"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."


Sunday, March 28, 2010

GOP, Sarah Palin, Tea Parties=Racism?? "Divide and Conquer Political Action."

" One Picture is Worth Ten Thousand Words," is the old adage by Fred Bernard, 1927, 'Printers Ink" trade journal magazine. Tea Party rallies seem to be an exclusive event for whites only.
Has the GOP in its campaign against President Obama fostered racism in its quest to gain control of the Federal Government's legislative branch?
Pandering an ideology of exclusionary political action seems to be a Tea-Party Rally call. If the Tea Party rallies are inclusive of all people regardless of race, color or creed, WHERE ARE THE MINORITY FOLKS? This editorial writer for "New America Media" thinks the GOP fosters racism. http://news.newamericamedia.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=7bb3419445b715f0da948951aa9cdc95 In the above picture, Palin in Nevada, as well as other pictures of tea party rallies, there is a lack of minority people in the rallies. Why, exclusionary political action, are Palin's, the Tea Party and the GOP's political messages exclusionary of minority people?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Allegations and Communications

At times community leaders do not realize the importance of a free flowing communications process. Organizations such as the TVA have come to realize that maybe their employees have something important to add to the management of an organization. TVA is implementing a process called "Organizational Effectiveness." If free flowing communications is not a priority for leaders viable ideas are lost and worse, false allegations may run rampant.

Thus the reason for this post. It is extremely important for the City of Scottsboro's leadership to realize the importance of "free flowing communications." Often communications takes the route of top to bottom, vertical in nature and allows no room for important feedback or cross communications. There are many reasons for communications failures most are related to a lack of leadership training and a failure of leaders to adopt management policies which encourage free flowing paths of communications.

Although many political leaders may say they have open door policies, do they actually practice proper organizational communications which involves all staff and employees? For the City of Scottsboro I believe a professional organizational communications process is lacking. This is evidenced by complaints from employees and previous employees outside of normal channels.

Communications must not only be vertical it must be horizontal. What goes down a management chain must also provide a mechanism for feedback back up the management chain. This mechanism may be a simple as an organization's leadership going to a section and having a "sit down conversation with all employees, first without the section supervisor, then with the section supervisor present. This process takes skill and training which many local municipal and county government' officials do not have the proper training to conduct such a program. Then, there is the "Suggestion Box," the City of Scottsboro's leadership has refused to implement this simple means of communications giving varied excuses for not implementing.

Thus we have the anonymous letters and vicious allegations of unethical conduct. In all cases these situations have been the result of a lack of proper leadership training and a lack of organizational communications efficiency. The problems with "rumor", allegations and failed communicative leadership will continue to be a problem for the City of Scottsboro until the Mayor and City Council endeavor to undertake a comprehensive, free flowing communications program.
An inquiry into allegations made concerning a local city official concerning ethics violations and sexual harassment due to allegations of an inter-office affair appear to be unfounded and the result of one or more former disgruntled employees.

The basic communicative process and organizational brainstorming may be found at this site. http://www.mindtools.com/CommSkll/CommunicationIntro.htm http://www.mindtools.com/brainstm.html A properly trained management team should use these tools to insure that the organization, whether government or private, functions efficiently and effectively utilizing the greatest asset of any institution or organization, the people.
Basics in organizational communications: http://managementhelp.org/mrktng/org_cmm.htm#anchor467829

It is incumbent on the City Council of the City of Scottsboro to insure that all department heads and the Mayor are properly versed on leadership communication skills and practice effective communications within the city's varied departments.

The City of Scottssboro does have an informative web site which lists links to the Mayor, City Council Members and Department Heads. This is a very positive step in the communications process and should be utilized by citizens and employees alike to communicate with city leadership. Communications should be encouraged within the organization without the fear of reprisals or vendictive actions.

The marketing of Scottsboro's image is part of an effective communications program for the citizens of Scottsboro and is vitally important in bringing new business and industry into Scottsboro. http://www.cityofscottsboro.org/

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Jackson County Commission--More Dog & Pony Show Politics, at TAX PAYER EXPENSE

Secret Meeting to be held at Ft. Payne, Dekalb County Alabama due to a lack of decision making abilities of the Jackson County Commission. Special Called Meeting to occur April 7, 2010 at the Ft. Payne Mediation Center. I think the dog should abandon his "commission pony" on this one. Time to hold the pony accountable for stepping on the law and the citizen's government.

If we the tax payers of Jackson County have to pay for mediation due to the incompetence of the county commissioners we deserve to see the rest of the commissioner's "circus act."
The Jackson County Commission has been moving along "rather well," considering the past "dog and pony shows," for the last couple of meetings. The meetings have been conducted in a professional manner with very few errors in format and decorum. Much improvement has been made over the past 2 months. However, the circus does continue in the courthouse.

I noticed an error was evident on the agenda under the topic of "Discussion Items." In accordance with the commissions policy concerning the conduct of meetings, an item of discussion is an item brought forward by commissioners during the course of the meeting for inclusion in the meeting for a vote, for discussion items there must be an unanimous vote by the commission for discussion items to be approved. There were 4 items improperly listed on the agenda under "Discussion Items." The agenda was approved by the commission, no commissioner questioned this violation of decorum concerning the meeting.

Well (a deep subject), there is this matter of a secret meeting due to the commissioners inability to resolve a decision making problem amongst themselves, an executive session for the purpose of mediation due to the commissions failed ability to make a decision. Does this mean we still have more "Dog and Pony Show" politics and misapplication of the law? I think yes, the circus continues.

It was announced that a Special Call Meeting, Executive Session, will be conducted at the "Mediation Center in Ft Payne, Al., confusion over address, on April 7 at 1:30 PM. The County Attorney mentioned that a decision could be made at Ft Payne concerning the Engineer position after the Executive Session and the meeting was called back into regular session after the mediation session's Executive Session. A notice of the meeting is required to be posted on the County Bulletin Board in the foyer by the courthouse north entrance.

Reference the Special Call, secret, Executive Session meeting. This is a very unusual situation, to hold a County Commission Meeting in another county, in secret. The purpose is to mediate, per the court's decision. The Declaratory Judgement Motion asks the court to determine- quote, "the authority of the commission chair and members in regard to the body's conduct within its adopted rules and procedure," quote from The Daily Sentinel, Feb. 24, 2010. Judge Holt has ordered the case into mediation for resolution.
The Open Meeting's Law of the State of Alabama states in section 36-25A-7 (3) in reference to one of the reasons for an Executive Session, "...to meet or confer with a mediator or arbitrator with respect to any litigation or decision concerning matters within the jurisdiction of the governmental body involving ANOTHER party, group, or body." As stated in the request for a Declaratory Judgement, this case involves the decision making authority of the Commission Chair and the Commission as a whole as to the county commission's adopted rules and proceedures. This action involving the commissions rules and procedures does not involve "another party, group or body" outside of the county commission. In fact, it involves the commissioners themselves and their lack of decision making abilities.

The Special Called Meeting at Ft. Payne should be open to the public, mediation or not. This does not involve "pending litigation" of any other "party, group or body" as described by law. This case involves the county commission and only the county commissioners. The failure of the county commissioners in their decision making ability does not warrant the secrecy of a closed executive session with a mediator because of the commissioner's internal failures of decision making. Secrecy be damned, the citizens deserve to see their commissioners resolving their lack of decision making or failing once again.

Scottsboro City Council Meeting

Last night was a 2 part meeting of the City Council, a work session and a regular council meeting.

Work Session: 1) Sheila Washington made request to Scottsboro City Council for funding of the Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center. She reported the Jackson County Legislative Delegation has contributed $37,500 for the project. 2) Discussion of proposed zoning ordinance for the City of Scottsboro. A representative of KTS Group from Birmingham conducted an extensive session concerning the new proposed zoning ordinance. 3) Discussion of the New First Monday Ordinance was taken off of the agenda. 4) Bid opening discussion concerning Cedar Hill Cemetery Tree Removal Plan. There was questions raised concerning the bid. 5) Discussion concerning the CDA appointments. Appointments are to be tentatively made during the Apr 26, 2010 Council Meeting. 6) Reports: Mayor Potter was in Montgomery for Coach Esslinger's induction into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.

Regular Council Meeting: Old Business- 1) Resolution for Public Hearing concerning Zoning Ordinace was removed from agenda until all problem areas could be resolved prior to the Public Hearing. 2) Liquor License Public Hearing tabled until a Bone Daddees restaurant representative could be present for the hearing. New Business- 1) Museum Commission appointment, Ms. Debra Helms, term to run until October 2011. 2) 2 vacancies on Architectural Review Board (5 year appointment), applications should be turned in no later than Friday April 16, 2010 at 4:30PM. 3) 2 vacancies on the Historical Preservation Committee (4 year appointment), applications should be turned in no later than Friday April 16, 2010 at 4:30PM. 4) Bid approval for Cemetery tree removal project tabled until bid proceedures can be reviewed. 5) Resolution approved for Shriner's Road Block at County Park Rd and Hwy 72 on 28 March, 2010 from 8AM till 1PM. 6) Bid opening for appointment of Engineer for Landfill Gas Project, awarded to CDG Engineering. 7) City Council Meeting was continued until April 5, 2010 for final decision on cemetery tree removal.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Jackson County Legislative Delegation Press Conference

The Legislative Delegation presents a symbolic check to the Jackson county School Board, Scottsboro City Schools, County Commission and the various municipalities in Jackson county. 40% will go to education, 30% to the Jackson county Commission and 30% to the various municipalities based on population. $700,000 came from the new TVA in lieu of tax to dry counties out of the TVA area repeal act and $300,000 was included from the legislative delegation's fund which is predominantly from the TVA in lieu of tax.

A 1978 act allowed 5 percent of over a hundred million dollars of annual in-lieu-of-tax money from TVA to be distributed to "dry," no alcohol sales, counties outside TVA's service area.
Rep. Jeff McLaughlin, Democrat from Guntersville, sponsored the TVA in lieu of tax act repeal bill, allowing only counties within TVA's service area to receive the in lieu of tax money.
In 2008 $5.6 million of the TVA in-lieu-of-tax money went to 15 dry counties not served by the TVA; $87.7 million went to 16 Alabama counties within the TVA service area. $19.1 million goes into Alabama's General Fund. The new Act concerning the TVA in lieu of tax ended the distribution to dry counties in Alabama.

Senator Barron speaks to approximately 50 citizens on this first day of spring, telling the story behind the in-lieu of tax. Behind Senator Barron are the elected representatives from the various municipalities of Jackson County, the Jackson County Commission and other elected county representatives, Chamber of Commerce, Boards of Education, Northeast State Junior College and the Economic Development Authority.

Photo's and above story. garrymorgan.icopyright.com
History about this story from the Huntsville Times: http://blog.al.com/breaking/2010/02/tva_tax_bill_sent_to_riley.html

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Silence From TVA Over Coal Waste Sludge Water, Remebering a Disaster, A CHRONICLE OF DECEIT

Fair Use Rights not for profit usage - Knoxville News photo

Kingston, Tn. to Perry Co. Alabama- http://license.icopyright.net/user/viewFreeUse.a

TVA and their contractors hide the truth concerning toxic sludge and contaminated water from the sludge. The TVA uses a multitude of excuses for not disclosing information.
Why is ADEM, Alabama Department of Environmental Management, and the EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, not demanding answers? They are the regulators, why are they not doing their job.
The TVA has refused to disclose costs of building nuclear reactors, citing in their Freedom of Information Act reply a commercial exemption. They now refuse to answer important questions about where the contaminated water in the poisonous coal ash sludge is going.
In this January 9, 2009 expose citizens are ticketed by the TVA for taking samples of water and surveying the damage. http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/01/aftermath-tva-coal-ash-spill-get-ticket-for-water-samples-video.php An expose concerning the deceit of the TVA.
The TVA is one of the most non-accountable, corrupt organizations of the United States Government. Congress refuses to offer any meaningful oversight mainly due to the hundreds of millions of dollars being funneled into PACs, politicians campaign funds etc., by TVA contractors and the nuclear industry. The TVA is contrary to any notion of the Republic as a governmental form, they represent a non-accountable socialist governmental corporate structure within the United States Government complete with their own police force.
Why would any reasonable person trust the TVA to operate dangerous radioactive power plants after the deceit they have pandered on the public? The TVA is not an open government agency, the TVA makes a mockery out of Open Government.
3 informative articles from Ernest Norsworthy: To Large to Succeed: http://norsworthyopinion.com/TVAtoolargetosucceed.aspx

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

TVA Nuclear, Bellefonte Decision Delayed

(TVA photo-artist conception of 4 nuclear reactors at Bellefonte.)

Above photo, TVA's "Bellefonte Dream" 4 radioactive nuclear reactors, insuring Bellefonte is a radioactive waste dump for over a thousand years. Wonderful legacy for future generations. The 2 Babcock & Wilcox reactors in foreground, were approximately 90% and 68% complete until the plants were gutted and stripped after TVA requested cancellation of the construction license. Construction license cancellation was approved and later reinstated by the NRC. Not one (1), no vote of approval was acquired for the reinstatement of the construction license; there was 1 vote disapproved and 3 votes jointly approved-disapproved, yet the construction permit was granted.
After gutting of the 2 nuclear reactor plants it has been reported the facility is now 50% complete. However, TVA press releases have stated the plants are anywhere from 60% to 90% complete. Misinformation is par for the course for the TVA. The 2 Westinghouse AP 1000 nuclear radioactive producing plants, right side of the above conception photo, are located precariously close to a massive sink hole which is seen in the wooded area above the 2 plants, right side of the photo.

(BEST-photo, "Stop Bellefonte.")
The TVA announced Tuesday that the decision concerning Bellefonte would not be made until later this year. The TVA has stated there are 3 choices for the Bellefonte site. 1) Finish one Babcock & Wilcox (B&W) reactor. The B&W reactors are approximately 50% complete, stripping the plant of usable parts occured after the construction license was cancelled, estimated cost between $3-4 billion dollars; 2) build 2 AP 1000 reactors, approximate cost, $16-18 billion dollars; 3) do nothing.
The TVA has completely ignored the most efficient and cost effective choices for Bellefonte and the TVA, a 3 part 4th choice: 1) Energy Efficiency & energy conservation, very low cost, 2) new generation solar plant, $200 million, 3) 880 mega watt Natural Gas Combined Cycle, $890 million, gas line from Marion Co Tennessee $150 million. A combined cycle natural gas plant could use part of the existing equipment at Bellefonte; total cost estimate of $1.24 billion, generating over 900 mega watts of power. The B&W reactor would generate 1000 mega watts of power at 3 times the cost.
The TVA had tentatively scheduled the decision for completion of Bellefonte during the April 16, 2010 Board of Directors meeting at Knoxville, Tn. Current reports indicate the decision concerning Bellefonte will come later in the year.

(TVA photo, Bellefonte Units 1 & 2.)
Photo above, the current Bellefonte site. Bellefonte is located over porous limestone rock known as Karst Terrain. There are sinkholes, caves and springs which are found in this area. The ridge shown in the picture, behind the nuclear reactors, is known as River Ridge, an ancient minor earthquake fault line. Approximately 1 mile west of the plant is the Sequatchie Fault, a fault line where earthquakes occur more frequently. http://www.claimsjournal.com/news/southeast/2009/07/28/102554.htm
Chattanooga Times Free Press video link: http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2009/dec/13/video-deciding-tva-bellefontes-future-nuclear-powe/ Tubing, valves, actuators, condensors, motors and pumps were scrapped.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Women's History Month

1943 War Department Photo, woman riveter in aircraft factory in Nashville, Tn., "Rosie"
Secretary of State, Honorable Hillary R. Clinton, an early photograph after marriage to President William J. Clinton
***************** Dorthea Lange's "Migrant Mother."******************

Library of Congress presentation: http://www.womenshistorymonth.gov/index.html

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Censorship and Local Political Corruption

I used to post on al.com's Scottsboro "Forum," I no longer participate on the al.com "forum." (The so called "forums" are actually highly edited message boards.) I do monitor the "forums" closely because of stories such as this. Unfortunately the al.com "forums" have become a bastion of censorship which appears to involve Scottsboro City Officials and/or representatives of political figureheads within the area. There was and is an ongoing political battle for the control of the Scottsboro "forum." The al.com "forums" are a real time communications tool with citizens of several communities. To prevent political comments or the disclosure of corruption on specific "forums," censorship and draconian media practices occur, apparently originating from government officials or "media managers" in cooperation with the al.com editors. When media and government become intertwined and cooperate in censorship of political speech our system of Constitutional government is diminished and trampled.

Allegations have been made concerning a high level government official within Scottsboro. I was notified by a citizen of the community that posts were going to be made on the forum concerning the involvement of a city official with one of their subordinates. I recorded 10 posts which were made alleging sexual harassment and ethics violations by an elected city official. All 10 posts were removed within 1 hour of posting. This occurred on Friday March 12, 2010.

It would not be the first time city officials caused the removal of postings on the al.com Scottsboro message board. This practice occurred when sexual harassment allegations were made concerning past management officials at Goosepond Colony several years ago. Those allegations were proven true and the individual involved was removed from their position.

I have been approached by other citizens within our community relating the story to me concerning involvement of a public official in an amorous affair with a subordinate. Either this allegation is true or city officials have made some serious enemies, either way a problem exists.

Whether the allegation of sexual harassment and ethics violations by a city official holds water, the question must be asked how do postings relating to this matter become removed from the Scottsboro al.com message board within 1 hour of the postings being made? Why are these allegations being made at this time?

Are Scottsboro City Officials, other government officials or "media managers" involved in media censorship? What is occurring in the City of Scottsboro relating to the censorship of political speech and the removal of speech involving political issues is nothing short of FASCISM.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Scottsboro City Council Meeting

Last Night was a regular council meeting. New Business: 1) TVA resolution of support for Bellefonte was given. All council members voted to support the TVA's completion of Bellefonte Reactor #1. 2) Liquor license application approval for "Bone Daddy's" restaurant on South Broad Street was tabled as a representative was not present from the establishment at the public hearing. Public hearing was held, no one spoke in opposition. 3) Survey for traffic light on Snodgrass Rd. and U.S. Hwy 72 was approved. 4) Discussion on new zoning ordinance changes. The zoning ordinance may be viewed at the Scottsboro City website. http://www.cityofscottsboro.org/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1 Go to the Departments Field at page top, when the list of city departments appears, go to the City Engineer line, next to the engineer line you will see the Draft for the 2010 Zoning Ordinance, click on it, it is in PDF format. 5) Mr. Marvin Holcomb requested the City Council to reconsider his request to maintain boat launches within the city limits of Scottsboro.
The County Commission had previously approved Mr. Holcomb for a years contract for the upkeep of boat launch areas in the county on August 11, 2009. In a subsequent session the County Commission also gave Mr. Holcomb a vehicle to perform his contracted duties. The County Commission declared a pickup truck to have no value, then gave it to Mr. Holcomb. A pickup truck paid for by taxpayer money which did have value.
The City Council did not make a motion to approve the request from Mr. Holcomb, the request died for a lack of a motion.
6) The work session for March 15 will be rescheduled to March 22. Most of the city council members will be in Washington next Monday for the National League of Municipalities meeting, Mr. Smith will stay behind. The League meetings in Washington are very important. The meeting gives our City Council members and our Mayor a chance to directly interact with our Federal legislators. This meeting also provides an opportunity for various discussion and education venues concerning governmental issues which affect city governments nation wide.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Cedar Hill Cemetary, Monuments Great and Small, Photo Tour--Part 3


Photo tour part 3, Cedar Hill Cemetary. City of Scottsboro web site entry of Cedar Hill. http://www.cityofscottsboro.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=43&Itemid=79
Jackson County Cemetary Records at Access Genealogy: http://www.accessgenealogy.com/cemetery/alabama/jackson.htm scroll down to you arrive at Cedar Hill, the listing is in 18 parts.
Reflecting pool monument.

This great monument with statuary is constructed of metal.

Cedar Hill Cemetary, Monuments Great and Small, Photo Tour--Part 2

A photo tour, Cedar Hill Cemetery, Scottsboro Alabama. Markers and monuments great and small, part 2.

Here lies Wisdom, "Gone but not forgotten."

A hand drawn cement marker in the old African American section. Grave sites are no longer segregated according to race.
Some grave site markers are as small as stones in the ground.
The old African American section of Cedar Hill. This grave marks the resting place of Mr. Riley Whitfield. Mr. Whitfield constructed Joyce Chapel on West Willow Street as well as the Cumberland Presbyterian Church at Goosepond on Hancock Drive.

This hand drawn cement marker rests against the east wall, between the wall and the power poll.

An old bench.

Some family areas have no markers.

The monuments of Colonel & Mrs. John D. Snodgrass. John Snodgrass was the Commander of the 55th Alabama Regiment, a local Confederate Unit.

White marble row.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Cedar Hill Cemetery, Improvements, Photo Tour--Part 1, Western Boundary.

The wooded area to the west of the cemetery has been cleared. I spoke with Mr. Benny Bell today at the cemetery, he stated the area will be landscaped with grass and trees planted to create a buffer area. Mr. Bell stated no grave sites were disturbed.

It would have been nice if the Mayors Office or the City Council would have announced what was going on within the Cedar Hill Cemetery. I was rather shocked when I went to visit loved ones grave sites in the western portion of the cemetery.
Previous City Council meetings discussed the work which was to occur concerning removal of the Pine Trees in the old portion of the cemetery.
I will be doing another photo tour for the old portion of the cemetery. There are some very unusual grave markers within the cemetery. It is also interesting to note grave markers reflecting Revolutionary War Soldiers and other wars since.