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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Down To Earth

Spokesman-Review story roundup

Good news for people who love stimulus money. Bert Caldwell of the S-R reported the “Spokane Neighborhood Action Programs, which administers the federal Weatherization Action Program in the community, will get $1.73 million annually over the next three years.” That will more than double the pace of home weatherization in Spokane, and in the process create jobs and reduce dependence on imported oil. Tasks include installing energy efficient lighting fixtures and programmable thermostats. Walls are filled in, cracks are sealed and windows are replaced. Weatherization can save an average homeowner $358 annually on utility bills, and to qualify, a family of four can earn no more than roughly $44,000. MORE.

Dam if you do. Dam if you don’t. A report by American Rivers has named the lower Snake River the third most endangered waterway in the country, blaming the four dams which have caused damage to salmon runs. “Taking out the four lower Snake River dams and giving an endangered river a much-needed chance to recover is smart business,” Paul Fish, head of Mountain Gear, an outdoor retail company based in Spokane, said in the American Rivers report. “A restored Snake River will mean abundant salmon, more outdoor recreation and fishing opportunities, and more jobs for the Northwest. The Obama administration has an opportunity to transform an endangered Snake River into a working Snake River.”

On the other side, dam supporters argue removal will cost the region jobs, and a massive increase in energy prices since the they provide electricity and irrigation. Yet the fact remains: The four dams kill as many as 90 percent of juvenile salmon and steelhead that migrate downstream to the ocean every year. MORE.

Down To Earth

The DTE blog is committed to reporting and sharing environmental news and sustainability information from across the Inland Northwest.