Thursday, October 11, 2007

News Digest for October 11, 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.


Terrestrial • \tuh-RESS-tree-ul\ • adjective – 1a: of or relating to the earth or its inhabitants b: mundane in scope or character: prosaic 2a: of or relating to land as distinct from air or water *b: living on or in or growing from land

“Golly mister,” the adenoidal fan-boy said to the green-skinned visitor, “are you an extra-terrestrial.” “No sonny,” the visitor squeaked, his antenna swiveling. “I’m the only one.”



Former PacifCorp Exec – BPA adds Anita Decker as chief operating officer (Portland Business Journal)

Bonneville cleanup targets 'hot spots' – In 1969, workers disposed of three old electrical capacitors by simply shoving them into the Columbia River. (The Columbian)

BPA is in this report – Joint Statement of Henry M. Paulson, Jr., Secretary of the Treasury, And Jim Nussle, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, on Budget Results for Fiscal Year 2007 (US Treasury – Scroll down to see summary of Bonneville Power Administration results)

Kittitas Co. going to court to block wind farm near Ellensburg – Kittitas County officials have decided to appeal Gov. Chris Gregoire's approval of a wind farm 12 miles northwest of town, saying it would be too close to homes and a blight on the rural landscape. (Seattle P-I)

Recall Charges Filed Against Kittitas County Commissioners – The debate over wind farms in Kittitas County has taken a new turn. A local man files charges against all three Kittitas County Commissioners to have them removed from office. (KNDO-TV, Tri-Cities)

Seattle Times Guest columnist – (Governor’s) Decision on wind farm sets a dangerous precedent

Natural gas price dip likely won’t last – Natural gas customers had better enjoy the drop in their bills this winter, because the rate relief probably won't last. (The Olympian)

Meanwhile, Natural gas supply good -- for now, but LNG terminal needed – Officials say the natural gas supply in Washington is good - at least for this winter. (The Associated Press, via the Olympian)

Rail line into Montana coal country gets OK from feds (Power Engineering)

Port Angeles City Council moves ahead with sale of city light building (KONP Radio, Port Angeles)

West Virginia – PSC can't determine cause of deadly Canaan Valley explosion. A cracked pipeline caused a deadly natural gas explosion that killed four men at a Canaan Valley home building site in April 2006, according to a state Public Service Commission report. (Charleston Daily Mail)

Michigan – Electrical workers say no to DTE pact. Rejection could start clock on strike deadline at energy supplier's plants, including Fermi II and Monroe. (The Detroit News)

Illinois – Ameren unveils its ‘real-time’ power plan. Residential customers of AmerenCIPS, AmerenIP and AmerenCILCO have the option of enrolling in a “real-time pricing” program, which would let them pay hourly, market-based prices for electricity instead of traditional flat rates. (Springfield Journal Record)

Ohio Supreme Court hears AEP/PUCO case – The Supreme Court of Ohio is considering an appeal from the Ohio Consumers' Counsel asking that nearly $24 million American Electric Power Company Inc. charged to Ohio customers between 2006 and 2007 be returned. (Columbus Business First)

Regulator's discussions about KCP&L rate case violated Missouri law, watchdog says (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, via

Pelosi Plans Informal Negotiations on Energy Bill – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told key committee chairmen yesterday that she does not plan to convene a formal conference committee on an energy bill but that informal negotiations will be held to produce a final measure. (Washington Post)

EPA Joins Settlement of Lawsuit but Adds a Waiver – Although the Environmental Protection Agency joined in a legal settlement this week to force the largest power-plant pollution cleanup in U.S. history, the Bush administration signaled in the agreement that it has no intention of taking enforcement actions against the utility for the same kind of Clean Air Act violations in the future. (Washington Post)


New danger to Puget Sound orcas – Government biologists say a new threat to Puget Sound orcas comes from our computers, our clothes, or even your TV. (KOMO-TV, Seattle)

Samish Tribe tries to regain fishing rights it lost 2 decades ago – The Samish Tribe was back in federal court Wednesday, arguing for a motion to revisit a landmark ruling that stripped the Northwest tribe of its fishing rights more than 25 years ago. (Seattle P-I)

River fishing slows; chum trickle into Hood Canal, South Sound – Fishing slowed in southwest Washington rivers this week compared with the previous week, but overall fishing continues to be fair. (The Olympian)

Columbia River Gorge's poor air quality fuels alarm – Gorge air is still grimy, gritty and hazy, while the pollution solution is needlessly evasive. It doesn't require a plume of black smoke visible from Vancouver to determine there's an air pollution problem in the Columbia River Gorge. (The Columbian)

Court reversal: Water will flow to Eastside farmland; city to appeal – A Douglas County judge changed his mind Friday and will allow the East Wenatchee Water District to expand into 4,000 rural acres several miles east of East Wenatchee, but the city plans to appeal the ruling. (Wenatchee World)

Congressional Research Reports – Safe Drinking Water Act: Selected Regulatory and Legislative Issues


Oregon – How pure is your power? Turbines - Forest Grove Light & Power lets customers buy electricity generated by the wind (The Forest Grove News-Times)

Ethanol push could threaten water supplies – When it comes to solving the fossil fuel crisis, it seems like every silver lining comes accompanied by a dark cloud. (The Associated Press, via Globe and Mail)

Students compete to design solar homes – Full-size 'Solar Decathlon' entries populate Washington's Mall Oct. 12-19. (Christian Science Monitor)


Canada – Deregulation trashes conservation (Edmonton Sun)

Pennsylvania – Who will pull plug on electric use? With electricity bills across most of Pennsylvania set to jump in a couple years when rate caps expire, a scramble is on at the Capitol to see how that might be averted. (CNN Money)


Calculating the carbon cost of more lanes of Seattle freeway – Environmentalists like those of the Sierra Club aren't happy about the pavement portion of Proposition 1, the $17 billion roads-and-transit measure on the November ballot. So in terms of the carbon footprint, how bad is it? (Crosscut)

British Columbia to legislate greenhouse gas limits – The B.C. government will turn its promise to reduce greenhouse gas emissions into law over the next year, including legislated limits for industrial emitters, Premier Gordon Campbell announced recently. (The Golden Star)

Michigan – Environmentalists demand state regulate CO2 emissions – The Consumers Energy Co. plant near Lake Michigan released more than 9 million tons of the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, last year -- the second most of any facility in the state, federal reports show. (grand Rapids Press)


(AOL Ad Trial) E-Mails in First Trial May Haunt Johnson – Three weeks into the trial of technology company executives who allegedly engaged in sham advertising deals, prosecutors pulled aside defense lawyer Preston Burton and told him he had a problem. E-mails produced by his client apparently had been fabricated (Washington Post)

Blazingly Fast Internet2 Gets 10x Boost – The ultrahigh-speed Internet2 network just got 10 times faster, partly in anticipation of rising demand for capacity after the world's largest particle collider opens near Geneva next year. (San Francisco Chronicle)


Washington 11th best in U.S. for taxes, says study (Puget Sound Business Journal)

Icing likely didn't cause Kapowsin crash, says investigator – A state official says there's no indication that ice built up on the wings of a plane that crashed in the Cascades, killing 10. (Everett Herald)

Schools honored by state (Seattle P-I – includes Grapeview Elementary & Middle Schools)

City audit finds a backdoor to some hiring by Portland – About one in 20 Portland workers gets hired through a mix of special methods that avoids open competition for jobs meant to improve civil service (The Oregonian)

With $390 million lost, no day trader has ever had a day as bad as this – Morgan Stanley, the world’s second- biggest securities firm, said Wednesday that its quantitative-strategy traders lost $390 million on a single day in August as their computer models failed to account for “widespread” investor selling. (The News Tribune, Tacoma)


Misleading Headline Alert! – Beatles reunited online as Harrison goes digital

Hungry 6-Year-Old Tries To Drive To Restaurant – In the process he hit a transformer cutting power to dozens of townhouses

HOPEFULLY THERE IS NO CURARE INVOLVED – Police believe other pedestrians in Chehalis may have been targeted with blow darts. Three Twin City teens were arrested after an adult and a girl were struck while walking in separate areas of town. Police say it appears the trio was randomly shooting at people while in a passing car. The girl required medical attention after being struck in the leg. KELA Radio, Centralia/Chehalis)

In soup-kitchen freezers, more meat from hunters

“Hammer Time” follow up – Comcast Guide To Handling Irate Customers (Broadband Reports – Note: comments may include PG-13 language)

Furniture beware! Judge allows California cities to ban cat declawing