Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

September 16, 2013

Man plans to traverse continent on foot to protest pipeline

JACKSONVILLE — Seth Harris looked refreshed Friday morning. Refreshed, but in a little pain from an angry case of shin splints he developed over the days he's walked from Houston to Jacksonville, some 175 miles.

Those miles are just a drop in the bucket of what Harris, 27, calls his "personal pilgrimage," a walk from Houston to Hardisty, Alberta, Canada, with some 2,000 miles to go, in protest of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Passing through Jacksonville, Harris stopped to recharge Thursday and Friday nights and planned to make his way up US Hwy 69 to Tyler on Saturday or Sunday.

His plan was to "start where it ends." At the pipeline, that is. The controversial pipeline, which stretches from Hardisty, Alberta, Canada, to the Houston-Port Arthur area will transport oil sands bitumen across the continent. Harris will complete his journey at the origin of the pipeline, which also crosses Cherokee County at two points in the eastern portion of the county.

"It's a spiritual journey for me," said the Pasadena, Calif., native. "My hope is to reach as many people as I can and I hope what I'm doing can raise awareness."

Harris objects to the use of fossil fuels as an energy source.

"Personally I feel I would like to live in a society that is trying not to live off of fossil fuels," he explained. "There's too many dire implications for us now and for future generations."

The walk is an act of personal accountability, he said.

"If I believe in something so strongly I have to see what I can do to support that," he said. "I have enjoyed the comforts of easy fuel, but I think about how I can now act in a way that goes along with my beliefs."

Harris, who wears New Balance running shoes and carries a back-up pair of kicks with him, acknowledges that his walk isn't likely to influence President Barack Obama or other leaders.

"But it's a signal to them showing that we're taking this seriously," he said. "It matters to us and to future generations."

Harris hopes his peaceful protest will give a "glimmer of hope" to innovators or inventors who have an idea for alternative fuel and energy sources.

His walk began Sept. 3 and he hopes to complete it in about 105 days.

"The specter of winter is looming large," he said with a laugh.

The whole walk amounts to an extremely meaningful life experience for him, Harris said.

The message he hopes people will take away is to "Be curious, be kind and take care of each other."

"If you see someone who is in need of anything of any kind, just ask," he said.

"There's joy and meaning in connecting with people and to give ourselves into taking care of each other."

Text Only
Local News
  • Catherine look.tif Religious lines drawn: Protesters met by members of Church of Wells

    Other than a few community members' voices that rose above the crowd, the protest Saturday against the Church of Wells remained peaceful.

    April 15, 2014 3 Photos

  • HOPE event Pic 433.tif Folks attend weekend fundraiser for H.O.P.E.

    It was an evening fit for royalty, as supporters of the Helping Others Pursue Enrichment (H.O.P.E.) program gathered Saturday at The Castle on the Lake outside Jacksonville for “A Renaissance Evening.”

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Church Member looks.tif Church of Wells members attend protest

    About 30 members of the Church of Wells arrived at a protest Saturday. The event was planned after an incident at Wells Homecoming Day on April 5 where the church loudly "street preached" causing a disruption. Three of the church members were injured by two men at the parade. On Saturday, the event was peaceful, despite a few loud voices.

    See the complete story and photos in the next edition of the Daily Progress on Tuesday, April 15.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • ScholarshipAwards.tif 5 receive scholarships from Chamber’s Agri-Business Committee

    The Agri-Business Committee of the Jacksonville Chamber recently awarded five $1,000 scholarships at the Annual Cherokee County Junior Livestock Show on March 29.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Deadline to file taxes nears

    As an April 15 deadline for individuals to file their 2013 federal tax return approaches, pressure is mounting for tax preparers.

    April 11, 2014

  • Protest, march planned in Wells

    The town of Wells is planning a march to the R&R Mercantile on U.S. Hwy. 69 from the former Dairy Queen to protest the Church of Wells.
    The event is planned for 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

    April 11, 2014

  • Court date set for JP hearing

    A court date has been reset to April 28 for a hearing of a petition by a local primary candidate in an upcoming Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace race.

    April 11, 2014

  • Luncheon to include update on Lake Columbia

    Updates on the proposed Lake Columbia will be the topic at the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce luncheon.  
    Kelly Holcomb, general manager for Angelina Neches River Authority, will provide updated information on the proposed Lake Columbia between Jackson-ville and New Summerfield.

    April 11, 2014

  • KiwanisDrive.tif Kiwanis Club collects 2,000 pounds of food

    Kiwanis members serve their communities all year long. But the excitement for service really builds in April each year when Kiwanis members come together for Kiwanis One Day – a day of community service that is felt around the world.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Several topics reviewed at council meeting

    Property footage, street closures and scheduling a date to canvass the upcoming municipal election were discussed Tuesday during the Jacksonville City Council meeting.

    April 10, 2014