Thursday, September 12, 2013

My sister Ann...

My sister Ann passed away yesterday, surrounded by loving family. She was the most artistic of us. At one point, her math teacher called my mother to a conference to and suggested "Don't expect very much from Ann when it comes to math." He sure didn't. But then there are things about math that teachers of math often don't fully understand. Art and math are not completely different things. They are slightly divergent ways of looking at the same thing.

Despite her teacher's lack of confidence in Ann's ability to manipulate numbers, Ann had profound spatial sense (the true foundation of math), that she used in developing designs for counter-change smocking and as a kitchen designer. You can still find her counterchange smocking patterns and book available through her website, Ann Hallay Designs.

The lesson that I learned taking Ann's sewing machine apart and not knowing how to put it back together, applies to American education. Math is not just the manipulation of numbers and art is not simply the decoration of objects or the making of things to fulfill some sense of extraneous, meaningless sense of beauty and form. Once you start taking things apart, it is hard to stop. And it is good to have a sense of things as a whole. Teachers and students alike, are often not taught to understand the complexity of interrelationships between science, art and math.

This is what AEP/SWEPCO wants to do to us.
I've been reading through testimony from the hearing on the Shipes Road to Kings River power line project foisted on our small and lovely local community by electric power giant AEP/SWEPCO. The photo shows exactly what they want to do to us, and the tiny figure in orange is a real person offering a sense of scale. I think you can see why so many of us are disgusted with AEP/SWEPCO.

My reading at the moment is testimony from Melinda Montgomery who was to testify concerning an interconnection between her company Entergy, and the new power line proposed by SWEPCO. She insisted more than once that there were no reliability issues on the Entergy side of the seam that the new power line would fix. Entergy's cooperation in the project was to allow the new power line to interconnect and Montgomery insisted that its purpose would be to fix reliability issues on the SWEPCO side.

Later in the hearing came Southwest Power Pool witness Lanny Nickell with a big map, colored in with red showing degrees of danger. It showed areas of extreme danger of overload in Berryville and Harrison, along power lines on the Entergy side of the seam.

Our witness Hyde Merrill's analysis of the system had proven that the line was not needed to fix the problem that had been identified as the rationale in the Notice to Construct (NTC) and in the application before the APSC. SWEPCO and SPP witnesses have insisted that the power line is still necessary, but they have shifted the rationale down the line to Entergy's zone of control. In other words, the need proposed in the NTC and application is no longer valid, but they still want it and will go to great lengths to falsify testimony and exhibits.

As the hearing had reached what we all thought would be its close, AEP/SWEPCO attorney Matthews made a motion that their newly falsified testimony and exhibit become the new basis for the application despite Melinda Montgomery's insistence that there were no reliability problems on the Entergy side of the seam.

While there are differences between law and woodworking, some of the same lessons apply. You have to look closely at the details, but keep in mind the big picture. If you don't have that big picture in sight, you can make a fool of yourself with details, and miss that which is most obvious.

Make, fix and create...


  1. Doug,

    Please accept my condolences on the death of your sister.


  2. Anonymous9:51 AM


    Please accept my condolences on Ann's passing.


  3. Anonymous9:59 AM

    Condolences to your family on the loss of your sister..