Category Archives: Tennessee

Defibrilators from Homeland Security @ LCC 2014-04-07

The KLVB presentation told us up to three states dump in the Pecan Row Landfill in Lowndes County, for which the county gets some unspecified amount of tipping fees, which go to fund KLVB. An appointment to KLVB was added to the agenda, although nobody deigned to reveal who was “that individual that has requested to serve on that board”. The Homeland Security grant application turned out to be for defibrillators.

Here’s the agenda, with a few annotations and links to the videos.

WORK SESSION, MONDAY, APRIL 7, 2014, 8:30 a.m.
327 N. Ashley Street — 2nd Floor
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Solar Music City Center, Nashville, Tennessee

Valdosta has a larger solar installation than Nashville, Tennessee, but Valdosta’s is hidden away at the Mud Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant while Nashville’s biggest is on its new Music City Center. Which do you think shows the most leadership, and will attract the most business?

In Lightwave Solar’s May 2013 newsletter, LightWave Completes Music City Center Solar Project,

LightWave Solar recently completed the installation of a 211 kilo-watt (kW) solar system for the Music City Center, and it is the largest solar installation in Nashville.

Installed within the guitar shaped structure on the roof, the system consists of 845 solar panels and four inverters weighing 1,800 pounds each. The system will generate approx. 271,000 kilowatt-hours per year, enough electricity to power the electric vehicle charging stations and lighting for the building. Over 25 years, the clean electricity will offset nearly 5,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, the equivalent of taking 920 cars off the road.

“This project shows great leadership on behalf of the city,” said Steve Johnson, President of LightWave Solar. “We applaud the mayor’s vision in making Nashville a more sustainable city with a bright future.”

And leadership can extend even beyond solar into water and habitat:

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Georgia legislature still trying to suck up Tennessee River water

Because Atlanta can’t get a grip on its water usage, the Georgia legislature is still trying to suck up Tennessee River water. If the legislature is willing to try that, how long before they try sucking up our Floridan Aquifer water for Atlanta?

Prefiled in December to be up early as the Georgia legisture starts meeting today, is a bill to try to move the northern border of Georgia to match an eighteenth century boundary that just happens to include a bit of the Tennessee River in Georgia. HR 4, Georgia and Tennessee; boundary dispute; propose settlement, was filed by Rep. Harry Geisinger, R – Roswell, District 48, and says in part:

WHEREAS, the State of Georgia proposes to the State of Tennessee that the dispute be resolved by the states agreeing that the current boundary between the two states reflecting the flawed 1818 survey be adopted as the legal boundary between the states except for an area described as follows which shall be made a part of the State of Georgia by which Georgia shall be able to exercise its riparian water rights to the Tennessee River at Nickajack:

Georgia is already in a three-decade-long dispute with Alabama and Florida over the Chattahoochee River. Does adding a dispute over the Tennessee River seem like a good idea to you?

And how can we best stop Atlanta from coming for our Floridan Aquifer?


Who will let the sun shine on Georgia?

Someone asked who to vote for who will represent the people more than the electric utilities, on Elect Georgia legislators and Public Service Commissioners who will let the sun shine on Georgia! OK, here’s my opinion.

Sec. State provides you with a sample ballot.

For PSC, vote for somebody who isn’t an incumbent (the incumbents are marked on the ballot). The election today is a primary, so you need to select a Democratic ballot (Steve Oppenheimer District 3 is not an incumbent) or a Republican ballot (Pam Davidson District 5 and Matt Reid District 3 are not incumbents).

For the legislature, here is a list of who voted for the nuke stealth tax as a charge on Georgia Power bills for electricity nobody will get for years if ever. On your ballot, see if somebody else is running against them. Around here, somebody is: Bikram Mohanty for State Senate District 8, Teresa Lawrence for State House District 174, and JC Cunningham for State House District 175, all Democrats, since the incumbents switched parties after being elected last time.

So, if you want solar and wind energy for jobs, energy independence, and profit in the state of Georgia, instead of Georgia Power’s bet-the-farm nuclear risk at Plant Vogtle and Southern Company’s natural gas fracking, that’s who I would vote for.

If, like me, you didn’t already vote early, today is the final day to vote in this primary, and you and I’ll be going down to the precinct polling place to cast a ballot. Today’s the day!


Elect Georgia legislators and Public Service Commissioners who will let the sun shine on Georgia!

Solar PV prices have dropped so much they’re competitive with coal, natural gas, and nuclear. The only thing that stops Georgia from leading the country and the world in solar energy is our legislature and Public Service Commission kow-towing to the electric companies instead of serving the public. How about we elect Georgia legislators and PSC members who will change that?

How about if we elect legislators who will stop approving nuclear boondoggles for Southern Company through a stealth tax on Georgia Power customers? How about we elect Georgia Public Service Commissioners who will stop giving Georgia Power a guaranteed profit through charging cost overruns (already $400 million) for the Plant Vogtle boondoggle to Georgia Power customers?

How about instead we fully fund the existing 35% state tax rebate for renewable energy? Last year Georgia legislators did double the money in that fund, but it’s still only $5 million a year and the funding for 2012 has already been used up. $5 million a year for power after it’s installed, while Georgia Power and Southern Company have already run $400 million over budget on nuclear energy that nobody will see for years, if ever! We need Georgia legislators who understand that Moore’s Law for solar means fast growth; growth in jobs, energy independence, and profit for Georgians.

To bring Georgia to the lead in renewable energy in this country and the world, all we really need to do is to pass something like SB 401 to modify that arrogant dinosaur of a 1973 Georgia Territoriality Electric Service Act that prevents you from getting financing to install solar generation and selling it through the grid at a profit, with the electric utility taking a cut and bragging rights.

It is time to let the south Georgia sun break through the clouds of power utility disinformation and regulatory capture. It is time for us to elect Georgia legislators and Georgia Public Service Commissioners who will let the sun shine on us in Georgia!


Solar PV costs dropped 50% last year: time for south Georgia to lead in solar power

Solar energy continues to grow by leaps and bounds worldwide. Except in Georgia. Maybe we should change that. There’s an election going on right now.

Frank Jordans wrote for AP 11 June 2012, $257 billion invested in renewable energy in 2011,

Global investment in renewable energy reached a record of $257 billion last year, with solar attracting more than half the total spending, according to a U.N. report released Monday.

Investment in solar energy surged to $147 billion in 2011, a year-on-year increase of 52 percent thanks to strong demand for rooftop photovoltaic installations in Germany, Italy, China and Britain.

Large-scale solar thermal installations in Spain and the United States also contributed to growth during a fiercely competitive year for the solar industry. Several large American and German manufacturers fell victim to price pressure from Chinese rivals that helped to halve the cost of photovoltaic modules in 2011.

Lower solar PV module price should mean more people can afford to install solar electricity, which should mean more jobs for people to install it. How much lower? According to the report:

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Unemployed need public transit to get to jobs: T-SPLOST doesn’t help

If you're unemployed, you may not be able to afford a car: then how do you get to work even if you can find a job? As our own Industrial Authority's Community Assessment of last October said, we need public transportation to promote business by getting employees to jobs. T-SPLOST doesn't do that: it would widen more roads and build no public transportation.

Peter S. Goodman wrote for Huffington Post today, Unemployment Problem Includes Public Transportation That Separates Poor From Jobs

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — In the two months since he lost his job driving a delivery truck for a door company, Lebron Stinson has absorbed a bitter geography lesson about this riverfront city: The jobs are in one place, he is in another, and the bus does not bridge the divide.

Stinson lives downtown, where many of the factories that once employed willing hands have been converted into chic eateries. The majority of jobs are out in the suburbs, in the strip malls, office parks and chain restaurants that stretch eastward. Most of this sprawl lies beyond reach of the public bus system, and Stinson cannot afford a car.

The report Janus Economic did for VLCIA 11 October 2011, Community & Economic Assessment: Lowndes County says:

There is a plan for a public transportation system in Valdosta-Lowndes County but it currently lacks funding for implementation. Under current budget constraints it will be difficult to implement such a project, but businesses in the industrial parks and outlying areas may want to implement a limited transportation system if they discover that employee attendance is an issue.

That would be the plan for $7.5 million for a four line bus system that got cut first pass from the T-SPLOST project list, while widening a few miles of Old US 41 North got raised from $8 million to $12 million and is still in the final list.

T-SPLOST would promote more sprawl of exactly the kind we don't need. Let's not do that.


CCA is a functional equivalent of a government agency —TN court

A government agency is subject to open records laws. Alex Friedman of Prison Legal News sued CCA for not satisfying an open records request. CCA lost in local court, then lost again on first appeal. On a second appeal, CCA lost even more abruptly.

Knoxville News editorial of 14 March 2010, Chalk two up for open government

CAA[sic] maintained it wasn’t the functional equivalent of a government agency, but the Appeals Court rejected that claim and the Supreme Court refused even to hear it.

“With all due respect to CAA[sic],” Appeals Court Judge D. Michael Swiney wrote in his opinion on Friedman’s case, “this Court is at a loss as to how operating a state prison could be considered anything less than a governmental function.”

So eventually CCA will have to surrender at least some of the records, although there is still haggling in court over which exceptions CCA can use for which records. (And there’s always the old “we didn’t keep them that long” trick.)

The Tennessee Supreme Court had already ruled about government contractors:

“When a private entity’s relationship with the government is so extensive that the entity serves as the functional equivalent of a governmental agency, the accountability created by public oversight should be preserved.”
I wonder if Georgia will accept a Tennessee precedent?