Letters for March 31-April 6, 2005

Slots Are Only the Start

Imagine Casino Disney:Bob Norman makes light of a serious situation with his sarcasm in his March 24 column, "The Slots King." I moved from South Florida to Gulfport, Mississippi, and am impressed with the positive impact casinos have made for the educational system here. The class sizes are far below that in Florida, with 20 to 22 students per class. If Jeb wants a way to pay for the changes that the citizens of Florida voted for, then he should look at class III gaming.

No one should expect class II gaming to make $500 million. It's not possible. There is less crime here because of the increased security surrounding the casinos. Central Florida should stop worrying that South Florida will get all the tourists. You're not a good parent unless you take your kids to Disney! Adults will make two trips a year to Florida -- one with the kids and one without the kids.

The will of the people is for class III gaming and the money it will generate for education. Gov. Bush should pay attention to this if he ever wants to be President Bush!

Deborah Fernandez

Via the Internet Inquire About This

Calder isnada:Mr. Aaronson, I just finished reading Trevor Aaronson's March 10 piece on the National Enquirer and other tabs ("Elvis Lives!"). Interesting work, but I believe it falls short in accuracy in one area.

My father, Nathan Chrzan (Nat to all who knew him) was editor of the Enquirer pre-Calder and spent 30 years there as an editor in various capacities. Calder took over one summer day after convincing Pope that he could stem circulation loss better than my father as the numbers began to sink in the late '70s. My father was greeted with his demotion upon return from vacation. He then worked as associate editor and was promoted back to senior editor status for almost a decade before he was stricken with cancer. But I digress.

The Enquirer's highest circulation was the Elvis-coffin issue, which sold slightly more than 5 million issues. My father was the editor (considered number two behind Pope as publisher), and Calder was, I believe, the number three or four at the time. Clearly, it was tough to match the success of the Elvis issue, but after Calder took over, the numbers continued to sag.

So I would challenge you to come up with the "fellow journalists and historians" who say Calder shaped American tabs. I think few who remember (and those numbers dwindle each year) would give credit to Calder or solely to him. Anyone in the biz back then (and even I dabbled in Enquirer work before working in mainstream journalism as a daily staff writer) would, if asked, and should give my father credit to some extent. Just thought you should know.

Adam Chrzan

Via the Internet

Pickpocketing the Utility

With our alt-think: Eric Alan Barton's March 10 article, "Pickpocketing the Public: Part 1," regarding FPL's Sunshine Energy program and the environmental practices of Green Mountain Energy Co. is not only misleading and based on outdated information but, frankly, quite insulting to the thousands of people in Florida who have chosen to support renewable energy through the Sunshine Energy program. FPL's Sunshine Energy customers should feel good about the choice they have made to help the environment by choosing cleaner electricity. Why? Because Sunshine Energy features renewable generation sources that are cleaner than most energy resources used in the United States. In fact, in just one year, a Sunshine Energy residential customer can avoid more than 10,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions -- as much as a car would produce in more than 11,000 miles of driving.

As Barton states in his article, Sunshine Energy is currently sourced in part from biomass generation. Yet while Barton chose to share some controversial statements from a single individual in Pennsylvania who opposes landfill gas, he failed to tell readers that biomass is supported by most major national and regional environmental groups, including the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Audubon of Florida, and the Union of Concerned Scientists. The environmental community widely supports landfill gas generation as a renewable and environmentally preferable source. Bioenergy reduces greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants by displacing electricity from fossil fuel generators.

Green Mountain Energy Co. is out to change the way power is made, and to date, we've done a pretty good job. We are a national leader in providing cleaner electricity, having received numerous industry awards. And just last year, we introduced the Green Mountain Energy Wind Farm at Brazos -- the second-largest wind farm in Texas and one of the ten largest in the country. Last year alone, customers participating in Green Mountain Energy Co. cleaner electricity programs together prevented the emission of more than 541,000 tons of carbon dioxide, based on initial estimates. We'd have to take about 96,000 cars off the road for one year to avoid that amount of carbon dioxide pollution.

Green Mountain Energy Co. is proud to work with FPL to deliver the Sunshine Energy program to Florida residents. As the largest and fastest-growing renewable energy program in the Southeast, it's a program of which all Floridians can be proud.

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