Monday, October 15, 2007

News Digest for October 15, 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.


Malign • \muh-LYNE\ • verb – To utter injuriously misleading or false reports about: speak evil of

“Of course I have your best interests in mind,” purred the curvaceous market trader to the visiting utility representative. However, underneath her beautiful exterior beat the malign heart of a serpent…already thinking of her next victim, the legendary “Gramma Millie”.



News Release – Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals: In another victory for public power, Bonneville Power Administration is directed to fix issues over excess subsidies paid to private utilities (Mason County PUD No. 3)

News Release – BPA makes U.S. Treasury payment in full and on time (Bonneville Power Administration)

Alcoa power contract to be discussed at Chelan County PUD meeting (Wenatchee World)

Personal Observations, John Dodge, the Olympian – Commissioner Welch played big role in career-defining stories. A flood of memories came rushing back this week with the news that former Grays Harbor Public Utility District Commissioner Jack Welch, 88, died last Sunday at a Hoquiam retirement home.

Nevada – Valley Electric tacks on impact fees to hookups (Pahrump Valley Times)

Idaho – Otter: Rules preventing coal-fired plants 'still appropriate'. Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter is sticking to a plan that keeps mercury-emitting coal power plants out of Idaho. (Associated Press, via the Olympian)

Meanwhile, Pocatello, Idaho mayor doesn't want coal-fired plant in state (Associated Press, via the Olympian)

Oklahoma power plant dealt final blow – The Oklahoma Corporation Commission issued a final order Thursday quashing a proposed $1.8 billion coal-fired power plant known as Red Rock. (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, via

Oklahoma utilities plan for future without coal – It's back to the planning room (how about “back to the drawing board”?) for the state's largest electric utilities. (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, via

Kansas – Fossil fuel feud erupts out of poll on coal plants. Opposition to coal-fired power plants in Kansas appears to be growing beyond its environmentalist roots. (Hays Daily News)

Kansas – Debate over coal plants also debate about power needs – Timothy Carr delivered his message with a matter-of-fact tone: The world is going to consume more energy; little of the electricity it will need will come from renewable resources, and much of that power will come from coal. (Dodge City Daily Globe)

Canada – Ottawa to explore coal as energy solution. Alberta coal could be the key to a clean energy revolution, say industry and government proponents of a $33-million plan to gauge its merits in producing nearly emissions-free electricity. (Calgary Sun)

Nuclear reactors for sale: France vies for big stake in industry revival (AFP, via Google News)

New Zealand – Govt denies electricity plan will jeopardize supply. The Government has rejected claims its energy strategy will place New Zealand's electricity supply in danger in the future. (National Business review)

The Olympian Opinion – Pipeline records should not be kept from public: Pipeline industry officials who have failed to change the state law have turned to the courts to keep specific pipeline records out of the hands of the public and away from the media.

Canada – Unstable Mix: Politics and Liquefied Natural Gas
PM Harper: Opposes LNG shipments through New Brunswick waters. Citing 'safety concerns,' feds fight LNG project back east -- but not along BC's coast. (The Tyee)

Pennsylvania – Tax issue surfaces in energy rebate proposal. A Republican proposal to fund rebates for solar energy systems with existing tax revenues could mean a big federal income tax bill for homeowners who get rebates. (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, via

Texas – Financing for TXU Deal Is a Test for Debt Markets. Last month, the debt markets passed their first test of the fall with better-than-expected results. Now comes the second challenge. (NY Times)

The Potential for an Effective and Timely Deregulatory Endeavor (Energy Pulse Commentary – Uses AT&T breakup as an example)

When power shuts down, preparation pays off (Cox News Service, via the Register-Guard, Eugene)


All five Makah whalers enter not-guilty pleas (Peninsula Daily News)

After Possible ‘Oops,’ a Trout Rescue Project Regroups – State and federal biologists, who are smarting from research showing that they may have been protecting the wrong fish the past 20 years, are regrouping in their efforts to restore the rare greenback cutthroat trout to Colorado waters. (NY Times)

Bremerton – Streams Set for Salmon. Most Kitsap Peninsula streams are primed for salmon, thanks to recent rains, biologists say. (Kitsap Sun, may require free registration)

The Olympian – Calendar of events: Salmon outings. Oct. 24: Come learn about the amazing chum salmon during a Stream Team evening

Seattle Times Outdoors Notebook – Steelhead fishing off to decent start

Washington Post Editorial – The Dam Breaks. FOR CHINA'S communist leadership, which gathers today for a major party congress, the gigantic Three Gorges Dam holds out the promise of abundant hydroelectric power and an end to devastating periodic floods along the Yangtze River. Yet from the moment they hatched a plan to build the colossal project, China's leaders have known that its benefits would come at a high environmental cost.

Columbia River water to be discussed at Ecology meeting – The state Department of Ecology will host an open house Wednesday at the Okanogan County Fairgrounds Agriplex building to talk about water allocations. (Wenatchee World)

California Grapples with Water Shortage – California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger calls a special session of the legislature to deal with the state's biggest water shortage in 15 years. Arid conditions set the stage for huge cuts in water shipments to southern California farms and residences. (National Public Radio)

Jefferson County closes Lake Leland over toxic bacteria; homeowners warned (Peninsula Daily News)

Past its archaeological scare, Beckett enclave nears its new septic system – "It's gonna get done," Jim Parker, Jefferson County PUD general manager, assured Beckett Point residents. (Peninsula Daily News)

New Landowners With New Agenda Flood the West – a new wave of investors and landowners across the American West…are snapping up open spaces as private playgrounds on the borders of national parks and national forests. (NY Times)


Utah – Wind Harvest. Energy resources are blowing through Utah, but cannot be captured without state policy change (Daily Herald)

Georgia – Green power: Electric co-ops try to build renewable energy sources (Athens Banner-Herald – Wow! Check out that dam in the accompanying picture.)

Turbine Free Wind Power: Alternative Alternative Energy – Wind power is great, but those big turbines are inefficient (the bearings suck out a lot of energy) and, if you're a passing bird, dangerous. (Wired, Gadget Lab)

News Whiz – Poll Shows Overwhelming Support for Renewable Fuel Options. Nearly Nine in 10 Agree U.S. Should Pursue Renewable Energy Sources. 95 Percent Blame Increasing Oil Prices for Rising Cost of Food. (And now, would you be willing to pay the higher cost for it? Clean Fuels Development Coalition)


News Release – Launches Energy Scrooge™ Calculator (PR Newswire)

PGE donates additional $50,000 to Oregon HEAT (KTVZ-TV, Bend, OR)


Guest Columnist David Crane for the Washington Post – We're Carboholics. Make Us Stop. I am a carboholic. As Americans, we are all carboholics, but I am more so than most. The company I run, NRG Energy, emits more than 64 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere each year -- more than the total man-made greenhouse gas emissions of Norway. (David Crane is chief executive of Princeton, N.J.-based NRG Energy Inc)

Obama: Electric bills would rise under his greenhouse emissions plan (Chicago Tribune),1,1962706.story?ctrack=1&cset=true


Other views, The Olympian – We cannot afford to leave rural Washington behind. Cell phones are quickly becoming the single most important device that Americans use. While urban residents often take for granted reliable wireless service, people living in rural areas of Washington suffer from spotty service and potentially dangerous dead zones where there is no signal at all. James Peters, chairman of the Squaxin Island Tribe in Mason County, for The Olympian

What's DTV? Click! answers your questions! Click! Cable TV experts are hosting workshops next week about the federal government's mandated conversion to digital television in February 2009 and how it might affect you. (News Tribune, Tacoma)

PTTV eyes webcasts across Peninsula – Public access television has a future on the Web in Jefferson County, says a community broadcasting leader, and one day could extend its reach west into Clallam County. (Peninsula Daily News)

The Insider: Starbucks mum on rumor it will offer free Wi-Fi (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Three Minutes With's Founder – Esme Vos tells how her blog about municipal wireless grew into a leading aggregator of news and analysis about the industry. (PC World),138237-c,wireless/article.html

UK Studies Health Risks of Wi-Fi – No one wants to believe that it might just be safe (Broadband Reports. Note: comment section may contain PG-13 language)

Rural Missouri lags in broadband access – Providing universal access to broadband capability has been compared to driving the golden spike that completed America's transcontinental railroad in 1869. (The Southeast Missourian)

New Hampshire – New bill may eliminate state web tax: Sununu aims to keep internet affordable (Concord Monitor)

Two Are Sentenced to 5 Years in Spam Case

Some grumble that Google isn't model citizen – Bracing for an invasion of Google employees in February after the Internet search giant bought up its office complex, startup erected a makeshift sign: "I for one welcome our Google overlords." (Seattle Times)

Google Adds More Online Storage – In competition with Yahoo’s unlimited storage? (Broadband Reports. Note: comment section may contain PG-13 language)

Former CEO Says U.S. Punished Phone Firm – Qwest Feared NSA Plan Was Illegal, Filing Says (Washington Post)

Survey: Office workers still the greatest security threat – Businesses still consider desktop users to be the biggest security risk to their networks, despite increased concern over outsourced labor and remote users. (CNET News)


Pressure grows for lobbyists' back rent – Lobbyists are getting their arms twisted at the Capitol. And government is doing the twisting — over a bill for back rent that keeps growing. (The Olympian)

Computer system an issue for family leave – Machines' cost estimated at $18 million. Whichever state agency takes on a new paid family leave program, it will have less than two years to put a major computer system together — a difficult and costly task. (The Olympian)

All hail the lobbyconners – Why pay for hefty conference fees when you can hang out in the hallway and network for free? (CNET News)


Thieves plunder metal from Seafair Pirates' ship (KING-TV, Seattle)

Three Arrested In Connection With Blow-Dart Attacks in Chehalis – Three people were arrested for investigation of shooting blow darts at people in several drive-by attacks in Chehalis.

Who will the governor be for Halloween?

North Mason Couple Takes Abandoned Squirrels Under Their Wing – What's this? The five-acre residence of Jeff and Katrina Lunore is a veritable menagerie. Nearly two dozen chickens, three dogs and a pair of cats call the white-fenced parcel south of Belfair home. (Kitsap Sun, may require free registration)

Family beaten as YouTube party descends into chaos

(More YouTube shenanigans) In a City Far, Far Away From Hollywood, the YouTube Tales of a Lesser Vader – Aaron Yonda and Matt Sloan have become YouTube stars with their satirical series depicting Darth Vader’s brother, Chad in costume, as a power-hungry manager of a grocery store.