Friday, October 19, 2007

News Digest for October 19, 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.


Bete Noire • \bet-NWAR\ • noun – a person or thing strongly detested or avoided

It was a lazy, warm summer day. Agnew was lounging in his hammock, listening to his favorite “Percy Faith” album. Just as the strings started to zoom upwards to the final climax of the beautified version of “LA Woman”, his neighbor, Albert started his gas-powered leaf blower. Long considered his bete noire at the neighborhood block parties, Agnew’s hatred for Albert was cemented forever as spilled lemonade pooled in the hammock under his ample, pillowed posterior.



WIND STORM HAS MINIMAL IMPACT TO MASON COUNTY – Mason County saw minimal impact from Thursday's high winds. Just under 300 customers of Mason County PUD No. 3 were affected by the storm. According to the P.U.D., their linemen, call center personnel and engineering staff worked quickly to restore electricity last night in the fastest and safest manner. Most of the Mason County PUD No. 3 customers who were affected by the outage were along the Pickering Road and in the Mason Lake area. Otherwise, there were small, scattered outages throughout the county. An unofficial survey of weather stations in and near Mason County showed gusts yesterday of 28 mph at the Mountain View Substation in Shelton, 45 mph at Sanderson Field, 32 mph in the Matlock area, 31 at Lake Limerick, 40 mph in Belfair, and 46 mph in Brinnon. This was the first of the fall and winter storms that are expected to visit Washington State over the next several months. Customers are urged to take steps to be prepared if inclement weather causes a power outage or presents a danger to their homes. (KMAS Radio, Shelton)

Seattle - Kite boarder dies in windstorm; thousands lose power – The first big storm of the season blew into Seattle on Thursday with a punch that knocked out power to more than 280,000 residences and businesses throughout the Puget Sound region beginning mid-afternoon. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, great photo!)

Seattle - Thousands still without power, but we're back to "typical Northwest blustery" weather – In the aftermath of Thursday's brief but powerful windstorm that left a kite surfer dead and also knocked a tree onto a Kent woman, many woke up today to restored power and mild showers. (Seattle Times)

Snohomish County – Storm packs a punch: Thousands lose power (Everett Herald)

Scattered outages remain for PSE customers (The Olympian, Includes Mason PUD 3 Report)

Pierce County – Wind takes trees, power – If you’re reading this, you survived the first storm of the fall. Luckily, the casualties Thursday were mainly trees, power lines, after-school activities and commutes. (The News Tribune, Tacoma)

Kitsap County Takes 'Hardest' Hit in Storm; 26,000 Customers Lose Power – Thursday's windstorm knocked out power to more than 26,000 homes, according to a spokeswoman at Puget Sound Energy. (Kitsap Sun, may require free registration)

Grays Harbor County – Harbor hit by first windy winter storm. It’s begun. The messy, wet, toad-strangling weather that will be the norm for months, blew in from the Pacific this morning, knocking out power in some areas. (The Daily World, Aberdeen)

Grays Harbor County PUD hires former radio news director Liz Anderson for communications spot (The Daily World, Aberdeen)

Power Plant Rejected Over Carbon Dioxide For First Time – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment yesterday became the first government agency in the United States to cite carbon dioxide emissions as the reason for rejecting an air permit for a proposed coal-fired electricity generating plant, saying that the greenhouse gas threatens public health and the environment. (Washington Post)

Vote near on new S.F. power generating plant – After years of debate, San Francisco may soon build a fossil-fuel power plant in a controversial gambit to replace an older one. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Carbon Sequestration Part of Coal Generation's Future (Energy Pulse Commentary)

Utah – Legislators or nuclear power businessmen? Critics say they can't be both (Salt Lake Tribune)

Cyberthreats said to be increasing against electric grid, other critical power facilities (Associated Press via the International Tribune)

News Whiz – ISO New England Releases Annual Power System Assessment (PR-Inside)

New Jersey – Man admits role in energy rebate fraud. A third man pleaded guilty Thursday to his role a scheme that prosecutors said siphoned $11.5 million from a state energy rebate program through bogus or inflated invoices.

Copper prices spur crime wave – There's a mighty fortress look to St. Paul's AME Church, but appearances have provided no bulwark against thieves stripping copper tubing from the church's air conditioning units and ripping off electrical wires. (Chicago Tribune)

Australia – Moves to help cut power use. Tasmanians will be urged to cut their power use to cope with spiraling electricity prices. Power prices will jump by 15 per cent next year, adding $182 a year to the average bill. (The Mercury),22884,22612581-3462,00.html

Liberia – Liberia: LEC On Anti-Power Theft Campaign. The Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) has launched a major campaign against power theft leading to the seizure of several electrical wires that were subsequently burnt yesterday. (The Inquirer, Monrovia)


Idaho Power sues federal government over water rights (Associated Press, Via the Olympian)

Montana – Trout Return to Once-Contaminated Creek. Silver Bow Creek, contaminated for more than a century by tailings and other mine waste, appears to be responding to environmental cleanup. (The Associated Press)

Chinook, sturgeon fishing improving – Rain falling this week will have an impact on rivers, unlike the last round of precipitation which fell and was absorbed the dry ground, raising water levels only marginally. Now that the ground is saturated, rainfall will go into the rivers. (The News-Register, McMinnville, OR)

Legislative Committee Tackles Economic Impact Of Fishing And Hunting (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Olympia – LOTT rates to go up in 2008. LOTT Alliance sewer ratepayers will see their first rate increase since 1999 when the new year rolls around. (The Olympian)

Deforest Your Mailbox (NY Times)


Foul weather delays Oregon State wave energy testing – Stormy fall weather has delayed part of the testing Oregon State University scientists had scheduled for an electricity-generating wave buoy. (Corvallis Gazette-Times)

Ironing Out Bumps In Wind Turbine Output – As Texas’ electric grid operator prepares to add power lines for carrying future wind-generated energy, an electrical engineer at The University of Texas at Austin is developing improved methods for determining the extent to which power from a wind farm can displace a conventional power plant, and how best to regulate varying wind power. (Carbon Free)

Indiana – Wabash Valley Power Association Adds New Renewable Power Sources (Inside Indiana Business)

Massachusetts – Cape Wind denied cable access in Yarmouth (Mass High Tech: The Journal of New England Technology)


Lights Out LA! It's Time To Conserve Energy – To encourage people to conserve energy, Los Angeles officials are asking residents to turn off non-essential lights from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday. (KCAL-TV, Studio City, CA)

Some cities try going 'green' with blackouts – On Saturday evening, it's "Lights out San Francisco," where people will voluntary turn off lights for an hour. The aim is to raise awareness of light pollution and the energy wasted by lights left on. (Christian Science Monitor)

Connecticut – New lights said to save schools money and energy – What started with a simple meeting between employees of the Board of Education and an energy consultant has blossomed into a major savings of both energy and money in Wilton’s public schools. (Wilton Bulletin)


Historic bill in Senate to fight warming – A bipartisan group of senators, borrowing heavily from California's efforts to fight climate change, fired the starting gun on what's expected to be a long global-warming debate in Congress with a proposal for limits on greenhouse gases affecting every major segment of the nation's economy. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Giving climate change the business – I believe it was radical climatologist Bob Dylan who first opined, "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." Listen to the global-warming debate; the conversation has taken a sharp turn. (Seattle Times)

New Coast Guard Task in Arctic’s Warming Seas (NY Times)

Penguins Urge Green Travel – Traveling by Motor coach Can Help Save Their Habitats from Climate Change (WTMJ-TV, Milwaukee)


Comcast blocks some subscriber Internet traffic – Comcast Corp. actively interferes with attempts by some of its high-speed Internet subscribers to share files online, a move that runs counter to the tradition of treating all types of Net traffic equally. (KOMO-TV, Seattle)

Connecticut – Blumenthal: AT&T wasting its time on litigation. Despite a recent federal court ruling, AT&T still refuses to apply for a cable license in Connecticut and state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal refuses to let the company get away with it. (Legal Newsline)

Illinois – City moves to block Lightspeed. West Chicago Monday became one of the first among many local municipalities expected to pass an ordinance protecting city rights of way from a new AT&T service. (The Daily Herald)

FCC chair proposes looser controls on media ownership (Seattle Times)

Google's 3rd-quarter profit hurdles expectations – Google's third-quarter profit soared 46 percent to hurdle the enormous expectations that have elevated the Internet search leader's stock price by more than $100 during the past month. (Seattle Times)

In California, a Second Internet Gold Rush – At the Web 2.0 conference here in 2005 -- back before Google had paid $1.65 billion for YouTube and people were talking about valuations for Facebook of $15 billion -- Zach Coelius, a precocious 25-year-old who had snuck into the hall without paying, stepped up to the microphone and asked the speaker for a bit of career advice. Start a company, replied Rupert Murdoch. (Washington Post)


PDC wants court to clarify ruling – The state Public Disclosure Commission wants the state Supreme Court to clarify its recent decision that struck down a law against candidates lying about other candidates in political campaigns. (The Olympian)

WA high court: Workers due more pay for time in car – Workers in a wide range of service jobs could be in line for more money - or fewer shots at the company car - after the state Supreme Court's ruling that some commuters must be paid for their drive time, lawyers said. (Associated Press, via the Olympian)

Weyerhaeuser to mothball 3 plants, cites weak demand – Lumber and paper producer Weyerhaeuser Co. said Thursday it will indefinitely mothball three plants before the end of 2007 because of weak customer demand amid a sagging housing market. (Associated Press, via the Columbian)

It’s not just a hassle in Olympia – Traffic Circle Has Drivers in a Spin, Some Motorists Avoid the Area. How do you get around a roundabout? For some drivers in Southern Maryland, that has suddenly become a pressing question. (Washington Post)


Man Knocked Out Before He Could Use His ‘Lethal Weapons' (Kitsap Sun, may require free registration – Why does this remind me of “Uncle Rico” from Napoleon Dynamite?)

Humbug! Sea-Tac avoiding religious Christmas decorations. No Christmas trees, nativity scenes or menorahs this holiday season at Sea-Tac Airport. Not even Santa Claus.

Gregoires to dress up as penguins. Brilliant! Well, so much for Harry Potter or Optimus Prime. Gov. Chris Gregoire announced yesterday that she and husband Mike will dress ups as penguins from the movie Happy Feet.

The Comcast Hammer Granny – Washington Post spotlights disgruntled user...