Tag Archives: AJC

Big Bets keep getting worse for Southern Company

OSHA certified a “continuing pattern of retaliatory treatment” at Kemper “clean” Coal after an employee alerted Southern Company of alleged fraud: SO fired him, refused to hire him back and now he’s suing. Plant “new nukes” Vogtle also had impossible projections from the start and is even later and more overbudget, while anybody from GA-PSC to Georgia EMCs to the Florida PSC or even PowerSouth in Alabama could bring it down. Somebody put Plant Vogtle out of its misery so we can get on with solar power in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and everywhere else.

Plant Vogtle reactors 3 and 4
Two new cooling towers and construction cranes mark the work sites for nuclear reactors 3 and 4 at Plant Vogtle in east Georgia. The project is currently $3.6 billion over budget and almost four years behind the original schedule. JOHNNY EDWARDS / JREDWARDS@AJC.COM, in Plant Vogtle: Georgia’s nuclear ‘renaissance’ now a financial quagmire by Russell Grantham and Johnny Edwards, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 19 May 2017.

Kemper “clean” Coal

Doyle LLP, PRNewswire, 8 August 2017, Whistleblower in Kemper Project Sues Southern Company and CEO: OSHA ruled former company engineer faced “continuing pattern of retaliatory treatment” Continue reading

Don’t Frack Georgia –sing along

Alton Paul Burns commented yesterday on Fracking south Georgia and north Florida?

Mr Emmet Carlisle wrote a song about fracking Florida “Don’t Frack Florida”. So in support of that movement I wrote another verse:

The battle is on in Bama & Georgia too
Spectra wants to run a pipeline through,
They could care less ’bout me or you,
And they lie to FERC more than they have too,

More Solar energy, Yeah that’s the thing
To everyone this message we bring,
We don’t need Spectra’s pipeline, That’s a fact!
And we don’t have to Frack!


So this would be the chorus for that verse: Continue reading

Fracking south Georgia and north Florida?

Potential fracking in north Georgia was too close, but what about right here in south Georgia? Florida has a snowballing anti-fracking movement. Looks like Georgia needs one, too.

300x149 South Georgia and North Florida Basins Map, in Shale gas basins in South Georgia and north Florida, by USGS, 4 June 2012 Dan Chapman, AJC Online Athens, 10 March 2013, Gas drillers turn to Georgia,

Jim Kennedy, the state’s geologist, says another company is considering the shale gas fields of the Mesozoic Basin that covers 60 percent of the Coastal Plain in South Georgia.

Most of the story is about proposed fracking in north Georgia that we noted back in 2013, plus fossil fuel industry propaganda about how great they say that would be for the local economy, with very little about the immense destruction, environmental hazards, and invasions of private property that would ensue. The AJC version of that Dan Chapman story didn’t seem to have Continue reading

Plant the seeds for viable water future

This AJC op-ed is about coastal wetlands, but much of it applies to wetlands such as cypress swamps and streams in Lowndes County and the rest of central south Georgia, especially since our state water plan for the Suwannee-Satilla Region points us at County-Level Population Projections from the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget that project 45% growth in Lowndes County population in 20 years to 156,650 people by 2030, which means near doubling in 30 years to 2050. -jsq

David Kyler wrote for the AJC 29 December 2006, “Plant the seeds for viable coastal future”,

Recent population projections for the Georgia coast issued by 2010-2030 Change in Population of Georgia Counties Georgia Tech say nothing new. We’re growing at almost 20 percent a decade, meaning a near doubling every 35 years.

The Center for a Sustainable Coast projected a population of about 1 million by 2030 for the 11 counties in the coastal region as defined by the Department of Natural Resources, somewhat higher than the 844,000 predicted by Georgia Tech. This compares with a population of 538,469 reported in the 2000 Census report.

But the accuracy of projections is not the point. Increased population will result in more land clearing and environmental disturbance than in the past—there will be larger homes, bigger lots and fewer people per household.

National studies show up to twice as much land is

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Two more charter school polls: Amendment 1 still losing support

Two more polls about the charter school amendment show conflicting results, but even the most optimistic still shows decreased support since September. Opponents of the Amendment 1 power grab are winning.

Charter school Amendment 1 polls through 25 October 2012

Wayne Washington wrote for the AJC 12 October 2012, Poll shows tight race for charter schools amendment,

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Support plummeting for charter school amendment

Support for the charter school amendment, previously falling, is now dropping like a rock. Saba Long wrote the Saporta Report 15 October 2012, Latest polls show the Charter School Amendment vote will be close, but the actual poll results, when compared to previous polls, including those before T-SPLOST lost by a landslide, say Amendment 1 is going down in flames.

Georgia Charter School Polls 2012-10

That poll conducted 4 and 5 October showed 34.2% saying they would definitely vote no and 18.06% saying probably no. That’s 52.26% No, which is far higher than 26.2% only a month before.

The pollsters, HEG-GPS, say, Re: October 4-5 Charter School Amendment Survey, 15.35% responded Probably Yes and only 9.30% said Definitely Yes. That’s 24.62% Yes, far down from the 48.3% Yes of a month before.

Yet only 23.12% responded Unsure, which is hardly changed from 25.5% a month before. It sure looks to me like this is not just undecideds switching to No. It looks like a lot of formerly Yes votes are switching to No.

It looks even worse compared to T-SPLOST. Two weeks before the 31 July Primary election, Continue reading

Support for charter school referendum falling?

A recent poll shows markedly lower support Georgia Charter School Polls for the November charter school referendum than polls in March and July, which were already down from January. At this rate, the charter school referendum can lose as badly in November as T-SPLOST did in July. Maybe people are catching on that diverting local taxes to control by a state appointed body is a bad idea, especially this time when the money would end up going to private profit.

Georgia Family Council wrote, presumably in January, Poll Shows Support for Charter School Changes,

On January 24, the Georgia Charter School Association and My School, My Choice Georgia held a news conference on Capitol Hill to release the results of a new study regarding public school choice….

The new numbers showed that 52 percent of voters are dissatisfied with the public system as it currently stands. A whopping 72 percent feel that a group other than local school boards should be able to authorize charter schools, the basis for HB 881. Moreover, Georgia voters tend to support a “money follows the child” approach to charter school funding.

So there’s a baseline for January for what proponents of charter schools claimed: 72% support for something very like the charter school referendum that ended up on the November ballot.

Or not. That writeup includes a link to georgiaschoolchoice.com, but that domain is no longer registered. This is probably it over on the snazzy new gacharters.org website. The gacharters.org writeup doesn’t mention 72%, and does say:

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Hahira approved for water well loan by state

Parker Wallace wrote for GPB 1 August 2012, Water Program Awards Loans,

The Governor’s water supply program awarded funding to eight water supply projects across the state.

The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority and the Georgia Department of Community affairs announced more than 90 million dollars in loans.

They’re aimed at helping finance water supply infrastructure.

The cities of Hahira and Vienna were approved for loans to construct new water supply wells. Newton, Oconee and Walton counties were all awarded 40 year loans to construct new reservoirs.

A bit more detail in the Montgomery Advertiser 2 August 2012, Funding flows to Georgia reservoir, water projects,

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Grading policy convenient timing for charter school vote —Barbara Stratton

Received Monday on Media flap over Lowndes grading. -jsq
I found the controversy over the Lowndes Grading Policy convenient timing for last week’s House vote on HR 1162 for a GA Constitutional Amendment to allow the state to establish Charter Schools with no oversight by local boards of education. HR 1162 failed the necessary 2/3 vote on 02/08/12. However,it was approved to be reconsidered on 02/09/12 so it has not gone away. Our 3 South GA republican representatives all voted in favor of HR 1162. (No surprises there, but we will remember in November.) Meanwhile part of the reason HR 1162 failed was the state Democratic Caucus undercut the House vote by requesting Democrats deny HR 1162 in favor of their version HR 1335, which they say goes further in allowing state officials to over ride local school board denials of special schools.

Obviously CUEE is not the only party interested in undermining and over riding local school board authority. However, I suspect CUEE had a hand in the phone campaign asking Lowndes school parents to call Rep. Shaw if they were in favor of HR 1162 because we all know that is one of their tactics. The message did not say to call if they were against it. CUEE is definitely still very much in the mix for discrediting local school board authority and our elected officials are evidently in their corner.

-Barbara Stratton

School grading controversy successfully stirred

I don’t usually promote anonymous blog comments, but here’s one received Monday on Media flap over Lowndes grading. -jsq
The reporter didn’t call it “new”, Troy Davis did when he sent it to all the teachers. Maybe you should talk with some teachers who are deeply against the policy before you start ranting. And to correlate this with consolidation is ridiculous, you’re just stretching for controversy.


Dr. Smith enumerated several other things which he alleged that reporter misrepresented; see above link. And Dr. Troy Davis set the record straight yesterday in the VDT.

I’d be happy to talk to teachers, pro or con. Send ’em over!

“Stretching for controversy”? Around here you have to duck to avoid controversy. You know, like the VDT saying it won’t publish any more stories about school consolidation….

I see the VDT is not ducking this one, though, rather helping stir it up. In yesterday’s story, the VDT announced mission accomplished:

The new grading policy for grades third through eighth released by the Lowndes County school system in January has stirred controversy locally and even nationally.
It wasn’t the grading policy that stirred controversy, it was Scott James, Fox News, the VDT, the AJC, the SMN, etc. And that “controversy” will make it easier the next time “unification” rears its ugly head.