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Wednesday, December 10,2008

Letters to the Editor

by Readers
Low-hanging danger

As a recent returnee to the area, I am happy to see the continued use of imagery that challenges people to rethink their everyday choices regarding the environment (that seems to be so much more prevalent here than in my previous state of habitation, Alabama), but I must take issue with the compact florescent themed cover of Dec. 3.

I, as I mention, applaud further choices as a consumer, and, as I am sure do many, take care to make informed choices. Unfortunately, these choices are based on the elegance of my education, which is an ongoing process and commonly out-of-date. While compact florescent bulbs are proven to contribute to less energy consumption, we must ask ourselves other questions about them.

First, we must make sure we understand what compact florescent bulbs promise in regard to home health and safety. Manufacturer recommendations of actions to take, should one break, include evacuating rooms and homes, ventilating at a meaningful level, and waiting for several minutes before re-entering rooms and homes. This should tell us something about these bulbs we have been given. We are not fully informed regarding the hazards these bulbs pose. It is, according to the law, up to us, as consumers, to educate ourselves by reading the information we are given.

We also must accept that we are being asked to take on all of the risk and effort of this current approach to the energy issue. The utility companies seem to derive the biggest benefit from this approach, which should also be a red flag. If we reduce demand in small increments, utilizing the current infrastructure, we are only making it easier for them to put off upgrading their generation capability (from its current state), which does nothing to begin to address the biggest drain on electric power production, transmission.

The compact florescent bulb is a multi-edged sword. We must understand what effects they bring before we accept them as the, or part of the, solution to our "energy woes."

— James Tardy
Lansing

Speculation not for the rest of us

Kyle’s Melinn's recent column speculating about a future Republican candidate for governor (“Rogers for governor not far-fetched,” Nov. 19) illustrates virtually everything that's wrong with political discourse in our country. Here we are, mere weeks after an excruciatingly long presidential campaign (over two years, though four is more accurate), and Melinn can't wait to write about the next big election. In the midst of an historic disaster requiring political will and leadership, Melinn blows right past reality to launch into the world of future political speculation. Ah, but Melinn is a political writer. Of course he's going to talk about future elections, that's what pays his bills.

The real question is why this fountain of conventional political wisdom and inside baseball has a column in City Pulse, billed as "a newspaper for the rest of us." The rest of us despise perpetual elections. The rest of us aren't looking for the usual horse-race coverage of political campaigns. The rest of us care about what's happening right now. The rest of us don't believe we have to wait until the next election to change things, as the same cycle begins again after the next election cycle. And the next. And the next. And the next ... .The rest of us want substantive political analysis. If the rest of us in Lansing want generic pap about Michigan political personalities we can tune into or read Tim Skubick's pathetic yelps. The rest of us want and expect more.

— Raymond Garcia
Lansing

Web comment on LSJ layoffs

The question I keep asking is why? Cynical responses about Michigan's economy can't be the answer here as profits for the LSJ are clearly ... booming (see Gannettblog.blogspot.com). More likely it's about a huge media conglomerate that cares far more about obscene profits than it does about putting out any semblance of a quality newspaper. With the state in the state that it's in, we need good newspapers more than ever. Or good journalists, anyhow. Gannett's willingness to blithely ignore that need, to ignore its responsibility in all of this, is frankly sickening. I hope everybody in Lansing calls (LSJ publisher) Brian Priester and tells him so. That number, by the way, is 377-1001.

— Max


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