Tag Archives: Marco Simonelli

*Utilicorp comes to area

March 22, 2002

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Substation under construction near Longview Lake, College

by ZAHID AWAN

By June 2002, Utilicorp United will be able to fulfill the energy demand of 14,000 new residents of Lee’s Summit and Kansas City. The construction of a new electric power substation (EPS) has already started in the Longview Lake area.
The Kansas City-based international energy merchant is investing $5.4 million in the project in Lee’s Summit. Utilicorp has total assets of approximately $12 billion and annual sales of $40.4 billion worldwide. It also operates in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. It’s subsidiary, Aquila, is one of the largest wholesalers of electricity and natural gas in North America.
The size of the substation is approximately 300 by 360 feet enclosed in a metal net fence topped with barbed wire. According to Tim Parker of the Lee’s Summit City Development Department, four different electric power lines will join to the substation.
An EPS works just like a big AC adapter. It collects high voltage electricity from a power line and converts it to low domestic voltage. This procedure reduces energy losses due to wire resistance. High voltage electricity is efficiently transportable but cannot be used in our houses. Low 110V electricity cannot travel for long distances without huge dispersions.
A typical EPS is just a concrete platform with huge glass poles and big noisy transformers. Now, a concrete platform with noisy transformers is under construction near calm and cool Longview Lake. The proposed site for the EPS has been a part of the protected Longview Lake zoning area, which is a separate zone classification from the surrounding area. It was created to protect the lake and the wildlife that populates the wetland around the lake. The zone is suppose to ensure that this major public facility would continue providing recreational, landscape and hydro-geological services to the community.
On August 15, 2001, the Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Committee of the Kansas City, Missouri City Council approved the change of land use. Pat O’Malley of Utilicorp told the committee he had meetings with both the councilman from the sixth district and various neighborhood groups and had received no objections.
Bruce Reed of Missouri Public Services said, “each EPS should serve an area with a radius of two miles.” That means in areas with dense population and high consumption of energy, there should be at least one ESP every four miles.

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Utilicorp to build electric substation

October 26, 2001

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by MARCO SIMONELLI

A new electric power substation (EPS) is going to be built in the Longview Lake area. Utilicorp United, the Kansas City-based energy merchant, which will realize the project through its subsidiary Missouri Public Service, is in the process of purchasing land west of View High Drive, approximately 1.5 miles south of I-470. Construction will not start before 2002. Meanwhile, other important steps towards finalization have already been taken.
The proposed site for the EPS has historically been a part of the protected Longview Lake zoning area, which is a separate zone classification from the surrounding area. Created to protect the lake and the wildlife that populates the wetland around the lake, the zone is supposed to ensure that this major public facility would continue providing recreational, landscape and hydro-geological services to the community. On August 15, 2001 the Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Committee of the Kansas City, Missouri city council approved the change of land use. Pat O’Malley of Utilicorp told the committee he had had meetings both with the sixth district councilman and various neighborhood group and had received no objections.
Longview president Fred Grogan was unaware of Utilicorp’s plan.
“Ideally,” Bruce Reed of Missouri Public Services says, “each EPS should serve an area with a radius of two miles.” That means one ESP every four miles, at least in areas with dense population and high consumption of energy. This particular EPS will potentially serve 7,000 customers in the Kansas City area and another 7,000 customers in Lee’s Summit. It is required for “anticipating demand of power in the area” Reed continues.
Does it make also a perfect spot for a new ESP? Considering that the area is undeveloped and mainly used for agricultural purpose, it’s highly probable that the price for the lot is way lower than the average price in a residential area.
An EPS works just like a big AC adaptor. It collects high voltage electricity from a power line and converts it to low, domestic voltage. This procedure reduces energy losses due to wire resistance. High voltage electricity is very efficiently transportable, but cannot be used in our houses. Low 110V electricity cannot travel for long distances without huge dispersions.
From the outside, an EPS is just a concrete platform with huge glass poles and big, noisy transformers. According to the blue print shown during the city council meeting, the size of the substation will be approximately 300 by 360 feet enclosed in a metal net fence with barbed wire on top. According to Tim Parker of the city development department, four different electric power lines will join to the substation.
Patty Hub, who owns the property directly south of the proposed ESP will be, supports the project. “Utilicorp will landscape all around the substation so it will not be visible” she says. As regards the particular characteristics of the area she continues “a substation will be in keeping with the environment.”

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Rumsfeld visits Whiteman

October 26, 2001

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by MARCO SIMONELLI

Friday October 19, the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was at the Whiteman AF Base, 50 miles from Kansas City, to personally thank all the soldiers in their efforts against terrorism. Whiteman is the base from where the B2s, the stealth bombers, take off to participate in the air strike missions over Afghanistan after 18 hours of flight. The base hosts about 15,000 military personnel, but only two thousand of them, with their families, were at the meeting.
“Thank you for all you are doing” were the first words the Secretary pronounced to the soldiers gathered on one of the launch routes of the base. A fighter jacket on, wearing his stainless steel smile, a B2 bomber at his back, the Secretary of Defense spoke for half an hour, recalling that each American generation had to face a challenge, but they always succeeded it. This time, the war against terrorism, is about two choices, he said, we have to face as a nation: change our style of life or change the terrorist style of life. “We choose the second,” Rumsfeld continued, in an explosion of enthusiasm of all two thousand standing in front of him. After the speech the Secretary answered a round of questions, first from the soldiers and then from the press. “When could we say to have won this war?” someone asked. A simple question that doesn’t have a simple answer but moreover emphasizes the fears for a war against an invisible enemy like terrorists. “We could call it victory when the USA style of life will be protected and ensured.” Rumsfeld answered, “when we can behave again like Americans.” He didn’t offered comments about American troops on Afghan territory for security reasons. He partially agreed, though, with a journalist that asked him about cuts on military expenses that could directly influence the B2 and its future presence in the Air Force. Especially this long-range action seemed to highlight the aspects of the B2 as an extremely expensive aircraft to build and to use.
After the briefing with the press, Rumsfeld jumped on the VIP jet that was waiting during all the speech with the engines on, ready to take the secretary to his next destination.

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Pound that pavement

September 14, 2001

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Parking woes frustrate students, faculty and staff alike

by MARCO SIMONELLI

If you are a student or a member of the staff at Longview Community College, you had better arrive at the parking lot 15-20 minutes before the beginning of class. That’s the time it generally takes to to find a parking spot and walk to the destination building.
Many complaints seem to land on the Dean of Student Development’s desk, according to the dean, Janet Cline. But, as she likes to underline, other colleges have students pay to park their cars in parking lots that are farther away from the campus’ main buildings than Longview’s.
The situation is far from idyllic, though, especially at the beginning of the semester, when the increased presence of student in the campus, due to the new enrollments, saturates the parking area close to the Campus Center. After the first couple of weeks, though, everything seems to return to normal, says political science instructor Dr. Kenneth Hartman. The staff members’ major complaint is that the parking area reserved for them is always occupied by student cars, without the required sticker. The campus security officers are also asked by the college, for the first week of the semester, not to give fines to the undisciplined drivers. After this period of low enforcement there is a fine of $5 for irregular parking and, for the repeat offenders, a talk with the dean.
“We want to give to the new students a week to adjust to the college rules” Cline says. When it comes to the mis-use of the handicap parking spots, the circle drive or the grass as a parking spot, she offers no excuses.
“It is impolite and disrespectful of the security and the law”. It is true that the construction going on at the liberal arts building is taking away a relevant area of the parking lot, about 80 parking spots are missing right now, Cline adds. College Security Officers are surveying the parking lots at different times during the day and have reported that there is still enough room for the students and staff members to park their cars, even if not in a convenient spot.

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