The good news is that wind energy is available, renewable and increasingly affordable.
With that in mind, the Independence City Council recently approved a 20-year agreement for the annual purchase of 20 megawatts of wind energy to be generated by 36 large turbines in Marshall County, Kan.
So now 13 percent of the energy purchased by Independence Power and Light, a municipal utility that serves some 56,000 customers, will be generated by the wind, a higher percentage than that of many other Kansas City area utilities.
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Independence Power and Light projects savings of $2.8 million over the life of the agreement — the answer my friend is blowing in the wind.
Independence Power and Light no longer fuels the city-owned Missouri City and Blue Valley power plants with coal, is actively exploring construction of a large municipally owned solar electricity generating facility and is designing its new office building to meet the highest possible Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards.
These are all important developments that should be celebrated.
Mayor Eileen Weir, the City Council, a reinvigorated Public Utility Advisory Board and a responsive Independence Power and Light management deserve recognition for the important role each plays in moving this city-owned electric utility to the head of the class.
We need to deny any ban on ammunition.
I love shooting sports. Banning ammunition would eliminate the sport.
Banning ammunition is not how you stop bad guys from having ammunition or guns.
Frankly, the mandatory five-year sentence for convicted felons having guns has made a significant impact. But some prosecutors are not using the laws that exist already. Hold the prosecuting attorneys responsible for prosecuting, and it will go a long way in reducing the crime that the public really wants to eliminate.
Joseph Ernst Jr.
On no! A powerful male politician from the political party that espouses family values is entangled in a sexually tinged extramarital relationship with a young female college intern (5-14, A1, “Missouri House Speaker admits to relationship with college intern”).
Oh, lawd, say it isn't so!
Fine arts shorted
In our current high school system, our fine arts programs are not getting the credit they deserve.
Every day in my high school we have a schoolwide televised broadcast, and every day they talk about upcoming sports events in our school.
The only time a fine arts program is mentioned is when we win any major awards such as our orchestra winning first in the nation at the American String Teachers Association conference this year. For obvious reasons, this is a very big deal.
Yet it seems to be overshadowed by the fact that our baseball team had a tailgate coming up.
It may seem petty to feel this way, but after a whole year of not getting the attention that our nationally ranked fine arts programs deserved, I am trying to make a change.
Our high school is now getting a new field house (we already have a usable one), and we still have only a 300-seat theater for our school. A new theater could be used for instrumental and vocal concerts and for theater productions.
We need a theater. It’s nice to have a field house. Please recognize fine arts.
Steve Rose column
Steve Rose’s May 10 column, “This woman’s story illustrates ‘welfare trap,’” paints a picture of “the Johnson County version of the ‘Welfare Queen.’” But he tells one side of the story.
It appears she is milking the system, but it is irresponsible to suggest she is the norm. Emily (as he calls her) is actually the exception.
United Community Services of Johnson County works with those on the front lines who see how hard it is for the 33,000 Johnson County residents living below the federal poverty level ($24,250 for a family of four) to make ends meet.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is the safety-net program to help the poorest families with children become and remain financially stable. Yet in Kansas, few are eligible.
As of February, just 856 people in Johnson County received assistance — 75 percent were children. A new limit of 36 months means even fewer will have access to TANF. It’s a myth to characterize those receiving assistance as sitting at home watching their HD TVs and enjoying pristine credit, like Emily.
For those who don’t qualify, making ends meet with low-wage jobs is a serious juggling act.
Talkpoverty.org profiles real people gripped by poverty. They are nothing like Emily.
I agree that Medicaid should be expanded to provide coverage to individuals not eligible for insurance through their employers or Obamacare.
The federal government has worked hard to make health insurance more available to individuals not covered by policies, and each state needs to step up and help fill the gaps, especially in Kansas, where Medicaid guidelines are so strict.
I applaud Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback for his willingness to reconsider his position but am sympathetic to the problems he will have finding money to fund this.
I have but one question. Would Shakespeare have written, “To be, or not to be; that is the issue?”
Imagine having a home that you heat with wood and you can no longer get the needed wood. Along comes an organization that will provide the wood for no charge beyond what you already pay in taxes.
After a few years you would be required to pay 10 percent of the cost. Would you take the deal? Or would you rather freeze every winter?
The freeze option is exactly what the Missouri legislature has selected for you by opting out of Medicaid expansion. You and I are paying for the service, but the General Assembly is refusing to accept the health care.
This means that we Missourians are giving our share to the states that have accepted. We pay, but we get nothing.
This means that tens of thousands of very poor Missourians go uninsured and must use emergency rooms for care and that some rural hospitals will need to close.
State Rep. John Rizzo had it right when he was quoted recently saying hospital closures will not be the fault of President Barack Obama but rural legislators of Missouri.
Please let them hear from you.
Carson as president
Ben Carson for president. He’s not interested in blame and has many ideas for improvement.
Dr. Carson speaks his mind without fear of reprisals.
It is one of his many strengths as well as the reason he probably won’t be the Republican nominee.
The press and the public jumped on his view of gays and gay marriages. Essentially he described homosexuality as a choice and not something in your genes over which you have no control.
Many misinterpret this statement, forgetting the most important part, which is “have no control over.” He’s not saying that some men aren’t more effeminate and some women aren’t more masculine than others and are born with this distinction.
He is saying that as a human being, made in the image of God, you have the ability to make decisions and choose the paths you follow. He’s saying he doesn’t believe in same-sex marriages on principle, and we are letting politically correct pressures influence our common-sense responses to questions that are designed to cause controversy with no upside of value.
He’s saying we must return to some of the principles and values that made us the great nation we still are. You go, Ben.