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Comanche Peak defendants put nuclear power on trial at Glen Rose. The day shift heads home from Comanche Peak construction site. people go to escape the anonymity of urban living and where younger families take their children to get away from bigcity drug problems and the like. It’s the county seatpopulation 2,000for the third smallest county in Texas \(which is also, as its citizens are quick to point out, The hills and fields around Glen Rose and Somervell County are scenic, but most are only marginally suited ‘for farming. There was cotton in the county at the turn of the century, but today it’s gone. The flowing wells and mineral springs, which made the county a popular health spa and weekend resort in the ’20s and ’30s, have also disappeared. Even the cedar brakes have been cleared of “white lightning” and the stills that made the county a bootlegging center during Prohibition. In recent years, retired people have made up 60 percent of the county’s population, and many are dependent on minimal social security payments. Except for a few farmers raising grain and peanuts along the river bottoms and some absentee landowners, most people around Glen Rose are small landholders raising cattle or hogs and supplementing their income with full-time jobs outside the county. In Glen Rose itself, those who aren’t realtors, insurance salesmen, small merchants, or government employees have also had to find work outside the countythat is, until the nuclear plant began contruction five years ago. People who stay in Glen Rose and Somervell County do so because they like the small-town atmosphere where family, school, and church are part of a closely related community. As a former high school sweetheart says: “You can be somebody here. You know everybody, and everybody’s life seems important.” absence of citizen activismor the resources that fuel such activism. “You don’t find knowledgeable scientists on street corners in a place like Glen Rose,” says Marilyn Stinson, who runs an independent trucking business with her husband. They are among the few local residents to question openly the benefitS . of Comanche Peak.. Even the reports of what happened at Three Mile Island seem to have left the county untouched. The first thing you are apt to hear from many citizens is a recitation of the plant’s economic benefits, followed by a shrug of the shoulders and an expression of resignation about the future. “We need new energy. Look at Iran. If it’s not here, it’ll be somewhere else. What are the alternatives? The government’s looking after it, and it should know more than we do.” “If big business and government want something, they’ll get it.” It is attitudes like these that helped spark the first antinuclear occupation last June. “We wanted to find a way of getting information into the community,” says Mavis Belisle, a founder of Comanche Peak Life Force and one of the occupation’s organizers. “I felt that many people didn’t understand what they were facing with the nuclear plant.” Until earlier this year, Belisle, a 35year-old editor at the weekly Texas Catholic newspaper in Fort Worth, was like many other antinuclear activists in TexasfocuSing efforts on legal rallies, marches, teach-ins, and intervention in utility rate cases. She was a member of the Armadillo Coalition, one of the oldest antinuclear organizations in Texas and based in Dallas-Fort Worth. Last In Glen Rose, everyone knows everyone else’s business, and people don’t easily commit themselves to things that may threaten an established network of family and friends. Except when liquor becomes an issue, most people remain politically uninvolved. Places like this have become ideal locations for modern power plants, particularly the controversial ones like coal and nuclear. They are sparsely populated, and they do not have a strong voice in state politics. They have available land and water, and their tax rates and property values are low. Their elected officials and businessmen are generally hungry for new sources of revenue. Also important, though rarely mentioned by residents, is the traditional