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Sad and Frustrated
The reason so many of us love Patagonia is that it’s a small, well-situated community that is full of connections. We are connected to neighbors, family, and nature. Patagonia enjoys our own brand of quirkiness, and most people are accepting and welcoming. We have essential stores, a fine school, a clinic, historic library, a fire department, senior center, youth center, arts center, performing arts center, town employees, and our own elected town council. You don’t have to be here long before you learn who works where and who serves on what committees and boards. You recognize the people you meet in town.
One would hope that in a place such as I have just described, it would be easy to communicate with the town officials and those who make the big decisions. You would think and hope that with our small population, voices could be heard on concerns facing such things as road changes, clearings, new developments, and infrastructure. I believe that this has been the case in the not-so-distant past, but my neighborhood has run into —pun intended —a series of roadblocks.
A new development consisting of approximately 60 lots is set to be built on a hill just beyond our neighborhood. We have heard rumors and conflicting information on the development. We would like to discuss our fears and concerns about access to this development (which anywhere else would be called a subdivision) with the town council and city manager. We have ideas to share that we feel would help make this a better experience for all parties. After several unsuccessful exchanges of emails, we chose to deal with the issue openly and address problems before they occurred. Neighbors drafted a petition that was signed by 21 adults representing all but one house on our road. The petition was not accepted. A neighbor then twice requested to be put on the official agenda so he could address the council. Both times he was rejected.
I am sad and frustrated that in Patagonia there is not a more straightforward, easy process to address ideas and concerns. Sure, I don’t want construction equipment going up and down the steep, dirt hill in front of my home. Sure, I don’t want my road widened and extended. Sure, I don’t want my grandson to be unsafe walking to our place from school. Underlying all that, however, the huge, sad issue is the town’s failure to communicate, listen, and respond to citizen concerns.
I understand legal restrictions and the fact our concerns and ideas may be rejected, but we should, at the very least, be able to be publicly heard by those who make the big decisions.
Ignored and troubled on Three R Avenue,
South32 claims their Hermosa mine will bring money and jobs to our county, but we all know that if a marketing campaign sounds too good to be true, it likely is! No mention is made of the terrible price citizens in the Nogales-Patagonia area may have to pay for what the mine wreaks. Recalling the too-perfect gift of the Trojan Horse, which hid a secret ultimately fatal to Troy, citizens beware! Our life-sustaining water supply is at stake!
S32’s underground mining method requires sucking billions of gallons of water out of our precious aquifer. So why have they offered NO PLAN for monitoring the degree of drainage? And why are they fighting back against legal efforts to force them to adhere to state statutes requiring aquifer monitoring?
At a recent Patagonia Flood & Flow meeting, mention was made of asking S32 to fund a long-delayed and crucial groundwater study. But why should we trust them to look out for citizens’ interests? They vastly overstate the amount of dumped water our aquifer can recapture and have NO PLAN to monitor the downstream tsunami for stirred-up, old mining toxics.
Obviously, S32 is hoping we won’t consider the monstrous possibility that our water supply will not only be severely depleted but also poisoned. So, what do YOU think it will be like to live here in the not-so-distant future when potable water has to be trucked in from—where? For that’s where all the mine’s gilded promises and charitable donations—their fatal gifts—may very well take us.
Gregg E. Gorton
I know you are out there. Maybe you have been here all along. Maybe you just moved into town and are beginning to realize that being retired isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. You still hear the call to help others.
We need each other. For two years now Family Health Care Amigos has been looking for a leader to succeed its current president. We have come a long way in the past six years. With a passionate board and committed volunteers, we have gone from serving 12 clients to serving 450 clients per year.
We are the non-profit that provides durable medical equipment and monthly incontinence supplies to seniors and others free of charge. To achieve this, we restored a historic building downtown and opened a whimsical and enchanting thrift store, which provides the revenue for our service projects in two counties.
Search your heart then call us at 520.256.7213. Join us in our mission to assist those whose lives are being changed every day because of what we do.
President, Family Health Care Amigos
When the Water Goes
My grandchildren are happily riding new bikes supplied by S32. Will they be happy in the future when the mines have sucked our wells completely dry? I can buy my grandchildren bikes, but S32 cannot buy our rights to water.
Errors and Omissions
In the May article about the Friends of Sonoita Creek (FOSC) annual meeting, it was incorrectly stated that The Borderland Earthcare Youth are building a new trail to the Cemetery. FOSC is instead hiring the youth for an education in nature writing. “There is an existing trail in which the students will be working with me to find ways to interpret the natural history of the trail,” wrote Kathy Pasierb.