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Published: Saturday, 5/29/2004

Hybrids still don't solve fuel woes

Gas-electric hybrid vehicles are a wonderful innovation. They may be the most important development in automotive technology since the assembly line. They're also becoming more sophisticated and powerful. Gone are the golf carts of a couple years ago. They now are making full-sized versions of them, even an SUV. Everyone raves about how smoothly they ride. And with the price of gas now at around $2 a gallon, they only make more sense.

Of course, they still have one big problem. No matter how advanced they become, they will still always have to use gasoline. Yes, they use less of it. But they still use it.

Our entire modern civilization remains addicted to a fossil fuel that has been in large-scale use since the 19th century! It is difficult to obtain under the best of circumstances.

And when some of the largest reserves of it are located under some of the most unstable regions in the world, those difficulties are compounded immensely. Hybrid vehicles are a temporary solution at best. We must find a way to greatly reduce or even eliminate our demand for oil, period.

Until we do, we will always be at the mercy of those who control its supply.

Eric Johnson

Ogden Avenue

Swanton schools are considering asking for a renewal of an "emergency operating levy." This has us concerned again regarding the management or lack thereof of the monies we have given to the school system in the past.

The reasons for our concern are that either there was a miscalculation in the original levy request for the amount needed to cover the "emergency," or the monies collected were misused and wasted.

We know the value that a good school system has for the community and we hate to see the pupils get caught in the middle of something they are not responsible for.

The Swanton school board's fiscal history has come under scrutiny and we would hope that the members have learned some valuable lessons.

One lesson they seem to have a problem grasping with both hands is that the money tree is dying and they are forgetting to "water it" with responsibility and fiscal accountability.

We, as homeowners, realize that if money is tight and the mortgage needs paid, some of the "luxuries" may have to be set aside for a while until there is more income to warrant the expense again.

We can't keep going to the bank because sooner or later it will say "No".

RICHARD and PATRICIA BROWN

Swanton

I saw hatred and sheer delight in the eyes of the crowd as they held the leash of vicious dogs while African-Americans stood in fear, rendered helpless by their actions. It all happened during the civil-rights movement.

As a young person, the graphic scene shown in our local newspaper became embedded in my mind.

The memory of the event surfaced once again when I, along with other Americans, saw photos of abused Iraqi detainees. Tell me, what is it that causes one to act in such a bizarre manner?

When will man's inhumanity to man ever end? Sadly enough, time has proven that everything remains the same.

DOROTHY McFARLAND

Smead Avenue

With money so tight in the city, it's hard to understand why Mayor Ford chose to spend $80,000 for a consultant to say the Erie Street Market needed a jump-start and reorganization, which has been known for a long time.

I could have given him that advice for a cup of coffee and a doughnut!

M. HARP

Monroe Street



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