Sunday, November 9, 2008

Feeling really good!


So many of you have called or emailed with thoughtful, heartfelt messages of gratitude and encouragement! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I must admit that I felt deeply frustrated by realizing how deeply conditioned Washington County voters are to automatically elect Republicans regardless of the issues or candidates in the race. But that frustration has passed and the future is looking extremely bright.

In fact, if you want to know how excited I feel about the future, check this link to see what it looks like...

I guarantee it will make you smile, laugh and maybe even cry.



Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A giant thank you and and invite...

Dear friends,

Wow, did we have a wild ride with this County Commission campaign or what? As Alan Gardner said in the Spectrum today "It was THE hardest campaigned commission race yet."

Quite honestly, I am surprised that the numbers turned out the way they did: Alder 34%, Gardner 66%. I thought our hard work would overcome the hard core influence that leads many voters to vote straight ticket Republican.

All day long, friends have been calling with ways to put it in perspective...

Our campaign earned 13% more votes than Obama did in Washington County.

We earned 10% more votes than the highest-earning Democrat in Washington County's recent history.

Supporters believed in our campaign so much that we raised more funds than any other local race so far.

Jim Matheson earned 26% of the Washington County vote during his first Congressional election; he earned 48% this time, his fourth try.

And remember, Gardner is basically a well-liked politician who wasn't really vulnerable to begin with.

Thanks to all of you for these great calls. I really appreciate them and I'm grateful for your outstanding help during the campaign. The voters of Washington County are much more aware of key issues that will affect the future of this beloved country. And now we all get our lives back.

Many of you have asked "what will happen to your ideas for solar power, Vision Dixie, Lake Powell Pipeline vote" and "will you run again." Quite frankly, I need some time to sort out my options before answering that question. I will spend the next 10 days pruning trees in Grafton to clear my mind and spend time in one of my favorite places on the planet for the fall season. My intention is to have much more clarity once the trees are pruned.

I am completely undecided about whether I will stay in Washington County or go away for a time. I'm considering graduate school (MBA or MPA) or a job in renewable energy (I'll look at T. Boone Pickens and Google) or land conservation.

I will be searching for opportunities to apply my enthusiasm, business acumen and marketing/advocacy skills on the business side of the renewable energy field or as an officer for a foundation that grants funds for conservation work. If any of you have leads, I would like to consider them and would appreciate any suggestions.

In the meantime, please know that the conversation we began about Washington County's future is officially moving to the blog at Because our community will now disperse after the election, I want to be sure we stay connected and maintain the network that we created during the campaign. Please chip in and share any comments you wish on the subjects we care most about.

Thanks again. See you on the blog!

Lin Alder

Final results: Alder 34%, Gardner 66%

Wow! That straight party ticket voting sure is a hard habit to break!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

Gardner's brother-in-law attempts last-minute smear

The campaign for Washington County Commissioner has been unusual this year, not only for its energy, but also because of the civility with which Alan Gardner and I have conducted our campaigns while explaining our different visions for the county's future.

On Thursday, October 30th, Naghi Zeenati, Gardner's brother-in-law, circulated an email that broke from this civil dialogue. Because Zeenati's email includes numerous inaccuracies and false claims which do not reflect well on him or Gardner, I wish to set the record straight.

Zeenati inaccurately claims that I have raised thousands of dollars "from environmentalists all over the country" and will be beholden to their agendas. I have, in fact, made thousands of fundraising requests during this campaign, mostly among County residents. From my requests, a total of 325 contributions have been received. 78% of them are from Washington County, 9% from the rest of Utah and 11% from outside Utah. Only 5 organizations contributed, all were businesses, and none were environmental groups. All candidates' financial disclosure forms are available at the Utah Lieutenant Governor's website for verification.

To launch my campaign fundraising effort in August, I solicited contributions from everyone I know. Zeenati's claim of "thousands of dollars" raised from environmental groups is incorrect. Six individuals who work for 5 different environmental groups contributed a total of $675 from their own personal funds. This is less than 2% of the total raised. Zeenati's suggestion that I do or would owe my allegiance to any environmental group is unfounded.

Zeenati suggests that my promise to "protect our beloved red rock playground" is somehow disloyal to "the interests and needs of local people." My accomplishments show that I understand the clear connection between protecting our signature landscapes and sustaining the tourism and housing industries that depend on these landscapes. Realtors, land developers and contractors know that beautiful scenery translates into money in the bank. My skills and experience can help find the needed balance to protect the best remaining scenery so real estate professionals can continue putting money in the bank years for years to come.

Zeenati says that I advocate for "stunting the economic life of Washington County" by shifting economic vitality to Kane County that would otherwise reach Washington County. Zeenati did not mention my plan for expanding Washington County's economy by helping us become the Solar Power Capitol of Utah. This economic diversification is critical to refocusing and strengthening our recession-prone, construction-dependent economy.

In 2007/08, I led the campaign against the ill-conceived and health-reducing Toquop Coal Plant. After the community—and Representative Dave Clark—stood behind my position, Alan Gardner switched from pro-Toquop to anti-Toquop.

My track record shows a long history of making our lives better through community service. My loyalty to the interests and needs of our community is clear. This is my "real agenda."

Please share this with others. Thank you for your time.

Lin Alder

Thursday, October 30, 2008

More letters to the editor

Alder committed to protecting lands

I am excited for next Tuesday's elections. As Washington County residents we will head to the polls and cast our votes for the next leader of our nation. But just as important, we will head to the polls and choose the next leader of our county.

I am voting for Lin Alder for Washington County Commission because of his commitment to protect the public's right to use public lands, because of his commitment to develop solar and wind power energy as a way of diversifying and vitalizing our economy, and preventing dirty coal-fired power plants from polluting the air we breath.

I am voting for Alder because of his commitment to creating affordable, reliable and practical water supplies, and his belief that if we spend millions of dollars on an unreliable pipeline that the people paying for it should get a vote.

I am voting for Alder because of his past work and future plans to insure a Dixie with smart planning and development. Next Tuesday, vote for the man working for the people of Washington County. Vote for Lin Alder.

Sara Dykman

Candidate offers fresh perspective

First as an outsider, then a "snowbird," now a full-time resident, I have come to love Southern Utah and the diversity of people I meet here. Now, as one happily transplanted from "up north," I hope to share an opinion with your readers.

I've been greatly impressed during this political season to find someone of enormous integrity, commitment and intelligence willing to seek office as a Washington County commissioner. As we all know, a commissioner is no easy job. I refer, of course, to Mr. Lin Alder, homegrown, who is passionate about the land - its history, its people, its promise.

Washington County, now more than ever, stands in need of energetic leadership. These are not the times and this is not the election to be afraid of fresh ideas and solutions. Lin Alder impresses me as someone who would provide wise decision-making. Specifically, I mention his education in natural resources, his world exposure as a photographer, his unflagging commitment to the area - even unto bicycling the route of the Lake Powell pipeline in recent days.

I find him well-equipped for a job too big to trust those whose actions may impose heavy tax burdens on a county already challenged with a burgeoning population.

Ivy Ruckman

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Lots of supportive editorial coverage

in the Oct. 28th Spectrum...

Don't let area become So. Calif.

I have just read an article about the Washington County Commission race. Lin's opposition has described how we should view Lin Alder. They have told us that, in part, because Lin has worked aggressively on the downwinder issues of Divine Strake and the Toquop power plant, we should question his loyalties. Further that because Lin has worked actively to promote implementation of the Vision Dixie goals through the local community organization Citizens for Dixie's Future, he is an "extreme environmentalist."

Lin Alder's opponent says the cost/benefit of the billion dollar Lake Powell pipeline is not an issue in the commission race. Four dollar a gallon gasoline is described by Lin's opponent as the more important issue in the race. I question whether the lobbying of our county commissioner can impact the price of oil. However, we do face many local issues where our county commissioner will have an impact on the future of our area.

As one who does not want the future of Washington County to look like Southern California and Southern Nevada, Lin Alder represents the future I want to see.

Dennis Kay

Alder supports a rational growth plan

I was just getting over the drop in the market value of my home and the evaporation of what used to be my retirement fund when I read Ron Thompson's plan for me - and you - to take on a couple of billion dollars in debt for a new water pipeline (Oct. 11 Spectrum).

His "cost-effective" claim is that costs will be borne by new residents through impact fees. That should be easy. Invite another 400,000 people to move in. The trouble is, the economy puts a damper on those plans, and who wants that many more people anyway when no one in charge of this county has a sustainable growth plan and resists defining one, with the exception of Lin Alder, the subject of Thompson's misdirected ire.

But not to worry. We're all signed on to legislation guaranteeing repayment "through a balance of impact fees, property taxes and fees." The last two revenue sources, which Thompson ignores, give me pause. So I'll be voting for Lin Alder, a champion of clean, renewable energy for Dixie and a rational approach to the problem of water in the desert.

Gene Gerstner

Local issues too important to vote straight party ticket

When I returned to Southern Utah a few years ago, I discovered an associate had been elected to a county office. When I congratulated him, he confessed his election had been a snap. Once he convinced "party leaders," the battle was won.

I could never understand how people could simply vote a straight party ticket, for either side, and then think they had performed their civic duty.

If you attend local party conventions, you know that nominees are often selected in a rather undemocratic fashion by a few party insiders and a sprinkling of the party faithful. Often, they are not the nominees you would have picked.

When you vote a straight ticket you are putting great faith in a few party insiders you probably don't even know. And when one party totally dominates a particular area, you are letting a few individuals determine the election.

This year we owe it to ourselves to become familiar with the candidates and issues, especially in county and state races. One race in particular will directly affect our future - the race for Washington County commissioner.

From all accounts, incumbent Alan Gardner is a decent and sincere man. Still, some are asking whether he recognizes that county residents' priorities have changed during his 12-year tenure. Does he still lean towards "quantity" rather than "quality" on issues concerning the county's future?

Gardner says he favors preserving the area's scenic beauty and quality of life. He wishes Washington Fields had been preserved as a green area. But do his actions for the past 12 years speak more loudly than his words and wishes today? Last year he supported the proposed coal-fired Toquop power plant until public opposition became too obvious to ignore. Located just upwind of Washington County, the plant would supply power to Nevada and California.

Gardner supports the sale of public lands in Washington County to allow more private development. He also supports the billion dollar (plus interest) pipeline from Lake Powell to the Sand Hollow Reservoir. Without it, most experts agree Washington County could "only" double or even triple its current population. With the pipeline, the county would have to grow much larger in order to pay for the costliest public project in Utah's history.

To Gardner's credit, he protected pictographs and some scenic views when he sold his family land for The Ledges development. In the end, however, there were Ledges houses visible from the floor of once-pristine Snow Canyon.

Gardner's opponent, Lin Alder, has been executive director of Citizens for Dixie's Future and a leader in the Vision Dixie process. Alder wants a community vote on the pipeline, rather than giving authority for such a major decision to the non-elected Washington County Water Conservancy District. Alder also wants to diversify the local economy, gradually weaning it from dependence on rapid population growth.

If you are happy with the direction the incumbent commissioners are taking us, vote for Alan Gardner. If you think the commission needs a fresh voice, vote for Lin Alder.

Art Porter is a Washington City resident and a member of The Spectrum & Daily News Writers Group.

Candidates' debate now available online

The Spectrum website now has a videotaped version of the October 28th debates between Brooks Pace & Steve Urquhart and Lin Alder & Alan Gardner.

Here's the link...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Great new Pipeline Trek coverage

Adventure photographer/videographer Blake Gordon has teamed up with Patagonia, the outdoor gear manufacturer, to post outstanding coverage of the Lake Powell Pipeline Trek. This includes links to the 9 minute trek video, 30 previously unseen photographs and Blake's perspective on how the Trek fits into the bigger picture of the Southwest's drive towards an unsustainable future and our local attempt to choose a different path.

Will state taxpayers pay $2 - $9 billion for Pipeline?

Representative Steve Urquhart responded in Saturday's SL Trib to the charge that he's lying about Lake Powell Pipeline financing (see below). He's now claiming that state taxpayers will pay interest on at least $1 billion in loans on the project. With an expected 50 year payback, that adds up to $2 billion or more.

It's good that Steve has made this statement publically. It is the same claim that my opponent Alan Gardner has recently made. Now all fiscal conservatives in Utah, like me, who oppose the endless expansion of government bureaucracy through unaffordable, unnecessary pork barrel projects have a reason to convince their friends in Washington County to vote for Brooks Pace (Urquhart's opponent) and Lin Alder.

I disagree with Steve's interpretation of the State's pipeline financing plan as described in Senate Bill 27 authorizing the Pipeline (in 2006). The law clearly states that the State Board of Water Resources "shall establish prices for the developed water sold to the districts and electricity sufficient to: recover the reimbursable preconstruction costs, construction costs, and INTEREST on those cost" (emphasis added). This makes it clear that the state has the authority to charge whatever it considers reasonable for water and electricity to cover interest costs when the time comes.

Here's the catch: Urquhart can claim today that the State will cover $2 billion of interest costs when the project would start delivering water sometime between 2015 and 2020. But according to S.B 27, the State is under no obligation to do so.

The truth is that Pipeline construction costs will likely at least double, if not triple, by the time the project is completed. So the State will likely face $4 to $9 billion of interest and refuse to "eat it" (Urquhart's term). Steve can then say "Sorry, Washington County taxpayers. It was my understanding in 2008 that the State would cover the interest."

S.B. 27 says that the State will determine water and power rates when water starts flowing. What condition will the State budget be in if/when that happens 7 to 12 years from now? If the economy is weak, the State will have $2 to $9 billion of interest payments that must be paid, no matter what. The State will do its best to extract the most from Washington County taxpayers, but the rest must come from Utah's other taxpayers. This would cut into hard-fought education and transportation budgets.

Now that Urquhart has let the cat out of the bag, how likely is it that the majority of State legislators will go along with this new burden on the state's future budget? Again, I don't believe that Urquhart is interpreting the law correctly, but now that he says all Utah taxpayers will pay a large portion of southwest Utah's Pipeline project, how will northern, central and eastern Utah legislators respond?

This is one more reason why Washington County and Utah water officials need to get very serious about studying three Pipeline alternatives: surface water (Virgin & Santa Clara rivers), groundwater (Navajo aquifer) and water conservation. I'm not a betting man, but if I were, I'd put $1,000 on the Pipeline not being built, due to either funding problems, political issues with downstream users or concerns about Lake Powell being too unreliable.

Regardless of the reason, if the Pipeline is not built, Washington County sure better have a solid plan B, C and D to pursue in its place. Since 1991, Utah water officials have been so single-mindedly pursued the Pipeline as southern Utah's sole future water source that we're dangerously far behind with a back up plan if/when the Pipeline gets the official thumbs down.

In case you need extra encouragement to vote for me (or convince your friends to do so), here is my promise. As Washington County Commissioner, I'll make sure the Pipeline Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) objectively studies surface water, groundwater and conservation with equal vigor to studies of the Pipeline. When this EIS is finished in 2012 (hopefully), I'll make sure citizens are informed about all realistic water options. I'll then support an initative or referendum so citizens can select the water option they prefer for Washington County's future.

--Lin Alder

Here's Steve Urquhart's response fron the Trib...

State taxpayers big contributors to Lake Powell pipeline
Stephen Urquhart
Article Last Updated: 10/25/2008 12:05:52 PM MDT

A Tribune op-ed by Bruce Wilson under the title: "Urquhart joins Powell Pipeline Liar's Club" states I enter the liar's club when I say, "The state will pay for a big chunk of this [Lake Powell] pipeline."
The bill at issue is SB 27 - Lake Powell Pipeline Financing (2006). Section 201 specifies that the Legislature will fund the project - to be paid back by the districts using the water.
However, Section 401 of the bill reads, "The state shall pay the nonreimbursable project costs allocated to recreation and fish and wildlife." That provision, of course, means that the state will pay some costs of the project.
Section 402 specifies that the Washington, Iron and Kane water conservancy districts (the "Districts") must pay back the state within 50 years of the date of the delivery of developed water. The key trigger date for the districts' financial commitment is not the project's completion date; rather, it is when developed water is actually taken by the districts.
I'll explain the financing with an analogy. Let's say Capital Finance covers construction costs for a new five-story building that Company X eventually will own. Company X will repay Capital Finance the actual construction cost for each floor, only when it occupies each floor.
If Company X grows to occupy all five floors within 50 years, and it pays cash for each floor as it occupies that floor, it won't pay any interest on the original construction costs. Capital Finance will cover those costs, thereby contributing significantly to the financing and overall cost of the building.
Likewise, if the districts pay cash for each block of water they take, at the time they actually take each block, the districts won't pay any interest. The state will cover the interest costs of the pipeline project. That, clearly, is "a big chunk."
Wilson and other project opponents tend to significantly exaggerate the financing costs of the project, then they happily trot out those costs as a reason that Washington County cannot afford the pipeline.
Let's hope that those project opponents, when it is pointed out that those same costs actually will be picked up by the state, won't try to say that those costs suddenly constitute something less than "a big chunk."
This is an important project to southern Utah and to the entire state of Utah. As such, local residents will pick up a good portion of the tab and the citizens of Utah also will help - just as we've done, and will do, with water projects and infrastructure items in other parts of the state.

* STEPHEN URQUHART, a Republican, represents St. George in the Utah House.

Republicans voting for Alder

Our campaign has heard from thousands of people who usually vote Republican that they're voting for Lin because he supports a vote on the Lake Powell Pipeline, because he's young and full of energy to accomplish his new ideas, because he's not an incumbent or some other reason. Many of these people also say they're voting for Brooks Pace because he shares Lin's views on the Pipeline and Jim Matheson because he's proven that he cares about southern Utah.

We're grateful for these stories and now the Spectrum has confirmed that these Republican voters are actually doing what they say. Here's the story:

Debates in the news

With 8 days to go, the local Spectrum newspaper has zeroed in on the unusual kind of campaign we're putting on. Not only are we debating our opponent (unusual for southern Utah campaigns), we're doing it a total of 18 times! Two Spectrum stories on Oct. 25th and Oct 23rd are pasted below.

This week's debate schedule is below. Please either attend or convince your undecided friends to show up! Thanks. :-)

Monday 10/27, Debate w/ Alan Gardner, 8 p.m., Dixie State College Dunford Auditorium, The Spectrum and Utah Public Radio (live statewide broadcast on KUSU FM 90.7) Brooks Pace and Steve Urquhart will debate at 7 p.m.

Wednesday 10/29, Debate w/ Alan Gardner, Noon, Dixie State College Gardner Center, St. George Chamber of Commerce

Wednesday 10/29, Debate w/ Alan Gardner, Brooks Pace and Steve Urquhart, 7 p.m., Red Mountain Elementary, 263 E 200 S, Ivins

Thursday 10/30, Debate w/ Alan Gardner, Brooks Pace, Steve Urquhart, Brad Last and Lyman Whitaker, 7 p.m., Coral Canyon Elementary, 3435 Canyon Crest Ave., Washington

Debates still to come
BY PATRICE ST. GERMAIN • • October 25, 2008

ST. GEORGE - Washington County Commissioner Alan Gardner-R. said this year's county commission race has been hectic but he has got the chance to meet a lot of people and get a lot of good input.

"Lin (Alder-D.) has been running hard and put forth a good campaign," Gardner said. "But it has been hectic with sometimes three different events on one day."

Alder said in the last three months, he has been busy almost every night and has talked to abut 7,000 people directly during that time period.

"It's been a different kind of election than Washington County has ever seen," Alder said.

Gardner, who is running for this third term as county commissioner on the Republican ticket said people have told him this has been the busiest county commission race.

Four years ago, Gardner ran unopposed and eight years ago, ran against Seth Stinson, but even that election didn't generate the number of public debates Alder and Gardner have been engaged in.

In addition to the 18 debates, both candidates have made appearances around the county. Alder said he has done about 40 meet-the-candidate nights and Gardner said he had about 30 appearances.

Although the schedules have been challenging at times, both candidates feel it has been a good race and speak highly of their opponent.

Today at l p.m. Gardner and Alder will debate at the SunRiver Community Center. Also scheduled to debate are Brooks Pace-D and Rep. Steve Urquhart-R. who are running for the Utah State Senate in District 29.

On Sunday, Grace Episcopal Church will host Alder during its fall service, "The Spiritual Side of Nature," which addresses personal stewardship and the environment. The meeting is at 10:30 a.m. at 1072 E. 900 South, St. George.

On Monday, The Spectrum & Daily News and Utah Public Radio from Utah State University will host a radio show, "Meet the Candidates." The statewide live broadcast is at 7 p.m. with Pace and Urquhart and at 8 p.m. with Alder and Gardner. Both forums are in the Dunford Auditorium of the Browning Building on the DSC campus.

On Wednesday at 7 p.m. the four candidates will debate at Red Mountain Elementary School, 263 E. 200 South, Ivins. They will be joined by Terence W. "Terry" Moore-D. and Rep. David Clark-R. running for the Utah House of Representatives from District 74

A "Meet the Candidates" noon forum on Oct. 30 at Dixie State College will host Alder and Gardner at the Dunford Auditorium in the Browning Center.

That day at 7 p.m., Coral Canyon Elementary School, 3435 Canyon Crest Avenue, Washington City, will host a debate with Alder, Gardner, Pace and Urquhart, who will be joined by Lyman Whitaker and Brad Last, candidates for state representative for the eastern part of the county.

All events are free and open to the public.

Candidates share views in public debates
October 23, 2008
For The Spectrum Daily News

ST. GEORGE - As the Nov. 4 election nears, Washington County residents are invited to participate in local debates among the candidates. This is a new experience for many voters and the first year they have been available at so many locations.

Speakers include Brooks Pace and Steve Urquhart, running for state senator, and Lin Alder and Alan Gardner, running for Washington County Commissioner.

Today at noon in the IHC Auditorium of Coral Desert Rehabilitation, 1424 E. Foremaster Drive, the candidates, along with Rep. David Clark and his opponent Terry Moore, will answer questions in an hour-long forum.

At 7 p.m. today, the Citizens Committee on Illegal Immigration will host a debate between Alder and Gardner, and Pace and Urquhart at the Washington County Chambers, 197 E. Tabernacle St.

Saturday at l p.m. the same four will debate at the Sun River Community Center.

On Sunday, Grace Episcopal Church will host Alder and Gardner during its fall service, "The Spiritual Side of Nature," which addresses personal stewardship and the environment. The meeting is at 10:30 a.m. at 1072 E. 900 South, St. George.

On Monday, The Spectrum & Daily News and Utah Public Radio from Utah State University will host a radio show, "Meet the Candidates." The statewide live broadcast is at 7 p.m. with Pace and Urquhart and at 8 p.m. with Alder and Gardner. Both forums are in the Dunford Auditorium of the Browning Building on the DSC campus.

On Wednesday at 7 p.m. the four candidates will debate at Red Mountain Elementary School, 263 E. 200 South, Ivins. They will be joined by Moore and Clark.

A "Meet the Candidates" noon forum on Oct. 30 at Dixie State College will host Alder and Gardner at the Dunford Auditorium in the Browning Center.

That day at 7 p.m., Coral Canyon Elementary School, 3435 Canyon Crest Avenue, Washington City, will host a debate with Alder, Gardner, Pace and Urquhart, who will be joined by Lyman Whitaker and Brad Last, candidates for state representative for the eastern part of the county.

All events are free and open to the public.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Hi Friends,

This campaign is getting downright exciting! Positive change in Washington County is looking more and more likely as we get closer to Election Day. Lots of positive press coverage is appearing and the signs are showing that Alan Gardner and the Good Ol' Boys are quite nervous (see press clippings below).

You can help the campaign get even more exciting by spreading the word about the dozens of events (including 9 more debates) listed below and either showing up with your friends/family/neighbors or encouraging them to go. Items in bold are those we're sending out a call for volunteers (if you can help, please reply to this email or call Joyce Spinelli at 668-3509 for details)

Remember that we need to earn the vote of at least 18,000 voters who usually vote Republican in addition to getting every single Democrat to vote--especially if they're jaded about their vote for President not counting in Utah. If you help us get people to these events to meet Lin and/or hear a debate, we will win!

Please feel free to forward this message to anyone you think would be interested. Just be sure to check the events calendar at before heading to an event in case of any schedule changes.

The Line-up:

Friday 10/17, Free concert (Josh Warburton & friends) & free appetizers by Painted Pony,
6 – 9 p.m., Ancestor Square courtyard

Friday 10/17, Free concert (Desert Heat) & festivities,
6 – 9 p.m., Downtown Friday Night, St. George Town Square, co-sponsored by our campaign

Saturday, 10/18, 8 a.m., Ride for Dixie's Future: 30, 65 or 100 mile bicycle ride, Team Win With Lin, Main and Tabernacle, St. George

Monday, 10/20, Campaign Committee meeting, 1:30 p.m., Ancestor Square office, Main Street & St. George Boulevard

Monday, 10/20, Dixie State College Get Out The Vote Dorm Storm, 4 p.m., meet
@ DSC parking lot directly North of Library building, 850 East 100 South

Monday 10/18, Brooks Pace fund raising dinner, 6 p.m., Painted Pony Restaurant, Ancestor Square, RSVP to 435.619.2929

Tuesday 10/21, Debate w/ Alan Gardner, 6 p.m., Winchester Hills Firehouse, 1090 West 5830 North

Wednesday 10/22, Debate w/ Alan Gardner, Brooks Pace & Steve Urquhart, Association of Planned Communities, St. George Holiday Inn

Thursday 10/23, Debate w/ Alan Gardner, Brooks Pace, Steve Urquhart, Dave Clark & Terry Moore, Noon, Intermountain Health Care, Coral Desert Amphitheater, 1424 East Foremaster Drive, St. George

Thursday 10/23, Debate w/ Alan Gardner, Brooks Pace & Steve Urquhart, 7 p.m., Citizens Council on Illegal Immigration, Washington County Chambers, 197 East Tabernacle, St. George

Friday 10/24, Free concert w/ Dave Kreitzer & The Embrace, 6 - 9 p.m., Dixie State College Amphitheater at the fountain

Friday 10/24, Bestor's Best of Utah Singer Search
with Kurt Bestor, 6 - 9 p.m., Downtown Friday Night, St. George Town Square, co-sponsored by our campaign

Saturday 10/25, Meet & Greet, 11 a.m., New Harmony Library

Saturday 10/25, Washington County Candidates Debate, 1 p.m., Sun River Community Center

Saturday 10/25, Meet & Greet, 4 p.m., The Legacy community building,

Sunday 10/26, The Spiritual Side of Nature, conversation with Lin Alder and Alan Gardner, 10:30 a.m., Grace Episcopal Church, 1072 E 900 S

Monday 10/27, Debate w/ Alan Gardner, 8 p.m., Dixie State College Dunford Auditorium, The Spectrum and Utah Public Radio (live statewide broadcast)

Tuesday 10/28, Meet & Greet, 7:30, Leeds

Wednesday 10/29, Debate w/ Alan Gardner, Noon, Dixie State College Gardner Center, St. George Chamber of Commerce

Wednesday 10/29, Meet & Greet, 4 p.m., Sun River

Wednesday 10/29, Debate w/ Alan Gardner, Brooks Pace and Steve Urquhart, 7 p.m., Red Mountain Elementary, 263 E 200 S, Ivins

Thursday 10/30, Debate w/ Alan Gardner, noon, Dixie State College Dunford Auditorium, Dixie State College Forum Series

Thursday 10/30, Debate w/ Alan Gardner, Brooks Pace and Steve Urquhart, 7 p.m., Coral Canyon Elementary, 3435 Canyon Crest Ave., Washington

Friday 10/31, Trunk or Treat festival with Van Goh, 6 - 10 p.m., Downtown Friday Night, St. George Town Square, co-sponsored by our campaign

Saturday 11/1, Butch Cassidy 10K fun run

Monday 11/2 and 11/3, Get Out The Vote

Tuesday 11/4, Voting Day!

Tuesday 11/4, Celebration, 7 p.m., Location TBA

Wednesday 11/5 and 11/6, Take down the signs

Our campaign is in the press:

Debates center around economy, The Spectrum, 10/8/08
(text below)

How will Washington County face hard economic times? The Spectrum, 10/8/08
(text below)

Candidates spar over Vision Dixie, The Spectrum, 10/13/08
(text below)

Water District takes cost effective steps to ensure water supply, The Spectrum, 10/11/08
(text below)

Urquhart joins Powell Pipeline Liar's Club, The Salt Lake Tribune, 10/12/08

Debates center around economy

BY SCOTT KERBS • • October 8, 2008

ST.GEORGE - The financial future of Southern Utah was emphasized Tuesday as Washington County Commission and state senate candidates debated and presented their plans for stabilizing the local economy in the midst of a nationwide downturn.

The County Commission candidates, Democrat Lin Alder and incumbent Republican Alan Gardner, opened the Southern Utah Home Builders Association luncheon debate, followed by Utah State Senate candidates Steve Urquhart and Brooks Pace.

After brief introductions from both County Commission candidates, Alder identified his campaign platforms, focusing on the reduction of energy costs.

Alder emphasized the need to limit Southern Utah's dependence on foreign oil, suggesting a shift in focus to accommodate large solar farm projects in the area.

He did not detail a solar project proposal during the debate, but Alder explained his plans briefly after the event.

"My proposal is a major, 750-megawatt solar plant in the southwest corner of our county," Alder said.

With economic uncertainty looming throughout the county, Alder said he expects the financial situation to worsen in the near future.

"2008 has been tough," Alder said. "2009 is going to be a lot tougher. We need to begin the process of worst-case scenario planning."

He recommended the temporary suspension of impact fees imposed on local developers by the Washington County Water Conservancy District as a means of stimulating the county economy.

"I would recommend we consider a six-month hiatus," he said.

Gardner focused on limiting fuel costs and cutting taxes as he outlined his economic platform.

"Four-dollar gas has crippled us," Gardner said. "The only thing that is going to bring the price of oil down is availability."

Gardner said he plans to continue working with other county commissioners from across the country in urging the federal government to allow the mining of oil shale resources near eastern Utah, Colorado and Wyoming.

Chemicals found within oil shale rocks can be mined and synthesized to create a substitute for crude oil.

Following the debate, Gardner said the region contains enough oil to support the nation's fuel requirements for 100 years.

"It lowers our gas prices so we can get our economy going again," he said. "Until we increase the oil supply, our gas prices are not going to come down," he said.

Cutting taxes is also an essential tool in stabilizing the economy, Gardner said,

"One thing we can do is keep our taxes as low as we can," he said "We are not going to have an increase."

As the District 29 Senate candidates, Republican Urquhart and Democrat Pace, addressed the crowd, much of their discussion focused on the pervasive economic downturn.

Urquhart said a strong partnership between Dixie State College and University of Utah would provide expanded research capabilities and faculty.

"It brings unprecedented opportunities to our area," he said. "We can build a future that is far better than the present,"

Urquhart conveyed a message similar to Gardner's as he also said cutting taxes is required to restore the local economy.

Pace said there are few short-term solutions to the economic decline.

"I don't know anything that can be done for it right now," he said.

While he acknowledged the scarcity of quick fixes, Pace described his long-term goals to ensure the area's future.

He focused on sustaining tourism in Washington County, and said efforts must be made to maintain the area's natural beauty.

"We are steward of one of the most incredible economic machines that we could possibly imagine," Pace said "We cannot ruin our tourism industry by over-developing," Pace said.

Solar energy was also a concern for Pace as he underscored the need to create renewable energy resources.

He pointed to the falling costs associated with solar power generation, calling the prospect of a large solar plant "a real possibility."

"I think that can be an incredible industry for Southern Utah," he said.

How will Washington County face hard economic times?

The Spectrum Opinion page
October 8, 2008

This month's news from Wall Street means we have difficult times ahead. When it comes to the economic stability of
Washington County's government, 2008 has been tough. Our predicted revenue fell short, and property taxes increased.
In 2009, our traditional population growth rate may go way down. Will property taxes increase in 2009?

For more than three decades, the local housing industry has grown the county's property tax base. But the economy is
shifting very quickly. Our county government now needs to focus on economic survival and stimulus. The county needs
to become agile and rethink its revenue expectations from the troubled housing market in 2009.

Local developers are facing the additional challenge of paying the Water Conservancy District's impact fees of
basically $5,000 per quarter-acre lot. That's a big enough challenge, but the price tag for the Lake Powell Pipeline
recently increased from $585 million to $1.064 billion. In 2009, the impact fees on new lots will need to double to
accommodate this price increase. This means $10,000 per quarter-acre lot. Quite frankly, with the Dow below 10,000,
I think we need to rethink this impact fee, at least for the short term.

If elected, I would work to engage the county commission in a worst-case scenario planning process. The commission
should consider shifting revenue expectations away from impact fees and growth-related property tax increases for at
least part of 2009. We would also identify economic stimulus options. The biggest stimulus to consider is a
six-month suspension of the Water Conservancy District's impact fee. This short-term stimulus could help keep food
on the tables for many of us.

As commissioner, I would also enthusiastically work to attract more than $500 million of private investment from
solar power companies to build a 750 megawatt solar-power plant in the southwest corner of our county.
My inspiration for this solar-powered economic stimulus plan comes from oilman T. Boone Pickens. His plan to produce
20 percent of America's power from renewable energy by 2020 will produce hundreds of billions of dollars in new
wealth. We should earn our solar-powered share of that economic boon here in the desert.

Today's troubled economy also raises new questions about the proposed Lake Powell Pipeline. I think it is only one
of four alternatives to develop water for our county's future water needs. It is certainly the most expensive. The
other options are additional development of surface water - the Santa Clara and Virgin rivers, groundwater in the
Navajo sandstone below us and more efficiently using the water we've already developed.

I have studied all water reports dating back to 1991 when the pipeline was first proposed. It's clear that the
pipeline has been studied very seriously, but the alternatives have not. I suggest that we don't have enough
information to write off any alternative yet - especially ones that are more reliable and affordable. But the
four-year-long environmental impact statement is just now starting and should address all alternatives equally.

Why does this matter? Because it will soon cost a minimum of $10,000 per water hook-up. It is also the straw that
has broken the back of some developers who are now in bankruptcy. I hope we can learn a lesson from the mortgage
meltdown caused by people getting in avoidable debt that they couldn't afford when the economy changed. If you think
about it, the pipeline could be Washington County's mortgage meltdown waiting to happen: avoidable debt we can't

Regardless of your perspective on the pipeline, I ask that you elect me to the county commission so I can be a
balancing voice that ensures that the EIS produces a fair analysis of four alternatives. Once the studies are
finished, you should vote on the best option. In today's economy, you should have a say before the government puts
you deeper into debt.

Lin Alder is a Democratic candidate for the Washington County Commission.

Candidates spar over Vision Dixie

BY PATRICE ST. GERMAIN • • October 13, 2008

ST. GEORGE - In 2006 following an outcry from local residents about the Lands Bill proposed by Utah Sen. Robert Bennett and Congressman Jim Matheson, Vision Dixie was born.

The purpose of Vision Dixie is to create a long-term vision that will ensure a high quality of life in the county for years to come by engaging citizens to take part in meetings about growth, gathering ideas and to ultimately outline a publicly supported principle to guide future land use and transportation decisions.

A series of meetings took place throughout the county and numerous people participated in the Vision Dixie meeting before the information was complied in a report in 2007.

Given the enormous response by the citizens of the county, the Vision Dixieprocess was important to everyone from elected officials, business owners and residents and is still important to the candidates running for Washington County Commissioner.

Democratic candidate for County Commissioner Lin Alder said that in order to make the Vision Dixie implementation successful, he believes the business community and the citizens need to be more prominently involved in the implementation committee and process.

"Vision Dixie can not succeed as long as it remains primarily a government driven process," Alder said.

Alder's proposal is to expand the implantation committee from five members to a 15 member board with five members each representing business, citizens and government

County Commission incumbent Alan Gardner said Alder's been pushing the 15 member implementation committee and he doesn't agree with that.

Gardner said Alder has a heavy-handed approach with the implementation committee that Gardner said will be met with resistance by a number of the cities.

"The county doesn't have the authority nor does the implementation committee to go to towns and say 'do this,'" Gardner said. "You will turn off the towns is you come in with a heavy hand."

While Gardner said the individual communities need to make decisions about implementing the principles of Vision Dixie he also said that the wheels of government turn a lot slower than some would like.

"We have given it to the cities to implement in each city as they see the needs in the community," Gardner said. "It will take some time to go through the process."

Alder, however, said many citizens in the community are wondering what happened to Vision Dixie, Adler added that although Gardner claims to be fully committed to Vision Dixie, he wonders where all the enthusiasm went since it was unveiled to the public in January.

"I fully recognize that these processes take time but I question the amount of time that has been taken simply to introduce the principles to the cities," Alder said. "I know that many city councils and planning commissions in Washington County want more help in the work now required which includes rewriting zoning ordinances and general plans.

Alder said that work requires assistance from experts in the field, participation from citizens and careful consideration by the planning and city councils.

"Why has the county not answered the calls for help?" Alder said. "Why has the county not asked more business leaders to answer those calls for help?"

Alder said he believes the majority of citizens want the implementation to succeed and as a community, invested $500,000 designing Vision Dixie.

Gardner said he doesn't feel like there is any resistance to adopt Vision Dixie but the county or committee has no authority to push it down the throats of the cities.

As far as some of the principles about sensitive lands, Gardner feels that it's a little unfortunate some of that could not have happened earlier.

"One of the issues raised is the public lands out there," Gardner said. "To me, some of the public lands would have been better to develop and some of the private lands not develop."

Gardner said in particular, he would have liked to seen the Washington and St. George fields undeveloped and left as green space and developed into sagebrush flats rather than agriculture fields.

"That has been a concern for me in the Pine Valley (area) as well," Gardner said.

Gardner's family has property in Pine Valley and said the family has worked on conservation easements to preserve that property.

Alder said he believes the majority of the citizens want Vision Dixie to address additional key questions, of which the first is how large of a population can local water supplies support Ð 300,000; 600,000; 900,000; and once there is reliable evidence to supply that number, asks ourselves the next and absolutely crucial question of how big do we want to grow.

"Vision Dixie can help us answer the question that we absolutely must answer and how gracefully we will run out of water because we know that someday we will not be able to provide more water for more residents at some point," Alder said. "Will we hit that brick wall running at full speed or will we slide into that wall like sliding safely into home plate?"

Gardner said, like the conservation easement his family has done, there are other similar efforts being done around the county.

"We need to be careful as we grow," Gardner said. "We live in spectacular country and we need to preserve the quality of life and the view shed that we have."

Water District takes cost effective steps to ensure water supply

The Spectrum Opinion page
October 11, 2008

Lin Alder has written an opinion suggesting policies that would halt water development for Washington County. I hope residents understand the problems that would occur if you follow his lead.

We can all understand that it costs money to develop water resources. Wells must be drilled, pumps installed, water tanks built and pipelines constructed. Surface water must be diverted, stored in reservoirs and treated to safe standards.

The Washington County Water Conservancy District has adopted a policy that new growth must pay for the new water needed to serve that growth. Impact fees are the legal mechanism to allocate the cost of water for new growth. WCWCD impact fees are paid for by developers, builders or new lot owners in order to receive the water needed for their use. If water development costs weren't covered by impact fees, they would be added to your water rates. Existing customers would be paying to develop water for future customers.

The WCWCD impact fees pay for available capacity in existing water storage, treatment and delivery systems. Impact fees being collected now also pay for the systems that will be constructed in the next few years, such as the Crystal Creek Pipeline, Ash Creek system and Warner Valley Reservoir project, along with wells, treatment plants and other capital facilities. If these projects are not built, we will run out of water in the very near future.

Only after these projects have been built would impact fees go to pay for the Lake Powell Pipeline. The WCWCD impact fees do not include a cost for water rights, which can be as high as $40,000 to supply a household. By eliminating the cost of water rights and by blending the cost of all these projects, impact fees are kept at the lowest possible level.

The WCWCD has consulted with water experts over many years to ensure that the best available data are used in planning for water development. The United States Geological Survey has conducted extensive studies of the Navajo Sandstone Aquifer to identify the amount of water available. The Utah state water engineer has placed limits to match the available supply. The WCWCD will not rely upon a groundwater supply that will run out, leaving homes and businesses with no water.

Data also have been collected for the Virgin and Santa Clara rivers. Alder is suggesting we use water resources that flow only three out of every 10 years. No responsible water manager would choose to provide you with such an unreliable water supply. Furthermore, Alder's proposal would never succeed because it would take water away from endangered fish in violation of federal law.

Water planning and development must be adaptable. If growth slows, water development can be slowed. However, large water projects take years to plan and construct. If you postpone these actions too long, the water won't be there when needed. If we don't pay for projects needed until Lake Powell water is delivered, we will run out of water. Residents will be harmed, not by the cost of water, but by the lack of water for their homes and businesses.

All of the studies and considerations relied upon by the WCWCD have been addressed in open and public meetings of the WCWCD, the county, cities and state water agencies. The studies have been published and are publicly available. Nobody who has read and understood these studies would agree with Lin Alder's plans for Washington County's future.

As one wise person said, when you have water, you have many problems; when you have no water, you have only one problem. The WCWCD has a duty to solve that one problem, and we believe we have done so in a cost-effective manner, allocating costs to those who create the demand.

Ronald W. Thompson is general manager of the Washington County Water Conservancy District.

Urquhart joins Powell Pipeline Liar's Club

Salt Lake Tribune Opinion page
Bruce Wilson

Do you remember the Liar's Club, a TV game show that appeared in several different incarnations over the years? If so, and you're feeling a bit nostalgic, you might want to get tuned in to politics in Washington County. We've got our own incarnation of the show going on, known locally as the Lake Powell Pipeline Liar's Club.
Recently, Rep. Steve Urquhart, R-St. George, joined the club, stating in the October issue of Today In Dixie magazine, "The residents in Southern Utah aren't going to have to take this on by themselves. The state will pay for a big chunk of this pipeline."
Either Urquhart had a case of temporary amnesia or he wasn't paying attention in 2006 when he voted for legislation authorizing the pipeline project. The legislation creating the pipeline organization clearly states on the Legislature's Web site: "All costs of the project will then be repaid by the three subscribing water districts . . . through a balance of impact fees, property taxes and fees."
It isn't a shock to anyone who follows Washington County politics that Urquhart - now running for state Senate - is a member of the club. Several of Urquhart's political associates - including all three members of the Washington County Commission - are already members, having previously made their own misleading statements concerning the pipeline, as in the following examples:
"The pipeline will only cost $500 million." That's not even close to true. The state recently re-estimated construction costs, concluding it would require nearly $1 billion to build the pipeline and nearly another billion in interest payments to finance it.
The state will issue bonds to build it - in essence take out a mortgage for 30 or 40 years - and the entire $2 billion of cost, principal and interest, will be repaid by the local water districts. And is there anyone who really believes the current $2 billion estimate is high enough when it's already doubled in just the past year?
"The pipeline will be a redundant water supply." That's impossible when you understand that the only way to pay for the pipeline is through fees paid by newcomers who will move to Washington County and consume the pipeline water. To add insult to injury, if newcomers fail to come in sufficient numbers the residents of southern Utah will be stuck with the balance of the $2 billion bill.
"We have to build it because they are coming." This is the biggest scam of all. The truth is that Washington County will certainly run out of water for newcomers at some point and they will have to stop coming. Nobody is stupid enough to come if there isn't sufficient access to water.
With finite water supplies, the question is when will southern Utah shut off the growth, not if it will shut off the growth. And there are only two possible growth scenarios. Washington County officials can manage growth within the existing water supplies - enough for 500,000 people if reasonable conservation practices are put in place - or they can spend $2 billion to build a pipeline that will accommodate 785,000 people.
Personally, I think more than tripling the current Washington County population to 500,000 is more than enough and we ought to forget about the pipeline. Spending $2 billion to pack 785,000 people into the county would make it a pretty lousy place to live.
I've been a pretty reliable Republican voter over the years but this time around in local elections I'm going against my party where necessary and voting for honesty on the pipeline. I hope many of my neighbors in Washington County will do the same.
I also hope that many of you from around the state who enjoy visiting Washington County and have friends and relatives living here will encourage them to do the same. It might help preserve Washington County as both a great place to live and to visit.
* BRUCE WILSON lives in Washington County. He is a writer.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Candidates Spar over Vision Dixie

Read about Lin and Alan Gardner's views in this article from the Spectrum:

Vision Dixie

"Vision Dixie can not succeed as long as it remains primarily a government driven process"

Urquhart joins Powell Pipeline Liar's Club

Here's an interesting article from the Salt Lake Tribune on the Lake Powell Pipeline:

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Lin's in the news!

This week has seen a flurry of news coverage about a debate between Lin and Alan Gardner, an OpEd from Lin and a supportive letter to the editor. Here's the scoop...

Alder qualified for County Commission

A supportive letter to the editor in The Spectrum from a retired diplomat.

How will Washington County face hard economic times?

Here's Lin's OpEd piece linking the need for new economic strategies and stimulus to opportunities to develop new wealth from solar power and re-think funding for the Lake Powell Pipeline.

Candidates debate about the economy

Here's the Spectrum's report from the debate sponsored by the Southern Utah Homebuilders Association and the Washington County Board of Realtors.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Here's how you can help

Hi friends,

With a big "thank you" to our supporters, our campaign for Washington County Commission is turning a big, exciting corner this weekend as we get ready for a supercharged October. The Lake Powell Pipeline trek enjoyed local newspaper, TV and radio coverage, bringing fun and positive attention to our campaign for more open and citizen-informed decision making. Check the blog at for news links. We now have some great opportunities to win votes face-to-face and we need your help!

Here's a quick list of what you can do (details follow):

* Help pass out flyers at the Swiss Days Parade/festival, St. George Book Festival and/or St. George Go Green Festival
* Learn "How and Who" to talk to in your neighborhood to win votes for Lin on Monday, Sept. 30th between 5:30 and 7 p.m.
* Write a letter to the editor
* Put a lawn sign in your yard
* Bring friends & family to any of 32 scheduled campaign events (including debates)
* Contribute donations to the art auction on Oct. 4th
* Visit with voters in your neighborhood by phone or knocking on their door
* Help us raise the $12,000 we need by Oct. 6th to cover the costs of newspaper, TV, radio, magazine and canvassing expenses--and ask your friends/family to help too!

* Help pass out flyers at the Swiss Days parade/festival

One of southwest Utah's best home town parades happens tomorrow (Saturday) in Santa Clara and you can help Lin's campaign make a positive impression there. Meet at 9 a.m. at the west end of Santa Clara's Main Street. The road will be closed beginning at 6:30 a.m. so you'll need to use the Pioneer Parkway route. Bring your walking shoes and a WinWithLin t-shirt if you have one. Campaign professionals say we're 70% more likely to win over a voter if they receive information face-to-face!

* Help pass out flyers at the St. George Book Festival and/or St. George Go Green Festival

Lin will arrive at the Book Festival (at Town Square on Main Street) at noon tomorrow and would love to "work the crowd" with your help. At 1:30, Lin will travel to Vernon Worthen Park (300 South 400 East) to meet people at the Go Green Festival. You're welcome to help earlier if it is more convenient for your schedule. Please reply to this email or call 435.632.8433 if you're able to help.

* Learn "How and Who" to talk to in your neighborhood

Modern technology has allowed our campaign to identify which of your neighbors are likely to vote for Lin if you talk to them at their door or on the phone. You can learn more by spending a few minutes on Sept. 30th between 5:30 and 7 p.m. We'll supply the brochures and contact lists. You can take democracy into your own hands and make a difference! If Sept. 30th doesn't work for you but you want to help, reply to this email and we'll make arrangements.

* Write a letter to the editor

This simple and high-profile way is a great way to nudge voters in our direction, especially since it comes from your own voice and experience with the candidate. Be Positive and tell readers why you're voting for Lin. Lin is positive by nature and believes any negativity will harm his campaign. Letters must be 200 words or less and should be emailed to (for The Spectrum) and/or (for the Hurricane Valley Journal).

* Put a lawn sign in your yard

You can pick up a sign at our campaign office on the 2nd floor of Ancestor Square on Monday, September 29th from 5 to 7 p.m. If you'd like to arrange another pick up time, reply to this email and we'll make arrangements.

* Bring friends & family to any of the 32 (!) scheduled campaign events

Check out our exciting events calendar at (click on Events). Some of the highlights include:

1. Campaign Countdown Party, Art Auction & Pipeline Trek slideshow, Kayenta Theatre (Coyote Gulch Art Village), 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 4th (free and open to the public)
2. Meet the Candidates Forum sponsored by the Washington County Board of Realtors and the Southern Utah Homebuilders Association, Dixie State College Gardner Center Ballroom, Oct. 7th, 11:45 a.m. (luncheon fee is required)
3. Meet the Candidates Forum sponsored by Sky Mountain residents, Sky Mountain clubhouse, 7 p.m., Oct. 7th (free and open to the public)
4. Community Meet & Greet, St. George Library (basement community room), 4 p.m. Oct. 8th (free and open to the public)
5. Dixie State College Homecoming Parade, Oct. 11th (details to follow)
6. 890 KDXU Mike McGary radio call-in show, 9 a.m. Oct. 14th
7. Community Meet & Greet, St. George Library (basement community room), 4 p.m. Oct. 14th (free and open to the public)
8. Meet the Candidates Forum at the Coral Canyon Elementary School, 7 p.m., Oct. 15th (free and open to the public)
9. Meet the Candidates Forum, Hurricane Chamber of Commerce, noon, Oct. 16th, Dixie State College Hurricane campus (luncheon fee required)

Be sure to check the calendar before attending events--we sometimes must make changes to accommodate many schedules and venues.

* Contribute donations to the art auction on Oct. 4th in Kayenta

The good folks of Kayenta are putting together a great art & outdoors event to mark the last 30 days of the campaign. Proceeds from donated art items will help our campaign raise the $12,000 we need to cover advertisement expenses before November 4th. To donate, call Julie Peacock at 673.6933. Thanks!

* Help us raise the $12,000 we need by Oct. 6th

It may sound outlandish, but based on what we've already spent to make this campaign happen so far, we know that we will need at least $12,000 more to cover the costs of newspaper, TV, radio, magazine and canvassing expenses. We're convinced that the outreach plan we've developed can influence the number of "old timers" and "newcomers" needed to succeed. But we can't do it without money. Please add your contribution to the Donate link at If you've already donated, we are deeply grateful for your generosity and invite you to add another contribution to this crucial outreach effort. You can extend your contribution by challenging your friends and family to match your donation too!

Thanks for all you do to Win With Lin!

The Committee to Elect Lin Alder

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pipeline Trek finale on Saturday

With only 40 miles left to go, Scott and I can almost taste the Trek's finish line...the Washington/Iron County border. We're really excited (and slightly afraid) about the footage and photos that photojournalist/videographer Blake Gordon has captured since our hiking/biking trek began at Glen Canyon Dam last Friday. Hopefully he'll edit out the embarrasing parts and focus on the stunning action footage he captured while riding along side us on his own bike (shall we say "dangerously") while also holding a special tripod with the video camera only inches away from the ground (and our bikes).

This exciting footage will be shown at the Trek finale on Saturday, Sept. 20th, along with beautiful images of rarely-seen places along the proposed Pipeline route and thought-provoking interviews with some real characters we've encountered along the way. The interviewes are from all sides of the Pipeline issue. The documentary is anything but one-sided, but it will also be a "rough cut" since Blake will have less than two days to edit and produce it.

You can see the documentary at the Gardner Center at Dixie State College on Saturday. The two screenings will begin at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday and the event will give you an opportunity to show support for the Lin Alder campaign.

Tuesday's adventures actually began on Monday night at the Honeymoon Trail atop the Hurricane Cliffs after the crowd dissipated following the Alan Gardner/Lin Alder "debate." (The Spectrum story can be seen at: ).

Almost immediately, a steady 25 to 30 mile wind picked up. The obnoxious gusts kept going into the morning even as Scott and I headed down the 1,200 foot Honeymoon Trail descent at 9 a.m.

The wind made it hard to sleep, but by the time sunrise came, I knew for a fact that Washington County has ample resources for a commercial wind farm...if only in a few places. The Black Ridge has long been an obvious spot, but now the Hurricane Cliffs are on my list of places to study for wind power. As a County Commissioner, I would gladly work to encourage the development of wind as well as our more abundant renewable energy source--solar.

Once Scott and I finished the white knuckle descent down the Honeymoon Trail by bike, we experienced our first equipment failure. Flat tire. The rear tire on my bike.

Scott graciously suggested that I ride ahead on his bike to hail our support truck by walkie talkie. I pedaled hard but never reached the truck--their radio had dead batteries. In this absence of radio contact, it seemed best for me to pedal the 8 to 10 miles to Sand Hollow Reservoir so our invited experts on the nasty invasive quagga mussels could begin their presentations on time at 1 p.m.

Everything turned out well and we learned that Utah's water officials are expecting Sand Hollow to become infested with mussels before the Pipeline is completed. It will be a big pain when the mussels show up and start clogging everything they can latch on to. Water officials aren't sure what the answers will be but mussel problems aren't new to America so they're confident solutions will be found. Expensive solutions--engineering and chemical--but solutions nonetheless.

We then pedaled in to Hurricane and made our way to the Town Park to hear Washington County Water Conservancy District Manager Ron Thompson discuss the pipeline with Utah Senate candidate Brooks Pace. Mayor Tom Hirschi moderated the discussion and a big thanks goes to Councilman Darrin Thomas for help with scheduling the event.

The discussion between Pace and Thompson reveals that differing opinions about the Pipeline are less about facts and figures and more about priorities and paradigms. Can Washington County support its future population with local water supplies? Both speakers would say yes, but they differ starkly about the validity of such an effort. Claims that Washington County will dry up and blow away without the Pipeline are countered with claims that the Pipeline would lead to the kind of community that most current residents would want to flee. Most of the comments and questions from the audience--particularly the "old timers"--suggested that the majority that night side with the latter viewpoint.

Lots of numbers were bantered about but perhaps the clearest distinction between the two speakers is the difference in paradigms regarding a citizen vote. Pace believes that the project cannot legitimately be built without a vote by those who would pay; Thompson suggests that the vote has already been cast by citizens whose elected officials mostly support the Pipeline.

The lively exchange between Pace and Thompson is exactly why Scott and I launched this trek. When asked what he wanted to add to this blog post, Scott simply said "It has been informative to listen to the people and see the places that would be affected by this project."

So, off we go to get more informed. Tonight's event (Wednesday, Sept. 17th) will be historian and former Dixie State College President Doug Alder speaking as LDS pioneer and southern Utah leader Erastus Snow. Alder will discuss the pioneer value of "Living Within One's Means" and its relation to our water future at the Anderson Junction Dance Shell at 6:30 p.m. (The Dance Shell is at the northeast section of the Toquerville exit off I-15). Doug also happens to be my Dad.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Pipeline Trek Hits the Sunday Paper

I couldn't quite tell whether Scott's favorite moment Saturday was when we finished our 25 mile ride or when he started into his second dinner at 9:30 p.m. He and I are both really drained from an energy standpoint but, not surprisingly, we're invigorated by the stunning landscapes we've seen in Kane County and the amount of intrigue about the Trek that we encounter everywhere we go.

Part of that intrigue made it to the Sunday editorial page of The Spectrum. The editors encourage readers to learn more about the Pipeline and its alternatives by attending the two debates set for Monday, Sept. 15th (between my opponent Alan Gardner and I) and Tuesday, Sept. 16th (between State Senate candidate Brooks Pace and Washington County Water Conservancy District Manager Ron Thompson. The Monday Alder/Gardner debate will be at a dramatically scenic viewpoint atop the Hurricane Cliffs at the historic Honeymoon Trail (scroll down for a map and directions). This is the route Mormon pioneers followed from northern Arizona to be married in the St. George Temple.

A carpool/caravan will be leaving for the Honeymooon Trail debate site at 6:30 p.m. from a pullout on the southwest side of Highway 59 that is 2.7 miles up the road from the bottom of the Hurricane Fault in Hurricane (just east of the Chums office building). You are welcome to join the carpool/caravan, just be sure to be at the pullout no later than 6:30 p.m on Monday night. It will definitely be a family oriented "citizenship in your community" event so kids are invited.

Here's the map and directions to the Honeymoon Trail event:

A highlight of Saturday's 25 mile bike ride today came as we pedaled through what seemed like a botanical garden full of yellow and white blooming bushes. The colorful plants seemed to cover just a few acres on either side of the dirt road but their contrast with the otherwise gray sage brush definitely caught our eyes. We wondered how long ago some microburst brought extra rain to this tiny patch.

Scott introduced me to a new term today: "potato dirt." It's the light, almost puffy soil in sage brush country that is very easy to work with a shovel. It almost feels like a pillow under foot. Today's ride was almost completely in potato dirt country which means putting in the pipeline would be much easier than at the Cockscomb to the east or the Hurricane Cliffs to the West. But we felt the same today as yesterday--this proposed pipeline route is very, very long and the hills are really, really big.

In fact, a hilarious moment happened yesterday when Scott and I were so tired during a water break that we could barely talk, much less think straight. We tried calculating the number of pounds of water the Pipeline pumps would have to lift each year. So many zeros!! We'll need to re-check the math once we've rested up but we think its about 3 billion pounds each year. That means a LOT of electricity.

After catching much needed showers and carb-heavy dinners last night, we ventured over to the Kanab City Library where a crowd of about 50 members of the Kane County Taxpayer Association and unaffiliated Kanab residents were gathered. The highlight of the evening was a very spirited debate between Kane County Water District Manager Mike Noel and Citizens for Dixie's Future Executive Director Paul Van Dam.

My take home message from the debate is that citizens involved with the conversation about the Pipeline are becoming more informed and empowered to challenge the establishment thinking about southwest Utah's water future. One of my favorite highlights was when Mike Noel said that Ron Thompson has no influence over who is selected to serve on the Washington County Water Conservancy District Board. This statement drew an immediate response from Paul Van Dam. "That's a falsehood," Van Dam said, completely deadpan.

Our next leg of the Trek involves about 10 miles of hiking from Highway 389 west of Fredonia to Highway 89 at the Kaibab Paiute Reservation and then another 10 miles of bike riding on 389 almost to Colorado City. Luckily we don't have any blisters so far but I could use some lotion for my sunburned face!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Wow, it's a LONG way...

Today Scott Hirschi and I logged 55 (!) miles on our bikes from Page, Arizona to a spot near Kanab where we'll start a 16+ mile hike tomorrow. Scott said it best after the ride today: "Lin, it is a LONG way from Lake Powell and we're not that far along the route."

I have to agree and must admit that I'm very, very tired at the moment. We had a great visit from reporters with The Spectrum and KCSG-TV at Church Wells. Jon Andrews, the Deputy Director at Utah's School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA), was on hand to discuss the pros and cons of developing a community on SITLA land near Big Water and storing portions of Utah's Colorado River water share underground. He offered a very balanced view in support of increasing earnings from SITLA's 55,000 acre Big Water property while also protecting SITLA's assets in Washington County.

An insightful paper from Dixie State College geology professor Gerry Bryant was read to the small gathering of people at Church Wells. His assessment of the possibility for aquifer storage called for more detailed studies.

Later, after riding to the Cockscomb near the Paria River, Allysia Angus, Landscape Planner for the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument reviewed the systematic processes used to determine which visual impacts of the proposed Lake Powell Pipeline would be allowed in the Monument and which would not.

Kanab businesswoman Susan Hand also offered a passionate explanation of why visual impacts are just one of the reasons she opposes the Pipeline. She points out that there is no "door" that can close a community to newcomers as some "old timers" say newcomers are prone to do. The Pipeline does not represent a door. It would actually be a conveyor belt that would force communities to draw in new residents in order to pay the exorbitant cost of the proposed project.

Scott was a major trooper today. His first-ever time on a road bike turned into a 55 mile slog. He'll be sore tomorrow but ready, as always, for another adventure.

We owe a big thank you to Dave Poffenberger, our support vehicle driver and fantastic cook, as well as Blake Gordon, a good-natured photojournalist/videographer who is producing a documentary of the trek. Dave and Blake helped out a bunch and even performed a miracle by locating Blake's cell phone after it disappeared in the Glen Canyon Dam parking lot and was run over by a car.

More adventures tomorrow!

Trek begins: Utah's Top Water Official Says Pipeline "Could be Eliminated."

The Lake Powell Pipeline Trek kicked off with a subtle but surprising bang on Thursday. Utah Division of Water Resources Director, Dennis Strong, spoke with Glen Canyon Dam to his back on a perfect September day. He said that if the communities of Washington County changed their landscape planting and watering ordinances, the Pipeline could be "delayed or eliminated."

Strong said that reducing outside watering is a decision that can and should be made by city councils. Washington County's communities could do this and free up enough water for future residents. This would eliminate the need for cities to sign water contracts for the Pipeline.

Strong pointed at me when acknowledging that many people in Washington County have recently pointed out that significant local water exists to support future growth. I took his gesture as a reference to the scores of people who have made this point in public meetings and letters-to-the-editor. His acknowledgment surprised me because of its context at the beginning of our trek to raise awareness and create dialoge about the controversial project.

Because the trek is about offering both pro-pipeline and pro-pipeline alternative viewpoints, Richard Ingebretsen, a physician and physics professor at the University of Utah who Chairs the Glen Canyon Institute also spoke. He pointed out that an average of 30,000 dump truck loads of sediment is added to Lake Powell every day. St. George will last longer than Lake Powell due to this sedimentation, so depending on it as a water source needs to be considered very, very carefully.

It is clear that the earth's temperature is rising, he explained, regardless of the cause. Every reputable climatologist suggests that future flows of the Colorado River will decline compared to historical flows. This means that sediment trapped in tributaries will more quickly fill the main canyon if and when reservoir levels go lower over time. So not only is the supply of water from Lake Powell suspect, the future of the reservoir itself is seriously in question.

Scott Hirschi and I jump on our bikes in a few hours to begin the muscle-powered trek to the west. Tune in later today for a report from the field.

What's next with the Pipeline Trek?

Check out KCSG-TV's coverage of the trek today at 5 and 9.

If you want to hear Paul Van Dam and Mike Noel debate the pipeline's merits, be at the Kane County Library in Kanab at 7 p.m. this Saturday.

My opponent, Alan Gardner, and I will be speaking about Vision Dixie, Sprawl and the Pipeline where the Honeymoon Trail meets the top of the Hurricane Cliffs at 6:30 p.m. on Monday (it's a great family night event, see the attached file for directions).

Ron Thompson, Washington County Water District Manager and Brooks Pace, Candidate for the Utah Senate, will debate the pipeline's merits in the Hurricane City Park, 200 North Main, at 6:30 on Tuesday night

Save the Date: September 20th at 4 or 6 p.m. (two showings), Join in the Trek's Grand Finale including photos, video and stories from the trek at the Dixie State College Gardner (Student) Center Ballroom and a way to support Lin's County Commission Campaign.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Peach Days

Hurricane Peach Days was a great event, and we got the word out to vote for Lin Alder!

Why is Lin hiking & biking 170 miles this week?

This 7 day Lake Powell Pipeline trek from Sept. 12th to 18th represents a lot of work at a time when some people say I should be "campaigning." But this week is set aside for something very important--expressing my commitment to a new kind of politics in Washington County. What our County needs are leaders who engage the citizens in the decision making process instead of cut citizens out of the process by deciding behind closed doors before the public is heard.

My fellow hiker on the 170 mile trek is Scott Hirschi, Director of the Washington County Economic Development Council. He is a pro-pipeline opinion leader in our community. I am a pro-pipeline alternatives candidate. Scott and I are intentionally spending this week listening to nearly two dozen experts who support and oppose the pipeline. Our intention is to hike and bike our way to a more informed community. In fact, the subtitle of our trek is "Creating Dialogue to Facilitate Informed Decisions."

We're lucky enough to have newspaper and TV reporters and a documentary filmmaker/photographer on the trip as well. So our intention of raising awareness of all sides of issue is coming true. By September 18th, I believe the public will be more informed about the most important decision we need to make together as a community--the fate of the Lake Powell Pipeline.

So should I be campaigning this week instead? If I were a traditional, more-of-the-same candidate, maybe I should be. But this trek sends a clear message to voters: Lin is willing to go the extra mile (or 170 extra miles) to engage the public in a new kind of well-informed, bi-partisan politics.

And as a supporter said of my campaign yesterday "Finally, not a good ol' boy!"

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

After School Pool Party

Last week's pool party at the Avenna center was a huge success! The word is out at Dixie State College about Lin Alder, and we've got newly registered voters ready to rock the vote! Here are a couple of pictures of some of our great young supporters!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Providing Energy

Colorado's leading energy provider, Xcel Energy, Inc., is moving into a nationwide leadership position by actively replacing coal plants with a mixture of natural gas, wind and solar plants. Colorado's Public Utilities Commission is also inspiring the state's energy providers to build the state's first concentrated solar power plant that uses materials like molten salt to store the power of the sun's heat for hours after sunset.
This is the kind of solar power plant I will work to bring to Washington County as a County Commissioner, in partnership with private enterprise and government decision makers.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Upcoming Events (11 ways to help)

The momentum is growing, our pace is quickening, the endorsements and donations are rolling in (we've raised over $16,000!) and our volunteers are getting ready for the campaign prime time. We've organized 11 great ways for you to join in the fun and help build the great momentum we're feeling all around the County (be sure to wear your t-shirt or pick one up at the event).

Dixie State College "Dorm Storm": Sunday, August 24th, 4 p.m. til ?, pass out After Party postcard invites to students who are moving in. MEET directly below the Dixie State College Fine Arts Building mural (near the tall fountain) at 4 p.m. for FREE ICE CREAM before the Dorm Storm.

Campaign Committee strategy session: Tuesday, August 26th, 1 p.m., help us be strategic and get stuff done! MEET: St. George Library basement conference room.

Dixie State College "Rush Week": Wednesday & Thursday, August 27th & 28th, 8 a.m. til 1 p.m., help with voter registration and getting students excited to Get Out The Vote for Lin Alder. MEET on the diagonal sidewalk south of the Dixie State College Browning Building (you will need to park off campus to avoid a ticket).

Hurricane Peach Days Festival: Friday, August 29th, 5 p.m. til dark, help pass out flyers and get festival goers excited to Vote for Lin Alder. MEET at the northeast area of the Hurricane Elementary school yard on State Road 9 (downtown Hurricane) and look for the Lin Alder/Lyman Whitaker booth.

Hurricane Peach Days Parade: Saturday, August 30th, 8:00 a.m., be your own rock star in a small town parade, throw candy to the kids and pass out fliers to the adults. MEET at 100 South and Main Street (by the Chums Building and Main Street Cafe). 

Hurricane Peach Days Festival: Saturday, August 30th, 8:30 a.m. til 2 p.m., help pass out fliers and get festival goers excited to Vote for Lin Alder. MEET at the northeast area of the Hurricane Elementary on State Road 9 (downtown Hurricane) and look for the Lin Alder/Lyman Whitaker booth.

Sign Posting Party: Tuesday, September 2, 1:30 p.m. til ??, help put up signs across western Washington County (St. George, etc) with members of Brooks Pace and Terry Moore's committees. MEET at the Ancestor Square Tower Building (parking lot side). Bring gloves, water, a snack and any of the following tools hammer, rubber mallet, cordless drill, fence post pounder. If you have a truck that you're willing to drive or lend, please let Lin know via email before August 30th. FREE FOOD! Please RSVP by Friday August 29th if you'd like to stay for a fun dinner get together.

St. George Community Meet & Greet: Tuesday, September 2, 6 p.m., co-hosted by Karl & Karla Brooks, Doug & Elaine Alder and Ellie Perelli. Invite your friends to this no-stress event and enjoy the light refreshments while Lin earns their vote. MEET: St. George Library basement conference room.

Sign Posting Party: Wednesday, September 3, 9 a.m. til 1 p.m., help put up signs across eastern Washington County (Hurricane, Springdale, etc) with members of Lyman Whitaker's committee. MEET at the Farmers Market in LaVerkin. Bring gloves, water, a snack and any of the following tools hammer, rubber mallet, cordless drill, fence post pounder. If you have a truck that you're willing to drive or lend, please let Lin know via email before August 30th. FREE FOOD! Please RSVP by Saturday August 30th if you'd like to stay for a fun lunch get together.

Sign Posting Party: Wednesday, September 3, 3 p.m. til ??, help put up signs across western Washington County (St. George, etc) with members of Brooks Pace and Terry Moore's committees. MEET at the Ancestor Square Tower Building (parking lot side). Bring gloves, water, a snack and any of the following tools hammer, rubber mallet, cordless drill, fence post pounder. If you have a truck that you're willing to drive or lend, please let Lin know via email before August 30th. FREE FOOD! Please RSVP by Friday August 29th if you'd like to stay for a fun dinner get together.

Thanks for helping us bring positive Energy for Our Future in Washington County,

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Renewable Power

When it comes to reducing our dependence on foreign oil, Colorado is at the front of the pack as this Washington Post article explains:

As Washington County Commissioner, I would follow the lead of Xcel, Colorado's equivalent to Rocky Mountain Power. I would engage business and legislative leaders in Salt Lake City and savvy investors in the energy sector to turn Washington County into Utah's leading producer of solar power. Because the summer sun spends the winter in Washington County, we have Utah's best potential for solar production. Now we need a leader who will help make this energy for the future a reality.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Flush With Energy

Check out this article from the New York times!

Did you all see this?

Flush With Energy



The Arctic Hotel in Ilulissat, Greenland, is a charming little place
on the West Coast, but no one would ever confuse it for a Four Seasons
— maybe a One Seasons. But when my wife and I walked back to our room
after dinner the other night and turned down our dim hallway, the hall
light went on. It was triggered by an energy-saving motion detector.
Our toilet even had two different flushing powers depending on — how
do I say this delicately — what exactly you're flushing. A two-gear
toilet! I've never found any of this at an American hotel. Oh, if only
we could be as energy efficient as Greenland!

A day later, I flew back to Denmark. After appointments here in
Copenhagen, I was riding in a car back to my hotel at the 6 p.m. rush
hour. And boy, you knew it was rush hour because 50 percent of the
traffic in every intersection was bicycles. That is roughly the
percentage of Danes who use two-wheelers to go to and from work or
school every day here. If I lived in a city that had dedicated bike
lanes everywhere, including one to the airport, I'd go to work that
way, too. It means less traffic, less pollution and less obesity.

What was most impressive about this day, though, was that it was
raining. No matter. The Danes simply donned rain jackets and pants for
biking. If only we could be as energy smart as Denmark!

Unlike America, Denmark, which was so badly hammered by the 1973 Arab
oil embargo that it banned all Sunday driving for a while, responded
to that crisis in such a sustained, focused and systematic way that
today it is energy independent. (And it didn't happen by Danish
politicians making their people stupid by telling them the solution
was simply more offshore drilling.)

What was the trick? To be sure, Denmark is much smaller than us and
was lucky to discover some oil in the North Sea. But despite that,
Danes imposed on themselves a set of gasoline taxes, CO2 taxes and
building-and-appliance efficiency standards that allowed them to grow
their economy — while barely growing their energy consumption — and
gave birth to a Danish clean-power industry that is one of the most
competitive in the world today. Denmark today gets nearly 20 percent
of its electricity from wind. America? About 1 percent.

And did Danes suffer from their government shaping the market with
energy taxes to stimulate innovations in clean power? In one word,
said Connie Hedegaard, Denmark's minister of climate and energy: "No."
It just forced them to innovate more — like the way Danes recycle
waste heat from their coal-fired power plants and use it for home
heating and hot water, or the way they incinerate their trash in
central stations to provide home heating. (There are virtually no
landfills here.)

There is little whining here about Denmark having $10-a-gallon
gasoline because of high energy taxes. The shaping of the market with
high energy standards and taxes on fossil fuels by the Danish
government has actually had "a positive impact on job creation," added
Hedegaard. "For example, the wind industry — it was nothing in the
1970s. Today, one-third of all terrestrial wind turbines in the world
come from Denmark." In the last 10 years, Denmark's exports of energy
efficiency products have tripled. Energy technology exports rose 8
percent in 2007 to more than $10.5 billion in 2006, compared with a 2
percent rise in 2007 for Danish exports as a whole.

"It is one of our fastest-growing export areas," said Hedegaard. It is
one reason that unemployment in Denmark today is 1.6 percent. In 1973,
said Hedegaard, "we got 99 percent of our energy from the Middle East.
Today it is zero."

Frankly, when you compare how America has responded to the 1973 oil
shock and how Denmark has responded, we look pathetic.

"I have observed that in all other countries, including in America,
people are complaining about how prices of [gasoline] are going up,"
Denmark's prime minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, told me. "The cure is
not to reduce the price, but, on the contrary, to raise it even higher
to break our addiction to oil. We are going to introduce a new tax
reform in the direction of even higher taxation on energy and the
revenue generated on that will be used to cut taxes on personal income
— so we will improve incentives to work and improve incentives to save
energy and develop renewable energy."

Because it was smart taxes and incentives that spurred Danish energy
companies to innovate, Ditlev Engel, the president of Vestas —
Denmark's and the world's biggest wind turbine company — told me that
he simply can't understand how the U.S. Congress could have just
failed to extend the production tax credits for wind development in

Why should you care?

"We've had 35 new competitors coming out of China in the last 18
months," said Engel, "and not one out of the U.S."