The snow continues to melt slowly in the Heber Overgaard area in these warming mid-day afternoons and then freeze again at night. Although there are areas that are clear, many areas are still muddy that are not obviously soft by just looking. The creeks are running and many creek beds are saturated deep into the rock and sand. Even with four-wheel drive, many roads routing into to these areas remain challenging and possibly treacherous.
“The Forest Service continues with snow abatement across the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest” according to Julia Faith Rivera, public affairs officer for the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest Office. She went on to say, “Work crews continue to groom trails for cross-country skiing and snowmobiles. The snow has hampered the work crews forest thinning and clearing of brush projects we have been scheduled to accomplish. The work will continue once the snow levels lower and the forest is more accessible.”
She also said, “Soon after the snow subsides, we will be beginning the ‘slash burns,’ in other words, burning piles of forest waste from the clearing work.” That will be in a relatively close distance to the Heber Overgaard area.
“People are already calling from southern Arizona expecting campgrounds to be open. It will be some time until that happens,” she said.
There is still a good amount of snow in those campgrounds and it becomes unreasonable to find room for the snow pile ups in some areas. As well, there may be damage that could require repair when there is no snow.
Mark Zimmerman at the American Legion John D. Wibby Post 86 has mentioned they have replaced a few flags in town. “Those winds a couple of weeks ago really tore some flags up pretty bad.” The American Legion provides a proper service of retiring flags. “We went over to the school and provided a formal service of replacing their flag.” Most people are not aware of the proper replacement steps. Disposal of a faded or worn American flag is to be done in one of three ways. You can, if necessary, put the flag out for collection only after you have removed the blue field from the flag. The blue field is to be burned in a peaceful manner and the ashes buried. You can also give the flag to our American Legion or a government office where public ceremonies are held to discharge flags from service. So if you still have a flag that was ripped or torn from our wind or snow storms, contact the American Legion at (928) 535-5266 to see about your flag disposal.
Mark also mentions, “We would like to invite any new veteran residents to the area to join us. We provide many services to our disabled veterans and those veterans in need as well to our local public schools. It is quite rewarding.”
The Rim Country Senior Center has completed its computer lab. “It is up and running,” said Office Manager Bonnie Schwarck. People have already come in and used the computers.
Iberdrola Renovables has announced Phase 2 for the “Dry Lake Wind Power Project.” The current Phase 1 has 30 wind turbines with a capacity of 83 megawatts. The plan is to add another roughly 30 wind turbines to double the capacity of the facility there. Phase 2 will be built all on private land (Phase 1 was constructed on a combination of state, BLM and private lands) and construction should commence in June of this year and be operational by February 2011.
No utility has committed to the purchase of Phase 2 project’s power yet. The area of construction is ideal for wind turbine use. Many previous studies were done to qualify the area for this purpose.
Iberdrola Renovables has so far received $577 million in U.S. Treasury Department grants offered as part of the federal government’s incentive package for renewable energies to encourage companies to invest in the country. The company hopes to receive an additional $430 million in 2010 as its wind farms come on stream. Iberdrola Renovables will reinvest all current and future grants in the U.S.
These grants, which temporarily replace the PTCs (Production Tax Credits), offer direct funding of around 30 percent of the investment in renewable energy facilities coming on stream or whose construction is begun in 2009 and 2010. Iberdrola Renovables is world leader in both installed capacity (10,477 MW at the end of September 2009) and output (15,052 million kW/h).