Gozarks introduces new editor-in-chief; LocalEnergyMatters.INFO debuts and co-developer addresses Petit Jean Electric Cooperative Board of Directors

An Ozark E-Zine

This is a very special edition of Gozarks Digest, addressing only two subjects: My retirement from Gozarks and (of significantly greater import) some pertinent facts about LocalEnergyMatters.INFO -- don't ya love it when a 'name' actually tells you something!

As to me stepping down from the position of Gozarks editor-in-chief to the role of Gozarks publisher and creative director emeritus, this auspicious act took place Saturday, December 9, 2006, when my darling daughter Shalom was seated as the CEO of all Gozarks operations. In honor of this auspicious event, Shalom welcomes you:

"I look forward to taking on this responsibility fully. I have been training for it by providing more and more direct client services over the last year and I love having the opportunity to continue to please Gozarks clients as well as work with new ones! As Gozarks editor, I will write about current important events as frequently as possible, as well as things that interest me like recycling, the environment, fashion and other things. Thanks for everything mom! And Happy Holidays to all." ~ Sincerely Shalom Weiss. Learn more about Shalom at http://www.gozarks.com/shalom & http://www.sassafraswilds.net/shalom

So now the long-time reader of Gozarks may be asking (hopefully reflecting on the seven years I've occupied the Great Gozarkian driver's seat and all that we've shared along the way), what will you be doing now, Christine? And a biggest part of my answer to that question is that I simply don't know.

Of course it is a given that I will continue in some capacity to be active with Gozarks, only now my daughter will be my boss!!! My own mom, God rest her soul, and I nearly four decades ago had such an arrangement in my first business venture and we both prospered from it. Thus I am hoping this is a heritage I can hand down.

I'm also interested to do some travel writing and, in the media management & marketing sense, would consider being somebody else's hired hack if the work was ethical and entertaining and the salary was right. Still above and beyond all this I'm just going to keep on doing what I seem to do best: Being 'mom' to my family, head of our household, and investing time doing stuff that somehow moves my soul. All of which brings me to the second significant item on the itinerary of this digest, which is to announce my role as one of several lead developers in the LocalEnergyMatters.INFO awareness project.

As some of you are aware, a small group of us Petit Jean Electric Cooperative (PJE) Members have been chatting amongst ourselves, sharing observations and concerns about our 'member-owned' energy cooperative for now nearly a year. Resultant of this, early in November several of us met as a group for the first time. Our purpose was then, as it is now, to educate ourselves on various energy matters. Primary among these, the health and well-being of our own local energy cooperative in conjunction with our growing concerns over 'peak oil' and the ecological, social and financial well-being of the geographic community wherein we all reside.

During this meeting we discussed our respective and seemingly unrelated concerns about certain experiences we had personally and/or had 'heard tell of' from seemingly reliable sources regarding various unpleasantness with PJE. At first, these wide ranging concerns appeared unrelated. Thus we deliberated at length because nobody likes to be thought of as 'a little dog nipping at the heels of authority', making trouble for trouble's sake.

During our 3-hour dialog in November we posed the question to ourselves whether we earnestly believed beyond all reasonable doubt that there was just cause for this small group of us to pursue any course of action whatsoever. Obviously, as evidenced by the continuation of our efforts, our response to this question was yes.

We then pondered what we should most properly 'do' to correct the deficits we observed as self-evident, and in light of this a consensus convened the idea among us to create an informational website in order to have a 'public place' to post the results of our collaborative research. Resultant of this, on November 6, 2006, LocalEnergyMatters.INFO was 'born'.

At this same time we also chose to home-in on one key PJE issue which to us as a group seemed to beg for the most immediate and direct response, being the long-established policy of our elected board of directors to conduct all business behind closed doors. Our research into and correspondence on this topic is publicly indexed on our website at http://www.localenergymatters.info/cooperatives/petitjean/index.html

Most recently added to this PJE discourse is my response to the PJE attorney on the key issue of democratic member participation, respective of the PJE policy of routinely prohibiting PJE members from attending board meetings as 'simple observers'. Including notations regarding how and to whom this letter was delivered, it is posted at  http://www.localenergymatters.info/cooperatives/petitjean/pjeatty120506.html

Tonight (Monday, December, 18, 2006), I am scheduled to appear at the regular PJE Board of Directors Meeting, commencing at 6:30pm in the business office of the Clinton headquarters of PJE, located at 270 Quality Drive, Clinton, Arkansas, to request that the board adopt a new policy which recognizes the rights of members to observe board meetings. And if anyone wishes to speak with me about this, I will be in the parking lot of the meeting location beginning at 6pm this same date.

Be advised, however, that in accord of current PJE policy (as I understand it and subject to correction) there is a limit on the number of people who will be granted permission to speak and/or observe the presentation of this single agenda item, the conclusion of which will determine whether anyone other than directors and key personnel will be permitted to observe the conduct of remaining and future business on the board's agenda.

All that said, thanks are due to various supporters of, participants with and co-developers in this project for contributing references to various energy-related websites, educational materials, other valuable resources and most of all their precious time. Most recently posted under this heading is a reprint of an excellent article directly related to energy conservation in Arkansas, about the relationship between CO2 emissions and hometown economic health. Read it at http://www.localenergymatters.info/ecology/index.html

So anyway, as I gently lay aside the professional cap I've worn for a while, if I could give each of you 'something special' to commemorate this holiday season, it would be the gift of 'enough time'.

I give you this gift to enable you to look closely and deeply at the whole subject of your life. Time enough to think wisely about what the phrase 'really important' actually means, and to what activities we CHOOSE to assign this critical definition. Time enough to 'be' together with your children, parents, neighbors and friends. Time aplenty to 'do' stuff WITH them.

Doing this, I suggest, is of vital importance and significant consequence to our respective and collective well-being as inhabitants of modern day reality. More than an option, I firmly believe that 'finding the time' to do those things which are 'really important' is a cornerstone of personal accountability. In the interest of making this easy, please find enclosed an extra bushel and peck of time, enough to get it all done.

Anyway, from all of us at Gozarks to each and every one of you, thanks for the warm wishes and great ride we've shared these past years. Sincerely, I hope our paths continue to intertwine and that you come to hold as much affection for Shalom as I do myself. For the foreseeable future you'll find me hanging out at http://www.LocalEnergyMatters.INFO and http://www.HolyGhostBuilding.com

Happy Holidays and Hi-yo, Silver.... Away!!!!!

(((hugs))) ~Christine


C.L. (Weiss) Beems
Publisher Emeritus, Gozarks: Everything Ozarks
freelance media & marketing management
223 Primrose Lane, Shirley, AR 72153



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