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Commerce vs Nat'l Park Land

U.S. Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) wants to keep Grand Canyon National Park free of uranium mining.


U.S. Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) has reintroduced legislation prohibiting new uranium claims, exploration, and mining for one million acres of public lands surrounding Grand Canyon National Park. The area is the last remaining Grand Canyon public lands not so protected. Grand Canyon National Park encompasses 277 miles along the Colorado River.

Uranium, which is about 70 percent denser than lead, occurs only in a few parts per million in soil, rock and water. It is weakly radioactive and commercially extracted from minerals such as uraninite.

In the waning days of the Bush Administration, the Bureau of Land Management did expand its oil and gas leases in eastern Utah to include tens of thousands of acres on or near Arches National Park and Dinosaur National Monument, and within view of Canyonlands National Park. The National Park Service complained that decision was made without consulting them.

Garbage Park

The former landfill will sport a playground, dog park, disk golf course, garbage sculpture garden, picnic area, equestrian and pedestrian trails, archery range and ample parking.

The Chandler, Arizona city dump was closed in 2005 after 24 years of service.

The landfill is scheduled to become a municipal park called the Paseo Vista Recreation Area.

The city has topped the landfill with 300,000 cubic yards of dirt. Decomposed granite is going atop and the dirt. Wire mesh baskets are being installed for erosion control.

Cemetery as Green Space

There are a few ground markers in the "park," only because the families of some of the buried had the chutzpa to insist their markers be restored.

In the mid-1960s, Ventura, Calif.leaders voted to remove the 3,000 grave markers from a city cemetery and just make it green space. Now the '60s are viewed as the rise of the counterculture, peace, drugs, rock an' roll, "Make love not war, "Turn on, tune in, drop out" and the short, pithy phrase that captures the time so well--"Far out." You've got to wonder what the city father's were on back in the '60s.

This former cemetery was originally St. Mary's and founded by friars in 1862. The buried include a Civil War general and early Ventura civic leaders.

Today, some Venturans want the cemetery restored just as it was! Others quite enjoy the green space for walking the dog.

Figuring out who is buried where would be a macabre and futile endeavor, so the city espouses building a memorial, install a memorial walk and adding some landscaping.

And Finally...Filed Under Bright Ideas

The 35 Virginia state parks are getting 4,200 new light bulbs, thanks to the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives and Old Dominion Electric Cooperative. Using the compact fluorescent light bulbs will reduce energy costs by an estimated $56,000 annually.

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December 8, 2019, 8:40 am PDT

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