Vote Naked, First Time Voters and the end of Black Bart;LG&E Gas “Rate Hike”

Expect This Through Midweek

Expect This Through Midweek

I did a check this week of our temperatures…since last Monday, we’ve had highs of 48, 50, 59, 65, 71,74 and 74. The average of the past 7 days has been 63 degrees. While may neighbor Jainie said she was scared of the warm temperatures (global warming fear), I assured her it was nothing out of the ordinary…and this week supports my assurances. For the past 7 days, the seasonal average is about 62.5 degrees. So, we’re climatologically right on target. This time of year it’s not unusual to have big temperature swings and we’re going to see it again, only this week, we stay in the mid 70’s through Thursday. Then a cold front brings rain and t’storms Thursday night into early Friday morning. We get chillier on Friday in the low to mid 50’s with the clouds breaking somewhat in the afternoon before they return with the core of the cold air Saturday. Cloudy skies with a few light showers probably will keep us from getting out of the 40’s and Sunday its back to the low 50’s. Don’t be alarmed.


The Professor is In

The Professor is In

Now you may have been alarmed by the Courier Journal Article about the the LG&E “rate hike” for this winter. The story is headlined, “LG&E to raise natural gas rates by 24%” Now, when I read this, I was shocked because I knew that natural gas, like most other commodities, have fallen rapidly in price over the past 6 weeks and because I know that LG&E set its last quarterly rate in August at a little more than $16.30 per 1000 cubic feet. So a 24% increase sounded like a scam when the open market rate is I think now below the $7 range. Why, the first line of the article trumpets: “LG&E customers will pay 24 percent more for natural gas to heat their homes starting Saturday.”

In my view this is, to be kind, misleading. You go on to find that the new

Natural Gas Prices (and rates) Have Gone Up and Come Down

Natural Gas Prices (and rates) Have Gone Up and Come Down

quarterly rate going into effect on November 1 is $11.09. That is more about a 32% DECREASE in the cost to heat your home. Given that the $16.30 rate in July was a 65% increase over the previous quarter, the latest price cut still leave us some 24% higher than a year ago. But that’s not what the headline said nor the first sentence. So, while it is true that our bills will be 24% higher than last year, it is not an increase of the rate…LG&E actually dropped the rates heading into the fall and winter months. And guess what, they re-establish rates on February 1. If the trend continues or even if prices stabalize where they are, then we’d get another cut in natural gas prices for the cold month of February and into March and April. In other words, its not as bad as it sounds. Now, the question would be why the headline was not, “LG&E cuts natural gas rates 32% heading into winter” with the first line of the story reading, “LG&E has cut its natural gas rates from this summer by 32%, but consumers will begin the season paying 24% more than last winter.” In my view, that is more accurate. You decide for yourself by clicking here for the article.

How did I know all of this? I read my bill and I watch the commodity markets. I think it helps to get basic facts for yourself on any subject instead of relying on someone else’s interpretation of that given subject. Compare your bills from the past year and see for yourself. I’m not defending LG&E here, because right after they set the rate for August, natural gas prices started falling quickly. So, they did pretty well. And now, the price is under $7 but they are charging over $11. I suppose they get some cushion in case the price goes up. I’m also not picking on our local paper because, I know folks there and they do good work and work hard. Nevertheless, what I am all about is honesty, fairness and accuracy. Its not that difficult.

Election tidbits:

Paper Got it Wrong

Paper Got it Wrong

On this date in 1964, residents of Washington DC got the right to vote in a presidential

 Harry Delighted

Harry Delighted

election. See, the election of the president is really done by the electors of each state and the District of Columbia is not a state so residents could not Constitutionally vote for president. The passage of the 23rd Amendment in 1961 gave DC residents the vote and they exercised it for the first time in 1964, much to the delight of President Johnson who received their three electors. Also, on this date in 1948, the Chicago Tribune famously proclaimed the demise of President Harry Truman. You can read about how they came to make their infamous goof right here.

These are but a couple of the notations of history regarding presidential polling….and this year may add a new one. It seems that there is a nudist colony in Florida. Well, its a “clothing optional” community. And they have had the inconvenience of having to go to a nearby neighborhood to vote. I suspect that the neighbors wouldn’t take too kindly to naked folks running around their streets looking for a place to put their votes, so the nudists have to put on those menacing garments. But, they don’t want to do that…they want their own polling place so they can vote naked! Here’s the story of Voting in the Buff!

On This Date in History: Do you remember the movie A Christmas Story in which Ralphie wants a BB gun and has visions of shooting Black Bart? It leads one to believe that Bart was some desperado. Well, in the 1870’s there was a dime novel that was loosely based on a true story. The writer called his main character Bartholomew Graham who took the name of “Black Bart” because he wore black close, had black long curly hair and a dense black beard. In real life, there was a man named Charles Bowles was born in England in 1829 and immigrated to New York in the United States a few years later with his family.

Dapper Black Bart

Dapper Black Bart

As a young man, he changed his name to Boles and in 1849, he and his cousin went to California to seek their fortune in gold. They failed and a few years later, came back. Charley Boles tried again with his cousin and his brother. Not only did they fail again, but the brother and cousin both died from an illness. Charley eventually returned and got married. After spending time in the Union Army and serving with distinction, Charley again went out west, this time to Montana where he set up a mining site that depended on water. Some men from Wells Fargo offered to buy his claim and he refused. The men reacted by cutting off his water and Charley had to abandon his mine but said in a letter to his wife,”I am going to take steps.” No one knew what he meant. The last letter his wife received from him was in 1871.

On July 23, 1878 a Wells Fargo stagecoach was robbed of $400. It wasn’t the first time that a stagecoach from Wells Fargo had been robbed. It is believed that the culprit first began robbing stagecoaches in 1875 because, each time, a poem that intimated the perpetrator was going to strike again. It was signed “Black Bart”. Bart robbed Wells Fargo stage coaches numerous times throughout the late 1870’s and early 1880’s. He wore a flour sack on his head and never fired a shot, though on a few occasions, shots were fired at him. There was never any mayhem or extreme violence. On This Date in 1883, Bart made a mistake when he left behind a handkerchief as he made his escape following what would be his last stagecoach robbery. The Pinkerton detectives were able to track the hanky from a laundry mark to an elderly man in San Francisco named Charles Bolton. Bolton admitted that he indeed was Black Bart, but he disputed his reputation as being an outlaw by telling the Pinkertons. “I am a gentleman.” It was also learned that Bolton was really Charles Boles, who years before vowed to “take steps” against the company who forced him to abandon his mining claim. His wife, who had thought he was long since dead, found out that Boles was alive when she learned of his arrest. But, I guess his absence must have been the show stopper because Boles went to prison for a short time and spent the rest of his days quietly in Nevada.


One Response

  1. […] The cold streak continues and will do so throughout the week. In spite of clouds and wind, Tuesday morning’s temperatures of the mid to upper 20’s indicate how cold the air is and, in spite of some afternoon sunshine, the afternoon highs in the upper 30’s confirm that conclusion. An even colder Wednesday start will lead to a chilly but somewhat milder afternoon. Then, another front comes through early Thursday with another shot of colder air to follow. The second half of the weekend should provide a warm up but I suspect even then, the temperatures will still be below seasonal averages. Good thing that LG&E cut their rates from the summer, which they did…no matter what our local paper reported. […]

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