Category Archives: Economy

Update: Chemical smell, schools, and industry on Clay Road

Maybe ask the company that adopted Clay Road? Response yesterday from the EMA Lowndes facebook page:

Hi, as a point of clarification emergency personnel responded to reports of an odor; however, after thorough investigation no evidence of a chemical leak or release could be identified or confirmed. As a precaution, the Board of Education property was accessed by responders. No evidence of contamination was present. A follow up visit to the area later this morning reports the odor was no longer present.

Thank you, EMA Lowndes, for responding, and on a weekend, too.

However, people couldn’t get home that night.

ADM Adopt-A-Street, From Howell Road
Adopt-A-Street ADM, Clay Road north from Howell Road google street view.

I still think it would be good to check with nearby industry. Maybe start with Continue reading

SGRC Regional Plan Update Workshop in Valdosta 2017-09-21

Received yesterday:

Good Morning,

A quick reminder for our 1st Regional Plan Update Workshop on:

September 21st, 2017 9:30a to 12:30p

Valdosta SGRC Offices at 327 W. Savannah Ave

The first workshop will cover the following topics:

Regional Bicycle Corridors
Regional Bicycle Corridors

  1. Review the existing issues and opportunities within the Region and determine whether Continue reading

Videos: Bids for emergency road repair! Appointments: Library Board, Development Authority, millage @ LCC 2017-08-21

Bids for an emergency repair! This could be a first, instead of their usual sole source approve-it-right now method. See the County Manager’s Report, in which County Engineer Mike Fletcher describes bids incoming from both Scruggs and Reames for temporary repair to Rocky Ford Road.

Below are links to each LAKE video of yesterday morning’s Work Session with a few notes, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the agenda with notes about appointments and millage. And see also the 5 PM today Millage Rate Meeting.

Continue reading

Lowndes County Millage Rate Meeting @ LCC Millage 2017-08-22

This is all she wrote on Lowndes County’s web pages: no agenda, no draft documents. Lowndes County Millage Rate Meeting

Date: August 22, 2017

Time: 5:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Location: Board of Commissioners Administration Building

Address: 327 N. Ashley Street
2nd Floor
Valdosta, GA 31601

What is the millage?
Still from WWALS video of Millage Public Hearing @ LCC Millage 2016-08-23

Rummaging around in the agenda sheet for 6.a. Adoption of Millage on the 5:30 PM Regular Session agenda, we find: Continue reading

Appointments: Library Board, Development Authority, millage, cameras @ LCC 2017-08-21

Maybe the county would have enough applicants their Work Session, Monday morning at 8:30 AM, if they advertised for applicants for open board seats, such as on the Development Authority of Lowndes County, And if they posted the application sheets for the applicants they did get, such as for the Lowndes County Library Board, we’d have some idea of who they are. They could even say whether the millage is going up or down.

According to the agenda sheet for the appointment to the Lowndes County Library Board,

There is a vacant seat on the Lowndes County Library Board. The Board of Trustees of the South Georgia Regional Library System respectfully requests the appointment of Mr. Gene Toffolo to fill the vacant seat.

They don’t say who applicant Gene Toffolo is. According to the South Georgia Regional Library he’s a 2016 Friends of the Library Board member:


Front Left to Right: Kay Scott, Janet Toffolo, Mary Helen Watson (President), Merrilee Casady, Sarah Smart (Vice President), Robert DeVan (Treasurer)
Back Left to Right: Gene Toffolo, Patricia Marks, Riley Howard, Karl Osmus, John Swiderski (Secretary)

The county’s agenda and agenda sheet for the Lowndes County Library Board don’t say whose seat expired or maybe somebody resigned. The county’s web page for this board is no more helpful, listing these members and expirations, none of which expires in 2017: Continue reading

Videos: Budget, Tax, Sewage Pump Station, Road Abandonment @ LCC 2017-06-27

They unanimously approved everything except the one withdrawn item, and except for the Executive Session, the whole thing took 9 minutes. They meet again 8:30 AM Monday morning 24 July 2017.

Below are links to each LAKE video of the 27 June 2017 Lowndes County Commission Regular Session, with a very few notes, followed by a video playlist. See also the LAKE videos of the previous morning’s Work Session including the Zika Presentation by Ken Lowery; and the agenda.

The real worst and best cases of climate change

What do you want? The planet Venus? The current degraded Earth? Or a better world we know how to create?

What if it's a big hoax and we create a better world for nothing?
Joel Pett, Lexington Herald Leader, 18 March 2012, The cartoon seen ’round the world

Mostly I post about solar and wind power winning, which is what I think is happening. But sometimes it’s worth a reminder of what could happen if we do nothing about climate change, and I posted on my facebook page a story about that. Which actually didn’t go far enough to the real worst case. Nonetheless, that story has been attacked by numerous parties of all political and scientific and unscientific stripes for being too doom and gloom. Yet none of the attackers bothered to mention a best case beyond “the same world we have now”. I have news for you: the world we have now is an ecological catastrophe, and we can do a lot better. So here’s the real worst case, the current case, which is far from the best of all possible worlds, and the real best case, as I see it. Plus what we can do to head for the best case.

grinning fossilized skull

First, the story I posted: David Wallace-Wells, New York Magazine, 9 July 2017, The Uninhabitable Earth: Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak — sooner than you think. Notice that word “could”, which a lot of his critics seem to have ignored. He didn’t say “will”, and he clearly labeled what he was presenting as worst case scenarios.

In case anybody thinks he was making any of that stuff up, Wallace-Wells has also linked to an annotated version with footnotes for every substantial assertion. The annotated version notes at the top: Continue reading

Video: Solar panels, heck yeah! –Tom Fanning, CEO, at SO stockholder meeting 2017-05-24

Tom Fanning, our genial CEO host, said some things I’ve never heard him say before like Southern Company is “pivoting towards wind” and SO’s board soon has to decide whether to go forward with Plant Vogtle “or not” probably by August. Fanning gets the first and last word in this blog post, plus a complete transcript of what I asked and Tom Fanning’s response, along with summaries of the other questions and answers.

Well see how it develops --Tom Fanning
Please hear me! I think renewables are exceedingly important in the future.
— Tom Fanning, CEO, Southern Company

In SO’s own meeting video of the 25 May 2017 Stockholder Meeting, you can see much praise about solar power and wind and R&D and a smart grid, along with stockholders wondering: Continue reading

Videos: Budget, Tax, Sewage Pump Station, Road Abandonment, Zika @ LCC 2017-06-26

Tonight at 5:30 PM they vote on what they discussed yesterday morning at the Lowndes County Commission. But you won’t hear the Zika Presentation by Ken Lowery; that was only in the Work Session. It was by far the longest item, at seven minutes, longer than all the rest of the meeting, which took less than six minutes. The second longest item at almost a minute and a half was abandonment of a portion of Ponce de Leon Trail (CR 374).

You will see them adopt the Fiscal Year 2018 budget. See the previous post for more background about the budget requests that the county almost all denied.

Below are Continue reading

Budget, Tax, Sewage Pump Station, Road Abandonment, Zika @ LCC 2017-06-26

They’re going to adopt the county budget Tuesday, after talking about it this morning at 8:30 AM, after complaining that nobody showed up at a budget hearing they didn’t announce. Also after refusing budget requests due to revenue continuing down for several years, and not being willing to adjust taxes.

The VDT summarized, Thomas Lynn, VDT, 23 May 2017, County Manager: Proposed budget austere; Most new funding requests denied. And Thomas Lynn, 22 June 2017, Public absent from county budget hearing. No wonder, since the county didn’t even post the meeting online until that same morning, with no agenda. The VDT wasn’t there most of the time, but Gretchen was, with the LAKE video camera.

LAKE video by Gretchen Quarterman of Harrison Tillman and Stephanie Black about Budget at the Lowndes County Annual Planning Meeting Day 1 @ LCC 2017-02-16
Photo: Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE of Harrison Tillman and Stephanie Black about Budget at the Lowndes County Annual Planning Meeting Day 1 @ LCC 2017-02-16

Gretchen also videoed Continue reading