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Open Forum: Delayed letter was likely in cyberspace

I had quite a chuckle when I read the letter to the editor, that I had submitted to the editor printed in the paper (recently). It was written at least a year and a half ago. I haven’t had time to write one recently, old age or laziness catching up with me. I’m not sure whether that one was caught in cyberspace or what. I know that I received notice that I had undelivered mail to several people that I hadn’t contacted in over a year the other day and it puzzled me, but whether things were stuck in my computer and went out or if they were out there floating around. I have no clue. Thinking about it I just hope that some of the things that I have ordered over the internet don’t do an anonymous reorder. 

I guess the thing that amused me the most was the purging of the state Republican party of all their moderate leadership at their last meeting, as they take another step to the far right. The Democrats have moved so far to the right that they are where the moderate Republicans were. Maybe a center right party will form out of leadership which was purged which might push the Democrats a little bit back to the left. I guess only God knows for sure.

Jesse Nix


Energy-efficient lights

The phase-out for the incandescent light bulb (ILB) was decreed by new lighting standards in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). ILBs from 40W to 150W will have to be replaced by more efficient bulbs like the compact fluorescent (CFL) beginning in 2012. The intent of this EISA provision is to reduce electric energy consumption and so reduce harmful emissions like mercury from electric power plants.

A 60W incandescent bulb costs about 50 cents versus $3 for the equivalent CFL. But the CFL lasts several times longer and uses one fourth of the electric energy. Opponents of the EISA measure note that CFLs contain mercury, making them a poor environment choice, especially if they end up in the trash.

CFLs do have a small amount of mercury imbedded in the glass. A 13-watt, CFL (60-watt equivalent) will use 104 kilowatt hours (kwh) of electricity during its 8,000 hour life. This results in 1.2 milligrams (mg) of mercury emitted from the average power grid. That mercury goes up to 1.65 mg if the used CFL is discarded in the trash.

60W ILBs use 480 kwh during 8,000 hours and cause 5.5 mg of power grid mercury emissions, a difference of about 4 mgs. The difference is greater if the CFL is returned to the store for proper disposal. It can also be discarded in the trash if double bagged in plastic. And the 376 kwh CFL power reduction is a saving of about $40 at current rates.

There are impractical mandates in EISA, like those for 30 times as much cellulosic ethanol than we can produce. But energy-efficient lighting is practical, so go ahead and start using those long lasting CFLs.

Rolf Westgard


How we record history

Every year about this time, someone gets on their high horse and declares that any mention of Christmas or honoring Christ in or on public property violates the so called separation of church and state. Well, consider this:  every person, country, government, and any other entity you can think of,  honors and acknowledges the birth of Jesus Christ every day, simply by uttering or recording the date. You see, all of history is recorded in relation to the first Christmas. The years before Christ was born are recorded as  B.C., “before Christ,” and those after as AD,  which stands for the Latin Annos Dominos, translated means “in the year of our Lord.” So, to those of you that want to eliminate all vestiges of Christmas, you have a huge task. How about you start by gathering your hammer and chisel and descending on all public buildings with a cornerstone inscribed with the year “of our Lord” the building was erected. I just can’t wait for the photos in newspapers and the news clips on TV.  The Bible says that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord. Seems as though the confessing is taking place!    

Rod Damar


Becca Clemens
After graduating high school in 2004, I attended Central Lakes College in Staples, MN for 2 years where I got a diploma in Communication Art and Design. I then transfered up to Bemidji State University in, you guessed it, Bemidji, MN. In the spring of 2009, I graduated from BSU. Then in the fall of 2009 I got a job at Echo Publishing, a sister company to the Brainerd Dispatch.