Cardinal-Hickory Creek needed to fight climate change

Dear Editor: Spencer Black’s column about the Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line misses the forest for the trees. Achieving a clean energy future with low-cost, renewable electricity fundamentally depends on new transmission lines. Not only does Black overstate the land-use and property rights impacts, and grossly overstate costs, but he ignores the far greater harm for Wisconsin and the Driftless area: our climate crisis.

CHC is specifically designed to add renewables to the Midwest grid. New wind and solar projects across the region are ready to go — and they are relying on this line. Thousands of megawatts of future wind and solar development in the Midwest’s best wind and solar resources are at risk without CHC. Large-scale solar in Wisconsin will also be throttled if the line isn’t built. Even the 300-megawatt Badger Hollow project was approved for grid connection on the basis that CHC will be there. That’s why there is broad support from clean energy organizations and the renewables industry across the Midwest.

While there are land-use impacts from any large infrastructure project, these impacts pale in comparison to climate change. Clean energy transmission like CHC is a fundamental part of the solution.

— Allen Gleckner, St. Paul, Minnesota

Nichols column unfairly slung mud at Duffy

Dear Editor: A recent John Nichols column belittling Congressman Duffy’s support of President Trump shows why people have lost faith in the news. Rather than sticking to the issues and making a reasoned argument on the facts, the author would rather falsely attack Duffy’s character. The facts are that Duffy went eight months without a paycheck and when he talked about the sacrifice to run for office he was attacked by Democrats. The comments in question related to the real struggle to support a large, growing family. But that doesn’t fit the narrative.

It is possible to have an honest debate on the policies of President Trump. For example, his policies have led to record low levels of unemployment and a booming economy. But Democrats in Washington, and here in Madison, would rather continue endless, baseless investigations. In that context, it’s not unreasonable for the president to assume Democrat leadership isn’t working in good faith to solve our nation’s problems.

Ironically, while the editorial lambasts the president’s supposed lack of decorum, it simultaneously slings unrelated and misleading attacks on Congressman Duffy. President Trump has only been in office a short time, but the author has been in this business for decades. The divisiveness in our politics today didn’t start and won’t end with President Trump. We should expect and get more from “journalists.”

— Scott Grabins, Verona

Cardinal-Hickory Creek line is unwanted, unneeded

Dear Editor: As an opponent of the Cardinal-Hickory Creek high-voltage line slated to bring unneeded and inexpensive electrical power to the Driftless area, I have been perplexed by people supporting the project.

According to the PSC/DNR environmental impact statement, there will be significant damage done to agricultural venues if the line is built. In addition, the towers will cross through the federal wildlife refuge where there are fears that birds will be electrocuted, soils will be disrupted, and energy escaping from the lines is a real concern.

Add to the above the potential for ATC exercising eminent domain over private lands, and it is hard to believe this is a good idea. The towers will last for 40 years with no plan for being dismantled. We in the Driftless may have to live with terrible eyesores for the rest of our lives. One letter to the editor suggested that the project is needed to retain the rural character of the Driftless. Really? It seems to me that our rural character is doing just fine without huge rust-colored towers. Locally generated power is cost-effective. There are already solar and wind projects in place. Citizens have changed their habits to conserve power by purchasing efficient appliances, LED bulbs and practicing energy conservation. CHC is not needed and reflects unwanted and archaic thinking.

— Jane Batha, Mineral Point

Take meaningful action to address water quality

Dear Editor: Gov. Evers’ declaration of 2019 being the “year of clean drinking water in Wisconsin” is reason for celebration. From high nitrates to manure tainted e-coli flowing from taps to PFAS “forever chemicals,” Wisconsin’s water should be highlighted as a major concern in our state.

But, while yet more task forces form and public hearings ensue — many of those living among widespread contamination wonder why Evers has not yet sought out their input.

Mass cuts have been made to a budget designed to address many of Wisconsin’s water issues, leaving Wisconsinites wondering if any real progress can be made when actions do not follow inspirational declarations.

Many shovel-ready solutions exist, that do not require taxpayer monies or a significant amount of effort. Commonsense safeguards remain non-existent, followed up by minimal oversight or enforcement. Court-ordered safety measures continue to be argued in court while those living among the most highly contaminated areas see minimal efforts and slick PR campaigns.

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What ails Wisconsin’s water is the lack of initiative and political will at all levels to address the “effluent in the room.”

Let’s stop the lip service and begin meaningful actions to address Wisconsin’s statewide water quality issues that impoverish our communities, reduce quality of life, threaten human health and poison the water where we live.

— Nancy Utesch, Kewaunee

Where’s the diversity?

Dear Editor: In the June 5 edition of the Cap Times, I saw the photo of the Madison Police Department recruits and thought, “How white they look.” In the same issue, there is a column by Paul Fanlund reporting an interview with Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham in which she talks about racial issues in the Madison schools, and an article on Madison’s support of DREAMers. There are racial issues galore in Madison. I would like to see more on the MPD and why, at least on the surface, its recruits are so lacking in diversity. I would like to hear more about how it plans to represent the interests of an ever more diverse population.

— Joan Schilling, Madison

Jail plan could have negative consequences

Dear Editor: I feel sick about about the consequences of approving the currently popular proposal for the county jail. It painfully reminds me of my own well-intended fixes of the ego that destroyed my career and marriage. Only by surrendering my precious ego pride and intellect to a higher power, purpose and perspective did I find some semblance of sanity, serenity and serendipity (and sometimes stunning synergy).

And only by such surrender by a critical mass of leaders and citizens do I feel hope for this issue, or humanity’s huge issues in general.

Many teachers of consciousness suggest that those situations or people that trigger us actually reflect more about ourselves that needs examining, healing and shifting.You may say that I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one.

— Carl Landsness, Madison