Friday, October 12, 2007

News Digest for October 12, 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.


Retrospective • \reh-truh-SPEK-tiv\ • adjective – 1a: contemplative of or relative to past events *b: being a generally comprehensive exhibition, compilation, or performance of the work of an artist over a span of years 2: affecting things past: retroactive

Dante was distraught. He had been thoroughly enjoying the retrospective exhibit at the local museum on the acting career of Don Knotts. That is, until he came across an enlargement of a negative review of the “Ghost & Mr. Chicken” from the New Yorker Magazine that was prominently placed near the “Andy Griffith” display. “It was like a beer belch in church,” he tearfully confessed to the local newspaper’s intern who had been sent to cover the premiere event.


OK. Here are some pictures of a Swiss ice storm on Lake Geneva that should put our storms into perspective (Thanks to John Bennett for the tip. Note, this is a graphically intensive web site…not for the broadband challenged. Unless you have the time)


Back to BPA in Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on residential exchange “poison pill” (links to PDF file)$file/0474240.pdf?openelement

PSE's cost of finding electricity sources rising – Puget Sound Energy says the cost of finding new sources of electricity to meet demand over the next 20 years is rapidly increasing. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Benton PUD Senior Day – Benton PUD had about 350 people show up for its Annual Senior Day today. (KVEW-TV, Kennewick)

Texas – TXU wraps up $45 billion sale to private investors: Energy giant to run as 3 separate firms. It's a done deal. TXU Corp. finished selling itself to private equity investors on Wednesday. (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News via

Maine – Gasification plant draws protest. Lobstermen worry that coal-carrying barges will damage traps and cut into their fishing time. More than 25 boats paraded single-file up the Sheepscot River on Thursday, headed toward the town landing, where about 100 protesters held signs proclaiming: "Say no to coal." (Portland Press Herald)

Alaska – Heating oil prices on the rise: Report predicts West Coast, Alaska will see 13 percent increase (Juneau Empire)

Pennsylvania – Residents sue over big power line plan, saying easements invalid. Nearly three dozen property owners who live in the path of a proposed high-voltage power line claim they or former owners were misled when right-of-way agreements were signed years ago. (The Associated Press, via Centre Daily News)

Maryland – Nuclear Plant Critics Fret Over Bridge. Opponents of Proposed Reactor Wonder Whether Span Could Handle Evacuation (Washington Post)

Meeting Our Need for Electric Power – America needs more electric power. At the same time, consumers are howling for lower electricity prices. (Energy Pulse Commentary)

News Whiz – Ohio Electric Consumers Risk Higher Electricity Prices With Utility Re-Regulation, Says National Energy Marketers Association (Electric Energy Online)

Dam Project to Displace Millions More in China – The Chinese government has announced that it will relocate an additional three million to four million people from the banks of the Yangtze River because of the construction of the Three Gorges Dam. (NY Times)

New Zealand issues ten-year ban on new thermal power plants (Good luck firming up those renewables – Power Engineering)

Michigan – Union rejects DTE contract: 1,099 members vote against accord. Electrical workers belonging to the Utility Workers Union of America Local 223 have rejected a tentative contract offer from DTE Energy. (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News via

Utilities must avoid lost marketing opportunities that create 'doubtcomes' with customers – The last thing a utility needs, according to consultant David Saxby, is an employee with direct customer contact who creates doubts about the company's products and services. Utility Automation & Engineering)'doubtcomes'-with-customers/

California – City hit with string of copper thefts. Thieves have stripped copper wiring at least four times in the past two months in Pittsburg business parks, causing about $25,000 in damage, a city official said Thursday. (Contra Costa Times)


Living in Filth: Portland ranks #3 among America's most polluted cities (Willamette Week)

More pollutants pumped in Sound than allowed by law – New study cites aluminum plants, sewage facilities (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Montana – Purging of fish successful so far. State poisoning hybrids in two Jewel Basin lakes (The Daily Inter Lake, Kalispell)

Scientists See Politics in Spotted Owl Plan – More than 100 independent scientists suggested yesterday that political pressure may have led federal officials to water down protections for the northern spotted owl in a recently revised recovery plan for the threatened bird. (Washington Post)

Is a species endangered if you can't find it? That's just one of the questions raised by the mystery of the great white worm of the Palouse — a lily-scented, spitting underground enigma. (Crosscut)

Tri-Cities – Bill would OK BLM land sale to aid access to Juniper Dunes. A bill authorizing the Bureau of Land Management to sell 622 acres within the Wells Hydroelectric Project area to Douglas PUD could help provide access to the Juniper Dunes Wilderness Area northeast of Pasco. (Tri City Herald)


Penetrating Winds – Might wind turbines one day provide a large fraction of the electric power on the grid? (American Scientist Online)

Renewable energy in Alaska – Will the oil state ever support alternative energy? (The Economist Magazine)

Moses Lake fifth-graders get lesson in solar power – Grant County PUD, REC Silicon look for future workers (Columbia Basin Herald)


Edison's Dimming Bulbs How Wal-Mart and the government are killing the incandescent light bulb. (Slate Magazine)


Gore, U.N. climate panel win Nobel Peace Prize (Reuters)


Yahoo leases big office in Bellevue – Yahoo Inc. has leased a large chunk of office space in downtown Bellevue -- giving itself enough room for 500 to 600 employees a short drive from rival Microsoft Corp.'s headquarters. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Broadband Baloney, By Robert M. McDowell, FCC Commissioner –American consumers are poised to reap a windfall of benefits from a new wave of broadband deployment. But you would never know it by the rhetoric of those who would have us believe that the nation is falling behind, indeed in free fall. (From Wall Street Journal, July 24, 2007)

FCC Gives AT&T What They Want – Again, and again, and again....for consumers! (Broadband Reports. Note: comment section may contain PG-13 Language!)

Mapping American Broadband – New mapping bill inches forward, with compromises (Broadband Reports. Note: comment section may contain PG-13 Language!)

Georgia – State grant helps set up Internet service. Thomasville is becoming a wireless Internet service provider with the help of a $500,000 state grant. The city has placed several wireless routers on electric poles as it experiments with the system, which is not yet open to the public. (Thomasville Times-Enterprise)

Hillary Bangs the Innovation Drum, Quotes Colbert – Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday outlined a national broadband policy and called for a permanent implementation of the research and development credit. (Wired Magazine)

Democrats kill proposal for permanent Net tax relief – A key U.S. House of Representatives panel on Wednesday unanimously agreed to extend a ban on Internet access taxes for another four years--but not before rejecting proposals to make the tax permanent or extend it for a lengthier stretch of time. (CNET News)

Google does nicely without marketing – Like a gourmet chef who rarely eats out, Google Inc. feeds advertising services to hordes of other businesses while skimping on its own marketing. (Associated Press, via the Everett Herald)


FATALITY AT OLYMPIC PANEL PRODUCTS IN SHELTON – There was a fatality at Olympic Panel Products in downtown Shelton Thursday night. The Company's Jim Zmudka told 1030 KMAS News that it was a "serious accident that resulted in a fatality" and the cause is under investigation by the company and state agencies. The Shelton Police Department is also reviewing the accident. No other details are available and the name of the victim has not been released. More information is expected later today. (KMAS Radio, Shelton)


Port Angeles cat lady sues to get 31 cats back

Man Recovers Wedding Ring And Returns It To Husband Who Has Lost It Twice

Colbert taunts Portland's Powell's Books, Powell's teases back (You can’t buy publicity like this)