Letters to the Editor

NW Staff

Renewable energy for NMU

The Feb. 26 story on the Environmental Protection Agency precedent-setting decision on NMU’s proposed coal/wood burning heating plant is appreciated. The EPA decision means that not only will the state of Michigan have to do a much better job in considering environmental and health effects of the four to seven additional coal plants currently under consideration in our state, but improvements will be required in coal plant proposals all over the nation.

At the hearing on this permit Sierra Club and Michigan Student Sustainability Coalition members raised many concerns and the Sierra Club submitted extensive written comments pointing out flaws in the proposal. The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued the permit despite these deficiencies, and the Sierra Club successfully appealed to the EPA.

Contrary to Art Gischia’s comments, this permit is blocked until significant changes are made. The DEQ has said they will wait for the EPA to provide further direction on carbon dioxide before taking up the permit again. In addition, the EPA raised concerns that NMU didn’t consider using natural gas, a cleaner fuel, as a backup fuel instead of coal, even though the current heating plant uses natural gas.

The Sierra Club applauds NMU’s proposed move to cogeneration of heat and electricity, a more efficient process. However, we urge NMU to change plans so coal is not required, and more of the campus electrical energy needs are met through renewable sources like wind and solar. Wisconsin universities are committed to get 20 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2011, and are already on their way to meeting those goals. Wind studies show tremendous potential throughout Michigan, while Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario has 20 megawatts of solar panels in place and plans to increase that to 60 megawatts, compared with NMU’s 10 megawatt goal.

NMU has an opportunity to lead in renewable energy, just as it has done on energy efficiency. We look forward to working with the university community in realizing these opportunities in the future.

Anne Woiwode

Sierra Club

Michigan Chapter Director

Sex column displays irresponsibility

I have been reading your sex column by Lyndsay Mercier. Articles in the last two weeks included anal and oral sex. I think it would be more interesting to add detailed sketches to your explicit descriptions for our responsible students and Marquette residents who read the paper. I think you should answer more sex questions and take up an entire page of the North Wind. Better yet, I think you can increase circulation by adding sex pictures. Maybe some college students could volunteer to send their intimate pictures to your article to publish for circulation to better educate us on this important subject of college kids having sex, as this is the norm, isn’t it? Let’s not teach responsibility or suggest living a chaste collegiate life. Should we shame those that protect their virginity as prudes? We’re college kids and we are having sex using dental dams and condoms, because we are responsible.

While these articles are titillating, is there no journalistic responsibility? Is there no decency or shame left in this community? How many college girls drop out of Northern due to unplanned pregnancies? How many abortions are performed on our students due to irresponsible sex? How does abortion affect a woman? What about date rapes in our community? What is it like living with an STD? Shall we continue writing titillating sex columns? Do we really think dental dams are used? If you want to be progressive and increase readership, include thought provoking journalism. What is going on in the college departments for student organizations? What is going on with the clubs, fraternities, and sororities? What are local organizations and churches doing in our community? With all the professors and students in this academic setting, there are no articles on these topics. Thank you, Lyndsay for teaching us how to use dental dams and letting us know that they are not easily available in Marquette. Can I use my chewing gum for a dental dam?

Mercier is a foot soldier of Planned Parenthoods’ destructive agenda of free sex and forced abortions as part of the American woman’s experience, the antithesis of marriage, motherhood and goodness that proceeds from them.

It’s time to hear from our community.

Kevin L. Brown


Editor’s Note: The Kevin Brown who wrote this letter is not the Kevin Brown who is a student at Northern.