Letter to the Editor

Citizen Forum

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Reader says fight against SWEPCO is not hopeless


Last week, after first confessing a lack of expertise in electric grids, the editorial of the Lovely County Citizen mentioned maps showing "a very clear 'hole' over Carroll County and Northwest Arkansas -- a big open spot where far fewer major lines are servicing our area than are servicing almost every other area of the country and region." It continued, "We'd be lying if we said we didn't notice the stark difference."

If The Citizen's point was that we are attempting to stand up against the inevitable, they should look more closely at the map that I've attached to this letter. We don't have major components of the grid here because they've never been needed. We don't have the population density one would find in an urban area, and if the Federal government was simply concerned with filling in holes in the spatial arrangement of the power grid, this map shows Arkansas to be OK and that they have many much worse "holes" to contend with.

With very small advances in distributed energy generation like wind and solar, those huge destructive power lines may never be needed here and are certainly not needed now.

On April 1st we were given notice that we had only 30 days to mobilize our defense against SWEPCO's plans to run a massive power line through our lands.

Then, with our newly hired lawyers, we were allowed only 28 days to hire expert witnesses and prepare our various cases against the destruction and disruption this unnecessary power line would cause. In the meantime, SWEPCO has had years to prepare their legal case against us and the injustice of the Arkansas Public Service Commission allowing SWEPCO to take our properties by eminent domain may appear to be right on track.

To top it off, SWEPCO and the Southwest Power Pool deny the rights of the general public to even see the documents upon which their "need" to destroy our properties is based. We are not to be trusted with the information that will be used to condemn our properties and damage our lives.

As so many of us are up early each morning from restless nights, trying to get a handle on how to stop a locomotive headed for us at high speed, the lawyers and engineers from SWEPCO are no doubt sleeping well, with the knowledge that their power line project, stabbing at the heart of Arkansas tourism and the beauty of the Ozarks, is right on track.

If ever there was a true David and Goliath story taking place in the Ozarks, this is it. The editorial in The Citizen might lead some to despair... to assume that with the Southwest Power Pool and a powerful corporation allied against us, we cannot prevail.

SWEPCO will continue to use every resource offered by law to leave us defenseless. They will attempt to deprive us of our constitutional rights of property and of the sanctuary that our homes provide.

But justice is on our side. The opposition to this miscarriage of justice is united. We have received extraordinary support from our community for which we are deeply grateful. We have an excellent legal team and are gathering momentum for what may be a long fight.

The Lovely County Citizen may be thinking we'll lose and that a huge destructive power line wrecking our rivers, our views, our forests and our economy is inevitable. But still, The Citizen urged you to defy their own logic and their own defeatist thoughts and to take a stand against it. Save the Ozarks believes we really CAN stop the power line and that the only thing that could make the construction of it inevitable is if we fail to unite in strong opposition to it.

-- Doug Stowe Save The Ozarks

Thanks to Car Club for food donations


The Scion Car Club, called the Scikotics, graced Eureka Springs this past weekend with their cute and snazzy cars and entertained us with a parade on Saturday night. It was obvious they enjoy their automobiles very much.

They also enjoyed Eureka Springs very much for the third year in a row, and to show their appreciation, they donated two car loads of food to Flint

Street Fellowship Food Pantry. We were amazed at the amount of food they

collected among their members, who were here from many different states. It was a very timely donation for us at Flint Street as we have been having continuing high numbers of folks coming in for food assistance this Spring.

We want to express our extreme gratitude for the generosity and good will of the Scikotics and look forward to their return next year.

-- Pat Kasner Flint Street Fellowship

Thanks for boosting Randy's memorial


I want to thank everyone for making Randy's memorial so special.

And I wish to thank his parents, Don and Pat Middleton, for all their love and support through this very sad and difficult time.

Thanks to Pat Matsukis, my rock, for her shoulder to lean an and for her help without which I couldn't have done any of this. For her beautiful words and thoughts. You are the best. Randy depended on you and now I know why he could.

Thanks to my son, Eric, and his family. I love you all.

A special thank you to my best friends Nancy, Antonio, Piper and Darcy for always being there for me day and night.

And to all of mine and Randy's friends, thank you.

-- Kay Middleton

Disabled vet says VA not following rules


I moved to Berryville three years ago to be closer to family. I am a disabled vet from the Vietnam era.

Mercy Hospital Berryville here is the closest Emergency Room available. I usually go to a VA hospital if possible but if it is not I go to the closest ER.

I was advised to contact the VA of my status and then the VA would advise the ER I go to on where to send me for further treatment, and the VA said it would pay said that ER and hospital for the services rendered.

On three occasions for unknown reasons these procedures were not followed. Mercy expects me to pay for what the VA refused to pay.

The VA has set regulations on timely submittal of bills and other procedures. And on one occasion the ER doctor I saw refused to even call the VA.

We're talking several thousand dollars (in medical bills I am unjustly being held responsible for).

Beware disabled veterans!

-- Jerry Watts, Berryville