1.PGE is going to implode the 500-foot tall cooling tower at the decommissioned Trojan Nuclear Power Plant. The company that is doing the job is Controlled Demolition. (Fun Fact: controlled Demolition is the company that cleaned up the World Trade Center mess after 9/11. Amazingly enough, the steel girders were just the right size to fit on the company's truck!)
2. Oregon's fabulous economic recovery caused state auditors to 'misunderestimate' the amount of money they had which in turn means that the poor are going to be in even worse shape than before. (Maybe we should go back to having an economy in trouble; at least then a few more people had access to social services. Ahh... the Bad Old Days... .)
3. Federal Judge James Redden ordered more water to be spilled over the dams on the Snake and Columbia rivers. What a surprise: fish get carsick!)
4. Warren "Rudy" Clements, leader of the Warm springs has died.
5. The snow pack on Mt. Hood is heavier than last year but still below average.
6. Southern California Edison is going to close a power plant near Laughlin, Nevada. Hurrah1 The coal-fired plant repeatedly violated the clean Air Act, emitting high amounts of fine particles and contributing to the brown haze at the Grand Canyon.
7.FSRN: Two former employees of socially-responsibility garment maker American apparel have dropped lawsuits alleging the company's CEO created a sexually hostile work environment. A what? That's right. He wore his (American-made) underpants to company meeting)
8. Sixteen-year old student Farris Hassan went to Iraq without telling his parents. Farris is studying 'Immersion Journalism' which encourages students to get inside the lives of subjects in order to better understand them. Apparently Farris went a little overboard. Talk about being an 'over-achiever'.
9. Yet another flaw in Microsoft's Windows operating system. This one is being used by hackers to install malicious code on PC's. The flaw leaves computers open to adware and spyware. (The software may still find a place for itself in the Defense Dept.)
10. The Admin opposes international treaties banning the use of landmines. We already know this. But here is America's latest contribution to world peace: it's called a 'Spider' and it lays down either a lethal or non-lethal - your choice! - field of fire.)
11. Condoleeza Rice announced a new international exchange program for journalists, called - with no trace of irony - the Edward R. Murrow Journalism Program. (Sounds good to me- except the part about "exchange". Hmmmm... ... ... So I could perhaps as a participant in the program be "exchanged" to a secret prison in Poland?)
12. Opponents of a Colorado ballot proposal that would bar undocumented immigrants from receiving government services say the proposal could end up costing taxpayers. (It's a sad day when appealing to peoples' hearts is a failure and it becomes necessary to appeal to their basic human greed.)
13. Climate change: There is more of it and it's coming on faster than science's worst case scenarios.
14. Lorne Waldman, the human rights lawyer representing Maher Arar says it was "ridiculous" for the US ambassador Tuttle to deny the "renditions" and the secret prisons. Moreover, he said they are part of a larger pattern.
15. Yesterday we reported that the NSA official website was using "cookies" improperly to gather data on people who visited the site. Today it turns out that the White House website is similarily bugged.
16. FSRN: Family members of Korean farmers detained during the WTO protests are converging in Hong Kong for the up-coming trials.
17. Iraq's largest oil refinery has been shut down following death threats to tanker drivers.
18. Saddam Hussein's lawyer is saying that the US should free Hussein if it wants to end its problems in Iraq and earn the friendship of other Arab nations.
19. Israel's Chief of Staff has ruled out the prospect of a pre-emptive strike against Iran's nuclear installations in the "near future". (Never what they did in the "near past"). (If you are looking for good news, that is probably as good as it's going to get in 2006 - Still, it leaves me in a miasma of foreboding.)
20.FSRN: The president of Sri Lanka is on his way to India to get help in the peace talks with the Tamil Tigers.