Tag Archives: college

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

Solar college campuses far to the north: why not at VSU?

This spring, the University at Buffalo did it, and now Rutgers is doing it: installing solar arrays for power and profit. Rutgers is in New Jersey, the #2 state in solar power. We have a lot more sun down here. How about we catch up and get ahead in solar power, starting with VSU?

Brita Belli wrote for ecoemagination 25 September 2012, Renewable U: College Campuses Invest in Renewable Energy

Over the summer, crews at Rutgers University's Livingston Campus began transforming a 32-acre, 3,500-spot parking lot into one of the largest solar canopy arrays in the nation. The array will have a capacity of 8 megawatts, enough to power 1,000 homes.

The canopy is more than just eco window dressing — Antonio Calcado, Rutgers vice president for facilities and capital planning, expects that with the financing structure, grants and energy credits, the investment will return about $28 million to the university over the next 20 years. A previous solar project had a similarly rapid payback.

“Combined with the electricity we produce, it's a winner all around,” says Calcado. “We're an institution of higher learning—we teach this stuff—so we should also lead by example. It's a living laboratory in many respects.”

Lead by example: now there's an idea! An idea that might even attract businesses.


There are other ways than a college degree

Editor of the Pelican Post remarks Harvard Study Calls for New Education Priorities:
A new Harvard School of Education study, “Pathways to Prosperity,” recommends that educators place a stronger focus on vocational education and apprenticeships, rather than aim to send every high school student to college.

“We are the only developed nation that depends so exclusively on its higher education system as the sole institutional vehicle to help young people transition from secondary school to careers,” says Robert Schwartz, academic dean of the college and co-author of the study.

This produces many problems: lots of people don’t get a college degree who would like to (can’t afford to go; can’t pass), lots of people who do still can’t get a job, and let’s not get into the Profzi scheme for Ph.Ds. Here’s a partial solution:
“We need to do a better job exposing our students to different career pathways so that they understand what options are available to them after graduation.”
Wait! Somebody local talked about this recently: Ben Copeland at the Lake Park Chamber of Commerce.


Cost of Incarceration in Lowndes County

I don’t know what we pay in local or state taxes to lock people up in Lowndes County, Georgia, although probably it’s in line with the high cost of incarceration in Georgia. I do know there are a lot of indirect costs, including this one:
Prisoners have to be released from prison or the county jail into the same community, and can’t get a job because they’re ex-cons, and often not even an apartment. Result? Homeless ex-cons turning to crime.
Female ex-cons in Lowndes County have some places they can turn to for housing. Male ex-cons have only the Salvation Army, and they have to leave there every morning early. In Atlanta they’ve examined their situation and determined that housing is the most central issue.

Which would we rather do? Pay as much per year to send them back to jail as it would cost to send them to college? Or find a way to provide housing for them?

How about helping ex-prisoners learn job-hunting skills and job-holding skills? Employment is the best preventative for crime. There are local organizations ready to work on that, such as CHANCE: Changing Homes and Neighborhoods, Challenging Everyone.

Local tax dollars need to be spent in a way that benefits the entire community, and not just a few. Maybe we can afford to do something about getting ex-prisoners a place to live and jobs so they stay out of crime and improve the local economy. Actually, can we afford not to do that to reduce incarceration expenditures?

Industrial Authority Projects

Kara Ramos writes in the VDT today about Building industry: A look at current Industrial Authority projects. The Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority has quite a few interesting projects projected. It will be interesting to see which of them pan out.
Members were in agreement that while there are many students graduating from area colleges, they are moving to other cities to find higher paying jobs. Some board members agreed the local workforce needs improvement to enhance the work of current employees, improve the skills of unemployed individuals, and create more job openings.
Can’t argue with that.

The controversial aspects of the Wiregrass Power, LLC biomass project are not discussed in the article. Instead, the tiny accompanying solar plant gets some press: Continue reading