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Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 2:36 pm

This is pretty funny …and take notice… it’s from The Onion. Jesse passed it on to me knowing it would bring a lot of chuckles.

November 28, 2006 | Issue 42•48
Kansas Outlaws Practice Of Evolution
The Onion

TOPEKA, KS—In response to a Nov. 7 referendum, Kansas lawmakers passed emergency legislation outlawing evolution, the highly controversial process responsible for the development and diversity of species and the continued survival of all life.



Filed under: energy — Peg Britton @ 9:19 pm

By Scott Rothschild
Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Topeka – State officials today extended the deadline for the public to comment on a proposed coal-fired power plant in western Kansas.

“Because of the significant interest in this issue, we feel it is important to extend the deadline to Dec. 15 to ensure that everyone interested will have an opportunity to make their thoughts known,” said Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Roderick Bremby.

The period to comment on the Sunflower Electric Power Corp. proposal to build three 700-megawatt plants in Holcomb was previously set to expire Thursday.

Now comments can be sent to KDHE postmarked no later than Dec. 15.

All comments should be submitted in writing to Rick Bolfing, KDHE Bureau of Air and Radiation, 1000 S.W. Jackson, Suite 310, Topeka, KS 66612-1366.

Earlier this month, a public hearing on the proposal in Lawrence drew so many people, the hearing had to be extended for a second night.

Later, the Lawrence city commission submitted a letter to KDHE opposing the issuance of permits for the proposed project.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 9:13 pm

Because of a string of DUI convictions that could have reached felony status, the driver of the Cat Tracker bus was allowed to drive only vehicles with a breathalyzer attached to the ignition.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 8:25 pm

HOLYROOD — As their gift to the community, members of the St. Peters Lutheran Church congregation plan their biennial production of “Streets of Bethlehem” the next two weekends.

Performances, a partnership with the Zion Lutheran Church, Claflin, will be from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and again December 9 and 10 at Holyrood church, 209 S. County Road.

This year’s expanded production will feature more than 30 performers and numerous live animals to greet visitors as they tour the streets of Bethlehem.

Visitors should gather in the sanctuary. Tours will leave every 15 minutes. Attendance is free; however good will donations will be accepted.

More information is available by calling the church, (785) 252-3275. The e-mail address is:


Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 5:48 pm

As Katha Pollitt of the Nation magazine counts the reasons voters gave Congress to Democrats, in a piece in the current issue headlined “Why they lost,” Kansas comes up: “They lost because women don’t want to be forced to bear their rapists’ babies, even in South Dakota, and they don’t want the attorney general investigating their abortions, even in Kansas.”
Posted by Rhonda Holman on WeBlog


Filed under: energy, political musings — Peg Britton @ 5:28 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments today for perhaps the most important environmental case in years. At issue: whether the Environmental Protection Agency must regulate carbon dioxide as a global warming pollutant under the Clean Air Act.

Twelve states and environmental groups say yes, pointing to the law’s language that the EPA shall regulate any pollutant from motor vehicles that “may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare.”

If the high court agrees, it could mean sweeping changes for the nation’s energy policy and new restrictions on greenhouse emissions from cars and coal-fired power plants.

Too bad it takes a lawsuit to force this administration to acknowledge the scientific consensus and enforce the law.

Posted by Randy Scholfield at We Blog

Posted by Peg Britton @ 05:28 PM CST


Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 12:20 pm

There were a lot of people attending the Monday meeting who favor zoning. Several have told me that the “bullies and hecklers” who attended the meeting made them hesitant to participate in the discussion. A lot of people who live in the country feel defenseless without zoning. They are defenseless without zoning.


Filed under: Dane Britton — Peg Britton @ 12:08 pm

Two years ago today, November 29th, 2004, Dane suffered a stroke. December 15th was probably the most terrifying day of all our lives when he was given almost no hope of recovery and I said my goodbyes as they loaded him on the helicopter for the flight to Wichita.

It has been a long, difficult two years for him and our family as he underwent multiple surgeries, respiratory failure, infections and setbacks. He has come so far and fought so hard to survive. Every day with him is precious.

His fight to adjust to a life far different from what he had in the past has been very, very difficult and courageous. Without the remarkable doctors and medical staff here, at St. Francis and Wesley, he wouldn’t have survived.

We thank all of his friends, and our friends for the support you have given Dane and us during the past two years. We simply couldn’t manage without family and friends.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 11:35 am

“I look forward confidently to the day when all who work for a living will be one with no thought to their separateness as Negroes, Jews, Italians or any other distinctions. This will be the day when we bring into full realization the American dream — a dream yet unfulfilled.”

-Martin Luther King, Jr., 1963

The Newark Star-Ledger copied his blog, at least they sort of did. Jesse’s blog is very similar to an editorial they published today, although Jesse’s article is much longer.

The Newark Star-Ledger editorial



Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 9:26 pm

DA Double-L Kline … Gimme a Break

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Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 8:42 pm

From my website host, Brad Sewell:

“WordPress at is now ready for use! I’m sorry it took so long. I tried using several versions of the Blogger-to-WordPress import tool, but nothing would work right. I finally just bit the bullet and copied over the 138 posts manually.

“The WordPress install at now has all of the posts from all three installs of Greymatter at, plus all of the posts from The posts are current through 12:32 PM CST Tuesday, November 28, 2006.

“When I was copying over the posts from Blogger, I noticed that some of the punctuation characters in the posts weren’t copying over correctly. (apostrophes, single quotes, double quotes, ellipses were being displayed as invalid “?” characters) I corrected the characters as I ran across them. Because of the editing, I would strongly recommend that Peg review all of 138 of the year 2002 posts for correctness.”

So, the process has begun. I’m not sure where that puts me as I can’t post to WordPress yet so I’ll stumble along and see what happens. I just know what Brad has done for me is way above and beyond his regular job duties. He has to provide the best website hosting of anyone on the net!


Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 8:28 pm

The town was filled with children, parents and doting grandparents tonight; they were lined up inside the Ellsworth Antique Mall waiting their turn to put a child on Santa’s lap to have a picture taken. There was a solid stream of happy little kids, all bundled up to stay warm, with eyes fixed on all the bright lights.

Groups of carolers, young and old, were singing inside the decorated stores. Outside the lights and wreaths that filled the downtown area were beautiful. The CSB&T upper windows had Christmas decorations that were really attractive and added a lot to the appearance of down town.

The Cow Belles had their hamburger grill fired up and the Kiwanis were also serving food. The Ambassadors were giving out bags of peanuts…and there were treats everywhere. I indulged in some of Josie’s homemade peppermint ice cream that she churned this morning.

The parade was really exceptional …there were numerous floats, large and small, covered with colorful lights, a train with tots loving the ride; Jeanne Haase’s pre-schoolers were all decked out. It was one of Ellsworth’s better parades, imo.

I’d say it was a very successful night in downtown Ellsworth. Certainly, it was very pleasant and heart-warming to see so many people having a good time. The Chamber of Commerce did a great job with this year’s opening. Thanks to all of you.

KU beat Dartmouth 83-32 tonight for their 5th straight win.

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Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 12:32 pm

Festivities downtown start at 5:00 with kiddie train rides and other activities. Santa will be downtown to get all the wish requests from children between 5:30 and 7:00. The festival of lights and parade commence at 7:00 p.m. It’s a fun evening for everyone. The merchants display their best with holiday spirits. It’s nice to be downtown among friends …so try to be there.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 10:03 am

Chris Orr, who received serious head injuries in the Cat Tracker accident, remains in critical condition at the University of Kansas Med Center, according to the Salina Journal today.

Lawrence Journal World update.

Click on “watch” to see a picture of the Cat Tracker bus.


Filed under: energy — Peg Britton @ 9:54 am

The new Sunflower coal-fired power plant planned near Holcomb sits on top of the Ogallala Aquifer that helps feed the Smoky Hill River. The Smoky, which supplies Salina with 60% of its water, nearly ran dry last summer, prompting the city’s first water emergency. The dry river was caused mostly because of the depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer.

The Smoky Hill River feeds Kanopolis Lake which supplies the water for Post Rock Rural Water District.

When the aquifer is exhausted, there will be a high probability that we will start having dust storms, according to some educated projections. Some have described the future of this area to be similar to the area southwest of Albuquerque.

The expanded plant, which would be the largest coal-fired electricity plant west of the Mississippi, would annually emit about 15 million tons of carbon dioxide, according to Sunflower officials. Carbon dioxide emissions are not regulated by the government, but scientists suspect they are a prime cause of global warming. It comes back to us in the form of acid rain polluting everything it touches.

The plant, which would expand from 360 megawatts to 2,460 megawatts, would be the largest producer of carbon dioxide in the western U.S. It meets the requirements of the federal government because THERE ARE NONE.

Most of the power produced by this plant would go to Denver.

Once again, elected city and county officials in Ellsworth ought to be attending these meetings and take a position of leadership in protecting our water and clean air interests in the county. If they don’t do it, who will?

And…the state needs a comprehensive water policy that equally protects all its citizens and isn’t driven by politics.



Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 10:35 pm

If you didn’t make the meeting tonight, you aren’t going to get a report from me. Not much anyway. You’ll have to read what Alan has to say about it in the INDY…or talk to someone who was there. The presenter talked for an hour then fielded questions …and dodged hand axes …for another hour.

I will say there were between 125 and 150 people, mostly rural residents, and some came with preconceived ideas about zoning and were not very willing to listen to the presenter. Mostly they were just a group of people who didn’t like what was being said.

And I will say there was a handful who displayed no manners or couth. One in particular was bullish, uncultured, barbaric, boorish, churlish, coarse, crass, crude, gross, ill-bred, indelicate, philistine, rough, rude, tasteless, uncivilized, uncouth, uncultivated, unpolished, unrefined and vulgar. That about covers him, imo. Oh, and did I mention “threatening”? He threatened county commissioners with ouster if they took any action on zoning. As if anyone ever listens to him.

A couple were boorish. And, there were a few who were disrespectful who grew up in homes where I know their moms taught them better manners than that. That surprised me.

And there were a few gentlemen who asked good probing questions …Don, Curt, Terry, etc. Their frustration was controlled.

The presenter didn’t do a very good job, but I understand he’s very good at what he does. He knows the material; he just didn’t do a very good job conveying it to the audience. But that was no excuse for the boorish treatment he received from a few. He did this on his own and wasn’t paid for it.

The county commissioners are doing the right thing by exploring the possibilities of zoning and are to be commended for it.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 4:54 pm

The blogging program I’ve been using is being phased out and the conversion to WordPress is taking place. Brad Sewell of Metapros of Wichita, one of the nicest guys in the whole world, is doing all the behind the scenes work and then will turn it over to my webmaster friend in Texas. Sometime this week I’ll be working with WordPress and be infinitely less worried about hackers and crashes. I’ll figure out how to use it eventually. Meantime, my blogging may be sporadic.

Coal-fired plants draw opposition: It was my intention to attend the Salina City Commission meeting today at 4:00, but it didn’t happen. I hope those protesting the addition to the Sunflower plant in Holcomb take a strong stance. But…the long and short of it is that the company is complying with federal guidelines so KDHE probably won’t deny their application. You have to remember that emission standards haven’t kept up with scientific discoveries. Bush lowered all the environmental standards to accommodate his big energy friends and now we’re facing global warming that we are largely responsible for and, closer to home, a lot of acid rain and pollution. And there is that issue of water supply. And, the energy generated from the plant isn’t going to service Kansans, it’s going to Colorado. All for maybe 30 or 50 jobs


Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 9:16 am



Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 10:25 am

Washington Post reporter Thomas Ricks piece exposes the serious U.S. failures to train Iraqi security forces and confirms the worst fears of many Americans.We’re not succeeding at this, either.

Remember, training Iraqis to stand up has been the centerpiece of U.S. strategy for getting out of Iraq, and is likely to figure large in the Baker study group recommendations.

The Army’s own exit interviews with officers found widespread criticism of the training efforts as under-resourced, undermanned and underplanned. As Ricks reports, “Many said they felt poorly supported by the Army while in Iraq, with intermittent shipments of supplies and interpreters who often did not seem to understand English.”

Sound familiar? Further evidence of the administration’s almost criminal incompetence and poor planning.

Posted by Randy Scholfield (Wichita Eagle Editorial Writer and Columnist)


Filed under: prairie musings, recipes — Peg Britton @ 10:14 am

If you want very light, fluffy potatoes, the only way I know to get that is to rice the potatoes first, then beat lightly with a spoon while adding cream or whole milk and butter. You can’t get those results using an electric beater or a potato masher. Ally latched on to my ricer over the weekend. I told her it went with the house.I know the lives of the people who were on the Cat Backer and their families have been changed forever. My heart aches for all of them, particularly Chris Orr as I’m sure he’ll have a long, long recovery and may never be the same.

I know that the ECCA transportation they provide for Dane and other handicapped and eldery passengers is a life saver for him. It’s the only way we have of getting Dane home a couple of times a week and away from the steady company of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. He has them as a steady diet 24/7 he absolutely has to have time away from them. Anyone would.

I was downtown on Friday for brief stops at Robson’s and the Antique Mall. You could not have found any stores in Salina (where most people were shopping) that were as full of Christmas cheer and gift possibilities as those two. Alice and Ken were serving delicious hot spiced cider, coffee and homemade cookies. They had little carrot cookies topped with sweet glaze just like my mom used to make for the holidays. The atmosphere in their store and the Antique Mall was perfect to usher in the holidays.

I know for sure that Ruby nailed The Lord’s Prayer last night at Natalie’s wedding. She has a beautiful voice and plays the guitar with perfection. I’

I’m going to miss her daily practice sessions as she says she’s now a retired wedding singer.

Except for ham, I know our leftovers from Thursday are getting thin.

I wasn’t stuck with the crock pot of stewed dried fruit as I thought I might be. It turned out to be a big hit and there is only a small bowl remaining.

I know Ringo loves having Sam and Hailey to play with. They could be circus clowns if they had the right hats. Ringo has picked up some good manners from his cousins, but he has a long way to go.

Something else I know: I haven’t had any trouble posting to Graymatter the past few days. Everyone is out shopping or engaged with family and not on the internet. If I do have a connection that times out in the morning, I’ll know for sure it’s a problem with Eaglecom. I’m hearing complaints from Eaglecom users about their internet and TV service and there are days when I grumble too. I’m not ready to switch, but the AT&T package deal for satellite TV, telephone and internet is very attractive.

And, this makes me feel… talented.

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