President Bush officially approved the high-level radioactive waste dump at Yucca Mountain on Feb. 15 (HCN, 2/4/02: Yucca Mountain debate goes nuclear). Later the same day, Nevada filed a lawsuit - its fifth - alleging that the energy department's reliance on man-made barriers, rather than Yucca Mountain's natural geology, to contain radioactivity violates the Nuclear Waste Policy Act.
class-action lawsuit against 29 Enron executives could target Lou
Pai's Taylor Ranch in southern Colorado's San Luis Valley
(HCN, 8/16/99: Taylor Ranch sells). The lawsuit, now headed by the
University of California, alleges insider trading by the executives
and may seek seizure of assets purchased with profits from their
sale of Enron stock. Pai purchased the 77,500-acre ranch, which
includes Culebra Peak, one of Colorado's 14,000-foot-plus summits,
between 1997 and 2000.
Economics have left the
Blackfeet Tribe's wind-power project twisting in the
breeze (HCN, 8/13/01: Blackfeet bet on wind). The tribe
partnered with San Diego-based SeaWest WindPower to build a
55-megawatt turbine project and sell the power to the Bonneville
Power Administration. Construction was expected to start this
summer, but the nationwide drop in energy prices, high transmission
costs and the end of a federal wind-power tax credit have made the
project less economical. A final decision may come from BPA in the
next few weeks.
Arsonist Mark Warren
Sands was sentenced to 18 years in prison and ordered to
pay $2.8 million after he set fire to eight luxury homes in Phoenix
and Tucson (HCN, 7/2/01: Luxury homes torched in Tucson). The
former marketing director told The New York
Times that he burned the first house because it blocked
access to his favorite jogging trail and only later conceived a
plan for his fiery campaign against sprawl.
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission
named Steve Huffaker head of the state's wildlife agency
after Rod Sando resigned Jan. 23 under pressure from the commission
and Gov. Dirk Kempthorne (HCN, 2/18/02: Predator politics gets ugly
in Idaho). Idaho Wildlife Federation head Jack Fisher calls
Huffaker, an 18-year veteran of the department, "a good selection."
Meanwhile, a coalition led by the Wildlife Federation is moving
forward with a voter initiative to strengthen public control of the
Fish and Game Commission.