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December 2012 Letters

TCP Talk

Letters and comments from our readers

Hamilton County to the Rescue

On a recent Sunday night, I made a trip to my ranch in Hamilton from Waco, where I live, to pick up a trailer I needed for the next day. When I arrived, I found my house had no electricity. I called Hamilton County Electric Co-op and spoke with dispatcher Tracy Cox. While I was explaining my situation, I was stung in the face by two red wasps. I told Tracy what happened and that I was highly allergic. She expedited the call, telling the technician about the wasps.

I was shocked when the technician, Shea Wilson, arrived in just a few minutes. He was concerned about me instead of getting to the task he came to do. He was very kind and even offered to drive me back to Waco.

While I looked bad (face very swollen) I thought I’d be fine driving myself. He got the electricity back on, and we went our separate ways.

The next day Shea called to check on me. He told me he had gone back out to my ranch and found the red wasp nests and got rid of them. He definitely went above and beyond his call of duty.

I tip my hat to the great people at Hamilton. I am proud to be a part of it and hope that someday I can repay Shea and Tracy for their kindness and concern.

Gus Krueger, Hamilton County EC

Small World

Thanks for the September article “Who Knew?” I have always heard that Davy Crockett’s wife was buried in Acton. It is of significance to my family as my paternal family name is Acton, and my maternal great-grandmother, Mary Leatia Crockett Humphreys, was a great-niece of Davy Crockett. This site joined my two family lineages long before my parents married. Small world.

Beverly Acton Barker, Bluebonnet EC

Harvey Girls Connection

Like many Texans, I, too, had a close relative who was a Harvey Girl [“Dining with the Harvey Girls,” September]. My Dad passed away last year at 101 in Oakwood. His mother, Lucy Williams Blasingame, was a Harvey Girl. Her job was to launder all those beautiful white linens and keep the cloth tablecloths and cloth napkins bright white. She did it by hand, all day, and was so happy to have a job.

Grandma Lucy met Arthur, a cowboy who was a drover for the last of the trail rides in West Texas. He saw her, held her hand and promised to return to marry her after the cattle were delivered in Kansas. He did, and there began another story for another time.

I’m 69 years young and so appreciative of Martha Deeringer for writing such a beautiful story that all ages can enjoy. Texas Co-op Power consistently hits that happy medium between nostalgia and useful information for today’s readers.

Linda Rutherford, Houston County EC

Happy Days

Oh, how I enjoyed October’s Hit The Road, “San Saba.” I grew up in San Saba until 1945, when my father took a job in Fort Worth. Too bad we never moved back.

My days in San Saba were the happiest days of my entire life. My Father climbed many a pecan tree while we were there. There wasn’t such a thing as a tree shaker back then. He had to climb the tree and knock the pecans off with a cane pole. I was a junior in high school in San Saba when I had to leave.

Ray Pierce, Fannin County EC

Water Issue

I wish to congratulate you on one of the best series of articles on our Texas-sized water dilemma that I have ever read [“Water For All?” August]. It has taken me years to understand how the very serious water problems developed in Texas. The visible aboveground droughts are easily seen, but it took your series to really clarify for me the invisible water problem, below ground in the aquifers, that really tells the tale for Texas’s future.

Our stream used to run about eight months out of the year. Now it runs for maybe weeks after sustained rains. What a loss for us all—humans, animals, plants and the quality of life for everyone. Let us not drain this state any drier.

It takes the dedication of someone like Andrew Samson, a visionary who has seen the water dilemma coming for years, to teach us all how to well-manage and conserve water. Fortunately, many from Texas agencies are protecting and managing Texas water resources and have developed the science needed to solve our dilemma. Legislation supportive of rainwater collection cannot be far off, right?

I hope that the Texas Electric Cooperatives will make a booklet out of these good articles and give many copies to every high school and college across this state for years to come.

Roberta Shoemaker Beal and Jim Beal, Pedernales EC

It is not all the same water [“It’s All the Same Water”]. I have my own water system, and not all of it arrives by precipitation. Not all Texas water arrives by precipitation on Texas soil. And who owns what water is another complex argument.

I have said for more than two decades that Texas does not have the water resources needed to provide for the ongoing, unmanaged growth that is continuing. In reality, the United States has plenty of water. The problem is lack of effective management and distribution. The answer is not federal government agencies, political agendas or the takeover of U.S. resources by the United Nations.

Some of the laws and approaches of Western states are ignorant and illogical because of greed and political agendas. Rivers, lakes, aquifers, etc., cross many states and other legal boundaries. The management and solutions have to be for all, not just special interests, big businesses or those who can afford enough lawyers to get what they want.

The solution is to follow the Constitution and do what is right.

Bill Kelberlau, Pedernales EC

Thank you for the informative series on Texas water issues. As a follow-up to “Save It for a Sunny Day,” I would like to bring to your attention a program and competition established by the Texas Water Development Board to promote and encourage the practice of rainwater harvesting, and to recognize excellence in the application of rainwater harvesting systems in Texas. The Texas Rain Catcher Award competition is conducted annually and is open to all individuals, companies, organizations, municipalities and other local and state governmental entities. The deadline for submitting an application is December 31.

Sanjeev Kalaswad, TWDB, Austin

In reading the Texas Co-op Power readers’ feedback, I would submit that to sustain life, we must have air, water, food and shelter. We cannot live very long without air. We can live a little longer without water, and a little longer without food.

City water users have not faced reality. Cities waste billions of gallons of water on golf courses, manicured lawns and swimming pools. Golf courses and lawns produce nothing but a little oxygen to sustain life. They should use rainwater instead of city water from our lakes and rivers. Industrial water usage should be recycled as pure water.

Cities need to utilize technology to purify used water to return to lakes and streams. City households should be restricted to 2,000 gallons of water a month. That’s a lot of drinking water, but no 20-gallon long baths.

Farmers, on the other hand, use their water to raise food, which is consumed by everyone. Without their ability to raise a lot of food, the population will feel it through hunger.

John Baker, Pedernales EC

I am always amused at the love-hate relationship folks have with the energy producers. I’m referring to a letter in October regarding the abundance of water used at drilling sites.

I watched in amazement this summer, when we were on water restrictions, as the golf course across U.S. 75 from our business ripped out its driving range and added nine holes. Sprinklers in multiple locations were shooting huge streams of water in the middle of the day, every day, until the new grass came in.

We talk about wasted water a lot, and that is good. We need to, and we should. Maybe I notice this more because I was raised in the desert Southwest, but there is a lot of wasted water around us that gets a pass because it is a golf course, homeowners association, Texas Department of Transportation or a city doing the wasting.

I will save my comments about fountains and clotheslines for another day.

Kay Pingsterhaus, Grayson-Collin EC

Texas History

I love the Texas History page you share monthly. I moved to Harper from the San Francisco Bay area (yes, and there is a story there) 12 years ago. I am certain I was a Texan in a prior life. Those pages delight me with the diversity of life that makes up this vast place I call home.

Regarding Texas’ water issues: I have a 20,000-gallon rainwater capture system. Because water cannot be created, we must be creative and conservative. It’s important that rainwater systems to be used and that taxing entities recognize them with credits as they do insolated windows.

Jan Zenner, Central Texas EC

Just Hot Air?

One of the September “Hot Topic” letters states, “The ceramic beads (in some roof coatings) have been shown to be of almost no thermal value. … (S)everal university and government studies (have shown) that color and reflectivity are what’s really important.”

As a former technical sales representative for a thermoelastic ceramic roof coating distributor, I can assure you that neither is correct. One of the demonstrations we showed to potential customers involved the use of a metal strip, with one end coated with the product and allowed to cure. Holding the strip by the painted end, we would heat the uncoated bare portion with a torch until the metal was red-hot. The ceramic spheres allowed the coated end to remain at room temperature, held comfortably in our fingers. The color and reflectivity were nonfactors; there was no sunlight.

In outdoor environments, color and reflectivity certainly do contribute to effective heat reduction, but when combined with the ceramic component, the results are dramatic.

Joseph Pilliod, CoServ EC