Second in a series of investigative
reports by Christine Louise Beems, editor emeritus gozarks.com,
chronicling the process of interdiction, adjudication and dijudication
as it exists in our drug-war-torn society today.
The docket for Monday, May 7, 2007, was not an anomaly in the courtroom of the Honorable Michael A. Maggio. As a judge of the Arkansas 20th Judicial Circuit, the number of cases to routinely come before his bench was staggering. Sometimes 80 or 90 each day, with about 5% being ‘new’ cases and the remaining 95% compiled of ongoing civil and criminal matters pending resolution.
Common citizens, many dressed in blue-jeans, filled the hard oak pew-like benches of the public gallery at the Van Buren County Courthouse. Handcrafted of native rock, the masonry structure was built in 1934 by untrained laborers employed by the WPA and stands proudly at the intersection of Main Street and Griggs; the focal point of Courthouse Square, in the midst of the homespun and hand-hewn City of Clinton.
Inmates garbed in prison stripes and chaperoned by uniformed armed guards sat on stiff-backed chairs in the jury box of the second-floor courtroom. A dozen court officials – attorneys, recorders and clerks -- attired in business suits and stylish fashions, mingled in the courtroom proper, shuffling papers and exchanging quiet discourse.
Among this fray, Michael C. Kelley – the case in point of this war-on-drugs series -- appeared for a second time before Judge Maggio’s bench. At Kelley’s first appearance (April 10, 2007), roughly twenty-five cases passed before Maggio’s gavel in the two hours preceding Kelley’s arraignment. Most of these cases, like Kelley’s, were not trials or hearings but procedural matters: continuances, orders for discovery, null-process requests, the entering of pleas or the setting of hearing and trial dates for alleged criminal offenses and marital, family or civil disputes. [read more]
Managing his landsite development company Dig Dug, James started to run his heavy equipment on biodiesel.. With his own process of actually making the biodiesel himself by collecting the oil from restaurants on his own and making it the biodiesel using a very interesting process he has reduced the cost per gallon to about 70 or 80 cents... This is his very interesting detailed explanation of that process!!!
"The equipment (or any diesel engine) doesn't undergo any modifications to run off of biodiesel... it's pour and play.
"There is a negative side to biodiesel, the only one that I've found. It has a higher gel temperature than diesel... if the temp gets below freezing the biodiesel will gel up, and it won't start until you get the biodiesel heated up. A way around this is to mix the biodiesel w/ diesel 50/50 or 90/10."
"Yes, I did the biodiesel myself (in my garage). I get waste vegetable oil from Japanese and Chinese restaurants (I believe they have the best oil)."
"To get the oil out of the oil bins I rigged a compressor motor up to a water heater tank... the compressor motor sucks the air out of the tank, creating a vacuum. A hose with a valve is connected to the tank. I put the hose down in the oil and open the valve, sucking the oil into the tank. I take the oil home transfer it to the "reactor" (water heater) with a pump. I heat the oil to 120 degrees to boil out any water."
"Now it's time to start making the biodiesel... biodiesel is created after you've extracted all of the free fatty acids from the oil. Methoxide is used to accomplish this. I make methoxide by mixing lye (found at Lowe's) and methanol (I get it from a petroleum distributor, but you can also find it at race tracks). The methoxide is slowly mixed into the oil to get a complete reaction. The methoxide attaches to the free fatty acids, creating glycerin, and then sinks to the bottom. Then the glycerin is drained and you've made biodiesel."
"But you're not finished yet because it still needs to be washed and dried. The biodiesel isn't yet clear because it still contains impurities... to wash it, I transfer it to a 55 gallon drum that has misters mounted to the top, I attach a hose and let it run for a few hours... water is much heavier than oil, as it sinks to the bottom it collects impurities from the oil. Drain the water, and repeat the wash until the water is clear. Then dry it by heating it to 120 degrees. And there you have it, 100% pure, crystal clear biodiesel for about 70 to 80 cents a gallon."
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