People, Places & Events

     
   



Ghostriders win top honors in national event
By Dan Eakin
Monitor Correspondent

CANTON–The Ghostriders, an equestrian drill team based in Van Zandt County, won some top honors in the U.S. Equestrian Championship Drills held last week at the Austin Arena in Myrtle Springs.
The Ghostriders Quadrille won first place to be national champions in Division 11 competition.
The Ghostriders Precision Drill Team won third place in Division 1 and the Ghostriders Youth placed ninth in the nation in Division 1.
The Ghostriders Youth also placed third in Division 6 in national competition. The Ghostriders were also awarded the Sportsmanship Trophy by the attending teams.
“We were very honored to be chosen,” Ghostriders director Gary Bonner said.
“The United States Equestrian Drill Championship, and the Ghostriders would like to thank the city of Canton and all the sponsors that support this national competition,” Bonner said.
“This event continues to grow each year and teams arrive as much as a week early to shop in Canton,” he added.
“There were no injuries during the competition,” Bonner said.
Drill teams from all over the state and even the nation came to Myrtle Springs for the national competition.
Cowgirl Express, a drill team from the Dayton, Ohio area, won first place in Division 1 and Division 5, and second place in Division 2.
Ghostriders has about 20 members. They sometimes ride four or eight at a time in competitions.
 

EPA recognizes H-E-B as a top green power purchaser
Special to The Monitor
SAN ANTONIO–H-E-B has again qualified as one of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) top 10 retail green power purchasers in the Green Power Partnership.
The company’s Austin region operations are being recognized for a voluntary purchase of 27,600 megawatt-hours (MWh) of green power from Austin Energy’s GreenChoice Program.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the list of the nation’s top 10 retail green power purchasers July 10.
The current list, which is released quarterly, is available at http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/.
This top 10 list highlights retailers within the Green Power Partnership that have completed the largest annual voluntary green power purchases through June 26.
“Green power” is defined by the Partnership as electricity products that are partially or entirely generated from environmentally preferable resources, such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, and low-impact biomass and hydro resources.\
These renewable energy sources are cleaner than conventional sources of electricity that produce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, a greenhouse gas linked to global climate change. Green power purchases support the development of new renewable energy capacity.
“Environmental sustainability is one of our key operational goals, and we are pleased that our efforts have been significant enough to warrant recognition by EPA,” H-E-B Environmental Affairs Manager Susan Ghertner said.
“Green power is good for the earth – and, increasingly, good for business as well,” she added.
H-E-B obtains this green power, which represents about 25 percent of the electricity used by facilities in the Austin region, in the form of biogas and wind-generated electricity.
The biogas electricity is generated at the Tessman Landfill Biogas Project, east of San Antonio, which uses methane gas produced by decaying garbage at old sanitary landfills.
The wind power comes from 120 wind turbines located in McCamey and Sweetwater, Texas. H-E-B is the top purchaser in the retail industry of green power produced in Texas.
H-E-B constantly explores energy-saving opportunities through new technologies and innovations.
For example, the company requires energy-efficient lighting in stores and parking lots, saving more than $3 million a year and reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 78 million pounds.
Currently, the company is sponsoring a total-store Energy Challenge through Oct. 1.
Each store is assigned to one of six defined groups, with the goal of achieving the greatest percentage of energy reduction within that group. Each Partner in the winning stores will receive $100.
Simple steps, such as closing dock doors, fixing water leaks and turning off lights when not in use can help save significant amounts of energy.
H-E-B expects the measures taken as part of the contest to result in an energy reduction of five percent for the three months of the competition, leading to savings of approximately $1.2 million.
The amount of energy saved would be enough to power 1,000 homes for one year, and the pollution averted will roughly equal that created by 1,750 cars during a one-year period.
EPA has previously recognized H-E-B for achieving significant energy savings and being among the first in its field to respond to the agency’s ENERGY STAR Commercial Building Challenge.
“Purchasing green power is one of the easiest ways for an organization to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions and improve the environment,” program director for the EPA’s Green Power Partnership Blaine Collison said.
“H-E-B’s use of green power contributes to reducing the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use and helps promote our nation’s energy independence,” he added
The U.S. EPA, using data on national average avoided CO2 emissions, estimates that H-E-B’s purchase is equivalent to avoiding more than 46 million pounds of CO2.
Buying 27,600 MWh of green power is comparable to removing the emissions of more than 4,000 cars annually or planting more than 5,000 acres of trees.
“We have a responsibility to help the communities that we serve,” Ghertner said.
“Our environmental efforts are an important part of that, and we hope to keep working with EPA to accomplish even more in the future,” he added.
H-E-B was founded in Kerrville in 1905 with a single grocery store.
For more than a century, it has been an innovative retailer known for fresh food, quality products and convenient services.
The company has grown to more than 300 stores in Texas and Northern Mexico with more than 60,000 employees.
H-E-B is one of the largest food chains in the United States, with sales of $11 billion, and is the largest privately held company in Texas.
EPA’s Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program helping to increase the use of green power among leading U.S. organizations.
The program encourages organizations to purchase green power as a way to reduce the risk of climate change and the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use.
Currently, the Green Power Partnership has more than 600 Partners voluntarily purchasing more than 5.3 billion kWh of green power.
Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations, such as Fortune 500 companies, local, state, and federal governments, trade associations, as well as colleges and universities.

Hensarling offers support  for Israel against terrorists
By U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling

Special to The Monitor
WASHINGTON, D.C.–U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling (TX-05) praised House passage of H.Res. 921, a resolution to reaffirm the House of Representative’s support for Israel, condemn both Hezbollah and Hamas for their actions, and condemn the governments of Iran and Syria for their continued support for Hezbollah and Hamas.
“I rise in strong support of this resolution and to condemn the recent attacks upon Israel by Hezbollah. All of us tonight have the earnest prayer that the current wave of violence can end quickly.
“Innocent civilians are being lost in Lebanon and Israel, and the word ‘tragic’ never does the situation justice.
“But peace can never be achieved by asking Israel to put at risk its security and the safety of its people.
“Let there be no doubt, this latest conflict began with Hezbollah. Rockets have now rained down upon Israel. Israel has been forced to defend her citizens and sovereign territory, and I believe that Israel has the moral, historical and legal right to do so.
“Holding the keys to peace in this situation are Hezbollah’s state sponsors in Damascus and Tehran. They can and must use their influence to convince Hezbollah to return the kidnapped Israeli soldiers.
“By doing so, Syria and Iran will finally demonstrate that they are prepared to join the world community. Should they not, however, the world community must hold them fully accountable for being state sponsors of a terrorist organization.
“Also critical to achieving a lasting peace in the region is international support for the full implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559.
“Passed by the United Nations Security Council in 2004, the resolution calls on all foreign forces to withdraw from Lebanon, and for all militias within Lebanon to be disbanded.
“Its full implementation, Madam Speaker, will promote greater independence for Lebanon and greater security for Israel, not to mention the rest of the world.
“Since 1948, the United States has stood with and supported the State of Israel, as it has defended herself from these who seek her destruction and deny her very right to exist.
“In return, Israel has been our staunchest ally in the region as well as a full partner in the global war on terror. By passing this resolution, we assure Israel that we will continue to stand by her side in the face of terror.”