Category Archives: Adage

Internet speeds into jobs

Something good out of Chattanooga? The city with the fastest metropolitan Internet access plans to turn that into jobs.

Elizabeth Prann wrote for Fox 26 January 2013, City turns Internet speeds into jobs, that Chattanooga

is home to most advanced smart grid in the nation, customers are enjoying Internet speeds that are almost 100 times faster than the national average. Most Internet users in the U.S. have access to about 4.5 megabits of Internet speed.

We wish! OK, you can get spees that fast here: with Verizon 4G LTE, not too many places via land access.

So what’s Chattanooga got that’s better?

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Rockin’ for a Cause: Literacy Volunteer Program —Tom Hochschild

Seen 10 August 2012. -jsq


On Friday, October 5th I will be hosting a fundraiser called “Rockin’ for a Cause” to help fight illiteracy in South Georgia. Working with Dr. Marty Williams and Charlie Oliver, we hope to raise $6,000 for the Literacy Volunteer Program (LVP) of South Georgia. The LVP provides one-to-one tutoring to improve the reading, writing, and arithmetic skills of functionally illiterate individuals 16 years of age and older in South Central Georgia.

The ticket price for the event is $20 and includes an evening of good-time music from The Backstreet Blazers band, one raffle ticket for a chance to win a variety of great prizes, and an assortment of delicious appetizers. Dr. James LaPlant has graciously agreed to emcee the event.

“Rockin’ for a Cause” will take place on Friday, October 5th at The American Legion Post 13 located at 1301 Williams Street (behind Bazemore-Hyder Stadium) from 7:00-10:30 pm. In addition to an air-conditioned dance hall, the American Legion has a cash bar for beer and wine.

If you are interested in purchasing tickets before the night of the event, you may contact one of the following:

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The Council of Hamlets meets tonight in Valdosta!

The Valdosta City Council regular meeting is tonight. You remember them, the council that may or may not be able to say whether or not they can or cannot speak during, at the end of, or after their council meetings. Tonight they appoint people to boards that decide who can put up how big a sign, and that spend millions in your tax money.

I want to see if Mayor Fretti will keep to his word to expand the Wiregrass Solar plant.

Also, maybe now this city council can do what Gretna, Florida, did: put out a proclamation saying there will be no biomass plant. Or they could sit on their hands some more and wait until some Sonny finds a way to do it anyway.

They have lots of other stuff on their agenda for tonight, including an appointment to the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBOA), and an appointment to the Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks & Recreation Authority.

ZBOA decides on variances to Valdosta’s LDR and Lowndes County’s ULDC, including sign variances, much to the annoyance of some local entitled rich people and of McDonald’s.

Parks & Rec receives 1.5 mil of tax money, about $4.5 million dollars a year, more than the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority (VLCIA). Parks and Rec board members get to spend that tax money that you pay.

5:30 PM Thursday, June 9, 2011
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Southern Company “bullish” on solar

Colleen Kiernan, director of the Georgia chapter of the Sierra Club, wrote in the Atlanta Business Chronicle 22 May 2011, Wind energy a viable option for Southern Co.’s portfolio:
Two years ago, Southern Co. claimed “Renewable energy sources like wind and solar are not really an option for us in the Southeast.”

Now the new CEO, Thomas Fanning, says he’s “bullish” on solar. While the new attitude on solar is refreshing,

I’ve seen this before. AustinEnergy went in one year from solar isn’t an option to Continue reading

What will you do? —John S. Quarterman @ VCC 7 April 2011

I wanted to know what the council and the protesters will do when the biomass plant is canceled. I still want to know: what will you do?

Here’s the video, followed by my points.

What will you do? —John S. Quarterman @ VCC 7 April 2011
Regular monthly meeting of the Valdosta City Council (VCC),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 7 April 2011,
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.

Before I started, the mayor noted that many people needed to go to an event at 7PM (he didn’t name it, but it was the 100 Black Men Annual Dinner.) He offered to proceed with scheduled business and re-open Citizens to be Heard at the end of the meeting. Nobody objected. I had already waited until nobody else seemed to want to speak.

My points: Continue reading

It’s an opportunity –John S. Quarterman

“Like a burned-over longleaf pine, we can come back from this recession greener than ever, if we choose wisely.”

Here is my response to James R. Wright’s questions about jobs and priorities. -jsq

It’s an opportunity for those of us who are not currently searching for our next meal to help those who need jobs, and thereby to help ourselves, so they don’t turn to crime. Like a burned-over longleaf pine, we can come back from this recession greener than ever, if we choose wisely.

Switchgrass seemed like a good idea five or ten years ago, but there is still no market for it.

Meanwhile, local and organic agriculture is booming, and continued to boom right through the recession.

Not just strictly organic by Georgia’s ridiculously restrictive standards for that, but also less pesticides for healthier foods, pioneered as nearby as Tifton. That’s two markets: one for farmers, stores, and farmers’ markets in growing and distributing healthy food, and one for local banks in financing farmers converting from their overlarge pesticide spraying machinery to plows and cultivators.

Similarly, biomass may have seemed like a good idea years ago, but with Adage backing out of both of its Florida biomass plants just across the state line, having never built any such plant ever, the biomass boom never happened.

Meanwhile, our own Wesley Langdale has demonstrated to the state that

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Biomass or carbon trading or something else?

To get an idea of why big timber growers might find biomass attractive, here’s an article by Terry Dickson in the Florida Times-Union from 20 June 2005, State’s forestry industry in an ‘alarming decline’
People have long debated whether there is a sound if a tree falls in a forest but nobody is there to hear it.

The fall of revenue from Georgia’s forestry industry, however, has attracted a lot of attention — but $10 billion is hard to ignore.

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What does Adage giving up on Florida mean to south Georgia?

Wesley Langdale, left, President of The Langdale Company, and Reed Wills, right, President of ADAGE, pose at the ADAGE press announcement.
Is Adage giving up on building biomass plants in Gretna, Florida a year ago and in Hamilton County, Florida this year good news for Lowndes County, Georgia, just north of the Florida border?

When Adage announced their proposed Hamilton County, Florida biomass site in May 2009, they already had something Wiregrass Power LLC has never achieved:

“…and The Langdale Company for the supply of waste wood to the project.

“Renewable energy is the next frontier for the working forest, which has been creating jobs and cleaning our air and water for generations,” said Wesley Langdale, President of The Langdale Company. “Working with partners such as AREVA and Duke Energy gives our 115-year-old company confidence in the viability and sustainability of the project.” Langdale and ADAGE made this announcement during the Forest Landowners Association annual conference in Amelia Island.

Hamilton County, Florida is of course just across the state line from Lowndes County, Georgia, home of The Langdale Company. What will removing the nearby competition do for Wiregrass Power LLC’s proposed biomass plant in Lowndes County, Georgia, which still has no suppliers of wood? Will Adage’s failure to build any biomass plants ever serve as a model? Or will something else happen?


Shell companies: Adage and Wiregrass Power LLC

Look through the shell companies like Adage to the real backers. Why is the source of the recent news about Adage biomass plants being cancelled the Charlotte Business Journal? Adage is “An Areva/Duke Energy advanced biopower company.” And Charlotte is where Duke Energy is based.

John Downey concludes his article in the Charlotte Business Journal of 16 March 2011:

The joint venture has yet to build a biomass plant anywhere. DePonty says it is clear that Adage will not achieve the goal announced when Duke and Areva formed it to build 10 to 12 biomass plants around the country by 2013.
Seems like the biomass gold rush is fizzling.

Meanwhile, back in Valdosta, Wiregrass Power LLC, the shell company for the biomass plant, is owned by Sterling Planet, whose founder and chairman Sonny Murphy spoke at the groundbreaking for the Wiregrass Solar LLC plant, another Sterling Planet subsidiary. I’m sure Chairman Murphy is aware that his solar plant is already completed while his biomass plant still has no suppliers of raw materials, goods, or services nor buyers for its electricity. Also, the biomass plant site preparation start date is now 1 June 2011, when, if I’m not mistaken, it used to be January 2011. And at the most recent VLCIA board meeting, the only mention I heard of biomass was by a citizen who spoke against it while the VLCIA’s project manager spoke at some length about the completion of the solar plant. Seems to me building out the solar plant in two directions, like VLCIA discussed at a previous board meeting, would make the most sense at this point. I guess we’ll see what Chairman Murphy does.


Adage and Gretna’s mayor

That previous plant in Florida was the one in Gretna, Gadsden County, Florida, cancelled last year, according to John Downey in the Charlotte Business Journal, 16 October 2010. In the Gretna case, the mayor of Gretna posted a press release 16 March 2010 saying:
Mayor Anthony Baker of the City of Gretna announced today that in light of Adage, LLC’s decision to suspend activity on its proposed Bioenergy facility slated for construction in Gretna (as well as suspension of its application for an air permit through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection) that the City now considers this matter closed and will take no further action on Adage’s request to locate this facility in Gretna. Inasmuch as the Bioenergy Plant could neither legally operate nor be sited in Gretna without an air permit, the City concluded that this was no longer a viable project and Adage’s decision to suspend activity on its air permit indicated that further consideration of the project by the City was unwarranted. Since there were no issues pending before the City of Gretna requiring action by its Commission relative to the Plant, the Mayor deemed termination of the project as final disposition of this matter as far as the City is concerned.
This is despite promises of jobs, jobs, jobs: Continue reading