"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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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Scottsboro City Council Work Session - Redevelopment Authority Issue, A Blighted Downtown Scottsboro


Monday night's City Council work session agenda contained one issue - a written request from Deborah Light and Deborah Dunsmore, Attorney-At-Law, "Application to Authorize the Incorporation of the Downtown Scottsboro Redevelopment Authority."

Unfortunately it seems many are in denial that the downtown area of Scottsboro suffers from blight. Below you will find the definition of blight; a Redevelopment Authority could possibly benefit the citizens of Scottsboro. Unfortunately, there is no plan or understanding which has been expressed to date as to what a Redevelopment Authority wants to accomplish. 

No plan equals no action. To expand government just for the sake of expansion for the purpose of free government sponsored entertainment in the downtown area of Scottsboro is not Redevelopment. Hopefully the originators of the request will present a plan of action. 

The request and video of the session is posted below. The American Planning Association's guidance and link on this issue is provided below.

Free Entertainment on the public square is not redevelopment. However, revitalization plans which might contain public entertainment in public venues might be part of a redevelopment plan; the idea is to encourage economic growth of the area to be redeveloped, free entertainment might detract from business. Any entertainment event must compliment business, not remove customers from business. This is the reason the city does not allow new products to be sold at First Monday.

About Redevelopment from the American Planning Association

Redevelopment:  The term "redevelopment" is meant to describe one or more public actions that are undertaken to stimulate activity when the private market is not providing sufficient capital and economic activity to achieve the desired level of improvement. This public action usually involves one or more measures such as direct public investment, capital improvements, enhanced public services, technical assistance, promotion, tax benefits, and other stimuli including planning initiatives such as rezoning.

Public agencies typically offer a combination of incentives and undertake redevelopment programs pursuant to a statutory system for creating, financing, and operating redevelopment areas.

Changing Definition of Blight: In many cases, the "blight" to be eliminated is not the grotesque living conditions or deteriorated industrial areas that urban renewal programs were thought to address in the 1950s and 1960s. Rather, they are under-performing or obsolete land uses or buildings that exist where the rational private investment cannot overcome market forces. In such situations disinvestment and blight may have already occurred or are deemed likely to occur.

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th ed., offers what may be the simplest definition of blight: "Something that impairs growth, withers hopes and ambitions, or impedes progress and prosperity." Within planning and redevelopment practice, blight may refer to these impairments on the physical fabric (buildings, properties, public improvements, etc.) on community structure and social fabric (neighborhood vitality, security, public health and welfare, etc.) or on the economy (property values, tax base, facility obsolescence, employment base, etc.).

Effectiveness of Planning in Redevelopment: Planning has not been as effective as we might like in keeping a central place in the economic engine. One result has been a failure to recognize that the circumstances that lead to blight often require a more comprehensive set of remedies than "economic redevelopment" proposals that simply change existing physical conditions.

Several factors may account for this shift in redevelopment practice. Planners, who in the early years of redevelopment practice were leaders in defining the scope and practice of redevelopment, are often eclipsed today by special interest redevelopment organizations that may or may not have the broadest possible perspective. While redevelopment has emerged as a significant specialty in public practice, there are few degree programs across the country focused specifically on urban and rural redevelopment.

Abuse of Process: The same procedural protections that we count on to protect the rights of individual property owners can also be used to thwart legitimate redevelopment. Where enabling legislation is badly written or misinterpreted, it may be possible that abuse of redevelopment authority undermines the public perception of the legitimate use of these powers elsewhere.

Basic premises that should underlie and support all redevelopment:

1) A clearly defined process for determining eligibility of designating areas in which the municipality or other governments have the authority to engage in redevelopment projects including both prevention and elimination of blight and provision for public/private partnerships.

2) A means of choosing partners that is fair, open, equitable, transparent (while protective of trade secrets or other proprietary data), and demonstrated to be the best choice for the public interest.

3) Mechanisms to prevent the use of partnerships to subvert the responsibilities that are imposed on the public agency through enabling legislation or case law to provide due process, demonstrate public purpose, and establish a nexus between the public purpose for redevelopment and the means to achieve that purpose.

4) Assurance that public/private partnerships adhere to the adopted plans of the jurisdiction.

5) Requirements for clearly defined responsibilities and liabilities of public and private partners.

Source - American Planning Association https://www.planning.org/policy/guides/adopted/redevelopment.htm

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Chairman of the Jackson County Commission Matthew Hodges - 2014 State of the County Address - Jackson County Alabama - Discussion with TVA Officials

State of the County Address  by Commission Chairman Matthew Hodges - Hollywood, Alabama, September 10, 2014 at TVA's cannibalized, 5 billion dollar nuclear facility which has never produced electric power. It has been a long time since BFN's, Bellefonte Nuclear Facility, parking lot has been this full. It was revealed that approximately 30% of the commission's budget relies on TVA's in-lieu-of tax payments. Mr. Hodges did not mention the diversion of TVA in lieu of tax funds by the Jackson County Legislative Delegation.
Prior to Mr. Hodges' presentation I sat down with TVA Public Relations and Plant Management personnel, impromptu, and asked about the current status of the Bellefonte Facility. I was told that the Quality Assurance Records were reconstructed to cover the time frame of the nuclear facility's cancelled construction license and that the current plan was to begin construction in 2016. The steam generators which were removed/cannibalized between 2006 and 2008 were still on order. The management team also commented that much was dependent on the current IRP, Integrated Resource Plan.

Mr. Matthew Hodges, Chairman of the Jackson County Commission delivers the State of the County Address at TVA's extremely wasteful, cannibalized, cancelled, then reinstated nuclear reactor project.

Comments and questions (33 min. 45 sec in the video) concerning the commission's history of support and non-support of open government and their recent history of secret agreements: Q 1) Secret financial settlement to previous County Administrator which cost taxpayers money (You Tube Video - http://youtu.be/Ld_L5zePSr4  ; Q 2) secret discussions concerning the 10 Commandments issue with representatives/attorneys of the right wing organization The Liberty Institute. (You Tube Video - http://youtu.be/nQkafuiph40  ) "The Liberty Institute is a conservative Christian advocacy and legal defense organization founded in 1972 under the name Free Market Foundation," Wikipedia.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

County - City Government Report, Videos and Agenda's; Jackson County Commission Regular Session & Scottsboro City Council, Work Session and Regular Session

Jackson County Commission AGENDA


                           SCOTTSBORO CITY COUNCIL

Work Session Agenda

Discussion Items
 1) Deborah Dunsmore and Deborah Light made presentation regarding Scottsboro Redevlopment Authority formation.  
Alabama Code - Chapter 54A: DOWNTOWN REDEVELOPMENT 
COMMENT: Can the City of Scottsboro afford another corporate authority since the city must back all loans or financial commitments? Why not a "Downtown Revitalization Advisory Board prior to a Redevelopment Authority? It is my opinion the Revitalization Advisory Board is the smartest first choice. Reference: https://www.ida-downtown.org/eweb/docs/AP_Huntsville.pdf

2) Scottsoro Trails System 

VIDEO of Work Session

                                 Regular Session AGENDA


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Propaganda and Media Manipulation 101 and My Experiences of Corporate Media Censorship

Some of you may have noticed that I have been writing on the subject of censorship for some period of time. The reason this blog was created was due to censorship on al.com's Scottsboro Forum. Censorship has taken place in local Face Book Groups. Some of the censorship has taken on threatening intimidating forms, including terrorist threats.

It has became apparent that there is an intentional effort on the part of local corporate media and political parties to keep the citizenry in a state of  "perptual mushroomitis" - feeding citizens crap and keeping them in the dark. This post concerns the reasoning and strategy for seemingly ridiculous attacks by anonymous parties and media propaganda 

When the attacks of slander, defamation, threats and intimidation are closely examined and applied to a corrupted media/political system's communications processes of disinformation and propaganda another piece of the puzzle falls into place. It causes this writer to question the intent of criminal acts and why they were not investigated by authorities, although complaints were filed. Reference:

The problem is bigger than verbal threats and harassment by anonymous parties utilizing a news media's forum to convey threats and harassment.

Why would persons or corporate media be concerned about a blogger?  The independent blogger's story is an individual story about his or her perceptions of reality and life around us, it is not a corporate image laden with hidden agendas of corporations and government entities. I'm conveying to you my perception of political and news worthy events around me; including the interjection of my opinions on this blog, Face Book, forums and directly into the political process, this seems to upset some folks who go to extremes to wage personal attacks.

As we examine our history, which includes murdered Jackson County Sheriff Matt Wann, 1932         ( story of Matt Wann http://scottsborostories.blogspot.com/2010/10/sheriff-matt-wann-brave-man-and-untold.html ) no prosecution of the known perpetrator and the claim by law enforcement that there are no records about the Sheriff's murder case. This leads me to wonder, has a black veil of secrecy and corruption fallen over Jackson County and Scottsboro,  and how does this past history affect our community today? 

The extent of vicious verbal group attacks by whites on Face Book sites relating to Scottsboro History, when the group's members are reminded of the exclusionary history of Scottsboro, reveals that  mob mentality and delusional group peer pressure is present and facilitates a continuation of a racist culture.

When you add in intentional lies by prominent local citizens which resulted in me being questioned by the local Sheriff's Department in 2003 due to my filing of complaints against  politicians which included theft of property, embezzlement, etc. more of the puzzle falls into place.

Corporate media propaganda and political intimidation have a purpose, it is to deceive you the citizen and isolate you the citizen from REAL NEWS and EVENTS occurring in our society. 

When persons outside of the corporate media and political structure come forward, such as bloggers, to report news and current events, it has been my experience local independent news reporters are threatened, intimidated and slandered, which has occurred in my case.  

The below lecture by Dr. Jerry Kroth concerns the propaganda and manipulation of news and how it affects you in today's  world. I relate my above experiences as an indication of problems in our local culture and how censorship and propaganda tie into the news you receive from the formal media.


The methods of media propaganda and your manipulation: 1) reframing; 2)repeated affirmations; 3) vicariousness; 4) distractions and denial; 5) Classical and operant conditioning.

This is a video on the psychology of propaganda. Prof. Kroth reviews five major techniques for how American mass media manipulates and twists the view Americans have of their world. The seriousness of the distortion, and our progressive loss of contact with reality is dramatic. We are increasingly living inside a media-induced trance without knowing it. Children believe Ronald MacDonald is more real than Abraham Lincoln. From Coke to Carl's Jr., Hip-hop to the Iraq war, the role of subliminal propaganda in our lives is unveiled and exposed. This talk is based on Dr. Kroth's recent book, Duped! Delusion, Denial, and the end of the American dream (Genotype, 2013). Dr. Jerry Kroth's You Tube Channel  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTHZbk9nPwc3RmPl2izhChA

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Senate District 8 Political Race - Candidate Answer, Candidate Refuses to Answer

Jackson County Legislative Delegation Office (photo by G. Morgan)

On the 17th of August, 2014 I sent two questions to the candidates for Alabama Senate District 8 race. Republican Candidate Steve Livingston and Democrat Candidate Horace Clemmons both received the same questions in the same format. One candidate, Horace Clemmons answered the questions; the other candidate Steve Livingston did not reply. I sent him multiple requests through his Face Book campaign site and his personal Face Book Page, all to no avail. Apparently this old soldier’s and poor citizen’s questions matter naught to Senate candidate Steve Livingston. Below you will find Horace Clemons answer after the questions and my comment to Steve Livingston.

What are your thoughts on the Ten Commandments and Historical Documents issue which Commissioner Guffey has brought forward in the Jackson County Commission?

Do you support the Republican Sponsored Ten Commandments Bill that was introduced in the House but did not make it out the Senate in the last session. Reference HB 45 which will allow citizens to vote on a constitutional amendment to allow displays of the Ten Commandments on state property and in public schools.

Your answer may be used on my blog and other community information postings.

Thank you,
Garry Morgan
“In the Boro”  http://arklite.blogspot.com

Horace Clemmons for State Senate District 8 web site (Fair Usage rights)

Horace Clemmons answer:  "I believe that this issue has been settled by the Supreme Court and would end up costing taxpayers a lot of money for legal fees - money that could and should be used for economic development and education.  Further, the damage to our District's image that would be done by the resulting controversy and court battle would make the already difficult job of attracting high paying jobs to our area even more difficult.  Let’s focus on education and jobs.”

“I would not support any legislation that is likely to be declared unconstitutional and result in spending millions of taxpayers’ dollars paying legal fees to high-priced private law firms.  The legislature has engaged in enough of that kind of foolish fiscal irresponsibility over the last four years.”

Steve Livingston for State Senate District 8  (Fair Usage rights)

My Comment to Mr. Livingston: Your refusal to answer equals my refusal to vote for you and is an indication that you think of yourself as above the questions of a poor, retired old soldier. A simple answer would be fine, but a refusal to answer indicates the thinking of an “elitist snob,” or a refusal to answer a question about what your political party of choice represents. Either way, no answer equals NO VOTE. 

 About your above propaganda depiction of you teaching school children to"Fight Obama" in your Face Book campaign video ad - this is the hatred which we have come to expect out of the extremist wing of the Republican Party - Shame on You Steve Livingston! If this is what you are about, we do not need you representing the 8th District in Montgomery.