Information in column taken from Internet was inaccurate
Re: Baxter Black column, week of April 15, entitled “Global Rent Car.”
In the column, I quoted a story attributed to CNN that listed several foreign-owned auto manufacturers who had made no contribution to the relief and recovery efforts following 9/11.
I took the story off the Internet. It was a hoax, and the perpetrators are untraceable.
I have egg on my face and express my sincere apologies to those companies wronged in my column. As penance, I shall request a Nissan the next time I rent a car.
Don’t sit there, get involved!
In colonial times, people would regularly convene in the town hall to exchange ideas and decide their future. Today, citizens are again involving themselves in their government regarding the future of their communities through neighborhood association meetings. Similar to the earlier town hall meetings, a neighborhood association is a forum to meet new neighbors, exchange information, decide on projects and priorities, propose solutions and make plans that affect their communities.
In more and more communities, what the local residents want or don’t want is no longer going unchecked because the people who have to live with it have either had too much of something, not enough of something, or have hints of something unwanted to come. They’re organizing, pooling their strength and resources and making their opinions heard. When neighbors come together, a sense of community is created, common goals are established and achieved, and it shows the community is united and ready to take control of its own challenges. And they’re winning big victories.
Who are “they,” these people who have won victories for their communities? Are they unique or specially trained? It might appear they’d have to be to take on the powerful, the well-funded developers or the entrenched politicians. But they are not, generally speaking. They are fairly ordinary people; people with regular jobs, homemakers or in retirement. In other words, they are our neighbors.
When a plan is devised that will change a way of life in the community, an attempt should be made to get involved. Acting on the assumption that the government is going to automatically work on our behalf will not necessarily yield desired results. However, through participation and involvement, a community can achieve its objectives, as compared to sitting back and letting some process work its way through without their involvement. Participating with a neighborhood association is an ideal way to get involved. The association will take the shape its members desire and attempt to deal with their concerns.
The Los Chavez Community Association will have a meeting on Sunday, May 19, at 7 p.m., in the Dennis Chavez Elementary School cafeteria. Agenda items include a question-and-answer session with county commission Dist. III candidates, a mill levy proposal and nominations to create a new board of directors. this is an excellent opportunity for Los Chavez residents to get involved with their community and help guide its future direction.
Thanks for the thanks
Sometimes the nicest thing said is the simplest. On April 25, the staff of the Village of Bosque Farms, Mayor (Roger) Baldwin, Councilman (Wayne) Ake and several others put together an appreciation dinner for the volunteers of Bosque Farms. The dinner was cooked and served by village staff. It was excellent! There were little certificates of appreciation, special plaques for those who worked a little harder than others and a special collage of memories for Sharon Eastman. Ms. Eastman celebrates her 20th year volunteering at the Bosque Farms Public Library.
Volunteers are the forgotten heroes of the world. It was so nice to see the Village of Bosque Farms go the extra mile to thank their volunteers for their time and effort.
Richard and Cindy Thompson
Your saddlin’ up helped!
Every year, our response has grown for our annual Saddle Up for St. Jude Children’s Hospital Trail Ride. For the third time, this trail ride has been a wonderful success, both in number of riders and pledge totals, raising more than $8,000, which is 100 percent forwarded directly to the Children’s Hospital.
Of course, we would not be as successful as we are without the willing contributions of Valencia County businesses and Albu-querque area equine-related businesses. They are too numerous to mention, however we would like to especially thank Greg Dutton of Dutton Bits for the donation of spurs for our Bosque Farms Rodeo Association raffle, Mayor Roger Baldwin and the Village of Bosque Farms for the new directional signals on both the North Loop and Boulevard, the Valencia County Sheriff’s Posse for safety control and the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District for access.
Thank you to all participants and sponsors.
Bosque Farms Rodeo Association
They’re sliding in side door
I believe Peoples Energy Resources Corp., or PERC, has learned from Cobisa’s mistakes and is trying to slide in the side door. Cobisa’s proposed electric generating plant was primarily rejected due to its planned use of large amounts of water. To our farming neighbors, water is their most valuable resource and a rather scarce commodity. PERC, it appears, has obtained land in the industrial park south of Rio Communities, which is already zoned for heavy industry.
The small amount of water they say they will use is to come from Rio Grande Utilities, already servicing the area. PERC proposes to build simple-cycle units, having a total capacity of 280,000,000 watts. At full load, that’s a lot of heat going up the stack, also very inefficient. To quote the recovering engineer at the last air quality hearing, “over a trillion BTUs of thermal pollution.” Because thermal pollution is not toxic, our Air Quality Bureau is unable to regulate it. After the plant is up and running, they will probably propose the use of Combined Cycles Units, in an effort to use all that wasted heat. The second section of a Combined Cycle Unit is steam driven and uses much more water. Currently, Rio Grande Utilities, which feeds water to the industrial park, is being sold to a California company. As we have all heard, California is short of electric power. Should PERC wish to enlarge its facility, they would find it a simple matter to buy the needed water from a now-California-based water company.
Let us face facts. The sole purpose of the 280-megawatt generator to be installed in our back yard is to make money for Peoples Energy Resources Corporation of Chicago. All their so-called benefits to the community are simply excuses for putting it here. With all the wide-open space in New Mexico, why put it here? PERC claims because they will have easier access to their needed (our) resources. Whatever rules and regulations we have in place appear to be easily bypassed or overcome.
Before moving here, I worked for the second largest power company in the United States. I chose to live here because of the peaceful lifestyle, quiet atmosphere, friendly people and, of course, the climate. Now the big boys from Chicago are coming and want to change it. They’ll send their profit back to Chicago, their electric power out of state and our valuable resources up in smoke. The few permanent jobs they offer require skills our local residents may not have. Even some of the temporary jobs require skills not often used in Valencia County.
As far as reducing the cost of our electricity, I think not. Price and profits of regulated companies are controlled by the Public Utilities Commission. Simple-cycle gas turbines are not the most cost-effective method of producing electricity. Normally, Power Distribution Companies like PNM purchase the cheapest power available from the power pool, even over that which they may produce, if it is found reliable and more economical to do so.
The power generated by this facility will be fed into the network and be controlled by the Western States Power Pool. Having all that expensive equipment stand idle is, of course, a waste of investor money. So the so-called peaking station will sell its generated electricity any time the opportunity is there and someone is willing to pay for it.
Over the past 14 years, I know of no brownouts, blackouts or major outages in the county due to lack of generating capacity. The few electrical outages that have occurred, have been local distribution problems, which introduction of the PERC units would probably not have prevented.
Gas turbines are basically jet engines driving an electric generator. Unless sufficiently muffled, they can be quite noisy. Currently, there are no state or county regulations controlling audible noise. As per their representative, the ambient noise at the border of existing homes in Rio Communities is 40 dba. That is very quiet and about the smallest detectable noise on the average sound level meter. Any noise above that level will easily be heard.
As previously mentioned, Thermal Pollution is not toxic and we have no rules to control it. The greatest amount of heat generated by the plant will be when the demand for electricity is high and the plant is operating at full load. This usually occurs when the weather is hazy, hot and humid. Just when our evaporator coolers are the least effective and our windows are wide open.
Their drawings show two high-voltage transmission lines leaving the plant to deliver the generated electricity. What is not shown is where will they go and what route will they travel? Corona discharge and other radio frequency noises generated by faulty high voltage equipment can and will interfere with radio reception. These interfering signals can travel along transmission lines and be heard for some distance. My favorite radio station is limited in power and barely makes it to Belen. Unfortunately, there are no FM radio stations playing the same kind of music and the slightest addition of RF noise will make the station unlistenable. Maybe that’s being selfish, but I want to enjoy life, not tolerate it.
I think it would be more logical if they built their plant where water is more plentiful, additional heat is not a problem, the noise wouldn’t bother anyone and radio interference is less effective, like the California coast. California needs the power, we don’t. PNM has more than enough power to feed this area. If and when we should ever need it, they can send us their surplus electricity
What about robot help?
Yes, the oil crisis; maybe it is time for us to go low-tech — like the simple robot that does nothing but sweep floors in space stations or the simple robots that give up their “lives” exploding land mines.
I hear solar-powered cars drove all the way across the country. I sure hope they made it. I think they were powered by photovoltaic sun cells. Just what is photovoltaic? Sure, the car has a motor, but is it powered by heat or light from the sun? Can they store the energy in a battery for future use?
We can no longer ignore the eight balls with their crazy transportation ideas. They are probably the most important ideas of all to this country.
I saw a photo of a motor on a bicycle frame. Poor guy, I saw one of those long ago, but at least he is trying. He was also making a pedicab for a “driver” and two pedestrians. Again, poor guy. They do that in China a lot, but again, at least he is trying.
Solar-powered skateboard, anyone? Solar-powered kids’ scooter anybody?
Yes, a solar-powered pedicab! Solar-powered bicycle anybody?
The traffic problems would be instantly solved, roads would last a lot longer and no more brown cloud.
And then there is the old neglected bicycle in thousands and thousands of garages all over the country. Not really that hard to repair yourself, really.
Then there is just plain walking. Fueled on renewable energy, good old food. There isn’t a food shortage, is there?
Not to mention all the money we would save on cars and gas.
Martin Frank Kirtley
The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.