OUR READERS' OPINIONS - 01/08/11

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Social Security concerns

We knew the government was taking huge amounts of funds from Social Security to apply to war efforts and disaster relief, and who knows what else, but we didn't know how. Simply transfer them to the general fund, then take them as uncommitted budget funds to apply toward whatever political whim the "grabbers" may decide advantageous to their purpose. Hey! Isn't that tricky? Bad!

Certainly some of our money has been used to aid people in need. Well, we Social Security recipients are in need. We anticipated the need and provided for it. Now it's gone - siphoned by politicos!

How about AARP? Is it helping to correct this?

You readers of all ages, get copies of Bob Stanfill's letter to the editor of Jan. 2 and act on it.

To those who are 18 to 21 and don't think this applies to you, the Social Security withholding from your wages are not actually a government "tax" they are voluntary withholding of our own money for our care. Like deposits in the bank. Will they be there?

If the federal government really want to spur the economy, how about giving back our money so we can spend it? We need it like yesterday.

Al Johnson

Walla Walla

What's the fuss over octopus?

I can't imagine what all the fuss is about in regards to the charming octopus painting that contributes so beautifully to the decor of downtown Walla Walla.

Why don't they complain about that ugly yellow monstrosity that ruins the looks of the Cordiner Hall auditorium?

Every time we drive by that "thing" I get a very sick feeling in my stomach. Were I now a parent looking at colleges for one of my kids, I would cancel out Whitman immediately after viewing it. Try placing that beside a Michelangelo and then call the "thing" art.

This is another attempt in the dumbing down of our educational system and our society. No wonder the U.S. is the laughingstock of other countries of the world. We are getting worse educationally instead of better. And while I'm at it, what they now call poetry is nothing but prose, sans rhyme, rhythm and onomatopoeia. Shame on us!

Abbie Howes

Walla Walla

Wind farms not producing enough

Here is a summary for the year 2010 of the performance of local wind farms.

Bear in mind that typical windmills in this area consume an amount of electricity equivalent to about 11 percent of their generating capacity just to keep themselves warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Thus, any windmill generating at less than 11 percent of its capacity is costing you money in the form of higher utility rates, and is contributing to polluted air by virtue of the deficit being compensated from thermal energy sources.

Data for this summary comes from Bonneville Power Administration and TrueWind Solutions websites.

Overall wind sources contributing to BPA's balancing authority averaged 26.8 percent of capacity. Wind farms south of the Horse Heaven Hills averaged 23.3 percent of capacity. Windfarms south of Pasco averaged 7.5 percent of capacity. The Hopkins Ridge and Marengo windfarms averaged 2.6 percent of capacity.

The two largest nearby wind farms currently under construction - Lower Snake River by the Spokane highway just north of Dodge Junction, and Shepherd Flat in Oregon between Arlington and Boardman - are being built in areas where TWS predicts less wind than Hopkins Ridge, thus guaranteeing a truly pitiful amount of generated electricity.

Jim Thorn

Dayton

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