Wednesday, October 31, 2007

News Digest for October 31, 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.


Gargoyle • \GAR-goy-ul\ • noun – *1a: a spout in the form of a grotesque human or animal figure projecting from a roof gutter to throw rainwater clear of a building b: a grotesquely carved figure 2: a person with an ugly face

Alberto was quire pleased. He had replaced the downspouts on his home with colorful, gnome-like gargoyles. His pleasure with the architectural touch to his aluminum sided ranch home was slightly tempered by the fact that the jets of water that spouted from the various parts of the gargoyles looked less than flattering during heavy rains.



Region gets jump on plans for storm response – Last December's Hanukkah Eve Wind Storm left valuable lessons for the region's roads, utility and emergency-service workers who have vowed to be better organized should another storm strike this winter. (Seattle Times)

Avista 3Q loss $3.9 million – Avista reports a quarterly loss of $3.9 million compared with a $10 million profit a year ago. (The Associated Press)

Evergreen Pulp still interested in Washington mill – Grays Harbor PUD Connection. The international pulp market, the U.S. credit crunch, the dollar's weakness and renewable energy could all position Evergreen Pulp Inc. to buy a Gray's Harbor, Wash. area pulp mill. (The Times-Standard, Eureka)

Chelan PUD 2008 budget on track for goals – The Chelan County PUD is on track to meet its 2008 budget goals, but cost cutting, revenue boosting and possibly rate increases could be necessary to meet goals beyond that, commissioners learned Monday. (The Wenatchee World)

Rocky Mountain Power rate hike draws criticism – An increase in power rates proposed by Rocky Mountain Power is drawing criticism from seniors concerned about adding costs to those on fixed incomes and farmers forced to pay higher power rates this summer. (Casper Star Tribune: watch, as the utility pulls out all the stops, including the residential exchange in its selling of the rate increase)

S. F. supervisors endorse new fossil fuel power plant – The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to support a controversial project that would replace an aging fossil fuel plant on Potrero Hill with a newer fossil fuel plant. (San Francisco)

Coal-Fired Top Plants – IGCC demonstration plant at Nakoso Power Station, Iwaki City, Japan (POWER Magazine)

TACOMA: Police arrest two of three men suspected of stealing copper wire – Tacoma police arrested two men early Monday on suspicion of stealing copper wire and scrap aluminum from a construction site on Sixth Avenue. (The News Tribune)

BGE ad campaign features new 'We're On It' tagline – Baltimore Gas and Electric launched a new advertising campaign Tuesday focused on boosting awareness of the utility company's ongoing efforts to improve reliability and customer satisfaction. (Baltimore Business Journal)


Levee blasts signal a truce in water wars – Fifty-year-old levees blew up in a dramatic display of dirt and smoke Tuesday, freeing lake water as part of an unprecedented wetlands restoration effort to save protected fish and cool the water wars that have divided the Klamath Basin for decades. (The Oregonian)

Dam would flood delicate ecosystem – Washington county proposes to build reservoir on Similkameen River that would flood 7,200 hectares. A Washington state county is proposing to build a major dam on the Similkameen River near the Canada-U.S. border that would inundate extensive areas of ecologically rich southern B.C. (Vancouver Sun)

More dead birds found in water off north Kitsap Peninsula (Seattle Times)

Montana – Lake trout proliferate in Swan Lake – Netting turns up invaders by the thousands. The numbers are in, and the invasion of Swan Lake is well under way. (Daily Inter Lake)

An almost perfect razor-clam weekend on Washington coast (The Associated Press, via the Seattle Times)

Moses Lake – Cost of restoring Odessa Aquifer pegged at $2 billion to $6 billion (Tri-City Herald)


Sacramento Municipal Utility District Solar Array to Power Its Fuel-Cell Electric Vehicles (Renewable Energy Access)

United Kingdom – School could be wind powered in 12 months – A FURNESS headteacher hopes to have a wind turbine up and running at his school within the next 12 months. (The Evening Mail)


New kind of 'vampire' sucks power out of homes (Cable News Network)

Monroe prison gets 'green' certification – Expansion for 200 men cost $39.5 million (Seattle Post Intelligencer)

News Release – Dell Plugs in Energy Star 4.0 Consumer Desktop. Specially Configured Inspiron 531 Delivers Environmental Benefits Without Compromising Performance (BusinessWire)


Oregon Green Products Head To Chicago – A biofueled truck filled with some of Oregon’s "green" products headed for Chicago Tuesday to participate in a conference on sustainable building practices. (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

(British Columbia) Forestry can be carbon pioneer, industry says – Critics skeptical that emissions caused by logging will be addressed (The Vancouver Sun)


Internet access tax ban passes House, goes to president – A bill to extend a moratorium on Internet access taxes for seven years was approved 402-0 by the House today, less than two days before it was set to expire. (The Associated Press, via the Seattle Times)

U.S. to fight lag in broadband adoption with annual inventory – The United States is starting to look like a slowpoke on the internet. (The Associated Press, via CBC News)

News Release – Markey Broadband Census Bill Approved By Committee. Bill will lead to National Broadband Map, Better Data for Policymakers (Congressman Ed Markey)

Some ISP Users Struggle To Reach Google – Are problems related to Comcast traffic shaping? (Broadband Reports. Note: comment section may contain PG-13 language)


SEC agrees to settle with Met Mortgage CEO, Bellingham developer – The Securities and Exchange Commission has reached a tentative settlement with the former chief executive of Metropolitan Mortgage & Securities and with a Bellingham-based developer over fraud allegations related to the collapse of the Spokane investment company. (Seattle Times)

Guest Commentary for the Columbian – Watch out Washington, or Boeing may fly away. While parts for Boeing's new 787 "Dreamliner" are manufactured around the world, Washington elected officials should keep a close eye on South Carolina.

Blueberries — Washington's blue gold. Not only are blueberries good for you, they're healthy for the state's economy, too — a $30 million crop that's getting bigger all the time. (Seattle Times)

MASON COUNTY UPDATES RESIDENTS ON BELFAIR SEWERS – Mason County officials updated residents on the sewers planned for Belfair Tuesday night. Those who attended the County Commission's "Fifth Tuesday" meeting at the Theler Community Center heard from the engineering firm hired to complete design of the project, learned about the Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) technology that will be used, the total cost of the project and what it will cost users, the timeline of the project, and how residents will be updated on the project. Mason County has hired CH2M HILL to design the Wastewater and Water Reclamation Facilities that will serve the core of the Belfair Urban Growth Area. The Bellevue-based firm is currently conducting exploratory field work including surveys and geotechnical drilling, selecting the vender for the treatment facility, completing design, obtaining necessary permits and acquiring property and easements. Groundbreaking for construction is expected in late summer or early fall of next year with the system operational by the fall of 2010. The system will initially serve about 600 connections with a 20-year build out projected at 5600. Membrane Bioreactors use micro filtration and ultraviolet technology to remove the harmful elements from sewage leaving reusable water. The selection of the specific MBR technology will be made in December. Mason County has obtained funding to cover the entire cost of construction which is estimated between $24 Million and $27 Million. All funding except $3.3 Million is through grants. Monthly cost to users will be between $80 and $100. There will also be a one-time $3200 connection charge and about $3,000 in plumbing work to connect. Individual homes and businesses within 500 feet of the sewer alignment will be required connect to the new sewer system. CH2M HILL will be keeping residents updated on the project including where geotechnical work will be done and have set up a 24-hour hotline: (360) 801-2482. This is a local call from the North Mason/Belfair area. (KMAS Radio, Shelton)


Teenager escapes prison in suitcase

Judge Who Lost Pant Suit Loses Job – Roy L. Pearson Jr., the administrative law judge who lost his $54 million lawsuit against a Northeast Washington dry cleaner, lost his job yesterday and was ordered to vacate his office, sources said.

Smoker running late causes hours of flight delays, re-screening at New York airport

Student finds baroque painting inside old sofa