The algae option
Regarding "Setting a Course on Biofuels" (4/4/08): It's biofoolish.
The story focused on biofuel from corn or cellulose fibers. With corn prices rising faster than the weed levels of our lakes, why not turn to the weeds for the answer?
Do UW researchers know that the lipid content of our own beloved blue-green algae is higher than almost every other bio source? At anywhere from 5,000 to 20,000 gallons per acre of growth, as compared to Chinese tallow at 699 gallons, the next best crop.
With the addition of enclosed raceway ponds at the UW's coal-fired plant, growing more algae and using the scrubbed emissions from the plant as the pond nutrients, the UW would have an answer to its foul air, as well as an answer on how to spend its grant money.
We need to clean the lakes of the foul weeds choking them due to excessive run off from manure fertilization. Why not turn the problem into the solution?
Frank Furillo, Stoughton
Thanks to Andy Moore for his column "On the Road" (4/11/08). Indeed, hitchhiking isn't what it used to be. Many are the times I hitched from Madison to my hometown, Monroe, 50 miles south. All were pleasant and safe experiences.
This included my being picked up by a Swiss Colony trucker who knew my brother, a lady getting a divorce from a classmate, and, best of all, a real hippie driving a bad clunker that I thought wouldn't make it to Monroe. It turned out his mother was a secretary at my church.
Oh, for the good old days. Too bad it isn't safe to enjoy life anymore.
Small and green
I've lived in a Madison mobile home park for 18 years. Over the last six or so, I've watched it turn into a dump. My street is an eyesore of crammed-in vehicles; parking is a problem, so to make room, tenants cut down trees and destroy yards so they can park between the mobile homes. I really want to get out.
I read "Living Small" (4/11/08), and for the first time in years I found true excitement. This kind of living I could go for! Since 1993 I've been getting rid of possessions, and for the past 10 years living green in my own way.
I would be very happy in a small space with my bed, clothes, books, TV, radio, dog and cat. I don't drive, but can use my power wheelchair to get out. Of course, this is only a pipedream, as I am poor - so poor I was turned down for Habitat for Humanity.
It's too bad that Madison can't help out those of us who desire to live small and green, if we could afford it.
I am pleased with your story regarding Ald. Tim Bruer and his "I am the holiest" attitude ("Bruer Called a 'Bully' on Villager Plan," 4/11/08). I live in his district and have found him to be just one big mouth. He toots his own horn, which has no merit.