Tag Archives: Cook County

Valdosta Strategic Initiatives Summit 2018-03-16-17

Once again the Valdosta Mayor and Council hold their retreat outside Valdosta and outside Lowndes County at Lenox River Ranch, Lenox, Cook County, Georgia, today and tomorrow. Excuse me: Strategic Initiatives Summit (SIS). I compliment them on publishing on their website before the event the agenda, the topics submitted by each council member, and the Mayor and Council Goals for Fiscal Year 2018 (I got this four days ago). Hm, what’s this about:

5. Find additional resources for the executive director of Valdosta-Lowndes Keep Lowndes-Valdosta Beautiful (KLVB) to include the Mayor’s Adopt-A-Street program.

However, I don’t see who else they are meeting with for it to be called a Summit. Oh wait: the Chamber. Probably George Boston Rhynes will be there to video like last year.

Valdosta SIS Agenda

Friday and Saturday, Agenda

I don’t know why the Continue reading

Alternative 4: Richland, Preston, Americus, Cordele, Ashburn and I-75 FERC to Sabal Trail

300x395 Map, in Alternative 4: Richland, Americus, Cordele, Ashburn and I-75 FERC to Sabal Trail, by John S. Quarterman, 14 September 2014 Richland in Stewart County, Preston in Webster County, Americus in Sumter County, Cordele in Crisp County, Ashburn in Turner County, if you thought you were off the Sabal Trail path, think again! You’re in FERC’s eye for a 36-inch fracked methane pipeline just like Tifton, Adel, Hahira, and Valdosta in Tift, Cook, and Lowndes Counties Georgia, and in Florida Jennings in Hamilton County, Lake City in Columbia County, Alachua and Gainesville in Alachua County, Ocala in Marion County, Wildwood in Sumter County, and Ferndale in Lake County, and probably some other cities and counties you can find on the map. And Alternative 4 would cross the Withlacoochee River in Lowndes County just before passing right next to Lowndes High School and an exploding pipeline segment’s throw from Valdosta Mall.

300x386 Withlacoochee River and Lowndes High School, in Alternative 4: Richland, Americus, Cordele, Ashburn and I-75 FERC to Sabal Trail, by John S. Quarterman, 14 September 2014 Alternative 4 in FERC’s recent instructions for Sabal Trail to “include analyses” would start even farther north on I-75 than Alternative 1.

Alternative 4 beginning from Alternate 2 near Richland, Georgia and following Highway 280 to near Americus, Georgia; then following a high voltage transmission line (along Sabal Trail’s Hillabee Alternative route); then following Alternate 1 starting near Tifton, Georgia and extending to the proposed endpoint.

Here’s a very rough map of Alternative 4: Continue reading

Alternative 2: MP 141 -> US 82 -> I-75 -> FL Turnpike FERC to Sabal Trail

Watch out Albany Mall, Deerfield-Windsor School, Kerr Gardens Park and Pond, Miller-Coors Albany Brewery, Pilot Travel Center and of course the Flint River at the US 82 bridge! 300x154 Armena through Miller-Coors Albany Brewery, in Alternative 2: Armena to US 82 to I-75 to FL Turnpike, FERC to Sabal Trail, by John S. Quarterman, 14 September 2014 If Sabal Trail’s mile point (MP) 141 is still on the Lee-Dougherty County line just west of Armena, GA on US 82, then Alternative 2 in FERC’s recent instructions for Sabal Trail to “include analyses” would look very much like Alternative 1, plowing through the north edge of Albany, GA and much of Dougherty County, before heading on through Sylvester, Tifton, Adel, Hahira, Valdosta, Jennings, Lake City, Alachua, Gainesville, Ocala, Wildwood, past The Villages, to Ferndale, FL.

Alternative 2 extending along other pipeline and road rights-of-way from near MP 0 to approximately MP 141 (near Albany, Georgia), and then following Alternate 1 to the proposed endpoint.

Here’s MP 141 in the maps Sabal Trail sent to FERC in November 2013: Continue reading

Alternative 1: US 82 -> I-75 -> FL Turnpike FERC to Sabal Trail

After Dawson and Albany, new Georgia cities Sylvester, Tifton, Adel, Hahira, Valdosta in Georgia (right past Lowndes High School), and Jennings, Lake City, Alachua, Gainesville, Ocala, Wildwood, and Ferndale in Florida. If you thought this pipeline wouldn’t affect you, think again. Or some later pipeline if we let this one through. See also Alternative 2 (watch out, Albany!), Alternative 3 Camilla, Thomasville, Monticello, Capps and a row of north Florida counties), and Alternative 4 (Richland, Preston, Americus, Cordele, Ashburn and yet again down I-75 as in Alternative 1).

Update 2014-09-15: Added first paragraph and fixed typos.

FERC’s recent instructions direct Sabal Trail to “include analyses” of

Alternative 1 Alternative 1 extending from near MP 0 to MP 460.6 (the proposed endpoint) following the Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC (Sabal Trail) proposed Sabal Trail Project (Project) route until reaching Highway 82 near Dawson, Georgia; then following Highway 82 to Interstate 75 (I-75); then following I-75 to Highway 91 near The Villages, Florida; then following Highway 91 to Highway 27 near Ferndale, Florida; and then following a Florida Gas Transmission (FGT) pipeline to the proposed endpoint.

Here’s a very rough map of that route, and then let’s name some cities and towns thus targetted by the yard-wide fracked methane pipeline: Continue reading

Nova Scotia banned fracking; will southeast U.S. ban fracked methane pipelines?

Yesterday Nova Scotia announced a ban on fracking. Will local or state governments in the southeast, now threatened by the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline, ban such pipelines? Especially since FERC has now directed Sabal Trail to examine routes through Americus, Cordele, Ashburn, Tifton, Adel, Valdosta, and even Thomasville, in addition to the ones it already proposed through Dougherty, Colquitt, Brooks, and Lowndes Counties?

Sierra Club Canada wrote about public meetings in its Media Release of 28 August 2014, Government of Nova Scotia Needs to Ban Fracking,

“Public meetings held by the panel were attended by an overwhelming majority of well-informed citizens who had deep concerns about fracking,” according to [Gretchen] Fitzgerald, “Those concerns should be met with the type of leadership they deserve: an immediate, legally binding ban.”

And the Nova Scotia government listened. Bruce Erskine wrote for The Herald Business 3 September 2014, Nova Scotia to ban fracking, posting a video in which you can hear Energy Minister Andrew Younger say: Continue reading

Cook County schools furloughing teachers

Cook county schools have a budget shortfall problem, and they think they can solve it only by furloughing teachers. Remind me again why we're wasting $1 billion a year on prisons, including private prisons for the profit of private prison shareholders and executives (like CCA CEO Damon Hininger's $3 million a year) and we're furloughing teachers instead?

Greg Gullberg wrote for WCTV 10 May 2012, Teachers in Cook County Face Furloughs,

The Cook County School System is facing a $472,352 deficit. Superintendent Lance Heard tells Eyewitness News reporter Greg Gullberg that the only way out may be to initiate system-wide furlough days and cutting jobs.

"We've done everything we can to maintain the level of education for the students that we've always had and we think we've been able to do that," said Superintendent Heard.

Nothing is set in stone yet, but 488 teachers, staff and administrators, may be facing furlough days next school year. Superintendent Heard hopes to limit them to three to five per employee.

"I would like to say also that when we do take furlough days, they are always none instructional days. The students do not miss any school," said Superintendent Heard.

Yet. Keep on in this direction and the students will be missing school. As it is, they just get less-prepared teachers, for less-effective teaching. But this is not Supt. Heard's fault.

Do we in Georgia want to prepare students for jail, or to succeed in life? Prisons cost we the taxpayers lots of money. Successful young people help pay for everything. Maybe we should choose successful young people, starting with education.

-jsq

$7.5 million T-SPLOST for a bus system

What costs less than $10 million to widen New Bethel Road from 2 to five lanes and less than $8 million to widen Old US 41 North? The answer is $7.5 million for a Valdosta Urbanized Area Transit System
…including the creation and maintainance of a Public Transit System in the City of Valdosta and Greater Valdosta-Lowndes County.
What would be the benefits?
This project will provide mobility options for all travelers; improve access to employment; and help mitigate congestion and maximize the use of existing infrastructure by promoting high-occupancy travel.
And that’s the entire description for this project. Nothing about promoting sprawl. Would actually promote dense close-in development. Can’t be very important, then, right?

Not when the sprawl plans for Val Del Road and Cat Creek Road add up to $6 million, or almost enough for the entire bus system.

Last time the transit system was being considered by the county, I was asked by a prominent local politican, “would you ride it?” Not every day. But more often than I would drive on the $10 million five lane New Bethel Road.

If you’re interested in a potential bus system, here is a lot more information about it.

Here’s what Lowndes County submitted for T-SPLOST funding, extracted from the 171 page PDF.

Project Sheet

Continue reading

$3 million T-SPLOST to widen Val Del Road

In the Lowndes County T-SPLOST boondoggle of the day, the county wants $3 million to widen Val Del Road: all of it that’s in the county, plus adding paved shoulders, and at some intersections turn lanes, plus fiddling with drainage. Nothing in the writeup about promoting new development, although we saw in the proposal for Old US 41 N that that’s exactly what road widening projects are for.

Here’s what Lowndes County submitted for T-SPLOST funding, extracted from the 171 page PDF.

Project Sheet

Continue reading