Saturday, December 07, 2013

play in the snow...

Tonight I have an art show at Lux Weaving Studio on White St. Even with traffic moving slowly, there will be walkers about. We have 8 inches on the ground, and I had a day of pushing snow off the long drive with the tractor, quiet work at the "drawing board," using sketchup, and corresponding with editors and friends.

I had the unlikely opportunity to come to the rescue of a police car in the afternoon. When I arrived with my tractor at the end of my long road where it hits the highway, I found a half dozen vehicles parked including the fire chief, a tow truck, the police chief's car, a city works truck loaded with gravel and with the blade mounted on front. The drivers were standing there scratching their heads. A 4-wheel-drive police car had tried to make a run up ice-packed Grand Avenue and got stuck in the middle of the road half way up the long hill.

There was never a street in the world as misnamed as our "Grand." First, it's not an avenue, and secondly, its not grand.

In any case, the police car could not go forward up the ice, and it could not back safely down without losing control and possibly going off the side of a 30 ft. embankment. The tow truck could not get in range to be of any use. The gravel truck could not get up the hill, or down from the other side to be of any help because the police car was smack dab in the middle of the road.

They asked, "could you take your tractor up the hill and use your box blade to clear the ice?" Of course. I backed my tractor up the hill to the patrol car, lowered both the box blade and front end loader and scraped ice all the way down the hill. A second pass cleared enough snow and ice so that the patrol car could safely pass down. It took less than 5 minutes to do the good deed. It felt good to be able to come to the rescue, and of a police car, no less. It might seem silly to some that a person can take pleasure in being of use to someone else. But that pleasure is the simple glue that binds the threads of humanity into a meaningful form. It is associated with feel good neurohormones that can warm you even on the coldest day. As the police car backed safely down, I gave a two fingered gloved salute and went back to scooping snow off my road.

In our struggle against SWEPCO's unwanted power line, it seems that Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act is our newest friend. It protects valuable historic properties from wanton destruction by governmental agencies or by corporations if what they plan to do involves permits to cross government lands or waterways. It seems that if the US Army Corp of Engineers does its job properly, it must be in compliance with Section 106, and cannot under any but the most dire circumstances allow the power line to be put in where it would damage the Trail of Tears or imperil the future of the National Battlefield Park at Pea Ridge. The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation asks that we contact agencies to demand that Section 106 be enforced. Indeed, we will.

My art show will be at Lux Weaving Studio from 4 to 9 PM, 18 White St. Eureka Springs, AR.

Make, fix, and create...


  1. Make, fix, create, save the day... That's Doug!


  2. You'll probably never get a ticket in Eureka Springs again! And good work on the research. SWEPCO no doubt knew about their line violating that law, but thought it best to not mention it.


  3. AEP/SWEPCO has had their way with the APSC in nearly every other case, and seem to have assumed that once they got approval from the APSC, the Corp of Engineers would simply roll over with their permits, regarding the proposal as a fait accompli.

    Early on the process of opposing SWEPCO we were advised that we needed to do two things... mount a strong legal case with the best lawyers we could find, and mount as large a political force as we could muster.

    When one governmental organization has to rat on another, they can only do so if someone is covering for them by making a vigorous political attack.

    So that is what we've done. We've fought them every inch of the way, and are now planning the strategy for our next steps. I hope to hold the utility company liable for putting our community through such duress, if I can find a way to do it. It would be lovely to have Save the Ozarks endowed by a million dollar settlement that would provide the foundation for our work to go on into the future, protecting our local environment.