THE SANDBOX ~ Issue 122 ~ February 3, 2001

       "Energy is equal to desire and purpose."
                     ~ Sheryl Adams ~

     Subjects and Contributors:

      Conspicuous Consumption
      Bob (Mike Clowes) Carlson '54

      Tri-Cities: A Safe Place To Live?
      Sonny Parker Class of 81

      Richland: An Important Part of History;
      Keeping the Discussion on a "Higher" Plane
      Jim Anderson WB 72

      Energy: Safer Nuclear Hybrids, Windmills,
      Gas and Coal Fired Super Heaters
      Vernon Holt (Booster '47)

      Energy & Environment: Part II
      Fuel Efficient Hybrid Cars
      Bob Rector '62


Subj:   Conspicuous consumption
From:  Bob (Mike Clowes) Carlson '54: (Robert Carlson)

Bob Carlson made the following observations while driving
home from Christmas last December

   It occurred to me on the way home Christmas night (from
number three son's house, to keep the record straight),
that during this time of year quite a few people are given
to festive displays of the season. And not only
individuals, but also some public entities. Not too long
ago, the Eugene, Oregon, Fire Department was admonished by
some zealous person about "seasonal secular displays." It
would seem that the Eugene F.D., had committed the heinous
crime of erecting a Christmas Tree in the downtown fire
station. Apparently this was in violation of separation of
church and state clause in the Constitution.

   Nothing, to my knowledge, was said about the display on
the grounds of the county fairgrounds, which were not only
"seasonal secular displays" but also electrically lit. In
case you are really interested, the light strings were
arranged to represent trees and a star.

   There are many people in the fair city of Eugene who have
jumped on the "tear the Snake River dams down" campaign.
It should also be noted, that some of these people have
decorated the exteriors of their homes with "gaudy" light
displays. These are some of the same people who have taken
the Fire Department to task for erecting a Christmas Tree
on city property.

   And therein lies the rub. What with the poor, pitiful
Californians being forced to operate their laptops by
candlelight, and not being able to recharge the batteries
on their cell 'phones; why are the citizens of the state
of Oregon using "precious" electricity for "seasonal
secular displays?" And why are these selfsame citizens
joining the march to eliminate sources of electrical
energy for the sake of a fish or two? To be honest, I
don't have an answer to that one.

   Our illustrious governor (and staunch anti-damist) has
remained somewhat silent as of late, except for a call to
have the increasing power rates investigated and/or
regulated, particularly by Californians who have just
recently deregulated power rates.

   In other news too sick to describe, the OCA have
announced they will submit yet another "anti gay"
resolution for the people to favour. I guess being told
"no" four times just doesn't register on their minds. We
can only hope the citizenry will see this one for what it
is, and will resounding sent it down in flames. The OCA is
getting to be as much fun as vote counts in Florida.

   Speaking of which, Norma Loescher Boswell forwarded to me
a quasi legal interpretation of what transpired in Florida
courtesy of "The Supremes." My only response was that even
though Yogi Berra made the call to Algore and said "It's
over." The Supremes have ruled that "fat ladies are not
allowed to sing in Florida." Which means, Yogi not
withstanding, it ain't over but yet it is. I just wonder
if the actual ballot re-count will ever be announced once
it has been completed.

   Makes one wish for the good old days of crooked
politicians and shady deals contrived in smoke filled back
rooms. At least they were honest about their thievery.

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


Subj: Tri-Cities; A Safe Place To Live?
From: Sonny Parker Class of 81

 I'm sorry to hear about all the possible Power plant-
related cancer, diseases, etc. (RE: Jenny, class of 80.) I
lived in Tri-Cities for 4 years, and got out as soon as
possible (graduation). Call me paranoid, but I looked at a
map, and noticed the Hanford area is upstream of town.
Great planning! The list of my friends, relatives, and
acquaintances that have had cancer, hysterectomies, etc.,
keeps getting longer. I don't think it's a coincidence for
that many people are sick (or dead ). I'll always fondly
remember my days at RHS, and I'd really like to spend time
around my family, but I won't expose myself to that
environment. Always sending my best wishes to the kids of
TC, for they have no choice but live there. Exposure to
contaminates will be something they have no choice
in...until they get old enough to move away. My apologies
to those faithful that love the Basin, (including my dad).
Maybe I'm imagining all this, (after all...the government
says it's safe, right)? They wouldn't lie to us would

--Sonny Parker Class of 81
 "The Turbine Surgeon"

Subj: Richland, An Important Part of History and
      Keeping the Discussion on a "Higher" Plane.
From: Jim Anderson WB 72

I've followed the "Bomber" saga recently with great
interest, and have really enjoyed all the give and take. I
would like to comment on the "anti-PC" sentiment being
bandied about. The recent reference to the "Made in
America, Tested in Japan" T-shirt raises a couple of
issues, with the writer's "Hey, they started it, we just
finished it!" stance. The people who started it were not
the people who were obliterated by the bomb. Like in most
wars, the leaders and the citizens are worlds apart, and
regular Japanese folk going about their business, doing
the washing, taking care of their babies, and cleaning
their houses can hardly be painted with the same brush as
military leaders. Embracing and understanding the
construction of the bomb as an important part of Richland
history is one thing, but making a joke out of misfortune
of so many citizens is altogether another.

I'd also like to note my objections to the use of "PC" as
a way to dismiss objections and opposing viewpoints. My
beliefs, like most people's, are based on a lifetime of
experience, and do not come from some list that someone
handed me with the "PC Beliefs" heading. Calling someone
PC is just a way to marginalize and dismiss their beliefs.
Here's to keeping the discussion on a higher "plane" (so
to speak)!

--Jim Anderson WB 72


Subj: Energy: Safer Nuclear Hybrids, Windmills,
              Gas and Coal Fired Super Heaters
From: Vernon Holt (Booster '47) 
Mendham, NJ

Although not a Richland graduate, I was there from 1950 to
1953 as a 20 year-old idealist thinking future explosive
(bad pun or good double-entendre?) electrical energy needs
will be provided by nuclear energy, and became much
enamored with the area, before two years as an unhappy
Korean War draftee. Reading the Sandstorm for several
months brought back so many good memories, and I have
enjoyed immensely getting caught up on the remarkable
graduates from the past 50 years and their many comments
about Hanford, Bombers, the Columbia Basin News and the
Tri-City Herald that stirred up a big controversy when I
was therein suggesting the old simple 1910 Magruder Reader
should be replaced with better kindergarten and first
grade readers! Was that the forerunner of "revisionists"
that some have commented on?

 On the one hand I believe historical truth is very
important and "will set us free" to avoid some of the
mistakes, but on the other hand it is often a good idea to
change with the times and dress up images a bit, even if
just to make Seattleites more comfortable.

 I am still optimistic about safer hybrid nuclear power
plants with gas or even coal fired superheaters for the
top 10% of the energy needed to get much higher overall
power plant efficiencies with lower maintenance costs
(assuming the spent fuel elements are not processed). But
I am even more enthused about wind mills to generate
electricity, though potential is less than 20% of what is
needed. Many hundreds are being built in the "wind tunnel"
of the Great Plains, my home state of South Dakota. From
the Gulf Coast of Texas to northern Canada a 20 to 30 mph
wind blows from the South all summer day and night and the
other direction all winter long bringing "northerners" and
much snow. The short spring and short fall are indeed
nice, but the steady strong breeze the rest of the year
wears you down. It wore me down in my first 20 years.

--Vernon Holt, Mendham, NJ


Subj: Energy & Environment: Part II
            Fuel Efficient Hybrid Cars
From: Bob Rector '62 ~

Fun stuff about the "New" Hybrid Cars. (both gas & elec.

 *info. via business associate and Tri-Cities Wine Lover,
Dr. Bill Jandeska, Chairman, General Motor's Power Train

First of all, several of us have expressed hope (even
trust) in the electric car and the "zero emissions"
mandate from (democratic) congress. Dr. Jandeska and
Detroit have been waiting to see how the experiment has
gone in California:

 The Experiment:
       California tried to legislate electric cars into
existence with a mandate that 4% of vehicles sold in CA.
would be "0" emission vehicle sales. With that mandate, l3
electric vehicle manufacturers set up sales in California
last year. However, the l3 manufacturers sold only 1,277
electric vehicles in all of California and the program has
been a dismal failure. It seems that people just do not
want them. (they have no power or distance)

As we speak, Detroit is waiting to see if the California
legislature will back down and allow Hybrid Cars to be
sold in lieu of "Zero emission automobiles."

I promised to outline the four types of Hybrid cars which
make up the New Wave or Green Wave in automobiles.
However, I have been upstaged by Time Magazine so will not
waste the time: (will summarize Time Magazine, and Bill
Jandeska's personal experience with these cars)

Choice #1, ON THE MARKET TODAY, but you have to wait some
for delivery is the Toyota Prius. (about $19,000) details:
Dec.11, 2000 issue of Time, page 95

 *comment from Bill Jandeska: "It's a very nice car." "We
really like it."

Choice #2 in the Time article is the Honda Insight
($19,000) and ON THE Market TODAY. also page 94, of the
Time article.

 *comment from Bill Jandeska: "It's a piece of unprintable

So, there you have it. If you wish to purchase a hybrid
today we have a recommendation for the Toyota, but a
strong concern about the Honda.

"What you want to do," says Bill, is to go down and order
next years full size hybrid truck from GM. It is the
Silverado. It has crew cab with "french doors." (Both side
doors open from the middle area) which gives a wide access
to the cab. Bill says it "drives like a Cadillac" and
several personal friends of his have already ordered one
for their retirement vehicle.

Hybrid vehicles improve mileage approx. 17% with their
electric motor assist.
    *the battery charges when you are going downhill and
when you hit the brakes.
    *an onboard computer decides when to pull power from
the gasoline engine and when to use the electric power.
    **BEST thing is that your hybrid truck (or car) has a
110 power outlet!  You can go camping and plug in your
electric chain saw, or TV, or coffee pot.
       Contractors no longer need generators or regular
power supply, cause they can drive most tools from the 110
on the truck!  Just cool.

The Silverado sounds like a serious option to me.

--Bob Rector '62
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