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Letters to the Editor: December 8, 2012

The Taxpayers Protection Alliance fails on every level

Drew Johnson's opinion piece on behalf of the "Taxpayers Protection Alliance" (TPA) in last week's paper ("'All of the Above' Fails on Every Level," Morris Sun Tribune, Dec. 1, 2012) was equal parts misinformation and dishonest cost accounting.

Among the more bogus claims, the suggestion that renewable energy technologies are disproportionately favored by federal policy really stands out. This assertion is not even in the neighborhood of being true. Traditional fossil fuels are subsidized through an elaborate web of overlapping direct and indirect supports, among which are direct fiscal outlays, advantageous tax provisions, public provision and maintenance of transportation infrastructure (inland waterways, for example), and even military defense of supply lines. Conservatively, these subsidies exceed those extended to renewable energy technologies by a factor of ten.

But even this reality check doesn't do justice to the real case for renewable energy. By refusing to count the measurable damage costs associated with the current energy system, we tilt the playing field in favor of the status quo, whether TPA realizes it or not. And it costs us a lot of money.

The National Research Council (NRC: Hidden Cost of Energy, 2010) estimates, for example, that the identifiable non-climate related damage costs associated with electricity from coal plants in the U.S. average about 3.5 cents per kilowatt hour, or about $58 billion annually. When the NRC includes climate-related damages, their estimate increases by factor of between two and four. NRC's finding implies that if electricity customers in this part of the world paid the full cost-accounting price of the power from existing sources, then prices would have to rise somewhere in the range of 100 to 300 percent.

But renewable energy projects would out-compete these traditional sources long before the price of power ever rose that high. As a result, damages would go down. That's exactly what competition on a level playing field is supposed to look like.

Arne Kildegaard - Morris, Minn.

God's thoughts on marriage

Some changes have been made to this letter since it was first posted online to correct errors that occurred when the letter was transcribed. The letter below reflects what the author originally wrote. We apologize for the errors.

The Word of God is true. Luke 21:33 "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall never pass away." We must not add or take away from His Word. Revelation (22:18 and 19).

It grieves the heart of God that our nation would like to legalize the sin of same sex marriages. Christ came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill them (Matthew 5:17). Same sex marriages in the sight of God are an abomination. Leviticus 18:22 "Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is an abomination. The souls that commit such an abomination are worthy of death." Leviticus 20:13 "If a man also lie with mankind as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."

The dear souls who find themselves living in sin without the power to overcome, must realize they are a sinner, worthy of death and hell. The wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23) He who commits sin is of the devil. (I John 3:8) God commands all me everywhere to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he had given assurance until all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. (Acts 17:30 and 31)

He must come with a broken and a contrite heart (Psalm 51:17), sorry for his sins and confess them with God and man. (Matthew 3:6) Proverbs 28:13 "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy." He must ask for forgiveness from those he wronged and repay that which was stolen as much as is possible. (Matthew 5:23 and 24) He must believe that Jesus died for him. He must be baptized born out of water and of spirit. (John 3:5) Mark 16:16 "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned." Repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ must precede baptism, and there must be a new life in Christ, keeping his commandments out of the love he had for us.

Consider also the New Testament teachings. Matthew 19:4, 5, and 6 "(4)And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, (5) And said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? (6) Wherefore they are not more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder." Romans 1:27 "And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet." Mark 10:11 and 12 "And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery."

According to the word of God marriage is a life lone commitment between one man and one woman. God's word is true and even though men may change the laws of marriage, men with men and women with women is sin. I would encourage each one to use the time they spend watching television and rather read the Bible.

Corey Schaefer - Hancock, Minn.

An RFC 'Thank You'

The Regional Fitness Center (RFC) would like to thank the Steven's County community for their continued support of this unique campus/community partnership that was created in 1999 and continues to thrive today. Thank you to the many individuals, families, seniors, UMM members, local school district, and businesses such as Stevens County Medical Center and Morris Auto Plaza for realizing what a valuable community resource the RFC is. As a non-profit, our only mission is to serve and help grow the area communities by providing quality and affordable recreational facilities and programs.

Your support allows us to expand our offerings so that everyone can benefit. Our 'Group Fitness' program is a good example. In the last few years we have been able to double the number of classes (50+/week) and bring nationally acclaimed programs (Zumba, SPIN, Body Pump) to Morris. We have given back to the community by offering special free access to Group Fitness classes and the RFC facility (Free Family Fun Days, Free December access for first timers), hosting community events, and offering special events such as 'Driven to SPIN', Zumbathon, and Fitness Frenzy. We continue to look for ways to collaborate to meet community needs. This year we created a new aquatics position to serve local high school teams, direct the Tiger Sharks community youth swim club, and oversee family and youth programs offered in the RFC pools.

Our diverse and qualified staff from health coaches to personal trainers to water safety instructors can personally help you or your family take healthy steps towards living an active, independent, and rewarding lifestyle. We hope you continue to invest in your future health as we plan to continue giving back to you and

the Morris area communities.

Wayne Morford - Director

Thanks for Morris Area FFA support in fight against cancer

Research is the only answer to cancer, and the Morris Area community clearly understands that as shown through its significant support yet again of world-renowned cancer research at The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota-Mayo Clinic, in Austin, Minn.

Our staff had the pleasure of giving a tour of The Hormel Institute's state-of-the-art facility in July 2011 to members of the Morris Area FFA Chapter thanks to the group's connection with Mr. Joe Swedberg, a Vice President at Hormel Foods Corporation.

We are very pleased and humbled that the FFA Chapter's visit that day has inspired its members to work so hard and creatively to raise vital dollars to support The Hormel Institute's cutting-edge cancer research focused on discoveries leading to the prevention and control of this devastating disease.

All of us at The Hormel Institute are deeply grateful for the $4,000 donated overall since 2011 by the Morris Area FFA Chapter and members of the Morris Area community through the group's annual "Cha Cha for a Cure" fundraiser, including a popular "Cha Cha Slide" halftime dance on the football field. Please know 100 percent of these funds directly support The Hormel Institute's cancer research.

We offer our sincere thanks to Natasha Mortenson, Advisor for the Morris Area FFA Chapter, and all of the FFA and community members involved with "Cha Cha for a Cure" for this tremendous, annual support that provides great encouragement to our researchers working aggressively in the fight against cancer as part of a BioScience Triad partnership with the University of Minnesota (Twin Cities) and Mayo Clinic (Rochester). The Hormel Institute's next major expansion planned to start in 2013 also will greatly enhance and strengthen this collaborative partnership.

Many thanks again and happy holidays to you all. The Hormel Institute is fortunate to have your ongoing faith and trust in our mission to find answers to cancer as quickly as possible. Together we share the vision of "Today's Research, Tomorrow's Cures."

Zigang Dong, M.D., Dr. P.H. - Executive Director, The Hormel Institute