Past Features

December 9, 2016

Montezuma Monstrosity
Local paper exposes plan

Artist's conception of Glenn Spencer's suggested relocation of camera atop
proposed 160-ft tower.
--- See video "Montezuma Monstrosity"
Glenn Spencer -- Sierra Vista Herald -- November 22, 2016    
A better idea
    Your reporter, Amanda Baillie, did an excellent job in the story "Towering Over Montezuma Pass" about plans by Customs and Border Protection to build a 160-foot camera tower in the Coronado National Monument.
    Armed with Amanda's report, I decided to look into the situation further.... [...]
    If one were to look at Google Earth, one would see that, within the range of the camera (five miles), about 30 deep monsoon washes running out of the Huachuca Mountains toward the border --- excellent places to hide from the camera.
    Amanda reported that the Border Patrol has a mobile camera truck working at the site now. I visited the site and saw that the truck includes a radar system, no doubt to help point the camera. If a new, much more expensive camera system is to replace it, has anyone asked how well the mobile system was performing?
    The new camera tower is to be 160-feet tall, although most new Border Patrol towers are about 80-feet tall. A careful study of the situation led me to conclude that the extra height is need to allow the camera to link its microwave signal to the Brian A. Terry Border Patrol station near Naco --- by peeking over a nearby hill.
    My study also revealed that there is a hill 1,500 feet south of the parking lot where the new camera is to be installed. This hill is closer to the border and 300 higher than the parking lot. It would seem to be a simple matter to place the camera on that hill, saving money and avoiding the eyesore of a 160-foot tower. It has a direct line-of-site to the Border Patrol station.
    Once again, congratulations to Amanda Baillie and the Herald for an excellent report.
    Note: The link in this story was updated the day the story was posted to revise the statement regarding camera views.

Glenn Spencer  
Somebody call President-elect Trump
    It's November 6th report "Towering Over Montezuma Pass" the Sierra Vista Herald exposed a plan by Customs and Border Protection to build a 160-foot tower in the Coronado National Monument. They also ran my report challenging the outrageous plan --- "A Better Idea" --- proving once again that the Herald may be the only honest newspaper in Arizona.
    The Herald story included this: "Construction work is expected to begin in late January and end in April, but the National Park Service has requested an earlier start date, stating concerns about lesser long-nosed bats, which roost in the area during the summer months."
    What is going on here? Is CBP trying to start (and fund) the project before January 20th? And why is the Park Service trying to accelerate the start date of this stupid project?
    Somebody call President-elect Trump.