Great American Conversations
                   With The Alumni of RHS
               Issue 115 ~ November 27, 2000

 "Judicial judgment must take deep account of the day
before yesterday in order that yesterday may not paralyze
                      ~ Felix Frankfurter ~
                     Supreme Court Justice


          Gary Behymer (64)

          When Will The Fat Lady Sing?
          Bob (Mike Clowes) Carlson '54

          The Big Potty
          Bob Mattson 64

          Our Effect On The Greenhouse Effect
          Marc Franco (66)

          Energy: Sources, Costs and Policy
          Bill Didway (66)

          A Moment of Peace; Bringing The Election
          To a Close; Now Let's See Some Leadership
          Steve Carson (58)


[Note: The following item was actually sent to us a few
weeks ago, but kind of got lost in the melee along with a
ballot box or two.  Finally though, it did resurface,
along with the voting machine that guy was carrying
around in the trunk of his car. Hmm... would this idea
bring an end to the contesting of the contest or only add
more to the contention of it all?]

Subj: Co-Presidents
From: Gary Behymer (64) ~

I put this on my business web site [the other] morning.
'Bombers' can participate also (;-)

Vote Now!

New 'pulse poll'.....

"George W. Bush & Al Gore should serve as Co-Presidents
for the next four years (;-) "

Vote Now!

"This election's like a box of chocolates. You never know
what you're gonna get."

                   ~ Gary Behymer (64) ~

[Further editorial note: Don't know if Gary still has
that poll on his site, but after all, it's the thought
that counts.  Don't you agree?


[The following entry, as you can see was written a couple
of weeks ago, but seems just as timely today as it did
when freshly penned as the contesting of the contest
continues on... and on ... and on.]

Subj:    When Will The Fat Lady Sing?
From:   Bob (Mike Clowes) Carlson '54 ~ Albany, Oregon

    Well, here it is, the 14th day of November, and the
nation has still not selected a president.  But then, I
remembered what some wag once said:  "It ain't over until
the fat lady sings."  Does this mean a dearth of singing
ladies in Florida?

    If I didn't "know better," I would hazard a guess as
to possible voter fraud in Florida.  Voter fraud in the
Grapefruit State?  Who ever heard of such a thing?  New
York, yes.  Chicago, definitely.  But, Florida, no way!

    Hey, wait a minute.  Isn't Gush's brother governor of
that state?  Makes one wonder.  And we thought the
Kennedy's were nepotic (don't know if there is such a
word, but how else would you describe those who practice

    No matter the outcome, this election will ensure
employment for TV's talking heads for months to come.
Even after Leno, Letterman and the rest have given up on
the jokes; these other jokes will still be telling us
what did or did not happen ad nauseum.

    And for our foreign exchange student who wondered
what this is all about...politics as usual. Who would
have thought that the two most boring candidates in
recent memory would have had such an exciting election

    Will this mean the end of the electoral college? In
some ways, I think it will.  In an age where TV networks
can "call" an election before any ballots are counted,
why not?  When the college was first conceived, it was
perhaps necessary.  You see, not every one could vote
back in the "good olde days." One had to be a property
owner, or some other equal status.  And the voter could
not be female or a "person of color."  It was definitely
white guys only back then.  But we have evolved to the
point were any citizen in good standing can vote, if they
want to.

    Now, I trust that those of you who have been decrying
and/or proclaiming the merits(?) of the various
candidates did in fact vote.  I certainly hope the
talking heads did.

    No matter who the eventual winner may be, this will
certainly be grist for several mills.  And it is probably
long past time to do some basic election reform.  Like
shorten the campaign period. Changing the election date
may not be a good idea, the time between the actual
electoral college vote and the inauguration is needed for
a cool down period for all concerned.  And is the
electoral college really needed?  Who do they play?
What's their record?  What conference are they in?  Who's
the coach? Who cares?

Well, that's my opinion, and I'm entitled to it.
Bob (Mike Clowes) Carlson '54 - Albany, OR


Subj:   The Big Potty
From:   Bob Mattson 64  ~

Well, when we would drive south on I- 5 on our way to
Fresno, we all wiggle in our seats at the first scent of
the pulp mills just north of Albany Oregon. It always
ended up DAD!! A good laugh at no one's expense. I'm not
too sure of how pristine the Willamette is as it flows
through the countryside, but my ears do perk up as I hear
on the radio and read in the papers that the big potty,
as it flows through stumptown, is once again unsuitable
for man and beast. On a heavy flow day the sewers over
load the plants that treat the by products of Mickey D's
and Natures market and are released untreated into the
lovely Willamette. On at least four accusations this last
summer, people were warned to steer clear of the waters,
for several days at a time. Live reporters would appear
on TV sets to inform and protect the public. For what
ever reason, perhaps the surface area in the region has
diminished because of pavement, population, housing
projects, rain water travels the same route as tide and
tidbits, to the sewage treatment plants. They can't do
what's necessary to safeguard what's determined to be a
safe level of treated water into the river. So what. In
today's Oregonian there's this piece on the 30 million
dollar East Bank Esplanade. Plagues embedded in the trail
and floating walkway mark every tenth of a mile to the
mouth of the Willamette River. Wait, there's more!
Unusual lighted towers indicate where streets used to
reach the river, and, if that weren't enough, there will
be historic information displayed on them. Don't worry,
the latest techniques in the river banks use willow and
special grasses can be seen from outlooks and plazas with
several pieces of sculptures and restrooms. Lighted for
24 hour use by golly! I guess the draw back is that
there's a two hour parking limit in the five acre parking
lot located beneath interstate 5. Sadly other
improvements have been sunk by the lack of money and the
absence of any private-public partnerships. I'll be the
first to admit this is a local issue, but, what can they
be thinking? I live 35 miles south of Portland, I vote
every election, and do my best to choose the most likely
candidate. The big potty flows, and flushes into the
Mighty Columbia, to the sea, don't forget to jiggle the
                      ~ Bob Mattson 64 ~    


Subj:    Our Effect On The Greenhouse Effect
From:   Marc Franco (66)

To Kathy Hodgson Lucas Issue #105 - greenhouse effect

Kathy had accused me of showing hysteria in my comments
about the greenhouse effect in issue #105. She had said
that there is no consensus that the green house effect is
being caused by humans "period." Well, you're not quite
accurate. Easily 80%- 85% of the world scientists are now
convinced of this. As I had commented in my "hysteria,"
there is certainly evidence out there that might refute
the idea of who's causing this phenomenon, but there is a
LOT more evidence that confirms it. In the mid- '80's,
some scientists refuted the idea that global warming was
even going to occur at all. In the mid- '90's, these same
scientists admitted that- well, yes, there is global
warming, but it's not our fault. Now, more and more
people are admitting that- yes, even though the earth
certainly has warm and cold cycles all by itself, we are
adding to it. We certainly have affected the environment
in many other ways. Why is it hard to believe that we are
affecting the greenhouse effect as well?

     Kathy- I have no problem that you accuse me of
hysteria. I don;t mind this, because everything I
mentioned in my previous article is coming from current
scientific thought on the matter. So I understand that
when you call me hysterical, you are actually calling the
majority of the world scientists who have studied the
matter to be hysterical. The fact that you choose to go
along with the minority on this is fine. Certainly the
minority has been correct before, and the majority wrong-
that's why we still have science.  But I think that you
should understand that the majority of science thought
does confirm this. There is LOTS of evidence. As I
commented in my previous letter, there are still people
who do not believe in evolution. So it is certainly not a
surprise that not everybody accepts the human causes of
the greenhouse effect, especially when it would slow down
economic activity to have to deal with it.

                   ~  Marc Franco (66) ~


Subj:    Energy: Sources, Costs and Policy
From:   Bill Didway (66) ~

Tonight I watched the "60 Minutes" episode on the four
Snake River dams and how the environmentalist want them
removed. I also read an article on Northwest Cable News
web page about the need to increase energy production,
meaning electricity, to get the Northwest out of
impending power shortage. The Skagit Valley Herald had an
article in it about rolling brownouts and blackouts in
California this summer and how there may be more of them
as winter starts dropping the temperatures lower this
winter. The Walla Walla-Union Bulletin had another
article about coming energy shortages. I think people
better wake up and do some hard thinking about what is
happening to our energy sources. Until more pipelines are
laid we are facing natural gas shortages in the
Northwest. Until more power plants are built, two in
eastern Washington, we are facing electrical shortages.
The proposed power plants use natural gas to make
electricity. The Walla Walla article was about wind
powered generators. Hydroelectric dams produce at  cent
per kilowatt hour. Natural gas powered turbines produce
electricity at about 3 cents a kilo-hour. The wind
machines produce electricity at about 5-6 cents per kilo-
hour. In the future if electricity is bought from out of
state it can cost up to 15-20 cents per kilo hour. Of
course we are dependent on big power lines coming across
three states to bring this power in. They have gone down
a couple of times in the past five years causing
blackouts in California, Oregon, Arizona and Nevada.
Where does all this power go? All the western states have
big home and business building surges going on for many
years. And look at all the size of the average single
family home with all its powered appliances and luxury
items. Is there a solution to the problem? Yes, but it is
many many years down the road. Gee, it would have been
nice to have had an energy policy in place these last
eight years.
                      ~ Bill Didway (66) ~


Subj: A Moment of Peace; Bringing The Election To a 
Close; Now Let's See Some Leadership
From:   Steve Carson (58) - Chicago ~

For Andrew Eckert, Thanks for a moment of peace in your
comments about Thanksgiving.  You are right and a hug
from one of my children or grandchildren is truly a joy
to savor.

I have "dropped out" for the last month leading up to the
election to reduce my stress level.  Now that we have a
new President Elect I will find the comments interesting.
Personally I believe that the democrat position of count
until we get what we want, changing the rules,
disregarding the Florida law, the absurd personal attacks
on the Florida Secretary of State make all involved look
like idiots.  Typical of the Clinton-Gore administration,
parse and dissemble every point, attack the weakest
element and then try to make that single element
overreach the entire point.  

To Mr. Gore, you lost, handle it.

To President Elect Bush.  You don't have a mandate and
now show us that you can in fact work across the aisles
and bring this country some leadership.

            ~ Steve Carson (58) - Chicago ~


Tune in next time for more,  including responses from
those who remember Beatrix Potter and the things that
went on in a certain farmer's garden patch.  -ap
That concludes this issue of THE SANDBOX folks. Please
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Alumni of Richland High School, Richland Washington,
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Al Parker (53)
Shippenville, PA
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