This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm
January 22nd, 2007

Dear Abby

I don't often recommend books outside the fly fishing world, but JC and I are both reading one which is very good. The author is abc 20/20 television reporter, John Stossel. Title, Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity and it is absolutely fascinating. There are sections on almost all the popular culture topics as well as some things you probably don't want to know if you have kids. Read it anyway.

I'm too old to believe life is fair, and I know everybody lies, but it is discouraging when some I previously trusted just are so blatant. Example, in our monthly statement from the power company, (Puget Sound Energy), "Why not sign up TODAY for Puget Sound Energy's Green Power Program."

In our November '06 election, one of the items on the ballot was an initiative to make all the power in this state (Washington) derive a portion of the power it sells to the public from sustainable/renewable energy. We have a lot of hydro-power here, but that does NOT count in the new required percentages. Having an idea of the cost of producing the facilities to produce the sustainable/renewable energy, (wind farms and solar farms) I voted against it. I do understand the premise, but forcing the power companies to foot the bill is unfair - and no funding was included in the initiative. The claims by the proponents of the initiative of how much money the new energy programs would save was totally false.

Back to my mail: "YES, I would like to support the development of renewable energy resources here in the Pacific Northwest. Please sign me up for the Green Power Program at a per month level of:
$4/month (minimum) $6/month, $8/month, $10/month, Other $____/month in any multiple of $2.
The amount of your green power purchase will be added to your Puget Sound Energy (PSE) electric bill each month until you call 1-800-562-1482 to discontinue your participation."

If you have any question, the initiative PASSED. And the PSE is now asking for "help to bring more renewable energy to the region. It's convenient and affordable." Convenient? Affordable? To whom? PSE can't afford it, they have stockholders, why are they asking their customers for help? Convenient? This state has to buy power from other states now (which by the way, will also be required to provide the correct percentages of renewable energy to sell any energy in this state.) Good grief. Doesn't anyone follow this stuff through when they come up with marvelous ideas? And tell the bloody truth.

Also in the mail this week, a 'survey' from Trout Unlimited (TU). Some of the questions had me laughing. How about this one:

"What about Trout Unlimited makes you want to renew your membership?

    I like the fly fishing calendar
    I want to receive the gifts (like the hat/flies)
    I want to receive TROUT magazine
    I want to attend chapter meetings/functions
    I want to support the TU mission
    A friend encouraged me to"

"Do you intend to make a planned gift or bequest to any of the following?
    My church, synagogue or other place of worship
    A school, college or university
    A nonprofit whose mission I care about"

I'm sorry, this is bazaar. I want to receive the hat and flies and I really have planned on a major bequest. It is laughable.

Then I check where this two-page survey went. It was from TU - but goes to Datastar Inc. I wouldn't fill it out and send it at all. None of their business, and who knows where else this information (data mining) will end up. I haven't checked the TU 'Mission' Statement lately, but when I did belong, back when it was formed in 1959, the idea was to protect the water. I'm sure in today's world that isn't politically correct.

And by the way, the VP of Marketing for TU, a woman I assume from the name, Abby Bronson, might want to take a good look at their cover letter:
"You have been identified as having an interest in fishing. We are a national organization seeking information on the thoughts and attitudes of people like you..."

Well Abby, why don't you spend a little time reading Fly Anglers OnLine. Maybe take a look at the Bulletin Board. The thoughts and attitudes of people interested in fishing are there. Really. ~ The LadyFisher

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