Monday, August 31, 2009

Fun with data... from the USGS water report (UPDATED)

In the comments from my last blog post, frequent commenter and soon to be contributor here at MOCO provided a link to the USGS report with the following name...

Ground-Water Occurrence and Movement, 2006, and Water-Level Changes in the Detrital, Hulapai, and Sacramento Valley Basins, Mohave County, Arizona

... whew!! That is a long title to a report.

Donna was nice enough to give me a paper copy of this report last year at some point. It has been sitting in my office ever since. I have cracked it open a few times to give it a read, it can be interesting if you are into that sort of stuff -- or perhaps if you are 'enlightened' (and sadly I am not according to the water worry warts). For the most part, I'm not into that report. I admit that I have very limited knowledge of water; where it comes from and how it ends up falling from my incredibly luxurious shower head.

However, I checked out the link that Donna left in the comments. And online, there is data to be found in the Appendixes. See this link for the list of the various ways that you too can view the data. I obviously clicked on the .xls link to open a spread sheet because I just love me some data in the afternoon, especially data that deals with 'net water level change' that was reported on 208 wells found in Mohave County in the three aquifers referred to in the long title of the document.

Oh you should see the data in all its glory. But click on that (appendix #2) for yourself. I'll need you to check my math... and folks that is all I'm providing in this blog post. Just some math. I do not pretend to be 'enlightened' about all things water... I certainly did not attend college to get a degree in hydrology (more like booze, babes, and parties -- no wonder I didn't finish)... all I'm doing is mining the data... and please check my math (as you now know what I was up to in my learning years).

Before moving on to the data, I have been told something about this report (that you can read online). According to the source of the information... the data in this report IS the data that will come out in the final USGS report sometime in 2010. The same report that some water worry warts say that we should wait on before we allow for more growth opportunities to flourish here in this community. Now I can't corroborate on this. I frankly do not know if this is the data that will be used in this long awaited for USGS report or not... really I don't. And I'm not here to say that it is. But it is a report offered by the USGS and it was prepared in cooperation with the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR).

All I know is that the report was done by these government agencies and that they were nice enough to include an .xls link to a spread sheet with the data they reported on. It is this data that I will focus on in this post.

So are you ready?? (Dang, you could have read the whole USGS report by now instead of reading the lead up to the data findings that I'm about to share)

As I mentioned earlier, this USGS report has data on 208 existing wells, all within the three aquifers in Mohave County. The average water level change for all 208 wells shows an average loss of 1.75 feet from the time the water level of each well was originally read through to sometime in the year 2006.

Oh... you just know I'm not going to stop there. Much more breaking down of the data to do. But I'm starting with the overall figures for all of the 208 wells in the report.

Did you know of the 208 wells that 113 of them have actually had an increase in water level?? That is right, more than half of the wells studied have increased in water levels since they were first read and records kept. Before we start to party, 90 wells have decreased in water level. The remaining 5 recorded no change.

The figures for the 5 wells that saw the biggest drop in water level from the beginning of records through to 2006 were as follows; 134.8 feet, 69.9 feet, 66.7 feet, 55.7 feet, 52.7 feet. Now the figures for the 5 wells that saw the biggest increase in water level were as follows; 107.8 feet, 48.8 feet, 47.8 feet, 43.7 feet, 41.1 feet. The median figure for all 208 wells showed an increase of .4 feet.

As I moved along with my handy dandy data and spreadsheet, I saw the need to break out information from each aquifer... and I will do that below. But keep in mind something else and that is the element of time. You see not all of these water levels were originally recorded in the same year. Recording first started on 28 wells in 1963 through 1965 (according to the data). In 1978 through 1980 another 64 wells had their water levels first recorded. Then in 1995 and 1996 the government found the time to record the water levels in 116 additional wells (if you are checking my math at home, 28 + 64 + 116 = 208, right??). So yeah, of course I needed to break out the data further... and I will... but the following data is an overall look at the wells in each of the three aquifers according to the USGS report.

In the Hualapai Valley aquifer there are 100 wells. Measured in feet, the average net water level change shows a negative 5.41 feet per well.

There are 17 wells in the Detrital Valley aquifer and the average net water level changes shows a negative 4.22 feet per well.

Again folks, I'm doing averages here.

Now in the Sacramento Valley aquifer there are 91 wells and I found that the net water level change actually showed an increase of 2.73 feet per well. Yep, that is right, an increase in the average water level. How about that?? In a desert no less. A desert in a drought.

Math check... 100 + 17 + 91 = 208 right??

I could stop right here but the element of time had me intrigued to see what the averages might show over the varying lengths of time. The net water level changes (NWLC) for the wells originally recorded around 1964 (42 years) show an average loss in each well of 1.6 feet. The NWLC for the wells originally recorded around 1980 (26 years) show an average loss in each well of 0.8 feet. The NWLC for the wells originally recorded around 1996 (10 years) show an average loss in each well of 2.3 feet.

Now for the fun stuff, I'll be breaking the data down by year and by aquifer... this will be fun I promise.

I'll start with the Detrital Valley aquifer. It has the least amount of wells and there were only two time frames where original recording of water levels were done (three in each of the other aquifers).

There was one well that had an original recording from the 1964 era. That well has since increase its NWLC by 6.2 feet... an average annual increase of 0.148 feet a year. (Doing the math at home?? I divided the 6.2 figure by 42 years and I will use 42 years for all the of the 1964 era original water level recordings from here on out... 26 for the 1980 era water level recordings... and 10 for the 1996 era water level recordings). The other 16 wells showed an average drop in NWLC of 4.875 feet per well... an average decrease of 0.488 feet per well per year.

Still following?? Still two more aquifers to go.

Now we'll tackle the Sacramento Valley aquifer. There are 16 wells in that aquifer that recorded the original water level from the 1964 era. The average NWLC shows a decrease of 0.9 feet per well... an average decrease of 0.02 feet per year. There are 30 wells in this aquifer that first recorded water level in the 1980 era. The average NWLC for these wells shows an increase of 6.9 feet per well... an average increase of 0.265 feet per year. There are 45 wells in the aquifer that recorded water level in the 1995 era. The average NWLC for these wells shows an increase of 1.232 feet per well... an average increase of .123 feet per year.

One more to go... at a later time I may put together a table for easier viewing but don't have the time for that right now.

Last up is the Hualapai Valley aquifer. There are 11 wells in this aquifer that first recorded water level in the 1964 era. The average NWLC shows a decrease of 3.5 feet per well... an average decrease of 0.082 feet per year. There are 34 wells in the aquifer that first recorded water level in the 1980 era. The average NWLC shows a decrease of 7.6 feet per well... an average decrease of 0.294 per year. There are 55 wells in the aquifer that first recorded water level in the 1996 era. The average NWLC shows a decrease of 4.435 feet per well... an average decrease of 0.443 per year.

And there you go. Just the data and nothing but the data. Like I said earlier, I may put together a table that makes it easier to read the data that I broke out. Just don't have the time at the moment.

Draw you own conclusions and share them in the comments. Would love to see some input from the water worry warts as well. What does this data mean?? Your turn.

Post updated for data tables...

Data tables for applicable data used in this blog post.

Wells first recorded by era and subsequent NWLC averages
Era 1964
Total Number of Wells
28 64116
-1.6 -0.8-2.297
NWLC average per year

Wells located in aquifers and subsequent NWLC average
Aquifer Location
Hualapai Valley
Sacramento Valley
Detrital Valley
Total Number of Wells
100 9117
-5.41 +2.73-4.22

Wells broken down by aquifer and era with NWLC averages
Aquifer Location
Hualapai Valley
Sacramento Valley
Detrital Valley
1964 Era Wells
11 16
NWLC -3.5 -0.9
NWLC average per year
-0.082 -0.020+0.148

1980 Era Wells
NWLC average per year-0.294

1996 Era Wells
NWLC average per year-0.443

Saturday, August 29, 2009

What's up with water development??

I've decided to piggy back on my economic development posts and bring you information on what is happening in the world for water related issues. Water is a big deal in many places besides Kingman Arizona. So why not see how other communities might be dealing with not only the present, but the future water resources. Maybe we can pick up an idea or two along the way.

For these posts though, you are going to see mostly links. I'll want you to click on those links for yourself. Of course I'll copy a bit here and there from the links to wet your appetite for more information (yeah, pun intended a few words back there).

Let's go...

Santa Paula, Calif., Water Recycling Facility Cuts Power Consumption Costs
Investment in energy-saving technology will cut costs by up to 15%

August 21, 2009

PERC Water Corp.’s water recycling facility in Santa Paula, Calif., is estimated to save the city up to 15% in wastewater treatment power consumption costs.

This facility is the first of its kind to be built under California’s new government code Section 5956 that encourages private investment to solve public infrastructure needs. Construction of the facility began in July 2008 and will commence operation before Dec. 15, 2010. It will serve the city’s population of approximately 30,000 people.

While not exactly water related, the part I emphasized above is just another example of public/private partnerships as solutions for infrastructure needs. It is important to note though, it will be very difficult for the community to attract private investment to help our needs for future infrastructure if we are constantly ripping free enterprise and development around here. Just keep that in mind.

Marin County, Calif., Water Board OKs Desalination Plant
Water district believes desalination is the best way to handle projected population growth

August 20, 2009

Marin County, Calif.'s largest water utility recently voted to build a desalination plant that will convert about 5 million gal of seawater into drinking water, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The plant will serve approximately 190,000 people.

The board voted in favor of the plant 4-0, despite vocal opposition at the meeting, which was attended by about 200 people.

While environmental advocacy groups opposed the plant, the district contends desalination is the best way to satisfy projected population and economic growth.

"We're concerned about bringing supply and demand into balance," Hal Brown, president of the Marin County Board of Supervisors, said at the meeting.

Water managers across California, now in its third year of drought, are struggling to find new water supplies while figuring out how to encourage conservation.
Vocal opposition... heh.

California Develops Green Building Standards Code
Code calls for two-tiered improvement in efficiency above current standards

August 17, 2009

The code, which took effect on Aug. 1, encourages the design of buildings that reduce potable water use by 20%, establishing specific methods for controlling water use through plumbing fixtures and indoor and landscape water conservation. The code also calls for a two-tired improvement (15% and 30%) in energy efficiency in buildings above current standards, which are already the most stringent in the nation, according to the commission.

Word has it that a residential developer was trying to get approvals to build out a community right here in Mohave County that included much of what the California government is now requiring. Of course, there was vocal opposition to all of that. And while ultimately the vocal opposition did not prevail, they were able to slow down the approval process long enough for the residential real estate market to tank, long enough so that new residents are still using more water and more energy than what newer technology household products would. Shame.

And here I thought the vocal opposition was in favor of conserving water resources in Mohave County. Why the mixed messages?? (I know why and you probably do too)

Solar Modules Help Power Morristown, N.J., Wastewater Treatment Plant

Solar installation will provide about 40% of electricity needed to run the plant

August 14, 2009

Morristown Mayor Donald Cresitello, who championed the effort to install the system, reported that it will be green for the environment and green for Morristown’s taxpayers. “This project saves taxpayer money,” Cresitello said. “By reducing energy costs at the wastewater treatment facility, and bringing new revenue from sales of Solar Renewable Energy Certificates, the system will pay for itself within 10 years.”

Hey, it is sunny here most of the year. Just sayin'.

Northwest Valley Team Wins Arizona American Water’s “Project of the Year”
Filter that saves millions of gallons of water earns first place

August 10, 2009

Arizona American Water’s Northwest Valley team was given the Water Reuse Small Project of the Year award at the annual Arizona Water Reuse Conference in Flagstaff, Ariz. The award is for innovative use of the Big Bubba Water Filter. The operation’s team invented a way to use the water filter for internal industrial use, reducing water consumption and cutting water costs by more than 50% annually.

“I’m extremely proud of the team at the Northwest Valley Facility for coming up with a savvy way to both save water and cut costs,” said Paul Townsley, president of Arizona American Water. “Everyone knows that we must be mindful of the water we use here in the desert, and, thanks to this team, we will save an additional 12 million gallons a year.”

Too bad industry is such a threat to the vocal opposition's lifestyle around here or else we might see how new industry would use 'our' precious resources in a more mindful way compared to the local water worry warts are.

Siemens Awarded Ultrafiltration Membrane Project in Eastern China
Memcor system will provide high-quality drinking water for city of Wuxi

August 4, 2009

“This project demonstrates Siemens’ capabilities to provide solutions that meet the need of cost effective and reliable technologies in China,” said Henrik Alt, responsible for Siemens Water Technologies’ China business. “This project will make an important contribution to further improve drinking water quality for Wuxi’s citizens.”

I bet there comes a day when Siemens, or some other corporation like that (that takes profit), is on local governments speed dial to help us with needed water related solutions.

Bluewater Bio Intl. Installs Pilot Treatment Plant in Spain
HYBACS nutrient removal process and reuse capabilities attract investment

August 3, 2009

The pilot plant, now commissioning at a municipal site in Ávila, is expected to serve as a reference for the subsequent implementation of this system in other aqualia facilities. The HYBACS technology uses the naturally occurring bacteria bacillus to remove nitrogen, phosphorus and organic matter from a wide variety of wastewater streams to produce a high-quality, odorless water resource that can be reused in many applications such as agriculture and industry.

The reuse of water, especially from a source like an aquifer, is going to be a huge deal. It would be great if we had more neighbors here using water in the first place so that we could reuse the water multiple times, rather than once. But that won't happen until this area welcomes new opportunity and is willing to change the attitude. Growth will lead to the required solutions, not the other way around.

You will likely see another post like this in the coming weeks or months... or the next time I get thirsty.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Econ development efforts from across the country...

I just figured it was that time again for one of these posts. Funny what a quick Google search will reveal whenever I get the whim.

Before I go on, it is my understanding that on the next Kingman City Council agenda there will be some discussion about local economic development plans. Maybe that discussion will end up on a future Google search so that I can include it here at MOCO.

Let's begin...

Part of plan focuses on economic development
By Tina Alvey
Register-Herald Reporter

Published: August 23, 2009 11:35 pm

Greenbrier County’s proposed updated comprehensive plan is an ambitious document, outlining much more than the land use guidelines that comprise the bulk of its predecessors.

A major section of the plan focuses on economic development issues, ranging from business support services to infrastructure such as public water and sewer.

I'm sure if I tried hard enough I could crack some joke about General Plans, but I won't do that at this time. However, economic development plans trump General Plans every day of the week and twice on Thursday's.

I found these next parts the most interesting from this article...

Ellard does support at least one of the economic development strategies touted in the plan — establishing a business incubator in the industrial park at Greenbrier Valley Airport in Maxwelton.

Business incubator you say?? Tell me more.

Incubators are generally run by nonprofit organizations in partnership with local institutions of higher education.

A report issued by the Appalachian Regional Commission found that “Appalachian business incubators ... have proven successful at helping communities start and grow their own businesses.”

According to that report, over the years some 1,300 businesses and 24,500 new jobs have sprung from 85 incubators.

That is called production.

Might not be a bad idea to check these business incubators out a bit. And while this area doesn't seem to have a business incubator, there are other options...

While it doesn’t have an incubator, the GVEDC encourages entrepreneurs to invest in the tri-county area (Greenbrier, Monroe and Pocahontas) through a revolving low-interest loan program.

“It all started with $300,000 in grant money we secured,” Ellard stated. “We charge (loan recipients) 1 to 2 percent over prime, and all of the loans are for less than $50,000.”

Among the loan recipients are a water business in Monroe County that now has a national contract with Kroger, a small factory in Greenbrier County that Ellard says has the potential to eventually employ up to 1,000 people and another small factory in Peterstown that has grown to employ 50 and has a contract with home improvement giant Lowe’s to supply manmade rock.

Wow... a small loan made to a local company could net a return of perhaps a 1,000 jobs. Given the fact that it is a water related business is just delicious irony. Imagine... creating opportunity on rocks and water. I love it.

Household-name company would be big boost
Monday, August 24, 2009

If state lawmakers and top economic development officials can pull it off, the ailing South Carolina economy could soon get a much-needed business boost.

Sen. Larry Grooms, R-Bonneau, said a new business venture being pursued "would be one of the port's largest customers from day one" and, statewide, "larger than the economic benefits we receive from BMW."

Grooms said the company, which he called a household name, would bring warehousing, distribution centers and light manufacturing to the emerging industrial real estate hub, which is expected to generate 17,500 jobs for the state within the next 15 years.

This company, he said, could become the anchor tenant to kick-start that build-out.

"It's a matter of getting them built and getting our first anchor tenant," Grooms said.

The stuff I emphasized above... kinda sounds familiar to some degree.

And see below...

The face behind Project Neptune, while contributing fewer than 200 jobs, could serve as the push to bring other businesses to the area.


Talking locally about the biofuel and solar plants... I've seen some folks say that the reports of job numbers are low and local folks couldn't even qualify (which is a rather low class jackass blanket statement to make) to work at the proposed plants. My beef is the attitude that "the plant would only create 20 jobs" as in that is the only labor impact that would ever be felt.

Like the above statement that I emphasized... the prospect of 'some' jobs will likely lead to other opportunity for 'more' jobs. It is a constant theme I see in all of my economic development posts that I share on MOCO. If that notion is believed elsewhere, why isn't it believed here??

Dang... I guess that I wish I was more 'enlightened' like the water worry warts and the rest of the anti-growth movement around these here parts.


Stay with me on this next one, plenty of good stuff...

City and Cornerstone: partners for economic development
by Max Marbut
Staff Writer

It’s never about anything but a team approach. We harness all the energy and positive aspects of our private sector and consolidated government. It’s what allows us to compete and win.”

That’s how Jacksonville Economic Development Commission Executive Director Ron Barton described the system that was created more than 12 years ago to streamline and strengthen the City’s economic development strategy. The idea was to consolidate about a dozen different City departments and programs into a single entity with a well-defined mission: to join forces with the business community and achieve results that would be unattainable without a coordinated effort.

The JEDC’s mandated responsibilities include Downtown development and redevelopment, the promotion of Jacksonville’s sports and entertainment and film and television production economies and the development of the 6,000-acre Cecil Commerce Center.

Sounds an awful lot like a public-private partnership to me.

Jerry Mallot, president of Cornerstone, the economic development arm of the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce, said of the public-private partnership: “What makes it work so well is the defined roles and relationship. We complement each other well. We do the marketing and research and find the deals then JEDC puts the deal together that works for the client.”

Yep... PPP... works well everywhere other than in Kingman apparently. I pray for the day of 'enlightenment' to visit me so I might know why exactly.

The part of the JEDC’s mission that makes most of the headlines involves what Barton called “business recruitment incentive negotiation.” That process involves using tax credit programs approved by the State Legislature to attract companies that are starting up or expanding and convincing them to set up shop at a Jacksonville address. A common incentive is only used to close agreements with what’s designated as a “Qualified Target Industry” (QTI). The biggest requirement for QTI status is the company must promise to create jobs that pay more than the state average salary, an economic advantage that improves Jacksonville’s per capita income. That usually also means capital investment on the company’s part, another source of municipal revenue. Jacksonville provides only 20 percent of the tax credit with the state picking up the balance and incentives are credits for verified performance as opposed to advance payments or credits.

Because of my lack of 'enlightenment' I'm also having a hard time grasping why it is that tax incentives work to attract business opportunity and jobs work pretty much everywhere other than in the Kingman area. Perhaps someone more 'enlightened' will be nice enough to explain why in the comments.

The programs JEDC does with Cornerstone pay for themselves with economic development. We generate more ad valorem tax revenue than we use in incentives,” said Barton. “All of our programs are tax credits which could be described as discounts on taxes. By definition that’s new money so we’re creating more wealth. The projects we do also create jobs with disposable income. That creates consumers which in turn supports small businesses.”

In terms of the philosophy of using tax incentives to lure new business to Jacksonville, both economic development executives said it comes with the territory.

Oh, it comes with the territory... unless you live in the Kingman area territory. But the story for everywhere else is consistent and similar. Generation of more tax revenue than the cost of the tax incentive... new money is attracted to the area which in turns creates more wealth (and further tax revenues)... job creation (self explanatory)... and therefore new consumers are created which offers local small businesses with more opportunity (and again, more tax revenues).

But again... I am not 'enlightened' so don't just take my word for it.

“Make no mistake, Jacksonville competes every day with other cities in other states. Incentives are part of the game,” said Barton.

“The programs were put in place because we have to be able to compete. It would be great if no states offered tax incentives but that’s not the way it is,” added Mallot. “The State’s tax incentives level the playing field and allow us to be in the game. The projects we’ve been able to do have produced a significant dividend in terms of jobs and capital investment. Developing that tax base has been a terrific boost for the City’s revenues.”

Isn't that terrific??

Remaining competitive while the economy pulls out of the recent recession is also part of the JEDC’s and Cornerstone’s combined mission, said Barton.

In an economic crisis, the strategy shouldn’t be to get out of the economic development business. We think the strategy should be to redouble our efforts and stay in the winning mode,” he said.

Money quote right there.

This next one will zip right by...

Region XII receives grant for economic development planning

Published: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 2:01 PM CDT

Region XII Council of Governments in Carroll will receive a $64,840 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration.

The grant will be used to help establish an economic development planning framework, process and strategy that supports private capital investment and job creation in the region, which is comprised of Audubon, Carroll, Crawford, Greene, Guthrie and Sac counties.

The Economic Development Administration serves as a venture capital resource to meet the economic development needs of distressed communities throughout the United States through the promotion of innovation and competitiveness and preparing regions for growth and success in the global economy.

Can anyone get these EDA folks a bus ticket to Kingman??

Okay, last one for now. A little story about a newly hired economic developer (in some other location not as 'enlightened' as Kingman)...

Williams named as Economic Development Director

Aug 26, 2009 - 13:18:42 CDT

The city of Farmington is primed and ready for renewed growth in the areas of manufacturing and retail, and all indications are there will be a amply-qualified captain at the helm.

The official announcement came this week as to the hiring of a new economic development director. Walter D. Williams will begin his new duties Sept. 1. The lifetime business leader comes to Farmington from Cleveland, Ohio.

Well compared to Farmington (Iowa), at least Kingman is primed. And I'm pretty sure we are ready. Now all we have to do is get our elected leaders to move towards being able. Support the leaders that will make it so.

The new economic development director will provide business development services to privately-owned businesses considering expansion or other investments in Farmington, as well as work to attract new businesses from outside the area. His office will be in the new Farmington Regional Airport terminal building in the industrial park. The building was designed with an economic development director office in place — putting him in close proximity to both the regional airport and industrial park.

In other words... this gentleman was not hired to hide in a shell I take it.

As for his new duties with Farmington, which begin Sept. 1, Williams made it clear that he will be working to further the initiatives of the mayor, council and administration.

“It’s not my vision,” Williams said, further explaining that he will take the goals of the city leadership and work to make them a reality. “I just have certain skills that will be useful going from Point A to Point B.”

And that is just it... what are the initiatives of the Mayor, Council, and administration here in Kingman?? I mean, I think I know as I've heard the very sort of promising things said in recent times by the Mayor, a few council members, and I always assume that the city administration is open to the idea of growth and expansion. Now let's see some action. This community is ready to support the action. No doubt about it. Support will be there for those leaders that offer action.

“The leadership is phenomenal,” Williams added. “They have pride in what they do and their approach. I want to continue that. (From what I’ve seen) you have everyone reading from the same page. When everyone sings from the same sheet music it makes it that much easier.”

The economic professional said some of the positive things about Farmington’s potential for growth are the availability of land on which to locate new industry and businesses, the close proximity to an interstate, and the infrastructure already in place to accompany development.

Some key words emphasized. I've seen them before and actually right here in Kingman.

I’d just like to be part of that growth,” he adds.

Reading stuff like this makes me a believer that 'growth' is a good word when we are talking about the community and economic development. Now I realize that still may leave me less than 'enlightened'... but I'll take my chances.

Until next time I get the whim to search some economic activity.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

And now for something a little different...

Try this one on for size... a blog post about real estate. Yeah, I know it has been awhilz... but you know that I'll find a way to make this about the local area politics somehow.

Housing Predictor has written a piece that I found at this site. I'll copy some bits below and add a dash or two of opinion...

Top 10 US Real Estate Markets For 2009
Published on: Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Written by: Housing Predictor

The top ten US real estate markets for 2009 are not large metropolitan areas, but rather small communities with strong prospects for growth. The following list of high potential housing markets may not appreciate in the short term, but have the highest likelihood of long term appreciation. See the top ten list put together by Housing Predictor for what may be the best real estate markets to invest in for 2009.

I remember when Kingman was a small community with strong prospects for growth, don't you?? (I told you above that I'd make this post about the local area)

The hottest buyers housing markets are places you may find comfort in the worst housing crash since at least the Great Depression. The top 10 buyers markets listed by Housing Predictor at mid-year are markets that aren't necessarily big arts and entertainment centers, mostly found in smaller communities.

Amarillo, Texas takes the first position as the nation's top buyers market in 2009 with the highest likelihood of housing inflation over the next few years. Austin, Texas and Tucson, Arizona are the largest metro areas to be named to the list possessing the highest probability of growing through the recessionary economy over the next few years. As a high-tech hub, Austin will have what it takes to not only sustain the downturn but see home values inflate.

Wait a dog-gone stinkin' minute here. You mean to tell me that it is possible to have local economic growth even in an overall poor national recessionary period like we find ourselves in right now?? (please recognize the sarcasm in my question above)

All 10 markets hold the promise of prosperity in the near future. In the current economic environment there are few areas of the country that will see appreciation this year. The markets named here represent cities that are the most likely to experience housing inflation over the next few years, despite the downward economy and are the best places forecast to buy real estate to make a profit.

Sadly, I don't think Kingman will make the list of areas that will see appreciation this year. But there is always next year, right??

The financial crisis dealt a severe blow to the national economy that will take many years to overcome. Unlike any other downturn in real estate since the Great Depression, markets have seen home values decline at record levels. Times have changed as a result, and real estate inflation will take years to return in most areas. Investing for the long term, considered to be 10 years or longer is the best protection for those who choose to take the risk.

Listed from highest forecast appreciation to lowest.

10 Hottest Buyers Markets:

1. Amarillo, TX
2. Sioux Falls, SD
3. Biloxi, MS
4. Logan, UT
5. Bismarck, ND
6. Bozeman, MT
7. Baton Rouge, LA
8. Austin, TX
9. Casper, WY
10. Tucson, AZ

I'm surprised not to see any mention of places in Colorado in that list. I've been hearing about good things, real estate related, in that state. Even more surprising is seeing Tucson on that list... after all Arizona is practically ground zero for the imploding real estate market by many accounts.

My real question is... why isn't Kingman on this list??

And now I'll let you answer.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Faster, please...

While all the water worry warts in Mohave County continue their tizzy, science marches on...

Posted: August 24, 2009

Nanotechnology speeds desalination

(Nanowerk News) A team of nanotechnology researchers from The Australian National University have discovered a way to remove salt from seawater using nanotubes made from boron and nitrogen atoms that will make the process up to five times faster.

With 25 percent of the world’s population currently affected by water shortages, researchers Dr Tamsyn Hilder, Dr Dan Gordon and group leader Professor Shin-Ho Chung from the Computational Biophysics Group at the Research School of Biology at ANU have come up with a way to eliminate all salt from seawater whilst maintaining high water flow rates.

I can just hear the water worry warts scream, "but it'll cost a trillion dollars".

With population growth and climate change limiting the world’s fresh water stores, desalination and demineralisation are fast becoming feasible solutions. However, there is an urgent need to make the process of desalination more effective and less costly than current methods. Nanotechnology-based water purification devices, such as those proposed by Hilder, Gordon and Chung, have the potential to transform the field of desalination.

“Boron nitride nanotubes can be thought of as a hollow cylindrical tube made up of boron and nitrogen atoms,” said Dr Hilder. “These nanotubes are incredibly small, with diameters less than one-billionth of a meter, or 10,000 times smaller than the thickness of a single strand of human hair.

“Current desalination methods force seawater through a filter using energies four times larger than necessary. Throughout the desalination process salt must be removed from one side of the filter to avoid the need to apply even larger energies.

“Using boron nitride nanotubes, and the same operating pressure as current desalination methods, we can achieve 100 percent salt rejection for concentrations twice that of seawater with water flowing four times faster, which means a much faster and more efficient desalination process.”

Faster and more efficient?? Imagine what the technology might look like when there is an actual threat to the aquifers in Mohave County.

Hilder, Gordon and Chung use computational tools to simulate the water and salt moving through the nanotube. They found that the boron nitride nanotubes not only eliminate salt but also allow water to flow through extraordinarily fast, comparable to biological water channels naturally found in the body.

“Our research also suggests the possibility of engineering simple nanotubes that mimic some of the functions of complex biological nanotubes or nanochannels,” said Professor Chung, and work is continuing to investigate these possibilities further. These devices, once successfully manufactured, may be used for antibiotics, ultra-sensitive detectors or anti-cancer drugs.

We already know that desalination works today. It is costly due to the energy requirements for the most part based on information I've read over the time I've been interested in the subject. It doesn't come as a shock that scientists are looking into new technologies to improve what already works, and the cost factor will be reduced as well as the productivity will increase.

In other words... solutions exist and will only get better sooner than later... it's just a matter of time.

Got Agenda??

Uh oh... my agenda has been revealed. Not really an 'uh oh' though... more like 'so what??' to be honest.

From the comments at this blog came this little nugget...

Posted: Monday, August 24, 2009
Article comment by: SoundsGoodToMe

Lets see, Dennis (should be Denise, my edit) doesn’t want the power plants because she is worried that they will lower the level of the aquifer to the point were it would be to expensive to drill a deeper well.

I know why Todd is all hot for these power plants to come in. Lets see (8) investment properties in a bad real-estate market equals NO SALE.

I'll proudly admit that my wife and I have some investment properties (the number 8 is not correct, but matters not).

To be fair here, I don't think that this 'SoundsGoodToMe' commenter is necessarily ripping the piss on me for owning property. He/she might be trying to make some kind of point about my agenda in this debate about the solar plants and probably growth in general.

No big deal really, in fact I'll let everyone in on my agenda.

I'd love to see the area in and around Kingman take advantage of the many assets it has to improve business and other opportunity prospects. I believe that private property rights must be protected to help promote the highest and best values of land (as there is more than one way to threaten the value of property). I value free enterprise and all that comes with it, including the freedom to fail as failure can become success if one learns from it.

I have lived in two western states all of my adult life, so far, and have always believed that out here in the west one could pursue their own self interests, wild west style -- but respecting the rule of applicable law. Often times self interests include the pursuit of profit and/or increased value of assets, but understand clearly that the 'whatever' market has the final say. I don't argue with the market (you've read my home sales reports over the years) yet I know that markets can be fickle... both for the good and especially the bad.

No doubt that I have been overtly interested in the local political scene for some time. I've had plenty said about me and my 'agenda' over the years. Some have said that I've been on the take from outside development interests, others have said that I'm ignorant and being used, and simply that I'm out to better my own self interests. Well... no, no, and you betcha. I mean, who doesn't want their assets to be worth more than they are today?? I see no honest hands going up. Who doesn't want a better opportunity for something that can lead to an improved, secure, financial situation. Again, no honest hands being raised... why am I not surprised??

I make no bones about it... my agenda is written all over this blog for over three years. I don't run from it and certainly not hiding in a shell from it till whatever storm may pass.

All along, I've kept the message simple and transparent. Protect private property rights, same goes for free enterprise, keep an eye on markets that I have an interest in (you don't find stock market tips or touts here) and share the information, cherish the freedoms that allows for the pursuit of interests and enjoyment, respect the community, and capitalize on assets.

And truth be told... I get along famously with many that share the same views. It just so happens that many in the same mold live in places like Arizona. Not exactly going out on a limb to say that most in this community are friendly with this agenda. The agenda is not mine exclusively, I didn't create it, improve upon it, and in no way am asking for any credit for anything related.

But I have watched these principles and values get challenged, mostly with scare tactic rhetoric, and have decided to answer back. As insignificant as this blog is to most here in Kingman, I use it for my contributions... however insignificant as they may be.

And at the end of the day, I'm cool with all of it... and I sleep rather well at night. What more could anyone ask for??

Oh and just to clarify for 'SoundsGoodToMe' from the comment... I'm not selling and in fact I had been more industrious and successful to this point... I'd be adding to the Tarson armada right here in jolly old Kingman. Better days ahead.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Story of NIMBYville, USA

There once was a small town on old Rt.66 in northern Arizona. This little town was filled with…well…a small, well-organized, vocal group of Nimbies (an acronym for not-in-my-back-yard). And as you would think, Nimbies are extremely adamant about not letting “their town” change, even when it comes to the point of trampling upon the private property rights and opportunities of their fellow citizens.

Strangely enough, NIMBYville had enormous amounts resources and infrastructure that any other small town in American would die to have. Just to name a few…..a transcontinental railroad, an interstate highway, an enormous airport and industrial complex, tens of thousands of acres of land, proximity to southern California/Las Vegas/Phoenix markets, great climate, and yes….LOTS OF WATER (which is critical in a desert). In fact, over 13 million acre feet of water.

So, how did these Nimbies successfully keep “their town” from changing over all these years? Great question! These Nimbies came fully equipped with an arsenal of excuses that they would throw at any effort to change “their town”. The Nimbies would simply open up their tool box every time significant change threatened them and start slinging mud in order to disguise their true reason (just being a NIMBY...which does not win too many objective political debates). Such handy-dandy tools included:

  • Water (that is always the biggest and first one). Works very well to scare all the citizens. Especially those in the county on wells.
  • Labeling the newcomers as crooks, scoundrels, and thieves.
  • Greedy (looking to loot “our resources”).
  • Not-to-be-trusted Outsiders
  • In favor of sustainable growth only (i.e. no more than 10 new homes and 1 new business a year).
  • Ah, last but not least…my person favorite…CORRUPT POLITICIANS that are on the take (even though they never have any proof of such corruption).

Sure, there are even a few other excuses in the NIMBY tool box, and each one used with such skill and artistry that the common folks of NIMBYville were always left with fear and distrust of just about everything.

Well one day, there came group of green power industry investors riding into NIMBYville. Not knowing the full history of NIMBYville, these investors assumed that they would be welcomed with open arms and great enthusiasm by this small community given the fact that these investors were offering:

  • Billions of dollars in construction (yes folks, that is a “B”).
  • Millions of dollars in direct community investment (yes folks, that is a “M”).
  • Millions of dollars in property tax revenue (yes folks, that is a “M”).
  • Thousands of construction jobs (yes folks, that is a “T”).
  • Hundreds of permanent jobs (yes folks, that is a “H”).
  • Plus many other direct and indirect jobs that will come to support the green power companies.

And for the cherry on top, NIMBYville has the opportunity to become known as epicenter, the hub, the #1 place for this new green power industry. Not just in Arizona, not just across the United States, but around the world! In fact at this point, there is no way to fully gage the long term value of this incredible opportunity.

Best yet, this proposed investment in NIMBYville was during one of the worst economic crises since the Great Depression. Most citizens were having trouble putting food on the table nevertheless keeping a roof over their heads.

In a shocking and horrifying end to this story, the green power investors were spit at and run out of town by the Nimbies using all the usual tactics listed above. Regardless of all these opportunities and difficult economic times, the Nimbies still refused to let “their town” change and develop. Why you ask? Good question! It turns out that that most Nimbies did not care about having a job, paying for a mortgage, or having enough money to buy food since these issues were not a factor in their lives. These Nimbies only financial concern was limiting any new government taxes or any other costs given their largely fixed retirement incomes (in addition to simply not wanting "their town" to change).

…I wish that the story above was just a work of fiction, but sadly, it is the truth. Besides the ending of the story. The good news is that the story about has yet to be fully played out. Yes, the investors are here with their billions. Yes, the opportunity for a better life and prosperity for Kingman is still here. But, we have a limited window to open the door to this green power industry and bring new hope and prosperity to our community .

On a positive note, I am seeing our elected officials start to take a strong stand against these Nimbies and provide leadership for the entire community. I urge all our citizens and business owners to organize and rally around our elected officials as critical decisions are at our door step. With strength and vision, we truly can welcome these green power industries, work towards a better future for all, and create a truly happy ending to this story.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Polls say...

As far as I can tell, nobody is doing any scientific polling regarding the local issues of the day. Over at the site readers are invited to take an online survey of whatever issue the Miner presents. Certainly an online poll is not to be confused with a real scientific poll, but for the most part I have felt (especially growth related issues) that the results of the poll speak to what the average citizen is feeling.

Because of the quotes by the Mayor that appear in this article, I thought I'd take a look back at some of the results of various polls that the Miner has run. I'm doing this to perhaps remind the other elected leaders what this community is thinking on important issues, and maybe the possibility that they will also speak out (for or against) the same issues. It is time to take sides on the future as well as the present. We need to know who to support or defeat in the next election cycle. It isn't too early to think about it.

First, because I've already admitted that the polls aren't scientific -- I still want to validate them to some degree. So the first one I copy and paste will be the poll that was asking who the Kingman voter will choose for the two remaining city council spots before the general election.


Which two candidates would you vote for in the May 20th City Council election?

60 (14%) Pennington/Schritter
36 (9%) Pennington/Walker
69 (16%) Pennington/Young
60 (14%) Schritter/Walker
60 (14%) Schritter/Young
137 (33%) Walker/Young

This was the only poll that asked for an outcome, and those that responded to this poll turned out to be correct as Keith Walker and Carole Young were indeed elected by the voters to take the remaining seats in the last election.

It is the best I can do to lend some viability of the survey that appears. You see where I'm going.

So the results of this next poll were actually posted before the last general election and the subject was those scurrilous 'impact fees'.


Kingman impact fees raise the cost of new homes an average of $2,900 and more than $26,000 for a 5,000-square-foot commercial building, with the fees earmarked to pay for city infrastructure needs. Do you support the impact fees?

167 (36%) Yes
266 (58%) No
29 (6%) Not sure

Pretty clear that those that responded to this survey are against the impact fees. And now some 15 months later we haven't seen this very important issue dealt with by the elected leaders. Unless of course you count the time the council raised the cost of the fees.

I posted this next one before...


Do you think RAID (Residents Against Irresponsible Development) is helping Kingman, or hurting it?

161 (27%) Helping
435 (73%) Hurting readers overwhelmingly show their disapproval of the political action group made up of local citizens. Our elected leaders should remember this poll looking ahead.

Posted this next one before here at MOCO...


Would you object if your closest neighbor constructed a wind turbine in his/her yard?

116 (14%) Yes
742 (86%) No readers favor private property rights... well that is what I take from these results. Your mileage may vary.


Do you plan to use the recycling trailers the city is going to buy with its recently awarded grant?

494 (79%) Yes
133 (21%) No

I'll share something anecdotal on this one. I play softball in the summer leagues at Centennial Park. If my game is on either field six or seven I park near the recycle bins located at the park. Almost without fail, each time I park there I see somebody dropping off stuff in the bins. Again, anecdotal but in a way does lead to some validity to the results of the reader poll.


Do you think lowering impact fees to build in the city will bring more business to Kingman?

380 (62%) Yes
233 (38%) No

Impact fees again. Hey... elected leaders... are you listening?? Bringing more business to Kingman will have a better result on sales tax receipts than trying to guilt people into 'Shop Local!' will. Having more places to 'Shop Local!' would be a good thing.


Do you agree with the developer's decision to drop the convenience store from the Tuscany Village rezone plan?

212 (30%) Yes
488 (70%) No

Another hall of shame moment in the weird political history of Kingman, thanks to the NIMBY's. This is the one that had the developer claiming that he would never spend another dollar in Kingman. It is no wonder that Kingman is viewed as an unfriendly community towards business. It is clear that our Mayor, based on his quote in the article linked above, understands this and is actively and publicly doing his best to change the perception. The other six council members need to help. No excuses.

Speaking of the Mayor, he was the subject of this next poll...


Do you think Kingman Mayor John Salem has done a good job his first year in office?

274 (60%) Yes
186 (40%) No

I bet that number goes up if run again today in light of his comments. He gets it, now it is on the others to do the same.


If you could create anything in Kingman, what would you choose?

70 (7%) Art/Culture center
107 (10%) Roller rink
211 (20%) Water park
286 (28%) Shopping mall
40 (4%) Movieplex
45 (4%) Civic center
279 (27%) Other

62% of those that answered selected something that would lead to more jobs, opportunity, and tax revenues. Eleven percent chose something that would cost the city tax revenues up front in some form or another.


How often do you shop in downtown Kingman?

32 (4%) Daily
77 (9%) Weekly
66 (7%) Twice or more a month
145 (16%) Once a month
586 (64%) Never

Not as many people have concerns about the downtown area. Not for commerce anyway. Probably not all that convenient of a location... certainly not as convenient as something near Interstate 40.

While I agree that it would be great for Kingman if the downtown area was improved in some development sorta way, I seriously doubt that downtown should be the prime target for expensive improvement at this time. At best it should be a side project... at least until there is enough other positive growth that would allow for the funding needed for real improvements. readers overwhelmingly do not head downtown for much so the needs just aren't there, therefore downtown should not be at the top of the list of things to accomplish. Cross off some of the other things first.



Would you be willing to pay a slightly higher sales tax at a new retail center, as opposed to an increase in the citywide sales tax?

109 (17%) Yes
85 (13%) Yes, but only if the new businesses sell items that can't be purchased elsewhere in town
299 (45%) No
166 (25%) Maybe, but I would want more information on it

Nearly half the people responded no. Half the people that responded yes want certain conditions placed a new retail center. Conditions that would likely help whatever new venture that may have been thinking about Kingman, to look somewhere else beyond this community.

Now for the last poll I'll share, it just closed today and replaced with a poll asking to choose who makes the best hamburger in Kingman. This one covers the biofuel plant, see for yourself the results you see for yourselfers...


Do you support the biodiesel plant as proposed?

742 (72%) Yes
289 (28%) No

I will reiterate that these polls are not scientific so they may not amount to even a hill of beans, but on the other hand it my opinion that the folks who are taking part in these polls reflect much of how this community feels on the subjects featured in them.

Also, MOCO Real is likely the only online source with fresh content that is actively supporting growth here in the Kingman area of Mohave County. While I love this little hobby of mine, I know that MOCO is not nearly as popular of a stop that the site is. I bet I get less than a single digit percentage point of the visits that the Miner gets. Even Loyd has a larger readership, and most likely the head water worry wart does too with her new blog. So it is not like MOCO is having a huge impact on public perception. MOCO is NOT a king-maker.

Not once has my email box been delivered a notice that there is a such and such poll on the site so make sure you vote this way or that way. Also, if I've ever pointed to a poll and asked readers here to participate it was well after the poll was established and it was obvious that what I might have said in a MOCO blog post made zero impact on the results. I've yet to see any call to action regarding these polls... yet the results speak for themselves.

As I said throughout this post, I hope that our elected representatives in all levels of local government are at least considering the results of the polls. If anything, at least enough to question the other side of the arguments just a little more. There is a silent majority here in Kingman, but it is not who many seem to think it is and it is time to represent them (many need jobs). Turn that sign around at the city complex so it reads... "Kingman -- Open for Business"... and don't flip it back around again.

Friday, August 21, 2009

More Kingman Daily Loyd crap...

Why?? Just because (it is a popular answer from the water worry warts these days). Here is the latest from the comments on his blog...

Posted: Thursday, August 20, 2009
Article comment by: Loyd

As a 5yr old kid I used to go out in the chicken yard and watch the roosters strut around after they had just been amorous with the girls. They do this cocky strut thing with their neck feathers all fluffed up making a bunch of deep-throated clucking sounds.

There is comedy gold to be had right here after this paragraph. No, seriously, there is... but I'm going to leave it be.

These label pinners are doing precisely the same thing, less the neck feathers of course, since the county P&Z did their customary trashing of the general plan Wednesday. The pinners act as if they have just planted a seed and the birth of new industrial plants is now virtually assured.

First, the wrote something about me being all ego-centric and all... as in I shouldn't suppose that at least some parts of his latest blog post really do not have anything to do with me whatsoever. Well, since I coined the label pinning term 'water worry warts' (comes up third in a Google search that leads you to this post from July 2nd of this year)... I sorta took some umbrage to his blog post and responded, to which I was lectured by the KDLoyd. My bad, dude.

Now since in fact I am a so called 'label pinner' allow me to show everyone how I responded to the news of the P&Z commission voting in favor of two agenda items from this post...

I was there this morning for the public input on item number 13A. I was there last week as well and I must commend everyone that spoke either for or against the issue. While I am biased on this issue (in the 'for' category), I think both sides did well in front of the commission.

Sadly, I guess, I think the roosters got one on me here. As you can see, I'm clearly not doing the chicken dance. I've never called for silence from the other side of this issue. In fact I wanted to hear them out and in some ways I believe they made some significant points.

The pro-growth crowd has a long way to go for real a footing on important issues. We are simply not nearly engaged or organized enough to have any confidence that the elected leaders will side with us on what we believe are important issues (private property rights, supporting free enterprise, common sense, etc.)... not yet anyway.

Back to the KDLoyd stuff...

I will leave my hat in the ring with the silent majority here in Kingman. They are not vocal or boisterous, but they can be a formidable force in the voting booth. I think they have a very good cumulative memory for the performance along the way of those they entrust with the helm of our local governments. When the ship goes off course, they will right it -- of that you can be sure.

Silent majority?? I didn't see the fair KDLoyd at either P&Z meeting so I'll inform him that there was a majority there and they weren't silent. The meeting dragged on for over a week, many hours worth of public input was delivered by the majority and they did not use silence as a tactic.

Also, the KDLoyd has proudly expressed his support for the district 1 Mohave County Supervisor, Gary Watson, at times. Says he even helped Mr. Watson gain victory in the election. This is the same Gary Watson that is likely to cast his vote also in approval for the same agenda items covered at the P&Z meetings... I base that on this article from the's website. I'll share a clip from that article below...

The whole issue revolves around private property rights, he said. It's not fair to say no to these businesses who want to invest in the county. They have as much right to develop their property as anyone else in the county, he said.

When asked why the county couldn't use the County Planning and Zoning ordinances to show that a project wasn't a fit for a particular area. Watson countered with a question of his own: how can the county tell one property owner that they can't rezone their property to make a profit and then turn around and let another rezone their property?

"We have to be fair to all," he said.

Again... Mr. Watson is Loyd's guy.

Leave your hat in the ring there Loyd... you see I'm ready to throw my hat down into the rink once the hat trick for approvals on the biofuel plant and the two solar plants are complete.

Back to the KDLoyd stuff for one final bit...

The only worry is that a lot of damage can be done which, in some cases, may not be reversible. I have not seen a time in over 60 years here where this area has been under such a great risk.

Basically when all else fails in trying to make a point... settle on scare tactics. Oh noez!! The sky is falling!! There won't be any water in the next millennium!! That new plant thingy will blow up!! More people might live in my neighborhood!!

"Sooner than later"

I get a kick watching the water worry warts move the goalposts in the ongoing debate about water resources. It is obvious that they are painting themselves in a corner.

The new buzz worthy terms they are using include.... "the water will run out sooner than later"... and... "it is only a matter of time".

The other thing you will see, if you haven't already, is that they believe they are 'enlightened'... and well if you disagree with them you obviously are something far less than enlightened.

One other talking point, if you favor industry coming to Mohave County you are only doing so to increase your wealth. Think about that one for a second... then of course enjoy the laugh.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

News Update re: proposed biofuels plant in Kingman (updated)

Earlier today the Mohave County Planning and Zoning Commission approved item 13A on the agenda; a minor amendment to the Mohave County general plan.

Right now, I guess, the meeting continues to hear item number 13B; a zoning use permit for the same project.

I was there this morning for the public input on item number 13A. I was there last week as well and I must commend everyone that spoke either for or against the issue. While I am biased on this issue (in the 'for' category), I think both sides did well in front of the commission.

While I was not able to stay for this afternoons proceedings, maybe someone that is there will provide an update on the commission's findings when the meeting is over. Please comment below, or if you have recently joined the writing staff here at MOCO -- blog about it in a new post.

A good day for property rights in Mohave County and Arizona today. More to come.


County P&Z also approved the other item on the agenda yesterday. Here is more on what took place yesterday from the site. Please be sure to read the comments. Good stuff.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Water News Flash!

Todd and I have been asking a very important questions lately since the Water Worry Warts (WWWs) are starting up their drum beat again. Simply put, "When will the water run out?" Not how much water is there, or how much water is being used, or how quickly the water table maybe falling or rising. Just a simply question. When will it run out?

After doing about 10 seconds of intense Google searching, I came across GE's web site:

After another 10 seconds of reading, I finally found the answer to the question - NEVER. The water will never run out.

For those of you that might be unaware, 2/3 of our Earth is covered with well....WATER! Isn't that just great. However, it also turns out that 97% of this water is ocean water / salt water.

The very smart folks at GE are coming out with new desalination plants that can help us along. Here is a quick overview:

Seawater Desalination
Oceans make up 97% of the world’s supply of water. Desalination using seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) membrane technology has become a viable option for the development of new regional water supplies.

GE Water & Process Technologies is the world leader in the supply of reliable seawater SWRO membrane desalination systems. GE's desalination projects range in size from small 2,000 cubic meter/day (370 gpm) plants -- providing potable water to hotels and resort complexes -- all the way up to projects like the 200,000 cubic meter/day (53 MGD) Hamma Desalination Plant, the largest of its kind in Africa. Hamma supplies desperately-needed drinking water to over 20% of the population of Algeria’s capital city.

So, you mean to tell me that a poor African nation can supply 20% of its drinking water with one of these systems? YEP! I guess there is hope after all!

Biofuel plant county meeting, part II

A friendly reminder that part two of the county P&Z meeting will be held tomorrow starting at 10:00am at the county building... subject matter is on the biofuels plant. Come on down and support private property rights, lend your voice to the discussion. If you are having difficulty remembering what transpired last week, here is an article given to me by Dave Hawkins that will appear in The Standard later this week.

Pro Growth Swell

Energy and expression in support of growth and development was clearly more evident at an August 12 meeting during which the Mohave County Planning and Zoning Commission tabled action on requests related to a biodiesel facility proposed about 20 miles north of Kingman.

Voices of opposition in recent months have dominated public hearings and meetings regarding billion-dollar-plus solar power projects and the $20-million dollar biodiesel plant that Sun West Biofuels LLC wants to build on a 15 1/2-acre site just outside the Route 66 community of Valle Vista. Mayor John Salem, City Council member Robin Gordon and a number of other Kingman area residents pushed a different point view, telling the County Commission that employment and other economic benefits must be weighed in the debate.

``I realize that there's only about 20 jobs that may come from this (biodiesel plant) but the reality is, as you all know, is this is just really the tip of the spear of an enormous amount of green development that's going to happen here in Mohave County," Ken Herskind told the Commission. ``We have an opportunity here to either open our door for business and opportunity for our citizens or to slam it shut. There's billions of dollars of development literally on our doorstep."

Justin Chambers said he's also tired of the anti-development attitude.

``I come to these meetings and time and time again I see the same people opposing anything that will bring growth to town," Chambers said. ``People my age have families to support and it's not fair what you guys are doing to us here. We don't have pensions and social security to rely on."

Cherish Sammeli added that young adults are leaving the area in pursuit of employment.

``My age demographic is slowly disappearing in this community," Sameli said. ``There are a lack of jobs, people are forced to relocate and there are not enough job opportunities available to choose from."

A number of Valle Vista residents hammered home their point that they are not opposed to growth or development and have no issue with biodiesel production. They said they mostly oppose the proposed location of the facility.

They said they were concerned about dangerous chemicals that would be used in the operation and argued the plant should be built at either the Kingman Airport Industrial Park or somewhere in the I-40 corridor in the Yucca area.

``The people who are for this project aren't going to live anywhere near this," one Valle Vista woman said. ``The ones who really care about their neighborhood in Valle Vista don't want the project because of the possibility of fire and the possibility of explosion."

Project Manager Rick Neal reiterated his position that the biodiesel plant will be safe, green and clean.

``There will be no hazardous waste of any kind. We will use no water in our production," Neal said. ``This is a closed loop system. We will be emitting no pollutants or smell into the atmosphere."

Several Valle Vista residents complained they moved into a rural setting to gain distance from industry and didn't want such businesses encroaching upon them. 50-year Kingman resident Shay Givans argued that Neal has property rights as well, and should be free to develop his land provided he's in compliance with all rules and regulations.

Richard Basinger, attorney for the Valle Vista Property Owners Association, countered that Neal currently enjoys no property right beyond the agricultural designation afforded under the general plan. Basinger urged Commission rejection of the request to amend the general plan to allow the biodiesel plant under a heavy manufacturing designation.

Other plant opponents, with support from Commission members Bill Abbott and Carl Flusche, expressed worry that the requested general plan amendment could open the floodgates for less desirable heavy industries.

``If you allow this, it's going to get a foothold and it will continue and the footprint will get a lot larger," agreed Frank Lee.

Bob Taylor, a civil division deputy county attorney, clarified that land use designations under a plan amendment do not change underlying zoning. Other heavy industrial projects, he said, would require additional zone changes or Zoning Use Permits (ZUP) for development and operation.

Commission and county staff members provided some comment but statements from 30 citizens dominated the 90-minute long public hearing. The Commission did not vote on the plan amendment or the ZUP sought for the biodiesel facility.

The matters will be considered during a special August 19 meeting of the Commission.

Anti-growthers think YOU are stupid...

This bit comes from the conversation thread found at the Kingman Daily Loyd's blog article that I ripped to shreds last week. The conversation if moving all over the place, but there are some good nuggets there. I'm seeing so many more supportive comments at the website, very good news.

But there I go off on a tangent after the title to this blog. Back to it.

Here is a comment left by an obvious NIMBY/water worry wart/anti-growther...

Posted: Monday, August 17, 2009
Article comment by: VAL

@Todd and Buck Tooth

I challenge both of you to find 20 people in Kingman who are QUALIFIED to work in a biofuels plant (other than as janitor). Get real.

Pretty much sums it up. The anti-growthers think that if you live in Kingman, you are unqualified to get a job (beyond being a janitor). You really gonna stand there and take that??

Monday, August 17, 2009

More property rights travesty...

The following bits and pieces that I'm cutting from this opinion piece in many ways mirror what has and what could be happening here in the Kingman area in regards to development and property rights. Without further delay I jump right into this one...

Arizona property owners need protection
By Nick Dranias
Special to the Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 08.10.2009

Tucson developer Mike Goodman did everything right. But that didn't stop Tucson bureaucrats from pulling the rug out from underneath him and his construction project.

He bought land from the city, fully disclosed his plans to develop student housing to city officials, secured building permits and began building student housing in accordance with his approved permits and plans.

So far so good...

But when community groups objected to mini-dorms being built within walking distance to the University of Arizona because they said it would negatively impact the neighborhood, Tucson's zoning administrator revoked his building permits.

City officials then tried to force Goodman through a newly invented and more complicated project approval process, all the while refusing to allow him to protect his unfinished construction.

And boom goes the dynamite. Could almost be an opinion piece about attempts for development by landowners right here in Kingman over the last few years. I'm not saying that everything here in Kingman went down in the exact same fashion, but the fundamentals are certainly there.

A developer with less courage probably would have considered the odds too heavily stacked against him and just given up. Instead, Goodman chose to fight. He ultimately received a court ruling that found "no valid legal basis for the Zoning Administrator's revocation of Goodman's permits."

I'm pleased for Mr. Goodman but as you will see...

But the damage had been done. Goodman's existing construction—foundation, framing, mechanical and electrical systems—had been exposed to the elements for nearly two years. Vandals had left their scars on the project, too. Extensive repairs had to be made. Goodman incurred attorneys' fees in excess of $100,000 and lost more than $500,000 in rental income.

It is this sort of stuff that has captured my interest. It certainly isn't an effort to defeat people of advanced years. Like I've said before, property rights do not discriminate against anyone... race, creed, or age.

Just a bit more from this opinion piece...

One of those rights is the right to use and enjoy your property without micromanagement from city officials. No one denies that regulations protecting public health and safety are important, but when regulations are put in place simply to indulge the whims of special interests it violates private property rights.

Local governments must be restrained from creating rules and regulations aimed at keeping people like Mike Goodman from using their property in ways they have a legal right to do.

Right now in Mohave County we have our special interest groups lobbying the local governments to limit private property rights (the NIMBY's and the water worry warts).

The author of the opinion piece is the director of constitutional studies at the Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute, a conservative advocacy organization. You will find a link on this web page from the Goldwater Institute that takes you to a long report in PDF form titled A New Charter for American Cities: 10 Rights to Restrain Government and Protect Freedom. It is a heck of a read, if you have the time. Below is a bit that is found on page 29 of that report.

Replace Zoning with Privately Enforced Restrictive Covenants

The unvarnished truth is that just about any zoning law functions as a vehicle for politics to dominate property rights. This is because the primary criteria for zoning decisions typically boil down to: “How many people favor and how many oppose? Who supports the zoning of the site and who objects to it?” As a result,“when the final vote comes, most if not all legislators will vote for reasons that have no relationship to maximizing production, satisfying consumer demand, maintaining property rights and values or planning soundly.” Not surprisingly, studies of Philadelphia, Lexington, Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles have shown “control of property through zoning is more chaotic than it is orderly.”

It tends to get chaotic when one group demands the rights to another persons property for nothing in regards to a fair exchange. It has been happening right here in Kingman and the damage has been done. Hopefully the damage can be 'undone', but it won't be unless more voices start demanded more respect for property rights we are entitled to by law.