Regarding your July 27 article "When the convention is a classroom": It was good to read about students and teens being involved in the election and becoming informed citizens.
I am a freshman in college, and many of my peers have no idea what or who they will vote for. Still, many say they plan on voting because it is their "duty" and will probably vote the same as their parents, instead of electing officials that they believe would steer this country in the right direction.
I also work for a marketing-research firm, where we do political surveys. It is amazing how many people won't even listen to the issue or person that is being discussed if their party does not back it.
People in this country should not take for granted the opportunity we have to live in this land of freedom. With the power to vote comes the responsibility to be informed so we can decide what is best for our community and nation.
Regarding your July 29 article "Electric cars that pay," about 100 percent electric-powered cars that feed power back into the utility grid: As a Detroit municipal architect and city planner, I enjoyed reading your article. Going a step further, utility companies across America should consider teaming up with auto companies and the federal government to create a cable-suspended transportation network for single-occupancy electric-powered commuter vehicles. Such a system would alleviate highway congestion and be environmentally friendly.
The idea that a car can not only consume but also produce energy is brilliant and long overdue. My chief concern with this concept, however, centers on infrastructure. There would have to be massive retrofitting of parking lots to equip them with the kinds of electrical connections needed for successful vehicle-to-grid (V2G) deployment.
Despite my appreciation for the concept, I remain convinced that hybrid technology is the most logical next step. I have now driven my 2001 Toyota Prius for four years and 60,000 trouble-free miles ... with absolutely no changes to our fuel infrastructure. So, while I put gas in my Prius (not nearly as often as owners of regular cars), forward-thinking automakers can continue to improve their hybrid technologies.
Philip M. von Hake
I find it interesting that so many in our society reinforce the idea that cars can in any sense be "green." They can't.
Instead, I offer the following to those who truly want to reduce waste and toxic byproducts: Go buy a used bike at a local garage sale, make sure it's in good working order, and then commute to work on it.
Take the money you saved by not insuring or paying for a car and spend it on something that really matters.
New Castle, Ind.
Regarding your July 29 article "In an East Texas town, the fight is all in a name": The argument for retaining "Jap Road" for the sake of its historical significance simply doesn't hold water.
If the road name was, as its defenders maintain, meant to honor rather than denigrate a former Japanese resident, then surely renaming the road with the person's surname (Mayuni Road) - as has always been done when naming streets after Anglo-Americans - would not only satisfy today's social standards but also correct a past error.
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