Friday, March 27, 2015

case closed...

A router jig to guide cutting of hinge mortises
We are coming upon the second anniversary of AEP/SWEPCO's application to destroy a huge swath of Northwest Arkansas to build an unnecessary 345 kV power line. Its towers, placed 6 to the mile would have dwarfed our tallest oak trees, and the clear cut right of way would have been kept sterile of natural forest growth for generations by the use of toxic herbicides.

If alternate route 91 had been selected and approved by the Arkansas Public Service Commission, it would have traversed my own 11 acres from one end to the other, with the clear cut dead zone falling just 75 feet from my deck. Maintenance by helicopter of the 150 foot wide right of way would have launched the horrific beasts whirling at eye level across back of our home.

April 3, 2015 has been named by the City of Eureka Springs,  Save the Ozarks Day in celebration of our having stopped the malfeasance put forward by SWEPCO's application filed on April 3, 2013. The whole project came as a complete surprise to all of us in our community, it having been kept in secret planning by SWEPCO and the Southwest Power Pool for years as they worked out details on various routes.

What became obvious after we saw the nuts and bolts of their plan, was that it had been designed on Google Earth and had completely missed an understanding of the significance of each small hill and hollow that hold such great an importance in our own lives. They planned to shove their plan through, without regard for what it would damage, and whether it was necessary or not.

The most obvious thing that came to the surface of things as we dug into their environmental impact statement and assessment of need was that they were lying to us. They proposed a monumental solution to problem that did not even exist.

We most fortunately came together as a community, hired an attorney, and  expert witnesses (the best in the business) and following nearly two years of battle forced the utility to admit it was not needed. They withdrew their application and just this last week, almost two years from the launch of the debacle, the commission closed the case.

April 3, 2015 will indeed be a day of celebration. In this case, rather than asking for us to gather in celebration, we urge each to disperse. We will breathe in the beauty of that which would have been destroyed. We shall stand in special spots of overlook, and hold to the image of what we see, knowing that those having contributed to Save the Ozarks have held it thus, that it will inspire others to see what stands before our eyes.

Yesterday in the wood shop, I used my new 4 position router table to complete parts for an order of boxes. It worked just as I imagined it would. I also routed the hinge mortises for the doors of my small chapels that will hold samples of various woods as shown in the photo above. In addition, I began inlaying about 50 business card holders, and spent about 4 hours of tractor time to repair our road which had been washed out by tremendous rains.

Make, fix and create.

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