Tag Archives: census

Videos: Day 2, Planning, Lowndes County Commission @ LCC 2018-02-20

These videos are for those of you who have jobs, or responsibilities, which prevent you from taking random days or hours off at a time. Commissioner Marshall was absent from the second day of the retreat because he has a job which does not allow him the flexibility of daytime hours off. (The first day of the retreat was on Presidents Day.)

The topics of discussion ranged from the ever popular litter and trash collection, to special tax districts, fire and emergency response, animal control and the animal shelter, and one of my favorites, electronic records. Most presentations were made either by the county manager or clerk but the current Deep South Solid Waste Authority Chairman Kevin Beals was first up to talk trash.

Below are links to each LAKE video of Day 2, followed by a LAKE video playlist. See also the LAKE videos of Day 1 and Continue reading

Historical Population, Lowndes County, Georgia

Increased population is using increasing resources in Lowndes County, Georgia:

Increased population is using increasing resources

Increased population is using increasing resources
Chart by John S. Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE) from Georgiainfo data.

1830 2,453
1840 5,574
1850 7,714
1860 5,249
1870 8,321
1880 11,049
1890 15,102
1900 20,036
1910 24,436
1920 26,521
1930 29,994
1940 31,860
1950 35,211
1960 49,270
1970 55,112
1980 67,972
1990 75,981
2000 92,115
2010 109,233
Georgiainfo data

The population of Georgia has almost tripled during my lifetime, has about doubled since 1970, and has increased 18% in just the ten years from 2000 to 2010. That blip up between 1950 and 1960 is Moody Air Force Base.

That kind of growth doesn’t happen without increased resource use. If we want a livable county and region for ourselves and our descendants, we need to think about what we’re doing, with water, with transportation, and with energy, not to mention education, jobs, and pretty much everything else. We already cut down and sold off almost all the forests. Now we need better ways than using up all the resources that were here.

Hm, how about some knowledge-based jobs in energy and telecommunications and agriculture?

Speaking of Moody, the U.S. military learned in Afghanistan that shipping oil to places where you can generate solar energy produces a vulnerable supply chain. Moody is already leading in local solar energy. How about we help our base help us help them to move ahead in solar for everybody in Lowndes County and the state of Georgia?


Bright flight visualized

Lanier County gained more than 30% in children under 18. Lanier looks like the exurbs around Atlanta, except it’s even more striking. Also visible on the map is Hamilton, County, Tennessee, home of Chattanooga, CUEE’s favorite example of school unification: Hamilton County showed a loss of children while just across the state line Catoosa County, Georgia gained 15-30%. If school unification doesn’t cause bright flight, it doesn’t seem to stop it.

Haya El Nasser and Paul Overberg wrote in USA Today 3 June 2011, Census reveals plummeting U.S. birthrates

Because families with children tend to live near each other,

the result is an increasingly patchy landscape of communities teeming with kids, and others with very few.

Even in counties where the percentage of children grew, only 49 gained more than 1 percentage point — many of them suburbs on the outer edge of metropolitan areas such as Forsyth, Whitfield and Newton outside Atlanta and Cabarrus and Union outside Charlotte.

So that makes Lanier County one of only 49 Continue reading

Banned or Blocked Biomass Incinerators

Leigh Touchton responds to Brad Lofton’s letter of 22 September 2010. WACE is Wiregrass Activists for Clean Energy; more on that new organization later.


From: Leigh Touchton
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 2010 20:04:48 -0400
Subject: Mr. Lofton once again misrepresents the facts
To: wace-georgia@googlegroups.com
Cc: blofton@industrialauthority.com, [and the VDT and some elected officials and other interested parties]

Dear WACE:

1. Mr. Lofton stated: “Despite what Mrs. Touchton stated, we’ve been in touch with the Massachusetts and Florida EPD, and in no way, shape, or form is either state banning biomass facilities. In fact, there are 15 scheduled now for New England, many in Mass, and a number in Florida. There have been discussions regarding the level of incentives (tax credits) allowed, but no moratorium. We’ll be happy to share our contacts with you.”

I would like for Mr. Lofton to share his contacts with WACE. Because previously his contacts at the Sierra Club were misrepresented by him. Sierra Club does NOT endorse Biomass Incineration, neither does any other major environmental organization in America.

I would also like Mr. Lofton to share his private email list of stakeholders with WACE, in particular the investors, because I would like to share some information with them. I expect transparency in our public officials and his refusal to address my letter to the editor of the Valdosta Daily Times in the same newspaper in which it was published does not lead me to believe that he is operating in good faith. I am very disturbed that any public official would state that they did not want to “energize a forum for misinformation” regarding published concerns in the local newspaper. Mr. Lofton has a duty to respond to all citizens’ concerns publicly. I am very disturbed that he thought he could privately email a group about my published letter to the editor and that the first I learned of it was nearly a month after he did so. And no, I still don’t wish to have a private telephone conversation with him or a private meeting with him, I’ve been reading all the public documents that have resulted from his supposed lengthy due diligence period. As I stated, the first I learned of this proposed biomass incinerator was when the EPD called for public comments. Mr. Lofton and Councilman James Wright were both invited to the June Women in the NAACP meeting and neither man showed up so I don’t really care to engage in who didn’t return whose phone calls. Additionally he could have made contact with the schools and churches in the area, or attended an SCLC or NAACP meeting but he did not. All our our meetings are open to the public, unlike his private list of stakeholders.

Here’s one internet article on the moratorium in Massachusetts.

Continue reading

“I’m amazed at how someone could dare say…”

Brad Lofton responds to Leigh Touchton’s letter of 16 September 2010.


Date: Sun, Sep 19, 2010 at 7:54 AM
From: Brad Lofton <blofton@industrialauthority.com>

Good morning Kay, Sandy et al.

Our unprecedented effort of educating the public included numerous public hearings, briefings with all elected officials, the VDT Editorial Board and groups all across Valdosta. We’ve even spent a great deal of effort trying to brief the NAACP leaving messages and making numerous phone calls to Leigh Touchton that have never been returned. We’ve spent more time educating the community on this project then the sum of any other projects we’ve worked combined. I’m amazed at how someone could dare say that we’ve not informed the public. The vast majority of her concerns for our project would have been answered two years ago if she had come to any of our forums or if she would at least answer her phone when we call. Now that we’re moving into the third year of due diligence, she’s concerned all of a sudden.

Continue reading

Against Lowndes County Commission Expansion: Dennis Marks

Image by flickr user wiccked
Here is one person’s opinion on the current expansion plan for the Lowndes County Commission. LAKE is also making available a web page and an OpenOffice version of this statement.

LAKE will be happy to post other opinions on either side as part of citizen dialog for transparent process.

Vote NO on Expansion Referendum

Voters in Lowndes County are being asked in a referendum to vote YES or NO on expansion of the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners by the addition of two super-districts:
Shall the governing authority of Lowndes County be changed to a six-member board of commissioners to be composed of a nonvoting chairperson and five voting district commissioners, three of whom shall represent the existing three districts created by dividing Lowndes County into three districts and two of whom shall represent additional districts to be created by dividing Lowndes County into two districts which shall overlay the three existing districts?

Here is my explanation of why I am voting NO and why I think you should vote NO too.

Continue reading