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Kitten rescued from Colbert power pole

Avista got the first call from the cats owners at 9:49 a.m. on Thursday. According to an Avista spokesperson, the utilities company will not get a cat down from a power pole until it has been up there for 72 hours. They said it usually will get hungry or cold and get down on its own. They did not know how the cat got up on the pole in the first place.

After the second call from the cat's owners, the company responded due to the rainfall on Friday. Spokane got .05 inches of rain on Thursday and expected to get a quarter of an inch of rain on Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

Avista got Coco down at around 10:00 a.m. on Friday. KREM2

Just a reminder; if your cats are indoor-only kitties they are less likely to get stuck in trees. Or power poles.

Rock Lake getting 255,000 steelhead thanks to lawsuit

FISHING – Rock Lake is being planted this week with 255,000 steelhead from Washington hatcheries connected to a wild fish lawsuit that prevents their release in Puget Sound streams.

The fish are 6-8 inches long and should be a big boost fishing at the Whitman County lake starting this fall, said Chris Donley, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife inland lakes manager.

The lawsuit-restricted fish prospered when stocked last year in Sprague Lake during the first year the steelhead were salvaged for inland waters. But Sprague will not share in the steelhead bounty this year.  "We want to highlight Sprague for its excellent bass fishing," Donley said.

Stocking in Rock Lake began Friday with a plant of 45,000 fish. The trucks will continue to roll to get all of the fish into the lake by June 29, Donley said.

Other trout releases:  Lake Spokane received another plant of about 120,000 triploid rainbow trout this year that should be producing well by fall. The plant is funded by Avista as part of a recreation mitigation for operating Long Lake Dam.  The  trout stocked in last year's debut of the program for Lake Spokane produced a lot of satisfied anglers last fall, winter and this spring.

Power outages reported

COEUR d'ALENE - Power outages during the past weekend affected 5,211 Kootenai County Avista customers mainly due to inclement weather and equipment problems.

Laurine Jue, spokesperson for Avista, said a Monday outage that affected 2,300 Coeur d'Alene residents was due to equipment failure, but it was fixed in less than an hour. More here. Jeff Selle, CdA Press

When was the last time you were without power?

Nine Mile Reservoir drawdown to increase Monday

WATERSPORTS — Generator updating at Nine Mile Dam on the Spokane River will require a further drawdown of Nine Mile Reservoir starting Monday, Avista officials say.

The reservoir already has been lowered three feet since mid-August for the project to replace the original 1906 turbine generating units.

The reservoir must be lowered an additional three feet over two days for a total of six feet, officials said.

The Nine Mile Reservoir drawdown does not affect the water level downstream in Lake Spokane.

In addition, Avista will need to draw the reservoir down 12 feet starting the week of Oct. 27 for approximately one week. This drawdown will allow workers to replace additional equipment. 

While the reservoir is drawn down in late October, Avista will also construct the Nine Mile Boat-Take-Out, which is located upstream of the dam, and will continue its efforts toward removing invasive flowering rush plants along the shoreline.

Sign up for e-mail notifications from Avista on the water level changes related to our operations.

  • To receive notifications on Coeur d’Alene Lake and the Spokane River downstream of Post Falls Dam, please email spokanerivernews@avistacorp.com and include CDA Lake and Spokane River water level update in the subject line.
  • To receive updates about Nine Mile Reservoir and Lake Spokane, please email spokanerivernews@avistacorp.com and include Nine Mile Reservoir and Lake Spokane water level update in the subject line.

Lake Coeur d’Alene annual drawdown starts today

WATERSPORTS — The annual fall drawdown of Lake Coeur d’Alene will begin today, Avista officials say.

The lake will be gradually lowered about a foot from full pool elevation of 2,128 feet by Sept. 30.

The drawdown will continue an additional 1.5 feet a month until reaching its winter level of of 2,122 feet.

The drawdown will increase flows in the Spokane River, giving anglers a boost by perking up the fishery, but dam operators do not plan to open the dam’s spill gates. 

The river above Post Falls Dam should remain open to boating until November, Avista said.

Nine Mile Reservoir drawdown starts Friday

WATERSPORTS — The water level of Nine Mile Reservoir will be lowered 3 to 6 feet starting Friday to accommodate work underway at Nine Mile Dam.

Avista Utilities is replacing original 1906 turbine generating Units 1 and 2, and associated equipment. The project requires the reservoir to be drawn down below normal levels until the end of the year.

The reservoir will be drawn down more sharply to about 12 feet during the middle of October for approximately one week, officials said. This drawdown will allow Avista to replace additional equipment.  Avista will take two days to draw the reservoir down in an effort to minimize erosion and other effects on aquatic resources. 

Avista plans to take advantage of the extended October drawdown to construct a Nine Mile Boat-Take-Out just upstream of the dam, and will increase efforts to remove invasive flowering rush plants along the shoreline.

Landowners should secure docks and plan recreation activities with the drawdowns in mind.

Get paid and save with appliance recycling program

It sounds like the oldest crank call in the book:

“Is your refrigerator running?”


“Well, you’d better go catch it!”


But if you answered yes, there's a chance to recycle secondary inefficient refrigerators or freezers through Avista’s pretty cool appliance recycling program that will pay you back. 


State, Avista join to stock trout in Lake Spokane

FISHING — About 155,000 catchable-size rainbow trout are being stocked into Lake Spokane in the first season of a 10-year agreement between the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Avista Utilities.

Lake Spokane, sometimes called Long Lake, is the Spokane River reservoir west of Spokane, created by Avista’s Long Lake Dam.

While the reservoir is popular among anglers fishing for bass, crappie and perch, trout fishing will improve with the annual stocking of rainbows, each about 8 inches long and expected to grow quickly. 

The stocking already has begun with trout from the state’s Spokane Fish Hatchery and Trout Lodge, Inc. in Soap Lake. The fish are sterile so they cannot reproduce with native fish in the river system. They are marked with clipped adipose fins for ease of monitoring harvest through creel surveys that will begin in 2016.

WDFW district fish biologist Randy Osborne and Avista Environmental Specialist Tim Vore thank members of the Spokane Fly Fishers and Inland Empire Fly Fishing clubs for volunteering time to the trout stocking program.

“Avista has long been providing public fishing and boating opportunities,” said Vore, “but this is an excellent new opportunity to fish and enjoy Lake Spokane.”

Randy Osborne, the state’s district fish biologist, says anglers can expect the trout to be down in the cooler water of the reservoir this summer, and therefore more conducive to boat fishing.

  • Click here for details on boat launching facilities.

But this fall and next spring, when the stocked trout are bigger, casting near the surface off of the docks or public shorelines will also be productive.

Lake Spokane water levels to drop tonight

BOATING — Avista Utilities will start lowering the water level of Lake Spokane (Long Lake Reservoir) today by an additional one and one-half feet to facilitate work downstream of the company’s Long Lake Dam, the company has just announced.

By Thursday morning, May 1, the water level will be at an elevation of 1533.75 feet. Avista expects the lake level to return to the higher elevation of about 1535.2 feet by Thursday evening.

Property owners and lake-users need to tend or remove boats from the water and secure docks and boathouses to the lower-water conditions. Floating and removable docks are less susceptible to damage from shifting or changing water levels.

 Info: Washington call (509) 495-8043.

This Friday, check out the Huntington Park grand opening and First Friday food truck rally

Have you seen all that construction below the southern side of the Monroe St bridge and up to City Hall? Avista and the City of Spokane created a new public plaza that means no more hopping the gate, connecting Riverfront Park to Huntington Park.

There will be a celebration to coincide with First Friday Food Truck Rally Festivities 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Post Street in front of City Hall this Friday. 

Cda power outages

COEUR d'ALENE - More than 2,000 people in the downtown Coeur d'Alene area experienced power outages for a bit more than an hour Saturday afternoon when windy conditions caused trees to blow into power lines.

Avista Utilities spokesperson Laurine Jue said an interrupted "feeder," a major electrical distribution line, was the source of the high volume of outages.

"An entire feeder was affected," she said. "When a feeder goes out, it certainly affects a significant number of customers."

Climatologist Cliff Harris recorded a wind gust of 47 mph at 10:38 a.m. Saturday.Read more. Devin Heilman, Cda Press

Anyone affected by Saturdays power outages?

Lake Spokane drawdown to begin Monday

RESERVOIRS — The annual drawdown of Lake Spokane, the Spokane River reservoir also known as Long Lake, is set to begin on Monday (Jan. 6), Avista Utilities announced today in a media release.

In 2013, the drawdown started on Jan. 23.

Once the drawdown begins, operators expect to lower the reservoir up to one foot a day for two or three weeks until it reaches its winter elevation of 13-14 feet below maximum summer elevation of 1,536 feet.

Under the right weather conditions, which include sustained periods of single-digit temperatures and little or no snow on the exposed lakebed, the drawdown is expected to help control Eurasian watermilfoil and other invasive aquatic weeds found in Lake Spokane. The drawdown also allows property owners to complete state and locally permitted repair and construction projects along the lake shoreline.

The lower winter elevation will be maintained until runoff conditions begin. Water levels can change with weather conditions in the upper Spokane River drainage.

For updates on changes at Lake Spokane, the Spokane River and Coeur d’ Alene Lake, check the Avista website or call: Washington (509) 495-8043; Idaho, call (208) 769-1357.

Avista hosts Energy Fair at Emmanuel Family Life Center

Interested in learning more about energy efficiency and managing home energy bills? Check out the Avista Energy Fair,  a free event that will be held this Thursday, September 26, from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. at the Emmanuel Family Life Center, 631 S. Richard Allen Court. Fair goers will see demonstrations of how to install energy efficiency materials and Avista is providing complimentary food and beverages, door prizes, and activities for the kids.

The Avista Energy Fair will offer demonstrations of ways to keep homes comfortable and safe for the winter ahead. Fair attendees can speak with Avista staff and learn first-hand about low-cost and no-cost energy efficiency tips. They’ll see how to install draft stoppers like rope caulk, window plastic and v-seal. Free samples of these and other materials to help people maximize energy efficiency in their homes will be given out at the fair.

In addition, Avista’s community partners will be on hand to provide information about services and resources they provide to the community. Scheduled to attend in Spokane are: Aging & Long Term Care of Eastern Washington (ALTCEW), Bank On, Community Frameworks, Community Minded Enterprises, Goodwill Industries of the Inland Northwest, INHS Community Wellness, Kiemle & Hagood Company, Molina Healthcare, Money Management International, SNAP, Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency, and WorkSource.

Lake Coeur d’Alene fall drawdown begins today

LAKES — The slow annual fall drawdown of Lake Coeur d’Alene is beginning today.

The lake level will be gradually lowered through Post Falls Dam about a foot by the end of September, giving property owners time to secure boats and docks for the winter season, Avista officials said today in a media release.

After September, the drawdown rate will increase to about 1.5 feet a month until reaching the winter elevation of 2,122 feet. The summer level of the lake behind Post Falls Dam is about 2,128 feet.

The drawdown will increase flows in the Spokane River, giving anglers a boost by perking up the fishery, but dam operators do not plan to open the dam’s spill gates. 

The river above Post Falls Dam should remain open to boating until November, Avista said.

Powerhouse gets a new (er,old?) look

The makeover continues at Riverfront Park as Avista launches a three-month project to improve two of my favorite spots in Spokane: the iconic, art-deco Upper Falls Powerhouse and the City's Theme Stream Bridge on the west edge of Riverfront Park. This will include repainting the powerhouse in its original colors (peach), rebuilding the bridge and removing non-native vegetation to enhance the view of the Spokane River’s upper falls.

They'll repaint the seawall at the base of the building and railings around the building with colors that are consistent with the plant’s 1920s-era origin.

Breaking Ground at Huntington Park

Flanked by earthmovers and pickups, with the Riverfront Park gondolas gliding overhead, Scott Morris talked fondly Tuesday of the year 1889, city parks, Spokane and the company he runs, Avista.

“We, in a sense, grew up together,” Morris said to a gathering of about 50 people from the city and Avista. The energy company was founded almost 125 years ago, and Manito and Riverfront parks were created, in part, by cooperation between his company and the city.

And now there’s another partnership between the city and energy company, and it will end with more outdoor public space.

As Morris and Spokane Mayor David Condon climbed into two bulldozers and moved some dirt around, a new Huntington Park moved that much closer to realization. The four-acre park runs along the lower Spokane Falls on the south side of the river. Huntington and Riverfront parks will be connected by a plaza running between City Hall and the old Washington Water Power building.

Idaho/WA combat metal thieves

Avista linemen Mitch Colvin, left, and Bill Shaffer worked with a crew to install a replacement pole in Coeur d’Alene on Tuesday. Included in all replacement poles is a metal guard to deter the theft of copper wiring.

BOISE – Metal thieves who steal from electrical substations and other utility installations in Idaho now face stiffer penalties, particularly if their pilfering interrupts service.

And if the thieves are injured in the act, utilities now enjoy immunity from legal liability.

It’s part of an overall crackdown on metal theft that also includes new requirements that scrap dealers photograph those who sell them metal and gather other information that authorities could later use to identify them, if necessary.

Have you ever been the victim of any kind of theft? What was taken and from where?

Rain forces closure of Post Falls boating access

BOATING —  Recent heavy rain in the region doubled the flows in the Spokane River within a 24 hour period and prompted Avista to open one of the spill gates at the Post Falls Dam.

The City of Post Falls boat launch and swim beach at Q’emiln Park was closed today. For public safety reasons, whenever any of the spill gates at the Post Falls Dam are open, river recreation is prohibited in the area between the Spokane Street Bridge and the Post Falls Dam.

With more rain in the forecast over the next several days, the boat launch is expected to be closed through the weekend. 

Just last week, the Post Falls Dam spill gates were all closed and the Q’emiln Park boat launch was opened on June 12. This typically occurs sometime between Memorial Day and the July 4 holiday, and on average about June 22. But this year’s below-normal spring precipitation and snow pack resulted in below normal river inflows into Coeur d’Alene Lake allowed Avista to close all the Post Falls Dam spill gates earlier than average. However, recent heavy rains have quickly changed the water levels.

For current information on anticipated elevation changes on Coeur d’ Alene Lake, Lake Spokane and the Spokane River, call Avista’s 24-hour telephone information line. In Idaho, call (208) 769-1357; in Washington, call (509) 495-8043 or check the Avista Utilities website.

Boating facilities open early at Post Falls

BOATING – Below normal spring runoff has allowed Avista to stabilize Lake Coeur d’Alene at summer levels and expand boating opportunities about a week earlier than normal.

The Spokane River was opened Wednesday to recreation between the Spokane Street Bridge and the boater safety cables upstream of the Post Falls Dam.

The Post Falls boat launch and swim beach at Q’emiln Park also has opened.

 You can also check weather and water flow information on the Avista Utilities website.

Thursday GSI BizStreet morning discussion features Avista CEO Morris

Scott Morris


Avista CEO Scott Morris comes downtown this week, taking part in the Thursday morning GSI-sponsored BizStreet morning session.

The PR material says: "Learn what Avista is doing to serve its customers, maintain an engaged workforce, be strong community partners and attract investors."

The schedule: coffee and chat: 7:45 a.m.-8 a.m.; program from 8 to 9 a.m.

Location: 801 W Riverside, Suite 100; $25 for GSI members, $50 for others.


Obama nominates REI’s CEO for Secretary of Interior

PUBLIC LANDS — Sally Jewell, Recreational Equipment Inc. Chief Executive Sally Jewell is being nominated by President Obama to lead the Interior Department in his second term.

Jewell, 56, has served as the Washington-state-based outdoor retailer's CEO since 2005. She started her career as a petroleum engineer working in the oil fields of Oklahoma and Colorado for Mobil Oil Corp. She then moved to the banking industry, before joining the REI board in 1996 and becoming chief operations officer four years later.

She has been credited with expanding the Washington state-based retailer's Internet operations and contributing company resources to environmental stewardship.

Jewell was on the Avista Corp. board of directors from May 1997 through May 2003.

If confirmed by the Senate, she will replace current Secretary Ken Salazar, who plans to step down to return to Colorado.


-Tim Wigley, president, Western Energy Alliance, which represents the oil and natural gas industry in the West.

Her experience as a petroleum engineer and business leader will bring a unique perspective to an office that is key to our nation's energy portfolio.

-Chris Wood, president and CEO, Trout Unlimited

Sally Jewell would make a great Secretary of Interior. Her background suggests that she would bring needed balance to energy development on public lands. Her stewardship of REI demonstrates that she understands the interests of anglers and hunters and would serve as an aggressive advocate within the White House for protecting fish and game habitat and hunting and angling opportunity. She is a practical, no-nonsense leader who would bring a sense of purpose to implementing the oil and gas reforms that have remained largely on the shelf. She is a strong pick.

-Sen. Patty Murray:

President Obama has chosen an accomplished leader as the next Secretary of Interior. I have enjoyed a strong working relationship with Sally Jewell, who has proven to be an effective CEO in the business community, and will bring that skill set to the Cabinet. She understands the tremendous asset that our public lands are, particularly to the multi-billion dollar outdoor recreation based economy. Additionally, American families could have no greater advocate for their continued use, enjoyment and protection of our National Parks and natural treasures. I look forward to working with Sally and President Obama as they shape and implement policies at the Department of Interior.

 -Jim Lyon, National Wildlife Federation senior vice president for conservation programs:

        Sally Jewell is a business leader who knows that conserving America’s natural resources is fundamentally linked to a healthy and strong economy. Outdoor recreation contributes $730 billion to America’s economy and delivers $49 billion in tax revenue annually, but faces a critical challenge as Washington considers even more cuts to conservation programs on top of steep cuts already made. Hunters, anglers, hikers, kayakers, bird watchers and all who value and cherish the outdoors and wildlife will benefit from her first hand understanding of Americans’ passion for protecting our natural treasures.

-Mike Nussman, American Sportfishing Association president and CEO:

From an industry perspective, Sally Jewell understands the important role that our public waters and lands have in supporting the nation’s $646 billion outdoor recreation economy. Given its responsibility for managing approximately one-fifth of the nation’s lands and waters, the Department of the Interior has a significant role in providing recreational fishing opportunities and conserving the nation’s fisheries resources.

Avista begins drawdown of Lake Spokane

RIVERS – The annual drawdown of Lake Spokane, the Spokane River reservoir also known as Long Lake, has begun, Avista Utilities announced today in a media release.

Starting today, operators expect to lower the reservoir up to one foot a day for two or three weeks until it reaches its winter elevation of 13-14 feet below maximum summer elevation of 1,536 feet.

Under the right weather conditions, which include sustained periods of single-digit temperatures and little or no snow on the exposed lakebed, the drawdown is expected to help control Eurasian watermilfoil and other invasive aquatic weeds found in Lake Spokane. The drawdown also allows property owners to complete state and locally permitted repair and construction projects along the lake shoreline.

The lower winter elevation will be maintained until runoff conditions begin. Water levels can change with weather conditions in the upper Spokane River drainage.

For updates on changes at Lake Spokane, the Spokane River and Coeur d’ Alene Lake, check the Avista website or call: Washington (509) 495-8043; Idaho, call (208) 769-1357.

Jon Eliassen recalls the contributions to WWP board by the late Gen. Schwarzkopf

Jon Eliassen, the current CEO of Red Lion Hotel Corp., sent us this afternoon his impressions of H. Norman Schwarzkopf's contributions on the Washington Water Power board, from 1993 to 1997.

To counter any who might have thought an Army general was just window dressing on the board, Eliassen, who a company VP of finance at the time, recalls a man fully focused on the utility's business.

Eliassen's offered comment is:

"The General was a thoughtful, articulate and engaged board member, and he was always well prepared and always willing to offer comments and questions—Great military leaders translate well into very capable leaders in many business situations, and Norm was no exception.   It was a pleasure to work with him for those four years he sat on our boards of WWP and of Pentzer."

Clark: Avista Keeps Wanting More

The Spokesman-Review’s most oft-repeated headline reappeared the other day on our Business page. “Avista seeks hike in rates.” This time it’s our North Idaho friends who are getting the treatment. But it doesn’t matter where you live in this great Ingrown Empire. Avista love is spread around pretty much equally. In fact, in the last 100 or so years, a small forest has been chopped down just to make the newsprint needed to carry this headline and variations like it, including … “Soaring Avista rates beat Rover to Mars.” And … “Avista CEO salary hits new record; any guesses who’s gonna pay?” No research has been done to calculate how many gallons of ink have gone into printing these rate hike headlines/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Are you as tired of Avista rate hikes and rate-hike requests as columnist Clark?

Is Avista Asking For Too Much?

Avista Corp. is asking too much of its customers in its latest push to raise rates 6.3 percent for electricity and 6.9 percent for natural gas, the Washington Attorney General’s Office and the state Utilities and Transportation Commission’s staff said Wednesday. The Spokane-based utility proposes the higher rates to raise an additional $40.9 million from electric customers and another $10.1 million from natural gas customers in Eastern Washington. Avista’s request is “an unjustified burden on customers” so soon after the utility raised rates at the start of this year and after a decade of nearly annual rate increases, said Senior Assistant Attorney General Simon ffitch. “Unfortunately it’s a revolving door from the consumer perspective,” ffitch said Wednesday. “I think customers are worn out, they’re frustrated, they’ve given and they’ve given and they’ve given again, and they’re tapped out in terms of ability to pay these rate increases, which just keep on coming”/Scott Maben, SR. More here. (Wikipedia photo of Avista symbol)

Question: Do you think of "greedy" when you think of Avista?

Spokane River access opens at Post Falls

BOATING — The City of Post Falls boat launch and swim beach at Q’emiln Park has opened to the public Friday. 

Avista officials said river flows had dropped sufficiently to allow all of the spill gates at the Post Falls hydroelectric facility to be closed last week. Typically this occurs sometime between Memorial Day and the July 4 holiday, and on average about June 22. The spring runoff season extended well into July this year because of a larger than average snowpack and rainfall in June that amounted to more than twice the normal amounts.

For current information on anticipated elevation changes on Coeur d’ Alene Lake, Lake Spokane, and the Spokane River, call Avista’s 24-hour telephone information line.

  • In Idaho, call (208) 769-1357;
  • In Washington, call (509) 495-8043.

Post Falls Dam informational meeting tonight

I know this is late notice but Avista will have a meeting to discuss summer work on the Post Falls Dam and answer questions tonight from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Post Falls Police Department in Post Falls at 1717 E. Polston Ave. The meeting is open to the public. For more information, please call Mac Mikkelson at 509-495-8759.

From the Avista Blog:

We’re replacing the lifting hoists and old timber intake gates with modern lifting hoists and new steel gates. The work is expected to update a system that is more than 100 years old in places, enhancing safety and increasing reliability and efficiency at the dam. We were also planning to refurbish the spill gates in the south channel of the river, but that project has been postponed until 2013.

The intake gate replacement project is scheduled for July-November 2012 while river flows are at summer levels. During the project, we’ll do our best to minimize the disruption to recreation and power generation as much as possible, but the work is important so we can continue to safely generate clean, reliable hydropower. The project will affect park users, boaters and dam operations.

Avista will pay you for your extra refrigerator or freezer

Do you have an old, energy-hogging refrigerator or freezer plugged in at your home, garage or shed? Avista wants to know and if so, they say you could be spending up to $100 a year on electricity just to keep it running.

It's time to take advantage of their Refrigerator Recycling Program, where you can earn $30 to recycle that old refrigerator or freezer. Older refrigerators and freezers, especially those built before 1990, consume up to four times more energy than new, more efficient models.

Once picked up, the old units are transported to a recycling facility, operated by JACO Environmental. The units are dismantled and recycled through a process that returns up to 95 percent of each unit back into the manufacturing stream. Here’s what you need to do:

Sandpoint ospreys hatch 1st chick under web cam

WILDLIFE WATCHING — Ospreys nesting above War Memorial Field in Sandpoint hatched their first chick Monday, and a web cam is giving viewers an up-close and personal view as the adults feed the bird.

The emergence of another chick could happen any day — or hour.

The first chick to hatch was being fed this morning around 9 a.m. The camera is positioned perfectly to see the action as though you were in the nest.

With a web cam fixed above the nest platform, the public was able to watch the ospreys arrive on April 10 to begin building their nest and go through courtship.

In late April, the camera caught skirmishes between the pair that adopted this nest and a second osprey pair that was attempting to hijack the nest. (The field on Lake Pend Oreille has two osprey nests.)

The Sandpoint Osprey Cam is a collaboration of the City of Sandpoint and Sandpoint Online with corporate support by Avista and Northland Communications. Consulting biologist is Jane Fink of Birds of Prey Northwest.  Moving the nest and puting up the web cam was no easy task. Read about the project.

The Sandpoint Online web page includes a chat feature for osprey watchers to trade observations, plus  Fink is providing an interpretive blog.

The number of daily page views grew into the thousands on May 7, when the female osprey laid the pair's first egg at 12:48 p.m.  (above left). That egg hatched on June 18.  The second should hatch any hour or day.

The parents will be feeding fish to the birds every few hours for weeks.  Enjoy the show.

Meantime, check out this incredible osprey fishing video and brief yourself with Fink's answers to osprey FAQ»

Avista ‘disappointed,’ S-R stands by story

Avista Corp. issued a statement today saying it was "disappointed" in my article in today's Spokesman-Review on how the utility is spending thousands to target two North Idaho GOP lawmakers for defeat in Tuesday's primary, suggesting the article was misleading because it lacked greater examination of the entire scope of the utility’s political activities, including its activities in the state of Washington. The statement makes no claim that the article was inaccurate; you can read the full statement here.

Meanwhile, S-R City Editor Addy Hatch sent out a tweet noting that a link to Avista's statement has been posted with the story, and adding, "As far as setting the record straight, we believe the story is factual and fair and we stand by it." And among the 25 comments (so far) on the online version of the story on the S-R website was this one, posted late this afternoon by commenter PerryE:

"I’m George Eskridge’s son, and a lobbyist myself. I agree with Avista that the article wasn’t quite clear enough on the fact that Avista warned my father several months ago, during Idaho’s legislative session, that if he didn’t vote Avista’s way that Avista would be sure that Rep. Eskridge wouldn’t be re-elected.

Growing up, during 'family summer trips' visiting the various Bonneville customers my father so diligently served, I watched my father advocate for cheaper power for utilities and their customers. Now he’s working very hard to ensure that the families in his legislative district have access to cheaper power to keep the lights and heat on as they also work to stay in their homes and put food on their tables.

Now, as Avista has been caught trying to make good on Colwell’s threats, at least Avista could have the decency to owe up to Avista’s political efforts. Their customers, and my dad’s constituents, deserve at least that much!"