Wednesday, October 24, 2007

News Digest for October 24, 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.


Hat trick • \HAT-TRICK\ • noun – 1: the retiring of three batsmen with three consecutive balls by a bowler in cricket 2: the scoring of three goals in one game (as of hockey or soccer) by a single player *3: a series of three victories, successes, or related accomplishments

From Merriam-Webster: It may surprise some people to learn that the term "hat trick" as it relates to sports actually originated in British cricket. A bowler who retired three batsmen with three consecutive balls was entitled to a new hat at the expense of the club to commemorate this feat. Eventually, the phrase was applied to a single player scoring three goals in any goal sport and later to three victories or successes in sports as different as horse racing and golf. The phrase finally broadened to include a string of three important successes or achievements in any field.



N. Idaho utility worker electrocuted – A 23-year-old north Idaho utility worker has died after being electrocuted while working near Coeur d'Alene. (The Associated Press, via the Columbian)

Fires threaten remaining power link to San Diego (Reuters)

Snohomish County PUD hopes off-season work will prevent outages – The Snohomish County PUD made early preparations for foul weather this year after last year's double-whammy. (Seattle Times)

Seattle Prepared For Winter Storms, Mayor Says – The city of Seattle has worked hard since the end of last winter to prepare for this storm season, trimming trees, clearing storm drains and hiring more power line workers, Mayor Greg Nickels said. "We're going to respond better, faster, smarter" (KIRO-TV, Seattle)

Chelan County PUD weighs its future with Alcoa – Two Chelan County PUD commissioners say they are uncomfortable with the length — 17 years — of a proposed new deal to power Alcoa's Wenatchee Works aluminum smelter through 2028. (Wenatchee World)

A New Lecture on Electric Deregulation Failure – “At the mercy of forces that show no mercy” - Former governor Gray Davis of California (about deregulation) (Energy Pulse Commentary)

An advertising power play: Natural gas company behind anti-coal media blitz – An extensive anti-coal campaign in Kansas makes no mention on its statewide ads or Web site of who is behind the media blitz.

BRIEF: It's more expensive to buy energy on open market – Modesto Irrigation District officials say buying power on the open market can be an expensive proposition. (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News)

News Release – Virginia's Commitment: Independent Review Finds Dominion Power's Transmission Line Designed Mostly for needs outside Virginia. (MarketWire, via Power Marketing Association Online)

Arizona – Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative to consider rate hike; would be its first in 13 years – Although SSVEC has avoided increasing its rates for the past 13 years, but an increase will be considered in the next few years, said the company’s CEO. (Sierra Vista Herald/Review)

City of Port Angeles – City approves sale of old light building for new clinic (KONP Radio, Port Angeles)


Several N. Idaho counties seek to delay water rights talks – Kootenai County commissioners have rejected a plan to join ranks with four other north Idaho counties (The Associated Press, via the Columbian)

Oregon – Raises at Rockwood PUD draw criticism. The board chief's husband got one of the increases, which two officials say felt rushed. Salary increases as high as 37 percent approved for Rockwood Water People's Utility District employees last month were handed out too quickly (The Oregonian)

MASON COUNTY HOLDING MEETING ON BELFAIR SEWERS NEXT TUESDAY – The Belfair Wastewater and Water Reclamation Facilities will be the focus of the Mason County Commission's upcoming "Fifth Tuesday" meeting in Belfair. Information materials on the facilities will be available for residents to view at 5pm on October 30th. Project staff will be available to address questions starting at 5pm, followed by an overview presentation as part of the regular meeting agenda at 6pm. The Mason County Commissioners' Fifth Tuesday meeting in Belfair will be held in the Theler Community Center. Again, information on sewers for Belfair will be available at 5pm next Tuesday with the regular meeting set for 6pm. (KMAS Radio, Shelton)

Preliminary Work to Begin on Belfair Sewer System – Observant drivers may see indications next week that the long-awaited Belfair sewer system will become a reality. (Kitsap Sun, may require free registration)

Their water's clear as mud – Clean water becoming harder to find in rural areas (Everett Herald)

Satellites eye Olympic Peninsula to help manage its water – NASA's eyes in the sky are focused on the North Olympic Peninsula to help it manage its water. (Peninsula Daily News)

Kitsap County PUD Commissioner Appointed to National Board – A Hansville man has been appointed to a board to advise a national association that deals with drinking water. (Kitsap Sun, may require free registration)

Feds find Klamath irrigation still hard on fish – The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said Tuesday that operating the federal irrigation project in the upper Klamath Basin is likely to continue causing problems for fish protected by the Endangered Species Act. (The Associated Press)

Kokanee salmon fail to garner protection – The Kokanee of Issaquah Creek, ruby-red fish so rare that none have been seen in seven years, weren't important enough to be protected under the Endangered Species Act, the federal government announced Tuesday. (Seattle Times)

See salmon and more at McLane Creek Nature Trail (The Olympian)

Clam season opens Thursday on coastal beaches (Seattle Times)

Angler Catches Record Size Salmon (KIRO-TV, Seattle)

Burgerville Announces Recycling And Composting Plans – Burgerville announced Tuesday that it plans to compost or recycle 85 percent of its waste. (Oregon Public Broadcasting)


California – Berkeley could pay upfront for solar. Berkeley is hoping to become a model for cities nationwide with a plan to bankroll homeowners who want to install solar energy systems. (Contra Costa Times)


Massachusetts – Conservation group pushes for rate reform. The Conservation Law Foundation said it plans to advocate for reforms that encourage energy efficiencies at state hearings that will explore new ways to set electricity rates in Massachusetts. (Boston Globe)


British Columbia reaches climate-change deals with Oregon, Manitoba – Greenhouse gas reduction, cleaner ports on agenda (Vancouver Sun)

States Set to Sue the U.S. Over Greenhouse Gases – New York is one of more than a dozen states, led by California, preparing to sue the Bush administration for holding up efforts to regulate emissions from cars and trucks, several people involved in the lawsuit said on Tuesday. (NY Times)

Eugene Register Guard Op/Ed – Malibu aside, accelerating climate change will hit the poor hardest


Comcast admits online "delaying" – Comcast on Tuesday acknowledged "delaying" some subscriber Internet traffic, but said any roadblocks it puts up are temporary and intended to improve surfing for other users. (Seattle Times)

Cities themselves may be muni Wi-Fi's savior – Cities that commit to using new Wi-Fi networks for their own use could help rescue the ailing citywide Wi-Fi movement. (CNET

Broadband-over-power-lines battle goes to court – A dispute that could affect the roll-out of broadband over power lines, which some hope will one day compete with cable and DSL services, went before a federal appeals court on Tuesday, but no immediate resolution occurred. (CNET

Could Electricity Grid Become A Type Of Internet? (Science Daily)


REACTION TO BELFAIR BYPASS CONNECTIONS MIXED – Reactions to the selected connections for the Belfair Bypass were mixed Tuesday during an open house in the North Mason High School gymnasium. The State Department of Transportation held the open house to update residents on the project, giving them a better idea of the connections. The northern connection, known as alternative “N3”, will realign Lake Flora Road, improving safety at the intersection with Highway 3. (There is also room at this location to construct a full clover leaf interchange.) The south connection, known as alternative “S4”, will realign the intersection of Highway 3 and Highway 302, improving the safety at that intersection. Traffic will be placed primarily on the Bypass and traffic lights will be placed at both intersections. By selecting the connections, the State now has a better idea of the construction cost: $77 Million. This total is in 2011 dollars and includes the $15 Million already allocated to the project. The next step in the project is environmental assessment which will include a SEPA hearing. That will be followed by design and right of way acquisition. D-O-T officials told those in attendance that construction could begin in four years IF the legislature decides to fund the project. A dozen people spoke during the open house asking questions and making comments. Some called the connections logical. Others suggested doing away with the traffic lights. While most just voiced they want the State to get moving on the project. There were some concerns voiced over traffic congestion in Allyn and how the County's proposed Rasor Road extension would also impact the community to the south. And the North Mason Chamber of Commerce wondered about a midway connection which is currently not in the Bypass plans. The goal of the Belfair Bypass is to relieve the congestion in Belfair through 2030. (KMAS Radio, Shelton)

Olympia man demands postage-free ballot – Seen as a “poll tax”


Violators Of Saggy Pants Ban Facing Fines

Woman Wants Service Horse As Roommate – Miniature Horse A Service Animal (Will the neigh-bors “bridle” at having a horsy room-mate?)

"Purple Rain" greatest film soundtrack: Vanity Fair (Huh?)

The Right To Remain Spiffy: Wash. State Patrol Named Best-Dressed

Meteor shower lighting up the sky – Unusually clear skies gave a handful of Puget Sound residents a glimpse of an annual occurrence -- the Orionids meteor shower.

Painting Found in Trash Could Fetch $1M – A painting stolen 20 years ago was found lying in trash along a street, and now it could fetch up to $1 million at auction.