Tesla’s theory of ‘free’ electricity has fundamental flaw
Karen Cookson’s Aug. 11 Viewpoint on renewable energy, “Time to renew our efforts,” raises some important issues about replacing fossil fuels with renewal energy sources. However the article was marred by her discussions of [inventor] Nicola Tesla.
Electric power distributed like radio waves could never be free. Part of our electric bill goes for the cost of generating the electricity and part goes for distribution of the electricity to our homes. If electricity were “broadcast” to our homes, the transmission costs might drop, but someone still would have to pay for the electricity to be generated. Even if we were to use “free” energy sources, such as wind and water, to generate the electricity, the equipment that harvests this “free” fuel has to be purchased and maintained.
In addition, the distribution system could not be free, either. A system that could send electric power via radio waves requires expensive transmitters and antennas on the sending end, and special receiving equipment in our homes. Such a system could not provide free power because of all the real costs involved, not because of some conspiracy.
We do have systems that use wireless power delivery. Wireless transmission of power is used to heat pots and pans on induction cooking appliances, and to charge batteries in devices ranging from tooth brushes to cellphones to electric automobiles.
However, the transmitting and receiving antennas are placed very close to each other in those systems so the wireless energy only travels a short distance and does not travel through any living objects.
The real reason we do not broadcast electrical power to our homes is that radio signals powerful enough to deliver usable amounts of power would damage living things, including humans, that were exposed to the radio signals.
Apply travel rules to state lawmakers, too
Why do our legislators have different rules?
Ask any state employee who travels on official state business, or any state human resource employee who handles travel expenses, about [Assembly Speaker] Sheldon Silver’s travel expenditures. They will tell you that he was not following the state “MAP” [manual administrative procedures] For travel.
Regular state employees who travel can get a cash advance from human resources for their expenses. You are only allowed what the state rates are for hotels, food and travel; anything else comes out of your own pocket. Receipts are required as proof of money spent; any money not spend goes back to the state. Any bonuses, such as frequent flier miles, must be returned to the state. (Airline flights are not allowed if you are within driving distance.) Failure to follow the “MAP” means your check can be withheld, or the money taken out of your check.
Sheldon Silver and state legislators get a daily living allowance, expenses and travel with no receipts while they’re in session. Silver lives in Manhattan (three hours away), takes a flight home and charges it to the state.
Why do they have no rules to follow, like the rest of state employees? It’s time to make them accountable for their expenses.
Facility fees amount to double co-pays
Are your medical costs going sky-high? Mine are.
The latest insult is the facility fee. What is that? When you visit your doctor, if he or she is employed by a hospital, such as Ellis or Seton Health, you will be billed twice and need to pay two co-pays. One is for the doctor visit, the second is for use of the facility. I have discovered that this is a legal loophole in Medicare. Consumers are taking the brunt.
Sometimes, even the office staff are unaware of this practice, which I discovered to my dismay. Best to check with the billing office.
I urge all to call on your congressional representatives to get this situation corrected. Until something changes, check your mailbox for the next bill.
Animal abuser merited more than six months
I read with disbelief the Aug. 14 article on the “animal abuser.” I am referring to Anthony Walker, who was convicted not once, but twice, of heinous abuse and aggravated cruelty toward animals.
First, the horrific torture of three pit bull puppies which he nailed to the railroad tracks in Albany and, most recently, leaving four pit bull dogs unattended without food and water in a box trailer. He was sentenced to six months in Albany County jail. It should have been six years!
I did some research on Buster’s Law, enacted in 1999, and it suggests “a term of imprisonment not to exceed two years.” Since these acts of cruelty were committed at different times to different animals, it would appear that he should have been convicted on each case separately, giving him at least four years. Why not? Six months is a slap in the face to all of us who love and respect animals; and to [Assemblyman] Jim Tedisco, who sponsored the act.
Maybe it’s time to strengthen this law and impose harsher penalties.
Disabled student didn’t need, or ask for, help
In the weeks since Gloversville High School’s commencement, members of our community have asked about the manner in which my daughter Rachel was treated at this once-in-a-lifetime event.
Rachel is physically handicapped; she needs a walker to get around. At the June 22 commencement, she arrived using the same walker she used for her years at Gloversville High School.
Rachel earned the same diploma as most of the graduates. She trusted that she would receive her diploma in the same dignified manner as every other graduate. She was the only graduate that a teacher was assigned to. Minutes before it was her turn, only Rachel was told that she would be receiving assistance because the ramp was too steep (code?).
[Principal] Richard DeMallie’s secretary must have been instructed to push on the back of Rachel’s walker to get her up the steep ramp. Then the secretary held on to the walker as she went down the steep ramp. Even though Rachel walked independently every day at school, the secretary continued to escort her on the flat gym floor.
Superintendent Michael Vanyo, board President Peter Semione and Principal DeMallie all appear to approve of the assistance on the WFNY TV video we purchased.
Rachel was embarrassed. Weeks of calls and inquiries have led us to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. We are grateful for their assistance and guidance.
To graduates: Every day offers opportunities to set examples. Remember this example set for you as you begin the next chapters of your lives. Choose higher standards, dignity for all and integrity. You’ll be glad you did!
Proctors marquee a vital link to Schenectady’s past
Re Proctors’ irreplaceable marquee: Why not keep our downtown history alive and continue to restore, update and repair the air conditioning system, “historic” seats, restrooms and future housekeeping issues as they arise? Continued affordable ticket prices can also benefit from reconsideration.
Albany recently embarked on a forward plan. They have begun restoring disappearing painted ads on exterior old buildings in an effort to keep history alive.
Our marquee is a landmark. Let’s preserve it!
Ada Rivers Friedman
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