Dear Friends of Wireless Messaging,
Greetings from Fairfield,
Illinois. It's a big deal around here when the little town of Fairfield
gets mentioned in the Chicago Tribune. The following article
came out recently:
Fracking in Fairfield: National trend in fossil fuel exploration may transform peaceful community to oil boom town
As energy companies snap up leasing rights in Wayne County, some residents are optimistic, but environmentalists are worried
April 15, 2012
By Erin Meyer, Chicago Tribune reporter
FAIRFIELD, Ill. — BMWs, Lincolns and other cars with Louisiana, Texas and Colorado license plates fill so many parking spaces around the Wayne County Courthouse that it's tough for residents to find spots for their pickups.
Two blocks west, lunchtime business at Jemini Coffee House nearly doubles on some days with new customers who are a little secretive.
And fresh phrases are creeping into the local vernacular — vocabulary such as "lease hound" and "modern-day Clampetts," a reference to the hit 1960s TV comedy "The Beverly Hillbillies," about a backwoods family that strikes oil.
Wayne County, a rural locale about 270 miles south of Chicago, is experiencing a land rush thanks to a controversial effort to tap into hard-to-reach oil and gas deposits.
A relatively new twist on a 65-year-old technology, horizontal hydraulic fracturing may enable energy companies to hit pay dirt in southern Illinois. And representatives of those companies — many from the big oil states — are descending on the region, digging through land records at courthouses, then offering leases to farmers and other owners of mineral rights.
As much as $100 million has been spent on leasing rights in the region, according to one industry representative. Wayne County, population 17,000, is the state's hot spot. At least six companies are there acquiring leases.
Amid the excitement and mystery, however, is a measure of anxiety. A regional group is scrambling to muster opposition as state lawmakers rush to stitch together regulations. Looming over Wayne and several other southern Illinois counties is a national debate that, at the extremes, pits the promise of energy independence and economic gain against the specter of environmental catastrophe.
"Nobody knows for sure what's going on with all this," said Jim McGill, owner of Jemini. "It's kind of hard to tell right now what it's going to look like."
Fracking, the common term for freeing oil and natural gas by pumping millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals into rock deep beneath the surface, has been around for decades. The high-pressure injections are administered more than 4,000 feet below ground, fracturing the rock cobweb-style and allowing fossil fuel to be channeled with the sand, water and chemical mix through the well and to the surface.
Crews then extract the oil and gas and dispose of leftover, toxic liquid.
The relatively new wrinkle that raises both hope and concern is horizontal drilling. In the last decade, companies have been drilling vertical wells, then turning that drilling horizontally through the shale layer, fracking for oil and gas along the way.
The technique has led to speculation that enough fossil fuel can be extracted below the surface of the United States to meet the nation's energy needs for decades. It also has frightened and angered environmentalists.
"Once you look at it, you're like, 'Oh my God, this is horrible,'" said Liz Petula, coordinator of Southern-Illinoisans Against Fracturing our Environment, or SAFE, a grass-roots group that has organized opposition in six counties and is working to gain a foothold in Wayne. She called the combination of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling "catastrophic."
[ source ]
People in Fairfield who own BMWs and Lincolns were a little offended at being compared to hillbillies and backwoods country hicks, but those of us who really do drive pickup trucks don't mind. Looks like things have gone full circle. When I was born, 70 years ago (during WWII), this area was experiencing a big oil boom. Maybe it will happen again.
Birthday of Samuel Morse
Samuel Finley Breese Morse
(April 27, 1791 – April 2, 1872)
Samuel Morse, who introduced telegraph communications in the United States, was born 221 years ago today on April 27, 1791 in Charlestown, Massachusetts.
On 24th of May 1844, he famously sent the message "What hath God wrought" (quoting Numbers 23:23) by telegraph from Washington D.C to Baltimore.
The telegraph Morse code used in those days differed in a number of respects from the International Morse code used today and a description of the differences can be found at
Wiki - Samuel F. B. Morse
Wiki - Morse Code
[ source ]
Now on to more news and views.
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