Opinions
To the Editor: BG should be more transparent about city electricity sources
Written by Karen Wood   
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 13:39
As BG residents and customers of BG Municipal Utilities, we are concerned about the rate increases to our electric bills announced by the City in a letter to BG rate-payers. This letter did not adequately justify the rate increases and it failed to mention that a large fraction of our electricity (currently 37%, but planned to be 50%) is coming from Prairie State Energy Campus (PSEC), a huge coal-burning plant built by the giant coal company Peabody Energy. Everyone should know that the City is now part owner of PSEC and BG rate-payers are obligated to pay off that investment for many years to come.
Our research shows that Peabody marketed the coal-generated electricity from PSEC to Ohio cities and towns at a cost of $48/MWh for 2013, arguing this rate would be better than rates dictated by market prices. However, we are now paying much more than that rate. In 2013 we paid between $63/MWh and $166/MWh (average over the year of $89/MWh) for PSEC power, more than double the market price. Moreover, PSEC went more than $1 billion over budget and has had serious operating problems ever since it went online in 2012. As a result, the plant produces electricity at a decreased capacity, so BG needs to buy additional electricity from other sources at the market prices that we wanted to avoid in the first place.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 March 2014 13:41
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Read some news. It's good for you.
Written by JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN Sentinel-Tribune Editor   
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 09:44
Ask some young people who is vice president of the U.S. and you will get a blank stare. But ask who Beyonce is married to, and most can answer Jay-Z faster than he could put a ring on her.
It's not that newsworthy information isn't accessible. More than ever before, news saturates every fiber of our lives.
Many of us are drowning in information overload. But in that smorgasbord of information, many of us are filling up on the sugary nonsense and ignoring the meat and potatoes of what matters in the world. It's much more fun to watch the video of the yodeling dog in lederhosen than try to digest the issues surrounding the new Affordable Care Act. But sometimes we really need to skip the information desserts and load up on the broccoli.
To be fair, it's not just youth. I think their lack of knowledge just sticks out more because we adults keep asking them questions they can't answer.
I've come face to face with this phenomenon when teaching journalism classes at Bowling Green State University. It's especially obvious during current events quizzes. I was accused of asking a trick question when I requested the name of the current British prime minister, since I hadn't warned there would be a question about religion. This past fall when fires were ravaging Yellowstone National Park, I asked the students what natural disaster was threatening the forest. One student answered "bears."
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To the Editor: Walbridge writer says Latta leaves citizens on hold
Written by Joann Schiavone   
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 09:24
Responding to the letter "Latta's call left him hanging." Don't feel so bad, Mr. Newnham,
I have been hanging on for like three years to get to ask Latta questions, but the minute it doesn't agree with Latta, you are left holding.
They ask you first what your question is or comments, and that is when you are left on the line. I'm still holding to ask mine. I call this the pre-arrange town meeting by phone.
Latta doesn't like the question where he stands on Social Security for fear he won't get our votes. He is way too busy demeaning the president on every issue, so unproductive.
Mr. Newnham, you were right. He only takes questions that are in his comfort zone. Latta is so afraid he won't get the tea party supports or the Koch brothers.
We need in our District 5 a new leader. One that will work for the people, not one who runs and hides when questions that are asked that will make him go against the tea party.
We are more than ready to move forward, and to this we must vote congress out of office.

Joann Schiavone
Walbridge
 
To the Editor: Science of evolution should not be ignored
Written by Lloyd A. Jones   
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 09:23
The writer of the letter of 2/20/2014 provided an outstanding example of the widespread lack of understanding of the processes of evolution and science, prevalent especially among the religious. The child mentioned is to be commended for thinking, but his mother is tremendously uninformed and most likely will fill his head with the inflexible dogma of a fundamental theist. At 7 years, he is much too young to integrate the complexities necessary to understand evolution thoroughly. However, and most frightening, he is not too young to have his mind religiously stultified, perhaps forever limiting his worldview, as well as even his willingness to understand evolution and the scientific process. Perhaps he will escape, maybe even to learn the nature of theory which obviously has mother never has. One can only hope.
What truly grates on me is the irrational inconsistency of the dedicated religionists. They, as well as essentially all of us, are happy to utilize the incredible information that has resulted from observation, hypothesis testing and analysis by scientists. Especially important are the results in medicine, as well as in other areas of study which improve our lives. Religionists seem blinded and unable to accept the results of the same methods of science when used to study the history of our planet! This is because the results abrogate the scrambled writings of semi-literate, warring, tribal, bronze-age peasants (who did not know where the sun went at darkness) formulated into their holy books. Be consistent; if you reject one, reject the other.
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To the Editor: Restaurants thanked for helping Martha's Kitchen
Written by Martha's Kitchen Board Members   
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 09:22
For many years now, Panera Bread and Pizza Hut have provided food towards the free meals offered every Friday at First United Methodist Church by Martha's Kitchen, an organization of 14 area churches.
Martha's Kitchen wishes to acknowledge their generous weekly gifts and to thank them for providing popular, wholesome foods for our guests. We are fortunate to have them in our community.

Martha's Kitchen Board Members
Bowling Green
 
To the Editor: Evolution is more than just theory
Written by William E. Feeman, Jr., M.D.   
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 09:22
The so-called "theory" of evolution is one of the most researched fields in science. But it's not as if one can sit on the sidelines and watch things evolving. No one lives 4.5 billion years and can watch evolution in progress. It's not as though one can send a satellite to Mars, calculating a precise pathway, and orbit it around, say, Mars. You can't do that with evolution.
What you can do is to examine rocks whose age can be accurately dated and check for fossils. The older the rocks, the more primitive the fossils. You could go to the Grand Canyon and see that the deeper into the canyon that one descends, the younger are the rocks and the more primitive are the fossils. In the lab you can take a chick embryo and by turning on certain genes at certain times, the chick will develop teeth and grow a dinosaur-like tail. Also, you can examine embryos and note that there is a collection of genes that is identical from the most primitive to the most advanced forms of life - the odds are impossibly high that this could be a coincidence. This gene group controls the basic formation of the bodies of all higher organisms - and incidentally, the basic body plan of all higher forms of life (above Protista) is the same, again highly unlikely except in an evolutionary sense. I could go on, but you get the idea.
No the concept of evolution is not some day-dream. It is real - as real as it gets in biology - and should be taught as fact, not fiction. This letter won't change the minds of many people, but if it gives some people pause to think, then it will have been worthwhile.

William E. Feeman, Jr., M.D.
Bowling Green
P.S. If evolution's opponents don't want to get involved in science, consider the price of ignorance: Pompeii and Santorini.
 
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