Letters to the Editor

June 08, 2008

Money can be spent on better things than lines

To the editor:

Concerning Allegheny Power's "need" to run another high-voltage power line to accommodate future requirements for electrical power:

Instead of negotiating to purchase the rights to put power lines through private and/or public lands and then paying to install and maintain them, Allegheny could use those monies to help local governments install solar power units on schools, office buildings and other governmental buildings.

Since our taxes pay for the electricity used by our governments, this would save us money as well as create electricity that can be sold back to Allegheny, saving us even more in tax money.

Governments could use those savings to help businesses and private individuals install solar power units as well. Allegheny would then not face an overwhelming increase in demand for its power and could manage quite well with the present stations, and our parks and private lands would not be defaced by unsightly towers, possibly dangerous electrical seepage from high-power lines, or downed lines from storms or accidents.


Power companies - and other businesses - need to think beyond their own production and look toward a future with enough power and goods, but with less dependence on what cannot be replaced.

Someday, we may find oil and coal are needed for something more important than providing energy to run televisions and cars. Let's try to keep our country's supplies for those needs.

Karel Henneberger

Only in numbers do we have to power to change

To the editor:

On Saturday morning, I woke up, my mind still spinning from an evening of heated debate and commiseration (plus a bit of mindless sorrow-drowning) with a few friends, to a call from my father. He called to inform me that Homeland Security was on the phone looking for me, and for a split second my heart stopped as I quickly took a mental inventory of the weeks anarchic exploits.

He was, in fact, kidding in reference to a political rant of mine which appeared in the Saturday paper. I was pleased to see that my op-ed was there, in its entirety, complete with a very fitting political cartoon. The only downside really, came when Bill O'Reilly removed me from his fan club later that afternoon.

I'm constantly surprised and impressed with The Herald-Mail's unflinching dedication to printing any and all opinions, and it still baffles me when I see complaints in Mail Call every week directed at the paper for its one-sidedness, (it's hard to reasonably argue that the paper printing your criticisms refuses to acknowledge your opinion). Yes, I disagree with some letters, and some simply confuse me, but I love the fact that our city is represented in the most democratic manner possible, and that our own paper possesses what I complain so often is lacking in this nation.

I have faith The Herald-Mail will continue to be such an open forum as long as we continue to take advantage of this opportunity.

My quarrel this time is not with the government, but several of my friends and acquaintances, who are seemingly never lacking in opinions, yet do absolutely nothing to remedy or voice their grievances. Apparently most of the gatherings or parties I attend are comprised mainly of liberals. However, I find this hard to believe. I don't see a liberal in someone who preaches their hatred of Bush with no decent understanding of what it is he's actually done for our country, good or bad. I don't see a liberal in someone who listens to political music and drunkenly but apathetically speaks of how "we've just gotta do something!" knowing full well they won't, and I don't see peace-mongers in the people who feel they have to end every phone conversation or text message with "Peace, man." This rhetoric is empty and useless when you can't inform yourself and speak out to those who might not agree with what you're saying.

I realize people are busy, and its easy to justify using the little free time you have to relax in front of the TV, but tough problems require solutions. And if we don't help form those solutions, someone else will. We've let this happen for too long and it's gotten us nothing but discontent. If you choose to be satisfied with this, stop acting as if you're not. People come to me often with their complaints, and I ask what they've done about it. Usually, the answer is nothing. Not always, of course, and those of my acquaintances and friends who are actively vocal and political know who you are. The former group most likely isn't reading this anyway and I won't hurt many feelings.

In case, maybe they are, so here's my message: Don't tell me you're political unless you can articulate your views. If you have a complaint, don't direct it to me, but to the paper, or someone who can actually do something. I'm not a senator, and I can't end the war, I can't lower your taxes or get your job back, and hell, maybe I wouldn't want to for such a crowd of slackers anyway. There are numbers to call, representatives to write, and things you as one citizen actually can do, but as long as we act as if one person can't make a difference, it'll remain true. Until next time, peace guys.

Ian C. Blair

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