June 25, 2008 · Updated 9:44 PM
"Don't worry about censorshipThe United States has many problems, but censorship is not one of them. People who produce books, magazines, films, CD's, Web sites, radio shows and newspapers can say and print anything they like. This is as it should be. So when people who are against public libraries filtering out pornography on the Internet cry censorship, their concerns ring hollow. Censorship isn't the issue. The issue is what is suitable for a public library. Librarians have been filtering out improper material for years simply by not purchasing it. Internet filters do the job a good librarian would do if only we could get her inside the Internet.Sno-Isle Regional Library's board members seem unduly concerned about being accused of censorship if they decide to place filters on computer stations. There is no need to worry. Filter all the sites, not just the ones for children. Nobody wants to send their kids to a place where pornography is available. The library is simply not the place. But there are plenty of other places where that material can be obtained so censorship is not a concern.The Sno-Isle board has been receiving public testimony on the issue in recent weeks and will meet at 1 p.m. Monday, June 25 at the Oak Harbor Library to consider the comments. It's usually easy to tell right from wrong. The problem is, a fast-talking lawyer or civil libertarian can confuse any issue. Listen to your conscience and you'll make the right decision.PSE wins an industry awardPuget Sound Energy is boasting about its Edison Award, which is given by the power industry to outstanding companies in the field. PSE won for its innovative pricing system, made possible by new meters that automatically record the time of day and amount of power being used.For power companies, this is a dream scheme: Charge people more for when they most need the power, during peak hours. This does promote conservation. However, the PSE news release boasting of receiving the award failed to mention any drawbacks, such as the fact that fixed income citizens and poor people will be afraid to use electricity when they need it most. There will be a lot of cold people sitting in dimly lit rooms next time we have a bad winter. We can be sure, however, that the PSE executives will stay warm and cozy in their Bellevue high rise.Now that PSE has won its Edison Award, we challenge our local power provider to go beyond punishing the poor to effectively promote conservation in a positive manner. Other utilities are giving deep discounts on low-energy light bulbs and appliances. PSE itself used to give away water heater insulation wraps and low-flow faucets and shower heads. They should resume the program and, this time around, throw in some free blankets for the needy.If PSE doesn't do something positive to promote conservation, the shivering public might start to think they're only in it for the money. "