Tag Archives: Chattanooga

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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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.


Internet speed and access —John S. Quarterman @ LCC 2012-05-08

At a recent Lowndes County Commission meeting, I said:

I was interested to learn two weeks ago that my neighbor Timothy Nessmith was interested in getting DSL on Hambrick Road.

He said you can get it as close to him as Quarterman Road. I can attest to that because I have 3 megabit per second DSL, due to being just close enough to Bellsouth’s DSL box on Cat Creek Road, but most of Quarterman Road can’t get DSL due to distance. There are some other land-line possibilties, involving cables in the ground or wires on poles.

Then there are wireless possibilities, including EVDO, available from Verizon, with 750 kilobit per second (0.75 Mbps) wide area access from cell phone towers.

Verizon’s towers could also be used for WIFI antennas, for up to 8 Mbps Internet access, over a wide scale.

Then there’s metropolitan-area Internet. Chattanooga has the fastest such network, with 1 Gbps (1,000 Mbps). But hundreds of communities around the country have such networks, including (continued after the video)…

Internet speed and access —John S. Quarterman
Regular Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 8 May 2012.
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE).

…Lafayette, Louisiana, Bowling Green, Kentucky, Lagrange, Georgia, and Thomasville, Georgia. They use it for public safety, education (Wiregrass Tech, VSU), and

It attracts new industry. If you want knowledge-based industry, they’re going to be expecting Internet access not just at work, but at home, whereever they live.

Other uses include Continue reading

100 broadband municipal networks: where’s ours?

Instead of arbitrating a fixed-size LOST pie, what if Lowndes County and the local cities worked on increasing the size of the pie through broadband? It’s not just Chattanooga, 100 other municipalities have done it.

Christopher Mitchell wrote for Planetizen 30 April 2012, Should Your City Build Its Own Broadband Network?

Chattanooga is not alone; more than 100 cities and towns have built their own broadband networks. The city of Lafayette, Louisiana offers probably the best deal for broadband in the nation: ten megabits symmetrical for less than $30/month. For non-geek readers, it is actually faster than my home Comcast connection at less than half the price. The Institute for Local Self-Reliance has just released a new report detailing how Chattanooga and Lafayette built their networks.

Hm, Valdosta and Lowndes County don’t seem to be on that map. Yet. We don’t have to wait for VLCIA to organize this; there are other ways.


What actually gets companies to locate in Chattanooga?

So we heard about Chattanooga all during the school “unification” referendum. I turns out Chattanooga really does have something that attracts business (no, not a unified school system; if you want to go back into that, I’ve got the references available). What really attracts businesses to Chattanooga is fast Internet broadband access.

Christopher Mitchell wrote for Planetizen 30 April 2012, Should Your City Build Its Own Broadband Network?

While on a site selection visit in Chattanooga, a CEO asked about broadband access. When told that the slowest tier on Chattanooga’s community fiber network was 30 megabits per second, he turned to his IT adviser for a translation. Upon hearing “that’s more than we can get in our headquarters presently,” the company cancelled its other planned visits and located its new site in Chattanooga.

That’s right, Chattanooga really does have one thing going for it: high speed Internet access.

Why does that matter?

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School consolidation as disaster capitalism

School consolidation would set up an artificial fiscal disaster that could force the “unified” public school system to turn to private foundations for funding, at the price of control of public education by private entities. This is disaster capitalism, or the shock doctrine, right here in Valdosta and Lowndes County.

What’s the Shock Doctrine? It’s been around for a long time, but Naomi Klein researched it for her book of the same name. It’s

“the rapid-fire corporate reengineering of societies still reeling from shock”
She was writing mostly about wars, terrorist attacks, and natural disasters. Locally here we haven’t had any of those. But we may be about to create a disaster, a shock, at the ballot box in November, if voters fall for the school “unification” snake oil.

What’s the next step after CUEE has accidentally revealed that Continue reading

The promises that are impossible —Barbara Stratton

Received 6 October 2011 on LCBOE did its homework about consolidation. -jsq
CUEE has staked their efforts on catch phrases & false promises that look & sound good. All of their info is at best a half truth. The promises that are imposible to keep are lies. I was raised believing a promise broken is a truth untold, which is a lie.

Unfortunately this tactic will work for today’s lazy voters who won’t even take the time to go to a website where the true facts are posted much less do their own research. Surely don’t ask them to leave the comfort of their homes & entertainment & personal addictions to attend any public meetings on either side when they should be visiting both sides at least once. They are part of the convenient idiot masses that facilitate take overs by the clever greedy for money & power few.

Both school boards [VBOE, LCBOE] and their supporters have done a great job of researching to produce true evidence that dissolves all the CUEE false rhetoric & print.

We cannot assume that truth will prevail because it is much easier to believe the fast sell that requires no personal effort. CUEE is banking on this. Most of the school consolidations that have occurred had many that were shocked when they passed because they did not account for the money/power ruses of the facilitators working so well with the lazy voter public. Many will not even show up claiming they have no stake since they have no children in either system. They are too lazy to check the researched facts to see they will be paying higher taxes for a handicapped unified system.

-Barbara Stratton

Chattanooga deja vu —Karen Noll

Received yesterday on How did we get here? apparently referring to Barbara Stratton’s comment since reposted as Hauntingly familiar Tennessee Waltz. -jsq
After reading the Ed Weekly article, [slightly earlier version quoted here, referred to here. -jsq] I was struck by a very strong dejavu feeling. I checked the date twice and only to realize ( twice) that this consolidation went on more than 15 years ago.

The city schools were in bad shape financially and educationally in Chatnooga city. That is the major difference with our situation here. As much as some want you to believe that Valdosta city schools are not doing well, there are many that can point to the school improvement plan and it being recognized as one of the best in the state, or other notable achievements that differ front the view of VCS propagated by the folks on CUEE.

Other than that we are looking at the same issues; racial segregation, neighborhood schools, professional development monies in the different district, curriculum changes, busing to attain integration requirements, and the concerns about redistricting and moving kids to other schools.

Again this was 15 years ago, yet we are now faced with the same issues. At the time of the article consolidation had passed (19k to 21k). Teachers and parents Interviewed expressed concern about the poor kids of the city not getting a fair shake because the county (largely white) schools had little connection to the issues of the city kids. We would be faced with that just on a smaller scale.

The other strange likeness to this 15 year old consolidation is that Steve Prigozhy seems to have some very vague notions of school reform today that he did back then. These notions have been found to be less than successful in the ensuing 15 years.

Distancing himself from his failures does not make him a success at anything but manipulation of facts. The education of my children is not going to be reformed by a man that spins the truth and panders to the wealthy.

Thank you for sharing the Edweekly article.

-Karen Noll

Hauntingly familiar Tennessee Waltz —Barbara Stratton

Received 3 October on How did we get here? -jsq
Very well said JC.

On Thursday 9/29/11 CUEE called a special meeting of their Education Task Force at the City Hall Annex. Reading on and between the lines of the VDT article it appears the new, more agressive tactic is to call into question the conduct and accountability for goverance of education of the Valdosta City Board of Education. Under the leadership of Steve Prigohzy they seem to be heading toward usurping this goverance from the elected school boards to another entity they can control. This is hauntingly familiar if you read an article titled Tennessee Waltz from the Education Week Teacher.

(If you go to the Education Week Teacher website it will say the Tennesse Waltz article is only available to registered guests, but registration is free.)

Leadership for the post consolidation planning was forcibly taken from the county superintendent and given to the Public Education Foundation of Chattanooga, TN, which was headed by CUEE’s own Steven H. Prigohzy. His specialty seems to be powering school consolidations and overseeing the resulting planning which does little to improve the academic or financial conditions of the public schools (actually these get worse). It does however provide the perfect climate for pulling grant monies to establish the magnet schools he also specializes in.

-Barbara Stratton

The Tennessee Waltz article seems to be a slightly later and slightly revised version of the article I referenced in Steve Prigohzy, guru of Chattanooga-Hamilton Co. school consolidation, as quoted recently by Smart Memphis.


Steven H. Prigohzy, All-Star and Best-Paid Educator!

We have an all-star athlete class educator advising us, with an all-star athlete salary! Hm, I wonder how much CUEE is paying him?

A Sun Life Financial press release of 26 February 2011, Exceptional Students & Nonprofits, All-Star Team of Pro Athletes, Corporate & Education Leaders Tackle Lagging High School Graduation Rates at Sun Life Rising Star National Summit,

“Steven H. Prigohzy, education advocate and developer of one of the country’s first open magnet schools.”
Well, that sounds like the Steve Prigohzy of CSAS in Chattanooga, whose Public Education Foundation advised the consolidated school system there.

What about this, is this just a coincidence of names? Empire Center for New York State Policy put out a press release of 8 October 2009,

According to the data, the highest paid non-professional school employee (outside New York City) was Steven H. Prigohzy of the New York Institute for Special Education, who was paid $230,000.
It turns out it’s not a coincidence. In a paid death notice in the New York Times, BLOOM, FRANCES R., 18 January 2005, Continue reading