Archive for the ‘Water’ Category

>Last Night and Tonight

March 26, 2009

>You are invited to a great event tonight. Details below.

Yesterday the power kept going out in the late afternoon so I was not going to try to cook. It was a good excuse to go out to eat. Never mind that the stove is gas.

We were going out anyway, to participate in TAP Project. This week several restaurants in the area are collecting “$1, or more, for the tap water you usually enjoy for free to help UNICEF provide clean drinking water to children around the world.”

900 million people (that’s almost a billion, for those, mostly republicans, who struggle with big numbers) in the world lack access to safe drinking water, and 4,200 children die every day due to lack of clean water.

$1 provides safe clean drinking water for 40 days (and 40 nights).

World Water Week is this week. Here is a list of participating restaurants in Alabama. We chose Rojo. Oh, if we only had a restaurant like Rojo in Bessemer.

Or you can donate online.

Watch this site for a way to help those without water here in Alabama soon. Yes, here in Alabama there are people without safe, clean water.

Then we thought we might visit a charity BINGO hall near Bessemer. A recent article in the paper said all the bingo halls used paper bingo now, awaiting the city or state or somebody to give them the OK to use machines. But these sure looked like machines to me, with little leprechauns and four leaf clovers spinning around and lining up to return credits. And, they sucked your money in just like any machine. But I don’t think they are slot machines.

Tonight

Over the Mountain Democrats is proud to present an American Hero, Lilly Ledbetter, and an Alabama hero, Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb. This event is free and open to the public.

WHO: Lilly Ledbetter, pioneer for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb
WHAT: Telling their stories and taking questions from the audience
WHEN: 6:15 pm Thursday, March 26th
WHERE: Reid Chapel, Samford University
HOW: FREE and open to the public

We also expect (probable candidate for governor) Jim Folsom, Terry Sewell (candidate to replace Artur Davis), Priscilla Dunn (candidate to replace E. B. McClain) and others to be there.

You’ve probably heard this song by Chris Isaak, “We Let Her Down.” I know that a video has been released, but I can’t find it. Here’s a live video, though, filmed at a concert in San Fran. Like most Chris Isaak songs, this is a good one to turn up pretty loud and sing along, even if your voice isn’t smooth like his.

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Western Star Apology and Water!!!

June 26, 2008

In The Western Star this week another apology ran. This one is more suitable:

Apology

The Western star did not follow company policy on running letters to the editor when a letter ran in the June 4, 2008 edition signed by the Bessemer Neighborhood Association. Association secretary, Joe Openshaw, informed The Western star the letter was not written by the BNA. The newspaper apologizes to the Bessemer Neighborhood Association and to those mentioned in the letter for any inconvenience or problems that its publication may have caused.

Thanks Dale, for setting the record straight. The association accepts the apology.

But the individual wonders about the sincerity. I say that because this apology was read to me and OK’ed by me by Mitch Tribble on June 19 over the phone, and he seemed sincere and concerned that the letter was even published.

Quite different from the email I received from Dale the other day. However, being a peacemaker…I will let it slide, and just be thankful the readers of The Western Star know the truth now.

I might as well admit I also read with interest Representative Priscilla Dunn’s column titled The First Steps Toward a Statewide Water Plan. Rep. Dunn (who by the way is always complimentary to me regarding my columns) is absolutely right on the importance of developing a statewide water management team. I have written about water both in The Western Tribune and on this blog enough that everyone should know my concerns.

One such concern is bottled water. To make the bottles used for America’s and our water, over 17 million barrels of crude oil are used annually. this is enough to power a million vehicles for a year (Update). That doesn’t account for the diesel or gas used to transport the bottles to the retail outlets, or across the sea for those waters that come from Fiji or Europe.

While our household has not cut down 100%, we have greatly reduced our bottled water use by getting a refillable big bottle and cooler for our drinking water. We get refills at Lowes. We still buy an occasional case of Dasani for use in special situations.

Most tap water is fine, and a lot of people I hear are returning to tap water, either with or without a filter. Many refrigerators have a filter and the water that is dispensed is fine.
Enjoy this Water Sculpture.

Plus think of the money you will save by not buying water that is costing as much or more per gallon than gasoline. Conservation. Fiscal. Good.

>Western Star Apology and Water!!!

June 26, 2008

>In The Western Star this week another apology ran. This one is more suitable:

Apology

The Western star did not follow company policy on running letters to the editor when a letter ran in the June 4, 2008 edition signed by the Bessemer Neighborhood Association. Association secretary, Joe Openshaw, informed The Western star the letter was not written by the BNA. The newspaper apologizes to the Bessemer Neighborhood Association and to those mentioned in the letter for any inconvenience or problems that its publication may have caused.

Thanks Dale, for setting the record straight. The association accepts the apology.

But the individual wonders about the sincerity. I say that because this apology was read to me and OK’ed by me by Mitch Tribble on June 19 over the phone, and he seemed sincere and concerned that the letter was even published.

Quite different from the email I received from Dale the other day. However, being a peacemaker…I will let it slide, and just be thankful the readers of The Western Star know the truth now.

I might as well admit I also read with interest Representative Priscilla Dunn’s column titled The First Steps Toward a Statewide Water Plan. Rep. Dunn (who by the way is always complimentary to me regarding my columns) is absolutely right on the importance of developing a statewide water management team. I have written about water both in The Western Tribune and on this blog enough that everyone should know my concerns.

One such concern is bottled water. To make the bottles used for America’s and our water, over 17 million barrels of crude oil are used annually. this is enough to power a million vehicles for a year (Update). That doesn’t account for the diesel or gas used to transport the bottles to the retail outlets, or across the sea for those waters that come from Fiji or Europe.

While our household has not cut down 100%, we have greatly reduced our bottled water use by getting a refillable big bottle and cooler for our drinking water. We get refills at Lowes. We still buy an occasional case of Dasani for use in special situations.

Most tap water is fine, and a lot of people I hear are returning to tap water, either with or without a filter. Many refrigerators have a filter and the water that is dispensed is fine.
Enjoy this Water Sculpture.

Plus think of the money you will save by not buying water that is costing as much or more per gallon than gasoline. Conservation. Fiscal. Good.

Bessemer Water is All Wet

June 20, 2007

Twice I have brought up Bessemer’s changing water service, reporting that GUSC, the Governmental Utilities Services Corp., would be buying out Covanta Energy’s contract to manage the city’s water plant.

Oops. The mayor vetoed that decision. The mayor doesn’t want GUSC to manage the water. He wants it to be a city department. The council attempted to override the veto, with Albert Soles, who voted in favor of GUSC on June 5, deciding to abstain, and Earl Cochran, who abstained on June 5, voting to support the mayor. The vote ended as a 3-3 tie, so the veto was not overridden.

The attorney for GUSC, Shan Paden says it’s his opinion that the council’s original vote was not subject to veto. I have a feeling this is not over.

But I got to thinking (uh-oh). What is more difficult to understand, the hydrologic cycle or the Bessemer Utilities water cycle?

The hydrologic cycle is science and nature and is logical. The Bessemer water cycle is not logical and there is nothing natural about it.

Water on our planet is in continuous motion between the rivers and lakes and oceans (97% of the world’s water is salty). Of the 3 % that is freshwater, 2/3 of it is locked in the Arctic and Antarctic ice caps. So the available fresh water, that we all depend on, makes up less than 1% of the planet’s water.

The hydrologic cycle explains the movement of water between the atmosphere and earth’s surface (precipitation) and back again (evaporation and transpiration), and along the surface and below (river flow, groundwater movement). It’s actually pretty simple and can be diagramed out with numbers showing how many cubic miles are in which compartments and how much moves on a yearly basis.

The Bessemer water system came to be in 1990, with the creation of GUSC, which then allowed Bessemer to build its own water plant and break away from Birmingham. Bessemer water service buys its water from GUSC. GUSC pays Covanta ($166,000 per month) to manage the water plant. Covanta is an energy company, who claims to be a leader in waste to energy technology. Covanta filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2002. Covanta wants out of the water business. The mayor wants the city to operate its own water plant or pay GUSC to operate it. Wait, I thought he did not want GUSC to operate it. Oh well.

Consumers don’t pay GUSC, we don’t pay the City of Bessemer, and we don’t pay Bessemer Water. We pay Bessemer Utilities for water. The little handbook that they give you says that our water is distributed by “the Water Department.” Who is that?

Now here is the kicker. I have been boasting about our water source and the mayor has been doing the same. The Bessemer Utilities Consumer Handbook that I have says the water “is purchased from the Birmingham Water Works.” That must be outdated ( I received it 2000), because the 2006 Bessemer Water Service Water Quality Report states “Bessemer Water Services purchases their water from Covanta Water Systems.” But didn’t I just say that Bessemer Water Service buys their water from GUSC. That is what the Birmingham News says. So Covanta doesn’t just “manage” the water plant, they “own” the water? No wonder the Mayor wants the city to control it.

After all, water scarcity is “one of the most critical health threats to human society today,” according to Environmental Health edited by Howard Frumkin. I am not going to go into it right here, but someday I may address the issue of the Ogallala aquifer, which lies underneath much of 8 states from South Dakota to Texas, and provides about 30% of all groundwater used for irrigation in the U. S. It contains “fossil water” that has been underground for thousands of years. We are using it too much, too fast, it is not replenishing itself, and when it’s gone (20 to 30 years for some areas), see what happens to agriculture in the Midwest.

Anyway, just agree that the Bessemer Water System is much more complex than the hydrologic cycle.

You might hear more about water scarcity from me. Sometimes it is natural, sometimes it is political, sometimes it is the result of war. It is always serious.

>Bessemer Water is All Wet

June 20, 2007

>Twice I have brought up Bessemer’s changing water service, reporting that GUSC, the Governmental Utilities Services Corp., would be buying out Covanta Energy’s contract to manage the city’s water plant.

Oops. The mayor vetoed that decision. The mayor doesn’t want GUSC to manage the water. He wants it to be a city department. The council attempted to override the veto, with Albert Soles, who voted in favor of GUSC on June 5, deciding to abstain, and Earl Cochran, who abstained on June 5, voting to support the mayor. The vote ended as a 3-3 tie, so the veto was not overridden.

The attorney for GUSC, Shan Paden says it’s his opinion that the council’s original vote was not subject to veto. I have a feeling this is not over.

But I got to thinking (uh-oh). What is more difficult to understand, the hydrologic cycle or the Bessemer Utilities water cycle?

The hydrologic cycle is science and nature and is logical. The Bessemer water cycle is not logical and there is nothing natural about it.

Water on our planet is in continuous motion between the rivers and lakes and oceans (97% of the world’s water is salty). Of the 3 % that is freshwater, 2/3 of it is locked in the Arctic and Antarctic ice caps. So the available fresh water, that we all depend on, makes up less than 1% of the planet’s water.

The hydrologic cycle explains the movement of water between the atmosphere and earth’s surface (precipitation) and back again (evaporation and transpiration), and along the surface and below (river flow, groundwater movement). It’s actually pretty simple and can be diagramed out with numbers showing how many cubic miles are in which compartments and how much moves on a yearly basis.

The Bessemer water system came to be in 1990, with the creation of GUSC, which then allowed Bessemer to build its own water plant and break away from Birmingham. Bessemer water service buys its water from GUSC. GUSC pays Covanta ($166,000 per month) to manage the water plant. Covanta is an energy company, who claims to be a leader in waste to energy technology. Covanta filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2002. Covanta wants out of the water business. The mayor wants the city to operate its own water plant or pay GUSC to operate it. Wait, I thought he did not want GUSC to operate it. Oh well.

Consumers don’t pay GUSC, we don’t pay the City of Bessemer, and we don’t pay Bessemer Water. We pay Bessemer Utilities for water. The little handbook that they give you says that our water is distributed by “the Water Department.” Who is that?

Now here is the kicker. I have been boasting about our water source and the mayor has been doing the same. The Bessemer Utilities Consumer Handbook that I have says the water “is purchased from the Birmingham Water Works.” That must be outdated ( I received it 2000), because the 2006 Bessemer Water Service Water Quality Report states “Bessemer Water Services purchases their water from Covanta Water Systems.” But didn’t I just say that Bessemer Water Service buys their water from GUSC. That is what the Birmingham News says. So Covanta doesn’t just “manage” the water plant, they “own” the water? No wonder the Mayor wants the city to control it.

After all, water scarcity is “one of the most critical health threats to human society today,” according to Environmental Health edited by Howard Frumkin. I am not going to go into it right here, but someday I may address the issue of the Ogallala aquifer, which lies underneath much of 8 states from South Dakota to Texas, and provides about 30% of all groundwater used for irrigation in the U. S. It contains “fossil water” that has been underground for thousands of years. We are using it too much, too fast, it is not replenishing itself, and when it’s gone (20 to 30 years for some areas), see what happens to agriculture in the Midwest.

Anyway, just agree that the Bessemer Water System is much more complex than the hydrologic cycle.

You might hear more about water scarcity from me. Sometimes it is natural, sometimes it is political, sometimes it is the result of war. It is always serious.

Water, Water, Everywhere…

June 14, 2007

But not a drop to drink.

So much water in the news. I don’t have to say anything about the drought. (Yeah, right) We all know it is the worst in recorded history, Birmingham Water Works customers are under restrictions for water use, Bessemer Utilities water customers are not under restrictions, and this includes some people in Shelby County, and Ross Bridge and other communities that were smart enough to contract with Bessemer to supply their water. But there are a few more water stories.

Of interest to people whose yards are turning brown and landscapes are dying, Bessemer Water has offered to sell water to Birmingham to help in times of drought, like now, but Birmingham has refused to buy it. You can lead a horse to water…

There is a drought on the space station. Russian computers that control oxygen and water have failed. Supposedly the crew, including Americans, are in no danger and they have “plenty of time to sort this out,” says Mike Suffredini, NASA manager of the Space Station program. U. S. astronauts can shower on Mondays and Thursdays, and Russian cosmonauts can shower on Tuesdays and Fridays, under the new water use plan. Just kidding.

Birmingham’s water supply will reach its limit by 2025, according to an article in the Birmingham News. Seems like it may be more like June 25, but at least the BWWB is searching for new sources to tap. They will spend 2 years and 2.4 million dollars to find ways to expand the system. Can you spell r-a-t-e h-i-k-e? Birmingham Water

And in Bessemer, the city is buying out its water contract by voting (the city council) to approve a buyout plan of about $2 million for the General Utilities Service Corporation to finalize a deal with Covanta (or as the Western Star reported this week, Cavanta?) to control the water.

Mayor Ed May wanted the city to purchase the contract, not just approve the deal for the independent GUSC to control it. May said allowing the city to control it would have benefited the city (and ratepayers), but GUSC board member W. W. Ledbetter says having control of the water will let profits go back to the water department to help pay for upgrades and equipment.

That may be a good idea. Remember last summer, when major water mains around Bessemer broke and we were without any water for days? Seems that pipes were outdated and such, so maybe the water department needs the extra cash for upgrades.

Bessemer Water

>Water, Water, Everywhere…

June 14, 2007

>But not a drop to drink.

So much water in the news. I don’t have to say anything about the drought. (Yeah, right) We all know it is the worst in recorded history, Birmingham Water Works customers are under restrictions for water use, Bessemer Utilities water customers are not under restrictions, and this includes some people in Shelby County, and Ross Bridge and other communities that were smart enough to contract with Bessemer to supply their water. But there are a few more water stories.

Of interest to people whose yards are turning brown and landscapes are dying, Bessemer Water has offered to sell water to Birmingham to help in times of drought, like now, but Birmingham has refused to buy it. You can lead a horse to water…

There is a drought on the space station. Russian computers that control oxygen and water have failed. Supposedly the crew, including Americans, are in no danger and they have “plenty of time to sort this out,” says Mike Suffredini, NASA manager of the Space Station program. U. S. astronauts can shower on Mondays and Thursdays, and Russian cosmonauts can shower on Tuesdays and Fridays, under the new water use plan. Just kidding.

Birmingham’s water supply will reach its limit by 2025, according to an article in the Birmingham News. Seems like it may be more like June 25, but at least the BWWB is searching for new sources to tap. They will spend 2 years and 2.4 million dollars to find ways to expand the system. Can you spell r-a-t-e h-i-k-e? Birmingham Water

And in Bessemer, the city is buying out its water contract by voting (the city council) to approve a buyout plan of about $2 million for the General Utilities Service Corporation to finalize a deal with Covanta (or as the Western Star reported this week, Cavanta?) to control the water.

Mayor Ed May wanted the city to purchase the contract, not just approve the deal for the independent GUSC to control it. May said allowing the city to control it would have benefited the city (and ratepayers), but GUSC board member W. W. Ledbetter says having control of the water will let profits go back to the water department to help pay for upgrades and equipment.

That may be a good idea. Remember last summer, when major water mains around Bessemer broke and we were without any water for days? Seems that pipes were outdated and such, so maybe the water department needs the extra cash for upgrades.

Bessemer Water