Friday, November 9, 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.


Octothorpe • \AHK-tuh-thorp\ • noun – The symbol #

“Bam…Bam…Bam-Bam-Bam”. Beauregard Oglethorpe was enjoying the purchase of his vintage Royal standard typewriter for ten bucks at his neighbor’s yard sale. “BAM” the key hit the smooth, shiny platen of the typewriter. “The octothorpe is my favorite key of them all,” mused Beauregard, slamming the key down into the keyboard again and again. “It stands for number and for pound…and can even be used in cartoon curse words. How excellent.”



Leaked story gains traction – Power users may get $3 credit: Payment would be funded by BPA – Avista electricity customers will receive a $3 monthly bill credit beginning next fall if a settlement regarding an arcane federal power program holds together. (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, via Power Marketers Online)

Alaska – Power bills could drop if utilities join forces – Anchorage-area consumers could enjoy substantial savings on their power bills if the city's two electric utilities merged or combined some of their operations, a new study shows. (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, via Power Marketers Online)

New York – Lawmaker: End costly electricity `deregulation' – A Democratic lawmaker on Thursday proposed rolling back the deregulation of the electricity industry that happened during the Pataki administration, saying it would lower rates and increase the amount of power available. Associated Press, via New York Newsday),0,6676842.story

Backfill Time! Former regulators send open letter defending competitive markets. Confronting efforts by some activists and state officials to derail, or at least clamp down on, competitive power markets, 35 former state utility regulators on Wednesday issued an open letter to policymakers stressing the advantages they say restructured markets give to consumers. (Platts Energy News)

The New York Power Authority re-ups deals with 9 companies – Nine manufacturers in three Western New York counties have been granted extensions for low-cost power, preserving some 1,800 jobs. (Business First of Buffalo – now, let New York lawmakers claim that BPA and DSI deals are a subsidy)

Utah – State board upholds permit for coal-fired power plant. A state board backed regulators Wednesday in their decision three years ago to grant a license for a new coal-fired power plant in Sevier County. (The Salt Lake Tribune)

State of California sticks by OK of power plant: Alameda County, Chabot College say they didn't know about plans for the plant. The California Energy Commission on Wednesday denied three requests to reconsider its September approval of a gas-fired power plant near the Hayward shoreline. (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, via Power Marketers Online)

California – Polluting Potrero power plant closer to closure – One of the state's oldest and dirtiest power plants, which sits on the edge of a booming San Francisco neighborhood, could shut down as soon as 2009, city leaders announced at a ceremony at the plant Thursday. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Congressional Research Service – Managing the Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Policy Implications of Expanding Global Access to Nuclear Power


Oregon governor stresses need to store water – Tribes, farmers, fish - Ideas include a possible dam and a water bank in eastern Oregon (The Oregonian)

Alaska – Haul of salmon in 2007 fourth-largest since statehood (The Associated Press, via the Anchorage Daily News)

“Like a barefoot boy stompin’ ants” – Scientists to shoo terns from Columbia island. Scientists will launch a project this winter to shoo fish-eating birds from crucial salmon habitat on the Columbia River. (The Daily News, Longview)

Conservation group blames tribal fishermen for dead seal pups at Alki (KOMO-TV, Seattle)

Sea-run cutthroats make for a good morning (The Olympian)

Daily Astorian wins Dolly Connelly award – The Daily Astorian has won the 2007 Dolly Connelly Award for excellence in environmental journalism (Associated Press, via the


Wind demands dwarf supply – Land rushes, turbine shortages and states' needs are lifting wind energy prices to new heights (The Oregonian – Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the claims for I-937 from the 2006 voters’ guide: “… I-937 is the cleaner, more affordable energy choice… I-937 gives us cheaper, renewable alternatives like wind and solar…”)

Over wind farm flap – Judge reviews petition to recall Kittitas County Commissioners (KNDO-TV, Tri-Cities)

British Columbia – Marine Current Turbines Installs Tidal Energy Turbines in Vancouver (Renewable Energy Access)

NY Times: “The Energy Challenge” – Fuel Without the Fossil. Mitch Mandich is among the entrepreneurs using chemical methods to try to make fuel from material like pine chips.


Energy Pulse Commentary – Should We Ban the Bulb?

Canada – Conservation chief wants clothesline ban rescinded. Ontario's chief energy conservation officer wants more people to be able to legally hang their clothes out to dry. (CBC News)


Many 'Green' mayors fall short – Despite support of local greening efforts, cities will have to more than redouble their efforts in order to make a real difference, say experts. (Christian Science Monitor)


Seattle Times Opinion – FCC in Seattle: time to listen. Media ownership matters. It matters to towns, cities, states and regions whether the folks who run the news outlets are of the community.

Nationwide WiMax plan may be over – Sprint Nextel and Clearwire are dropping their agreement to jointly build a nationwide high-speed WiMax network, the Wall Street Journal reported. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Free high-speed Internet services went on line in Cleveland, Virginia on Thursday (Bristol Herald-Courier)


MURRAY SECURES FUNDS FOR MASON COUNTY – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that she has secured more than $153 million for transportation, housing, and economic development projects in Washington State including nearly $1.3 Million for the Skokomish Tribe and Mason Transit. The announcement came after members of both the Senate and House of Representatives approved a Conference Report on the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill. As Chair of the Senate THUD Appropriations Subcommittee, Murray led negotiations in the Conference Committee. In the THUD Bill is $1 Million to help the Skokomish Tribe realign U.S. Highway 101, improve the line of sight, create a safe entrance onto the access road leading to the tribe's new housing development, and improve overall safety conditions along the road. Also in the bill is $280,000 to allow Mason Transit to purchase new vehicles to support rural mobility needs. President Bush, however, is threatening to veto the bill. (KMAS Radio, Shelton)

Ben wades right in – Judge blocks war objector Watada’s second court-martial (The Olympian)

Judge gives Ralph's reprieve – A federal judge issued a temporary injunction Thursday protecting Ralph's Thriftway in Olympia from potential state disciplinary action for refusing to dispense emergency contraceptives. (The Olympian)


Man forgets car at gas station

New Yorkers rally to help online Romeo

Exploding piggy bank could help Japanese save