Tag Archives: Ethics

Public Hearing at private law firm for VSU bond to private LLC 2016-10-21

Why is a public hearing for VSU bonds being held at a private law firm? Part 1 Is there no parking at VSU for the public to hear about this $58,805,000 bond issue? There is free parking at the county palace for which we the people footed around $51 million in bonds.

For that matter, why are bonds for a public university being held by a private LLC? Why are they being issued to that private LLC by the shadowy South Regional Joint Development Authority, to which the Lowndes County Commission just appointed Commissioner Clay Griner this May, even though County Manager Joe Pritchard couldn’t tell Griner when that Authority meets?

Can’t the Lowndes County Commission provide this bond Public Hearing with a public place to meet?

In the Valdosta Daily Times yesterday, October 5th 2016, and not online anywhere I can find it, was this Public Notice. Gretchen scanned it, and I OCRed it and formatted the lists to make it more legible. Continue reading

Sabal Trail destruction at Bell property, Mitchell Co., GA 2016-09-13

See for yourself what Jeb Bell was talking about to GPB, in these videos he sent of the destruction Sabal Trail is doing on his property. His father, James Bell, says it started immediately after a small protest Monday, and is plowing through gopher tortoise burrows, rare pitcher plants, large pine trees bulldozed and burned, and today within 300 yards of his house. James Bell the elder will be at the US 84 Withlacoochee River bridge 9AM this Saturday, September 17th 2016, to join the WWALS Watershed Coalition protest against Sabal Trail and the Dakota Access Pipeline, which are now owned by the same companies. That’s between Quitman and Valdosta, GA; see you there.

Sam Whitehead, GPB News, 15 September 2016, Sabal Trail Pipeline Plows Through Southwest Georgia, Local Opposition, Continue reading

Radioactive tritium leak at Indian Point nuke stopped, but still in groundwater

Papers forged, fire and oil leak into the Hudson River, fracked methane pipeline planned next door, oh, yet built on a fault line, and people are surprised there’s radioactive tritium leaking from Entergy’s Indian Point nuclear plant? Just like at Plant Farley on the Chattahoochee River, Plant Hatch on the Altamaha River and Plant Vogtle on the Savannah River? How about surprised if there are any nukes that don’t leak tritium?

AP, 6 February 2016, Radioactive Material Found in Groundwater Below Nuke Plant, 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

LAKE meeting Tuesday after County Commission 2016-02-09

County government and local issues: change orders, sole-source contracts, suing local companies, meetings with little notice, going back on their own resolutions, can’t see what they are voting on, and what are their ordinances? If you want to help, we have a little list of tasks you can do. And two County Commission seats and the Chair are up for election this year, plus county school board, sheriff, and a bunch of other offices.

What: LAKE Meeting

When: 6:15PM Tuesday 9 February 2016
after the Lowndes County Commission meeting

Where: Michael’s Deli
1307 N Ashley St.
Valdosta, GA 31601

If you’re on Facebook, please Like the LAKE facebook page. You can sign up for the meeting event there, Or just come as you are.

-jsq

Videos: Sold out to Sabal Trail @ LCC 2016-01-26

Thank you Commissioner Demarcus Marshall for voting no. Calling it “a good business decision”, the CEO of Waller Heating and Air lauded the others for voting to sell county land for a pittance to a company from Houston, Texas, nevermind their resolution of a year ago. We thought we elected them to represent the people of Lowndes County, and we thought they did back in December 2014 when they unanimously voted “the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners opposes the construction of the Sabal Trail pipeline in any portion of Lowndes County.” But at least one of them (“Wisenbaker) didn’t even remember that the county voted to oppose Sabal Trail. Apparently most of them concur with what the County Engineer said about landowners who have not taken Sabal Trail’s money, “I don’t know who they are.”

Update 2016-01-28: WCTV report, plus Gret chen’s question: “Is less than 50 cents per person in Lowndes County enough to risk drinking water for all?”

Landowners who did take the money mostly did not have Continue reading

The hazardous waste Lowndes County Clyattville landfill is not just another Sabal Trail easement @ LCC 2016-01-26

There is no reason our only county-wide elected government should rush to take a pittance from a company from Houston, Texas for an easement through the closed landfill toxic waste site that would risk our drinking water and enable more easement takings from local landowners. On the front page of today’s VDT the County Clerk contradicted what Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter has written repeatedly to FERC, that he and the Commission represent “Citizens of Lowndes County”. She also didn’t mention the GA-EPD permit for any work within that landfill that the Chairman previously demanded from Sabal Trail, nor the multiple state other and federal permits Sabal Trail does not have. Although it’s still not on the published agenda, the Commissioners have an opportunity tonight to vote to support their own unanimous resolution of December 2014 against Sabal Trail.

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The County Clerk tried to roll back the clock to Continue reading

Seven levels of disagreement

Many people these days think name-calling is argument (thank you, Newt Gingrich*), so here’s a handy picture of seven levels of disagreement.


Image by abagond 26 July 2010, from How to Disagree, by Paul Graham, March 2008.

There’s nothing like a good discussion, with actual arguments on facts, theories, or context. But we really don’t have time for name-calling or ad hominem here on the LAKE blog. As noted in our submissions policy, you can submit anything you like, but “LAKE reserves complete discretion to select, edit, and annotate submissions, and to delete blog or facebook comments that are spam or personal attacks, or for any other reason whatever.” Name-calling and ad hominem are personal attacks.

The source of the above image includes some useful examples, and Continue reading

Pipeline in Floridan Aquifer is total insanity –Marcellus Shale drilling veteran @ FERC Lake City 2015-10-01

“If you go through with this, you stand a very good chance of destroying this [the Floridan Aquifer] the rest of our lifetimes. And in many lifetimes to come.” Said Marcellus shale drilling veteran Rocky Stewart to FERC in Lake City, Florida, October 1st 2015. Transcript and video:

I am a homeowner in Suwannee County, by Boys Ranch, I currently do not live there, I live in Corpus Christi [Texas]. I’m sure some people here regard me as the enemy, but I am in total opposition to what you all have planned.

By profession, I’m what’s known as Continue reading

Nydia Tisdale wins First Amendment Award for her Citizen Journalism, Fighting for the Right to Record

Update 2015-08-07: corrections by Nydia, including a timeline.

Only a bit more than three years since the pictured incident, Nydia Tisdale gets some of the recognition she deserves.

Georgia Woman Wins First Amendment Award for her Citizen Journalism, Fighting for the Right to Record,

Georgia citizen journalist Nydia Tisdale is in the news again but this time, the story doesn’t involve her getting thrown out of a public meeting or arrested in a pumpkin patch.

Tisdale is being honored by Georgia’s First Amendment Foundation for her work in making public meetings available to the citizens of her community and for her dedication to keeping government open for everyone’s participation.

After getting thrown out of the Cumming City Council for videoing in April 2012, Nydia got Continue reading