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Mailbag

"Mailbag" Continued...

Issue: "Rocks in their heads?," Sept. 11, 2010

"The biggest crisis of all" (july 17)

Charter schools will not be the salvation of public education any more than teachers or teachers unions are the main cause of its failure. Some charter schools are great, and some are failures, and the same goes for public schools. There are a lot of other factors that teachers can neither control nor eliminate that influence student success or failure.
Elizabeth Kerr; Ontario, Calif.

If freedom in our classrooms is the goal, charter schools are not the path to follow. A new form of government-controlled education is still bondage, although the handcuffs may fit a little more loosely. We need to provide alternative educational models that are free from the state's money and control.
Honey Burke; Poway, Calif.

"Tilting at turbines" (July 17)

You commented that neither solar nor wind power will run America anytime soon. I don't believe anyone informed about renewable energy is making that claim. The issue is whether renewable resources such as wind and solar can make a meaningful contribution to the overall energy needs of America. The answer is yes. We will still be using lots of coal, natural gas, and oil for cars into the foreseeable future. However, it's good stewardship of the earth's resources to diversify the technologies that generate electricity.
David G. Loomis; Normal, Ill.

I was delighted to see your piece on renewable energy pointing out the lack of fiscally friendly energy options. I have been appalled watching the public and the government embracing absurdities.
Josiah Roberts; Walnut Shade, Mo.

Robert Bryce's 3.2kW solar panel system generates about 28 cents worth of electricity every hour or $1.40 for the average five hours a day it is viable. That is on sunny days. I told an electrical engineer who attends our church that I was building a solar panel. "Why?" he asked incredulously.
Jock Ellis; Cumming, Ga.

"No dumping" (July 17)

Emily Belz has done a creditable job of identifying and summarizing a broad range of social, scientific, and political issues surrounding all things "nuclear." But, as you can see from the photo, we have an orderly process of receiving inventoried nuclear waste, placing it carefully in the landfill with a liner, and covering the waste in preparation for another layer. This is not "dumping" in any sense of the word. Second, our facility does not sit over the Ogallala Aquifer; its southern limit is just beyond the northern border of our facilities area.
Rod Baltzer, President, Waste Control Specialists LLC; Dallas, Texas

Clarification

Linda Libert tutors for Summit Education of Newton, Mass. ("Thank you, subsribrs," Aug. 14, p. 88).

Correction

Lance Armstrong overcame testicular cancer ("Role change," Aug. 14, p. 78).

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