JAMES MADISON QUOTE - 1822

"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."

SCOTTSBORO WEATHER

Click for Scottsboro, Alabama Forecast

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Scottsboro City Council Meeting


Tuesday night, December 28th, was the regular city council meeting this week. 1) 5 year Hazard Mitigation Plan for the City of Scottsboro was approved. The Hazard Mitigation Plan is necessary in order that city be eligible for Emergency Funds from FEMA, Federal Emergency Management Agency, in the case of flooding, storm damage, etc.. 2) City employee Cell Phone Usage Policy was approved and will become part of the city employee handbook. 3) New Job Description was approved for the new Ordinance Enforcement Officers position. 4) Declaration of Surplus Property for Street Department, 2 knuckle booms. 5) Bid approved for an excavator for the Cemetery Department. Awarded to Tri-Green Equipment of Scottsboro. 6) Resolution approved concerning the Plantation Point Golf Course. The resolution recommended that the Plantation Point Course remain as a city course until the current bond issue is paid. The Plantation Course, according to the GPC Board, is resulting in a loss of revenue, Home owners living on the course pay no fees for the privilege. It has been reported that out of 45 homeowners living around the Plantation Point course that only 7 are Goosepond Colony Course dues paying members. December 17 news article concerning this matter. http://thedailysentinel.com/news/article_9f34413a-0a38-11e0-b38a-001cc4c002e0.html 7) Gas collection system at the Scottsboro Landfill change order approved. Reports: This was the last regular scheduled meeting of the calender year.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Afghanistan Mission a Failure??

Here is the mission statement leading off Department of Defenses web site on Afghanistan: "In response to the events of September 11, 2001, the U.S. and its allies launched an invasion of Afghanistan to overthrow the Taliban regime and destroy the al-Qaeda terrorist network it supported. In the years since, the International Security Assistance Force, under NATO leadership, has taken charge of extensive provincial reconstruction and stabilization efforts, helping set the economic, political and security conditions for the growth of an effective, democratic national government in Afghanistan. As the lead member of the international coalition, the U.S. contributes troops to both the ISAF mission and Operation Enduring Freedom, tasked with pursuing al-Qaeda throughout Afghanistan’s inhospitable border region with Pakistan." http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2007/Afghanistan/
.
Take note, the listed site is more than 3 years out of date! Pictures of George Bush highlight the site. Also note the photo of the Captain inspecting grapes with no weapon, this is a Combat Zone. "Damn perfumed princes of the rear echelon" at work, killing our military for political purposes. If U.S. diplomats or the military brass think grapes will replace poppies or marijuana as a staple money crop they are insane!
.
A fantastic mission statement listed above, one problem, the mission can not be completed with the limited warfare options available to the U.S. Military in the Theater of Operations. The Taliban regime maintains control of approximately 60% of Afghanistan (growing) and al-Qaeda continues operations in surrounding nations and the world with the support of Islamic intelligence networks established in the nation's of Southwest Asia, Africa and Malaysia.
.
Map pictured above, story link, http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20101228/wl_time/08599203974800 An important disclosure in the story which reflects a failure in accomplishing the mission of combating guerilla warfare and terror tactics of the Taliban, al-Qaeda and insurgents, the establishment of static positions and bases in Afghanistan. One of the stated results at all service academies and military schools of tactics and leadership concerning the Viet Nam War was the failure of static defenses and positions in fighting guerilla warfare tactics. How quickly our military and civilian leaders forget this lesson.
.
Static bases and positions cost a bunch of money and support civilian contractors, it does not win a guerilla war and contributes to the death of service men and women.
.
An unfortunate moral to this story, we can not trust our government's elected officials to be truthful to American Citizens concerning the War on Terror.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Y'all

Here's wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

"A Christmas Story," short version.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Scottsboro City Council Work Session-Life Saving Award-Green Power Project and Goosepond Highlight Meeting

Tristin Stavig presented Life Saving Award by Scottsboro Mayor Potter. (Photo Ch 48-WAFF-News http://www.waff.com/Global/story.asp?S=13643914 )



Scottsboro Bio-Mass Project item 8.

Goosepond Colony Resolution discussion item 9.


Last night was a City Council work session. The outline: 1) Mayor Potter presented Life Saving Award to Tristin Stavig for saving the life of one of her teachers. Ms Stavig saved the life of High School French teacher Deborah Jones during the week of November 22, 2010 by performing the Heimlich maneuver. Article from The Daily Sentinel about the event. http://thedailysentinel.com/news/article_9d0a4caa-fc06-11df-9962-001cc4c002e0.html
WAFF video article about Ms. Stavig's lifesaving event: http://www.waff.com/Global/story.asp?S=13643914 2) City Engineer made presentation concerning the 5 year update of the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Plan. Info on Hazard Mitigation from FEMA http://www.fema.gov/plan/mitplanning/index.shtm 3) City employee Cell Phone Usage Policy discussion, item will be an addition to the City Employee Handbook. 4) Discussion concerning addition of Ordinance Enforcement Officer Job Description. 5) Surplus property report concerning 2 knuckle booms which are excess property at the Street Department. 6) East Maple Street discussion was removed from agenda. 7) Cemetery Department bid opening report for excavator at the cemetery. Tri-Green Equipment of Scottsboro was the accepted bid meeting specifications for $18,250.00. 8) Change order discussion concerning land fill gas collection project involving $47,492. This will include connecting cell 2 and the rental of a flare burner. Approximately $16,000 of the funding for the change order will come from the grant money of which the total amount of $500K will have been spent after the change order. After the project is complete the methane gas collected from the land fill will be utilized as fuel for electric power generation. Excess power will be sold to the TVA for 13 cents per Kilowatt hour according to city officials. The TVA pays the higher rate for the purpose of claiming the carbon credits which this project will generate. It is expected this project will generate not only electricity but $100-$200K of annual revenue after payments for this project. A very positive move on the part of the city for this Bio-Mass "green power" project. Kudos to Mr. Blizzard for his work on this project. 9) Item 9 was added to the agenda by request from Mr. Smith. Resolution to allow Goosepond Colony to continue control of Goosepond Colony (GPC) until the Bond issue is satisfied. Mr. Wheeler commented the current GPC bond issue will be paid in 2023.
.
In other info received from city officials. - There maybe discussion soon to restructure the GPC bond issue. - There is a reluctance on the part of the GPC Board to refinance current bond issues.
.
The solution to the Plantation Point Golf Course will be decided by the GPC Board. Hopefully the GPC Board will work with all involved. Kudos to Mr. Smith for bringing this resolution forward.
.
Mayor Potter Reports that the FEMA payment from last years April Storm Damage has been disbursed by Alabama's Emergency Management Agency. Daily Sentinel article: http://thedailysentinel.com/news/article_1d0e58c4-0e22-11e0-aae6-001cc4c002e0.html

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Trouble in Paradise--Scottsboro City Council and Goosepond Colony

Work Session agenda. Click on image for expanded view. Item 9 was added, Discussion on Goosepond, discussed below.
Council regular meeting agenda. I spoke after the work session meeting, signing up at the regular council meeting to remind the distinguished council members that the GPC Board is the legal authority to make decisions concerning Goosepond Colony, after Mr. Smith's presentation concerning GPC in the work session.

Plantation Point - Goosepond Colony - City Council - Issue - Debt - Viability

More controversy has arose concerning Goosepond Colony (GPC) as a result of political posturing by city council members and finacial troubles of the Goosepond Colony Plantation Point. This is not the first time that controversy has embroiled the Scottsboro City Council and the Goosepond Colony's Park Board.
.
Goosepond Colony is the crown jewel of the City of Scottsboro. http://goosepond.org/ .
The current park board has performed an excellent job of managing the complex. They were forced to undertake a monumental task of bringing the park out of a near bankrupt status due to previous boards inept and corrupt influences in the management of the Goosepond facility.
.
The current financial situation is a result of past park boards poor management, the purchase of the Plantation Point Golf Course and the adjoining home lot properties. The current park board, consisting of a bank officer, accountant, business persons and an engineer are stating the Plantation Point facility is not a profitable operation. Unfortunately, now enter city officials in the attempt to propagandize and further complicate the issue by political posturing.
.
When the Plantation Point brings the whole Goosepond Colony complex to near ruination Council Member Smith, who has been a life long city employee, comes forward and attempts to inflict further damage to Goosepond Colony with the suggestion that the "city should take over the entire complex." Unfortunately, this philosophical socialist fails to recognize the Code of Alabama's requirements of this situation, which is nothing new as laws have been broken, bent and threw in the trash previously in relationship to Goosepond Colony by the city council and previous park boards.
.
The Scottsboro Parks and Recreation Board, Goosepond Colony Board, is a seperate corporate entity of the State of Alabama, Code of Alabama, 11-60-1 thru 20, like the School Board, like the Water Sewer and Gas Board, like the Electric Power Board. Just as in the case of Goosepond Colony, the city signs off on the loans of the school board and the water board as guarantors of those boards loans. Some city officials might have you think the city guarantees only the Goosepond Colony loans.
.
Now comes some city officials and expect the citizens of Scottsboro to fund a special group of golf course homeowners for their living style around a golf course in which they pay nothing in the form of fees to live? NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT!
.
Allow the Goosepond Colony Park Board officials to do their job. The city council and other city officials should work close with the officials of Goosepond Colony to resolve this situation, not compound the problems by political posturing and deceitful propaganda.
.
The answer is simple, charge appropriate fees for living around and/or on the golf course if the home owners wish to save the course. If that does not work, sell or lease the money loosing Plantation Point course in order to save Goosepond Colony.
.
Previous Daily Sentinel article on Plantation Point Appraisal: http://thedailysentinel.com/news/article_d0047644-0192-11e0-ad91-001cc4c002e0.html
.
Today's article in the Daily Sentinel concerning Mondays Scottsboro City Council meeting: http://thedailysentinel.com/news/article_b65cb8ac-07b2-11e0-af83-001cc4c002e0.html

County Commission Meeting

Click on image for an expanded view of documents.









Monday, December 13, 2010

TVA SALE?? A way to fund green energy projects? What is "clean and green?"

Some of us are acutely aware the definition of "clean and green" has a variety of meanings to corporate executives and politicians. "Clean or green" may include energy sources which are not sustainable nor clean energy sources, such as expensive nuclear power.


Fair Use rights for not for profit news reporting, photo by TVA


Tennessee Valley Authority, TVA, Bellefonte Nuclear Plant. No power has been generated from the nuclear plant, construction began in the mid 1970's, construction ended in the late 1980's. The nuclear plant construction license was cancelled in 2006 by the TVA, the two near complete nuclear reactors were cannibalized of their steam generators and other equipment in the same year. The equipment was sold for a reported $49 million.
.
Recently the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, NRC, re-instituted the previously cancelled construction license for Bellefonte without 1, one, vote of approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The vote of the commission was one vote disapproved, 3 votes jointly approved-disapproved. The Chairperson of the NRC, Mr. Jackzo, along with the Senior Staff of the NRC, disagreed with the reinstatement of the construction license calling the decision to reinstate the construction license "unprecedented."
.
The violation of atomic safety protocol in licensing of nuclear reactors casts a shadow of doubt over the RELIABILITY of nuclear licensing and the NRC. A case is pending in the Washington D.C. Federal Court concerning this issue.
.
Recently a complaint has been filed with the TVA concerning construction of major plant components without the approval of construction of the plant from the TVA Board. A contract was awarded to Babcock & Wilcox Nuclear Energy, Inc. of Canada to manufacture two steam generators. The reported costs are said to be $300,000. The letting of the contract to construct steam generators for the plant appears to have violated several Federal Laws. This gross waste and abuse will cost the ratepayers in excess of $250,000,000. Previous article: http://arklite.blogspot.com/2010/11/tva-plans-to-spend-160-million-on.html


Fair Use Rights, not for profit news reporting for government logos.

TVA sale urged to fund green energy projects - timesfreepress.com Chattanooga Times Free Press: "As chairman of the Federal Communications Commission in the 1990s, Reed Hundt pioneered the auctions of the nation's airwaves that ultimately generated more than $40 billion for the federal Treasury and allowed the cell phone industry to flourish."
.
"In his current role as head of the Coalition for Green Energy, Hundt is pushing a similar idea he claims could help to both create green jobs and a cleaner environment without costly government subsidies."
.
"Hundt, who heads the Coalition for Green Energy, said Thursday the time has come for the federal government to sell the Tennessee Valley Authority [TVA] and use the proceeds to create a private, nonprofit Energy Independence Trust to lend money for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects." (The problem, what is "clean and green energy" for some is not clean, green nor sustainable energy solutions for others, example-nuclear power.)
*
The Knoxville Metro Pulse reports on this issue in an article titled, "TVA for Sale:" "From the standpoint of news-cycle timing, the Washington, D.C.-based Coalition for Green Capital nailed it. General Motors’ new stock offering on Wall Street was fresh in its media frame, a rousing success story about how the federal government can actually get back much of the taxpayer money it had invested in a massive (socialist, as conservatives are fond of saying) economic rescue project. Just two days later, the Coalition managed to land a story in some major Tennessee newspapers that basically asked, “Why not try the same thing with that massive (socialist) economic rescue project known as the Tennessee Valley Authority [TVA]?”...On its face, the auction question might seem to have been brewed up by a Tea Party anti-“big government” committee in a back room at Fox News. In fact, the new wave of congressional “No-We-Can’t”-ers, who will soon take hold of the Republic’s purse strings, typically hold in high suspicion, if not outright contempt, the agenda of the group now posing the TVA question. The Coalition for Green Capital represents an assemblage of entrepreneurs, investors, attorneys, financial experts, and policy wonks from the energy efficiency, wind, and solar energy industries. They take credit for doing the legwork that almost carried off the passage of the American Clean Energy Leadership Act, variously referred to as the climate-change bill, the green-jobs bill, or the carbon cap-and-trade bill. Its detractors variously referred to it as the global-warming-myth bill, or, of course, the one-world-socialist-communist-nazi-government bill."
*
Department of Energy (DOE) has allocated the following amounts for specific nuclear projects. (If you will note, Bellefonte is not on this list.) The order of the DOE list is:
Vogtle, Calvert Cliffs (They are going to give a conditional guarantee to the French government, AREVA, for the operation of Calvert Cliffs.), South Texas, VC Summer, Comanche Peak.
.
DOE has $10.2 billion in unallocated authority, $7.5 billion will go to Calvert Cliffs, South Texas and VC Summer are next in line. {Provided by Michael Marionette. Executive Director, Nuclear Information and Resource Service, NIRS. http://www.nirs.org/ )
.
Historically, there have been other moves to sell the TVA. This time around the movement to sell the TVA could be successful with Mr. Hundt on board. TVA can not afford to proceed with nuclear expansion due to its debt. DOE is reluctant to authorize money for the TVA's further expansion into nuclear power due to TVA debt and mismanagement. A $26 billion debt, a culture of management deceit and a crystal palace bureaucracy has rendered the once great American Project to end the Great Depression and provide electrification and industry in the southeast U.S. is now a liability in the form of a non-accountable government corporation.
*
It is revealing to note the support the TVA has from southern Republicans. The reasons for this support are related to the corporate contractors of the TVA funneling money thru PACs and corporate contributions to the reelection campaigns of the southern Representatives and Senators. The southern Republicans demonstrate their love of socialism, as long as the deceitful, bureaucratic system of the non-accountable TVA supports their reelection.
.
Unfortunately, the relationship with the TVA for county and municipal governments have become that of a suckling animal depending on TVA in lieu of tax money, which is at a lower tax rate than privately owned public utilities. Many local utilities within the TVA service areas are part of the TVA system, they are called TVA Power Providers Association, TVAPPA. The TVA hides part of their debt within the TVAPPA.
.
Ultra-Conservative Republicans which support socialistic corporations such as the TVA are a short step away from fascism.
*
If only the TVA would be forthcoming in their disclosures and not foster a system of management deceit with the support of southern U.S. Representatives and Senators in the TVA district. This writer does not believe the TVA, with its current executives, will foster openness and honesty in its management of the TVA. This culture of current management deceit is very disturbing considering risk disclosures and the deceit pandered on local communities in relationship to nuclear power plants. This deceit and the resulting debt may result in ending the TVA.
*
More than 15 years ago this GAO Report reveals the mismanagement of the TVA. www.gao.gov/archive/1995/ai95134.pdf Little has changed, the debt is the same, rates have increased, executive management has came and gone, unfortunately a lack of oversight by Congress has resulted in management abuse by the TVA Executives with the blessings of the TVA Board.
.
Within the above GAO report a warning was provided on page 47, "The outcome of TVA’s nuclear program could limit capital funds available for needed improvements to its coal and hydroelectric plants." Then there was neglect, now there is negligent inaction resulting in catastrophe. The Kingston disaster and to a lesser extent the Widows Creek fly ash spill are both a result of management failures concerning plant and facility upkeep. TVA employees have related TVA's dam fleet is in serious need of improvement in both facility upkeep and power generation improvements. These failures rest solely on executive management. Yet the "out of touch" TVA Board provides its Chief Executive Officer, CEO, with a healthy financial increase to a $3.6 million compensation package.
.
Congress has failed miserably in offering constructive oversight of the TVA. In a private or publicly traded business setting, the actions of the TVA board along with its CEO would be a historical footnote long ago.