At last nightʼs City Council meeting, 4/15/10, I witnessed a gathering of what was
most probably the largest gathering of citizens ever for a Council meeting. I
watched a spokesperson for a group called “Corinth Cares”, present to our City
Council a petition with over 975 signatures, collected in just eight days. This
petition just simply asked our Council to require a gas driller to abide by our
ordinances in place. Many more would have been there, yet they had to be
turned away as there was just simply no place left to park, let alone sit.

Throughout the course of a special meeting, called for the purpose of expert
testimony, and at the regularly scheduled meeting, experts continued to droll on
about stuff that, quite simply, just flew way over my head and kind of caused my
eyes to start rolling back in my head. I tried to follow, yet quite simply stated, I
was way out of my league.

As I began to look around the room filled with a sea of concerned faces, I began
to ponder the thought, “Just what does ʻCorinth Caresʼ mean?”. In trying to figure
this out, at first it seemed easier to figure out what “Corinth Cares” does not
to me. Are we a group of “activist”, “protesters”, “picketers”, “malcontents”
or anything remotely similar? Absolutely not. Are we a group of “anti-gas drilling
fanatics”? Or maybe a group supporting a political agenda, philosophy, or
candidate? Nope to these two questions also. What then are we? Quite simply
stated, we are a loose assemblage of very common folks; servants if you will.
Folks of different political beliefs, faiths, ethnicities, education levels, yet quite
simply united in our belief in and pursuit of common sense.

We are the folks who shop at the same store with you, watch our kids play
baseball and soccer together on Saturday, and worship with you at church on
Sunday. We are folks who might be retired or working hard at our jobs for our
families. We might still be in school, or out there trying our best to find work.

We are a group of folks who rounded up whatever loose change we could spare
and went off to the local Dollar Store to find whatever supplies we could afford.
We are that group of ladies who stood around my kitchen table and hand wrote
signs trying to get folks involved. We are that group of men who help me put
these signs together and then dodge traffic as we put them in place, and then
dodged traffic once again as we took them down right after the council meeting.
We are that tireless group of Moms and Dads who after working a full day of
work, walked neighborhoods distributing informational flyers and petitions.
Servants all; toiling to protect the health, safety and welfare of our children.

In my life experience, I have somewhat figured out that with the right amount of
money, one can easily find “experts”. Some experts may tell us that the world is
flat and some experts may tell us that the world is really square. Sometimes it
just seems money trumps science. If our “expert scientists” cannot even agree
on an issue as huge as global warming, us looking for “expert witnesses and
scientists” to give us absolute answers on gas drilling is somewhat akin to
Diogenes searching for the proverbial “honest man”.

Dilemmas such as these then causes me, as one of many servants within
Corinth Cares, to then ask, just what then do we rely on? Perhaps maybe
someday science will get this whole gas drilling thing figured out, yet until that
time, I would strongly suggest that we, as other folks within Corinth Cares have
suggested, all rely on our God given gift of common sense. Letʼs use common
sense when we look at the wisdom of turning a beautiful retreat like the Lake
Sharon Christian Center, nestled amongst homes, schools and churches, into a
huge commercial gas drilling center. Letʼs also use common sense when we
balance the rights of mineral right holders and their gas drillers against the
health, safety and welfare of our children as these gas wells sprout like weeds in
our neighborhoods.

As I look at the Lake Sharon Christian Center, I can see it rather abstractly as the
proverbial “round hole”. As I also look at towering gas drilling rigs drilling
numerous gas wells, I see the proverbial “square peg”. Do I need a Ph.D. or law
degree or any other “expert” to tell me that this “square peg” will not fit in this
“round hole”? No. I simply need my own God given gift of common sense.
And that willingness to exercise common sense may be just what Corinth Cares
means to me.

Tom Bowater
2807 Pottery Trail
Corinth, TX 76210

7 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Corinth Landowner said,

    Amen …. Well said!

  2. 2

    Marti Lathrop said,

    I am not a resident of Corinth. My family lives in Denton. But as a resident of the Wynstone at Oakmont subdivision, we will live closer to these proposed wells than most people who do live in Corinth. We live less than a half-mile northwest of the current proposed drill site, and less that a quarter-mile north of the original proposed site (the west side of Lake Sharon) that most contracted property owners thought the well sites would be drilled on. I can literally “throw a stone” into Corinth, but because of geography, my neighborhood has no say in the decisions that are being made about the land use very close to our back yards. The prevailing south/southeast winds will bring all this stuff right into our homes.

    I did attend the informational meeting held at Hawk Elementary, and chose not to attend the city council meeting as I felt it was more important for those who can do something to be in attendance. I have been very pleased by the participation of my Corinth neighbors, and I do hope that the city council will step up and hold XTO to the current ordinances in Corinth. If the variances are granted, that will open a door to further permit requests that will have to be granted based on the exceptions made for XTO. Hold your ground, Corinth and Corinth Cares. Those of us on the small Denton side of Oakmont are behind you.

  3. 3

    Concerned Citizen said,

    Common Sense is defined as “sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts” per Merriam Webster.

    “Throughout the course of a special meeting, called for the purpose of expert
    testimony, and at the regularly scheduled meeting, experts continued to droll on
    about stuff that, quite simply, just flew way over my head and kind of caused my
    eyes to start rolling back in my head. I tried to follow, yet quite simply stated, I
    was way out of my league.”

    I guess I remember it differently…. I saw many against the permit huffing and puffing because they thought such testimony was irrelevant at such time (ex. should be presented in a workshop), when in fact the testimony just didn’t happen to be helping the cause. Again on the emotional tactics, it was obvious once it came time for citizen input that, the few citizens that stayed, pushed the council to make a decision on the spot and yet again failed to provide substantial evidence, just unfounded accusations.

    So it appears to me, and correct me if I am wrong, Common sense is replacing the unreliable or not availiable expert testimony. The “pursuit of common sense” is a new direction? I would move to say, common sense among many other things, is lacking in some people. Common sense so fourth has been lacking in a variety of statements made. I could list them, but I am afraid I wouldn’t have room. Point being, evidence to support the goal– “toiling to protect the health, safety and welfare of our children” has so far been unfounded. Common sense in regards to the health, safety, and welfare of our children, would be something like this:

    -Instead of saying that a truck driver could not be paying attention and hit a child, common sense would be to recognize the fact that any vehicle and any driver could mess up and hit a child(street or sidewalk). The size of a small car will be just as devastating.
    -Instead of saying that the big trucks might cause more wrecks due to their size and inability of the drivers themselves, common sense would recognize the right to share the road way and the responsibility of the driver(both car and work trucks) to be paying attention to the road and making wise choices while driving.
    -Instead of making comments about the terrible health risks that might come from a drill site, common sense would recognize the need to gain an understanding in the level of toxins we are already exposed to, something most people may never question and to acquire some data in support of such.
    As I said the list could go on and on.
    My concern is that “sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts” is not what is happening here and has not been since the beginning. I pray that everyone, citizens, and council members would respectfully acknowledge all the facts as well as the true legitimate safety concerns for all the citizens of Corinth.

    • 4

      Dave Goodwin said,

      Applause for TB – keep to the high road

      CC – wow – common sense would say a heavy industrial activity should not be located in a residential zoned area – rather it should be in an industrial zone
      – by your argument it would seem just as appropriate to open a liquor store/adult video store in your neighborhood – because only people 21 yrs. and older would be allowed in, so it really wouldn’t harm any children. – Oh, but we have an ordinance against that governs that in our community – Would you be in favor of variances to that ordinance? What if they just conducted business for a couple of months out the year and kept a big fence around it?

  4. 5

    OU812 said,

    Ever notice that some people who think that they are smart really have NO common sense?

  5. 6

    Common Knowledge said,

    Notice how he has nothing to offer when it comes to diminishing property values.

  6. 7

    Dave Goodwin said,

    This week I attended HazMat training for the company I work for.

    All the OSHA standards were discussed, including the ones about volital organic compounds – how the standards are developed as acceptable for someone to be exposed to for 8 hours a day without any harm.
    We have several chemicals in our production processes – including benzene…
    My instructor went on to show why these levels were safe and how the body can eliminate toxins by exhallation, perspiration and urination – so the intake of the chemicals during 8 hours can be balanced out with 16 hours of detox away from work.
    it was also detailed on how too much chemical exposure causes all kinds of cancers, including a recently recognized “solvent syndrome” which can manifest itself in may ways and take years to develop into cancer and other bad stuff – the solvent chemicals in the blood act like oil – since blood is mostly water the chemical seeks out fat cells in the body and bonds with them…

    So I asked my trainer about a specific operation in the plant which had an OSHA approved safe level for benzene – Would you allow anyone to be exposed to that safe level for 24 hours a day? – say your kid’s school had this safe level, but also your home had this safe level – He said “no f-ing way!” – all that safe level has a cumulative effect and if you are contantly exposed like that you will be poisoned because your body will not have enough opportunity to detox – the poison would keep building until there was a problem.
    He explained to me that any chemical – no matter how safe – can also be deadly. Sugar is a safe chemical compound, people eat it all the time – but if you eat 4 lbs. of it at one time, it will kill you.
    The hazard may be low – but if the exposure is high, then any chemical can be dangerous.

    OSHA doesn’t test for how long of constant exposure at a “safe” 8-hour per day level would cause problems.

    Now where is the real fact from that Toxicology expert? – she didn’t say the safe levels were based on 16 hours a day of detox time. This surely would not be the case for people living downwind from a supposedly “safe” emission site.

    – also heard another chemical story in that class –
    Years ago it was common for Toulene to be used in our industry – all types of daily uses in production, but also when people accidently got a nasty cut on their hands they would put their whole hand into a bucket of Toulene and it would immediately cauterize the wound and stop the bleeding – seemed like the greatest thing in the world – only years later those guys developed cancer which cut short their life. Now Toulene is completely banned as a cancer causing agent. Our company doesn’t allow it anywhere on the property.

    – Made me wonder how long it will take for gas drilling in residentially zoned areas to get the same classification as Toulene.

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