Green energy requires skilled workers
Regarding "Green for green" (June 1): The Post-Dispatch's support of Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, is well placed, but the program will succeed only if it is as sustainable as the clean energy it advances.
Businesses and residents will embrace the program only if they can rely on quality installations that will pay for themselves in energy savings over the long run. After all, that's the whole point of PACE.
Fortunately, the program will benefit from the foresight of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local One and the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association. Though the IBEW/NECA labor-management partnership, Electrical Connection, green training has become an integral part of a $30 million annual investment to develop a work force skilled in nascent clean-energy installations.
To fully leverage this investment in skill and to ensure the success of PACE, it will be important to set high standards for the quality of clean-energy installations. We believe the thoughtful formation of clean-energy boards to fund and administer PACE will give consumers confidence in their long term investment in energy upgrades. Only then can the benefits of clean energy provide the enduring value intended by the PACE program. We applaud the state Legislature for passing PACE and look forward to Gov. Jay Nixon's signature to enact the program.
Jim Curran • St. Louis Executive Vice President, The Electrical Connection
Susan Weich's column, "Alive and appreciative" (June 2) holds a message that the American Heart Association hopes that all St. Louisians will hear. June 1-7 is recognized as CPR Week. Our goal is to educate one million Americans about CPR, and we are putting a special focus on teens.
Sudden cardiac arrest can strike anyone, anywhere. And when it does, a victim's survival depends on the people around him. Skilled emergency personnel treat about 300,000 victims of out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest in the United States, but more than 92 percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital die from it.
Training more people to perform CPR — in its 50th year as a lifesaving measure — increases survival by enabling more possible bystanders to handle an emergency and save lives like Austin's, the child featured in Ms. Weich's column. To learn more, visit www.cprweek.org or call 1-877-AHA-4CPR.
Greg Light •St. Louis American Heart Association BLS National Faculty Member
Serving the community
St. Anthony's Medical Center recently received unanimous approval from the St. Louis County Planning and Zoning Commission to zone all of the hospital's property as commercial. This request stemmed from the hospital's need to make long-term campus plans for growth, when warranted. What has not been made clear in articles on this subject is that all of the property already is owned by St. Anthony's — most of it for decades. The acquisition of most of the homes along Sunset Lane preceded the development of the Nottinghill community.
St. Anthony's has a good track record of caring for its property and being a good neighbor. It has won several landscaping awards from community organizations. St. Anthony's plans to build on this by creating landscaped berms, putting up fences and replacing trees on any developed property.
On a larger scale, we will continue to be a good neighbor to the larger south St. Louis County community by responding to its health care needs whenever possible. We intend to continue to recruit doctors to this community. We will continue to train students to become nurses and emergency medical personnel. We intend to continue to provide free community lectures, screenings and health education events. That is what our long-term expansion plan is about. The Planning and Zoning Commission recognized that it is in the community's interest to allow a hospital to continue to meet growing health care needs within its community.
Tess Niehaus • St. Louis County St. Anthony's Medical Center
While I understand the frustrations of illegal immigration, the solution to the problem is not creating another set of laws aimed at illegal immigrants.
For years, the conservative mantra has been that America should enforce the laws on the books. To that point, we have a law requiring every new employee have his status documented by submitting either a U.S. passport or, more common, a state-issued drivers license and a Social Security card. This information is to be completed by the employer on a Form I-9. If these documents can't be furnished, the prospective employee can't begin work.
If the illegal immigrant can't be hired, his interest in crossing our borders illegally would be severely diminished. This approach would mean cracking down on the American businessmen and women who employ them, many of whom, I would guess, claim to support immigration reform.
We ignore the issue of the employer furnishing the illegal immigrant a job, which is illegal. We do this because the illegal immigrant is good for the employer.
A review of employment records in Arizona probably would turn up some interesting information.
Jim Duniven • St. Louis
The headline "Israeli strike on flotilla is widely condemned" (June 1) declared that Israel's action against the blockade-running flotilla was "widely condemned." Where was the wide condemnation of the Palestinian leadership in Gaza when terrorists were launching thousands of rockets from Gaza into civilian areas of Israeli towns?
The real objective of the flotilla was to end the blockade so that shipments of armaments for Hamas could again flow unimpeded into Gaza.
The Hamas leadership in Gaza has demonstrated that when it has the opportunity it has no hesitation to launch rockets at Israel.
Israel's blockade of Gaza is self-defense against Hamas rocket attacks, just as the Israelis who boarded the ship fired live weapons only in self-defense after they were attacked by the people on the boat.
Martin Israel • Ladue
The world has risen, virtually in unison, to condemn Israel's blockade of the Gaza strip and its raid on the flotilla bound for Gaza. Israel is acting to interdict the importation of munitions and Iranian missiles into Gaza, controlled by Hamas, whose stated mission is the destruction of the "Jewish state."
Ships bound for Gaza laden with weaponry have been intercepted by the Israeli navy on multiple occasions. Israel will be forced to continue such actions to deter the existential threat of annihilation by Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. Iran also has called for the destruction of Israel and is manufacturing nuclear arms to achieve that goal.
Where is the world's outrage focused? On aggressor states who threaten annihilation of the Jews and Israel as a sovereign state? On terrorist states who don't hint at "the final solution" but embrace it with open arms and shout it to the world? No. The world's anger is directed at Israel, which is fighting to defend its citizens, its sovereignty and its faith.
It is appalling and disheartening that only 65 years after World War II, the countries of the world, who once stood unified and said "never again" to the Nazi holocaust, would condone anti-Semitic rhetoric and anti-Israeli actions by terrorist states and fail to actively deter a second Jewish holocaust.
The United Nations, created to prevent genocidal catastrophes, and a majority of its member states labor in concert to prevent the same people who suffered genocide 70 years ago from saving themselves.
Sidney Machefsky • University City
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