Tuesday, July 30, 2013

learning from tractor time...

We've had a lot of rain lately. Normally this time of year, it is very dry in Arkansas, but this year, a few good late July rains have helped. Our gravel road has been washed by a number of substantial downpours, so that led me to tractor time to put things right while the ground was still wet.

In order to move dirt and to get it to stay for any length of time it must be wet. If not, it fails to compact, and vehicle traffic up and down our long gravel road will make ruts and bumps in no time. then the next big rain will wash gullies down the middle of the road.

It may seem that driving a tractor up and down the hill would be a mindless activity. But grading a road is just like any other form of craftsmanship. Attention is required. The craftsman's prayers are as follows... Number 1. Prevent my engagement in boredom and mindlessness. And yet, those who know nothing about craftsmanship might assume whatever they observe others in the midst of as being mindless.

Ironically, there are similarities between grading a road and planing a board. The box blade angle is somewhat variable, so that at one angle it digs deep and at another acts more like a scraper. Then even when you think you've learned all that, there are other subtleties, like creating a crown in the road to allow for water to run off to the side rather than down the middle where it does the most damage. Which brings me to craftsman's prayer number 2. Let me keep learning.

Today, also, I've been talking to one of the lawyer's from the state Attorney General's office. It seems that the utility company applying for a certification of environmental compatibility and public need (CECPN), which would allow them to use the powers of eminent domain to push their powerline  through private properties across Northwest Arkansas, must (according to state law) present in its application, an analysis of economic impact for the region and communities it would affect. Neither the utility, nor the public service commission has done any form of assessment as to economic impact. The great shame of that is that they would perpetrate economic losses on the community and have pretended that those losses will not matter. Their application  and the Arkansas Pubic Service Commission's review of that application has ignored  state law.

It will be interesting to see if the Attorney General's office will decide to agree.

make, fix and create...

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