3/3/2003

 

Not in my back yard

 

There have been a number of opinions back and forth about the recent withdrawal of the Guidance Clinicís attempt to locate in PiŮon Oaks. There may be debate about whether it was a matter of prejudice, or concern about potential traffic problems, but thereís no doubt that the ďnot in my backyardĒ attitude shows up all too frequently in our community.

 

Over the years there have been a number of such issues that I have a hard time understanding. Two were right in my backyard. One, back in 1995, was going to be a halfway house for juveniles located between Chino Valley and Paulden. Some people in Paulden (who werenít even going to be as close as I was) objected and it didnít go through. What? We donít have any juvenile delinquents in Chino Valley or Paulden? On the contrary, we have our share. So why shouldnít we do our share of the rehab?

 

Another operation near Paulden was the original site for the solar-panel array now near the airport. Itís one of the most significant solar test programs in the country, and I support it through an APS program to pay a little more for power that comes from the array. If we make such power sources common, eventually they will be cheaper than buying oil. Actually, if you consider all the cost of buying oil from the Middle East, political and otherwise, itís already cheaper.

 

In Paulden it was planned to be mostly hidden behind the raised railroad tracks so hardly anyone would have seen it. Again, more likely to be distantly visible to me than to most of Paulden. Not that itís as unpleasant a sight as some industrial operations anyway.

 

The solar array is just the kind of small step toward energy independence we need to be taking. But apparently having to look at solar panels was too high a price for some to pay. So objections forced it to be placed elsewhere.

 

In the intervening years there have been a number of similar controversies about good organizations. Then just recently, besides the Guidance Clinicís problems, concerns were raised about the new Goodwill location near Yavapai Hills, leading to a temporary suspension of work on the project. Apparently some people were concerned that furniture might be dropped off outside the building at night. An operation as helpful and benevolent as Goodwill and we canít put up with some furniture left at the back door till morning?

 

One item thatís a little different is the touch-and-go airstrip that Embry-Riddle has twice tried to find locations for North of Chino Valley (and no, not particularly close to me). I understand the need for the strip but it doesnít seem there is a good place for it. Eventually weíll need to enlarge the existing airport, so maybe we should just bite that bullet now. That may be as close to a good solution as there is. But at least the people whoíve objected to the proposed locations arenít just exhibiting some kind of prejudice against certain types of people being in their neighborhood. They built homes in those areas intending to be in the country, and not in the path of an endless stream of planes throttling up and down as they touch and go.

 

But these charitable and benevolent operations have a good affect on the community, or are just things that must be done. There is no place in the Prescott area that is not part of our collective backyard and these organizations need a place here with us. For Peteís sake people, deal with it.