Thursday, May 23, 2002
The Weekly''s article describes one option in detail of what to do with the wood from the demolition of buildings at Fort Ord ["Water From Wood," May 9-15]. Unfortunately your research on the project barely scratched the surface.
There are many experiments taking place with wood siding from Fort Ord that is contaminated with lead-based paint. It is likely that the least desirable use for the wood is to burn it to boil water as described in the article.
Ocean Pacific wants to use the wood for a cogeneration plant. While it is already known that cogeneration works (the article says "if it works"), it is also known that cogeneration is only economical at a very large scale with a large constant supply of cheap energy. On the surface, the Ocean Pacific idea sounds good. Unfortunately, the fatal flaws that were not revealed in the article will be the undoing of the proposed project.
The demolition at Fort Ord will take place over a long period of time and will be subject to federal budget constraints so the supply of wood to fuel a hungry incinerator will not likely be constant or large. Consequently, the system will either need to be small (and thus not economical or productive of water) or it will be built very large and will need lots and lots of other stuff to burn.
The article states that the lead from the painted wood will be recaptured but fails to reveal what will happen to it after that. Did somebody say landfill? Lead doesn''t just go away. Also, what happens when the wood runs out? Well, I suspect that they will want to burn garbage! Who wants to be downwind of that operation?
This whole proposal smells like an excuse to install a permanent large incinerator to burn waste other than wood. And where did the term thermochemical conversion come from? What is being converted? What is the "chemical" part of the process? Really, it''s just burning.
Thermochemical conversion is actually a term used for a patented process that converts asbestos and other wastes into usable aggregate and is offered by ARI Technologies, Inc. ARI is also conducting experiments with the Fort Ord wood. However, ARI is proposing to recover and recycle the lead and use a small transportable system to do so. While the ARI system has a tail pipe too, it is small and more importantly, it will go away when the job is done.
DALE M. TIMMONS, PRESIDENT, ARI KENT, WASH.
I was highly disappointed with your continuing coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in this week''s edition of your publication. Last week, you published a front page article written by an Arab resident in Ramallah which completely demonized Israel, without any regard for the Israeli position or the horrible, inhumane atrocities committed by the Palestinians over the past 20 months of conflict.
In this week''s issue of the Weekly, you published letters to the editor and a follow-up article responding to last week''s piece, that presented alternative arguments and perspectives. That is appreciated; however, it''s too little too late; What led the editors to decide to present the Palestinian perspective first? What led the editors to decide not to present the Israeli position as a front page piece, while rewarding the Palestinian piece in this manner?
Again, you have shown that your newspaper has little integrity as regards this issue. You have made your bias in this issue far too clear-almost to the point of journalistic amateurism.
I am upset and disappointed in your efforts and your obvious position vis-à-vis this issue. As a result, I will be less inclined in the future to think of your publication as a respected source of commentary and in-depth analysis. Similar to the Palestinian Authority, the Weekly desperately needs reform.
RICK HIRSCH/PACIFIC GROVE
Breed a Dobie, Go to Jail
Much has been said and will continue to be said regarding breeds of dogs that kill, but certainly Monterey''s own recent tragedy in this matter drives home the point that it''s time for every intelligent city government (is that an oxymoron?) to ban those breeds within its boundaries known to possess the capability of killing humans.
We keep hearing those absolutely lame rationalizations by the owners of such breeds that claim it''s how a given dog is raised and not the breed itself. What a crock of dog-doo! Every breed of dog can and will bite if pushed one way or another, but certain breeds have the overwhelming in-bred power to turn a mere bite into a lethal assault. We all know the names: Pit-bulls, Rotweilers, Dobermans, Mastiffs, and so on. Breeds bred to have a killer instinct, plain and simple!
There''s only one man I ever read about who could kill the fiercest beasts with his bare hands. That was the Japanese martial arts legend named Mas Oyama. He killed 1,000-pound grizzly bears and full-grown competition bulls with his fists. But I''ll bet even he would have succumbed to the attack of a pair or more of killer dogs.
It''s time that intelligent people without a selfish vested interest in defending killer dogs take the initiative to force their communities into a full ban on these breeds.
JEFFREY VAN MIDDLEBROOK/PACIFIC GROVE
Either G. W. Bush is too dense to study and learn from 43 years of the political history of the U.S.-Cuba relationship, and thus should be rejected as a leader for his torpitude; or he understands the futility of his policy and the suffering it causes Americans and Cubans alike, but he is willing to sacrifice our interests for his brother''s political profit.
In either case, Americans must flush Bush.
Ironically, Georgie attacked Castro for tyranny, while closing to the press the $25,000 per couple political dinner at Coral Gables. By canceling out the American public''s First Amendment rights, Bush made himself into the image of his enemy.
While accusing his fellow president of election fraud in Cuba, G.W. stood on the ground of the greatest election cheat in recent U.S. history.
But Americans will not fall for these shenanigans. In the 2004 we flush Bush out of the White House. The question is what intelligent Democratic candidate will unify the American voters behind her or him.
W. MARK POEHNER/MONTEREY
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