Looking back. I forgot that my blog, Somervell County Salon, got a mention in the Fort Worth Weekly some years back. (January 21, 2009). Remember when there was talk about some additional reactors coming to Glen Rose for Comanche Peak? Betty Brink, who has since passed away, did an interview. I'm not, as usual, posting my real name here on my blog but it is in the article.
With no new reactor orders from utilities since then, commercial nukes seemed to be headed for extinction as surely as the dinosaurs that roamed the county millions of years ago.
“Were we ever wrong,” said D***** H******, with a wry laugh.
She lives in Glen Rose, five miles south of the plant, and is one of the few locals less than enthralled with the neighborhood nuke whose massive concrete domes seem so jarringly out of place among the scrub cedars, limestone mesas, and hardscrabble farmland. But now, if the new owner of the old plant has its way, those weathered gray domes will be joined by two of even greater capacity. In September, Luminant Generation formally applied to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a license to add two new reactors to the site, more than doubling the plant’s electrical output as well as its growing stockpile of highly radioactive nuclear waste.
“I knew there was a nuclear plant nearby when we moved here 10 years ago,” said H*****, an outspoken advocate of renewable energy sources, which she promotes on her political blog, The Somervell County Salon.
As this Texas Watchdog article from March 2009 says
The chief blogger goes out and records her own video and audio of city and county public meetings and posts them on the Salon web site -- thus making it possible for many Somervell Countians to get access to public meetings that they can't attend in person.
I talked the other day by phone with the chief blogger -- she writes under the username "Salon," so that's how I'll refer to her.
No, she said, she didn't start out with the intention of being a journalist or even a citizen-journalist -- she started the blog largely on national political issues that she wanted to speak out on. But as she asked more questions about the things city and county government were doing, she became more and more interested in them, which led to still more questions.
At the same time, though, national politics is still a frequent subject on the blog. The Salonners are a pretty Netroots-y bunch. When I'm reading their site, I always get the feeling like I'm hanging out at a small, intimate bar with some folks who are old friends -- inside, it's a blue-state kind of place, Obama posters on the walls, and outside the bar is miles and miles of red. I can't always mentally keep straight all the local political goings-on being discussed -- who is that person you just mentioned, again? -- but I enjoy the conversation and, most of all, the questioning attitude.
I want to continue in that same vein for 2015. I've had my old handicam for years (given as a birthday gift to me by my sweetie husband) but it still does a good job of recording. I plan to do a lot more listening to meetings if the entity makes audio or video available, and if I can, attend commissioners and city council meetings in person. And then, of course, write my opinion, post video or create cartoons about what I think about what I see, hear or read.
Somervell County Salon has had a lot of participation over the years. 30 top level posters, and over 1400 unique commenters (many of whom have commented more than once). Right now, there are 4 main people who participate (You can tell who is who by looking at the pictures and screen name, here) and you are welcome as well, unless you are a foaming at the mouth right-winger. I make no apologies for being a liberal and for this blog having a distinct liberal to moderate philosophy. Here is my philosophy on participation, I continue to believe this.
Somervell County Salon has been up since March of 2005 and the main reason I started it is that I wanted to write about things that interested me about living here, in a mainly political context. Like, I wanted to write about county commissioner and city council meetings, as well as national politics. I figure that's the value of a local blog but it might also be a roadblock to a huge number of eyeballs reading. That's okay with me, because 1. I write what I want to when I want to and 2. I'm not trying to be the be-all and end-all of blogs, just one writer with a viewpoint in Somervell County. I can't speak for the other 3 writers here, who may and probably *will* have different reasons for writing. I might get into my cynicism about what must change for our democracy to truly work, but suffice it for now to say that I cannot NOT speak about some things that are important to me because I strongly believe in the maxim that he who is slient is assumed to consent.
I'd also love to experiment with doing live broadcasts of a meeting. Will depend on my seeing how good the internet connections are within any given venue, but it would be fun to live stream a meeting, even if it turned out to be grainier than a processed video.
So here's to 2015 and another great year of freedom of speech.
P.S. What types of searches in December 2014 brought people to the site? (in order of popularity) (I LOVE the buzzard queries)
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