"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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A Question of Energy


Fri, Jan 23rd, 2009
Posted in Commentary

On the night of January 10, we had the biggest and brightest full moon that we will see in 2009. A walk under this moon would have made streetlights unnecessary.

A big change for my husband and me with our recent move from the Big Woods into Preston was the increase in artificial light. In the woods, with all our house lights off, our only light at night came from the moon and stars. In town, with all our lights off, it is not dark at night in our new house. Streetlights illuminate the neighborhood. Every other streetlight could likely be removed without causing any hazard and thereby saving electricity.

We're all familiar with alternative sources of energy, such as wind power, solar power and biofuels. These energy sources become increasingly important as the threats from global warming rise. Coal-fired power plants produce most of our electricity at present. These plants along with oil refineries and automobiles create most of our greenhouse gases, which are the main contributors to climate change.

In addition to using alternative energy, we can reduce greenhouse gases by acquiring the habit of using less energy. Turn the thermostat down in winter, up in summer, turn the temperature down on the hot water heater, replace driving short distances with walking or riding a bike, use energy efficient appliances, dry clothes on the line instead of in a drier and turn off all unnecessary lights.

I remember long ago nighttime drives with my parents to see Christmas lights in our town. Times have changed and it is no longer okay to fill yards with holiday lights, although for some people the practice continues. The wish to celebrate Christmas with decorations is understandable, but a few tastefully placed LED lights should be sufficient. LED (light-emitting diode) colored lights are highly efficient and reliable. These are the kind of lights used as indicators on TVs, radios or telephones, for exit signs and increasingly for Christmas decorations, but generally are not bright enough for lighting rooms.

Preston Public Utilities (PPU), through "Catch Savings in Preston," is promoting the use of compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), another good way to conserve energy. The promotion booklet states, "PPU is providing each household they serve with up to 50 free CFLs, a $140 value, to replace your energy-guzzling incandescent bulbs as together we make a difference in becoming more efficient-saving energy, money and the environmen .....
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Wind farms in Fillmore County are a plus

Fri, Jan 23rd, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Over the past several decades we have developed an insatiable appetite for all that is electronic. This trend is not likely to be abated. Things that we now take for granted like central air conditioning, cordless phones, garage door openers, comput ..... 
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Barack Obama is the right person for the job

Fri, Jan 16th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Before the election last fall, I had a conversation with a Republican friend about the qualifications of the major candidates. The topic of concern in the media at the time was whether Sarah Palin, a small town mayor and first term Alaska governor, ..... 
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It's time to show the world what the U.S is capable of

Fri, Jan 16th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

I might get a new outfit for the inauguration. I fear the mail lost my personal invitation to the ball but I sure plan to celebrate in my own living room and the whole country should do the same.

Alright, the economy is tanked, the weather i ..... 
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Will they just tinker around the edges?

Fri, Jan 9th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

The editor has asked me to focus my commentaries on healthcare reform efforts and similar subjects. The subject should allow me to be as curmudgeonly as I want to be. I don't agree with any of the politicians and very few of the people I have discuss ..... 
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Capitalism with American characteristics

Fri, Jan 9th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

When Deng Xiao Peng emerged from exile after the Cultural Revolution in 1978 and started espousing economic reforms for communist China, he talked about "capitalism with Chinese characteristics."

Over the last 20 years, China's economy has ..... 
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How many zeros?

Fri, Dec 19th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Know why they always print 70b or 700b? Because only mathematicians know how many zeros are in a number so large. The reason our math teachers taught us up to the thousands and then used those "to the power of" and algebraic letters was, they had no ..... 
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What will happen when wind turbines arrive in Fillmore County?

Fri, Dec 12th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Earlier this year EcoEnergy, a French-owned corporation with a regional office in Harmony, erected several wind measurement towers between Greenleafton and Harmony. More than 30,000 acres of Fillmore County farmland has been signed up to allow 400' ..... 
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Forgetfulness and counting ballots

Fri, Dec 12th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

If you're like me the mind plays little tricks on you from time to time. Chalk it up to age, too many things to think about; in your mind one second, gone the next.

Is there a difference between forgetfulness and not remembering what you we ..... 
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