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As bikers pass, please be patient
Saturday, June 1, I was honored to go on a motorcycle run for suicide prevention.
I have been on several runs for various good causes where the number of motorcycles exceeded the 60 bikes that we had. When going through a green light one or two motorcycles will block traffic to allow the entire group to go through in case the light changes, which allows us to all stay together. Most of the time people are gracious giving us a thumbs-up, wave or even take pictures, but Saturday there was something different in the air. It seemed as though people were upset about having to wait a few extra seconds, which resulted in the police being called and tickets being issued.
When you see a large group of bikers, you can bet they are on some sort of benevolent run. It could be for something that could save the life of someone you love. So please try to understand.
I want to finish by thanking those of you who were patient and respectful.
Mike Wingfield, Richland
Use turn signals; it’s state mandate
Apparently, it’s optional to use vehicle turn signals in the Tri-Cities. I use turn signals (okay, most of the time) and almost get giddy when others do too. I even use them in designated turn lanes so others know I am not considering it, but do plan on turning.
Turn signals should be used when turning into parking lots, side streets, and changing lanes, especially on our 60/70 mph freeways. It’s the law and common sense to prevent injuries, auto repair, insurance claims and road rage. Check around your steering wheel - blinkers are standard equipment in all vehicles, designed and incorporated for one purpose - communication. Be courteous and use them.
Excerpts from the Washington State drivers guide: “…other drivers expect you to keep doing what you are doing.…warn them when you are going to change direction….signal when you change direction….use your turn signals before you change lanes, turn right or left, merge into traffic….signal at least 100 feet before you make your move….get into the habit of signaling every time you change direction….it is important that drivers let other road users know they are there and what they plan to do.”
Stephanie Hays, Richland
Go Green or Go Brown
Regarding no-carbon electrical production: It is believed that more than 20 percent wind and solar power makeup of the electrical grid may result in an unstable power supply. How will you buck or boost VARs? What about frequency stabilization? Voltage control? Or more importantly spinning reserve capacity?
These functions are presently provided by large power plants. Nuclear is a very good power candidate but will have to cycle. Base loaded power plants will not work in the present market. A power plant must change load around 16 Mega Watts a minute and go from 20 percent load to 100 percent twice a day to be commercially viable in CAISO.
Power plants in CAISO energy market are being dispatched out of California.
Natural gas is proving to be unreliable due to gas transmission line failures. Fortunately, or unfortunately, coal is what we are stuck with; several months of fuel can be stored at the site – 5000 gigawatts of coal cannot come off the WECC grid and still maintain stability. Hydroelectric is critical for grabbing quick load changes and peak power loads. All megawatts are not equal. During this last winter we had $1000-Megawatt power ($1/KW).
Greg True, Kennewick