We do need outsider's ideas.
Last month, a speaker from the Sierra Club gave a talk before the League of Women Voters and their guests. It was titled "Beyond Coal: What is the answer?"
The speaker outlined a scenario consisting of dispersed wind and solar electric power. The talk was logical and supported by several examples. The audience appeared receptive and well informed.
Upon returning from the talk (Sept. 17), I was surprised to read a letter in the people's column published before the talk, that scolded the LWV for inviting somebody with different ideas into our city, and suggested the speaker should get out of town.
The author of the letter did not attend the talk, and obviously had written his remarks before the talk. What he was saying was we do not want any new ideas from outsiders.
He, no doubt, will still be here when Dunkirk is reduced to one convenience store and two gas pumps. A prior letter from the same author caused a reader to suggest he did his thinking in a dark closet of ignorance. If he was brave enough to feel around in the darkness, he might also find a few local county legislators who vote against new resources like wind power.
Interestingly, a recent article in a national business magazine by the chief executive officer of NRG said that the present electric utility model was "doomed to obsolescence." He also sees a move to "decentralized homegrown green energy", with some utilities caught in an economic death spiral as they lose customers, much as Dunkirk is losing population.
We need to listen to everyone's ideas, and act on the best ones if we are to survive as a city. Surprisingly, we still do not even have a vision for the future of the city.