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Sebelius, Parkinson outline plan for solar, wind energy programs for Kansas

Net metering, with one stroke of the pen, would create a huge market for residential wind and solar power generation in Kansas. Currently, our utility company sells us energy at one rate, but will only buy it back from small scale alternative energy producers at a fraction of that rate. Their justification is that they have to pay for the maintenance of infrastructure to connect the independent producers to the grid. Although this is true, the utility companies rates are controlled by the state, and are adjusted to provide for all expenses. In recent times, the state has been happy to approve rates which not only cover all expenses, but very generously also allowed for multimillion dollar CEO and stockholder excesses (Lamborghinis, homes in Hamptons, jets, that kind of stuff). I think they could somehow absorb this very small loss of revenue. "Net metering" means that our utility company is required by the state to purchase energy back at the same rate that they sell it to us. The huge advantage to someone wanting to put solar panels or a wind generator on their land, is that only one utility meter is needed. It either spins forward or it spins backwards. Currently, two meters are needed since they track usage at two different rates. Net metering is a large costs savings and makes small scale production of power much more cost effective. Net metering combined with the recent lifting of the cap on the 30% Federal tax credit available, will catapult the alternative energy market in Kansas by making the cost of energy production at home less than buying it off the grid.

January 10, 2009 at 11:46 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Pedal power

This event has been the most exciting thing to happen to downtown Lawrence for the last three years. What excitement!
It was great to see such large crowds enjoying these incredible athletes vying for national championships. It was pleasing to see all the moms with family on Mother's Day watching the races. I heard nothing but positive comments from all the racers and visitors on the races, the city of Lawrence, and our beautiful downtown.
Not only does this event bring a lot of money into the community, with all the hundreds of racers and their traveling entourages staying at local hotels and eating at local restaurants for their entire four day stay, but it's also great P.R. for Lawrence. An event like this does not take place without help from hundreds of talented coordinators, generous volunteers, the City, the local police and Sheriff depts., the Chamber of Commerce, and many local sponsors.
Lawrence's three year contract as hosts is up, but the cycling governing bodies were so impressed with our community's production of the event, it looks like we could get the races back next year. Unfortunately, it will probably not happen unless some large local business or corporation steps forward and decides to provide sponsorship and a group of volunteers for next year's event. Hopefully such benevolence will come through.
Hats off to all the organizers of this event.

May 14, 2007 at 11:39 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Cyclists to again fill streets

I'll take a pass on both your offers, but those pictures were taken early in the morning before the "open" class races which weren't even advertised or promoted. Two hours later for the "elite" mens and womens races, the streets were packed and there are plenty of pictures which show this.
I find it amazing that business owners make a decision to locate in the cultural center of town, yet they complain when culture comes to town.
We had hundreds of elite athletes, trainers, coaches in town for 4-5 days, filing the hotels and spending money. Many of these visitors came to Kansas with a preconceived visual image of a race around a big Kansas wheat field, and leaving with a very positive impression of Lawrence as the "hip" cultural center of the midwest.
You can't buy better PR for Lawrence than what these races provided.

Mike

January 18, 2006 at 7:21 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Cyclists to again fill streets

Actually Marion, there were thousands of spectators on a rainy weekday morning with school in session. An overwhelming success. I spoke to many people at the race who were thrilled with the high-paced excitement and expressed interest in taking off work and pulling kids out of school for this year's race. I do think a switch to Sunday would benefit everyone, though. Expect a huge turnout this year with good weather and kids/adults out of school/work.
...business owners and the Chamber should be thrilled with the hundreds of thousands of dollars that were spent in the city by hundreds of visitors throughout the extended weekend. Mike

January 18, 2006 at 6:31 a.m. ( | suggest removal )