• P.J. Griekspoor

    Good News, at Least Initially, for Sunflower Electric Power

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on June 30, 2010

    A 45-day public comment period begins today on a new draft air quality permit that will allow Sunflower Electric Power to build a 895-megawatt unit to expand its generation capacity at Holcomb Station. It will be interesting to see how the debate unfolds during the comment period. Intially, Sunflower had sought to build two 700-megawatt plants but KDHE Secretary Rod Bremby denied the air quality permit, saying carbon dioxide emissions from the plant represented a health hazard for Kansans…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Tragedy at Grain Elevator Puts Note of Sadness in Harvest

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on June 25, 2010

    Two young men lost their lives yesterday and the rest of Kansas got a reminder just how dangerous bringing in the harvest can sometimes be. Max Greve, 21, was a Nebraska native and a student at Fort Hays State University. Sean Banks, 19, was a freshman at Hutchinson Community College and an outfielder of the Hutch CC baseball team. The two were unloading a semi full of wheat at the Agco Inc. elevator in Russell when two bins collapsed, burying them in wheat. Their bodies were found about…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Confusion Reigns As Both Sides Claim Victory in Roundup Ready Alfalfa Case

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on June 21, 2010

    At first glance, it seems obvious that today's Supreme Court decision overturning the lower court decision to impose a nationwide injunction against the planting or harvesting of Roundup Ready alfalfa is a clear victory for Monsanto. Not so, says the Center for Food Safety, which contends that the court's decision is actually a victory for its case against biotechnology because it remains illegal to plant or sell Roundup Ready seed -- until there is a decision on partial deregulation by the…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    EPA Again Wimps Out on Upping Ethanol Blend

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on June 19, 2010

    With oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, grain prices struggling and the ethanol industry poised to create thousands of jobs with the stroke of a pen, you'd think the EPA could get off the fence already and just approve what dozens of scientific studies have shown -- upping the blend of ethanol would be good for the economy and the environment and wouldn't have any detrimental effect on the millions of cars and trucks on the road. It's hard to understand the delay. EPA delayed a decision in…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    This Rain Thing Is Just Not Funny Anymore

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on June 16, 2010

    You hate to wish for an end to rain in Kansas, because all too often it seems like Mother Nature forgets how to start again. But, the situation is getting pretty serious out there. We're not just talking delay in harvesting wheat (which isn't all that ripe anyway.) It seems like every 15 minutes the National Weather Service adds another county to the flood warning list. It's not just creeks and streams; it is now rivers going out -- the Ark River at Arkansas City and the Cottonwood at…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Widespread Rain Shuts Down Wheat Harvest

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on June 8, 2010

    It looked like harvest would be in full swing by the end of the week across much of southwest Kansas. Then came the rains. Barber, Harper and Comanche Counties when harvest traditionally begins, got more than an inch of rain on Monday and have cloudy skies and high humidity today. Now, it looks more like next week before things get going again, elevator managers say. OK Coop in Kiowa had taken in about 100,000 bushels of wheat by Sunday night, but area farmers were starting to run…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Kansas Wheat Harvest 2010 Has Officially Begun

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on June 6, 2010

    The best guess about 10 a.m. today was that wheat harvest would be picking up speed by mid-afternoon. So I packed up the grandkids and we headed southwest about noon to see what we could find. And sure enough, by 3 p.m. we found combines in the fields. LESSON LEARNED: The first lesson for grandkids traveling with grandma is that we don’t just brake for historical markers. We stop and read them. Quiz later. We caught up to Brett Courson, a hired hand for Clay Spicer at Diamond…

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