Now here’s a T-SPLOST project I like:
upgrading the railroad that runs
from Valdosta to Moody AFB
and on to Ray City and Nashville in Berrien County,
and Willacoochee in Atkinson County.
This proposal is to aid freight, but with this upgrade to the track,
the same track would be even more readily usable for passenger rail.
That same track was used for passenger travel up into the 1950s.
My mother used to catch the train at Barretts (just north of Moody) to go visit her relatives in Pearson (a bit east of Willacoochee).
It’s true the project sheet talks about “potential customers in the region”:
This project will provide for more efficient train operations along
the rail corridor to accommodate the increase rail traffic serving the
existing and potential customers in the region.
However, rail promotes development in existing population
centers and at stations, unlike all along automobile roadways.
This project is also another example of how
the economic area of Moody AFB includes
Continue reading →
Georgia has gained enough population in the past ten years to add
a congressional seat. This means redrawing the Congressional
district lines not only to balance population, but to also add
another representative in Congress. Lowndes County has been split
between the first and second districts, and all spring rumors of
where we might end up were circulating. Eventually we saw a draft
map that had Lowndes completely in the 8th District,
other counties along Interstate 75. That map made some sense south of Macon.
Some communities of interest were preserved (most of the Lowndes-Valdosta
MPO was in the same district) and the hospitality corridor of I-75
was in one district, along with the rural farms that surround it.
Valdosta to Macon is easier to traverse than Valdosta to Savannah,
or Valdosta to Columbus.
But then Congressman Jack Kingston stuck out his green tongue.
“The largest juvenile prison in the nation, Walnut Grove Youth
Correctional Facility houses 1,200 boys and young men, between the
ages of 13 and 22, and is run by a private contractor, the GEO Group
based in Boca Raton, FL. … State audits over the last several years
had already indicated the burgeoning problem. While it is recommended
at youth facilities to have an inmate-to-guard ratio of 10:1 or 12:1,
Walnut Grove had a ratio of 60:1.”
“When the Wolves Guard the Sheep,”
by Mariah Adin in Kids and Crime, 28 March 2011
Jack Kingston told Gretchen
last week in Tifton
that he was heading to Atlanta the next day to try to retain
Moody Air Force Base in his district.
Looks like he may get that, by chopping just the Moody area out of Lowndes
County, and splitting the Pine Grove precinct.
Hard to see?
Look at the detail map on the right here.
This latest proposed gerrymander gives Kingston Clinch and Echols
Counties just so Jack can send a green tongue out from Echols
to lap up Moody with as little of the rest of Lowndes as possible.