Archive for Wednesday, February 27, 2002

Letters to the editor

February 27, 2002

To the editor:

I want to comment about our police officers. I was involved in a fender bender a while back and no, it wasn't my fault. Officer McCaig was the office that handled it and no one could be more courteous. If he is an example of our police officers, then we are doing okay with our police department.

Phyllis Hobson

Baldwin City

To the editor,

As was reported in the Feb. 20 issue of the Baldwin City Signal,

there are a number of cuts being considered in the Baldwin USD No. 348 School District. The visual arts program at the elementary school is on a list of programs, positions and activities being considered for elimination. We realize that at various times in the past arts programs were considered "luxuries," but in light of many recent studies, we know this is not true, and the arts are an integral part of the education process.

The Board of the Baldwin Community Arts Council strongly supports retaining the elementary art programs, as well as those in the middle and high schools. There is much research to support the value of such programs, including studies done by the National Arts Education Association, the National PTO, and other leaders in the field of art education.

We feel the arts programs are valuable, that they reflect our community values and interests and that they are essential for the development of our children. We have made this position known to the superintendent of schools and all members of the school board in recent letters. If you agree, we suggest that, before final decisions are made, parents, grandparents or other interested individuals contact the school board, the superintendent and your

local legislative representatives to make it known that these programs are of value to us, our children and our community.

Sandy Cardens

President

Baldwin Community Arts Council

To the editor:

There was one key item of discussion missing from last week's coverage ("Council still undecided about electricity," Feb. 20) of whether the city should build a new power plant: the cost.

To build a new $6.5 million power plant, it would require, under the present estimates given to the council, a 19-percent increase in electrical rates (Currently, the city charges $0.089 per KWH. The city would have to raise rates by $0.017 per KWH).

Under thisscenario, the owner of a 2,400-square-foot home would pay about $250 more a year for electricity. The occupant of an electric apartment would pay about $150 more a year.

Everyone needs to be aware of the cost and the issues before we commit ourselves to such an increase.

The situation is an unpleasant one. The unvarnished truth is that we have an aged power plant that cannot serve the entire city, virtually no financial reserves and a $2 million debt, due in large part to long overdue electrical system upgrades. We also face growing electrical demand and an arrangement with our main power supplier that allows it to cut off or curtail the city during the high demand days of summer. The supplier is so far unwilling to provide all our power needs.

Increased electrical rates may well be a price we are all willing to pay, especially after experiencing the ice storm that left our rural neighbors without power for days, compared to just hours for most of Baldwin. Let's explore all the options and enter this new era in power generation with our eyes wide open.

Todd Cohen

Baldwin City Council member

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