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Guest Commentary

Bottled water a good idea?

The most valuable natural resource on the planet besides air, fresh water is becoming scarcer throughout the world. Over 2 billion people worldwide lack access to safe, potable drinking water. In the Middle East and elsewhere, the lack of water has fueled the frequent wars of recent times. Climate change and unsustainable agricultural practices are reducing the supply of available water, and the ability to grow food, for much of the increasing world population.

The true collusion: Trump and Russian literature

It may seem like the billionaires in Russia — Aras Agalarov, Dmitry Rybolovlev, Viktor Vekselberg — and agents with like-sounding and Scrabble-winning names like Konstantin Kilimnik are the ones directing Trump like a marionette from points east. 

But I am more afraid that he has been getting his cues from Russian literature — and that is far more dangerous.

We’re better together: new citizens

We are better together than we are alone.

It was one of many thoughts that crossed my mind Friday, March 15, at a ceremony in Sioux Falls, S.D., where I gave the keynote speech welcoming new citizens from 40 different countries to these United States. It was my first time at a naturalization ceremony. I wish everyone in America could experience it.

Fiber broadband, seen as a complex Trojan horse

The Northwest Hills Council of Governments, urged by the well-intentioned local group Northwest ConneCT, is encouraging towns to embrace fiber broadband in their new plans of conservation and development and build out fiber as soon as possible. Towns can already own fiber networks for non-commercial use. But this new initiative would bump that to commercial use too. 

Maybe it’s just wishful thinking

Is the two-party system the best we can do? From the perspective of this unhappy Republican it has a major flaw: It is impossible to stretch a unifying political tent over a party where the political differences are so great and where the so-called “wedge” issues play such a major role. 

Increase the federal gasoline tax

Dilapidated water and sewage systems, a teetering electric grid, falling bridges, dangerous roads and tunnels . . . Republicans, Democrats, and President Trump all seem to agree that we need to make major improvements to our national infrastructure. It is falling apart. 

Recycling beverage containers

‘Pepsi Cola hits the spot, 12 full ounces that’s a lot, twice as much for a nickel too, Pepsi Cola is the drink for you.’

 

This little jingle from the1930s sounds quaint today. As recently as the 1950s, Pepsi, Coke and other carbonated soft drinks typically sold in grocery stores and coin-operated vending machines for just 5 cents; if you returned the bottle, and most people did, you would get 2 cents back, meaning your drink itself cost only 3 cents! 

The importance of recycling beverage containers

“Pepsi-Cola hits the spot, twelve full ounces that’s a lot, 

twice as much for a nickel too, Pepsi-Cola is the drink for you.” 

 

This little jingle from the1930s sounds quaint today. As recently as the 1950s, Pepsi, Coke and other carbonated soft drinks typically sold in grocery stores and coin-operated vending machines for just 5 cents; if you returned the bottle, and most people did, you would get 2 cents back, meaning your drink itself cost only three cents!