Link to KansasPrairie.net

1/31/2007

BIKING ACROSS KANSAS WITH LEON UNRUH

Filed under: prairie musings, friends — Peg Britton @ 10:08 pm

One of my internet friends has signed up for the annual “Biking Across Kansas” tour. It will take him 496 miles across the breadth of Kansas three feet above the ground. Whew! Leon Unruh has seen Kansas from this angle on two other occasions.

Leon grew up rolling down the rock and flinging anvils in Pawnee Rock. Now he’s a writer and interesting fellow who lives and works in Alaska. His sister, Cheryl, also does a good job picking words out of the air and putting them in order. They are quite the brother and sister team.

Leon owns the Pawnee Rock website which carries the details, map, and on-line applications for the tour.

Riders will come close to Ellsworth but the tour cuts north out of Wilson and heads toward Lincoln on what will be one of the prettiest legs of the trip.

It’s a great tour and has a life of its own. Maybe you’ll want to sign up too.

COAL PLANT MORATORIUM LIKELY TO FAIL

Filed under: energy — Peg Britton @ 7:25 pm

Topeka — A proposed two-year moratorium on coal-fired plants will probably fail in a legislative committee, lawmakers said Monday.

You know what H says…”Lie down with the Devil, you wake up in Hell”.

ROB PHILLIPS ANNOUNCES THE GREAT SANTA FE TRAIL HORSE RACE

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 4:33 pm

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Rob Phillips still remembers his first horse, a paint named Mickey he got more than 50 years ago. It was the start of a lifelong love affair with horses that’s led to plans for an endurance race over the Santa Fe Trail.

For the past year, the 62-year-old retired real estate developer and his wife, Beverly, have been putting together The Great Santa Fe Trail Horse Race. It starts Sept. 3 in Santa Fe, N.M. and ends Sept. 15 in Missouri, broken down into 10 rides of about 50 miles a day over 515 miles.

Phillips got the idea after hearing the story of Francis X. Aubry, a trader who in 1848 made a $1,000 bet that he could traverse the trail from Santa Fe to its start in Independence, Mo., in six days. He took five days and 16 hours to cover the 800-mile route that normally took a month and established a record that stands to this day.

“When I heard that story, I thought we’ve got to do something about the Santa Fe Trail and get the world excited about it again,” Phillips said.

DON’T SACRIFICE LOVELY PRAIRIE

Filed under: energy — Peg Britton @ 3:24 pm

Letters to the Editor
The Salina Journal
P. O. Box 740
Salina, Kansas 67402-0740

Good day:

There’s another side to the proposed wind farms in Ellsworth and Lincoln counties that your reporter failed to mention in his obviously politically correct-slanted article:

• The three wind farms would be installed over the protests of most of the resident landowners in the area. The result will be an environmental blight and an ecological disaster! They intend to defile the second largest, after the Flint Hills, remaining native pasture land in the state.

• Did you know that there’s isn’t one single federal or state law or regulation concerning establishment of wind farms? It’s like back when the petroleum industry was just beginning and unrestricted in its initial excesses.

• The Sunflower utility has already contracted to purchase electricity when the wind farm is completed. Yet at a meeting with concerned land owners, its CEO admitted that based on their experience buying power from the Montezuma wind farm that: 1. Wind power can never deliver what’s touted. 2. Surveys indicate there’s more wind in Western Kansas than in this area in Central Kansas. 3. Wind power costs approximately half again as much as power generated by coal-fired power plants, and so consumer rates will almost certainly be raised. 4. Since the buzz word in both Washington and Topeka is wind power, it’s more politically correct for his company to get some of its electricity from giant windmills. This he admits is especially important to his company due to opposition to their proposed new coal-fired plant near Dodge City.

• Neither the CEO’s company nor the Italian firm care that the towers, roads, and infrastructure to main the big windmills will not only destroy the area’s beauty, but will also cause much erosion. After 20 years while the windmills may then be gone, the roads and damage will still be there for all time. Wildlife studies show that windmill installations are also quite detrimental to animals and bird populations.

• And, while the lure of lease money might look attractive now, how does one go about suing a multi-national Italian conglomerate company, not to mention affording the legal costs, if annual lease payments don’t show up in the mail? Also, there’s nothing to prevent this company from selling out to another firm.

• Then there’s the lessening of the value of adjacent properties. Although none of the long-established families—some fifth and sixth generation—intend to sell their pasture land, they’ll still be hurt because its value will plummet. According to one study checking before and after wind farm installations, the value of nearby property can drop as much as 40 percent or even more. In addition to severely affecting net worth, other real estate tax payers in the affected counties will have to make up for the lowered valuations.

Many people, including me, believe this grassland to be the prettiest part of the state of Kansas. What can be done to prevent his atrocity from happening?

Cordially,

Chester Peterson Jr., Lindsborg KS, Smoky Hills landowner.

WINDMILL OWNERS TO ANALYZE NOISE LEVEL

Filed under: energy — Peg Britton @ 11:12 am

MARS HILL - Residents say the wind turbines atop Mars Hill Mountain are making noise and they want it fixed, but town officials aren’t sure whether anyone can do anything about it….

…Mars Hill Wind Farm, a 28-turbine system that will be fully operational by February, is New England’s biggest wind power operation. Evergreen Wind Power LLC of Bangor, a subsidiary of UPC Wind Management, spent four years and about $85 million on the project, which is expected to generate 42 megawatts of electricity annually. Officials said 16 of the turbines now are delivering power to the grid…

…“The town expects to receive about $500,000 a year in taxes for the next 20 years from the project, money that will be used to drop the town’s mill rate from 24 to 20 mills.”…

…”We appreciate efforts to enhance the prosperity of the town,” resident Perrin Todd said Monday night. Todd lives on the Mountain Road, about 2,000 feet from the closest wind turbine. “However, the cost of this prosperity must not come at the expense of citizens in the form of ignorance, or lack of information that eventually becomes a venture misguided….”

…The real human impact, one resident pointed out, is that he can’t sleep at night without a fan blowing in his room to drown out the sound of the wind turbines….

…”We were told from day one that the noise was not an issue,” council Chairman Todd Grass told the crowd. “As far as us trying to railroad you into having to live with these … there’s no way we ever would have done that.”

…”There is more at stake than just a ride around,” Perrin Todd said. “People live in the shadow of the towers, every hour, every minute, every day of the year.”…

1/30/2007

BASKETBALL RESULTS…

Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 9:10 pm

Junior Varsity: EHS 32, Beloit 42

Girls Varsity: EHS 53, Beloit 60

Boys Varsity: EHS 46, Beloit 59

THE WIND POWER DEBATE CONTINUES TO PRODUCE CROSSWINDS OF CONTROVERSY

Filed under: energy — Peg Britton @ 3:16 pm

From Barton, Vermont, to the German border with Denmark and from the shores of Lake Huron, to the Romney Marches of southern England, wind power advocates are fighting crosswinds from local residents…

…In Germany, where one-third of the world’s current wind power is generated, doubters have provoked a loud debate. The company that owns the grid that includes nearly half the wind-farms in Germany reported its wind farms generated only 11 percent of their capacity. The company said the winds vary so much the wind farm had to be backed 80 percent by the conventional power grid. …

…A report sponsored by the German Energy Agency* was also critical of wind power and suggested that carbon dioxide emissions reduction could be achieved more cheaply by other means….

 The entire article…

1/29/2007

EHS VS BELOIT TOMORROW … HERE

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 7:01 pm

Both the girls and boys play Beloit tomorrow night. Try to be there to support the team, if you are able.

Dane is going to come for the game. Todd is picking him up at 6:00 in the Blue Canoe so he should get to see some of the girls’ play before the boys hit the floor about 7:30.

KU plays tonight at 8:00.

Stew is on the menu tonight…leftovers from the pot roast dinner.

Here’s another weird clock

Nothing much is going on in the village.

HAVE YOU ORDERED YOUR BIEROCKS?

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 6:13 pm

Call Karen Britton at 472.3141 (CSB & T) or Tammy Kruse at 472.4315 to order.  You won’t be disappointed.

H.B. 2219 AND OTHER POLITICAL MATTERS

Filed under: energy, political musings — Peg Britton @ 4:25 pm

The House Energy and Utilities Committee will hear public testimony today on a bill that would place a two-year moratorium on the construction of new coal-fired power plants in Kansas.

H.B. 2219 would put companies planning new coal-burning power plants on hold while the state conducted a study of their environmental and health costs.

Now perhaps there will be one introduced that will do the same for wind energy plants and transmission lines planned for uncultivated areas of Kansas. A moratorium on them would be a good thing until needed studies can be made as to their location, costs to taxpayers and effectiveness.

Segue…

U.S. Senator Pat Roberts voted against a bill to raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25. Kansas workers deserve this increase and unconditional support from their representative in Washington.

U.S. Rep Nancy Boyda, who ousted Jim Ryun, scored a victory this week with help from the rest of the state’s delegation to strip pensions of members of Congress who commit crimes while in office. A press release from Moran’s office praised the bill as Moran’s legislation. NOT SO! This was a bill sponsored by Boyda: The Pension Forfeiture Act. it passed in the House 431 - 0 on a final vote.

Kudos to Boyda for this one! It should have been a no-brainer.

Speaking of Moran. I’ve tried to unsubscribe from his newsletter for a long time. This, along with another Moran newsletter, arrived today. I just don’t find them informative enough to continue.

Sent: 2006-11-06 19:34:57 UTC
Received: 2007-01-29 16:55:24 UTC
Elapsed time: 83 days, 21 hours, 20 minutes, 27 seconds

It took a long time for someone to open his mail.

BUCA DI BEPPO’S 1893 SALAD

Filed under: recipes — Peg Britton @ 3:11 pm

Dane, Todd, Drew, Luke, Tyler, Rod and Mackenzie would walk on hot coals for a “Buca” salad. The rest of us would like it too, but we haven’t been privy to a dinner at Buca’s in Dallas to give it a try. Here’s how they make it, courtesy of Kenz and Luke.

4 ounces Italian vinaigrette dressing
4 ounces roasted red peppers
4 ounces roasted yellow peppers
3 ounces feta cheese crumbled
3 ounces provolone cheese diced
1 ounce thinly-sliced pepperoni
1 ½ ounces thinly-sliced mortadella sausage
3 pepperoncini peppers, also called Tuscan peppers
2 black olives
2 green olives
3 ounces julienne red onions
7 ounces cucumbers sliced, halved
8 ounces Roma tomatoes wedged
20 ounces lettuce mixture

Mix the dressing with the lettuce, tomatoes, onion, provolone, cucumbers. Make a high mound of the lettuce mixture on a plate so that it is almost falling off the edges of the plate. Put a large piece of roasted yellow pepper on top and a large piece of roasted red pepper, then the pepperoncini peppers. Sprinkle with feta cheese. The meats line the outside of the salad, one half has pepperoni and the other half mortadella… small slices all the way around. The olives are like cornerstones, one at each corner.

When you’ve built the salad, it should look like this.

NO WIND TURBINES ON UNCULTIVATED LAND IN KANSAS !

Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 9:08 am

1/28/2007

KRIS KOBACH ELECTED CHAIRMAN OF THE KANSAS REPUBLICAN PARTY

Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 12:05 pm

“Kris Kobach was just elected Chairman of the Kansas Republican Party. This is a huge victory for all white, male, christian, conservative, non-foreign, anti-immigrant Kansas nationalist, nativists,” says Kansas Rino.

Kobach compared Mark Parkinson, former Kansas Chair who defected to the Democratic Party, to a prostitute. It’s statements like this that have caused Parkinson and other moderate Republicans to leave the party to join a party of moderation.

When Kobach ran for State Senate in 2000, he was a bona fide prochoice candidate. By the time he reemerged to run for Congress in 2004, Kobach was positioned as hardcore prolife in order to challenge moderate Adam Taff.

See how that works with the right wing fundamentalists?

1/27/2007

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MACKENZIE BAKER BRITTON!

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 12:13 pm

Today is Mackenzie’s 24th birthday and we’ll miss celebrating the occasion with her. Texas is too far away for that.

She and her fiance Luke have plans today for some events in Dallas ending with dinner at Buca di Beppo, an Italian eatery that is one of their favorites. It’s her day!

Happy Birthday, Kenzie. Enjoy your special day.

BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA’S MOTHER, STANLEY ANN DUNHAM, WAS BORN IN AUGUSTA OR WICHITA AND GREW UP IN EL DORADO KS…

Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 9:44 am

My hits for this month are going to be extraordinary. Without a site meter to pinpoint “referrals” I couldn’t determine why. I just knew there had to be a reason. Wind energy? Possibly.

Since Mackenzie installed my site meter a couple of days ago, I can determine, to some extent during that period, what visitors are looking for on my blog. They are “googling” for Barack Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, and my blog is near the top of that Google search list.

It surprised me, but I put her name in the search box on my side bar and pulled up three blogs naming her. Word Press is amazing in that way. I only have a few of my thousands of blogs categorized so it made me blink when they surfaced.

Obama has said on occasion that his mother was from a “small town in Kansas”. His bio says his “white mother came from “Protestant Midwestern stock”. To many, Wichita is a small town. Obama’s grandmother was from Augusta and his mother was born in Augusta or Wichita.
Other sources say his mother was born in 1942 and died in 1995. For those who are seeking this information, “Wichita” seems to be the answer until I learn otherwise.

1/26/2007

WIND ENERGY IS A NICHE THING…

Filed under: energy — Peg Britton @ 1:20 pm

Wind energy is clean and renewable, and it offers an attractive supplement to the state’s energy needs options. But its limitations are best summed up by C. John Wilder, the chairman and CEO of TXU (Texas Energy), which buys more wind energy than any other company in Texas.

“Wind is cost-effective with subsidies from the government, but it’s not reliable. It’s a niche thing…It absolutely cannot address - - even remotely address- -the heavy duty needs of our economy and keep the lights on as effectively as possible.”

Three things are driving the growth of the wind industry: rising energy costs, government subsidies, and political will.

The price for wind energy has dropped more than 80% over the past 20 years. It’s about 5 cents a kilowatt-hour, but that’s because of the government subsidies and because major power companies are required to purchase a certain amount of wind energy each year.

There is a huge investment in wind farm infrastructure. New transmission lines cost over a million dollars a mile. These costs will be passed on to the consumer.

Wind is not reliable. Energy can’t be stored and is transmitted in real time. There is no power if there is no wind. Supply has to meet demand. If too much power hits the grid, the wires overheat and the system fails and you have a brown out. If too little flows in, that causes blackouts and the system fails. You have to have coal or natural gas on line to balance the supply.

Landowners here should be getting about $10,000 per turbine as they do in other places. I bet they aren’t. The wind companies could afford to pay much more than that.

Wind energy is a niche thing… long term, it just isn’t going to cut the mustard. Meantime, so much time and money is being spent on this pie in the sky, that serious remedies to meet our energy needs are being put on the back burner or overlooked entirely.

It will be interesting to see what happens when everyone who’s on it, falls off this bandwagon.

VISITORS FROM AFAR…

Filed under: prairie musings, friends — Peg Britton @ 10:42 am

Yesterday my favorite granddaughter, Mackenzie, fixed my blog connection to a site meter that tells me from what part of the world my visitors are from. It’s different from my MetaPros counter that gives me the actual number of hits to my material. I’ve missed this “location” finder since I changed blogging programs and it’s nice to have it back. I thought I’d let you see who was around this morning.

Makassar, Sulawesi Selatan Indonesia
Kyoto Japan
Milton Kaynes UK
Armed Forces Middle East
Perth Western Australia
Marrakech Morocco
Federal Entre Rios Argentina

And, the visitors from the U.S. include about every state throughout the day. Most, of course, are from Kansas.

And, I thank you. The number of hits for this month is flying out the roof.

My large crockpot is full of a browned rump roast, carrots, celery, potatoes, whole portobella mushrooms topped with a mixture of chopped tomatoes, Lipton onion soup, a variety of peppers and a little water. Yum for dinner.

Here come Haley and Sam. Ringo is doing flips in the living room with excitement.

The past few days have been windless, the sky bright blue and the sun Colorado blazing warm. Dane and I sat outside yesterday in the sun and with sweatshirts on, we didn’t need coats. This is definitely beautiful weather and it’s simply delightful to be outside.

There is way too much going on around here right now…seven people and three large dogs are roaming around. I can’t think!

Thanks for tuning in.

1/25/2007

DANE HAD A GOOD DAY TODAY

Filed under: prairie musings, friends, Dane Britton — Peg Britton @ 8:46 pm

Dane had a good day today.  He was here for lunch and had left-over spaghetti which he thinks is better than yesterday’s first time ‘round.  He had some of my homemade veggie soup for dinner so meal time was more pleasant than usual.

Between those major events (sigh) he actually did have a super afternoon visit with one of his good friends who lives in Omaha and was back home for a visit.  She’s soon moving to Tulsa but he hopes she still finds time to stop by to see him.  She’s sporting a beautiful engagement ring from her long-time bf so they had lots of good things to talk about.  Her visit was very nice for Dane.

Dane’s paralyzed leg is hurting in a very bad way and has been for several days.  Intense pain is difficult to endure day after day.  If it isn’t one thing, it’s something else.

My redirect seems to be working as visitors are finding my blog…according to the count.  Put the new addy in your bookmarks, if you would, please.  I’m sorry I had to change, but I don’t plan on it happening again.

The EHS Bearcats don’t have a game until next Tuesday when they play Beloit. The girls are now playing in a tournament at SE of Saline, I think.

Ringo was making snow angels today.  He was so funny.  Sam and Haley will be here tomorrow to visit him.  It will be lively around here.

Thanks for tuning in.

1/24/2007

THE AFTER PROM COMMITTEE IS SELLING HOMEMADE BIEROCKS

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 9:14 pm

Last year I bought their bierocks and they are very, very good. Some of the town’s best cooks make them. They freeze beautifully so buy extra. You won’t be disappointed. It’s a good money-making cause.

They are making them on Saturday February 3, 2007 so place your order NOW.

1/2 Dozen $12.00 1 Dozen $20.00
Payment in advance PLEASE.
Call Tammy Kruse to place your order: 785.472.4315

For the benefit of my friend Rose, and others who don’t know… bierocks are a German “hamburger” that the Czechs also claim as theirs.

I prefer them when they are made with light, sweet dinner roll dough in the shape of a hamburger bun and generously stuffed with previously cooked ground beef, well-seasoned with a good supply of diced onions and cabbage, salt and pepper. Then they are baked. The bierocks the committee women make are like that and are very good.

1/23/2007

ARE YOU YEARNING TO SPEND SOME TIME IN MAINE?

Filed under: friends — Peg Britton @ 9:39 pm

Do you dream of a Maine experience? Would you like to spend time in one of the most photographed areas of Maine?

That perfect spot for you could be New Harbor, in the Damariscotta region, aka Mid-coast Maine, and approximately one hour north of Portland. It doesn’t get much better than this.

If you want a day trip, Bar Harbor is a couple hours north and a widely known tourist destination. It’s home to Arcadia National Park and more commercialized than New Harbor, which is well-known for its “quaintness”.

The reason I mention this is that I have good friends who, only today, bought a house nestled in the woods less than two miles from the picturesque lighthouse at Pemaquid Point. The beach is only 1.5 miles away. New Harbor, a lovely, quiet fishing village, is a half mile down the road.

The house has three bedrooms, two baths, 1 car garage, paved driveway and is handicapped accessible. She has pictures.

And, knowing my friend as I do, by summer renting season, it will be a tastefully decorated, comfortable home ready for your visit should you chose to head that way.

They plan to rent it out on a weekly basis during the summer.

My friend will be there in the spring and fall for six weeks each visit to open/close the house and spend time with family and friends who live in the area.

If you are interested in learning more, let me know and I’ll have her contact you.

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