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

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Scottsboro Board of Education June 25, 2015 Five Part Video Presentation - Includes County 1% Sales Tax-Economic Development, New Alabama Open Meetings Law and Superintendent Board Relationships

Page Administration Building Scottsboro Board of Education. (Fair Use Rights for non-profit news reporting photo by "scottsboroschools.net")

Thursday, June 25th at 4PM, a 3 hour plus work session with many items of discussion. 

AGENDA
(click on image for an expanded view)

VIDEOS
The videos are presented in order per the agenda.







Alabama Open Meetings Act - 2015-340, Effective September 1, 2015 prohibits serial meetings and strengthens deliberations rule. The law - http://lanierford.com/images/NewsPDFs/Ala-Act-2015-340-open-meetings.pdf




Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Scottsboro City Council Regular Session June 22, 2015

Scottsboro City Hall (photo by G. Morgan)

Several issues came before the council at Monday evening's session. 1) A budget amendment for repairs at the Scottsboro Public Library in the amount of $5825.00. 2) A Budget Amendment was approved for the Parks and Recreation Department for batting cages, the amendment is not to exceed $30,000.00. Several local organizations have pledged funds for the facility upgrade. Total cost as reflected in the bid process was $43,955.00. 3) Porter Road resurfacing work is to begin 90 days from Friday June 26, 2015, date of bid opening. The projects total cost is $3.89 million of which the City of Scottsboro will be responsible for $778K. 

The City Attorney, Steve Kennamer, recommended that the city drop the services of JCS, Judicial Collection Services, for fines collection for the Municipal Court due to a law suit brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center, SPLC, brought against JCS in Federal Court, the  Case Docket, RICO (Racketeering case) involvement -  http://www.splcenter.org/sites/default/files/downloads/case/1_-_complaint.pdf  The SPLC suit will involve any municipality utilizing JCS. Scottsboro's contract with JCS is being terminated per the contract.


4th of July First Monday will have an aditional date added, Friday, July 3rd, the event will be Friday-Monday (Monday is a work day)July 3-6, 

AGENDA

VIDEO

Monday, June 22, 2015

Jackson County Commission June 22, 2015

Jackson County Courthouse, south entrance (photo by G. Morgan)

Item 1 on the agenda stands out - secret agreement between Wiessner Enterprises LLC and the Jackson County Commission for a Master Project Agreement. Wiessner Enterprises LLC listing on Business Profiles http://businessprofiles.com/details/wiessner-enterprises-llc/US-DE-5612078 Corporation formed in Delaware on September 29, 2014. This corporation was formed to support this enterprise - Google Chooses TVA Site for Next Data Center

UPDATE - January 24, 2016: Was the failed 1% sales tax increase tied into this deal? 
Why wasn't the recent public meeting, Jan. 19, 2016 at North Jackson High School, regarding the Coal Ash disposal at Widows Creek, announced in Jackson County? It was announced in Chattanooga, Decatur/Huntsville areas, but not Jackson County? There was no local announcement which could be found on the internet for the meeting.

Alabama Secretary of State Listing
Wiessner Enterprises, LLC is an Alabama Foreign Limited-Liability Company filed on June 16, 2015. The company's filing status is listed as Exists and its File Number is 336-027.

The Registered Agent on file for this company is Corporation Service Company (csc) and is located at 150 South Perry Street, Montgomery, AL 36104. The company's principal address is 2711 Centerville Rd/Ste400, Wilmington, DE 19808
                                                                       
 Who is CSC? Corporation Service Company ("CSC") is one of the largest Registered Agent service companies in the world. CSC represents hundreds of thousands of business entities worldwide, including nearly 90% of the Fortune 500 and top global brands.  https://www.cscglobal.com/service/csc/about

UPDATE -  January 24, 2016:  In spring, 2015, TVA transferred 360 acres of Widows Creek plant property to Wiessner Enterprises for light industrial development. This property disposal was the subject of a March 2015 Environmental Assessment. Google, Inc. has subsequently announced its plans to build a data center on the site. Wiessner Enterprises has now requested the transfer of an additional 336 acres of plant property to support the operation of the data center. The draft Environmental Assessment also evaluates additional site grading for the data center and the construction and operation of a switching station and transmission line connections to provide power to the data center. - See more at:  https://www.tva.gov/Environment/Environmental-Stewardship/Environmental-Reviews/Widows-Creek-Additional-Property-Disposal-and-Transmission-Facilities#sthash.2whBJDBr.dpuf

Site Map and link to Environmental Assessment Plans, below map, (click on image for an expanded view). The Google site is identified in the upper left of the map.

 https://www.tva.gov/file_source/TVA/Site%20Content/Environment/Environmental%20Stewardship/Environmental%20Reviews/Widows%20Creek%20Additional%20Propert%20Disposal/Widows%20Creek%20Property%20Disposal%20SEA.pdf

First Data Center to Locate on Repurposed Coal Generation Site


AGENDA
UPDATE - As we now know, the 1% tax increase did not pass. Will this effect the Wiessner-Google project?

TVA-in lieu-of-tax-bill fails passage, funds in limbo. Many Jackson County non-profit agencies, including Volunteer Fire Departments and senior citizen programs are dependent on the revenue, article by Heather Garner of the Clarion - http://www.theclarion.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9300:tva-in-lieu-bill-dies-in-state-legislature&catid=42:clarion-rotation-stories&Itemid=142


VIDEO

Monday, June 8, 2015

Jackson County Commission and Scottsboro City Council Regular Session Reports

Jackson County Courthouse photo by G. Morgan

Jackson County Commission
AGENDA

VIDEO




                                  Scottsboro City Council

                                               AGENDA

                                              VIDEO

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The TVA - Debt, Reports, Propaganda and Benefits - Could be a Love-Hate Relationship in the Southland - A Report

Old TVA logo, Fair Use Rights for news and criticism

A byline to this could be - Never Allow So Called Conservative Politicians in the TVA Area to Say They Support Conservative Values, Ever Again. Every federal elected legislator and 99% of the elected state legislators in the TVA support the socialist organization we call the TVA.

Every so often, about once a quarter the TVA places forward financial statements and follows up with copious propaganda regarding these statements. There is an effort to report and deceive at the same time. Reporting the condition of OUR TVA is important, being deceptive about it is hiding the truth about its failures facilitates a growing governmental turn to corporate fascism.

My Report
Opening Remarks - TVA Debt - There is no doubt that under TVA's current CEO, Bill Johnson, TVA's debt picture has improved, but is the Federal power agency still in trouble, to my way of thinking yes. Any private corporation would have gone under years ago because of the waste, abuse and down right deceit.

There have been two relevant bits of news about TVA's debt which has surfaced within the past week. Those who follow the TVA's financial actions should see a clear pattern which has developed. Instead of news agencies reporting factual events regarding TVA debt they are falling prey to TVA propaganda, this is bothersome. I think, rather than report the truth, they are afraid of TVA's reaction to them, and possibly large financial institutions actions pointed at a civilian news groups accurate reporting .

>By the numbers - Why these conclusions?

>1. Chattanooga Times Free Press article on June 5, 2015: http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/business/aroundregion/story/2015/jun/05/privatizing-tvwould-raise-ratesstudy-criticiz/308025/   The article summary -
"A new study commissioned by the Economic Policy Institute suggests that selling or privatizing the Tennessee Valley Authority would raise power costs and hurt economic development and research in TVA's seven-state region...The liberal think tank is not often at odds with President Barack Obama and supportive of the positions of conservative Southern Republicans. But on the question of cutting federal ties to America's biggest government utility, researchers for the Economic Policy Institute are in agreement with Tennessee's GOP lawmakers and against an Obama administration plan to phase out the federal role in the New Deal agency created in 1933 by President Franklin Roosevelt..."

  (a) EPI, Dr. Yudken's comments - ""Over its 80-year existence, the TVA has had an excellent track record in almost every area of its operation, and its success has delivered substantial benefits throughout the Tennessee Valley," Dr. Joel Yudken, an economist and principal of High Road Strategies LLC, concluded in a 44-page study of TVA's finances. "The TVA is addressing its serious financial problems and its new leadership is preserving its capabilities as a system that provides wide-ranging benefits to the region and people it serves.""

 Big claim, "excellent track record," but is it true? The answer is, in my opinion, NO, Yudken's opinion is fallacy mixed with fact. Reason, TVA's debt with interest and commitments exceeds its assets. But, TVA has improved its slide into the financial abyss by approximately $2 billion dollars concerning its bond debt. But is TVA's financial picture a slight of hand accounting trick perpetuated by this so called "liberal think tank" of financial genius which the Time Free Press mentions? My opinion, YEP.

   (b) Nuclear Power is "Cleaner Energy" (pg11) One other important point, in the EPI Yudken report, nuclear energy is placed into the category of clean energy. Falling in lock step with the NEI, Nuclear Enrgy Institute, special interest position. Nuclear power is not clean in any sense of the the word clean or cleaner. Nuclear power has produced and continues to produce millions upon millions of pounds of deadly radioactive waste with no definitive solutions for its disposal.

   (c) Coal vs Nuclear power is a false mantra facilitated by nuclear special interest groups.The replacement of coal fired generation with nuclear power is not a move into cleaner energy. It increases risks of a disaster on the scale of Fukushima Daiichi or greater.
EPI Report - http://media-cdn.timesfreepress.com//news/documents/2015/06/04/862405499801752.pdf

But that is not all, anyone who ignores the fact that TVA has wasted over $20 billion dollars due to unnecessary nuclear power construction, and intentionally ignores that fact in a report, "ain't right."

>2. On June 2, 2015 TVA distributed an 8K Report concerning a change to one of TVA's $1,000,000,000.00, one billion dollar, loans. That change, linked below, states as follows:

"On June 2, 2015, TVA executed an amendment to its $1,000,000,000 credit agreement dated as of June 25, 2012, and amended as of December 12, 2012, with The Bank of New York Mellon, Bank of America, N.A., Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, New York Agency, First Tennessee Bank National Association, Morgan Stanley Bank, N.A., and Toronto Dominion (New York) LLC.
The amendment, among other things,
(1) extended the maturity date of the credit agreement from June 25, 2017, to June 2, 2020,
(2) gave TVA the option to extend the maturity date by one year up to two times, subject to lender approval,
(3) reduced the TVA credit rating threshold that would allow the lenders to stop making credit extensions from lower than A3 or A- to lower than Baa1 or BBB+,
(4) reduced the TVA credit rating threshold that would allow the lenders to terminate their commitments and require the prepayment of loans and other obligations in full and the cash collateralization of all letter of credit obligations from lower than A3 and A- to lower than Baa1 and BBB+, and
(5) reduced the TVA credit rating threshold that would trigger an event of default from lower than Baa2 and BBB to lower than Baa3 and BBB-. A copy of the amendment is filed as Exhibit 10.1." (linked below)

Since when is a billion dollar 3 year credit extension good for rate payers? Is this a sign for things to come, for instance a lowering of the credit rating, again?

>3. When a financial report is issued by the TVA, the TVA immediately follows up with "painting a rosy picture" propaganda article, and the local media complies with the propaganda ministry's request and all fall in lock step with the wonderful flute tunes of the pied piper of propaganda's writings.

Looking at TVA's last 10 K report reveals the seriousness of the problem. Debt + interest exceeds assets.

   April 2015 - This is an article I sent around in April, after Bill Johnson's comments:
CEO Bill Johnson attempts to paint a rosy picture. But when the numbers are crunched there is trouble in the TVA. Bragging about being under the debt cap does not restructure the fact TVA's debt and obligations far exceed assets. http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/business/aroundregion/story/2015/apr/23/tva-debt-stays-below-federal-cap/300288/

Crunching the numbers - Here is the real picture based on the data supplied in TVA's 2014 10K Report.

 Total Statutory debt - $23.6 billion; 2014 VIE (Sevier Ponzi scheme, gas plant financing) Debt - $1.3 billion.
 Total interest on both debt catagories $23.7 billion.
 Total bond, VIE debt with interest is $48.6 billion of your dollars.
 TVA's total assets as reflected on their financial statement - $45.6 billion dollars.

Debt with interest exceeds assets, for a normal business that spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E, with or without a capital "T."

Ladies and Gentleman, that is not counting Pension obligations, nuclear decommissioning obligations, leases and future fuel purchases, which is another obligation of approximately $20-25 billion.

Link to TVA Financials, 10K etc - (pg 61, 82 and others) http://www.snl.com/IRWebLinkX/FinancialDocs.aspx?iid=4063363

>4. Why Deceit? TVA is NUCLEAR POWER'S last bastion of support, where future projects may be built. Only a federal agency which is not supported by stock holders may get away with the blatant deceit and irresponsibility demonstrated as a result of nuclear power investments and the massive waste perpetuated by banks, multi-national corporations, bureaucrats and politicians supportive of nuclear power and the multinational nuclear defense industry.

   (a) Building of electric power generation should not result in the building of deceit, ignorance, sickness and death. The replacement of coal fired generation with nuclear power is not acceptable and in no way or form is it clean, cheap or reliable. Only in the TVA area may government and corporations act in unison to literally sicken and kill people without the people revolting against disgusting practices and policies of corporate fascism and its deceitful practices.

  (b) Health -The cancer incidence and death rates are staggering, the nuclear death industry contributes to the declining health of the area (past and present). Regulatory actions do not consider public health, nor the fact that the nuclear industry has and is killing and sickening folks in the TVA region, particularly in East Tennessee. The nuclear industry has dumped hundreds of thousands of pounds of deadly radioactive materials in the past and continues to do so in the present. Public reports on the dumping of highly radioactive nuclear materials are readily available and accessible on the web.

   (c) Defense Mission - nuclear weapons - Nuclear Weaponry in the U.S. is dependent on the TVA, nuclear weapon's support missions include the production of tritium for thermo-nuclear weapons. Tritium is in our water, plants, animals and in us, the people.
A large portion of  East Tennessee is Red and Orange, indicating increased cancer incidence rates over the rest of the nation. Source National Cancer Institute, current statistics reported. http://statecancerprofiles.cancer.gov/map/map.withimage.php?47&001&001&00&0&01&0&1&4&0#results

>5. Very Short Conclusion -  With all of that said, the EPI report makes good points about many positive aspects of TVA's current management and its initial mission to the good people of the Tennessee River Valley. However, the report does not accurately describe or disclose the full picture for decision makers and rate payers.

TVA Board meetings reports, it is important to note, in no case are full financial disclosures given in regards to long term debt interest or a full disclosure of all financial obligations, including pension plan shortfalls and facilities decommissioning costs at TVA Board Meetings. Such is the case within the EPI Report. http://arklite.blogspot.com/search/label/TVA%20Board%20Meeting

TVA's current financial update: June 2015 Investor Update

TVA's full update and presentation lists


Fair Use for non-profit news reporting “By jove, I think I see Airstrip One, jolly good. The sun over Oceania is rising.”






Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Scottsboro City Council Work Session, June 1, 2015 - A Question of Morals, Law and Rights of the Poor.

Scottsboro City Hall - photo by G. Morgan

There were two issues on last nights agenda, 1) Roseberry Rescue and the aquatic nuisance species issue; 2) Water and the River-Chase Mobile Home Community issue. 

It is interesting to note in the below city council video, here is an example of two extremely different societies in Scottsboro, one for the rich and influential - requesting money to spray the weeds around their private boat docks, money approved by the City Council with stipulations; and, the plight of the poor, citizens requesting help for the basic necessity of life - WATER. This is in one community, the difference in political support is a stark contrast of our culture in Scottsboro. 

Other Notes and Thoughts - First, many thanks to the Scottsboro Police Department in helping to resolve this situation of a slum landlord not meeting their responsibility.  

Several concerned citizens met with the Mayor, City Attorney and Council Member Keith Smith prior to the city council meeting, this was appreciated. The problems were brought forward, but the City Attorney did not agree that the poor people have a right to water while residing on the property of another, although payment for water had been tendered. The Mayor commented that no one had complained to him about conditions, there has been an ongoing complaint for years, including the City of Scottsboro suing the property owner for code violations.. 

The Mayor also mentioned, bring forward specific examples of nuisance structures and he would direct the Code Enforcement Officer. This is part of the problem, it is not my or any other citizens responsibility to do the job of city officials. Besides, structures which have no ceilings, floors windows, and are hazards are readily visible. It seems a slum landlord's property rights transcends the law. Property rights have been brought forward by the water board corporate authority. The city in its corporate authority and failure is part of the problem, the failure to recognize basic human rights, and a failure to equally and justly enforce laws in support of all citizens, including the poor. 

Another question is this - will the city act in such a way that further victimizes the poor by taking an easy road out of the situation by declaring the property a public nuisance and further victimizing the poor by dislocating them and causing extreme hardship by errant decision making?

VIDEO


Water rights are a growing issue across this nation. We hear about the drought in California and the battle between corporations, farmers and private citizens rights to water. Water rights have become an issue in cities such as Detroit, MI. where the poor are being denied water.

In Alabama, Water is treated as property in the Common Law. http://www.rivercenter.uga.edu/education/practicum/documents/draft_cahaba_river_nwr_water_rights.pdf  and The Code of Alabama about water Section9-10B http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/alison/codeofalabama/1975/coatoc.htm

The right to water of the poor in this case becomes a question of government enforcing law, where a landlord has received money for payment. Instead of punishing innocent victims of a crime committed against them, government must focus their attention on the criminal,  not penalize innocent victims.

In our nation people do not serve government, government must serve the people. This argument is as old as our nation itself. Water rights and rights of individuals living on property of another have been an issue at law in Alabama since slavery was abolished and tenants have lived on the property of another. In the 21st Century we would hope and pray that human rights have progressed since the formation of Common Law in England. However, in this case there seems to be a disconnect between political leadership and the rights of the poor in our community. Either Scottsboro Leadership sets an example that there will be no tolerance given to slum landlords, or they demonstrate their values toward support of a time in the past which includes Jim Crow, abusive practices toward the poor and victimization of the poor. The difference here is, the poor will not sit by in apathy and put up with the abusive practices of errant people, that includes government officials or private citizens.

More on the issue below.

WATER RIGHTS AND THE POOR IN SCOTTSBORO
    Is the City of Scottsboro headed toward a showdown on the issue of Human Rights to Water? 

    The City of Scottsboro has attempted to utilize corporate authority of their water board to overrule poor people’s rights to water, even though the water was paid for by responsible tenants in a local mobile home park.       
                                                                                            
    Previously, tenants paid for their water directly to the Scottsboro Water Sewer & Gas Board. But when a sample of dirty water was brought forward to the Health Department and the Water Board, with a request for help in resolving issues, the bill paying service for the poor tenants was discontinued. Now the tenants are forced to pay 30-40% more for water and garbage service directly to a "slum landlord."  
                                                                                    
    Unfortunately the slum landlord has refused to pay the water on occasions, and has subjected the tenants and visitors to sewage problems. Last week, 200 poor, disabled, including disabled veterans, and minority citizens water was terminated temporarily until a concerned citizen came forward and threatened criminal action - the concerned citizen was me. The Scottsboro Police Department was very helpful in assuring the landlord met their responsibilities, thank you.   
                   
    The Water Sewer & Gas Board was not helpful, and by all appearances prefers to protect a slum landlord, instead of the poor women, babies, disabled, minorities and poor disabled veterans residing in the mobile home community. The issue of property rights was brought forward by the corporate water authority,  I ask, making victims of the poor whose water was stolen - is this the Christian thing to do - is this supportive of moral Christian Values - are the actions of Corporate Authorities of the City of Scottsboro supportive of people, all people including the poor and helping the disadvantaged, or are the politicians and governmental corporate entities only concerned about the rich and influential citizens of Scottsboro?
                                                                                              
    Some in authority seem to be claiming the poor have no rights to water, even when it is paid for if they live on the property of another; saying, "sue the slum landlord," with what, our poorness? Basically, the poor are being told the corporate water authority holds all rights, even that of water. There are many who disagree, including the United Nations Human Rights Commission
                                                                                                                      
    If the City of Scottsboro chooses to maintain that the poor citizens have no Right to Water if they live on the property of another, the City of Scottsboro is headed for a Human Rights and Discrimination Showdown. Let us all pray this does not become necessary, and that the good people of the City of Scottsboro's leadership will do what is just for all people, including the poor and disadvantaged. https://youtu.be/xhX3HUoMr8A  (city council video above)