Tag Archives: neighborhood

Solar projects get community support

What if the Industrial Authority supported industry that had a business model, brought jobs, and had the support of the community? It can happen, and already has!

Citizen Carol wrote for Texas Vox 6 January 2012, Austin Energy drought proofs its energy with new Webberville Solar Project,

Public Citizen says kudos to the City of Austin and Austin Energy for their vision and efforts in completing this project. Given that the State Climatologist is warning us that Texas can expect up to 5 more years of the current drought cycle, this project came just in time to help provide our community with drought–proof electricity during the peak use times — that will come in handy next summer.

Remember we already discovered this right here in Valdosta and Lowndes County? The Wiregrass Solar commissioning was a popular event, with many critics of the Industrial Authority lavishly praising it for the solar plant. Nobody complained about living near a solar installation. How about some more clean industry?



The Grassroots Handbook Against School Consolidation

Received yesterday, The Grassroots Handbook Against School Consolidation: The Truth About Unification/Consolidation of the Valdosta/Lowndes School Systems By David E. Mullis, J.D., LL.M., October 12, 2011. It’s a 43 page exhaustive compendium of all the statements against consolidation by both school boards, the Valdosta City Council, etc., together with detailed debunking of every argument CUEE has made.

I think this passage on page 3 sums it up:

In other words, we can offer a great education, provide incentives for students to perform, make modifications to education to help students succeed, and provide technical help, but if the child is homeless, left home alone for long periods of time, living in a high crime area, living in a home with substance abuse, or just downright defiant, there is only so much the school can accomplish in helping these students succeed. Good parental, home and community environments are critical to the success of underprivileged children.

Therefore, CUEE and the Chamber of Commerce’s efforts are focused on the wrong methods of improving our school statistics. Unification will not accomplish any of their stated goals, but will create an enormous financial burden on the community and its families during this time of recession and high unemployment. The business community and volunteer organizations should instead focus on providing educational awareness and success clinics in low income areas. They should organize efforts to reduce poverty by bringing in industry with good wages and sponsoring basic community literacy and vocational training and tutoring. They should focus on programs to promote the value of education. They should organize drug awareness and rehabilitation programs in low income areas. They should focus their efforts in decreasing poverty. They should focus on encouraging community diversity. If they will do this, the educational problems will take care of themselves in good systems like Valdosta and Lowndes.

However, CUEE and the Chamber have insisted on pushing forward with their unification agenda despite the certain negative effect it will have on the community and the education of our children. They deny there will be any negative effect, but they have no personal accountability if they are wrong. They ignore all relevant studies and dismiss the results as being misleading. Then they state their own misleading and false assertions and claim them to be FACTS.

Indeed, what qualifies the Chamber of CUEE to talk about education? Judging by their track record, nothing does.

This Handbook is a great resource, and I applaud David Mullis for producing it.


Neighborhoods matter more than schools?

Where you live makes more difference to your education than where you go to school, says a news study, backed up by an older study.

Maureen Downey blogged for AJC 5 October 2011, Forget school vouchers. The route to improving education may be housing vouchers.

School voucher proponents argue that kids need a way out of failing schools, but research increasingly suggests that it would be more effective to provide them a way out of failing neighborhoods.

Should we consider giving poor families in low-performing school zones housing vouchers that they could use to relocate in the zone of a school performing above the area median?

I’d say that’s a bad solution to the problem the study identifies, and we already know better solutions. But first, from the abstract of the the study Continue reading

Foxborough Anti-McDonalds Banner

The VDT writes about Foxborough two days in a row:
Several dozen residents of the Foxborough subdivision came to the Lowndes County Commission meeting Tuesday to again express their dismay at the possibility of having a McDonald’s fast food restaurant located by the neighborhood’s entrance.

Resident Pete Candelaria said he has been living in Foxborough for six years and was speaking on behalf of the residents.

Candelario (I believe that’s the actual spelling of his name) provided a list of suggestions to the Commission, which Chairman Paulk addressed, including: Continue reading

VDT on Foxborough v. McDonalds

It looks like the strategy I recommended to the Foxborough opponents to McDonalds worked: go to the County Commission work session and you may get in the newspaper. Kay Harris writes in the VDT about Issues with development, Neighborhood upset about commercial encroachment:
According to Vince Schneider, the spokesman for the residents, the majority of the neighborhood is opposed to the possibility of a McDonald’s restaurant openin g there. The property is currently listed with Lowndes County as owned by First State Bank, but the county engineer, Mike Fletcher, confirmed Monday at the Lo wndes County Board of Commissioners work session that he has received a plat fo r the proposed development.

Schneider appeared before commissioners at the work session to request they rec onsider the commercial zoning in the area.

Many of the residents only found out aboout the proposed McDonalds from a cryptic mention by Kay Harris in the VDT a few weeks ago. Naturally, the VDT ends the current story on a note of finality: Continue reading