Friday, November 16, 2007

News Digest for November 16, 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.


- Photographer arrested for taking pictures of transmission lines sues
- UW launches DNA 'fin-printing' project to study salmon
- Grays Harbor County – A NW Timber County Embraces Green
- At Wal-Mart, 'Green' Has Various Shades
- Misdirected: Energy-saving bulbs subsidized by California being sold on eBay
- Global Warming: Real security issue.
- Bathroom Broadband: Faster Internet from your toilet?
- Killer cold on the loose in Pacific Northwest
- DOT says wire thieves posing as state workers
- Shelton couple accused of drugging son to death claim innocence
- Jefferson County planners OK Brinnon-area resort

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


Fungible • \FUN-juh-bul\ • adjective – 1: being of such a nature that one part or quantity may be replaced by another equal part or quantity in the satisfaction of an obligation *2: interchangeable 3: flexible

Some of us may remember term “fungible” from economics: “a field goal made in the first quarter of a basketball game is just as important to the outcome of the game as one made in the last seconds of the contest, therefore, the field goals (regardless of when they occur) are fungible.” I never got that, because it doesn’t take into account the momentum shift that can occur from a critical shot.



Professor detained for taking pictures of high voltage transmission lines sues – The electrical substation she photographed had been identified by the Department of Homeland Security as a "critical infrastructure" target. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Colorado – Group projects rising energy demand. Despite Colorado's drive to develop renewable energy, the state will still need the equivalent of 13 new 350-megawatt plants to satisfy its power needs by 2025, according to a report by an independent research group with ties to the energy industry. (Casper Star-Tribune)

News Release – FERC Chairman Joseph T. Kelliher comments on the power grid and reliability (FERC)

News Release – FERC acts to improve transmission reliability, lower power costs. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today acted to improve reliability of the interstate transmission system by approving requests for transmission investment incentives for new grid construction. (FERC)


UW launches DNA 'fin-printing' project to study salmon – Researchers at the University of Washington plan to use salmon DNA samples they call "fin-printing" to create a genetic database for North Pacific salmon and track their ocean migration. (Associated Press, via the Columbian)

Daily Astorian Editorial – Save the salmon; save fishing: Fishermen of every kind can be the best friends salmon can have. There is a delicate balance on the Columbia River between charter fishing operators, sport and gillnet fishermen, as all angle for advantage in divvying up a minuscule allocation of endangered salmon.

Return of the river – Gail and John Gorley used to listen and watch as salmon spawned in the spring flowing through their grassy 40-acres in Western Wahkiakum County. (The Daily News)


Grays Harbor County – A NW Timber County Embraces Green – On the Washington coast, an economically distressed timber county is going green. Grays Harbor County wants to transform itself from a community of extraction to a community of renewables. (NW Public Radio)


At Wal-Mart, 'Green' Has Various Shades – Environmental Push Earns Mixed Results. “…Wal-Mart would one day create zero waste, be completely supplied by renewable energy and sell more sustainable products. That day remains a long way off…” (Washington Post)

Energy-saving bulbs subsidized by California being sold on eBay – Boxes of energy-saving light bulbs that California utilities are supposed to distribute within the state to save power are instead turning up on eBay, where anyone in the country can buy them, a watchdog group reported Thursday. As a result, California may not be saving as much power as it planned. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Ameren rolls energy efficiency plan in Illinois – Two weeks after seeking a $247 million annual increase in electricity and natural gas rates, Ameren Corp. on Thursday announced a sweeping energy efficiency plan in Illinois that could help those same customers lower their bills. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch – But beware of the rate decoupling monster!)

News Release – Cheaper By the Dozen: PSE&G Offers 12 Tips to Save Money and Keep Warm (CNN Money, via PR Newswire)


Seattle Post-Intelligencer Editorial Board – Global Warming: Real security issue. Warm, warmer, you're getting warmer. If the Senate makes a few smart turns, it could get close to the target of containing climate change.

Washington Post Editorial – California v. the EPA. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is right to sue the Environmental Protection Agency.


Measuring Broadband: Improving Communications Policymaking through Better Data Collection (The Pew Research Center, via Baller-Herbst – Links to PDF File)

Cable Wars Continue – It's another bill that most everyone says is just too high -- cable. But right now, folks in Chattanooga only have one choice for that service. City council members want to change the situation. (WTVC-TV, Chattanooga)

Vermont – Groups urge governor to oppose Verizon sale. Using a wheelbarrow, union leaders, small business representatives and some politicians delivered 2,600 postcards to Gov. Jim Douglas on Wednesday urging him to oppose a plan to sell the Verizon landline telephone system to FairPoint Communications. (Bennington Banner)

Web Sites Tear Down That Wall – Rupert Murdoch's announcement this week that he expects to stop charging for access to the Wall Street Journal's Web site is the latest example of a publisher giving up on the subscription-based business model -- a significant shift in the evolution of online content. (Washington Post)

Fiber for your plumbing? Faster Internet from your toilet? The same sewer pipes that funnel the ickiest waste from Portland homes could someday be used to bring residents the best the Internet has to offer (The Oregonian)


KILLER COLD CLAMPS DOWN ON PACIFIC NORTHWEST – You may think you have a killer cold. Now, health experts say there’s a strain of the cold that can actually kill you. It’s struck in Washington, and Oregon. Lewis County Health Department experts say it’s another reason why you should frequently wash your hands, and cover your cough. (KELA Radio, Centralia/Chehalis)

DOT says wire thieves posing as state workers – Theft of copper wire from Washington State Department of Transportation signal boxes has long been a problem in larger cities, but now thieves are spreading out to the Twin Harbors. (Daily World, Aberdeen – Shades of a similar ring that operated in the Washington, DC area a couple of years ago)

Shelton couple accused of drugging son to death claim innocence (KOMO-TV, Seattle)

Jefferson County planners OK Brinnon-area resort – The Jefferson County Planning Commission recommended that the three county commissioners approve a $300 million destination resort south of Brinnon. (Peninsula Daily News)

Family leave law: Who pays the bill? Washington's new paid family leave law should be financed by the state government's tax surplus for the first four years, a state task force suggested Wednesday. (Associated Press, via the Wenatchee World)


Berkeley man killed by train while talking on cell phone

Loud birds in distress turn out to be no birds

Could Your Name Change the Course of Your Life? A study to be published next month says your initials could be holding you back. (National Public Radio)