Connelly, P-I keep journalism alive online in Seattle

Seattle Post-Intelligencer columnist Joel Connelly is the kind of newspaperman who bleeds printer's ink. He takes pride in the motto of comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable.

He is the political commentator Washington readers had come to love and hate. But his analysis of what’s going on in the Pacific Northwest or the nation’s Capitol has usually been right on.

INL lab chief Grossenbacher talks frankly about technology and public policy

Retired Admiral John Grossenbacher, the lab director at the Idaho National Laboratory gave the keynote address last week at the Energy Policy Institute Summit at Boise State University.

Mining company keeps mining company from opening cobalt mine

Mining company Formation Capital Corp. was able to satisfy the concerns of every environmental group and Indian tribe that came forward. But the company still has a major opponent, the owner of its neighboring cobalt mine.

Formation Capital plans to invest $138 million to mine more than 1,500 tons of cobalt a year from a mine 22 miles west of Salmon in an area with some of the richest deposits of cobalt known in the world. The mineral is used in jet engines, batteries for hybrid and electric cars and other machines.

Ocean temperature shifts play key role in salmon survival

It wasn’t until the 1990s that scientists figured out what they now call the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, a pattern climate variability that shifts the surface water of the Pacific from warm to cool. When scientists discovered the phenomena while studying salmon they found it shifted in the past predictably about every 20 to 30 years.

How bloody will wolf delisting be?

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar chose the interests of western Democrats over those of environmental groups in delisting wolves in the Northern Rockies.

But he also made friends with Republicans like Idaho Gov. Butch Otter who howled when he heard the decision and called it an Idaho success story. He repeated his desired to get a tag to shoot a wolf.

When an Idaho Republican can call wolf management a success story wolf advocates should sit up and listen. But they will return to court, luckily for Otter and others, after the legislatures of Montana and Idaho have left town.

In salmon and dams saga, the hard part begins

Neither side in the salmon-dam lawsuit could walk away Friday confident that they were going to eventually get their way from U.S. District Judge James Redden Friday in Portland.

Redden told federal, tribal and environmental lawyers that it a close call whether the latest federal biological opinion on Columbia and Snake River dams meets the Endangered Species Act. And he said at the end of the day if he makes a final ruling he will make it on the law.

Idaho's forest towns will see huge financial influx with stimulus

In Idaho’s rural timber counties, the housing slump didn’t start the depression.

For residents of Benewah, Boundary, Clearwater, Shoshone, Idaho and Adams County, the slump began in the 1990s and the economy never really recovered. The backwoods, backwater economy was tied to the timber industry. First the industry cut jobs by making its mills efficient. Then environmentalists tied up timber sales with the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act.

Wolves kill cougar near Sun Valley (Updated)

A celebrity pack of wolves in Idaho has made the scene in Sun Valley this week and killed a mountain lion.

The Phantom Hill Pack, which makes it home north of Ketchum, moved into the Elkhorn area last weekend giving Wood River Valley residents many opportunities to see the wolves, which were already a tourist attraction in the resort community.

Coeur d'Alene's Alaska gold mine fate goes to high court

The most controversial mine in the nation is owned by an Idaho company in Alaska and its fate rides on the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Kensington gold mine near Juneau, Alaska is owned by Coeur d’Alene Mines, which wants to deposit the mine’s 4.5 million tons of heavy-metal-laden tailings in a small alpine lake. It plans to cap the tailings and restock the lake when they are done.

Energy opportunities aren't only in power generation

As Idaho and Boise and ponder the world shift triggered by a low carbon economy, the winners of the next generation have to be anticipated.

I have written a lot about wind, solar and geothermal technology and even the computer-driven smart grid software opportunities that are taking off as carbon-free energy alternatives are rewarded in the marketplace. But power generation isn’t the only kind of innovations that will come from our new energy world. Another equally important technology is around lighting.

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