Letters: PCBs Shouldn’t Be Dumped in Landfills

Posted Nov. 02, 2003

Letters: Concealed gun’s influence unclear

Editor, The Post-Crescent:

The state Senate has approved the bill to repeal the ban on carrying concealed weapons. It has yet to be passed by the Assembly and must also survive a possible veto by Gov. Jim Doyle.

I’ve read several accounts that would have us believe other states have lowered their crime rate by allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons.

The evidence to support this, however, appears to be fuzzy and laden with rationalization. I can’t tell whether states have a lower crime rate because of their concealed weapons or in spite of them.

In any case, each state has its own personality, and the allowing of concealed weapons doesn’t happen in a vacuum. I’m sure other measures were taken and other changes made, which had an input into the end result.

I’m not convinced that their crime rate wouldn’t be even lower if concealed weapons weren’t allowed.

Also, how would you describe someone who wants to carry a concealed weapon? Just how mature and well-adjusted is our average citizen?

Even if our average citizen is very stable, we still have to ask how many immature people could legally qualify to carry a gun.

Is the person who wants to carry a concealed weapon the kind of person who is easily frightened, someone who wants to feel powerful or is at heart a bully? Is that person subject to road rage, so that the next person who pulls out in front of him will be shot? Think of how many more cars would have guns in their glove compartments.

I have a hard time relating the idea of lowering the amount of violence in our society with making it easier for people to kill each other.

Thomas I. McGuire,


PCBs shouldn’t be dumped in landfills

Editor, The Post-Crescent:

The state department of Natural Resources and Georgia-Pacific would like to deposit PCB sediments into a landfill located in our town.

At an Oct. 16 meeting at our town hall, Terry Carroll of Minergy Corporation told us they were asked by the DNR if PCBs could be burned. Minergy built a small working prototype of a glass furnace, dried the PCB sediments in it and guess what? It worked and was very cost-efficient. The PCBs were destroyed in a process called vitrification and no pollutants were created.

I’m not a scientist nor a chemist, but I have enough common sense and intelligence to know that this is the proper way to get rid of PCBs.

Putting them in a landfill is only a short-term solution. We would have to deal with in on a permanent basis, as PCBs have an unlimited shelf life.

The landfilling of PCBs is expected to take 3-6 years to complete at a projected cost of $66 million, not including the cost of maintenance and testing. And what happens when the landfill is full? They move it to somebody else’s backyard.

Burning of PCBs, however, would neutralize their toxicity and take seven years, at a cost of $80-$100 million. The glass byproducts of vitrification can be recycled into roads, roofs and for many other uses. It is the most responsible thing to do.

I hope you will join our voices in alerting state and federal officials to the blunder about to be made. It is urgent that you do this as soon as possible, as they seem to be in a hurry to start. Let’s be smart and say yes to vitrification and goodbye to any politician who doesn’t keep our best interests in mind.

Margaret Potratz,


Four-lane out of sync with neighborhood

Editor, The Post-Crescent:

Recently, a National Public Radio topic reported that cities are trying to combat brain drain and urban flight by marketing exciting, culturally alive urban environments to young people. How does a four-laner barreling through a historic neighborhood address this issue?

A four-lane College Avenue bridge is the easy choice. I respectfully challenge our public works professionals to look for more creative solutions.

Appleton Public Works Director Paula Vandehey said at an Oct 21 public hearing that the bridge’s chief users are central-city people heading out to where Wal-Mart is. Is that what it is all about? Wal-Mart?

With all the negative impact Wal-Mart has had on mom-and- pop proprietors and our communities as a whole, do we have to let the rush to Wal-Mart ruin our personal neighborhoods as well?

With the exception of Lawrence University and the Presbyterian church, the two-mile stretch of E. College Avenue from the end of downtown to Matthias Street is 100 percent residential.

When the bridge is rebuilt, perhaps two traffic lanes with wide pedestrian and bikeways and several vista points along the way would be more in tune with the direction in which Appleton residents really want to go.

Kim Luke,


No evidence of Saddam’s hand in 9-11

Editor, The Post-Crescent:

Jim Chambers in his Oct. 28 letter defending President Bush states that we “were attacked on 9-11 and it would be ignorant to suggest that a tyrant like Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with it.”

If Mr. Chambers has any evidence to support his belief in Mr. Hussein’s complicity in 9-11, he should present it to the White House.

On Sept. 17, Mr. Bush said, “No, we’ve had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with Sept. 11.”

John S. Williamson Jr.