Author Archives: admin

On the LAKE front has moved

How do you like the new wordpress site for the LAKE blog? We’re still settling in here, so there will probably be some changes yet. Meanwhile, all the old content is here in the new location.

Videos: Tourism Authority February meeting @ VLCCCTA 2013-02-27

Here are videos of the February meeting of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Convention Center and Tourism Authority. We can guess they met again 27 March 2013, but there’s nothing on their website or their facebook page to indicate that. Their Chair did say 27 March 2013 was the next meeting right at the end of this meeting. And their executive did promise the new website will have meeting times, list of board members, etc. They’re spending money on security cameras and VCRs; hm, maybe they could use some of those cameras to record their own events? Maybe record other board and authorities, and maybe even elected bodies?

I would post the agenda, but I don’t have one; only this picture of the announcement on the door of the Convention Center.

They talked about financials and events vs. event days; they had 25 events in January, down slightly from the same month a year ago, but event-days were similar. Perhaps someone would like to listen to the whole thing and report back on what they did?

Here’s a video playlist:

Videos: Tourism Authority February meeting
Regular Session, Valdosta Lowndes County Conference Center and Tourism Authority (VLCCCTA),
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 27 February 2013.


NJ 1 GW Solar: GA #22

While Georgia failed to reform its antique Territorial Electric Service Act and toyed with a solar monopoly, New Jersey, far to the north with far less sun, finished installing a gigawatt (1,000 megawatts) of solar power. The rest of the U.S. installed 3.3 MW total, slightly higher than projections of 3.2 MW, but Georgia lagged behind. When will the legislature and the Public Service Commission, and perhaps more importantly, Georgia Power and Southern Company, stop stop wasting our money on that three-legged nuclear regulatory-capture boondoggle at Plant Vogtle and get on with solar in Georgia for jobs, for profit, and for clean air and water?

Pete Danko wrote for Earth Techling and Huffpo 20 March 2013, New Jersey Solar Capacity Hits 1 Gigawatt,

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U.S. installed 3.3 Gigawatts of solar in 2012, on target

Moore’s law continues to drive solar costs down and installations up. According to SEIA, U.S. Market Installs 3,300 Megawatts in 2012; Driven by Record Fourth Quarter,

2012 was a historic year for the U.S. solar industry. There were 3,313 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaic (PV) capacity installed throughout the year, which represents 76% growth over 2011’s record deployment totals. The fourth quarter of 2012 was also the largest quarter on record as 1,300 MW came online, driven in part by unprecedented installation levels in the residential and utility markets. SEIA and GTM Research forecast that the market will continue to grow at a steady clip with over 4,200 MW of PV and 940 MW of concentrating solar power (CSP) expected to come online in 2013. (All data from SEIA/GTM Research “U.S. Solar Market Insight 2012 Year-In-Review” unless otherwise noted.)

And those new installations are driven by solar PV prices continually falling in Moore’s Law for solar:

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Billions for Cape Wind

Wind, wind, blow away the NIMBYs.

David Richardson wrote for Grist today, Cape Wind wins billions in backing, launches offshore wind in the U.S.

What do you do when local opposition to an offshore wind farm project dries up, when the NIMBY crowd runs out of steam, when the federal government gives the green light and extends every permit and courtesy the law will allow, when the technology is tested and proven, and there’s nothing left to do but build it? Well, then you go looking for money — lots of it. After more than a decade of preparation, the Massachusetts wind energy company Cape Wind has done just that — and the results are looking promising.

A $2 billion agreement with Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ penned last week catapults Cape Wind to a commanding lead in the race to be the first offshore wind project in the U.S. When complete, 130 turbines in Nantucket Sound will generate 468 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 100,000 to 200,000 households in the Cape Cod region, depending on the season. If the company can get construction started this year, Cape Wind’s clean power could begin turning on lights from Buzzards Bay to Provincetown by 2015.

There’s more in the article.


Rural hospitals closing

A state that forces hospital closings by refusing Medicare expansion while spending a billion dollars a year on locking up too many prisoners has its priorities wrong.

Tom Baxter wrote for SaportaReport yesterday, Ominous signs for rural Georgia as hospitals shut their doors,

Lewis forecast at the beginning of the year that five to six rural hospitals might be forced to close in 2013, and already there have been two. Calhoun Memorial Hospital in Arlington closed in February, and Stewart-Webster Hospital in Richland shut its doors last week.

That’s only a foretaste, Lewis says, of what’s going to happen when the Affordable Care Act next year eliminates the subsidies which have been key to the survival of many of these hospitals, and imposes new standards — for instances, penalizing hospitals for readmitting patients in less than 30 days — which will directly impact their bottom line.

“We will probably get hurt worse than any state in the nation,” Lewis said last week. “It’s not like we will be friendly faces to the feds, and they’re going to come in and do major damage to us. ” He’s certainly not an enthusiastic fan of Obamacare, but thinks the state has no choice but to accept the Medicaid expansion which was intended as compensation for what the new law takes away.

“With Obamacare coming down the pike, if we don’t get some kind of relief in (Medicaid) expansion, we will face certain death,” Lewis said last week.

Ah, so the problem isn’t ObamaCare: it’s Gov. Deal’s refusal to accept Medicaid expansion! The AJC warned us about that back in August:

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Valdosta PR about wastewater issues

The city of Valdosta responds. I have decorated this PR with a few images with links, and a few comments after it. -jsq

Mayor and Council Address Recent Wastewater Issues,

The Valdosta Mayor and City Council are committed to providing quality municipal services that meet the expectations of our citizens. In addition to providing fire and police protection and other beneficial quality of life services, the city leadership is equally committed to providing adequate water and wastewater treatment services to its citizens, maintaining a functioning sewer collection system and discharging treated water in an environmentally responsible manner.

Recently, citizens have been inundated with information about the current state of the city’s wastewater treatment plant and sewer collection system, as well as the decisions made during the recent flood event. The following information is provided to explain the recent event and to help citizens better understand these important issues and the dedicated work of their elected officials and municipal staff.


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Prison gang violence

This is what eventually happens in a country with 5% of the world’s population yet 25% of the world’s prisoners, in a state that has 1 in 13 adults in the prison system (jail, prison, probation, or parole): prison violence the prisons can’t deal with, possibly including the mysterious violence at Valdosta State Prison. When we stop locking up so many people by ending the war on drugs, we’ll have plenty of money to adequately secure the few remaining real violent offenders.

Rhonda Cook wrote for the AJC Saturday, Gang violence in prison is increasingly deadly,

In a little more than 10 months, 12 inmates and a guard have been stabbed to death in Georgia prisons, a dramatic uptick in violence that law enforcement officials and human rights advocates agree points to increased gang activity.

“We cannot remember a time like this when we were getting this volume and severity of violence,” said Sara Totonchi, executive director of the Southern Center for Human Rights, which monitors prison violence.

People who go into such prisons, if they aren’t already violent, are likely to be taught to be violent, and some just don’t come back out. Yet those that do get out can be bad for the rest of us:

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Spilling Sewage Pictures by Gabe Fisher 3:30 PM 24 March 2013

Received yesterday. -jsq

Date: Sun, 24 Mar 2013 15:43:47 -0400


All, just so everyone is on the same page- the sewer line is currently spilling sewage. It just started at mu house but has been going strong at sugar creek for awhile by the looks of it. Here are some current pictures as of 3:30 today. It will get worse until the river crests..


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Videos: Beer, filters, roads, weather, and executive session @ LCC 2013-03-25

A beer license, and some filters for public works: that's all that's on the agenda for the unquestioning Lowndes County Commission. They did have two very brief reports on the weekend's weather and how they dealt with it. Then they went into executive session for real estate and litigation, which seems to have been the real purpose of this meeting, which otherwise lasted four minutes. They vote on the agenda items Tuesday at 5:30 PM.

Here's the agenda, with links to the videos and some notes.

WORK SESSION, MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2013, 8:30 a.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor
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