Thursday, February 23, 2017

Suspect Arrested in Centralia Utility Payment Drop Box Break-In (KELA Radio, Centralia, WA)

(CENTRALIA, WA) – A Centralia man is in custody for the theft of checks from the Centralia Utility payment drop box in the 500 block of North Pearl Street. Centralia Police say a vehicle was located that matched the description of the vehicle that was seen leaving the scene after the drop box was broken into Sunday night.  After a brief interview, police arrested 31-year old Erick D. Teichman-Lehrer. He admitted to breaking into the drop box and stealing envelopes containing checks. Teichman-Lehrer was booked into the Lewis County Jail for Second Degree Theft. Several checks were recovered.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Trump to Roll Back Obama’s Climate, Water Rules through Executive Action (Washington Post)

Low Temperatures Bring Stress of High Electric Bills (Kitsap Sun, Bremerton, WA – Paywall Advisory)

Elma Council Supports Grays Harbor PUD Fiber Optic Project (Aberdeen Daily World, WA)

Weak Coho Run Forecast for Columbia River (Vancouver Columbian, WA)

Pot Sales Are Mellowing Out (Vancouver Columbian, WA)

Centralia City Light Payment Drop Box Vandalized (KELA Radio, Centralia, WA)

(CENTRALIA, WA) -- Police are investigating the vandalism of the Centralia City Light payment drop box in the 500 block of North Pearl Street sometime over the weekend. Centralia Police say about 6:30 AM Monday they received a report from a citizen that the drop box had been broken into and everything was taken.  Officers found that the drop box was opened and empty.  A City Light representative told police the box had been emptied on Friday.  Employees will be checking Tuesday to determine if anything was taken.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Excerpt from “Roosevelt Understood the Power of a Public Option (NY Times Op/Ed, November 30, 2009)”

As governor of New York, Franklin D. Roosevelt crusaded for “public power,” government-owned electric plants. He was outraged by the high prices that monopolistic utility companies were charging and by their refusal to bring electricity to rural parts of the state, which, they said, could not be done economically. Public plants, Roosevelt said, could bring power to those who needed it and serve as a yardstick for measuring and keeping in check the prices charged by private power companies.

In the early 20th century, electricity was a hot political issue. It was expensive and did not reach many parts of the country. To Roosevelt, it was an important social justice issue. “When he talked about the benefits of cheap electricity he did not think in terms of kilowatts,” a top adviser said. “He thought in terms of the hired hand milking by electricity, the farm wife’s pump, stove, lights and sewing machine.”

When he ran for president in 1932, Roosevelt made public power a cornerstone of his campaign. In a speech in Portland, Ore., he explained that it could be a “birch rod in the cupboard,” which the citizenry could use to punish private power companies that were gouging the public or not providing good service. Critics accused Roosevelt of Bolshevism, but he was not deterred. Public power was no more radical, he said, than the public mail.

F.D.R. championed public power as president. During his first 100 days in office, he backed a bill to create the Tennessee Valley Authority, a federal authority that brought affordable electricity to an impoverished 40,000-square-mile stretch of the rural South.

Roosevelt had hoped to create other projects like the T.V.A., to establish yardstick pricing power on a national scale, but it proved to be a heavier logistical and political lift than he expected. In 1935, he brought government into the electricity business in another way. By executive order, he created the Rural Electrification Administration, which used federal money and local farm co-ops to lay electric lines in parts of the country that private companies had no interest in serving. The R.E.A. drove down electricity prices and helped bring lighting, sewing machines and radios to the 90 percent of rural Americans who were without them.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Crumbling California Dam Spillway Forces Nearly 200,000 to Evacuate (Christian Science Monitor)

25 Candidates Vie For Seat on Snohomish County PUD Commission (Everett Herald, WA)

Bill Would Let Washington State Public Utilities Team with Private Companies on Electric Vehicle Charging Stations (GeekWire)

Oregon: Frontier Communications Will Close Beaverton Dispatch Center, Lay Off 57 (Oregonian, Portland)

Pioneering Kitsap County Recreational Pot Grow Shut Down by State (Kitsap Sun, Bremerton, WA – Paywall Advisory)

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Oregon’s Sunny Employment News: Solar Jobs Surged in 2016 (Portland Business Journal, OR)

Army Corps of Engineers Weighs Privatizing Oregon Hatcheries (Associated Press)

Grant PUD Sees Spike in Scam Phone Calls Targeting Utility Customers (iFiberOne News, Ephrata, WA)

Jefferson PUD: Website Hack Is ‘Digital Version of Graffiti’ (Peninsula Daily News, Port Angeles, WA)

Portland Finds Parasite in Drinking Water, Raising Possible Need for Treatment Plant (Oregonian, Portland)

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Winter Storm Warning for Mason County

Winter Storm Warning for Mason County and much of Western Washington State.

From 6:00 tonight to 4:00 PM Monday

Snow is expected to increase this evening and continue off and on through early Monday afternoon.

Snow Amount
Between two and four inches of snowfall is possible. However, a convergence zone may develop over central Puget Sound and Kitsap County. This could increase the intensity of snow over the Belfair, Tahuya Peninsula area of Mason County and result in snowfall of between three and six inches.

Cold air from Canada will push down from the Fraser River Valley into Western Washington State. Blustery winds are not forecast for Mason County. Whatcom, Skagit, Island Counties will get some wintry blasts.

Main Impact
Roads and sidewalks will be snow covered and very slippery. Travel will be very difficult, especially during the Monday morning commute. Delays may be significant.

Precautionary/Preparedness Actions
A winter storm warning for heavy snow means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Significant amounts of snow are forecast that will make travel dangerous. Only travel in an emergency. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.

The Forecast Tonight through Tuesday

Rain and snow, becoming all snow after 10pm. Low around 33. North northeast wind around 5 mph becoming west after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

Snow showers likely. Cloudy, with a high near 40. Light and variable wind. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

Monday Night
A 50 percent chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 31. Calm wind. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.


A chance of snow showers before 10am, then a chance of rain and snow showers between 10am and 4pm, then a chance of rain showers after 4pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 41. Light and variable wind. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Western Washington State Snow, Freezing Rain Possible as Early as Thursday Evening (KIRO Broadcasting, Seattle, WA)

Cold Snaps Mean Centralia City Light, PUD Customers Will See Spike in Utility Bills (The Chronicle, Centralia, WA)

Nez Perce County Officials Oppose Breaching of Dams on Snake, Columbia Rivers (Lewiston Tribune, ID)

Biodiesel Scam Involving Pasco Firm Lands Man in Federal Prison (Tri-City Herald, Kennewick, WA)

Legislature Told To Target Transportation to Get Oregon on Course to Meet Failing Emissions Goals (Portland Business Journal, OR)