Tag Archives: stimulus

No public hearing unless someone asks for it —Jane Osborn

Received yesterday on Public transportation and public records in Lowndes County,
Another issue here is that there will be no public hearing on this issue unless someone ASKS for it. Without a hearing, it just goes forward with no other public information about being presented. Anyone may ask for a hearing, but I would especially think that there are people who really need a functional system that is not just focused on people who have access to Medicaid as a payment source due to illness or disability. Requesting such a hearing before January 24 would give the opportunity to have all this information presented and for questions to be asked and answered.

-Jane Osborn

What is MIDS, anyway?

Here’s a bit from a VDT article about MIDS, by Malynda Fulton 11 July 2009, The bus stops here: Proposed plan will not affect county buses
Lowndes County officials assure citizens who use the county’s current transit program that they will not be affected if the proposed Valdosta-Lowndes County Transit Service Plan is implemented in the area.

The current Lowndes County 5311 Transit Program falls under the jurisdiction of the Georgia Department of Transportation. Ten percent of the program is subsidized by the state and 80 percent is subsidized by federal funds. Lowndes County provides 10 percent of the cost of each bus.

Lowndes County’s 5311 Transit Program was implemented in December 2001 with only three buses. The program now includes six buses that provide transportation throughout Lowndes County.

That may make MIDS the biggest bus system in the county. VSU may have more busses. Does Moody run busses?

More about MIDS: Continue reading

Public transportation and public records in Lowndes County

Jane Osborn asked me 6 Jan 2011:
Here are the notices about public transportation that was supposed to be done some time ago. I am trying to figure out how the county will compensate private providers for all this transportation.
Good question. I can’t answer it, but maybe I can point at some related information that might help.

She was referring to two public notices in the VDT of that same day, Exhibit 8B, which is about the MIDS service, which is one of the ones in the list in Exhibit 8A. If you call MIDS, a small van will pick you up and deliver you, all for a flat fee, if I understand it correctly. It’s the closest thing we have to a bus system around here.

It looks like MIDS comes up for renewal about every two years, according to the agendas: Continue reading

Solar Darien

Darien can also do solar panels at a wastewater treatment plant:

Pat Prokop reported for WTOC 4 August 2011, Darien water treatment plant gets solar panels:

A McIntosh County water treatment plant is going green and saving hundreds of dollars in utility bills.

The city of Darien’s wastewater treatment plant outfitted the facility with solar panels. The city was able to invest more than $1 million on renovations and upgrades to the wastewater collection system, lift stations and treatment plant.

Prokop put a bunch of pictures on facebook.

Where did Darien get the money? Continue reading

Using sludge to build better communities –Matt Flumerfelt

This LTE appeared in the VDT 18 Jan 2011. -jsq
I was recently reading “Masterpieces of Eloquence,” which includes a speech delivered by the fourth Earl of Chesterfield to the House of Lords in Feb., 1743. “The bill now under our consideration appears to me to deserve a much closer regard than seems to have been paid to it in the other House, through which it was hurried with the utmost precipitation, and where it passed almost without the formality of a debate. Nor can I think that earnestness with which some lords seem inclined to press it forward here consistent with the importance of the consequences which may with great reason be expected from it.” He goes on to say, “surely it never before was conceived, by any man entrusted with the administration of public affairs, to raise taxes by the destruction of the people.”

I find this quote applies exactly, mutatis mutandis, to the present situation. The effects of these toxic chemicals are far more devastating to my mind than the effects of gin. The science panel assembled by Michael is more credible than the assurances of the industrial authority expert. In fact, the emissions from the plant are so close to the permit threshold that they could easily exceed that threshhold on occasion. Would the IA expert then continue to hold the position that there is “No health hazard to the public?” I don’t think anyone who favors the proposal is aware of the enormity that could result if the plant goes into operation. They have left the public health out of their equation. They have just enough science, they think, to push the deal through over the objections of an easily deceived public.

Matt Flumerfelt

Democracy in action v. unelected officials –Matthew Richard

This LTE appeared in the VDT 18 Jan 2011. -jsq
The recent biomass meeting was a great example of democracy in action. Concerned citizens gave up an evening to educate themselves and it was heartening to see many in the audience participate. I’m no political scientist, but this must be what the founders of the constitution had in mind in conceiving that document.

The evening was not without controversy. Several speakers spoke passionately, even vehemently, prompting someone to question the tone of some on the anti-biomass side. One wonders how closely he follows events in the area?

Valdostans are frustrated at the blatantly anti-democratic tactics employed by local government that result in our getting things rammed down our throats. Biomass is just the latest example.

Continue reading

The Jobs are in the Trees: Reforestation

Glenn Hurowitz writes in grist that The jobs are in the trees:
With Congress and the White House considering spending scarce dollars to jump-start employment, they’ll need to get the biggest jobs bang for the buck to give Americans confidence that they’re spending our money wisely. Probably the biggest jobs generator of all, and one of the least recognized, is investing in forest and land restoration and sustainable management, with conservation, watershed projects, and park investment coming close behind.

That’s a very interesting jobs comparison; I didn’t know that.

To summarize, reforestation and restoration outperforms even the second-most jobs-intense activity analyzed by 74 percent, and conservation exceeds other major jobs alternatives, including especially new highway construction, Wall Street, and conventional energy sources like oil and nuclear.
In fact, nuclear comes in dead last in this comparison.

And biomass produces less than half as many jobs as reforestation and land resto ration.

Lowndes County Not Recession-Proof

Sea Island Co. had a reputation for immunity to economic whims while over-borrowing and over-expansion? Hm, they’re not the only ones. As recently as 28 April 2008 the VDT published a story “Analyst: Valdosta ‘recession-proof'”:
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, business consultant and president of JobBait.com Mark Hovind ranked every metropolitan statistical area across the country, highlighting those he deemed to be “recession-proof.” The city of Valdosta was the only Georgia city to make the list.
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RSVP Today for Federal Grants Workshop in Savannah, Oct 26th

Federal Grants Workshop Flyer, Savannah, 2009 Both Georgia Senators are holding a workshop in Savannah Monday October 26th about federal grants. To attend, you must register today, October 22nd. I called Isakson’s office, and the woman who answered the phone said they hold one of these a year. Last year it was in Atlanta, next year she thinks probably Macon. So this year this is the only one.

Hm, I wonder how much of this is stimulus money that these two senators voted against?

Anyway, here’s the text of the press release of 7 October:

Isakson, Chambliss to Host Federal Grants Workshop on October 26 in Savannah

Continue reading