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Hunger poll: Through mid-May the San Antonio Food Bank is surveying soup kitchens, food pantries, and shelters it serves in Southwest Texas to determine who is eating how much and how often. Survey results, due this fall, will allow the Food Bank to target programs and help secure funding for their programs. It also will provide for the first time a baseline knowledge of hunger in San Antonio. Nationally, this survey has been conducted every four years since 1993, but the SA Food Bank has participated only once, in 1997. Food Bank spokesperson Sara Lichtenstein says that the organization has since experienced staff turnover and doesn't know what happened to the results. Last year, the Food Bank supplied 25 million pounds of food to 328 agencies.

Susan Pagani


Candidates on the environment: Where do political candidates stand on the environment? Find out at an April 10 debate sponsored by Smart Growth SA and Public Citizen. Candidates will be asked to address questions about energy efficiency, alternatives to City Public Service's proposed new coal plant, transportation, development, and water issues. The debate is slated for 2 p.m. at the peaceCENTER, 1443 S. St. Mary's. Info: 534-8801.


Everyone knows it's windy - and gassy: Although CPS gets a thumbs down for its pursuit of coal, the local utility deserves credit for pursuing two alternative-energy initiatives. CPS is purchasing power generated by landfill gas collected at Covel Gardens, 8611 Covel Road. The 9.6 megawatts would power 7,000 homes a year. In addition, CPS signed a 20-year agreement with DKRW Energy of Houston to buy all of the wind energy - 100 megawatts - from the Cottonwood Creek Wind Farm near Sweetwater, Texas, 42 miles west of Abilene. CPS already buys 160 megawatts from the Desert Sky Wind Farm near Iraan. The combined megawattage would power about 80,000 homes annually. CPS customers can buy wind-generated electricity for $3 per 100 kilowatts; the cost is tacked onto the monthly bill.

By Lisa Sorg


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