Wednesday, January 08, 2014
- Around April 1, SWEPCO notified more than a thousand landowners that their properties are traversed by at least one of six possible routes for a 345 kV transmission line the utility will construct if the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC) approves the investor-owned utility's plan.
- On April 7, a small group of people came together to form Save the Ozarks (STO), a citizens’ organization that opposes SWEPCO’s entire plan, including all six routes under consideration for the transmission line.
- After vetting numerous lawyers, STO hired attorney Richard Mays to file a petition with APSC seeking intervenor status for STO.
- STO’s first expert witness, Dr. Hyde Merrill, a transmission line planner, was hired.
- Two public meetings -- one each at The Space and the Auditorium -- held with 100-150 concerned citizens attending to discuss SWEPCO's plan and Save the Ozarks' commitment to opposing the entire plan.
- Website designed, Facebook page launched, mailing list initiated, and fundraising begun.
- On April 30, STO petition to intervene in the APSC proceeding for SWEPCO’s proposed plan was submitted to the APSC with a list of 34 participants.
- On May 3, STO submitted a supplemental list of participants in STO’s petition to intervene.
- After vetting a number of experts in karst hydrogeology, STO hired Tom Aley to serve as expert witness.
- On May 21, STO’s petition to intervene was granted with certain limitations.
- On May 26, STO submitted a reply to APSC staff's response to STO’s petition to intervene.
- On May 30, STO filed a motion for clarification for clarification on the limits placed on STO’s participation
- Candlelight vigil held in Basin Park
- Rally held at the Pied Piper
- STO volunteers staffed table at White Street Walk
- Mick Harrison agreed to serve as STO lead counsel with Gregory Ferguson as co-counsel and Greenfire Consulting as paralegal support, and Richard Mays withdrew.
- STO hired Richard Smardon as expert witness in visual impacts assessment
- On June 13, the APSC Administrative Law Judge responded to STO’s reply and motion for clarification with an order that effectively allowed STO full participation.
- On June 28, STO submitted direct testimony by Hyde Merrill, Tom Aley, Richard Smardon, Pat Costner, Doug Stowe, Mike Bishop, James DeVito, Gerri Hamby, Errol Severe, Richard Quick, David Dempsey and Susan Storch.
- STO volunteers staffed table at Xterra Bike Race
- STO won blue ribbon as best walking entry in 4th of July Parade.
- Hundreds of people spoke in opposition to SWEPCO’s transmission line at APSC’s Public Hearings in Eureka Springs and in Rogers
- STO participated in panel discussion at Berryville public meeting.
- DeVito’s Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser.
- On August 7, STO filed surrebuttal testimony by Hyde Merrill, Tom Aley, Richard Smardon, Pat Costner, and Douglas Stowe
- On August 16, STO filed a motion to dismiss or for summary judgment or in the alternative for continuance, and a motion to compel responses to data requests
- Also on August 16, STO attorney Gregory Ferguson and Pat Costner attended the APSC pre-hearing conference in Little Rock
- August 26-30, STO’s legal team, witnesses and supporters participated in and/or attended the APSC hearing in Little Rock
- STO staffed table at the Fayetteville Farmers’ Market
- Rockin’ Pig Fundraiser with music by Mountain Sprout
- STO held a Public Meeting at the Eureka Springs Auditorium to recap Little Rock hearing
- Caribe Fundraiser and Auction with Maureen Alexander and Gaskins Switch.
- STO volunteers staffed table at Eurekapalooza.
- STO’s motion to compel response to discovery requests was denied
- STO Power News, a daily news aggregate, was launched on Oct. 1
- Fresh Harvest Rummage Sale
- Legends Halloween Fundraiser
- For her work with Save the Ozarks, Pat Costner was named Woman of the Year by the Greater Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce
Throughout the Year:
- From April through October STO volunteers staffed table at Eureka Springs Farmers’ Market.
- From April through December thousands of comments were submitted to the Arkansas Public Service Commission’s Docket in opposition to the SWEPCO proposal.
- From April through December hundreds of Save the Ozarks of t-shirts, yard signs, bumper stickers, buttons, tree ornaments sold. Available at Caribé, DeVito’s, Sweet Springs Antiques, The UPS Store, and Geographics. Billboards and banners displayed throughout the Ozark Highlands.
- From April through December numerous newspaper articles and television features in local and regional media outlets.
- From April through December tens of thousands of dollars were contributed to STO by hundreds of people who opposed the SWEPCO proposal.
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