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

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

TVA Quarterly Board Meeting in Knoxville, Tn., Browns Ferry Extended Power Uprate Problems, A Compromise of Defense-in-Depth August 25, 2016

TVA President/CEO Bill Johnson provides the Presidents Report to Board Board Members and Ratepayers Thursday, August 25, 2016. TVA Board Member Lynn Evans is on Mr. Johnson's right.
Information on TVA Board Members and future board meeting dates and places may be found at https://www.tva.com/About-TVA/Our-Leadership/Board-of-Directors

Several Ratepayers and citizens expressed their concerns with the TVA Board. The Majority of the citizen input involved Floating Homes on TVA waters. Information on the TVA's Floating Homes Policy may be found at this link: https://tva.com/Environment/Shoreline-Construction/Floating-Houses

A historical listing of TVA's presentations and financial statements may be found at: http://www.snl.com/IRW/Presentations/4063363

Information on TVA's August 25th  2016 Board Meeting including the Agenda may be found at https://www.tva.com/About-TVA/Our-Leadership/Board-of-Directors/Meeting-Archive/TVA-Board-Meeting-August-25-2016

TVA on site videos of the meeting by BEST/MATRR Member Garry Morgan

President's Report


Chief Financial Officers Report



Selected Citizen Comments, Part 1
 
Selected Citizen Comments, Part 2 - People and Environmental Issues


Comments by Garry Morgan and Gretel Johnston Regarding the Extended Power Uprate at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant, Link to Report Discussed by Mark Leyse http://best-matrr.org/16-0803_Leyse's%20Browns%20Ferry%20Comments.pdf


Summary of the TVA Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant Extended Power Uprate Problem compiled by Garry Morgan as presented to the TVA Board of Directors. 

Presented to you are comments of Mark Leyse, Nuclear Safety Advisor, for BEST/MATRR. The  information presented to you in the enclosed report to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Board and the Chief Executive Officer, indicates there is an error in the computer safety model analysis of the Extended Power Uprate (EPU) for the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant (BFN).

This error undermines the defense in depth safety requirements of the Browns Ferry Nuclear 
Facility. This same report has been presented as comments to the Nuclear Regulatory  Commission (NRC).

Non-conservative computer safety model analyses were performed in order to justify the  Extended Power Uprate (EPU) for the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant (BFN).  As explained in the  comments presented, experimental data indicates that the EPU analyses under-predict the  rates of the chemical reaction between zirconium and steam that would occur in the event of a  loss-of-coolant accident (“LOCA”).  This means that the analyses under-predicts the rates in  which energy (heat) is released, hydrogen generated, and zirconium fuel-cladding oxidized by  the zirconium-steam reaction. The computer safety model is supposed to over-predict temperatures in order to ensure an adequate margin of safety.

By overlooking the deficiencies of the computer safety models, the TVA and the NRC have  undermined defense-in-depth safety principles, requiring the application of conservative  models in the computer safety model analysis. The health and safety of citizens living in the  area surrounding the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant should not be compromised by TVA using  these non-conservative safety models to help qualify for the proposed Extended Power Uprates  at the aging Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Scottsboro City Council Regular Session August 22, 2016

Scottsboro City Hall, photo by G. Morgan

AGENDA
Click on image for an expanded view.


I had received information regarding the Scottsboro Municipal Court being billed by the City Financial Department for $3000 per month for use of the court area. Below is listed the information regarding this billing. On 23 August I had a discussion with the Mayor of Scottsboro and the City's Director of Finance  Rick Wheeler. The line item on the budget regarding the $3000.00 per month has not been paid since 2014. Mr. Wheeler stated that currently there was only $1000 in the fund  The line item has been approved by the City Council as a regular annual budget item. General expenses for supplies, janitorial services, etc are absorbed by the Police Department. 
I was also informed that a letter of concern was forwarded to the Mayor and the Finance Director in 2011 by Judge Word, who was the City's Municipal Court Judge at that time. 

Request for Records was submitted to the City Magistrate, she did not produce the requested records, citing that Judge Word had informed her the budget information contained in that letter was confidential, I informed her that is wrong, all budget information and correspondence relating to budget information is open for public inspection unless there is a specific exemption, such as money for undercover operations of the Police Department, where there might be a specific exemption by law. A Request for Records was submitted to Mayor Potter for that information. As a result this info regarding the municipal court was provided

MUNICIPAL COURT BUDGET INFO
Click on image for an expanded view.

Council Meeting Video



Continuation, Approval of election results

Jackson County Commission Work Session and Regular Session - Infrastructure Problems in Courthouse August 22, 2016

North Entrance Jackson County Courthouse, Scottsboro, Al. Infrastructure problems continue to plague the courthouse.

Infrastructure problems



                                                AGENDA
                          Click on image for an expanded view

Commission Meeting Video

Scottsboro Election 2016 - Jessica Butler Wins City Council Place 1 - August 24, 2016

video

Scottsboro, Alabama August 23, 2016 Scottsboro City Election - City Council Place 1 Jessica Butler  (52.08%) winner, uncertified results. The Scottsboro City Council will meet on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at 12 noon to issue the certification of election results.

RUNOFFS - Mayor - Robin Shelton and Brent Miller; Board of Education, Place 2 - Patricia Stewart and Mitzi Gattis; Board of Education, Place 3 - Jason Williams and Daryl Eustace.

Total vote count as filed by Heather Garner on the Clarion's Face Book site for the Scottsboro Election: "Mayor - Brent Miller 1412, Robin Shelton 1436, Joe Young 601; City Council place 1 - Jessica Butler 1772, Dan Deason 588, Timothy Saint 826, Kenneth Southeard 109; SBOE Place 2 - Rickey Dooley 724, David Garza 136, Mitzi Gattis 1189, Patricia Stewart 1292; SBOE place 3 - Daryl Eustace 1232 Linda Rogers 841 Jason Williams 1293." 

VIDEO - 10:30 AM


VIDEO, POST ELECTION at the Scottsboro Rec-Com

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Scottsboro 2016 Election Forums, August 16, 2016

Scottsboro, Alabama August 16, 2016 Scottsboro Election Forum - 3 Part video featuring Candidates for the Board of Education, Scottsboro City Council and the Mayor of Scottsboro. The Forum was sponsored by: WWIC, The Daily Sentinel, Scottsboro Electric Power Board, The Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, many thanks to Scottsboro High School for hosting the forum.

PART 1 SCOTTSBORO SCHOOL BOARD PLACE 2 and 3


PART 2 SCOTTSBORO CITY COUNCIL PLACE 1


PART 3 SCOTTSBORO MAYOR CANDIDATES


Link to my interviews with the Scottsboro Mayor candidates: http://arklite.blogspot.com/2016/08/questions-for-scottsboros-mayoral.html

Scottsboro City Council Place 1 Questions: http://arklite.blogspot.com/2016/08/scottsboro-alabama-city-council-place-1.html


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Scottsboro City Council Work Session and Public Hearing on Veterans Field Renovation - The Financial Bleeding of Scottsboro's Citizens via Cost Over-Runs on Recreation Projects is Unacceptable, August 15, 2016

Scottsboro City Hall photo by G. Morgan
SCOTTSBORO CITY ELECTIONS - DON'T FORGET TO VOTE NEXT TUESDAY, AUGUST 23,2016 AT THE SCOTTSBORO REC-COM
Also, don't miss the Scottsboro Political Forum - Tuesday August 16 at the Scottsboro High School Small Auditorium beginning at 5:30PM http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Political-Forum-to-be-held-on-Tuesday--August-16th-at-Scottsboro-High-School-small-auditorium--starting-at-5-30-p-m-.html?soid=1102673188472&aid=C-kjGC4x-7U
Political Forum featuring all candidates will be broadcast on WWIC Live Link: http://www.wwicradio.com/listen-live.html

Scottsboro Ball fields, Scottsboro Recreation; photo from the City of Scottsboro dot com (Government Source) - Fair Use for non-profit news reporting and commentary. 

Last night a public hearing was held regarding the Veterans Field Ball Park Renovation Project. The project was originally slated for  $1.1 million dollars. The original plans and communications were and are lacking. The results, an announced $600,000 cost overrun, the Citizens of Scottsboro cannot afford such a cost overrun. It has also been announced the Rec-Com swimming pool renovation will be another $1 million dollar cost over-run taking that project to $2,000,000. That was originally a million dollar project. 

AGENDA

VIDEO

Monday, August 15, 2016

Questions for Scottsboro's Mayoral Candidates, 2016 Election

Scottsboro City Hall, photo by G. Morgan

On August the 23rd, 2016 the citizens of Scottsboro Alabama will go to the voting booths at the Scottsboro Rec-Com and vote for the political candidates of their choice. 

For the past Mayor election cycles I have conducted video interviews with the candidates for the Mayor of Scottsboro. Here are the seven questions I provided the candidates a week in advance. 

Scottsboro Mayor’s Race Questions (suggested time-15 minutes)

1)      Could you tell us a little about yourself?  (2 minutes)

2)      Why do you want to be Mayor of Scottsboro, Alabama? (3 minutes)

3)      Why should I elect you for Mayor over the other two candidates? (3 minutes)

4)      How do you see the relationship between the Mayor and City Council? (2minutes)

5)      If elected Mayor of Scottsboro, what would be your #1 goal, your #1 priority in which you want the citizens of Scottsboro to know that you would accomplish for them? (2 minutes)

6)      Will you support the first Monday Trade Day Event, comments? (1 minute)

7)      Is there anything else you would like to add? (2 minutes)

Thank you for your time, good luck to you.

VIDEO INTERVIEW OF BRENT MILLER


VIDEO INTERVIEW OF JOE YOUNG


VIDEO INTERVIEW OF ROBIN SHELTON


PLEASE VOTE ON TUESDAY AUGUST THE 23RD, 2016 AT THE SCOTTSBORO REC-COM.

Link to the Scottsboro Election Forum for Scottsboro Board of Education candidates Places 2 and 3; City Council Place 1, and the  Mayor of Scottsboro: http://arklite.blogspot.com/2016/08/scottsboro-2016-election-forums-august.html

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Scottsboro City Council, Regular Session - City of Scottsboro Violates Alabama Constitution, Article 1, Section 3 - August 8, 2016

Scottsboro City Hall, photo by G. Morgan

Riverside Church, building owned by the City of Scottsboro, leased to the church for $250.00 per month. Google Earth Image, Fair Use for non-profit news reporting and commentary.  Link to previous blog article: City of Scottsboro Property Management Issue – Clouding the Separation of Church and State by Scottsboro City Government - http://arklite.blogspot.com/2016/08/why-city-of-scottsboro-should-not-be.html 

THE ISSUE
Riverside Church (the old Rec-Com building) – The church at its current location, according to church officials, has been holding worship services there since 2008. In March of 2011 the City Council of Scottsboro, Al. approved a $65,000 expenditure for a metal roof and air conditioning for the church. The lease was recently extended in May of 2016 for 10 years at the same monthly cost of $250.00, payable to the City of Scottsboro. Compare that with the $3000 per month the City of Scottsboro charges the Scottsboro Municipal Court for it’s so called lease (according to the Scottsboro Magistrate’s Office).

Alabama Constitution, Article 1, Section 3
“That no religion shall be established by law; that no preference shall be given by law to any religious sect, society, denomination, or mode of worship; that no one shall be compelled by law to attend any place of worship; nor to pay any tithes, taxes, or other rate for building or repairing any place of worship, or for maintaining any minister or ministry; that no religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this state; and that the civil rights, privileges, and capacities of any citizen shall not be in any manner affected by his religious principles.”

In March 2011 the City Council of Scottsboro, Alabama approved replacing a roof and air-conditioning unit for the Riverside Church, property owned by the City of Scottsboro and leased to the church for a small amount of money. “…that no one shall be compelled by law to…pay…for repairing any place of worship.” Excerpt from the Alabama Constitution, Article 1, Section 3.

Constitution of the United States, Article 1, Establishment Clause
The First Amendment's Establishment Clause prohibits the government from making any law “respecting an establishment of religion.” This clause not only forbids the government from establishing an official religion, but also prohibits government actions that unduly favor one religion over another. It also prohibits the government from unduly preferring religion over non-religion, or non-religion over religion. (ACLU position)

The Lemon Test (Supreme Court of the U.S. in Lemon vs Kurtzman)
Government action violates the Establishment Clause unless it:
1. Has a significant secular (i.e., non-religious) purpose,
2. Does not have the primary effect of advancing or inhibiting religion, and
3. Does not foster excessive entanglement between government and religion.
(Not all justices agree with every aspect of this test. However, it is the prevailing test of whether there is a violation of the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.)

AGENDA

VIDEO



SCOTTSBORO WS&G BOARD DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT REGARDING  LEGAL ACTION FROM THE ALABAMA ATTORNEY GENERAL REGARDING SEWAGE
Statement by the Director of the Scottsboro Water Sewer and Gas Board  regarding the Alabama Attorney General's legal action listing the Scottsboro Water Sewer and Gas Board as Defendants, Case # CV900167.00 Filed Aug. 5, 2016 in the Jackson County Circuit Court for violation of the Water Pollution Control Act. “The State Attorney General's Office, along with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, has filed a complaint in civil court regarding certain violations of the Board's NPDES permit. These self-reported violations primarily occurred during heavy rainfall events that flooded our wastewater collection system. The Board will continue to work closely with ADEM, and our consulting engineers, to make improvements to our system and operate in full compliance of State and Federal regulations.”
Roy Light
Scottsboro WSG

Jackson County Commission Meeting Regular Session - Fishing Pressure on Guntersville Lake Causing Bass Fishery Problem, Suggestion to Decrease Creel Limit and Implement Conservation Measures, August 8, 2016

Dead Bass after fishing tournament, photo credit Gene Mueller Fishing dot blogspot. Fair Use Rights for non-profit news reporting and commentary

Dead Bass on shore line on Tennessee River after fishing tournament. photo courtesy of Wide Open Spaces Link: http://www.wideopenspaces.com/dead-bass-litter-kentucky-lake-bass-tournament-pics/
Fair Use for non-profit news reporting and commentary.
These scenes are being repeated up and down the Tennessee River. It is uncalled for and results in depletion of the fishery. This type of abuse would cease if tournament holders and individuals would face stiff fines for this type of destruction to the fishery. This is not indicative of fishery stewardship, conservation, nor preserving our river system's ecosystem.

There is severe pressure on the Tennessee River's eco-system due to pollution. Many areas along the Tennessee River have no fish consumption or limited fish consumption advisories due to dangerous chemical and heavy metals pollution. Links: https://www.adph.org/tox/assets/2015_Advisory_small.pdf  and http://whnt.com/2016/06/08/alabama-has-no-swim-fish-consumption-advisories-for-same-chemicals-that-caused-water-warning/ 
Sharon Thomas of the Lake Guntersville Conservation Group discusses Guntersville Lake Large Mouth Bass Fishing; creel limits decrease from 10 to 5, tournament fishing, over fishing pressures and failure to handle fish properly were discussed. Movement of a major tournament, Big Bass Splash, during spawning season has a detrimental result on the fishery
More info:  

AGENDA
Click on image for an expanded view.

VIDEOS



Sharon Thomas Presentation on Guntersville Lake Bass Fishing


In other business related to pollution of our area's waters:
    Statement by the Director of the Scottsboro Water Sewer and Gas Board  regarding the Alabama Attorney General's legal action listing the Scottsboro Water Sewer and Gas Board as Defendants, Case # CV900167.00 Filed Aug. 5, 2016 in the Jackson County Circuit Court for violation of the Water Pollution Control Act. “The State Attorney General's Office, along with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, has filed a complaint in civil court regarding certain violations of the Board's NPDES permit. These self-reported violations primarily occurred during heavy rainfall events that flooded our wastewater collection system. The Board will continue to work closely with ADEM, and our consulting engineers, to make improvements to our system and operate in full compliance of State and Federal regulations.”
    Roy Light
    Scottsboro WSG

Monday, August 8, 2016

Scottsboro, Alabama - City Council Place 1, Questions for the Candidates - Meet and Greet Scottsboro's Political Candidates August 7, 2016

Photo of Jessica Butler, Candidate for Place 1 Scottsboro City Council - Fair use rights for non-profit news reporting and commentary. Face Book info at https://www.facebook.com/jbutlerscottsborocity/?pnref=story  

QUESTIONS
Why should I vote for you over other candidates for city council? A second question - What do you offer the citizens of Scottsboro, Alabama that other candidates do not offer?

Ms. Butler's answers: 
Thank you for your interest in Scottsboro and the citizens. 
I offer a genuine, unbiased concern for the city of Scottsboro. I do not have a personal agenda. I want to serve and help our community progress. I offer the citizens a fresh perspective and a fair voice.


Photo of Dan Deason, Candidate for Place 1 Scottsboro City Council - Fair use rights for non-profit news reporting and commentary. Face Book info at https://www.facebook.com/Elect-Dan-Deason-Scottsboro-City-Council-Place-1-1397875270228993/

QUESTIONS
Why should I vote for you over other candidates for city council? A second question - What do you offer the citizens of Scottsboro, Alabama that other candidates do not offer?

Mr. Deason's Answers
Why should I vote for you over other candidates for city council? I love this city and the people of this city and I love helping people.  I am no stranger to Scottsboro or Scottsboro city government.  I am dedicated to being "the people's voice" - listening to their ideas and concerns and then taking action.  The wonderful people of this city already know me and I feel they know they can absolutely count on my dependability. 

What do you offer the citizens of Scottsboro, Alabama that other candidates do not offer ? 1. I have many years of experience in working with budgets of tens of millions of dollars. 2. I feel the years that I have spent in city hall as Safety Director and Mayor uniquely qualify me as having more experience, knowledge, and leadership in and of city government than any other candidate.  3.  I have friends across the state of Alabama in municipal government - plus friends in Montgomery to use as a source of knowledge and expertise - when necessary.  4.  I have over 40 years of experience in "management" - in retail, life and health insurance, mortgage financing, manufacturing, the military (U. S. Air Force), and in government.  5. I have been designated as an Advanced Certified Municipal Official by the Alabama League of Municipalities.


Photo of Tim Saint, Candidate for Place 1 Scottsboro City Council - Fair use rights for non-profit news reporting and commentary. Face Book info at https://www.facebook.com/TimSaint2016/

QUESTIONS
Why should I vote for you over other candidates for city council? A second question - What do you offer the citizens of Scottsboro, Alabama that other candidates do not offer?

Mr. Saint's answers
The impacts of this upcoming national elections are felt on a local level, regardless of political party or chosen candidate, if for no other reason than it is becoming increasingly clear that American voters are tired of politicians who climb the political ranks and lose touch with the real issues on their way up. I am no career politician, and I am not looking for this office to be my start to climbing the ranks. As a born and raised Scottsboro citizen, I have been in this community through many highs, lows and everything in between. Throughout my life, I have not just invested in Scottsboro actively participating in its workforce on many levels and supporting its businesses, but I have also made the greatest investment of all by raising my children here in Scottsboro schools and now my grandchildren here.

While I do not believe a class or program can completely prepare someone to hold an elected office exists, I do believe the experience necessary to be a true representative of a community comes from not just reading about a city, but by knowing the community and what makes it unique and using that knowledge to recognize what goals can be made to keep making that community great.

If elected, you can count on me to work diligently with the other council members to consider the needs of the public, the issues at hand and act on both in a way that ensures Scottsboro will give its citizens the opportunity to grow the economy and create a stronger community to raise our families in. We can all agree that when families are strong, Scottsboro is strong.


Mr. Ken Southeard (No photo available, no Face Book listing.)

Questions: Why should I vote for you over other candidates for city council? A second question - What do you offer the citizens of Scottsboro, Alabama that other candidates do not offer?  

Mr. Southeard's answers provided at the Scottsboro Depot Meet and Greet on August 7,2016.
" I worked as a Volunteer Fireman for 25 years. I just want to help people of Scottsboro."

VIDEO - Scottsboro Political Candidates Meet and Greet August 7, 2016 at the Jackson County Historical Association's Scottsboro Railroad Depot. Many thanks to the Jackson County Historical Association.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Why the City of Scottsboro Should Not Be Providing Buildings, Materials and Making Repairs on Churches/Religious Institutions. A Continuation of the Failed Property Management Issue, Involving the Wall of Seperation Between Church and State - Scottsboro's Historical Violation of the Alabama and United States Constitution.

Riverside Church is in the old Rec-Com building, City of Scottsboro,  beside the Scottsboro Police Station. Google Earth Street Photo, Fair Use for non-profit news and commentary. In March 2011 the city council approved the new roof and air unit. The congregation began holding services in the building in 2008. 

The (partial) History of the Separation of Church and State by Barbara A.Simon, Esquire (Fair Use for non-profit news reporting and commentary)

"First coined by the 17th century Baptist leader Roger Williams who, in 1636, founded Rhode Island, the phrase "separation of church and state" was used by both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison (the father of the Constitution), to describe the meaning of the Constitution's religion clauses. The religion clauses provide for the "free exercise" of religion and prohibit the government from "establishing" religion by favoring one religion over another or favoring religion over non-religion. The U.S. Supreme Court, the ultimate arbiter of the Constitution's meaning, first utilized the phrase in the 1878 case of Reynolds v. United States, stating that Jefferson's term 'wall of separation between church and state' "may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the [First] Amendment.""

"The Court has repeatedly held that "separation of church and state" is the constitutional cornerstone of religious liberty. In the 1947 case of Everson v. Board of Education, Justice Hugo Black, in writing for the majority, stated: "In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion was intended to erect a wall of separation between church and state." In defining what is meant by the establishment of religion, Justice Black wrote, "Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another.... No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion.... The First Amendment has erected a wall of separation between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.""

Graphic by warofroses146.wordpress.com Fair Use for non-profit news reporting and commentary.


References for Graphic: “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between church and State.” – Thomas Jefferson letter to the Danbury Baptists – January 1, 1802

“It will be the Government’s care to maintain honest co-operation between Church and State; the struggle against materialistic views and for a real national community is just as much in the interest of the German nation as in that of the welfare of our Christian faith. “- Adolf Hitler, speech to the Reichstag 23 March 1933



August 3, 2016 - City of Scottsboro Property Management Issue – Clouding the Separation of Church and State by Scottsboro City Government

James Madison denounced government attempts to spend even “three pence” of our taxes for religious purposes. And Thomas Jefferson stood up against the “sinful and tyrannical” act of forcing taxpayers to fund any religion (even their own) against their will. A lot has changed since then, but not this longstanding First Amendment principle. The separation of church and state protects against advancing religion with taxpayer dollars.

Riverside Church (the old Rec-Com building) – The church at its current location, according to church officials, has been holding worship services there since 2008. In March of 2011 the City Council of Scottsboro, Al. approved a $65,000 expenditure for a metal roof and air conditioning for the church. The lease was recently extended in May of 2016 for 10 years at the same monthly cost of $250.00, payable to the City of Scottsboro. Compare that with the $3000 per month the City of Scottsboro charges the Scottsboro Municipal Court for it’s so called lease (according to the Scottsboro Magistrate’s Office).

Alabama Constitution, Article 1, Section 3
“That no religion shall be established by law; that no preference shall be given by law to any religious sect, society, denomination, or mode of worship; that no one shall be compelled by law to attend any place of worship; nor to pay any tithes, taxes, or other rate for building or repairing any place of worship, or for maintaining any minister or ministry; that no religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this state; and that the civil rights, privileges, and capacities of any citizen shall not be in any manner affected by his religious principles.”

In March 2011 the City Council of Scottsboro, Alabama approved replacing a roof and air-conditioning unit for the Riverside Church, property owned by the City of Scottsboro and leased to the church for a small amount of money. “…that no one shall be compelled by law to…pay…for repairing any place of worship.” Excerpt from the Alabama Constitution, Article 1, Section 3.

Constitution of the United States, Article 1, Establishment Clause
The First Amendment's Establishment Clause prohibits the government from making any law “respecting an establishment of religion.” This clause not only forbids the government from establishing an official religion, but also prohibits government actions that unduly favor one religion over another. It also prohibits the government from unduly preferring religion over non-religion, or non-religion over religion. (ACLU position)

The Lemon Test (Supreme Court of the U.S. in Lemon vs Kurtzman)
Government action violates the Establishment Clause unless it:
1. Has a significant secular (i.e., non-religious) purpose,
2. Does not have the primary effect of advancing or inhibiting religion, and
3. Does not foster excessive entanglement between government and religion.
(Not all justices agree with every aspect of this test. However, it is the prevailing test of whether there is a violation of the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.)

Will you allow only specific religious worship on government property? Will you say only those religious bodies who are approved by the State or Federal Government may lease city property or conduct religious services on city government property based on IRS status? You as a government entity are utilizing the Federal government as a determination whether you will allow specific religious entities to worship on city government property in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

Religions Other Than Christianity
The American Indian Religious Freedom Act, Public Law No. 95-341, 92 Stat. 469 (Aug. 11, 1978) (commonly abbreviated to AIRFA), codified at 42 U.S.C. § 1996, is a United States federal law, enacted by joint resolution of the Congress in 1978. Native American Religions were up to this point prohibited by law. [1]

It was enacted to return basic civil liberties, and to protect and preserve the traditional religious rights and cultural practices of American Indians, Eskimos, Aleuts, and Native Hawaiians. [2] These rights include, but are not limited to, access to sacred sites, freedom to worship through ceremonial and traditional rights, and use and possession of objects considered sacred.

The Act required policies of all governmental agencies to eliminate interference with the free exercise of Native American religion, based on the First Amendment, and to accommodate access to and use of religious sites to the extent that the use is practicable and is not inconsistent with an agency's essential functions.[3] It also acknowledges the prior violation of that right.[4]

1.      Powell, Jay; & Jensen, Vickie. (1976). Quileute: An introduction to the Indians of La Push. Seattle: University of Washington Press. (Cited in Bright 1984).

2.      Cornell.edu. "AIRFA act 1978.". Archived from the original on 19 June 2006. Retrieved       July 29, 2006.

3.       United States (2013). Indian Sacred Sites: Balancing Protection Issues with Federal Management. America in the 21st century : political and economic issues. Christopher N. Griffiths (ed.). New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc. ISBN 1628082844.

4.      Canby, John C. Jr. American Indian Law in A Nutshell. West Publishing Company, 1988. Pg. 339, 340.

Native American Religions other than Christianity - Earth Lodge Religion; Ghost Dance; Indian Shaker Religion; Longhouse Religion; Mexicayotl; Native American Church; Waashat Religion.

Will you allow Jewish, Buddhists, Hindu’s, Islam-Muslim, Taoists, Bantuists, Berber, Serer, Santeria, Candomble, Vodou,  Orisha, Atheists, Deists, Church of Satan or what some may consider extremist religious groups, KKK or Jihadists to lease city property for religious reasons. Will you allow religious sacrificial worship on city property?

Summary
City Government becoming entangled in the lease of city property to a church for religious worship clouds the Wall of Separation between Church and State, Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution. Repairing Riverside, or any Church, with tax payer funds, authorized by city council in March of 2011 appears to violate the Alabama Constitution, Article 1, Section 3 in that “……that no one shall be compelled by law to…pay…for repairing any place of worship.”

Furnishing a church city property to conduct worship surfaces via a lease or any other means is wrong, The March 2011 repairs on the church was wrong. The citizens of Scottsboro Alabama are compelled by law to fund repairs and allow government officials to thumb their nose at the Constitution of the State of Alabama and the United States of America to fulfill their personal ideologies regarding the involvement of government in the business of religious worship, that is wrongful behavior


The historical mismanagement of city property and the blatant failure to follow the laws of the State of Alabama in regards to the management of city property is not good governance nor sensible behavior. The willful, flagrant continuing violation of the Constitution of the State of Alabama and the United States of America regarding the separation of church and state moves the leadership of the City of Scottsboro into another realm, that of a government for a few misguided souls embellishing theocracy not the Republic. City Council, you are on dangerous ground where legal action could cost the citizenry of Scottsboro, Alabama dearly. Placing your personal values ahead of good governance and law is the way of foolish, irresponsible behavior.

Face Book link to article with replies :  https://www.facebook.com/garry.l.morgan.5/posts/10210161727583388?comment_id=10210161815305581




Scottsboro City Council Meeting Work Session August 1, 2016

Scottsboro City Hall photo by G. Morgan

Riverside Church back on the Agenda. Church offers to make more repairs on the city's building. Also on the agenda 2) Landscaping on Veterans Drive; 3) Council on Aging request for Transit Bus funding, 80/20 percent cost share. Scottsboro's share will be 20%.
Google street photo of Riverside Church, South Broad Street next to Scottsboro Police Station, building owned by the City of Scottsboro, leased from the city for a reported amount of $250.00 per month. Fair-Use rights for non-profit news reporting and commentary.


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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Jackson County Commission Work Session August 1, 2016

Jackson County Courthouse, South Side. The Jackson County Commission is expected to have more budget woes for fiscal Year 2017, budget meetings are ongoing. 7% increase in health care costs, this years budget deficit is expected to be in the $400-$500K range. Photo by G. Morgan

Jackson County Agricultural Extension Office presentation by Mike Sims, County Extension Agent, on 4H Club projects and the Paint Rock Valley - The Farm - A 500 acre educational project, 800-900 kids participating in 4H projects. 10 miles of trails on The Farm.

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