Page 1

Claiborne electric news Pages 8-9 • June 2013 • Vol. 30, No. 3

Eric Skrmetta

Mee t the chairman of the La. Public Ser vice Commission Also Inside:

• Control your power use....................... 3 • One more rep....... 4 • Fathers involved in our communities... 5 • DEQ strives to meet standard.... 10 • Cracking down on copper crooks..... 11


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FREE!

R ! PE ON SU UP CO

FACTORY DIRECT TO YOU!

REG. PRICE $5.99

Item 95275 shown

3999

REG. PRICE $79.99

LIMIT 3 - Good at our stores, HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 10/15/13. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

R ! PE ON SU UP CO

Item 94141 shown

TRIPLE BALL TRAILER HITCH LOT NO. 94141/69874

R ! PE ON NEW! SU UP CO

8800 RATED WATTS/ 900 MAX. WATTS PORTABLE GENERATOR

SAVE $90

19

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R ! PE ON SU UP Includes 3.2V, CO 600 mAh Li-ion battery pack.

36 LED SOLAR SECURITY LIGHT LOT NO. 98085/ 69644/69890/60498

17

$

99

REG. PRICE $24.99

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R ! PE ON SU UP CO

90 AMP FLUX WIRE WELDER

Item 95588 shown

R ! PE ON SU UP CO

LOT NO. 95588/ 69462/60561

89

$

4

REG. PRICE $13.99

R ! PE ON SU UP CO

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R ! 3/8" x PE ON SU UP Not for CO overhead lifting.

14 FT. GRADE 43 TOWING CHAIN

AUTOMATIC WRIST BLOOD PRESSURE MONITOR

Item 97711 shown

18

SAVE $ 45%

99

1399

14" ELECTRIC CHAIN SAW

1500 PSI PRESSURE WASHER

44

99

12 VOLT, 250 PSI AIR COMPRESSOR

LOT NO. 4077

SAVE 60%

SAVE $50

7999

$

REG. PRICE $129.99

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YOUR CHOICE!

5

$ 99

WATT SOLAR PANEL KIT LOT NO. 68751/ 90599

SAE

Item 42304 LOT NO. shown 42304/69043 REG. PRICE $14.99

METRIC

LOT NO. 42305/69044

LIMIT 6 - Good at our stores, HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 10/15/13. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

Item 68751 shown

139

$

SAVE $45

5499

$

REG. PRICE $99.99

LIMIT 4 - Good at our stores, HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 10/15/13. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

12 VOLT MAGNETIC TOWING LIGHT KIT

R ! PE ON SU UP Item 67455 CO

shown

SAVE 66%

99

R ! 1/2" PROFESSIONAL PE ON VARIABLE SPEED SU UP LOT NO. 68169/ O REVERSIBLE C 67616/60495

HAMMER DRILL

SAVE 50% Item 68169 shown

2499

$

REG. PRICE $49.99

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R ! 44", 13 DRAWER PE ON IN INDUSTRIAL QUALITY SU UP O ROLLER CABINET C NEW!

S SAVE $290

Item 68784 shown

2900 LB. CAPACITY WEIGHS 306 LBS. LOT NO. 68784/69387

HIGH GLOSS FINISH!

9

$ 99

LOT NO. 67455/ 69626/69925/96933

R ! PE ON SU UP CO

35999

$

REG. PRICE $29.99

LIMIT 7 - Good at our stores, HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 10/15/13. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

6" DIGITAL CALIPER LOT NO. 47257/61230 Includes two 1.5V button cell batteries.

REG. PRICE $649.99

LIMIT 3 - Good at our stores, HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 10/15/13. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

R ! PE ON SU UP BALL CO

18 PIECE T-HANDLE POINT AND HEX KEY WRENCH SET

SAVE 33%

SAVE 66%

9

$ 99

LIMIT 7 - Good at our stores, HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 10/15/13. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

R ! PE ON SU UP CO LOT NO. 93897/69265

LOT NO. 96645

1199

$

REG. PRICE $29.99

RETRACTABLE AIR/WATER HOSE REEL WITH 3/8" x 50 FT. HOSE

REG. PRICE $17.99

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R ! PE ON SU UP Item 93888 CO shown

MOVER'S DOLLY LOT NO. 93888/60497

SAVE $40

SAVE $110 REG. PRICE $249.99

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STORE LOCATIONS Page 2 • Louisiana Country • June 2013

REG. PRICE $12.99

LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores, HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 10/15/13. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

R ! R ! PE ON PE ON SU UP 9 PIECE FULLY POLISHED SU UP 45 CO COMBINATION WRENCH SETS CO

LOT NO. 68333/69488 Item 68333 shown

5

$ 29

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1

LOT NO. 97181/ 93981

SAVE 59%

SAVE 40%

REG. PRICE $74.99

REG. PRICE $34.99

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R ! PE ON SU UP CO

Item 953 shown

$ 99

4" x 36" BELT/ 6" DISC SANDER

LOT NO. 67212

$

Requires two AAA batteries (sold separately).

REG. PRICE $34.99

LIMIT 4 - Good at our stores, HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 10/15/13. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

$

R ! PE ON SU UP Item 97181 shown CO

SAVE 60%

LOT NO. 97711/60658

LOT NO. 953/69136/ 69248/69128/69210

50%

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R ! PE ON SU UP CO

5 FT. 6" x 7 FT. 6" ALL PURPOSE WEATHER RESISTANT TARP SAVE

R ! PE ON SU UP CO

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7

Item 38119 shown

REG. PRICE $89.99

7

REG. PRICE $25.99

LOT NO. 67255

LIMIT 3 - Good at our stores, HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 10/15/13. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

hft_louisianacountry_0613_M-REG19559.indd 1

Item 68048 shown

REG. PRICE $3.99

$ 99

REG. PRICE $44.99

LOT NO. 38119/44506/60238

REG. PRICE $149.99

REG. PRICE $149.99

SAVE $80

REG. PRICE $19.99

SAVE 69%

$

R ! PE ON SU UP CO

5 SPEED DRILL PRESS

R ! PE ON SU UP CO

99

SAVE 60% $ 99

1500 WATT TEMPERATURE HEAT GUN (572°/1112°)

2799

9

LIMIT 7 - Good at our stores, HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 10/15/13. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

99

LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores, HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 10/15/13. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

LOT NO. 96289

LOT NO. 5107/60390

$ 99

$ 99

Item 42292 shown

LOT NO. 68887/61207

NO GAS REQUIRED!

SAVE 37%

R ! PE ON SU UP DUAL CO

SAVE 64%

49

69

$

WEIGHS 74 LBS.

LOT NO. 91616/ 69087/60379 Item 91616 shown

LIMIT 8 - Good at our stores, HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 10/15/13. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

16" x 30" STEEL SERVICE CART

R ! PE ON SU UP CO

LOT NO. 66418/ 61364

REG. PRICE $13.99

REG. PRICE $29.99

AUTOMATIC BATTERY FLOAT CHARGER

99

STEEL FLOOR JACK

3 PIECE TITANIUM NITRIDE COATED HIGH SPEED STEEL STEP DRILLS

4

REG. PRICE $179.99

LIMIT 4 - Good at our stores, HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 10/15/13. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

LIMIT 7 - Good at our stores, HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 10/15/13. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

$

R ! PE ON RAPID PUMP® SU UP CO 3 TON HEAVY DUTY

ANY SINGLE ITEM!

$ 99

8999

Includes three AA NiCd rechargeable batteries (one for each fixture).

SAVE $60

Item 68887 shown

Item 69381 shown

Item 5107 shown

SAVE SAVE 28% 44% Item 69644 shown

SAVE 64%

LOT NO. 66619/ 60338/69381

$

SAVE 61%

99

2

$ 59 REG. PRICE $5.99

LIMIT 7 - Good at our stores, HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 10/15/13. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

R ! PE ON SU UP CO

MULTI-USE TRANSFER PUMP

Item 66418 shown

LOT NO. 42292/ 69594/69955

$

R ! PE ON SU UP CO

220 LB. CAPACITY

REG. PRICE $51.99

LOT NO. 67227/ 60566/69567

LOT NO. 68048/69227

LOT NO. 95275/ 60637/69486

$

Item 67227 shown

LIMIT 3 - Good at our stores, HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 10/15/13. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

SAVE 66%

SAVE 50%

SAVE 56%

Requires three AAA batteries (included).

LIMIT 1 - Save 20% on any one item purchased at our stores, HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. *Cannot be used with other discount, coupon, gift cards, Inside Track Club membership, extended service plans or on any of the following: compressors, generators, tool storage or carts, welders, floor jacks, Towable Ride-On Trencher (Item 65162), open box items, in-store event or parking lot sale items. Not valid on prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase date with original receipt. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 10/15/13. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

LIMIT 1 - Only available with qualifying minimum purchase (excludes gift value). Coupon good at our stores, HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount, coupon or prior purchase. Offer good while supplies last. Shipping & Handling charges may apply if not picked up in-store. Original coupon must be presented. Non-transferable. Valid through 10/15/13. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

3 PIECE DECORATIVE SOLAR LED LIGHTS

R ! PE ON SU UP CO

OFF

ITEM 47737/69080/ 69030/69031

NOBODY BEATS OUR QUALITY, SERVICE AND PRICE!

3 GALLON,100 PSI OILLESS PANCAKE AIR COMPRESSOR

20%

1" x 25 FT. TAPE MEASURE

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R ! PE ON SU UP CO

ON ALL HAND TOOLS!

27 LED PORTABLE WORKLIGHT/FLASHLIGHT

R ! PE ON SU UP CO

WITH MINIMUM PURCHASE OF $9.99

Item 47737 shown

R ! PE ON SU UP O C

LIFETIME WARRANTY

Item 93897 shown

59

$

99

REG. PRICE $99.99

LIMIT 4 - Good at our stores, HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 10/15/13. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

Alexandria Baton Rouge

Gretna Lafayette

SAVE 46% 1000 LB.

CAPACITY

7

$ 99 REG. PRICE $14.99

LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores, HarborFreight.com or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 10/15/13. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

Lake Charles New Orleans

Shreveport Slidell

5/1/13 12:20:14 PM


Modern appliances consume more energy that older models

In 2013, new appliances don’t just cook your food and keep it cold, wash your clothes or offer a few hours of entertainment. These machines boast many functions that make our lives easier—but in doing so also consume more energy. While appliances have become more energy efficient as technology has evolved and federal standards tightened, few ever truly shut down anymore. And as Americans add more and more electronic devices to their households—25 on average, according to the Consumer Electronics Association—much more

energy is consumed. Take a phone charger as an example. Leaving it plugged in without a phone attached doesn’t mean it’s not drawing power—in fact, it uses 0.26 watts of electricity even when a phone isn’t connected. Of course, that 0.26 watts by itself might not be a big issue. But if most of your electronic devices are doing that, it can add up to as much as 10 percent of your bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Cable boxes are a big culprit of 24/7 energy use. Leaving your cable box

plugged in for a year and never turning it off adds, on average, $17.83 to your electric bill. Toss in a DVR function and that total jumps to $43.46, DOE reports. And electronics aren’t the only problem. Basic “white goods” appliances like clothes washers and dryers, refrigerators, and dishwashers are so savvy that you can set them to come on late at night, when the wholesale power your co-op must buy costs less—helping your co-op keep power affordable for you and your neighbors. Here again, the bigger you go with a new appliance, the more energy

Louisiana Country

To ElEvaTE ThE BEauTy of Your Home,

Your Cooperative Connection

Formerly Rural Louisiana, founded March, 1950 Vol. 30, No. 3

it will use. Electric bills don’t have to be held hostage by 24-hour-a-day energy use. For starters, use a power strip to turn several electronics on or off at once. For a bigger investment, look into “smart” power strips. They allow you to cut power to certain appliances—say, your TV—while letting power flow to your cable box because it takes time to reboot after being unplugged. If you’re in the market for a new appliance, look for an ENERGY STAR model. It generally consumes less power all around and uses less standby energy.

Start at

June 2013

Randall C. Pierce CEO/Publisher Billy Gibson Director of Communications

thE top

Louisiana Country is published in the interest of members of the electric cooperatives in Louisiana and is the official publication of the following co-ops: Beauregard Electric Co-op, DeRidder Claiborne Electric Co-op, Homer Jefferson Davis Electric Co-op, Jennings Northeast Louisiana Power Co-op, Winnsboro Panola-Harrison Electric Co-op, Marshall, Texas Pointe Coupee Electric Co-op, New Roads South Louisiana Electric Cooperative Association, Houma Washington-St. Tammany Electric Co-op, Franklinton Advertising is accepted and published in Louisiana Country on the premise that the merchandise and services offered are accurately described and sold at the advertised prices. Louisiana Country and Louisiana’s electric coops do not endorse any products or services promoted herein. Address inquiries and rate requests to: Louisiana Country, 10725 Airline Hwy., Baton Rouge, LA 70816. National Advertising Representatives: NCM, 611 S. Congress, Ste. 504, Austin, TX 78704 (800-626-1181).

Louisiana Country (USPS 473-180) is published monthly by The Assn. of Louisiana Electric Co-ops, Inc. 10725 Airline Hwy., B.R., LA 70816

Phone: (225) 293-3450 1-800-355-3450 FAX: (225) 296-0924 website: www.alec.coop

A MUELLER METAL ROOF ADDS CHARACTER TO YOUR HOME. If you want to dramatically improve your home’s exterior, consider a Mueller metal roof. With a single move, you can make your home more beautiful and distinctive. We offer a wide variety of designer colors, and we guarantee that your roof will look fresh and vibrant for years. Ready to lift your home out of the ordinary? Contact us today.

Annual SubscriptioNS: $2.64 Members $5 Non-members

Postmaster: Send form 3579 to 10725 Airline Hwy., Baton Rouge, LA 70816-4299. Periodicals postage paid at Baton Rouge, LA 70821.

877-2-MUELLER (877-268-3553)

www.muellerinc.com

Audit of Excellence NECEA-RESMA

10435_Mueller_LA.indd 1

June 2013 • Louisiana Country • Page 3/21/13 12:25 PM3


One more rep then men will fear me and women will fall at my feet

Unless you’re the kind of person who has a hankering for hoisting heavy weights over your head and flexing in front of the mirror, the recent death of bodybuilding promoter Joe Weider may have escaped your attention. Personally, I had mixed reactions when I read of Weider’s demise. Momma always told me not to speak ill of the dead, so I’ll just say I believe the world would be a better place today if Weider had gone into a less loathsome line of work – say, baby seal bludgeoner or internet scam artist. Instead, Weider spent his life amassing a fortune by contributing to an insidious yet rarely publicized plague that has spread over the past few decades: body image disorders among adolescent males - specifically, muscle dysmorphia. Body image neurosis is treated with grave concern and seas of empathy when it pertains to girls, but not so much with boys, even though psychologists agree there is a disturbingly high incidence of this malady among young males who are often left to deal with their feelings of insecurity and inadequacy on their own. How many teen-age girls have planted themselves on Oprah’s couch to share their sad tales of battling bulimia? How many shows has Oprah done on boys who suffer emotional distress obsessing over what they perceive as their physical shortcomings while enduring schoolyard taunts, seeing the chiseled physiques of male superheroes constantly shoved in their faces and dealing with the impact all this has on their maturation process? I’ve read more than a few articles about how ridiculously proportioned Barbie is and how this affects the selfimage of little girls, but I’ve never seen

Viewpoint

by Billy Gibson Director of Communications Association of Louisiana Electric Cooperatives

one article on how buff the Superman action figure is and how this affects the self-image of little boys. When a girl becomes pathologically fixated on trying to achieve an unattainable, idealized body shape, it’s a legitimate sickness that makes people gasp. When a boy is driven by the same fixation and goes to absurd lengths trying to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, it’s a running gag, like the old Hans and Frans skit on Saturday Night Live. “Listen up all you girlie-men, we are here to pump (clap) you up!” Ha ha. Weider didn’t invent what’s called the Adonis Complex or more colloquially “biggerexia,” but few individuals in our time did more to perpetuate this psychosis than the man called the “godfather” of pro bodybuilding. Weider was cut out of the Charles Atlas mold, men whose mission was to profit by aggressively promoting a glorified, unrealistic image of the male form and - for the mere cost of shipping and handling - revealing the deep secret of exactly how to achieve it. For his part, Atlas led the way in warping the minds of a generation of impressionable boys by billing himself as “the world’s most perfectly developed man,” making his pitch in the back pages of comic books where he explained how you could become a well-built behemoth and avoid getting sand kicked in your

face by simply following his scientifically-proven dynamic tension isometric training system. Youngsters were mesmerized by the plight of Mac, a pasty, pole-thin 97-pound weakling who gets humiliated in front of his girlfriend by some musclebound beachgoing bully. Downcast and demoralized, Mac sends off for the 32page illustrated book and quickly bulks himself up to he-man size. Mac returns to the beach and smacks his nemesis across the chops, convincing the fawning girlfriend he’s “a real man after all.” The idea was clear: pump yourself up and men will quake in fear of you and women will fall at your feet, a lesson that manages to insult both genders at once. Weider put this sleazy flesh-peddling industry into hyperdrive when he began publishing magazines featuring pictures of outlandishly proportioned physiques, staging bodybuilding contests and hawking supplements and substances with the unambiguous implication that if you consumed enough of his pills, powders and potions you could look just like the muscle-heads in the magazines - and, of course, men will quake in fear of you and women will fall at your feet. The brutes who appeared in Weider’s publications made Charles Atlas look like the male version of Twiggy. Jacked full of steroids and HGH, photographed un-

der hard lighting and digitally enhanced, the menacing, grimacing models looked more like inflatable Marvel Comics characters than your dear old Uncle Bob. As if testosterone-fueled young men don’t have enough mental and emotional angst to deal with while going through the travails of puberty, now they’re being programmed to believe the measure of their masculinity is determined by the circumference of their biceps or how much of a self-absorbed jerk they can be. I never thought I’d quote former Alabama Gov. George Wallace about anything, but I think any heartless huckster who makes the decision to prey on the insecurities of young boys at an especially fragile stage in their physiological, psychological and emotional development deserves “a barbed-wire enema.” If you have a teen-age boy nearby at this moment and he happens to be striking poses in the mirror, pull him over and tell him to read this message: Yo, yo! Look, dude, straight up… God made you as an endomorph, ectomorph or mesomorph and you can’t change that any more than you can change your eye color. So, roll with what you’ve got, player. Just make a lifelong commitment to staying fit and eating a balanced diet, and remember that any woman worthy of your attention will judge you based on the content of your character, not the ripple effect of your abs. And if someone starts assaulting you with sand, don’t commence throwin’ down like a Neanderthal with roid rage. Just go find yourself a good lawyer, yo. A glance outside the office window shows that summer is here and the beach is calling. Looks like it’s time to start working out.

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Page 4 • Louisiana Country • June 2013


Fathers are involved in keeping the lights on in our communities

Co-opCorner

by Randy Pierce Chief Executive Officer, Association of Louisiana Electric Cooperatives

As a child, I followed my dad around the house, copying his moves. I wanted to be just like him. For many years he worked - and still works - as an administrator at Northwestern Louisiana State University in Natchitoches. Sometimes I would go visit him at his job and imagine myself in an important position like his. The demands on him were hard, but he always took pride in his profession. I was only a kid, but I knew my family was part of something special. There are many children in your community who look up to their fathers, too—40 feet up. Fathers at your local co-op work in rain and snow, day and night, when duty calls. If a storm triggers outages, these fathers don’t play Monopoly by candlelight or tell bedtime stories. They charge into the fray to fix what was broken. Some dads work in the eye of the storm. Others take action behind the scenes in our dispatch center, tracking problems and directing crews to

trouble spots. They answer calls from members and share the latest news with the media. Working together, these brave men (and strong women, too) restore power to our community. You can hear their children cheering them on. I wanted to be an important executive and decision maker when I grew up, just like my dad. The children in your community grow up with men who dedicate their lives to connecting neighbors to comfort. It’s not an easy job. The hours are long, and tasks are dangerous. But the payoff—making life better for all of us—fuels these resilient men. June’s a time to celebrate fathers. My dad taught me to think about the bigger picture, to find a job I’m passionate about that helps the community. I believe the men of our cooperatives here in Louisiana have found their calling. Let’s honor the fathers who keep our community strong. Happy Father’s Day.

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Call 318-323-6268  Toll-Free 1-877-256-7900 June 2013 • Louisiana Country • Page 5


LPSC Chairman Skrmetta tackles tough issues for citizens

Louisiana Public Service Commission Chairman Eric Skrmetta isn’t shy about wearing his love of Louisiana right there on his shirtsleeve for all the world to see. An avid outdoorsman whose pastimes include hunting, fishing and marksmanship, the native New Orleanian takes great pride in calling the Sportsman’s Paradise home. His passion for the state’s rich culture, diverse heritage and immense charm is boundless. “Everywhere I go when I tell people I’m from Louisiana, they talk about how great the hunting is here, how great the fishing is here, how great the food is here and how great the people are,” Skrmetta said. “It’s just a fantastic place to live.” Although Louisiana is also known far and wide for its colorful political legacy, it wasn’t political ambition on Skrmetta’s mind when he decided to run for the District 1 seat five years ago. Already contented and semi-retired from his family’s seafood and machinery businesses, he simply wanted to represent the people of his 11-parish district to the best of his abilities and do whatever he could to make a great state even better. Nearing the end of his first six-year term in office, Skrmetta feels the LPSC is one of the leading state regulatory bodies in the nation. While most regulatory commissions throughout are populated by gubernatorial appointees tasked

Eric Skrmetta, shown above with his wife, Debbie, enjoys making sure the interests of ratepayers are protected. He is shown at right after speaking at the Metro Club.

with carrying out the chief executive’s agenda, roughly one-third are similar to the LPSC where members are democratically elected by the citizens they serve and more independent-minded. “We really are doing a lot of significant things. I think the voters we represent can be very proud of the work their commission is doing on their behalf,” Skrmetta said. The commissioner makes an effort to use every means possible to keep his constituents informed about LPSC matters and encourages them to express their concerns, offer suggestions for improved service and air any grievances they would like to convey. He holds town hall meetings each month and schedules regular meetings with local officials to keep an open dialogue. He also takes advantage of social media networks as an active user of

Electricity Remains a Good Value The cost of powering your home rises at a slower pace than expenses like gas and groceries. Compare the average price increase of these expenses each year over the span of a decade, and the value of electricity shines.

11.1

Average Annual Price Increase, Based On A 12-Month Average Percent Change 2002-2012

7.8 4.8

4.6

3.2

Electricity Unleaded per kWh Gasoline 1 gal.

Eggs 1 Doz.

Apples 1 lb.

Ground Beef 1 lb.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index 12-month percent change averaged from 2002 through 2012

Page 6 • Louisiana Country • June 2013

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Facebook and Twitter and has his own website at www.ericskrmetta. com. The only problem, Skrmetta explained, is that most of the work done by the commission goes largely unnoticed by the public because it’s technical, complex, and frankly just down-right dull. For instance, Skrmetta cites the state’s inclusion in MISO (Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator) as the most significant development to take place in the LPSC’s recent history. MISO is one of the nation’s largest regional power marketing organizations, stretching across 12 states from the Gulf of Mexico into Canada. The move, which has been studied and analyzed in-depth for years by the LPSC and recently approved, calls for utilities in the state to join MISO by transferring functional control of their power transmission assets to the regional operator. Consequently, Louisiana ratepayers will gain tremendous benefits in energy reliability and pricing well into the future by taking advantage of MISO’s strategic position in the marketplace, greater access to resources, better monitoring and backup capabilities, lower production costs, better congestion management and greater economies of scale. Making the decision to join the regional transmission operator required countless hours of hard work by the commissioners, staff and the utilities but ultimately will be a boon for the state of Louisiana. “It took many years to study because it’s such a complex issue,” Skrmetta said, “but I’m convinced it’s one of the most important things

I’ll ever be involved in on the commission. It will have a far-reaching, positive impact for many years to come.” “Complex” is a word that keeps popping up when speaking with Skrmetta. In fact, the more complex the issue, the more Skrmetta enjoys taking on the challenge. An attorney, business owner, devoted family man and father of two school-age children, he points out that along with his constituents he also has a personal stake in the decisions made by the LPSC. “I enjoy the complexity of the problems we have to solve. It’s satisfying to find solutions that work for the consumers and being a part of moving Louisiana forward and making us a more attractive place to locate a company, take a vacation or raise a family,” Skrmetta said. “The decisions we make are decisions I’ll have to live with as a private citizen long after I leave the commission.” Other sticky issues on the LPSC’s agenda include net metering, subsidies for renewable power, energy efficiency, federal environmental mandates, electric utility competition, rate structures for prison phone systems, the “sweeping” of LPSC operating funds by the state legislature and more. The commission oversees a wide range of interests including gas companies, electric utilities, telecommunications, motor carriers and water and sewer providers. Skrmetta, who identifies himself as a conservative Republican, said just as 80 percent of the commission’s work is done outside the public’s attention, most of the votes are unanimous and that the regulators work well together to solve problems for the people of Louisiana. Though the panel has long been perceived as a springboard for those with higher political aspirations, Skrmetta said he and his fellow commissioners stay focused on their work. “I’m honored to serve as chairman and to have the opportunity to tackle these critical challenges,” Skrmetta said. “We are five individuals with different views and we argue our positions and engage in earnest debate. But at the end of the day, we work together to conduct our business in a proper, efficient and effective manner so we can uphold our constitutional obligation to serve our citizens with honesty and integrity.”


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Co-op members contribute to community through ORU

Claiborne Electric New

Paperless billing offere

In the photo above, Bob Bond, Vice Chairman of Claiborne Electric’s Operation Round Up Trust, presents a grant to Craig Roberson, Principal of Homer Jr. High School. The grant, in the amount of $2,076.82, will be used to purchase teaching materials for the Jr. High Science classes. The materials include Spark science learning systems, Parallax Boe-Bots, TI84 robots, and associated sensors and probes for the materials. According to Science teacher Michelle Hogan, these materials are leading-edge interactive technology to help students learn in a hands-on environment. At right, Bond presents a grant to Chris Caswell, Manager of Lake Claiborne State Park. The grant, in the amount of $9,275.00, will be used to install a 27-hole disc golf course. The course will provide recreation for area residents and the park’s visitors. Caswell said he plans to host tournaments at the park, which would bring in overnight visitors from the state and region.

Annual fireworks shows scheduled for Lake Claiborne and Lake D’Arbonne

Claiborne Electric members have multiple options to celebrate Independence Day on a lake with a great fireworks display, as shows are scheduled for Lake D’Arbonne in Farmerville and Lake Claiborne in Homer. Lake Claiborne The annual fireworks show and boat parade will take place Friday, July 5. The boat parade will begin at Pleasure Point at 7:30 p.m. Parade participants are asked to decorate with patriotic colors. Each boat captain will receive a free hat and is asked to follow the parade rules, which will be distributed prior to the beginning of the boat parade. The parade will end at Lake Claiborne’s dam, where fireworks will begin at about 9 p.m. For questions, please contact Dwayne Woodard at the Claiborne Parish Police Jury office – 318-927-2222. The event is organized by Fireworks for Lake Claiborne, Inc., a nonprofit organization whose mission is to see that the fireworks show on Lake Claiborne takes place each year. Monetary support for the show comes from donations from corporate sponsors and private citizens. Taxdeductible donations may be mailed to Fireworks for Lake Claiborne, Inc. at P.O. Box 181, Homer, LA, 71040. Lake D’Arbonne The annual fireworks show will be held Saturday, July 6. The launch site will be on Ruston Ramp Road, off of Highway 33 coming in to Farmerville from Ruston. Parking will be along Highway 33, and the fireworks will begin at approximately 9 p.m. There will be a live DJ near the pool at the Lake D’Arbonne Hotel, and the D’Arbonne Diner will be open for business. Financial support for the show comes from corporate sponsors and private citizens. Donations may be mailed to the Union Parish Chamber of Commerce at 116 North Main, Farmerville, LA, 71241. For questions about the fireworks show, please call the Union Parish Chamber of Commerce at 368-3947. Page 8 • Louisiana Country • June 2013

Members of Claiborne Electric Co-op now have the option to enroll in the Co-op’s paperless billing program, and can receive a one-time $10.00 bill credit per member for signing up. Candy Hicks, office manager for the Homer branch, has been working for a few months to get the paperless option set up. Members can enroll in the program by visiting Claiborne Electric’s Web site, www.our.coop, and clicking “Bill Payment” at the top of the homepage. Members simply sign in using their E-mail address and password. Once signed in, members have the option to choose paperless billing. . Hicks explained that if members have never used the Co-op’s E-bill system to pay their bill online, they will need to set up an account, using an active E-mail address and password, to access the paperless billing option. Instead of receiving a paper bill in the mail each month, members who enroll in paperless billing will receive an e-mail notification stating their new bill is available. Members then have the option to

Instead of receiving a paper bill each month, members who enroll in paperless billing will receive an e-mail notification stating their new bill is available. pay the bill using the method that is most convenient to them – online, by telephone, in person or by mail. Paperless billing can also be used with the Co-op’s automatic bank draft program. Once registered, each member will be eligible for a one-time $10.00 bill credit. Hicks said the bill credit is the Co-op’s way of showing appreciation to members who choose this new service. She said the new program is beneficial to everyone involved. “Signing up for our new Paperless Billing option is helpful for our members, for the Co-op, and for the

Those who tamper with meter

Every year, your local electric cooperative has to cope with thieves—folks who deliberately tamper with their electric meter to steal power. Not only is this dishonest practice extremely dangerous, it’s a serious crime that can result in hefty fines and jail time. When someone steals electricity, everyone pays. That electricity has to be purchased by your co-op and the revenue must come from somewhere. “When someone steals power from Claiborne Electric,” comments General Manager Mark Brown, “they are stealing from their neighbors. Because Claiborne Electric consumers must pay for every kilowatt-hour of electricity purchased from our wholesale power supplier and since Co-ops have no profit margins from which such losses can be recovered, power theft ends up as an operational expense. Unless prevented, those losses can drive up rates.” Claiborne Electric recognizes that the theft of electricity is: 1. A crime punishable by law. 2. A contributing factor to higher utility rates. 3. A dangerous practice that can result in property damage and/or loss of life. Claiborne Electric is committed to combating this problem using every available means, including

criminal prosecution. Othe penalties to the offender m • Cut Seal Charge • Meter Tampering Inve • Reconnection Fee (du • Plus the cost of replac equipment and meters • Plus payment of estim use • Plus criminal fines not than $500 for a first offense for each subsequent offens $100 nor more than $3,000 All electricity entering a


ws

Claiborne Electric Cooperative

P.O. Box 719, Homer LA 71040 Homer - (318) 927-3504 Farmerville - (318) 368-3011 www.our.coop

ed at Claiborne Electric

environment,” Hicks said. “The program is more convenient for members and the Co-op, and at the same time reduces paper and postage costs for both.” Hicks said the Cooperative has received many requests from members for a paperless billing option, and the Co-op’s management team wanted to satisfy those requests with this service. Mark Brown, Claiborne Electric’s general manager and CEO, said the

service meets a need in a changing society. “People are conducting more and more business electronically, and this program is a great fit for our members who manage their expenses online,” Brown said. “We want to offer members valuable services, and paperless billing provides convenience and cost savings to everyone involved. It’s just another way to meet the needs of our members, and that’s our goal every day.”

rs risk harm and prosecution

er additional charges and may also apply, including:

estigation Fee uring office hours) cing or repairing damaged

mated unrecorded power

t less than $100 nor more e, up to 2 years in prison se and fines not less than 0. any home or business

must, by law, pass through a meter that measures the amount of usage over a given period for which consumers are billed. Unfortunately, there have always been problems with power theft when some consumers think they can profit from the theft of electric service without paying any real consequences. All utilities, however, make periodic checks on their meters to ensure their safe and efficient operation and in this digital age, meters can even be remotely monitored to detect tampering. Ultimately, anyone stealing power is going to get caught. In the past, utilities treated power theft as an inconvenience, but as the cost of energy has increased, stealing electricity is costing American utilities billions of dollars annually. For Cooperatives those losses end up being passed on to the consumer-owners of the Co-op, driving up the cost of service to honest members. Once the seal is cut and the meter is removed, the high voltage wires serving the location are exposed creating a potentially dangerous situation to the thief and anyone in the vicinity. If anyone suspects any suspicious activity around a meter base or any electric lines or equipment, please notify Claiborne Electric as soon as possible.

Claiborne Electric linemen receive training

Claiborne Electric provides its employees a comprehensive training program that covers every aspect of utility field operations, stressing safety and efficient operations under all possible conditions. Claiborne Electric employees (shown in photo below from left to right) James Chandler, Benji Rosson, Andy Mills and JaMichael Greer were among linemen from electric co-ops across Louisiana who successfully completed Module 4, Levels 1-5 of the four-year Louisiana Lineman Intensive Training Program administered by the Association of Louisiana Electric Cooperatives in Baton Rouge.

Have a Happy and Safe 4th

Claiborne Electric Cooperative’s offices will be closed on Thursday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day. Standby crews and a 24-hour dispatcher will be available to handle emergencies or weather-related outages. Enjoy your 4th, but use caution and common sense to keep your festivities safe and enjoyable for everyone. For example: • Make sure fireworks are handled by a responsible adult. • Designate adults or older teens to supervise sports activities. • Make sure there is always someone in charge of grills, barbecues and campfires. • Keep all perishable food thoroughly chilled and stored in a cooler. A little pre-planning can keep your celebration fun and safe!

Does your non-profit organization need financial assistance for a specific project? Apply now for a grant from the Claiborne Electric Cooperative Operation Round Up Trust Fund Contact Claiborne Electric for a grant application.

318.927.3504

June 2013 • Louisiana Country • Page 9


DEQ makes effort to meet EPA’s stringent ozone standard

Most of us don’t really give much thought to the air we breathe. Unless we have asthma or some other respiratory ailment, air is plentiful enough. And we don’t necessarily mind smelling the aromas from local bakeries or coffee houses. But when the air smells “bad,” we don’t like it one bit! Communities now have some help in steering activities to achieve air quality improvements in their local areas through participation in the Advance Program. Why is this so important? The U S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the most common air pollutants and is required by Congress and the Clean Air Act (CAA) to continually look for new health study information to determine safe levels at which they set their air quality standards. These levels are based upon protection of the most sensitive members of the population that include children, the elderly, and people with impaired lung function. EPA is required to re-evaluate their standards every five years. Picture trying to meet an EPA standard as you would trying to get under a limbo bar when EPA lowers a standard, it actually becomes more difficult to meet, even though local air quality may be continuing to improve. Meeting the Ozone Standard So why is meeting the ozone standard such a big deal? Ozone is a highly reactive form of oxygen and at normal concentrations it is colorless and odorless. Ground level ozone in high concen-

Raising your thermostat during the hot summer months and making sure your home is as energy efficient as possible helps improve the air quality in our state. For energy efficiency tips, visit www.togetherwesave.com. trations is considered an air pollutant, while stratospheric ozone in the upper atmosphere (12-30 miles above the ground) is critical for absorbing cancercausing ultraviolet radiation that comes from the sun. Many folks may remember the historical advertisements for travelling to the area north of Lake Pontchartrain to take advantage of the “healthy” ozone levels. These claims were in fact not true at all and actually, ozone is a major component of smog. Ozone is not directly released from factories, power or chemical plants. It is

Page 10 • Louisiana Country • June 2013

formed when nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds react in the presence of sunlight. Nitrogen oxides come from burning fuels including automobile exhaust. Volatile organic compounds come from automobile exhaust, gasoline vapors, and chemical solvents (and also some vegetation). Ozone formation rates are highest on hot, dry days where there is little wind. Statewide, the peak for the highest number of high ozone days occurs during May and June. For us here in Louisiana, most all of the areas in the state have been in compliance with all standards with the exception of the five parishes around Baton Rouge who have had difficulty meeting the standards for the pollutant ozone for a number of years. Although Baton Rouge air quality has steadily improved and actually reached attainment for ozone in 2011, EPA has continually lowered the standard just as the area reached prior goals. Because the standard keeps getting lower, a number of areas in the state are now much closer to violating the ozone standard than they have ever been. The metro areas around Shreveport, Lake Charles, Lafayette, Houma, Thibodaux, New Orleans, Mandeville and possibly even Monroe are all much closer to the current EPA standard of 75 parts per billion. DEQ Works for Air Quality That is why the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has been working so hard to meet with community representatives from these areas and get them focused on local efforts to improve air quality through the Advance Program. By joining the EPA’s Advance Program, local areas can build a framework to catalog existing local emission reduction projects and determine the environmental improvements that will come from them. This will allow the areas to plan ahead by using DEQ data to select

strategies that will be most cost effective as well as provide them with the greatest amount of air quality improvements. So far, the Shreveport, Lake Charles, Baton Rouge, New Orleans and HoumaThibodaux areas are all enrolled in this free program. DEQ has undertaken an effort that will give local areas some ideas about what is causing the ozone to form in their community. Whether increased pollution levels stem from traffic or from construction/farming or even small businesses like bakeries or body shops, each area of the state will be a little different and will need to take their own approaches to making voluntary emission reductions to avoid noncompliance. Implementing building code changes that improve home energy efficiency along with other projects to conserve electricity will ultimately reduce the need for electric cooperatives to produce as much power and thereby reduce not only the pollutants they emit but also consumer electric bills. Upgrading lawn and garden power equipment from 2-cycle to 4-cycle engines can dramatically improve air quality and save on fuel costs. Implementing local anti-idling ordinances, improving traffic flow, and performing fleet conversions that switch fuels from gasoline or diesel to natural gas will also cut back on those pollutants that form ozone. The need to do these things now is based on the prescriptive required parts of the CAA that make it nearly impossible to come back into compliance with a standard once your area has violated it. The CAA has schedules and defined steps that must occur before you can be officially declared back in compliance and these schedules are impossible to meet. The real costs come when businesses and industries are brought into more extensive and expensive environmental permitting processes. These costs can deter new business development and increase production costs for existing facilities. These costs are passed down to us as consumers as part of the cost of the products we purchase. Personal Responsibility It is up to us as individuals to recognize the importance of our personal decisions in all of this. Taking steps at home or work to lower energy usage, combining our trips to reduce pollutants from our vehicles, and being aware of the air quality around us and how our actions affect it are all so important. It is very easy to stay on top of current air quality conditions on your computer or smartphone by subscribing to a free service that DEQ provides called EnviroFlash (www.enviroflash.com). Visit DEQ’s website for more Ozone Day Tips or to find out more about Advance Program activities in your area: www.deq.louisiana.gov. For current air quality information, visit www.deq. louisiana.gov/aqinfo.


Co-ops across the country crack down on copper crooks Other technologies are less obvious, such as tiny dots the size of a grain of sand containing a laser-etched numerical code that’s sprayed onto copper cable. If the copper is stolen and brought to a scrap dealer, the recycler can shine a blacklight on it, see the code, and know who legally owns it. But technology alone won’t stop metal theft. Electric co-ops often rely on thePCHD_80398_49998_7x10:PCHD-80398_7x10 alertness of their consumer-members to catch perpetrators in the act. “There’s no substitute for a good,

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old-fashioned neighborhood watch,” emphasizes Randy Pierce, CEO of the Association of Louisiana Cooperatives in Baton Rouge. “Our cooperatives do their best, but it’s important for consumer-members to keep their eyes peeled for suspicious behavior.” Some co-ops are rewarding members who report copper crime while some are going on the offensive by launching awareness campaigns, reinforcing that metal theft not only kills, but also equals higher costs for everyone.

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By Magen Howard It’s a crazy way to make a quick buck, when you figure that $10 worth of stolen copper can lead to serious injury or death. But thieves involved in a series of copper heists in southwest Louisiana somehow escaped harm—an incredible feat considering the resulting equipment damage. They didn’t escape punishment for their crime, however. Thanks to a tip from an alert citizen, arrests were made and the thieves were put behind bars. With metal theft, it’s not just the crook who potentially suffers—all co-op consumers do. “Even someone who manages to get away with only $100 worth of copper, he or she could cause thousands of dollars in damage to co-op equipment, which is eventually repaid by consumermembers through rates,” notes Maurice Martin, a program manager specializing in generation and transmission for the Cooperative Research Network (CRN), the research and development arm of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. “Thieves, for their part, stand an incredible risk for burns, electrocution, or even death, and when they tamper with equipment, they leave behind safety hazards for co-op employees who make repairs. There’s also the potential for power outages to consumers served by a vandalized substation or stretch of line,” he said. In 2008 alone, copper theft cost electric utilities more than $60 million, according to a study by the Electrical Safety Foundation International. While criminals seldom make a lot of money off of stolen scrap metal, copper theft continues to rise. The price of copper has skyrocketed in the past decade, urged on by international demand. The sluggish economic recovery and even drug use means some people look to stripping copper wire as a quick way to make a buck. “When metal prices go up, you see a corresponding rise in copper theft,” Martin explains. “Substations have large amounts of extractable copper, so they’re especially vulnerable.” Fighting back The uptick in occurrences means electric co-ops must get both tough and creative in fighting copper crime. Security at substations ranges from simple game cameras to sophisticated alert systems integrated with a co-op’s dispatch computer. One intrusion-spotting technique employs vibration sensors. “When the earth is moving and nobody’s supposed to be at that substation, you have a pretty good idea that a pickup truck or carload of troublemakers has arrived,” remarks Brian Sloboda, CRN senior program manager. “The motion triggers an automatic alarm that also alerts law enforcement.”

June 2013 • Louisiana Country • Page 11


L.O.E. Lower Operating Expense

L.O.E. DOWN

Q

by James Dulley

Dear Jim: Our old central air conditioner still works, but our house often seems too humid indoors. We set the thermostat lower, but it does not help a lot. How can we reduce the humidity and improve comfort?—Michael T. Dear Michael: High indoor humidity levels can make people uncomfortable. Damp, cool indoor air creates a muggy atmosphere that often feels much worse than warmer humid air from open windows. This is particularly true for allergy sufferers because many allergens thrive in damp conditions. Excessively humid indoor air also can drive up air-conditioning costs. As you mentioned, you sometimes set the thermostat lower to compensate for the high humidity and discomfort. Each degree you lower the thermostat setting increases your electric bill. First, try to reduce the humidity you’re already producing. The kitchen and bathrooms are the greatest contributors to high humidity levels. Make sure

Lower your humidity, lower your power bill

your stove’s exhaust hood is ducted outside, not into the attic—recirculating stove hoods are ineffective at controlling odor and moisture—and run the fan when cooking, especially while boiling water. Also consider using small countertop cooking appliances outdoors on a patio or deck. As in the kitchen, run the bathroom vent fan whenever showering or bathing. Don’t turn it off as soon as you are done because there is much residual moisture in the air. Some of the new, quiet bathroom vent fans have humidity level sensors to run long enough to exhaust the moisture, but not too long to waste electricity and conditioned indoor air. You can also try a simple countdown timer as the wall switch—set it for 30 minutes, and the fan turns itself off. If you can get the indoor humidity level low enough, it often is possible for your family to get by with a much higher thermostat setting and ceiling fans. The air movement from a fan increases evaporation and creates a “wind chill” effect for added comfort. Make sure the ceiling fan rotates to blow the air downward during summer and upward on low speed during winter. Proper sizing of a central airconditioning system is critical for low humidity and comfortably cool indoor air. An HVAC contractor generally sizes the cooling system properly for a new house. Over the years, you may have made energy efficiency improvements to your house such as more insulation and new windows or doors.

Page 12 • Louisiana Country • June 2013

With these improvements, the cooling requirements for your house may have dropped from, for example, 3.5 tons (12,000 Btuh/ton) to 3.0 tons. A unit that’s too large for the space will operate inefficiently and could even cause mold problems because of humidity. A licensed professional should size your central air-conditioning system using a mathematical code or an automatic computer program. If you plan to install a new highNew thermostats hold room temperature and efficiency air conditioner or heat humidity steady. Source: Bryant pump and humidity is an issue for to slow the blower motor on your curyour family, consider a two-stage or rent unit. This will dehumidify more but variable-output model with a variablewill likely reduce its efficiency somespeed blower motor. With the matching what. If the lower humidity level allows smart thermostat, these models are deyou to set the thermostat higher and still signed for efficiency and humidity conbe comfortable, you should save electrictrol. ity overall. You can set both the desired tem There may be certain rooms in your perature and humidity settings. The air house where you find the humidity level conditioner will run as normal to cool to be more uncomfortable than oththe air to the desired temperature. Once that temperature is met, the blower speed ers due to the activity level. A portable slows down to provide more dehumidifi- air conditioner, which can be moved from room to room and vents outdoors cation and less cooling. through a window, can provide spot Installing a whole-house ERV (encooling and dehumidification. ergy recovering ventilation) system is Don’t forget to fix leaky gutters and an efficient way to exhaust stale, humid downspouts. If rainwater leaks out and indoor air and bring in fresh outdoor air. saturates the ground around your house, Both heat and humidity are exchanged some of that moisture will eventually in the system to minimize energy loss. migrate indoors. These systems are often controlled by a Send inquiries to James Dulley, humidity sensor. Louisiana Country, 6906 Royalgreen If you don’t want to upgrade to a Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45244 or visit www. new, efficient air conditioner, a contracdulley.com. tor may be able to change some settings


Savory side dishes to complement outdoor cooking When you’re loading up the family for a big barbecue celebration this summer, be sure to also load up a variety of freshly-made salads and deliciously decadent brownies. Whether pasta salads, potato salads or even leafy greens, this side favorite is a perfect accompaniment to juicy grilled burgers, brats and steaks. Because this savory barbecue fare can bring out anyone’s sweet tooth, don’t forget to dish out the desserts. Adding your favorite nuts, fruit and candy toppings to a rich brownie can melt the hearts of guests as easily as the summer sun. The best part about bringing a salad or brownie dessert — besides both being flavorful barbecue staples — most can be prepared the night before. This gives you plenty of time to focus on the important things, like grilling your next culinary masterpiece and hanging out with your

family and friends. For more tips on what to bring to your next barbecue, visit www.bettycrocker.com/brownies and www. suddenlysalad.com.

Brownie ’n Berries Dessert Pizza • 1 box (1 lb. 2.4 oz.) Betty Crocker® Original Supreme Premium brownie mix • Water, vegetable oil and egg called for on brownie mix box • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened • 1/3 cup sugar • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla • 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries • 1 cup fresh blueberries • 1 cup fresh raspberries • 1/2 cup apple jelly Preheat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Grease bottom only of 12-inch pizza pan with cooking spray or shortening. Make brownie batter as directed. Spread in pan. Bake 26 to 30 minutes or until

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toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out almost clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour. In small bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Carefully spread mixture evenly over brownie base. Arrange berries over cream cheese mixture. Stir jelly until smooth; brush over berries. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until chilled. Cut into wedges. Store covered in refrigerator. Greek Tossed Pasta Salad • 1 box Betty Crocker® Suddenly Salad® classic pasta salad mix • Water and oil called for on salad mix box • 4 cups torn romaine lettuce • 2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped (1 1/2 cups) • 1 small cucumber, coarsely chopped (1 cup) • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion, slices cut in half • 1 can (2 1/4 oz.) sliced ripe olives, drained • 4 oz. crumbled feta cheese (1 cup) Make pasta as directed on box. In large bowl, stir together seasoning

mix, water and oil. Stir in pasta and remaining ingredients except cheese. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve immediately, or refrigerate. Red, White and Blueberry Pasta Salad • 1 box Betty Crocker® Suddenly Salad® classic pasta salad mix • Water and oil called for on salad mix box • 1 cup diced red bell pepper • 1 cup blueberries • 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled Prepare pasta according to package directions. Stir in remaining ingredients, except feta, mixing well with pasta salad dressing. Sprinkle feta over salad. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving. S’mores Brownies • 1 box (1 lb. 2.4 oz.) Betty Crocker® Original Supreme Premium brownie mix • Water, vegetable oil and egg called for on brownie mix box • 2 cups miniature marshmallows • 4 graham crackers, broken into small pieces • 2 milk chocolate candy bars, broken into 1-inch squares Preheat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Make brownies as directed. After removing pan from oven, set oven to broil. Immediately sprinkle marshmallows and graham crackers over warm brownies. Broil about 4 to 5 inches from heat 30 to 60 seconds or until marshmallows are golden brown. (Watch carefully, marshmallows and graham crackers will brown quickly.) Sprinkle with chocolate candy. To serve warm, cool about 30 minutes. Cut into 4 rows by 4 rows.

June 2013 • Louisiana Country • Page 13


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Country Calendar town, 318.346.2575, www.travelavoyelles.com •  15 - Antique Auto Cruise Night, Chalmette, Brewster’s Bar & Restaurant, 504.874.0458 •  15 - The Shoji Tabuchi Show, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Thomas Jason Lingo Community Center in Oak Grove, 318-4285282 •  15 - Black Heritage and Juneteenth Festival, Many, 850 Highland Ave., www.toledobendlakecountry.com •  15 - Evening of Swamp Pop, Cut Off, Youth Center, 985.632.7616, www. cutoffyouthcenter.org •  15 - Rodeo, Houma, Airbase Arena, 985.868.3484 •  18 - The Addams Family, Shreveport, Strand Theatre, 318.226.1481, www. thestrandtheatre.com •  20-22 - Creole Classic Fishing Rodeo, Grand Isle, La. Highway 1, 985.787.2997, www.experiencejeffer-

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son.com •  21-22 - Squire Creek Peach Festival, Ruston, downtown, 318.255.2031, www.louisianapeachfestival.org •  21-22 - Louisiana Peach Festival, downtown Ruston, (318)255-2031, www.louisianapeachfestival.org •  21-23 - Catfish Festival, Des Allemands, 985.758.7542, louisianacatfishfestival.com •  22 - Chocolate and Champagne, Shreveport, East Ridge Country Club, 318.868.6571 •  23 - BBQ Cookoff, Erath, City Park, 337.937.5393, www.erath4.com •  27-29 - Watermelon Festival, DeRidder, fairgrounds, 337.463.5534, beauregardwatermelonfestival.com •  28 - Live After 5, Houma, downtown, 985.873.6408, www.houmamainstreet. org •  28-29 - Smoked Meat Festival, Ville Platte, 337.363.1416, smokedmeatfestival.com •  29-30 - Crab Festival, Lacombe, downtown, 985.882.5528, www. lacombecrabcookofffestival.com •  30-July 4 - 4th of July Celebration, Erath, downtown, 337.937.5585, www. erath4.com

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