"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."


Click for Scottsboro, Alabama Forecast

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Jackson County Commission Work Session, October 5, 2015

Jackson County Courthouse South Side (photo by G. Morgan)

News items of interest for this session: Agenda items 1) Commission employee and retiree insurance plan costs (part 1 video); 7) Jackson County Court Referral and Community Corrections, there is no plan or approval for a plan on file at the county commission office (part 2 video). There is also a question concerning the last audit of the program, which is required annually. For the program to be a Non-profit entity one of the requirements is a 501c3 status; a lack of oversight from a board of directors is also being questioned. A listing of minimum administrative standards as required by the state is posted below. There is a question if the required state administrative standards are met. Code of Alabama 15-18-170 thru 182 covers Community Correction's programs  http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/alison/codeofalabama/1975/coatoc.htm
Click on image for an expanded view.

My interest became peaked when I interviewed participants in the court referral, so called "out-patient" program, where a counselor at the county corrections referred Family Life Center issued a requirement to "pay homage" to the court system by requiring program participants to write a letter to someone in the court system giving them praise;  examples were given by the counselor which were considered acceptable parties to write this letter of  praise, "Judge, DA or Attorneys," also reported, "When you write the letter there have been examples of the DA, Judge answering back with praise to the letter writer."

There are many questions relating to the health care of individuals submitted for so called "out patient" drug and alcohol program treatment where there is no formal medical evaluation. Calling a program "out patient" care does not make it so, particularly when there is no formal medical oversight by a qualified physician or health care authority. Testing of urine, blood, hair or the evaluation of patients in a health care setting requires qualified health care personnel with oversight from qualified, credentialed health care professionals in a health care setting. Apparently for so called "out patient" drug related rehabilitation cases health care standards are lacking, which does no favors for the patients, or community, in the faux "out patient" care program. 

The State of Alabama requires drug & alcohol counselors to be certified by the Alabama Mental Health Board; there is no requirement for patient care oversight from a health care authority for so called out patient substance abuse care.  http://admh.academy.reliaslearning.com/about-us.aspx 
One example of a corporate drug abuse counseling program with claims to out patient health care, but has no connection to any health care authority or physician performing a professional examination before the so called out patient health care is initiated. http://familylifecenter.ws/laboratory-equipment/ Counselors and programs such as offered at the Family Life Center receive limited oversight from the Alabama Mental Health Board. Unfortunately, mental health care and this board have suffered drastic budget cuts.  
Quote from above Family Life Center link: "We believe that if we have helped our clients become active members of their local self-help group we have achieved our goal." (Self-help groups include Narcotics Anonymous, NA, and Alcoholics Anonymous, AA.)  Nothing is stated about the goal of helping a patient (their word is client) to become a productive member of the community, free from substance abuse following a structured system of recovery guidelines "one day at a time." 

In this case, Substance Abuse Referral programs are specifically connected to the Alabama Department of Corrections via Court Referral and Community Corrections. My concern is the lack of definitive patient/health examinations and health care standards, guidelines and oversight by qualified health care professionals. I believe the resolution may be found in many areas at the local Health Care Authority and/or connected with local public or private hospitals which require specific levels of education, certification and credentialing with oversight from national inspection and accreditation programs; the local Health Care Authority is a member and accredited, http://www.jointcommission.org/about_us/about_the_joint_commission_main.aspx   this insures a high quality of health care in an out-patient or in-patient setting.

 Never should psychiatric or health care treatment of patients, whether substance abuse patients as so called out-patients, or any patient, be conducted without the oversight of qualified, credentialed health care professionals. The question must be asked - how can you call something "out patient" care without patient/health care guidelines and no organized health care oversight?  (This is a preliminary report, more to follow. As a note - I am a graduate of Baylor University - 2 Associate of Science Degrees, one in Nursing and a second in Dental Hygiene/Dental Therapeutics; a Bachelors Degree in Allied Health Science - major in Health Care Administration. External Post Graduate Work in Psychology, Sociology, Group and Inter-Group Relations, Communications, Counseling and Group Moderation/Facilitation, Minority Studies, Personnel Management, Inquiries - Interviews and Investigations, Organizational Effectiveness - Department of Defense Race Relations Equal Opportunity Institute (DRRI) - Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI).)


Part 1

VIDEO Part 2

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Public Information Session at the Madison, Alabama Public Library, Sep. 29, 2015, Chemical Munitions Clean-up at Redstone Arsenal Alabama

Redstone Arsenal Entry Sign (Fair use for non-profit news reporting, cropped photo by G. Morgan)

World War 2 PHOTOS of Redstone Arsenal Chemical Warfare Munitions
Above & below, U.S. Army Photos at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama (Fair use rights for non-profit news reporting.)

The Redstone Arsenal Complex in the Pre-Missile Era: A History of Huntsville Arsenal,

Gulf Chemical Warfare Depot, and Redstone Arsenal, 1941-1949 

During the two decades between the end of World War I and the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, the United States withdrew into a strong protective shell consisting of isolationist, protectionist, and nativist sentiments. This urge to remain aloof from foreign entanglements had a decidedly adverse affect on the U.S. military, particularly the Army. The period between the world wars was a time of seemingly endless constraints on money, manpower, and materiel. By 1939, the U.S. Army was ranked nineteenth worldwide, behind Belgium and Greece.

Editors Note: This is a reproduction of a special study written by Helen Brents Joiner, a former Historian of the U.S. Army Missile Command’s Historical Division. We’ve attempted to reproduce this study for the web as it appeared in 1966, keeping all original language and punctuation. We’ve added photographs and links to other studies where we felt that the reader could benefit from these other studies.  Link: http://history.redstone.army.mil/ihist-chem.html 

LA Times Article - Deadly chemical weapons, buried and lost, lurk under U.S. soil - Cleaning up an Alabama site, one of hundreds where toxic munitions were dumped after World War II, is expected to take decades. It's not even known what exactly is there.

March 21, 2014By David Zucchino REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. — Yanking aside a tree branch, Jason Watson peered into a waterlogged trench. He pointed out discolored metal drums sunk halfway in the water..."Blister agents, choking agents, blood agents," Watson said, listing the array of chemical weapons inside thousands of metal containers that were buried on this 38,000-acre base after World War II. http://articles.latimes.com/2014/mar/21/nation/la-na-chemical-weapons-20140322 

WAAY-TV Report - WWII chemical agent cleanup will take decades on Redstone Arsenal - March 28, 2014 http://www.waaytv.com/redstone_alabama/wwii-chemical-agent-cleanup-will-take-decades-on-redstone-arsenal/article_6d6554c6-b6e4-11e3-b13a-0017a43b2370.html 

National Academies of Science Report  - The Challenges at Redstone Arsenal
The cleanup at RSA in Huntsville, Alabama is a huge challenge. The site comprises some 38,300 acres of land containing over 300 solid waste management units. Seventeen of these are suspected CWM sites for which the state regulatory authority is requesting removal as an interim measure to satisfy the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). RSA is also believed to be the largest and most challenging of the sites in terms of estimated quantities, the condition and variety of items, operational complexity, regulatory issues, and potential remediation costs. Each of these units not only is likely to require a customized approach but also has more than 5 miles of disposal trenches and various burn and disposal areas for chemical munitions and related wastes as a result of
operations that began in the early 1940s.

WAFF-TV Report - September 24, 2015 "The Redstone Arsenal has been in constant cleanup mode for decades after building chemical weapons during World War II. Now, the cleanup of those weapons is shifting into overdrive. The Arsenal is asking the state for permission so it can nearly triple the number of hazardous waste storage units." http://www.waff.com/story/30107341/redstone-arsenal-expands-hazardous-waste-cleanup

VIDEOS of Public Information Session, a 4 part video presentation

PART 1 Introduction

PART 2 Chemical Weapon Cleanup and DDT

PART 3 Chemical Weapons cleanup, Permit Modification


Monday, September 28, 2015

Jackson County Commission, Regular Session, FY-2016 Budget Approval

Jackson County Courthouse South Entrance (photo by G. Morgan)

(Click on image for an expanded view.)

FY 2016 Approved Budget, Revenue
(Click on image for an expanded view.)

FY 2016 Approved Budget, Expenditures


Friday, September 25, 2015

Local Delegation Visits Google Data Center in Lenoir. N.C --Spot on for Blogspot!

Face Book photo, Fair Use Rights for non-profit news reporting. (Photo by Patricia Potter Combs Face Book post & Dr David Campbell) Scottsboro Mayor Melton Potter (left front) and Jackson County EDA Chair Dr. David Campbell (2nd on right) travel to Lenoir, N.C to visit Google Data Center in Lenoir, N.C. If someone could identify all the folks on the flight it would be appreciated.

Jackson County EDA 
Familiar Faces from Jackson County
Jackson County Alabama EDA (EDA photo, Fair Use for non-profit news reporting Sep 24, 2015.)
"Google and the community leaders of Lenior, North Carolina welcomed many of Jackson County's leaders to offer valuable information about what Google will bring to the community and how to prepare for the data center's new location to our area. We appreciate their insight and hospitality!"

Dr Campbell's comments on Face Book, per request, thank you Dr, Campbell: "A group of about 15 local leaders and TVA economic developers visited Caldwell County, N.C. to assess how a Google Data Center has affected the economy, workforce, and educational institutions of that area, Garry. The group met with local elected officials, the community college president, economic developers, local school board officials, other educators, Google officials, and other leaders in order to get information and advice on planning for the Google Data Center in Jackson County. Members of the group will be making presentations about the trip to various organizations and local officials to help assure that Google's Data Center in Jackson County will bring about the maximum positive benefits for our citizens."

-Google's Contribution to the Lenoir, N.C. Area-

Lenoir Data Center

In the community

At Google, we’re committed to playing a positive role in each of the communities in which we operate around the world. Through grant-making and local initiatives, we're working to help businesses, schools, and nonprofits thrive. We're always seeking opportunities for Googlers to share their time and expertise with the local community. Here's a sample of what we're doing in the area.

Google's community contributions by the numbers:

$1.2 billion: Our long-term investment in the Lenoir data center facility.
$3.6 million: Total charitable giving dollars we've donated to nonprofits and schools in North Carolina since 2009.
$1.2 million: Our investment in the waste-processing system funded in collaboration wtih Duke University and Duke Energy.
$110,000: Google WiFi grant awarded to the City of Lenoir to help implement a free downtown WiFi network.  For more info go to: http://www.google.com/about/datacenters/inside/locations/lenoir/community-outreach.html

Google story by Heather Garner of the Clarion, July 21, 2015:  "Approximately a year ago when the Jackson County Commission learned that TVA could potentially shut down Widows Creek, Commissioners immediately began looking for solutions. Their first step was to set a series of meetings with Bill Johnson, President and CEO of TVA. Initially, Commissioners requested that TVA allow Jackson County to use to land for potential industry. When it was discovered that Google was looking, TVA took initiative and contacted them regarding their Widows Creek plant. Google met with TVA and the planning began. A joint effort between TVA, Google and the Jackson County Commission, led to a huge announcement last week. Google along with Governor Robert Bentley, joined Jackson County and TVA officials to announce that Google will be locating a $600 million data center at the TVA Widows Creek plant in Stevenson. Construction will begin in 2016 and will be the first in the United States since 2007. According to Google they will use the existing infrastructure at the plant, currently in its final phase of shut down. Google has acquired a lifetime lease for approximately 369 acres of the TVA property. The center, which will house the servers used for every Google product, will be run off of renewable energy and will employ up to 100 people." http://www.theclarion.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9353:google-data-center-coming-to-jackson-county&catid=42:clarion-rotation-stories&Itemid=142

Google Story by Wes Mayberry of the Daily Sentinel, June 26, 2015: “Selecting the Widows Creek site to build our newest data center came after an extensive search,” Google Director of Operations Gary Demasi, picture below, said when the announcement for this project was made. “The idea of re-purposing a former coal generating site and powering our new facility with renewable energy, especially reliable, affordable energy that we can count on 24/7 with the existing infrastructure in place, was attractive.” http://thedailysentinel.com/feature_story/article_aa7eb456-1c4b-11e5-bd1f-b39a1408974a.html
Google's Director of Operations Gary Demassi, Fair-use photo Linked-In for non-profit news reporting. 

Google's Story on Google's Blogspot 
(That's right, blogspot is spot on!)
Every time you check your Gmail, search on Google for a nearby restaurant, or watch a YouTube video, a server whirs to life in one of our data centers. Data centers are the engines of the Internet, bringing the power of the web to millions of people around the world. And as millions more people come online, our data centers are growing, too.

We’ve recently expanded our data centers in Iowa, Georgia, Singapore and Belgium. And today we’re announcing a new data center in Alabama—our 14th site globally. Read more -  http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2015/06/a-power-plant-for-internet-our-newest.html

Greetings from the Irish Rose Bed & Breakfast, Lenoir N.C.