Letters (June 22, 2011)

Credit for first ?Stroll? goes to many folks


The first Marion Merchants Art and Music Stroll June 12 was very successful, bringing strollers from Sedgwick County as far afield as Kansas City, Mo., Hutchinson, Salina, Manhattan and Topeka. Conversations and guest books indicate that visitors came from all surrounding counties and, of course, from Marion County itself.

We would like to thank our participating merchants: Bearly Makin? It, Central Parks Antiques, Country Lakes Cafe, Down on the Corner, Downtown Eatery, Flint Hills Gold, Gam?binos, Great Plains Computers, Red Fox Cottage, River Mill Woods, Sew What and Sunflower Antiques.

The day was made special by our artists and musicians: Michael Beeler, Chester Brown, Michele Carter, Grant Charpen?tier, Caroline Collett, Felma Crawford, Bryan Davies, Louette Enns, Amy George, Isaac Guet?ersloh, Anita Hancock, Benny Holtschlaw, Steve Jirak, Adam Johnson, Billie Keiser, Andrew Kjellin, Tom Myers, The Raices, Hispanas Dancers, Reintarna?tion, Shana Rothrock, Rick Sardou, Ben Schierling, Fletcher Sells, Olivia Stafford, Candy Tucker, Frances Turner, Beth Vanetta, Gerald Wiens and Mark Wilcox.

You are all wonderful members of our artist colony in the Flint Hills.

Our thanks also to area newspapers, including the Wichita Eagle, for publicizing the event. We are especially indebted to Patty Decker and the Hillsboro Free Press.

Most particularly, our profound thanks to Teresa Huffman, Marion County economic director. From the first moment of this project, she held our hands, encouraged and abetted us. We would have been lost without her.

We believe the success of the stroll demonstrated that Marion merchants, working together, can promote Marion, stimulate business and have a good time in the process. The next Art and Music Stroll will be Sunday, Oct. 2. Mark the date on your calendars.

Jan Davis, Gallery 101

of the Flint Hills

Jeanice Thomas



Idling diesel motor not a wise practice


I have always been mildly annoyed by people leaving their diesel pickup trucks running in a parking lot, so I did a little research online. As I suspected, it seems the practice has little, if any, basis in practicality, it subjects people to toxic fumes, the environment to more pollution, and it wastes fuel.

Following was the best answer from answers.yahoo.com as chosen by online voters:

? ?Must be because someone (who didn?t know what they were talking about) told them to, or it?s traditional or some other nonsense reason. It?s bad to let a diesel engine run at low idle for over five minutes. Diesels start up right away, and don?t need to be warmed up. People will give all sorts of reasons, none of them valid. It?s mainly a matter of misinformation about diesel engines. Low idling can actually damage a diesel engine.?

Here are some excerpts from an Internet forum:

? ?I see a lot of people have misinformation about diesel engines. It doesn?t save fuel, it wastes it. It doesn?t prevent wear and tear on the engine, it causes it. Need more details?

?Diesels pull a full gulp of air on every intake stroke. They have no throttle butterfly like gas engines to restrict air flow for idling. They just change the amount of fuel being fed into the injectors to control speed and torque.

?If the engine isn?t working hard, it gets just a little fuel, not enough to maintain block temperature, and the intake air is like a big blast of cold air, especially if the turbo isn?t spinning at full compression. Thus, the engine cools to below its design operating temperature and you get the high wear factors again.?

? ?Idling wastes fuel. It takes about 0.3 to 0.4 pounds of fuel per hour to produce one HP of output from a diesel. There are 7 pounds of diesel in a gallon. It takes at least 10 to 15 HP or more to idle a diesel, depending on size, including alternator, compressor, etc. At 0.3 pounds per hour, 10 HP equals 1/2 gallon of fuel per hour; 20 HP equals 1 gallon per hour. At $3 per gallon, that?s a lot of bread to be blowing out the stack for no good reason.

?Unless folks just like to leave their engines running for all the wrong reasons, no amount of logic or explanation is going to change that.?

From homeshopmachin?ist.net:

? ?I think this stems from an old wives tale I always used to hear that said it used more fuel to start a diesel than it did to just leave it idling. This might have actually been true with some of the big-rig older diesels, but modern electronic fuel injection has made it a thing of the past. if it was ever true.

?I will say that diesels use very little fuel at idle, but that is still no excuse. In Maryland it is illegal to leave a vehicle unattended and running anyway. (Bill Koustenis, Advanced Automotive Machine, Waldorf Md.)

? ?I have probably put on several million miles as a truck driver and countless hours as an equipment operator, and, as has been said by others, yes, they are turkeys. For some reason they picked up on this Hollywood image of truckers idling their rigs and they have a diesel and like playing the role.

?Other than a couple of minutes warm up when cold, and a few minutes of cool down after a hard pull, I don?t idle an engine. Even the cool-down situation doesn?t happen too often….

?Usually by the time you pull into a yard and get a rig parked it has cooled off sufficiently. I?ve never cooked a turbo or had other engine longevity issues. A little common sense goes a long way to keep an engine happy, and if my truck is happy. I make money.?

? ?Every major engine manufacture condemns unnecessary idling. They have gone to great pains to educate the industry that excessive idling is a nail in the coffin for your engine. They even have engine idle limiters in place so that after five minutes the truck will shut off by itself. These can be overridden, of course, for different operational parameters, such as pto use for example.

?Unfortunately this gives a lot of professional?and I use the term very loosely in this case?drivers the opportunity to let the poor thing rattle itself to a slow death.?

Kell Hawkins


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