keith Chamberlain's Allyn business will soon be transformed into a 40-foot story pole complete with salmon, owls, orca, great blue herons, evergreen trees and an eagle thanks to George Kenny's carving skills. (Kitsap Sun, may require free registration)


That appendix might be useful to you after all – Some scientists think they have figured out the real job of the troublesome and seemingly useless appendix: It produces and protects good germs for your gut.

Giant pumpkin secrets told – Gourd growers go for the gusto in the quest for great girth. Rumor has it there's a giant among giant pumpkins -- a 1,600-pounder -- growing in Don Young's Iowa garden.

Helium shortage threatens to deflate balloon business

Oops! Bush's Visit Takes Wind Out of Antique Airplane Show

(From the gimme a break file) Case Tests Boundaries of Prayer in Sports