Independence Coal Burning Plants to Be Shut Down   1 comment

I am a long-time resident of the city of Independence (since 1962) and am concerned about the health and welfare of residents. I am a hospital pharmacist and have over 40 years experience in health care sectors – my primary personal and professional concern is public health. It is because of this concern that I am writing this letter: I feel compelled to speak out about the health impacts and “externalized” costs of burning coal.

I live within a mile of IPL and am concerned about the public health risks associated with the toxic gases and the slurry pond that IPL produces. There is a small creek that runs in close proximity of the plant. The creek runs from west to east, under the new bridge on Bly Road, and empties into the Little Blue River. There are also a number of crop fields very near the plant. As I live near this area I have a personal interest in the environmental impact that the plant may have locally and therefore the health of all the residents near there. But I am just as concerned about the environmental impact for the entire city and beyond as the public health of all of us is at risk.

Coal is often described as the most affordable source of electrical power we have. This is only true when you ignore the public and environmental health issues that surround burning coal. Who pays for the people that develop chronic bronchitis from breathing in coal dust? The taxpayer. Who pays for the premature deaths that are caused by coal-related toxins? The taxpayer. The source of the graphic below is The Clean Air Task Force. The numbers speak for themselves.

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from the Blue Valley Power PlantType of Impact
Annual Incidence
Valuation
Deaths 11 $79,000,000
Heart attacks 17 $1,900,000Asthma attacks 200 $10,000
Hospital admissions 8 $180,000
Chronic bronchitis 7 $3,100,000
Asthma ER visits 13 $5,000

At the end of the agenda of a city council meeting I read the question, “Is it good for the children?” My answer is that clean energy is good for the children. I will just close by saying, in summary, that when health and environmental costs are included the cost of clean energy is less costly than any fossil fuel. The use of clean energy will also make our city more livable and cleaner.

This is why I fully support the city council’s well-informed step in passing Councilman Scott Roberson’s resolution calling for the closure of the two Independence coal plants. This resolution also calls for a rate study that, for the first time in six years, will ask Independence Power & Light why we have some of the highest electrical rates in the state and will critically reassess why we pay so much for electricity that is making us ill.

Thank you, Independence City Council and IP&L, for making bold moves in the right direction. I sincerely hope that the resolution does everything that it can and should to protect Independence citizens and future generations.

Posted August 16, 2014 by terryflowersblog in Environment

When the World Came Undone   Leave a comment

Originally posted on Connect | Engage | Inspire:

By Matt Naylor, National World War I Museum president and CEO

The world is commemorating the first global conflict. Centennials are often a cause for celebration. But not this. Rather, it is a reason to learn, make meaning, and remember.

 The world leading up to the summer of 1914 was much like the world of today. Europe faced rising nationalism and awareness of ethnic differences. Alliances shifted between nations and ruling families. Countries and empires sought increased influence to drive their goals of expansion. Changing technologies, including shifts in energy sources, changed power balances.

So while the June murder of the heir to the Austrian Hungarian Empire—an empire unfamiliar to most of us today—is considered by many as a cause of World War I, it is better thought of as the match that struck the kindling of a well-set fireplace.

What made this war different from earlier ones was that…

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Posted July 17, 2014 by terryflowersblog in Uncategorized

Know, Be, and Do – Ministry and Priesthood   Leave a comment

Originally posted on Connect | Engage | Inspire:

Becky Savage

Becky Savage, First Presidency

by Becky Savage

Ministry and priesthood describe an expanding approach to discipleship. Doctrine and Covenants 119:8b affirms: “All are called according to the gifts of God unto them…”

We respond by intentionally linking ministry in a continuum of disciples and priesthood members who serve together to fulfill Christ’s mission. What does this mean for you? For members it emphasizes your covenant and role as a disciple.

As living expressions of Christ’s life, ministry, and continuing presence in the world, disciples covenant with God to bring peace and reconciliation to the world, break down the walls that divide people, and share Christ’s peace with everyone they meet.

…As ministry takes place, sacred communities of unconditional love, tolerance, reconciliation, and Unity in Diversity are born. These Christ-centered communities invite and welcome those who are searching for a spiritual home and yearning to know of God’s redeeming love….
—Ministry…

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Posted July 10, 2014 by terryflowersblog in Uncategorized

What the Cross Means to Me   Leave a comment

Originally posted on Connect | Engage | Inspire:

By Ron Harmon, Council of Twelve Apostles

This same Spirit calls us anew in this defining moment of history to live into a radical new vision of God’s future, where the hungry are fed, poverty eliminated, and every man, woman, and child has the opportunity to become fully who God created them to be in loving community.

This same Spirit calls us anew in this defining moment of history to live into a radical new vision of God’s future, where the hungry are fed, poverty eliminated, and every man, woman, and child has the opportunity to become fully who God created them to be in loving community.

I find it interesting that the symbol of the cross has become the symbol for those who claim to be Christ’s followers. You might think the early believers would have wanted to distance themselves from that horrific event. This of course is the perspective of a 21st-century believer who has to see and experience human suffering only from a distance.

For me the cross represents the almost-incomprehensible paradox of despair and hope. First-century believers were no strangers to suffering, and I believe the cross represented the worst of what humans can do to…

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Posted May 1, 2014 by terryflowersblog in Uncategorized

Suffering Love…Cross…Resurrection   Leave a comment

Originally posted on Connect | Engage | Inspire:

By Rick W. Maupin,
Council of Twelve Apostles

Rick Maupin, Council of Twelve Apostles

Rick Maupin, Council of Twelve Apostles

At the conclusion of the Brian McLaren video, “Jesus and the Kingdom,” he states, “…the kingdom of God is a liberating and yet disturbing message for people today.” How is it that the message of Jesus is one of liberation but also carries elements that disturb and disrupt?

As I explore this counsel I am challenged by the thought that faithfully living out the way of suffering love will result in experiencing some unrest and disturbance along my spiritual journey.

We are now moving through that part of the Christian calendar when we contemplate and celebrate the ultimate story of disturbance and liberation. This is the story of Jesus turning toward Jerusalem, resulting in his crucifixion and resurrection.

Because of his deep compassion, suffering with the marginalized and oppressed, he challenged government authorities and rigid religious…

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Posted April 4, 2014 by terryflowersblog in Uncategorized

Dear parents, you are being lied to.   Leave a comment

Originally posted on Violent metaphors:

Standard of care.

In light of recent outbreaks of measles and other vaccine preventable illnesses, and the refusal of anti-vaccination advocates to acknowledge the problem, I thought it was past time for this post.

Dear parents,

You are being lied to. The people who claim to be acting in the best interests of your children are putting their health and even lives at risk.

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Posted March 29, 2014 by terryflowersblog in Uncategorized

Honoring Our Ashes   Leave a comment

Originally posted on Connect | Engage | Inspire:

By Carolyn Brock, Redmond, Oregon, USA

This is an excerpt from one of the entries appearing each day in the Daily Bread blog. Visit http://CofChristDailyBread.wordpress.com to subscribe for free.

When I was 5 years old our house burned to the ground. We arrived home from church and found it engulfed in a fireball. I can still remember the heat on my face, the orange flames shooting high, the look on my mother’s face, the grief in my heart. We had been told to take our new Christmas dolls from the car, back into the house, before leaving for church earlier that day.

For a while it felt like we were homeless refugees who had lost everything and didn’t know where we were going. But family, church friends, and the community took us in and began to provide supplies to rebuild our lives. I had loved living in that place on…

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Posted March 18, 2014 by terryflowersblog in Uncategorized

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