"A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives."


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Friday, August 29, 2014

Jackson County Courthouse - 150 Year Old Courthouse Maple Tree to Face Saw?

 Scottsboro, Alabama August 28, 2014 - A 150 year old Maple tree in front of the Jackson County Courthouse is scheduled to be cut down on September 5, 2014 if the County Commission has their way.

A local area forester has stated the historical old tree is at the end of its life expectancy. Some folks want to save the tree.There has been no public written report from the Extension Service or Auburn University on this historic tree's life cycle or status.

The historic tree has stood through 2 courthouse fires, hangings, Jim Crow injustice, two world wars, and the many politicians of Jackson County.

The current commission is attempting to erect a monument to the Ten Commandments by utilizing a false reflection of history to accomplish erecting the monument; now the commission moves to destroy a true symbol of Jackson County History - the 150 year old Courthouse Maple. 

 $100 for a 12--14 inch diameter 2 inch slab to $3000+ for a 10 foot by 3 1/2 foot board. Calls (2) to the Jackson County Commission which were made on Thursday, August 28, 2014 have not been returned as of this update which is 4:30PM Friday August 29, 2014. The price of Maple at Keim Lumber - http://www.keimlumber.com/maplehardsoft

WAFF STORY on the COURTHOUSE MAPLE - http://www.waff.com/story/26397902/150-year-old-scottsboro-courthouse-tree-at-risk-of-being-removed

Fair use license for photo, non-profit use for education and news, unknown photographer.
Fair use license for photo, non-profit use for education and news, unknown photographer.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Scottsboro City Elections August 26, 2014

                      Oct 7, 2014 Scottsboro City elections runoff.  

Place 3 - Tony Wallingsford, 47%, Carol McCrary, 33%

Place 5 - Gary Stewart and Greg Mashburn were separated by 50 votes

School Board - Julie Gentry, and Greg Bell were separated by 50 votes.

Place 4 -  Keith Smith won with 59% over Blake Burns, the only race with no runoff.

Jackson County Commission, Regular Session August 25, 2014, Ten Commandments-Historical Documents Issue, Skyline Flooding Issue, Citizen Home Damage as a Result of Water Diversion

Jackson County Courthouse North Side, photo (Fair Use, Face Book by Judge J. Holt)

Item # 5 CR25 issue, motion to approve $14,000 to fix drainage problem in front of Skyline School.  The issue is not listed on the agenda as published nor was it added to the agenda when a call for additions or changes was requested.

Ten Commandments Issue, separate blog post, including Cease and Desist Letter concerning alleged violation of the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.  http://arklite.blogspot.com/2014/08/jackson-county-commission-regular_26.html 

It is my opinion that the commission's conduct concerning the Jackson County Alabama 10 Commandments Issue is: 1) Deceptive or an indication of gross ignorance which has resulted in negligent actions - the attempt to classify the Ten Commandments as historical documents relative to this nations founding is not valid. 2) This has the potential to cost the citizens of Jackson County, Alabama hundreds of thousands of dollars or more in legal expenses. This type of legal action would surely create a serious budget dilemma and may result in the curtailment of crucial services if the commandments case was adjudicated in the Federal Courts. 3) The insistence by the commissioner instituting this action that it will cost the county no money, in the case of a legal action against Jackson County in Federal Court, is ridiculous and borne out of ignorance or intentional deceit.

Mr. Guffey insists that the county Ten Commandments issue has nothing to do with the Republican Party, I find that hard to believe since it is a specific Alabama GOP platform item to move the Ten Commandments issue through the legislature.  http://blog.al.com/wire/2014/02/things_i_learned_during_the_al.html  and  http://arklite.blogspot.com/2014/08/jackson-county-courthouse-scottsboro.html

Regular Session, Full Video

Jackson County Commission Regular Session, Historical documents - 10 Commandments Issue

A continuation of the 10 Commandments Issue. Previous stories on this blog:

WAFF story - Jackson Co. commissioners to form Ten Commandments committee:  http://www.waff.com/story/26363427/jackson-co-commissioners-vote-on-ten-commandments-installation

WAAY story - Plan to put 10 Commandments on courthouse property now in taxpayers' hands  http://www.waaytv.com/appnews/plan-to-put-commandments-on-courthouse-property-now-in-taxpayers/article_4e0eb64a-2cc7-11e4-b7e3-001a4bcf6878.html

MSNBC story "...to argue that a Biblical list of commandments that begins, “I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt have no other gods before me” is not religious seems a little silly.    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/week-god-82314

Freedom From Religion Foundation - Cease and Desist Letter, Alleges Violation of Establishment Clause 

Recent article from the American Bar Association Journal on this legal issue: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”  http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/the_establishment_clause_is_still_a_contentious_battle_among_the_justices/

Cornell Law School discussion of the issue:   http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/establishment_clause

There are three versions of the Ten Commandments in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). They are at Exodus 20:2-17, Exodus 34:12-26, and Deuteronomy 5:6-21.

Discussion about government and the Commandments at Romans 13:1-10 King James Version (New Testament)  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+13%3A1-10&version=KJV

Friday, August 22, 2014

TVA Decreases Current Debt but Proposes Future Debt Increase - TVA Board of Director's Report 3rd Qtr. 2014 - Energy Efficiency Slashed in Budget by 25%

Big News: TVA decreases its overall debt by $1.05 billion dollars for FY 2014,  but the board approved a $3 billion increase in Power Bond sales - 2015 budget, $1 billion in nuclear power debt; a rate increase was approved at 1.5% ; energy efficiency budget slashed by 25%.

1) a $10.7 billion budget for fiscal 2015; 2)  a rate increase was approved at 1.5%; 3) increase debt by $3 billion-power bond sales; 4) TVA will spend $3.5 billion on new projects in fiscal 2015 -- the highest capital budget in TVA's history. 5) $1 billion approved for 2015 nuclear expansion; 6) TVA's debt increase by $1 billion next year, this will  increase TVA's total debt obligations above $28 billion. TVA has a $30 billion statutory debt limit. 7) TVA will have eliminated 2000 jobs by September of 2014. 8) Reduce energy efficiency measures by 25%. This resulted in a comment from board member Dr. Marilyn Brown, an Energy Efficiency Expert from Georgia Tech. She said: "TVA Energy efficiency provides a significant benefit to TVA and its customers and I believe this cut is a reflection of a false economy, it is penny wise and pound foolish...co-generation and combined heat to power is an untapped asset." 

Dr, Marilyn Brown

Although Dr. Brown raised questions, there was no stand for what is right. Justifying bad decisions with a speech does not provide confidence in the TVA Board. It is not Dr. Browns fault, at least she spoke up, all bare responsibility. Folks, slashing that which saves money for rate payers in order to make TVA Executives feel good is ridiculous and a dangerous precedent for those who are suppose to govern the TVA. This confirms the notion of "rubber stamp decision making," all has been discussed and approved before hand.


Why do leaders on this board, who should know better, vote for that which benefits executives instead of the people whom they serve. Did the CEO or any executive agree to cut their pay and bonuses by 25%???

                                          TVA CEO

 2015 PRIORITIES as expresed by TVA's CEO/President Bill Johnson

TVA rate increases were a primary reason for the closing of the Revere Copper Brass and Aluminum facility in Scottsboro, Alabama and the subsequent Scottsboro Aluminum. TVA refused to negotiate with the company, they closed their doors.

""Charles Chapman, group manager of energy and reliability at the Dalton, Ga. -based Shaw Industries, said TVA rates are higher for Shaw than those of Southern Co. or Duke. Shaw operates about 50 plants nationwide, including more than 30 in the Southeast. Three years ago, Shaw moved a plant three miles to relocate from TVA to Southern's territory to save more than 25 percent on its energy costs.In the past, TVA had more competitive rates, but we've seen a substantial ebb up over the past eight or nine years," Chapman said. "Bill Johnson has done a great job, but we'd like to see more.""  http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2014/aug/22/tva-cuts-staff-spending-but-boost-rates-15/

                                             TVA FINANCES

From the Chattanooga Times Free Press (link above)
 By the numbers - TVA 2015 Budget

* $10.7 billion - Budget for fiscal 2015, down from the $11.2 billion budget in the current fiscal year when cold winter pushed up sales

* $199 million - Increase from 2 percent wholesale rate increase (1.5 percent at the retail level)
* $3.5 billion - Capital budget, the highest in TVA history
* $1.02 billion - Increase in TVA debt
* $500 million - Amount of annual operating expenses cut from TVA's budget compared with three years ago
*$594 million - Projected net income
Source: Tennessee Valley Authority

Outstanding - the $634 million excess in the cash flow was utilized to pay down the debt.



TVA "nuclear dog" is the cause of TVA's debt. TVA plans for additional nuclear expansion by borrowing $1 billion in power bond sales.

TVA BOARD MEETING August 21, 2014
Power Point slides link: Presentation


BREDL/BEST/MATRR Member Sandy Kurtz Presentation

Thursday, August 21, 2014