**UPDATE: 4:15PM – TransCanada’s Workers Turned Away!
TransCanada’s surveying crews arrived at David’s to set up for Keystone XL construction. They saw our big community rally and turned away! Another delay is another day that David’s home and business will be safe.
David Hightower and his family are rallying with the community and supporters with Tar Sands Blockade in his front yard for another community cookout and rally to defend his home. We were invited back after the outpouring of support from last Friday’s rally to stop the Keystone XL pipeline from cutting 200ft from his front door and plowing through his home business, a muscadine grape vineyard. His nephew, Jerry Hightower, is happy to see the 25 supporters and affected landowners from across the area who have rallied to support his family farm.
“I heard some of TransCanada’s machinary within earshot this morning. They want to plow right through my uncle’s vineyard that he’s carefully tended by hand for the last 12 years,” said Jerry Hightower. “Now how you gunna do that to someone who’s a veteran? He served this country for 20 years and this is how they are treating him.”
Here’s more from our friends at the East Texas Observer.
In 1957, David Hightower’s parents bought 70 acres of land and moved their family onto the property north of Winnsboro, Texas. The land is rolling and beautiful, and from the time David was three years old he called it home.
David grew up, married, raised a family and spent 20 years serving in the U.S. Air Force. In 1999, David and his wife retired back to his homeplace to start up a vineyard and plant an orchard. They now have 500 running feet of productive muscadine grapes, as well as mature peach, pear, and persimmon trees.
David’s mother, in her 80’s, was approached by TransCanada several years ago with a contract for the Keystone XL pipeline to cross this property. She signed, without fully understanding what this would mean. She has since passed away, and David, while not wanting the pipeline, also didn’t want to cause his mother additional stress in her last years of life by vocalizing his opposition to this project.
The pipeline will take out a good portion of his vineyard and fruit trees. It will be mere feet away from their home. This is not the peaceful retirement that David and his wife envisioned. The destruction to their vineyard and orchard will be immense.
David talked to representatives about just moving the pipeline over a few feet, so at least the vineyard and trees would be spared. TransCanada refused to change the pipeline route.
In David Hightower’s words, “I just wish they would go away”.
The East Texas Observer cannot help but observe the lack of help Texans have received from our elected officials to protect our land from vicious predators such as TransCanada. This pipeline, carrying a bellyful of poison, will benefit no one but TransCanada. Why are thieves being allowed to steal our property?