Zionsville Times Sentinel

Commentary

July 17, 2013

The magic sun pie

Imagine I have two pies. Any kind: apple, pecan, lemon meringue — it doesn’t matter, but I’ll take cherry. Now one pie is ordinary and one is magic. When I eat the ordinary pie, it’s gone. Delicious, but depleted. All that’s left is a dirty pie plate. To get more, I must take a trip to the cherry tree that has a limited supply of cherries.

The other pie, however, is magical. Take a piece and it renews itself over and over. No dirty pie plate, no picking more cherries— just a never-ending cherry pie. Which would you choose?

I recently attended a presentation at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis (UUI) at which member Ray Wilson explained the efforts behind their recent 10-kw installations of solar panels, funded partially by a grant from the Indiana Department of Energy.

My mind usually wanders with lots of techno talk like kilowatt-hours, photons, micro inverters, photovoltaic, silicon crystals and such. But Ray caught my attention when he explained that he also installed panels on his home, and that he has banked credits from IPL for electricity generated but not used by his family. (This function is called net metering). He estimated his payback on the panels would come at around 10 years. With the panels guaranteed for 25 years, he anticipates about 15 years of very low-cost electricity.

What further excites me with this solar technology is that, like the magic pie, there is no need to pick more cherries or blast off mountain tops for coal. No more dirty pie pans or polluted waterways for coal ash. It’s just a never-ending supply of clean energy.

See Wednesday's Times Sentinel for the full story.

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  • Momma wasn't a sissy My mom was on a medical downslide for the last 20 years of her life, and I always wondered how she managed to keep going. She always said she was probably already dead but just too stubborn to lie down.

    July 23, 2014

  • They've been known to pick a song or two Someone I know — I don't even remember who — used to have a "You may be a Redneck if ..." daily calendar. One day it read: You may be a Redneck if your mother has a Lynyrd Skynyrd T-shirt.

    July 23, 2014

  • Expiring term heightens urgency of lawmaker’s mission State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January. The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants from paying in-state tuition to attend state colleges and universities.

    July 23, 2014

  • Exercise helps body resist injury I hurt myself last week. It’s a good one too. Low back, below the belt, all the way across. Hurt. When I get hurt, I am instantly grateful for the strength training and body care I do every week and the knowledge I’ve gain from moving my body regularly.

    July 23, 2014

  • A bee, or not to be It’s weird that while working in my garden I am always looking for insect damage as a positive sign. I spotted lots of torn leaves on my Dutchman’s Pipevine and was pleased. The vine is a larval food source — caterpillar food — for the Pipevine Swallowtail, one of Indiana’s many swallowtail butterflies.

    July 16, 2014

  • Basements aren’t just for tornadoes anymore The Lutheran church ladies are back in town at Beef & Boards performing “A Mighty Fortress is Our Basement.” The show runs through Aug. 17.

    July 16, 2014

  • Road to funding Indiana highways jammed If you’ve driven on either of Indiana’s two busiest interstates recently, you’ll understand why a blue-ribbon commission last week called for adding traffic lanes to those harrowing highways.

    July 16, 2014

  • Extension Service celebrates turning 100 On May 8, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the federal Smith-Lever Act, which established the Cooperative Extension Service as a nonformal educational program designed to help people use research-based knowledge to improve their lives. In recognition of 2014 being the centennial year of the Extension Service, Purdue Extension – Boone County will commemorate the milestone with activities and displays at this year’s Boone County Fair.

    July 16, 2014

  • Vacation workout can be simple, convenient It’s vacation time, so many of my customers are requesting workouts they can do while on vacation to stay in shape. The tricky part is 1.) knowing what kind of equipment they will have, and 2.) if it’s too complicated, they won’t do it. So I like to keep it as simple as possible to minimize both of those barriers.

    July 9, 2014

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