Sightline Daily top picks 04/15/2009

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Sightline Daily | Northwest News That Matters

Top Picks of the Day

1. Spam: scourge of inboxes and the planet

There are plenty of reasons to hate spammers. Add this to the list: They’re environmentally unfriendly. A new report estimating the carbon footprint of unwanted email — from the computational power of criminals sending it, Internet providers transmitting it and end viewers deleting it — found it wasted enough electricity to power 2.4 million U.S. homes for a year. San Francisco Chronicle 04/14/2009
2. The Columbia’s chicken goo mystery

The case stunk from the very beginning. A pair of law students followed a truckload of Foster Farms chicken carcasses to a fish processing plant near the mouth of the Columbia River. There they observed the phantom pipeline, which spewed chicken parts into the air and belched chemically rendered goo into the water. Oregonian 04/15/2009
3. Found: ideal spot for tidal power in WA

After looking for tidal energy sweet spots between Whidbey Island and the Olympic Peninsula, researchers have narrowed their focus to one square kilometer near the Keystone Ferry Terminal. The area — with fast currents, a flat sea-bottom and very few fish — could host a tidal turbine as soon as 2011, Snohomish PUD officials announced. Seattle Times 04/14/2009
4. Feds pay farmers to till arid land

As drought forces families in the West to shorten their showers and let their lawns turn brown, two Depression-era government programs have been paying some of the nation’s biggest farms hundreds of millions of dollars to grow water-thirsty crops in what was once desert. Seattle Post-Intelligencer 04/14/2009
5. Biggest NW biodiesel customer may sail

Northwest biodiesel producers, barely surviving the down economy, fear they’re about to lose their biggest potential customer. Then again, the big customer in question, the Washington State Ferries, has money issues of its own. Oregon Public Broadcasting 04/14/2009
6. BPA, utilities begin working on smart grid demo

A handful of regional utilities tentatively have agreed to join the hydro giant, Bonneville Power Administration, in attempting a “smart grid” demonstration in the Northwest. Ideally, it would encourage people to moderate energy use at peak times and address problems with renewable energy transmission, growing demand and aging infrastructure. Oregon Public Broadcasting 04/14/2009
7. Biking has its (tax) benefits. Or does it?

Last year, many commuting bicyclists rejoiced at news that deep in the bailout bill was a provision to extend commuter tax rebates to two-wheeled travelers. But the law’s real rub may be that commuters can pick only one tax-free method of travel per month. New York Times 04/14/2009
8. WA bill would ban urban growth in floodplains

A bill in Olympia that would prohibit counties from expanding urban growth on land that sees river flooding is headed for Gov. Chris Gregoire’s desk. But there are several exceptions that would still allow it. Bellingham Herald 04/14/2009
9. Will CA green jobs go to those who need them?

In San Francisco, where Mayor Gavin Newsom speaks incessantly about green jobs, will the jobs we create be for the people who need them most? And how will that play out in a city where building construction has stalled, with both green jobs trainees and more experienced tradespeople potentially looking for work? San Francisco Bay Guardian 04/15/2009

10. Does green building make cents? It depends
A new study says buildings built to high “green” standards – such as producing as much energy as they consume and reusing water that falls as rain – pay back their added cost within a reasonable period in most cases. Another new Washington study, however, says new green schools do not save

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