Letters to the Editor: Preservation of rights deserves thanks

On Constitution Day, which is Sunday, we are reminded that the supreme duty of every American citizen is to defend the Constitution and that we do this by having the courage to speak up whenever we see our rights being trampled upon.

Therefore, I give thanks for the following organizations, which defended the Constitution this past year:

– American Library Association, which defended the freedom of thought and inquiry by opposing the Justice Department’s right to subpoena the records of libraries and bookstores;

– Association of American Publishers, American Civil Liberties Union and American Booksellers Foundation, which opposed the gag order slapped upon librarians;

– American Bar Association, which challenged the administration for exceeding its constitutional authority by ignoring more than 750 laws enacted since it took office;

– American Medical Association, which adopted guidelines to make it unethical for physicians to participate in interrogating detainees.

The price of liberty is, indeed, eternal vigilance.

Dolores Penrod

Ethanol plant’s impact should be considered

The proposed site for a new ethanol plant will have an adverse affect on both air quality and quality of life for our community. (“Debate fueled by controversy,” Sunday’s CNJ)

The plant will be located on the Southwestern side of Clovis within three-tenths of a mile of the city limits. The prevailing Southwest wind will carry the smell and dust of the plant over the entire community. The rancid smell will overshadow the entire community.

The hospital and Retirement Ranch as well as several schools lie in a direct path of the pollution of the proposed ethanol plant. The air quality and quality of life will be impacted.

The Environmental Protection Agency is starting to recognize the deficiencies associated with ethanol production and air quality. The current limit on volatile organic compounds (toxic chemicals) is 100 tons annually, per facility, that can be emitted into the atmosphere; there is presently a proposal by the government to increase that to 250 tons per year as many plants are not in compliance with the present law.

Several of the toxins emitted from ethanol facilities are cancer-causing agents.
The community should not allow an industry to develop a plant that would decrease the desirability to live in Clovis, pollute the community, and impact future economic growth. Clovis is looking for continued growth with the Cannon Air Force Base expansion, further housing development and new businesses moving to town. The smell, dust, flies and birds associated with this plant will impact property values and future economic growth of the community.

I am not against an ethanol plant in the area as it will bring in more jobs and economic development. I am against locating an ethanol plant on the southwestern edge of Clovis. Build the facility downwind from the community, not upwind.

Blake E. Prather