Thursday, November 17, 2011

9 day Public Comment period begins on Solar Reserve proposal

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BLM opens comment period on solar project in La Paz County

With the release of the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Quartzsite Solar Energy Project, the public can now comment on the proposed project and the proposed amendment to the Bureau of Land Management Yuma Field Office's Resource Management Plan, which will allow the solar plant to be built on public land in La Paz County.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) announced the release of the draft EIS on Monday, which officially begins a 90-day public comment. The comment period will end on Feb. 10. Two public meetings on the project have also been scheduled.

The first of the public meetings has been scheduled for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 13 at the BLM Yuma Field Office, located at 2555 E. Gila Ridge Road. The second public meeting will be from noon to 2 p.m. on Dec. 14 at the Quartzsite Improvement Association Building, which is located at 235 E. Ironwood St.

The public may also submit their comments by mail or by e-mail. Written comments can be sent to: Liana Reilly, NEPA Document Manager, Western Area Power Administration, P.O. Box 281213, Lakewood, CO 80228-8213. Emails may be sent to

The project proposes to construct a 100-megawatt solar-powered electrical generation facility in La Paz County, and requires about 1,675 acres of BLM-administered land. The proposed site is about 10 miles north of Quartzsite and about a mile east of State Route 95.

According to the BLM, the proposed location was chosen because it had the least impact on wildlife. The agency has further stated that the project application is requesting a right of way to construct, maintain and operate the electrical generating facility.

If built, the plant would use concentrating solar “power tower” technology to capture the sun's heat to make steam, which would power traditional steam turbine generators. The solar power facility would include a 653-foot tower, which would be the receiver of energy reflected from solar fields. The solar fields are made up of heliostats, which are a collection of mirrors. Those mirrors would then focus light at the top of a 653-foot tower, heating salt to a molten state, which would in turn heat steam to power a turbine. The project would also include a thermal energy storage system.

In addition to evaluating whether to allow use of the land, the BLM is evaluating a proposal to amend the Yuma Field Office Resource Management Plan, which was adopted in January 2010. The amendment would change the visual resource management class for the proposed site to a category that would allow construction of a tower.

The tower, which is described as “a high contrast to the landscape,” is at the heart of the current proposal. According to BLM, the tower's contrast, the solar glow and the project's proximity to SR 95 required an amendment to the Yuma Resource Management Plan because the area is designated as a Visual Resource Management Class 3 area, which only allows a moderate change to the landscape.

For the tower to be built, the area's designation is being changed to a Class 4 designation, which allows for a high change to the landscape.

Information from comments, including addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses, may be made public at any time. The BLM and WAPA have said they cannot guarantee that requests for withholding information will be honored.

Information on the project and a link to the draft EIS is available on the BLM Arizona web site at

Information on the BLM's role with the project is available from Eddie Arreola, Supervisory Project Manager, (602) 417-9505 or

James Gilbert can be reached at or 539-6854.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Freedom Fighter Radio supports QPOA officers

In support of the Quartzsite Police Officers Association members who were wrongfully terminated for "blowing the whistle" on their boss, Police Chief Jeff Gilbert, Jim Stachowiak of  has generously offered to donate $4.00 from every Arizona themed "Don't Tread on Me" flag to the "Quartzsite 8". 

The flags are $9.99 which includes postage to anywhere in the US or Canada, and Jim states emphatically that the price has nothing to do with Herman Cain's 999 plan, and is just a coincidence - unless of course Cain was inspired by Freedom Fighter Radio that is! 

Stachowiak has also donated a gift basket of "Don't Tread on Me" merchandise to the Saturday, November 19th Quartzsite 8 BBQ fundraiser at Tyson Wells Swap Meet in Quartzsite. The items donated by Freedom Fighter Radio are:

1.  Dont Tread On Me Polo Shirt - has embroidered snake on left breast area. Value $20.00

2.  Dont Tread  On Me beach/tote bag Value $ 15.00

3. 3 foot x 5 foot Dont Tread On Me Flag choices are traditional yellow flag, new black tactical,or Arizona Dont Tread On Me, Value $10.00

4.  Dont Tread On Me hat choice of yellow or black Value $15.00

5. Dont Tread On Me Car Flag Value $ 15.00
6. Dont Tread On Me Coffee mug includes a 12 inch x 18 inch Dont Tread On Me flag Value $ 12.00

The fundraiser includes a 50/50 raffle, prize raffle, auction, bake sale and of course, dinner. Advance tickets may be purchased in Quartzsite at the Shell Gas Station or Everett's Towing for $6.00, or $7.00 at the event. Dinner is served from 3 pm - 7 pm. Proceeds benefit the "Quartzsite 8".

The QPOA officers are also selling raffle tickets for an ATV, and a separate raffle is going to be held for an AR15 rifle, donated by the gun store in Parker, AZ. Tickets for either item are $10 each, and may be purchased at the BBQ, or from one of the QPOA members (who are currently seeking employment in Arizona law enforcement).

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fracturing Quartzsite - County redistricting meeting

Monday morning, November 7th, at the La Paz County Board of Supervisor's meeting, County administrator Dan Field gave a presentation on the proposed redistricting of the county, which would fracture Quartzsite into two separate districts, with Interstate 10 as the boundary. County Supervisors want to seperate "Quartzsite proper" from the RV Parks, BLM long term, and Q Mountain Subdivision which lie south of the interstate.This includes  the "mostly seasonal trailer parks" of La-Z-Daze Trailer Park, Al's RV Park, Gold Star, Hadlock's Shady Spot, Rice Ranch, Rose RV Park, Vitos RV Park, Quartzsite Marketplace, Tyson Wells, Desert Gardens Mobile Home Park. La Paz County residents are welcome to submit their comments in writing, and attend the upcoming meeting. Comments or district boundary suggestions by residents will apparently be given equal consideration with the proposal drawn up by county officials. When asked directly whether or not the current supervisors intended to run for re-election and might benefit from their proposal, none chose to answer. However Field assured those present that gerrymandering was not part of the final proposed map. Perhaps Supervisors Drum, Irwin and Pierce will confirm speculation that they will not be trying to influence the map in order to retain their seats, at the November 14th meeting.





Pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute § 38-431.02, notice is hereby given to the members of the
La Paz County Board of Supervisors, and to the general public, that the La Paz County Board
of Supervisors will hold a Public Meeting/Hearing, open to the public, on
Monday, November 14, 2011, 1:00 p.m.,
at the Quartzsite Senior Center, 40 Moon Mountain Road,
Quartzsite, Arizona.

Purpose of the Public Meeting/Hearing:
Discussion of proposed re-districting of the La Paz County Board of Supervisor Districts and Community College District

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Gary Howell memorial service

Gary Howell's memorial service will be held on Monday, Nov. 7th at 10am, at the Church of Jesus Christ-Latter Day Saints, on Riggles Rd.  in Quartzsite. There will be a Summerland Farewell for friends and family, 6 pm Monday evening at Gary’s home:

(645 Spring Lane, Quartzsite).

Vol 1 issue 18