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Know fishing

Guest Opinion: Fund advanced energy research

Big beef party

Brass band celebration

Fab Four fest

Mushroom rules

Correction: Green power

Correction: Dinner theater

Co-op Postcard: Nolin wins award for energy efficiency


Know fishing

The 7th annual National Fishing & Boating Week, June 2-10, includes Free Fishing Days in Kentucky June 2-3. On these days, no license will be required to fish in lakes, rivers, and ponds. Organizers say events are being added daily, so check www.takemefishing.com
for the most up-to-date listing of activities in Kentucky. National Fishing and Boating Week, coordinated by the nonprofit Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation, is designed to increase awareness of fishing and boating opportunities.
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Guest Opinion: Fund advanced energy research

The following is excerpted from a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the investigating arm of Congress. The full report, Key Challenges Remain for Developing and Deploying Advanced Energy Technologies to Meet Future Needs, can be found by going to the Web site www.gao.gov and searching for report number GAO-07-106.

Despite growing dependence on foreign energy, the U.S. Department of Energy’s research and development budget for renewable, fossil, and nuclear energy technologies declined by over 85 percent (in real terms) between 1978 and 2005.

Budget authority for renewable, fossil, and nuclear energy R&D peaked in the late 1970s before falling sharply in the
mid 1980s when crude oil prices returned to lower levels.

As funding has shrunk, DOE’s R&D focus narrowed. For example, DOE’s renewable R&D program has focused on ethanol, wind, and solar technologies, making steady progress in reducing their costs over the past 29 years.

DOE’s fossil R&D program has focused primarily on reducing emissions of coal-fired power plants, working with industry to make significant progress in reducing sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide pollution during the 1980s and 1990s.

Currently, DOE is using coal gasification technologies to reduce mercury and carbon dioxide emissions and achieve the goal of a “near-zero emissions” power plant.

Faced with competing R&D priorities and budget constraints, DOE’s 2007 budget proposed eliminating R&D funding for geothermal, hydropower, oil, and natural gas programs.

Barriers to electricity generation from renewable sources—primarily wind and solar—include the difficulty of efficiently converting renewable energy into electricity; up-front capital costs, including connection to the electric power transmission grid; the intermittent nature of wind and solar energy; and the higher financial risks associated with gaps in the renewal of the production tax credit.

For advanced fossil technologies, the primary challenge continues to be controlling emissions of mercury and carbon dioxide by conventional coal-fired plants.

While federal R&D has declined, many states have assumed higher profile roles by enacting standards, mandates, and financial incentives to stimulate renewable energy technologies. Those methods include requirements that a percentage of the state’s electricity be generated from renewable sources, and tax credits, grants, or loans to stimulate the deployment of renewable energy.

To meet the nation’s rising demand for energy, reduce vulnerability to oil supply disruptions, and minimize adverse environmental effects, we suggest Congress consider further stimulating a diversified energy portfolio by focusing R&D funding on advanced energy technologies.
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Big beef party

Find out who grills the best hamburgers at the second annual Kentucky’s Fort Harrod Beef Festival June 1-3 at Old Fort Harrod State Park and the Mercer County Fairgrounds in Harrodsburg. The festival features entertainment, a juried arts and crafts fair, a 5K race/walk, antique and classic car cruise-in, food, children’s activities, craft demonstrations, pony rides, pageants, and a twilight tour of the fort. On June 2, a beef “grill off” takes place at the Mercer County fairgrounds. Teams will compete to produce the best brisket, steak, backyard burger, and chili. There also is a youth backyard burger and steak category for ages 9 to 17. Awards will be given in professional and amateur divisions. The cost is $6 a person to sample all the wares and vote for the best. For details, call (859) 734-9614 or (859) 734-5546. Old Fort Harrod State Park, the Commonwealth’s first permanent settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains, is located on South College Street in Harrodsburg. Mercer County Fairgrounds, the oldest continuous fair and horse show in the United States, is located at 560 Linden Avenue in Harrodsburg.
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Brass band celebration

This year’s edition of The Great American Brass Band Festival is set for June 7-10 at its usual Danville spots on the Centre College campus and downtown. World-renowned brass bands begin playing Saturday morning. At 11:00 a.m., the New Orleans-style parade marches down Main Street to the main stage where the music continues until the grand finale on Sunday evening. You can bring a blanket or chair and listen to bands playing marches and melodies on authentic Civil War instruments, ragtime favorites, and Bourbon Street jazz. Events include the Great American decorator picnic on Saturday evening and Sunday worship service on the lawn. Street food vendors add convenience and fun to the events. This year’s bands include the 202nd Army Band, the Agincourt Temple Band of the Salvation Army, the Atlanta Trumpet Ensemble, the Brass Band of Columbus (2006 NABBA Champions), the Great Olympian Traditional Jazz Band, Saxton’s Cornet Band, the United States Army Field Chamber Brass Quintet, and The Dirty Dozen Brass Band. For details phone (800) 755-0076 or visit the Web site www.gabbf.com.
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Fab Four fest

Fans of The Beatles won’t want to miss the Courier-Journal.com Abbey Road on the River May 24-28, at the Belvedere Festival Park and newly renovated Galt House Hotel & Suites in Louisville. The event will feature more than 60 bands on 9 stages re-creating the different looks and sounds of The Beatles. To mark the 40th anniversary of the album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the music of other bands of that era will be celebrated including The Mamas & The Papas, The Who, The Doors, and Jimi Hendrix. Ticket prices include $15 in advance, $20 same day, kids 6-18 $5, and weekend passes from $10 a day. For more info go to the Web site www.abbeyroadontheriver.com.
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Mushroom rules

Mammoth Cave National Park requires visitors to use a mesh sack when collecting mushrooms in the park. The sacks, similar
to those used to package potatoes or fruit in a grocery store, are available at the visitor center, the campground kiosk, and from any patrolling ranger. “Many mushroom hunters come to the park each spring, and we’re concerned about the sustainability of morels,” says Chief Ranger Wayne Elliott. “We allow two gallons per person per day, and the morels must be collected in a mesh sack, allowing their spores to drop to the ground and help propagate the species.”
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Correction: Green power

April’s The Future of Electricity Column, “Green power for sale,” incorrectly listed the number of landfill gas generating plants being operated by East Kentucky Power Co-op based in Winchester. The five plants are located in Boone, Greenup, Hardin, Laurel, and Pendleton Counties. The plants produce green power sold by several East Kentucky member distribution co-ops through the EnviroWatts program. The first Kentucky distribution co-op to offer green power began making EnviroWatts available for sale in 2001.
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Correction: Dinner theater

The caption for La Comedia Dinner Theater on page 26 of the March Traveling Kentucky column, “Crossing the borders,” incorrectly identified its location—it’s in Springboro, Ohio, in Warren County.
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Co-op Postcard: Nolin wins award for energy efficiency

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