Tag Archives: Echols County

Deep South Solid Waste Management Authority after privatized landfill

Local counties and cities sold off one landfill in Lowndes County in the late 1990s, and a second one in 2005 through the Deep South Solid Waste Management Authority. Yet in 2007 the Deep South Municipal Regional Solid Waste Management Authority (WMA), with the same county and city member governments, was still active, discussing a regional recycling station. And it is still active today, including some of the same board members the entire time since 2005, such as Valdosta City Manager Larry Hanson. Hanson was not present last week when Valdosta Mayor John Gayle said Valdosta does not control the landfill, or perhaps he would have mentioned that Valdosta through its longterm seat on the WMA board does have some degree of control over the landfill’s operations.

I notice quite a few of the Valdosta City Council’s own minutes record discussions and votes related to that WMA including this item from their Regular meeting of 4 October 2014, which was called to order by Mayor Gayle:

  1. Boards, Commissions, Authorities, and Advisory Committees
    1. Consideration of an appointment to the Deep South Regional Municipal Solid Waste Management Authority. — Appointed Richard Hardy, Public Works Director (7-0 Vote).

There must be some advantage to the City of Valdosta to have two members (Hanson and Hardy) on the WMA board. Certainly the average citizen or organization does not have that.

Bill Roberts, VDT, 5 December 2005, Authority closes on landfill deal, Continue reading

Why people don’t speak up: they owe their soul to the company store

Some of our elected officials wonder few people ever speak up around here. It’s simple: they owe their soul to the company store. If you don’t go along, you don’t get business.

As Tennessee Ernie Ford sang in that old Merle Travis song:

You load sixteen tons, what do you get
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go
I owe my soul to the company store

Continue reading

Live Oak bus service starts Monday 2015-07-20

How come Live Oak (pop. 6,974) in Suwannee County (43,734), Florida can do what mighty Valdosta (56,481) in Lowndes County (112,916), Georgia can’t?

Amber Vann, Suwannee Democrat, 17 July 2015, Live Oak bus route starts Monday,

The Suwannee Valley Transit Authority’s Live Oak bus route will begin operating on Monday, July 20, running continuously from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. throughout every direction of the city, Monday through Friday. The route’s unofficial stops include apartment complexes and other residential neighborhoods, public schools, grocery stores, parks, government offices, nursing homes, the library and the hospital.

The route starts at the intersection of Walker Avenue and US 90 West Continue reading

Alapahoochee Historic Farm Heritage Days 2015-04-10

300x413 Flyer, in Alapahoochee Historic Farm Heritage Days, by John S. Quarterman, 10 April 2015 25th Semi-Annual Alapahoochee Historic Farm/Heritage Days will take place April 10-11 from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Located at 202 Bethel Church Road in Echols County.

Here’s their flyer on their facebook page. Continue reading

Alapahoochee Antique Tractor Show & Historic Farm Heritage Days

Logo, in Alapahoochee Antique Tractor Show & Historic Farm Heritage Days, by Lake Park Chamber of Commerce, 24 October 2014 That’s a Lake Park postal address, but the street address is actually in Echols County. Received from Lake Park Chamber of Commerce. yesterday. -jsq

300x490 Flyer, in Alapahoochee Antique Tractor Show & Historic Farm Heritage Days, by Lake Park Chamber of Commerce, 24 October 2014

ALAPAHOOCHEE

HISTORIC FARM / HERITAGE DAYS
DOWN HOME FAMILY REUNION

OCTOBER 1424 – 25, 2014 (FRI/SAT)
9 AM-4 PM

ECHOLS COUNTY, 202 BETHEL CHURCH ROAD.
LAKE PARK. GA 31636
Preserving Echols County & Area Heritage of 1900’s

  • Non-profit
  • NO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES ALLOWED
  • Free admission

Continue reading

Want knowledge-based jobs? Welcome gays and lesbians

The Chamber, the Industrial Authority, and various other local leaders say they want knowledge-based jobs, or creative jobs. We won’t get those just by teaching students to show up on time and do what they’re told: that’s how you train factory workers, not knowledge-based employees. For creative jobs we also need Technology, Talent, and Tolerance. How do you measure Tolerance? One key component is the concentration of gays and lesbians. So today’s South Georgia Pride Festival is a good sign for creative jobs in south Georgia!

Richard Florida wrote 16 July 2012 for The Atlantic, The Geography of Tolerance,

The map above shows how metros across the U.S. score on the Tolerance Index, as updated for The Rise of the Creative Class, Revisited. The chart below shows the top 20 metros. Developed by my Martin Prosperity Institute colleague Kevin Stolarick, it ranks U.S. metros according to three key variables—the share of immigrants or foreign-born residents, the Gay Index (the concentration of gays and lesbians), and the Integration Index, which tracks the level of segregation between ethnic and racial groups.

Do you recognize that shape in the middle of south Georgia? That’s the Valdosta Metropolitan Statistical Area, consisting of Lowndes, Echols, Lanier, and Brooks Counties. Looks like about 0.4 on the Tolerance Index. So sure, we’re no Austin, Texas, but we’re in the same range as oh, Charlotte, NC.

If you want to help promote creative jobs in south Georgia, there’s a festival going on today:

South Georgia Pride Festival
noon until 6PM
John W Saunders Park
1151 River Street
Valdosta, Georgia
food and music all day

Who knows, the Mayor of Valdosta might even be there; what do you think? He certainly gave the festival plenty of earned media.

-jsq

Aviation Projects, and Valdosta is a substantial donor –Larry Hanson @ T-SPLOST 2011-09-19 @ SGRC 2011-09-19

Larry Hanson, Valdosta City Manager, asked for the regional council to reconsider aviation projects, especially considering that the tax was supposed to be for projects of regional significance. Then he pointed out

Out of that $503 million about 40% of it or $212 million is projected to be generated here in Lowndes County. And when you look at what's being returned, for instance to the city of Valdosta, it's $47 million. It is certainly one thing to be a donor, but that's a pretty substantial donor.

He said he appreciated all the other counties, but much of the money would go to counties that are not contiguous to Lowndes County and are not part of the Valdosta Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which includes the four counties of Lowndes, Brooks, Lanier, and Echols. He continued:

Lowndes County is about 26% of the region's population and we generate about 38% of the revenue, and we're not quite getting that back in terms of the distribution.

You may wonder why a City of Valdosta official was speaking for Lowndes County. County Manager Joe Pritchard was there at the start of the meeting, and I think County Engineer Mike Fletcher was, as well. County Chairman Ashley Paulk came in late and summoned Pritchard and Fletcher outside the glass doors of the meeting room. They stood there for quite some time, peering in, and then vanished.

Here's the video:

Aviation Projects, and Valdosta is a substantial donor –Larry Hanson @ T-SPLOST 2011-09-19
T-SPLOST Public Meeting, Southern Georgia Regional Commission (SGRC),
Corey Hull,
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 19 September 2011.
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE).

-jsq

Gerrymandering Georgia for Jack Kingston to get Moody AFB

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.

Walter C. Jones wrote for the Rome News-Tribune yesterday, Revised congressional map passes House committee

The House redistricting committee voted along party lines Wednesday to approve a revised congressional map with multiple changes from the one made public Monday.

The changes restore Valdosta’s Moody Air Force Base to Republican Jack Kingston’s district and about 16,000 people in Effingham County to Democrat John Barrow’s to keep the two equal in population.

Yeah, they restore it all right. Here’s before and after:

Before

After

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.

It gets better. Look at the Lowndes County precinct maps: Continue reading

Master Gardeners Graduate

Grand Bay Master Gardeners (GBMG) has been holding a class to become master gardeners, and they just graduated yesterday!

I’m not going to attempt to name all of them, because the ones I missed would be miffed. I will say that’s Gretchen Quarterman on the right. And that these are people from all over the area, city and country, Democrat and Republican. Growing food is the universal community builder.

GBMG is “organized as a cohesive working group in Lowndes, Brooks, Echols, and Lanier Counties”. They’ll be holding more classes, so you, too, can become a master gardener.

-jsq

Whole trees as biomass?

Previously I promised to come back to the subject of whole trees. Allan Ricketts asserted in the VLCIA meeting with concerned citizens on 10 June 2010 that the biomass plant Wiregrass LLC proposed for Valdosta will never burn whole trees because it would be economically unfeasible for it to do so. While I have no doubt that Col. Ricketts is acting on the best information given to him, there are reasons to be sceptical about what will happen in the future. Continue reading