Letters for July 30, 2009

Coffee isn’t green

Re “The green bean” (Green, July 2):

I liked this story a lot. Don’t get me wrong: I love coffee. I would probably really like the coffee at the Hub. But the concept of a luxury like drinking coffee associated with being “green” is an oxymoron.

It’s really great that there is a coffee shop in Reno that operates in a sustainable fashion. But let’s remember that coffee has to be imported from warmer climates such as in Africa, Arabia, South America and Southeast Asia. Oh yeah, the United States too, in Hawaii. The coffee brewers at the Hub told the author of this article that they get many of their beans from Guatemala, Ethiopia and El Salvador, and then have them roasted by a company in the Bay Area. That’s supposed to be green?

While growing your own coffee in this climate is probably next to impossible, there are roasting companies in Reno that are quite good, Wood Fire Roasted (where I buy much of my coffee), Tahoe Roasting Company and the Laughing Cat.

I am not trivializing the efforts of the Hub, because I think it’s great that they compost their beans, and buy only fair trade coffee that is grown and harvested sustainably. I do agree that those practices are green, and I will not take that away from them. Many consumers do not know that much of their food products imported from the Third World, including coffee and chocolate, are grown and harvested by slave laborers. So I can’t trivialize fair trade, even if there are criticisms against it that are often disregarded by many of its avid consumers. If the Hub is going above and beyond fair trade, that is commendable.

I enjoy buying organic and sustainably grown products, and I do love coffee, but I don’t kid myself for a minute into thinking that it’s “green.” You can’t seriously use the words “Ethiopian beans” and “sustainability” in the same context.

Emily Edmonds

Whitewashed facts

Re “White is the new black” (Greenspace, July 23):

Yep, painting roofs white, sure to be the answer to a problem primarily posed by those with their hands out for tax dollars to “cure.”

I can clearly recall the late ’70s Newsweek, or perhaps it was Time magazine cover, warning that we would for sure be in an Ice Age at present. And I recall the classic nature book, published in 1970 (birthday of “Earth Day”), guaranteeing all the song birds would now be dead, “if we just don’t change our ways.”

Did ya ever hear the old proverb that “there ain’t no free lunch”?

Take the rear bumpers off of cars, for example. Saves gas, right? Well, then, back into a light pole at about one mile an hour, and the whole rear deck is wiped out, costing thousands and requiring the energy expenditure of manufacturing a whole new rear deck assembly. Before we lost the bumper, the same accident resulted in a scratch in the chrome.

So, what happens in the cold months on a white roof? Any chance that we get some benefit of a warmer building due to the sun’s energy on a black roof? Which requires more energy to heat, once some union green guy paints it white?

I looked up the Pied Piper, and a picture of this man looks amazingly like Al Gore and Barack Obama morphed together. I also read the cap-and-trade bill. There is a deal where those who make sun tea, instead of on the stove top, get carbon credits.

PS. Just kidding about the last two.

Ron Ryder

Good job, Dennis

Re “Krolicki prosecutor named” (Upfront, July 23):

I have read several of Dennis Myers’ recent historical special feature articles. They were very well written and informative. Good job. I encourage Myers to keep up the outstanding work he does in journalism for our community.

John Riggs
Via email

Mormon tale

Re “Pioneer saints” (Filet of Soul, July 23):

Thank you for your excellent review of the Sacrament Meeting at the Lakeside Ward in Reno. Your review stood out because of its accuracy and objectivity. Believe it or not, that is a refreshing change for us Latter-day Saints.

As to your attendance at just a Priesthood or just an Adult Sunday School class, I think that the members wouldn’t (and they shouldn’t) have a problem with that. We have members who, because of the nature of their business, are required to work on Sunday. This often precludes full attendance at all meetings, and they attend those meetings that they are able without recriminations. (I worked for a public utility and was in this position myself.)

Our doctrine actually states that for all males of age, the two Sunday meetings that we must attend are Priesthood and Sacrament Meeting. All worthy male members who have reached the proper age hold an office in either the Aaronic (lesser) or the Melchizedek (high) Priesthood. Sacrament Meeting is a requirement because for us the Sacrament symbolizes our willingness to renew the covenants we made at our baptism and to recommit ourselves to living a more Christ-like life. This weekly sacred ordinance keeps us focused on our spiritual goals and grants us the honor (through our continued obedience to the laws and principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ) of having the Holy Spirit to be with us as a guide for the coming week(s). Though this might sound like an ephemeral blessing, most older Latter-day Saints could tell you of many personal experiences in their lives where the Holy Spirit gave them a prompting or an inspiration that had a profound effect on them.

I can assure you that you are always welcome at our meetings, not only in Reno, but anywhere else in the world where the Saints gather. I live in Salt Lake City and am a convert, having joined the Church in New England at the age of 17. I am now 61 and have spent two-thirds of my life as a Mormon. I can tell you that I have no regrets. Hearing the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and joining His restored Church is, by far, the greatest thing that ever happened to me. My life as a Latter-day Saint hasn’t always been easy, but I will be proud to die a “Mormon.” The Gospel is true, Jesus is indeed the Christ and our only Savior and hope, and this is His Restored Church. I love them all, and I love my people, the Latter-day Saints (warts and all, as it is said).

Thank you again for your fine reporting! Oh, and yes, a tie is pretty much a tradition for our brethren. And if it’s worn over a white shirt you’ll really be ‘in’!

With warm regards from likely the only ‘gay’ Mormon you’ll hear from.

Michael Reed
Salt Lake City