Thursday, November 15, 2007

News Digest for November 15, 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.


- Flood Watch Issued For Skokomish
- Benton PUD to cut rates 3.7%
- Clatskanie PUD names Ollila replacement
- An unlucky squirrel causes Canby Utility outage
- Columbia Basin salmon recovery plan gets positive marks
- Wind farm developers withdraw plans for Idaho project
- Green schools save money and energy
- World's Power Plant Emissions Detailed
- Governors Join in Creating Regional Pacts on Climate Change
- New Lincoln City on-ramp to information superhighway goes live
- In Australia, Santas warned 'ho ho ho' offensive to women.

These and links to more stories in today’s Energy News Digest


Williwaw • \WILL-ih-waw\ • noun – *1a: a sudden violent gust of cold land air common along mountainous coasts of high latitudes b: a sudden violent wind 2: a violent commotion

“One more williwaw like that and I’ll be cracking up,” cursed the tense utility dispatcher. The fall and winter storm season had barely begun, and two windstorms had already blustered their way across the region.


FLOOD WATCH ISSUED FOR SKOKOMISH – A flood watch has been issued for the Skokomish River. According to the National Weather Service, heavy rain over the Olympic Mountains could drive the Skokomish above flood stage late tonight or Friday morning. A vigorous frontal system will produce periods of heavy rain over the Olympic Peninsula tonight and some spots on the south slopes of the Olympics could receive more than three inches of rain. This rainfall could be heavy enough to produce flooding on the Skokomish River. A flood watch means that flooding is possible but not imminent or certain. Residents in the Skokomish Valley should be ready to act quickly if a flood warning is issued. Flood stage is 16 feet. (KMAS Radio, Shelton)


Benton PUD to cut rates 3.7% – Benton PUD commissioners have settled on a plan to trim residential electric rates by 3.7 percent Jan. 1.

Clatskanie PUD names Ollila replacement – The Clatskanie PUD Board Wednesday appointed Janet Willey to fill the seat of former board member Rod Ollila, who was recalled by voters in September. (The Daily News, Longview)

Oregon – An unlucky squirrel shorted out a Canby Utility transformer Thursday knocking out power to about 3,000 customers. (Canby Herald, thanks to Canby Utility for the tip)

For the morbidly curious, a photo of the ill-fated squirrel is here:

Tree takes out power to thousands in Ferry County – 115K BPA transmission line knocked out (Omak Chronicle)

News Release – Electricity Projected to be Reliable throughout North America in Coming Winter Season (NERC)

Automated Meter Reading – Franklin PUD, Benton PUD and Pacific Power are all considering installing Automated Meter Reading or AMR's in the Tri-Cities and Yakima areas. (KNDO-TV, Tri-Cities)

Montana – Pioneer Press, Guest Commentary, State Rep. Llew Jones: “…I was part of a small group selected by Bonneville Power (BPA) to be flown out to their Portland headquarters and further educated as to the inner workings and future needs of transmission and energy generation…”

Break-In at Nuclear Site Baffles South Africa – One week after the most serious attack on a nuclear installation in recent memory, the government of South Africa is largely mum about who was behind it, how they broke in or why. (NY Times)

Amaranth, a Collapsed Hedge Fund, Sues JPMorgan Chase (NY Times)


Columbia Basin salmon recovery plan gets positive marks in new incarnation – Washington's two representatives to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council offered the federal government positive first impressions Wednesday for its latest crack at drawing up a Columbia Basin salmon recovery plan. (Tri-City Herald)

Report says Canadian salmon industry in danger of collapse (Associated Press, via the Casper Star-Tribune – This, after Alaska announced a bumper harvest?)

Canada – Few B.C.-born salmon returning to spawn. Salmon returns are down significantly around British Columbia, experts say, with the number of Chinook migrating to their birthplace on Vancouver Island falling by as much as 75 per cent (The Globe and Mail)

Approach Arctic fishing with caution – David Benton, Seattle Post-Intelligencer guest columnist: A new fishing area in the Arctic Ocean – one that is opening because of climate change -- should not be developed until sound management practices and catch limits are established.

Amid Drought, a Georgian Consumes a Niagara – A homeowner in Marietta, Ga., used 14,700 gallons a day in September on landscaping and his pool, prompting an outcry from other homeowners trying to conserve water. (NY Times)

World toilet summit flush with promise – There are few international conferences at which delegates can hope to be presented with a souvenir ball of dried human feces. The World Toilet Summit in Delhi may be the only one. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)


Wind farm developers withdraw plans for Idaho project (Associated Press, via

Oregon – Hatfield workshop focuses on ecological concerns of wave energy (Newport News-Times)

Delaware – Delmarva Power blasts Bluewater's latest offshore wind proposal – Delmarva Power has condemned a new proposal by Bluewater Wind for a proposed 450-MW offshore wind farm, saying the revised bid would still cost the utility's customers $1 billion more than if it bought power at the market price, filings show. (Platt’s News Service)


Green schools save money and energy – Science teacher Mike Town and his students are working to lower Redmond High School's carbon emissions, one classroom at a time. (Seattle Times)


World's Power Plant Emissions Detailed – U.S. Appears to Be Worst Carbon Dioxide Polluter, but China Is Catching Up Fast (Washington Post)

(Western) Governors Join in Creating Regional Pacts on Climate Change (NY Times)

News Release – Power Costs Would Dramatically Increase under Lieberman-Warner Legislation (PR NewsWire, via CNN Money)


Oregon – New Lincoln City on-ramp to information superhighway goes live (Newport News-Times)

Comcast Sued Over BitTorrent Blocking – A California man filed suit in state court Tuesday against internet service provider Comcast, arguing that the company's secret use of technology to limit peer-to-peer applications such as BitTorrent violates federal computer fraud laws, their user contracts and anti-fraudulent advertising statutes. (WIRED News)

Head of Cable Lobby Condemns FCC Report – The head of the cable television industry's lobbying group yesterday took aim at the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, blasting his attempts to place new regulations on cable companies while accusing the agency of manipulating data. (Washington Post – Must….not….point out…..irony)

XM, Sirius Shareholders Vote to Approve Merger – Shareholders of XM Satellite Radio Holdings and Sirius Satellite Radio yesterday voted to approve the proposed $5 billion merger of the two companies, though the deal still faces scrutiny by federal regulators. (Washington Post)


SHOOTING AND STABBING IN TIMBERLAKES – The Mason County Sheriff's Office is investigating a shooting and a stabbing in Timberlakes Wednesday night. According to a news release, about 11:45pm, deputies and Mason County Fire District Five medics responded to a request for assistance in the 500 block of East Timberlake Drive East. Upon arrival, they found a 28-year-old Shelton man suffering from gunshot wounds and a 60-year-old Shelton man suffering from stab wounds. Both men were transported to Mason General Hospital and then flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The stabbing victim is listed in critical condition and the shooting victim is listed in serious but stable condition. At this time, it is not clear what took place at the residence or how the two men are related. The Mason County Sheriff's investigators will be releasing more information on this incident later this morning. (KMAS Radio, Shelton)


Man in India marries dog as atonement – A man in southern India married a female dog in a traditional Hindu ceremony as an attempt to atone for stoning two other dogs to death;_ylt=AmP9HLzhSQ5hhRbrNWDhEUztiBIF

Australia – Santas warned 'ho ho ho' offensive to women. Santas in Australia's largest city have been told not to use Father Christmas's traditional "ho ho ho" greeting because it may be offensive to women, it was reported Thursday.;_ylt=AjBq4BCLe8dYY6bXOINcWwntiBIF

Errant text message sends cops to door – Leif Harry Ersland wanted to return a nail gun he borrowed, so he sent a text message to the owner saying "the gun is on the cabin steps.";_ylt=AhJXFX7os94qv70sv86se53tiBIF

Woman being 'silly' hit by freight train – A 54-year-old woman was recovering in the hospital after being hit by a Union Pacific freight train in California.;_ylt=AhdyDThfGsA3te1BYrDlNdvtiBIF