Thursday, November 8, 2007

News Digest for November 8, 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.


Pavlovian • \pav-LAW-vee-un\ • adjective – 1: of or relating to Ivan Pavlov or to his work and theories 2: being or expressing a conditioned or predictable reaction: automatic

The phone jangled on the table once, then stopped. Ivan, in the middle of his breakfast cereal, stopped what he was doing and let out a screeching howl. Five minutes later, the phone rang again; another howl was registered from Ivan’s gaping pie-hole. For an hour this went on, until finally Ivan realized that he had been involved in a sick, Pavlovian condition-response experiment carried on by his aged, slobbering husky dog, Nanook.



Idaho Power gives up on coal-fired plant – Utility says it will develop a natural gas turbine in S. Idaho by 2012 and add wind and geothermal megawatts as well. (Idaho Statesman)

Tentative deal in battle over Oregon utilities – Parties to the fight between public and private utilities over the relatively cheap hydropower sold by the Bonneville Power Administration report a tentative deal, The Oregonian newspaper said Tuesday. (The Associated Press via the News Tribune, Tacoma)

dahoans may see credit on utility bill. Idaho Power plans to review the deal with the BPA and determine how it could benefit customers. (Idaho Statesman)

Franklin PUD 60th Anniversary (KVEW-TV, Tri-Cities)

Port Townsend electrifies PUD, county partnership for power service – Port Townsend city representatives gave a boost on Wednesday to discussion that could lead to a partnership among the city, Jefferson County and the Jefferson County Public Utility District to provide both county and city electrical power. (Peninsula Daily News)

FERC hears Bradwood LNG debate – Capt. Paul Amos told federal officials Wednesday night that his crews could safely navigate liquified natural gas tankers on the Columbia River (The Daily News, Longview)

Energy bills sap smaller businesses (The Associated Press, via the Seattle Times)

Massachusetts – Accident at Dominion's Salem Harbor Station results in three employee fatalities (Utility Automation & Engineering)'s-Salem-Harbor-Station-results-in-three-employee-fatalities/

Ouch! Coal-Funded Ad in Kansas is Called Misleading (Washington Post)

U.S. Senator Pete Domenici warns of energy workforce shortages (New Mexico Business Weekly)

New York – Con Edison Is Penalized for Blackout. State utilities regulators hit Con Edison with an $18 million penalty yesterday for its service disruptions last year, which included a nine-day blackout in western Queens and other power failures in Westchester County. (NY Times)

Ozark Constructors selected to rebuild Ameren's Taum Sauk reservoir (St. Louis Business Journal)

In big U.S. energy bill, who will pay? If the last energy bill was about squeezing remaining drops of oil from US soil, the newest is still a nascent, muddy legislative donnybrook over one question: Who will pay to shift the US energy mix to green and lean? (Christian Science Monitor)

News Release – Eastern States Reject Electricity Transmission Corridor. The states of New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia are petitioning the federal government to reconsider designating dozens of their counties for the siting of a national priority, high-speed electricity transmission corridor. (Environment News Service)

Columbian Editorial – In our view: Metal-Theft Solution. Washington passed a good law this year, but Oregon needs to follow suit

News Release – It’s an on-line world – more than 250,000 Consumers Energy customers now receive bill electronically. The number of Consumers Energy customers who choose to receive and pay their bill online has jumped to more than 250,000.That’s up from 96,000 customers who made the switch to online billing two years ago. (Consumers Energy)


NW reps vote to override Bush veto on water bill “…The water bill authorizes more than a million in federal funding for water projects in the Northwest, including $35 million to promote wild salmon in the Columbia and Snake rivers; $35 million for a wastewater project in Albany, Ore; and $5 million to improve fish passage at federal dams…” (The Western World, Bandon)

In First Bush Veto Override, Senate Enacts Water Bill (NY Times)

Rainier man pleads guilty to trying to kill sea lion – A Rainier man was sentenced Tuesday in federal court to one year probation and 200 hours community service for trying to kill a sea lion in the Willamette River. (The Daily News, Longview)

British Columbia – Chinook vanish from Goldstream. Poor salmon returns plague hatcheries across south Island. The Goldstream River chinook run ran dry this year. (Goldstream News Gazette)

Marketing efforts of gillnetters derailed – John McDonald hoped to sell part of his keta salmon haul this week to Whole Foods Market -- after years of trying to persuade the natural-foods giant to carry it. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

To catch Coho, find the right Western Washington river – Coho fishing has slowed in some rivers, but there are a couple of rivers where Coho catches have been pretty good. The upper end of the Cowlitz has been pumping out good catches of Coho, and fishing has been good in the North Fork Lewis. (The Olympian)

Guest Columnists – Aquaculture not the way to save salmon. Fish have had a hold on me from the first time I wet a line, standing next to my father on the banks of a well-stocked lake on the corporate campus of Bristol Meyers Squibb in Lawrenceville, N.J. This obsession has become a career and now I make my living selecting and cooking the best fish I can find. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Salmon Tours Offered in South Kitsap – Kitsap County residents can tour salmon streams and hear local biologists talk about salmon habitats and life cycles on Nov. 17. (Kitsap Sun, may require free registration)

N. Idaho city appeals water decision in Washington State (Associated Press, via the Columbian)

Plan would raise Kennewick Irrigation District rates – Water users will pay higher rates in the coming year under a plan proposed by the district's new manager. (Tri-City Herald)

Protecting water resources should be a priority – In the Cascades, somewhere close but not too close to Sultan at the end of seven miles of dusty gravel road, lies the source of what sustains most of us in Snohomish County — the deep-water reservoir of Spada Lake. (The Seattle Times)

South Puget Sound – Budd Inlet dredging can continue (The Olympian)

MASON COUNTY: RUSTLEWOOD WATER RATE INCREASE CONSIDERED – Mason County is considering increasing the water rate for the customers of the Rustlewood Water System by $10. This increase is needed to help pay for upgrades to the system. The increase would make the monthly water rate $30 and bring Rustlewood residents' total monthly bill for water and sewer to $100. During a public hearing on the rate increase, the President of the Rustlewood Community Association, Gene Bush, asked the County for more information about the problems with the systems. Bush also requested the Commission delay action until a community meeting can be held on the rate increase. The Commissioners decided to delay action until December 11th, giving staff time to meet with Rustlewood's residents. Recently, the County has been focusing its efforts on the community's sewer system and has not raised the water rate since 1992. (KMAS Radio, Shelton)


U.S. wind power installations to rise 63 pct in 2007 – U.S. wind power installations are projected to jump 63 percent this year amid concern about global warming and rising fuel prices, an industry group said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

Delaware – Bluewater offers to cut price of power from Delaware wind farm. Bluewater Wind has offered to cut the price of power from a wind farm it wants to build off the coast of Delaware, in order to convince state regulators that the project would not harm ratepayers (Platts Energy News)

Wind is wonderful to turbine operator Alliant – Gusts this week over 16 wind farms were enough to power 78,000 homes. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

Massachusetts – Energy boost. Wide-ranging bill aims to promote wind, water power sources and curb harmful greenhouse gases “…renewable sources such as wind, hydroelectric, and crop-based fuels while cutting emissions of climate-affecting greenhouse gases by 20 percent…” (Boston Globe)

Guest Columnists – Clean technology in the Northwest. The Pacific Northwest is a leading region for the innovation of clean technologies but critical steps must be taken to ensure success. While our nation's capital is stuck in vetoes and insider politics, the Northwest can lead the nation into the next big economic growth sector. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Idaho energy lab tests plug-in hybrid cars in Seattle – Fill it up, plug it in, then drive. And drive. And drive. (The Associated Press, via

Gas from cow manure to power 11,000 homes: New $18.5 million facility in Erath County is nation's largest. Roughly 10 times a day, a tractor-trailer loaded with almost 20 tons of cow manure rolls up an earthen ramp at the Microgy Inc. facility outside of Stephenville. The drivers drop each load into a mixing tank, starting a process t at ends with the production of natural gas that could soon be used to heat your water or cook your food. (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News via Power Marketing Association Online)


Lights flickering on Xcel's conversion program – Xcel Energy Inc.'s program to encourage customers to cut their power use across Colorado isn't working -- especially when it comes to swapping out old, power-guzzling lights in big office buildings for new lights that sip electricity (Denver Business Journal)


Oregon – City unveils carbon tax plan. Portland wants to charge builders who meet efficiency rules and pay those who exceed them (The Oregonian)

California sues EPA for tougher emissions standards; Washington state joins in (Seattle Times)

Project to Capture CO2 With Plankton Puts to Sea – The WeatherBird II, a 115-foot private research vessel, has put to sea from Florida as part of a novel and contentious effort to commercialize the removal of heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by triggering blooms of plankton. (NY Times)

Ewww! Giant ozone tongues lick Earth's surface – Scientists have discovered giant "tongues" of ozone routinely swoop down from the upper atmosphere over Eastern Canada and can exacerbate smog problems on the ground. (


Microsoft building huge data center outside Chicago (The Associated Press, via KNDO-TV, Tri-Cities)

Mexican state electric utility to sell capacity on fiber optic network (International Tribune)

Post Intelligencer Columnist, Bill Virgin – On Radio: FCC turns up volume on local radio. While there's likely to be an abundance of verbal posturing and sniping at Friday's Federal Communications Commission hearing Friday in Seattle on media ownership, there's one issue on which many of the parties are actually in agreement: putting more local content into local radio.

Lynne Varner Times editorial columnist – Please, please, please, FCC

Lawmaker calls Yahoo moral 'pygmies' – Yahoo Inc.'s chief executive and top lawyer on Tuesday defended their company's involvement in the jailing of a Chinese journalist. Irate lawmakers accused them of collaborating with an oppressive communist regime. (The Associated Press via the Seattle Post Intelligencer)

Yahoo Criticized in Case of Jailed Dissident – Two top Yahoo officials on Tuesday defended their company’s role in the jailing of a Chinese journalist but ran into withering criticism from United States lawmakers who accused them of complicity with an oppressive Communist regime. (NY Times)


Short list for bad air to include Tacoma – Some of the soot that sullies Tacoma’s winter air might come from Frederickson or South Hill, government air quality experts say.
That’s one reason why Tacoma will be linked to some of its suburbs when pollution regulators make official what they first said more than a year ago: Concentrations of fine-particulate matter in Tacoma’s air during winter exceed federal limits, based on pollution measured at a monitoring station in the South End. (The News Tribune, Tacoma)

Tacoma – Uranium might go through port. Fire Department issues conditional cargo permit to terminal operator (The News Tribune, Tacoma)

I-747 Update: Sheldon, Kilmer Would Support Reinstating the Tax Limits – The State
Supreme Court agreed with a lower court decision that Initiative 747, which limited local government property tax increases to 1 percent plus new construction, was unconstitutional. (Kitsap Sun, may require free registration)


Boys to swap homes 4 years after mix-up – Two boys, one Saudi and one Turkish, will swap homes four years after a hospital gave them to the wrong parents, a Saudi newspaper said Wednesday.;_ylt=ArO6.2KOxXEY_dZ6AcLI4pLtiBIF

Zany bid for surreal immortality with Guinness;_ylt=AiWSVPKZI0EZYRYliUkBVUrtiBIF

Hide your old pills in poo, U.S. government says (if someone stole them it would bring a whole new meaning to the term s$#@-faced);_ylt=AsEPk6mI_QlIr2evi3P_a5ztiBIF

Tallest US man is 7-foot-8 Va. Deputy;_ylt=AuQW1GBoDapZ2S5tFTpRWCvtiBIF