The wheels are well greased, as the big industries are busy manufacturing consent for additional power generation. And the fully integrated corporate media once again carries the ball, to misinform the public.

A predicted two-day cold spell would have us believe that the power generation system could collapse? Get real.

What's happening is that we are being primed to subsidize new and expanded capacity gas turbines, and to keep up support for dams on the Snake River. We pay twice, as taxpayers, because we also foot the bill to revive wild salmon runs.

Issues in The Spokesman-Review are portrayed as independent and unrelated. But take an extra look at what's going on as Kaiser idles potlines and sells publicly subsidized power for millions in profit, while laying off its work force. At the same time, we are told that the proposed Avista expansion in Rathdrum will be able to provide power for 4,000 homes. How about: or 5 percent of the energy for one potline?

Conservation is not discussed, while anyone can see that the aluminum industry is on the way out of our area.

If legitimate brownouts occur in the Northwest, it is not because we lack electricity up here, but because the Californians will pay more for the power available. Keeping that in mind, it's obvious that deregulation has been great for the corporate bottom line.

People need to think about what is going on in this country. We are being sold out. The events in Florida are also related to the abuses referenced above. Our politicians do not represent us, the people, but we can take the power back, by considering third party options.

This house of cards, which is our culture, currently disenfranchises 98 percent of the citizenry. For a democracy to function properly, everyone must participate.

& & Gregory Rupert

Spokane, Wash. & & & &

What is all this hype about possible brownouts in Eastern Washington due to increased demand caused by the first arctic cold front of the season? Has anyone looked around? Have you noticed all of the neon lights that burn 24 hours a day, or the high rises in downtown with lights burning at all hours, or the gas stations all over town with lights on over the gas service area all the time? Not to mention Kaiser selling its power to the highest bidder rather than using it on the potlines. Why? Because we are a wasteful society -- we could conserve so much power that this brownout talk would dry up and go away for a long time.

My theory is that the utilities want more power generating capacity in Washington and probably want the taxpayers to subsidize it like in the days of WPPSS about 20 years ago. I say no -- let's conserve the power we have and utilize it with conservation in mind. Let's only burn the lights that are absolutely necessary. This could also be another justification for why we need the Snake River dams when they should be breached immediately to save the endangered salmon.

In August, I was in L.A. during a hot spell, and they were forecasting possible brownouts. Yet every night the downtown L.A. skyline was lit up with colored lights like we were trying to signal aliens from space.

Let's get real about conservation -- now is the time! Let's take the initiative and do it voluntarily before mandatory conservation is required. And let's start subsidizing the alternative sources of power like wind, solar, fuel cells and other technologies still on the drawing board. When I was a kid, my dad often reminded me to turn out the light when I left a room in the house -- how about you?

& & Steve Bradburn

Spokane, Wash. & & & &

Recently, I had the opportunity and pleasure of attending a performance of I Ought To Be In Pictures, a Neil Simon comedy. I gave it five stars. It was a Spokane Community College production directed by Rolland L. Heiss.

The only disappointment was the scarcity of people in attendance. However, I shouldn't have been disappointed considering that the Community Colleges of Spokane productions get little or no promotion by the local print media. The same media gives the Civic Theatre, Interplayers, Spokane Symphony, events at The Met Theater and other groups favorable previews on their productions prior to opening night. It is impossible to put a dollar value on this free publicity.

Drama and musical productions produced at the local colleges are worthy of being given equal treatment by the media -- quality theater ought to be reviewed. It should also be mentioned that the price for attendance at a Community College production is usually $5. Not bad for a great live performance.

Following on the heels of Pictures, Spokane Falls Community College presented Twelfth Night, directed by Bill Marlowe. I don't recall seeing any media review of this play, favorable or unfavorable.

& & Don Anderson

Spokane, Wash. & & & &

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Nov. 23-Dec. 20
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