Monday, July 21, 2008

Gas Hills of Carrollton

The following Dallas news story gives a lot of hope, particularly to the North Carrollton residents living around the Indian Creek community. I am glad to see this happening, and hope a similar step will be taken by the DFW Landfill. Conservation is good!

Mike Ghouse

Editorial: Gas from garbage
09:04 AM CDT on Friday, July 18, 2008

Despite the persuasive power of Tommy Lee Jones, Dallas won't be pumping a bonanza of natural gas from belowground. The city doesn't have the luck to be sitting atop major Barnett Shale gas formed over billions of years.

But eat your heart out, Tommy Lee. What Dallas does have is the technology and ingenuity to create its own natural gas in a matter of a few months. It's an exciting, forward-thinking venture that will make the most out of a decidedly unexciting thing: household trash.
Put that in your well and light it, cowboy.

The McCommas Bluff Landfill near Interstates 45 and 20 is Dallas' man-made gas field. The first biotechnology cell – a massive, 30-acre, pipe-laced, liquid-infused, microbial-rich burial mound of refuse – is now taking shape there. By fall, its decomposing waste will begin creating enough methane to enter pipelines. The cell could eventually produce as much gas as a couple of respectable Barnett wells – enough to serve the needs of 9,000 homes (based on typical use of 5,000 cubic feet a month).

Think of it as extreme recycling.

Trash-to-energy projects have cropped up around the country, perhaps 100 so far, with a concentration on the East Coast. It would figure that Dallas' biotech operation may be the biggest one yet once fully developed, with seven working cells.

(The project is in keeping with the visitor bureau's "Live Large" slogan, but somehow we doubt tour buses will be making loops around Dallas' cutting-edge trash heaps.)

Any backyard composter with delusions of selling gas to the neighbors should first consider the scale. Figure the average household tosses out 7.2 pounds of refuse a day. At that rate, it would take 91,324 years to create a trash heap just one-tenth the size of the first McCommas cell.
A more rational person might start smaller and think personal use. And these people are out there. (Google up methane and do-it-yourself.) But to join them, be prepared to irritate the neighbors. A good backyard methane pit uses a lot of pig and chicken manure.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Carrollton Immigration issues

The following letter was published in Dallas Morning News -

As a Carrolltonian, I ask the Mayor and the City Council to stop wasting their time on matters that are not going to make one bit of a difference to any Citizen of Carrollton. Not a penny's worth of benefit will accrue to any.

English is the language we conduct our court and general business. To make it official is redundant. People will continue to speak German, Chinese, Hindi, Urdu, Spanish, French, Japanese or British in their homes. Perhaps our first Lady Bush speaks Spanish with her family, stop her!

I hope Mayor Branson did not say this "that if a resolution kept one illegal immigrant out of Carrollton, "it would be worth it." Let the Mayor earn the political support by doing good things and not pandering to those prejudiced ones, those few handful, less than 1/10th of 1% (110) of our population of 110,000 people who would like to get rid of any one who does not look like them, talk like them.

It is time the Carrolltonians ask the City Council to focus on doing things that benefit the City or the public in general.

Feel free to write your comments below;

Mike Ghouse

Carrollton City Council to appoint panel on illegal immigration
12:59 AM CDT on Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Dallas Morning News

The Carrollton City Council is expected to appoint a residents' task force to develop possible approaches to illegal immigration.

The idea for such a group came late Friday during a council retreat after council members failed to reach a consensus on proposed illegal immigration resolutions.

Mayor Ron Branson and council member Terry Simons had proposed a resolution affirming English as the city's official language, arguing that it would deter illegal immigrants.
But council members Tim Hayden and Herb Weidinger disagreed.

Mr. Hayden said such a resolution would do little more than generate headlines.
"I'm trying to follow the logic, but I'm getting lost," he said.

Mr. Branson said that if a resolution kept one illegal immigrant out of Carrollton, "it would be worth it."

He has said that one of his top priorities as mayor will be to work to rid the city of illegal immigrants, some of whom he said moved to Carrollton after neighboring Farmers Branch made them unwelcome with its efforts to prevent them from renting property.

Carrollton already participates in the Criminal Alien Program, which has jailers contacting Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers when they think a detainee is in the U.S. illegally. And in April, the city was accepted into a federal program that trains local police to act as immigration officers.

Mr. Branson resigned from the City Council in 2006 for health reasons but unseated the incumbent mayor in May.

Farmers Branch made English the city's official language in 2006. The Oak Point City Council adopted a resolution supporting the use of English as the official language of documents in this small Denton County town last summer.

Council member John Mahalik said he did not want Carrollton to be lumped together with cities such as Farmers Branch that have drawn widespread attention for their approaches to illegal immigration. But he also said he would support a resolution making English Carrollton's official language.

Council member Pat Malone raised the question of whether a resolution would have any significant impact. She also wondered whether it would send a message to residents that the council cares about the problem of illegal immigration.

The council also failed to reach a consensus on a proposed resolution supporting Farmers Branch's approach to illegal immigration, which has included ordinances that have been blocked by or tied up in court.

Council member Matthew Marchant did not voice support or opposition on the resolutions. Council member Larry Williams was not at the retreat Friday.

The council is likely to vote on the structure and membership of the task force in September.

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