Following are some scraps from an old reporters’ notepad.
Blue Grass Mayor Brinson Kinzer has an interesting situation: He serves with an all-woman city council.
But his honor is not hen-pecked. He is actually quite happy with the status quo.
“I will tell you, and I mean this sincerely,” he said at a recent ribbon-cutting event, “I have never been associated with a group of people who have worked as hard — and I was on the council for 12 years — as these women do.”
Kinzer said the female council members deserve a lot of credit for what gets done in Blue Grass.
“They take this town very seriously, and they do a very, very good job for you. They make my job very easy.”
I’m not thrilled with compact fluorescent light bulbs, called CFLs for short. And, because of Big Brother’s upcoming ban of incandescent bulbs, I, like many Americans, am beginning to stock up on them.
CFLs do have benefits. They use less energy than incandescent bulbs, and they are supposed to last longer.
Don’t think I’m not “green.” I use recycled paper in my computer’s printer. We turn off TVs and lights that aren’t being used to save electricity. We combine our automobile trips when possible to conserve gasoline. And we’ve been recycling cans, jars and other items since way before it became the popular thing to do.
But I own some CFLs, and I don’t like them. They are more expensive than incandescent bulbs, they take too long to warm up when turned on and they lack the yellow warmth of incandescent bulbs and natural light.
CFLs also contain toxic mercury. That creates problems if you should break one. Here is what the government advises on the Energystar website to do when that happens:
a. Have people and pets leave the room.
b. Air out the room for 5-10 minutes by opening a window or door to the outdoor environment.
c. Shut off the central forced air heating/air conditioning (H&AC) system, if you have one.
d. Collect materials needed to clean up broken bulb.
a. Be thorough in collecting broken glass and visible powder.
b. Place cleanup materials in a sealable container.
a. Promptly place all bulb debris and cleanup materials outdoors in a trash container or protected area until materials can be disposed of properly. Avoid leaving any bulb fragments or cleanup materials indoors.”
Now realistically folks, how many people are going to do all of that?
I am also irritated that our Congress, which can’t get its financial house in order, is telling us how to live, what light bulbs we can and can’t use.
The Energy Bill of 2007 phases out incandescent bulbs.
The 100-watt bulb is banned in January 2012. Say good-bye to the 75-watt bulb in January 2013 and to 60- and 40-watt bulbs in January 2014.
I should have a nice supply of incandescent bulbs by then.
I like this quote from the late Charles M. Schulz, creator of the Peanuts comic strip:
“Sometimes I lie awake at night, and ask, ‘Where have I gone wrong?’ Then a voice says to me, ‘This is going to take more than one night.’”
I believe in truth in labeling. My wife bought me a robe labeled “one size fits most.” Now that’s accurate. Those “one size fits all” labels are not. I’ve proven it.
Copyright 2011 by Phil Roberts, Creative Enterprises. Published as an Everyday People column in The North Scott Press, Eldridge, Iowa.