"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."


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Jackson County Park Photo Tour

Aerial photo of Jackson County Park prior to 2009 early spring storms. (Photo courtesy of Jackson County Park)
A winters day at the Jackson County Park brings few fisherman at this fishing dock other than gulls waiting for a school of shad.

The Marina looking to the east, Dry Creek.

Creek Side Grill, good food and atmosphere at Jackson County Park.

"Long May She Wave"

Band Stand and Pavilions available.

Civitan Pavilion

Senior Center

Park Trails

Great Playground

Marina Docks looking south from campground.

Backside of campground was not destroyed by last years storms. The 50 foot hill protected the backside.

Shower and restroom facility rebuilt.

Sorry about the repeats. The northeast to southern face of the park received the heaviest damage.

These areas witnessed the heaviest damage. Hundreds of trees were damaged. Public and personal property damage was approximately $1 million at the park.

Heavy damage areas, much has been cleaned up.

Small pavilion will be rebuilt soon. Park Board approved the bid to rebuild this pavilion.

Front part of campground with camper/trailer rentals.


Jackson County Park

The Jackson County Park Board. The citizens of Jackson County are very fortunate to have the Jackson County Park as one of our resources for this area. I will provide a pictorial report of the park in a subsequent article. Web site for the Jackson County Park, contact info: http://www.jacksoncountypark.net/

There has been a great deal of cleanup accomplished. A stark contrast to the photo below. 100's of trees were destroyed as a result of last springs storms. Trees fell on many campers destroying them.

The area to the left of the docks in the picture is the area above this photo. (Photo courtesy of Jackson County Park)

Last night the Jackson County Park Board held their monthly board meeting. this meeting is held on the 4th Tuesday of each month, currently the meeting time is 5PM at the park office. Notice of the meeting is posted outside the door of the park office so the public may see the meeting time and place, this has not always been the case.
The early spring storms last year dealt a devastating blow to the Jackson County Park. There was much destruction to public as well as private property. Unfortunately the park has been slow to rebuild. Part of these problems were due to miscommunication and a lack of cooperation from the Jackson County Commission in approving funding from FEMA.
Monday, Feb 22, 2010 the Jackson County Commission passed a measure to begin the bidding process of rebuilding the park. At the park board meeting's end an opportunity was provided for questions from the media present, yours truly was the only one present. Mr. Hugh Whisenant, Park Board Chairman, stated, "We have lost close to $150,000 in revenue since the spring storms last year." When asked about the Jackson County Commission interfering with the parks operation Mr. Whisenant replied, "There was previous miscommunication, since the commission has indicated they will begin the process of bidding out the needed reconstruction we think the process of rebuilding will begin very shortly after the bidding process and award of the bid to a contractor to perform the work."
Jackson County Park Board meeting outline.
Old Business: A) Discussion on winterizing of boats and campers. It was discussed that some campers do not properly winterize their equipment which includes turning off water where appropriate. This results in busted pipes or outside spickets. The board approved a rule, if "patron" neglect results in damage to public park property the person responsible will be required to pay for damages. B) Discussion concerning park traffic flow. The park manger will be working on this situation. The board approved for the manager to resolve the situation. C) The board approved a meter reading fee of $5 to be included in the parks boat slip rental fees. D) Signs were approved for park vehicles. The signs will conform to rules adopted previously by the county commission .
Managers Report: A) Park camping spot application was discussed. Vehicle and boat Identifications as well as personal information concerning campers will be included on camp ground patron application form. The board consensus was this was a managerial action to be handled by the park board manager. B) Revised rules for camp ground were approved. C) Insect control spraying was approved for the boat docks to begin early spring. D) "Personal Holidays" of park employees must be used annually or will be lost as approved by the board. E) FEMA campers acquired by the park previously for usage in the aftermath of the 2008 storms now have the titles. The disposition of these campers was tabled until the next meeting.
New Business: A) Discussion and approval of a 3% pay raise for park employees. One board member dissented questioning whether the park could afford the raise at this time. It was stated the total cost of the raise would be $3400 annually.
Citizen Comments: A) Mr. Marvin Holcomb: Mr Holcomb complained about 2 issues, 1) Permanent campers residing in the park. 2) Marona Circle, Mr. Holcomb stated there was never an approval for the road to be named Marona Circle. He further stated he had personally removed the sign on a previous occasion. B) Mr. Reb Engle spoke representing boaters and campers within the park. Mr. Engle expressed a concern over the lack of progress concerning rebuilding the park. Mr. Whisenant stated that he thought progress was now being made as a result of the county commission moving forward with the bid announcement related to park reconstruction. Mr. Engle mentioned to me after the meeting he was prepared to come forward with 150 people, patrons of the park, to bring forward their complaint to the county commission if necessary. Yes Mr. Engle, at times when our elected political leaders fail us, the citizens of Jackson County, it becomes necessary to remind them of their responsibilities.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Jackson County Commission

**********************"GARBAGE ENFORCER" *************

County Attorney, John Porter, announces that Judge Holt to send County Commission County Engineer Indecision Case to mediation. Mediation between County Officials is conducted behind closed doors. The Open Meetings Laws exempt mediation proceedures of a government body from public disclosure. Mediation is not a decision making meeting but should help the commissioners reach the proper decisions in accordance with the laws of the state.
Mediation is expensive, what in the county will be sacrificed due to the additional expenditures? Possibly 50% of the Commissioners pay for 6 months, the citizens should be so lucky. Mr. Clemmons already contributes his pay to the Council on the Aging.
The County Park Campground bid for electrical reconstruction due to last years storm was approved for bid announcement.
The County Commission approved a resolution in support of nuclear power which they never knew about and would not allow opposition to speak about after prior approval.
In other business a position recommendation for "GARBAGE ENFORCER" died due to a lack of a motion.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Scottsboro City Council

*** Proposed New 1st Monday Rules, Not approved by City Council ***

Old Business: Approval of Surplus Property Declaration, Old Police Annex Building and Land.

New Business: 1) Forever Wild Program resolution of support approved. 2) Tree Commission Reappointment of Gene Greer and Mark Scott Skelton. 3) RDS (ALATax), tax collection contract approved. 4) Rescue Squad contribution of $4000.00, share of rescue boat purchase. 5) Personnel Board Reappointment's Robert Shook, Perry Guffey. 6) Vacancy on Housing Authority Board. Jim Green's term expires. Requests for appointment must be turned in by March 19 at 4:30PM. 7) Police Department surplus property declaration on automobiles.

The City Council Administrative Committee meeting was held after the City Council meeting. The City Council's Administrative Committee will recommend to the City Council that the property be sold by auction, specifics to be discussed at the next council meeting.

Jackson County Commission & Jackson County Park

A continuing saga of Dog & Pony show politics at the Jackson County Commission. How much money this time around are conflicts and ethical lapses costing the tax payers of Jackson County?

Marina at Jackson County Park. Picture from the parks website: http://www.jacksoncountypark.net/

FEMA project worksheet dated June 21, 2009, stating the estimated cleanup of the Jackson County Park is $172,119.24 . (Click on the picture for an expanded view of the form.)

This past December a court case was settled in the Jackson County Circuit Court. CTS Excavations LLC had been awarded a contract for debris cleanup in the aftermath of last years damaging wind storms. The Jackson County Commission refused to pay CTS for their work, reason, their original estimate did not coincide with the amount billed. Cost overruns and tipping fees were to blame according to CTS. (Wed. Dec 9, 2009 Edition of The Daily Sentinel ran a front page story about the law suit being settled between the county commission and CTS.)

On December the 8th the Jackson County Circuit Court, Judge John Graham, ordered Jackson County Commission to pay the amount due which totaled $160,980.98. The county commission had originally disputed this amount was owed.

In recent document disclosures it was discovered there was a cost estimate that was prepared and sent forward to FEMA estimating the amount of debris cleanup at $172,119.24, the FEMA estimate form is pictured above. It is dated June 21, 2009, prior to the filing of the court case.

Members of the Jackson County Park Management believe the Jackson County Commission is interfering with the orderly operation of the park. According to Park managers, "The County Commission is overstepping their bounds and interfering with the Park Boards operation of the facility." The Chairperson of the County Commission, Ms. Sadie Bias states in an email that $260,000 of FEMA funds have been spent. Park managers deny that this is true. Other park employees have stated the Commission Chairperson has been very disrespectful and rude to them.

In last Thursday's commission work session a heated exchange arose between county Commissioner Jack Allen and Mr. Rousseau, a park board member.

Further disclosures revealed Mr. Jimmy Sandlin, Manager of the Scottsboro Electric Power Board, has provided engineering work for the park. Mr. Sandlin was paid as a private contractor. Mr. Sandlin was contacted about his work for the County Park, he stated that he has provided similar contract for fee work for Goosepond Colony.

Jackson County Park website, under construction : http://www.jacksoncountypark.net/ It has been revealed the Jackson County Park has thus far suffered an approximate $120K revenue loss. The Jackson County Park Board meets each 4th Tuesday of the month at 5PM, that will be tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Scottsboro City Council, Green Energy Project-Landfill Methane Capture, Goose Pond Colony, Monster Bass

Goose Pond Colony (GPC) offers a full scope of recreation activities on Guntersville Lake. 2 world class golf courses, marina, campground, lodging, cabins, restaurant, great fishing and a bait and tackle shop highlight GPC.

You ain't going to find better bass fish'n than on Lake Guntersville. Ol' Sally resides in this area. I've seen this female monster Bass, she has bit the legs off of my rubber frogs on at least 2 occasions during the spring and summer. I have watched her feed in the shoals near the old North Sauty Creek Channel. This bass would be close to a world record large mouth bass if not exceeding the record. It appears she is close to 36 inches in length.

Guide service is available in this area.
Goose Pond Colony (GPC), The Docks Restaurant, great food with a fantastic view of Lake Guntersville.

Goose Pond Colony Lodge and Cabins, great fun by the lake. GPC also has a wonderful campground.

GPC Amphitheater, Bass tournaments, concerts and the famous 4th of July Celebration is held in this location.

GPC has a full service marina, food, fuel and gas are available for the boater at GPC.
Last night there were 2 sessions held, the first was a work session and the second a continuation of last Mondays Regular meeting for the purpose of passing a grant request related to the landfill methane energy project.

1) Discussion of landfill methane project by CDG Engineering. The representative could not be present due to in-climate weather. However, the Mayor and Mr. Blizzard discussed the matter via phone conference earlier in the day.

The project will be completed in 3 phases costing a total of $1.57 million dollars. The project must be complete by the end of June 2012, There is $500K of grant money being made available thru the "Federal Stimulus Package. " The city is applying for other grants for this project. The Mayor stated that even if we had to borrow money for the project the loan would pay for itself through the reselling of power to the TVA. It was also stated that existing personnel resources would be utilized and trained for site maintenance.

Phase 1-methane capture; Phase 2- energy conversion; Phase 3- generate electricity. This project was approved in the City Council Regular Meeting continuation.

Councilman Thermon Bell commented, "This is a win win situation for the City." The city will receive approximately $400K annually from energy sales to the TVA. The landfill electrical power usage will be completely covered by this project. according to city officials.

It was stated that the total amount of energy generated is estimated to be 4 million Kilowatt hours per year.
2) RDS, (ALATAX) discussion concerning city tax collection and auditing program.
3) Goose Pond Colony update and presentation by Mike Bagget, Chairman of the City Parks and Recreation Board, better known as the Goose Pond Colony Board. Mr. Bagget stated the biggest problem for the past year was the storm and tree damage as a result of last years storms. He stated he was very pleased with the cleanup and all the volunteer efforts involved in the clean up. He stated the golf course was down for 2 days while the cabins and campground continued running. This allowed for a continuous revenue stream in support of the park.

An overview of projects completed and future project plans were given:

a) $300K of debt was eliminated. Mr. Bagget indicated their management philosophy has been to insure no borrowing of money. "We will pay our own way without borrowing money." (The Goose Pond Board deserves a salute for their accomplishments in reference to their financial management. ) It was reported since 2006 the current board has decreased their debt by $1.2 million dollars. $5.3 million of debt remains.

b) Capital expense projects were outlined: (1) Sewer project in campground; (2) Bathroom facilities at the marina.

c) Future plans include a contractor providing boat rentals and a bicycle rental program.

The following events were outlined:
a) Scottish Festival-4500participants; b) Big Bass Splash-1000 participants; c) 60 Fishing Tournaments annually; d) National Junior College golf Tournament, 45 schools participated; e) spring Fling college Tournament where 9 schools participate. (It is obvious Goose Pond Colony is a tremendous asset to Scottsboro bringing in millions of tourist dollars annually. The current staff and managing board have pulled this facility from a "frogs hair" of bankruptcy to it current financial state of sound standing, bravo ladies and gentleman of GPC, bravo. You make this citizen and I know others very proud of you. )
4) Forever Wild Program discussion of Resolution of Support for the Walls of Jericho park. A Constitutional Amendment is before the state legislature.
5) Discussion for CDA, Commercial Development Authority, selection of board members.
6) Discussion of surplus property, the old Police Station on John T. Reid Parkway.
7) Presentation by the Jackson County Rescue Squad. They are in need for a new rescue boat. It was commented the current boat has literally fell apart, the transom has been welded 3 times. The cost is $11,900. The City council discussed committing to 1/3rd of the cost to be shared by the County Commission and the Legislative Delegation. ( The Rescue Squad does a fantastic job. They receive very little tax support, all are volunteers. A salute goes out to the members of the Jackson County Rescue Squad, a great bunch of folks. )
Reports: The Mayor mentioned there was a need for 2010 Census workers for the Jackson County area.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A SAD STATE OF MEDIA AFFAIRS. Media giant supports fascist ideology.

Once more draconian media editors of Advance Internets "al.com's" Scottsboro Forum removes my posts and forum account. Below you will find the latest example of draconian editing. This is an exact copy of the post that resulted in my ban. This post was listed after attacks on posters supporting our Democrat President and the idea of Classical Liberalism. Criminal threats by the extremist have also been made. I have been banned from posting while extremist posters making threats remain, it would seem the extremists are encouraged to express ideology supporting hate speech and racism.
Update- Feb 16, 2010: It appears some of the extremist posters are the moderator/editors of the site as evidenced by this posters comment. "7078... 2/16/10 0:48 ET... hey zz you can come out and play now. by joepepitone" You should know as the site editor, since my forum name has been reinstated immediately prior to your comment. No thank you, I do not wish to put up with the harassment from the draconian editors on your message board.
This explains why reasonable comments are removed and ridiculous threatening comments from your several names and constantly changing names remain. Is Mr. Weinberger aware of your shenanigans?
Posting # 7071.1 Date & Time: 2/13/10-10:35ET

"I have noticed some people revel in the removal of the truth and foster lies. I wonder why that would be?"

"In studying history the tool of the tyrannical fascist has been the squashing of liberty and the basic right of responsible, truthful expression of political opposing speech, whether it be in media or public."

"Individuals or groups do not have to agree with the idea conveyed in the speech, but to attack the ideology of the First Amendment while practicing deceit, fostering fascist propaganda and quashing responsible speech does not speak well for the future of our society."(end of post)
Within "al.com's" Scottsboro Forum extremist verbal threats have been made on the President of the U.S., there have been threats to burn a church, there have been personal threats made to me.
I have opposed right wing extremist attacks and racist expression. The extremists in turn only make more threats. Then, al.com's editors remove my speech and ban me for attempting to oppose the extremism expressed, while allowing and thus encouraging extremist, threatening speech to continue.
It is my belief that this failure of responsible editorial practice is carried forth for the express purpose of placing forward extremist right wing ideology in opposition to a Democrat, African American, Liberal President.
The draconian editorial action by this media organization supports right wing extremism and at times racism. This on the back of revelations that the Huntsville Times intends on closing the local Jackson County Bureau Office. The Huntsville Times parent organization is Advance Publications, the parent organization of "al.com"/Advance Internet. By closing the Times Bureau office in Jackson County, news from the Huntsville Times in Jackson County is removed from the "national media stream." Jackson County has historically been an Alabama Democrat Party bastion for many years.
Right wing extremist ideology has been expressed in the State Sovereignty Resolution, SJR 27, passed by the full legislature. This resolution supports the abolition of Federal Law such as the Civil Rights Act while supporting the notion that the state has the right to secede from the United States. This extremist right wing ideology is insane and supportive of fascism. Link on my article about SJR 27: http://arklite.blogspot.com/2010/01/sovereignty-resolutionsecession-or.html
One of the reasons I began this blog more than 2 years ago was to oppose (due to responsible political speech censorship) the extremist, draconian editorial practices of the media giant, Advance Publications/Advance Internet, the largest privately held media organization in the United States. It has a long history of draconian editorial practices wherever its forums exist.
It is their publication, they may do with it as they will, to include the removal of responsible speech. Due to their practice it should not be surprising to them when individuals and groups protest their irresponsible editorial policy. Perhaps they should consider the words of the former Editor-in Chief of CBS News, Tony Burman, "Every news organization has only its credibility and reputation to rely on." It appears al.com's forums editorial staff have peculiar extremist editorial ethics.
You, the reader may wonder, why do I care, why waste time? Advance Internet's "al.com," Scottsboro forum is a communications tool for the average citizen. Its existence allows for real time communication outside of the standard one way media communications. To control this forum controls the ability of citizens expression to the community as a whole. To control the forum exclusively for the purpose of fostering the extremist right wing ideology of the Republican Party's fringe element is in support of fascism and not the American Republic. The local forum's editorial support of extremism and fascist ideology reflects on the management of Advance Publications and its subordinate media enterprises which include The Huntsville Times, The Birmingham News and the Mobile Press Register among other publications and internet forums and news outlets nationally.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

CONTAMINATION, FIRES, FAILED SAFETY SYSTEMS PLAGUE U.S. NUCLEAR PLANTS. Nuclear Safety Event Reports for Nuclear Reactors and Fuels Facilities

Nuclear Zombie'shttp://www.thenation.com/article/zombie-nuke-plants by Christian Parenti, art work by Edwin Vazquez

************************* Stop Bellefonte *************************

This is the second report I have compiled of this nature. The first: http://arklite.blogspot.com/2009/08/nuclear-power-is-not-safe-nor-clean.html There is a national concern that the formal press and media outlets do not report the frequency of Nuclear Facility Accidents and serious events within the United States. It has previously been found that aging nuclear power facilities have systems failures, redundant safety systems do fail. These reports indicate a serious problem with nuclear fuels fabrication facilities.
There are incidents which have resulted in Radioactive Materials being released into the local environment. In many cases these releases are not reported.
It has been recently reported that the nuclear manufactoring industry has poured over $620 million dollars into propaganda programs and politicians campaign funds in the last 10 years. A culture of deceit and propaganda in regards to nuclear safety is increasingly more and more alarming.
The following information is compiled from the Event Reports of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, NRC. NRC link for more detailed event reports: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/event-status/event/2009/index.html
NRC Emergency and Serious Event Reports for 1st Quarter FY 2010, October-December 2009. Serious contamination events, fires, security breeches and failed safety systems reflect serious problems for U.S. nuclear reactors and nuclear fuels manufactoring facilities. (40 events)
24 Reactor Scrams, in all cases the reactor's control rods inserted properly and the reactors were reported as stable. Events #:45391, 45394, 45404, 45409, 45412, 45421, 45433, 45440, 45445, 45474, 45482, 45483, 45484, 45499, 45520, 45537, 45547, 45549, 45556, 45557, 45577, 45583, 45588, 45597. Pump failures, electrical systems failures, high pressure fluid leaks, reactor core coolant level drops and valve failures were the primary cause of the reactor scrams.
4 Fire Events #: 45407-Areva fuels plant, radioactive materials released, fire, failure to declare emergency. 45497-Nuclear Fuels Svc. Erwin, Tn., fire and explosion, contamination to employees possible but not reported. 45515-Summer, Sc., unit 1, fire in protected area more than 15 minutes, switch gear room, emergency declared. 45565- Farley, Al. unit 1, fire in CCW heat exchanger room more than 15 minutes.
9 Contamination Events #: 45413-Paducah, Ky. fuels plant. 45492-Paducah Ky. fuels plant. 45510-Ginna, Ny. unit 1, Cesium 137 spill during pipe replacement. 45514- Three Mile Island, Pa. unit 1, radiation release, 150 workers contaminated, unlisted degree of contamination. 45517-Beaver Valley, Pa unit 1, EMERGENCY declared, reactor cooling system leak greater than 25 gallons per minute. Total quantity of coolant in spill not disclosed, contamination limited to containment building. 45527-nuclear fuels facility; 45533-SEE BELOW. 45593-Fitzpatrick, NY reactor unit 1, Tritium leak into storm drain, amount not disclosed. 45601-Erwin, Tn. fuel fabrications facility, suspension of processes due to repetitive safety failures.
45533, this event occurred while employee was working on the reactor coolant pump at the Ft. Calhoun, Ne. nuclear plant, this was a serious personal contamination event.
2 Safety related Events #: 45522-Turkey Point, Fl. dropped fuel rods; 45527-Paducah Fuel Plant, failed safety equipment and continuous safety systems failure.
1 Security Event #: 45521-Turkey Point, Fl., 33 Cuban Nationals entered the facilities security area. One of the illegals contacted the Control Room via a cell phone to inform them that they were on the facility and had arrived via a boat.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"Little Napoleon"

Mr. "Little Napoleon" Clemmons instructs the Chairperson of the Commission: "I am great Madam Chairman. You must follow what I tell you and we will crush those pesky Democrat Commissioners! Viva me power, eh ha!" (image usage rights purchased)

Prior to the Jackson County Commission Meeting Monday I was attempting to have a conversation with Ms. Bias concerning the approval of my request for 25 minutes of time for a group presentation to the county commission. "Little Napoleon" Clemmons comes up to me and shoves the rules of the commission into my face ranting about how I may only have 5 minutes of time. I informed "Little Napoleon" he was not in charge of the County Commission, Ms. Bias was the Chairperson of the Commission and that my request was approved. "Little Napoleon" demanded to see my approved request. Emails are not something that I normally carry with me as it is expected that our governmental representatives honor their approvals and commitments. However, I copied the email yesterday and wrote a Memorandum for the Record of the situation which I forwarded to the County Commission Chairperson and others involved.
Mr. Clemmons was correct in his comment last month, "...the county commission is dysfunctional." Yes Mr. Clemmons, "Little Napoleon," you are part of the cause of the dysfunctionality of the County Commission.
The truth is very difficult to achieve at times when it comes to politics. It seems some folks will support extremism, under the table deals and bad government in support of a political position or politicians self serving agenda without regard to good sense, the law or established proceedures.
It is my observation that Ms. Bias and Mr. Clemmons are "Republicans in Democrat costume," Republicans can not be elected in Jackson County, they must run as Democrats. Such is the case of Congressman Dr. "Weasel" Griffith switching parties.
Unfortunately there are several who do not express a philosophy of moderation and open discussion of issues but that of extremism and oppressive ideology. I make reference to the shenanigans of the Commission Chair and Mr. Horrace Clemmons failing to obey law of the State of Alabama and the Jackson County Commission in regards to the conduct of county business; several extremist actions on local internet forums as to threats; surreptitious acts of political deceit in the change of personnel policy and courthouse security; leadership failures of the county commission all point to political extremism and a basic lack of leadership skills.
"Little Napoleon" Clemmons seems to think he runs the show. He has not learned the county commission is not a private business which he may bully people or his fellow commissioners.
Earlier problems arose on the commission primarily as a result of leadership failures. The problems continue and are exasperated by Mr. Clemmons, the "Little Napoleon" of the Jackson County Commission.
Many thanks to the Jackson County Patriots for the videos they produce of the Jackson County Commission meetings. You are performing a great service for our community. http://jacksoncountypatriots.com/

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Jackson County Commission, More Dog and Pony Show Antics.

After receiving approval from the Jackson County Commission for a 25 minute presentation by the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League about the dangers of nuclear power the commission denied, at the commission meeting, the time previously granted in writing to make the presentation. District 4 Commissioner Horrace Clemmons made a motion to remove the item from the agenda and stated, "you may make the presentation at the work session." Mr. Gaylon Stone seconded the motion, however the motion was not approved by a vote of the commission. Ms. Bias, Commission Chairperson, stated I could have 5 minutes. The following is a memorandum concerning this incident.
(1) Email to Jackson County Commission per instruction from County Commission Clerk after being given Ms. Bias's personal cell phone number to request approval, called there was no answer, left message, there was no return phone call. However, I called the Commission and spoke to the clerk, she informed me to submit an email request:

"Hi Anna, Per our phone conversation at 3PM today. The TVA thru the EDA has requested local government bodies to recommit to the Bellefonte Nuclear Plant construction project thru a Resolution of Support for the Bellefonte Project. If you have not received the TVA/EDA resolution request it is expected you will receive a request in the near future. Our message is important, it involves the future health and economic stability of future Jackson County citizens. There are those of us in Jackson County that do not believe the TVA has the best interest of the community in mind concerning Bellefonte and Nuclear Power. I have seen this request for a resolution. We of the Bellefonte Efficiency and Sustainability Team ( BEST ) Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) and Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) believe there is a better way to meet our future energy needs without the risk of nuclear power. We have facts and information to present to you concerning the risks of leaving a RADIOACTIVE waste dump legacy for future Jackson County citizens. We have a solution to this problem. We would like the opportunity to have representative local county citizens, Ms. Heather Bradley of Stevenson and Ms. Elizabeth Johnson of Scottsboro to tell you briefly about their concerns. Mr. Lou Zeller, Science Director of the Blue Ridge Environmental Group and Ms. Sandy Kurtz of BEST have a short summary which explains the risks and the alternatives. I, Garry Morgan, will introduce the folks and give a brief introductory presentation. We realize your time is very important but the full story of nuclear power and our solution for the citizens of Jackson County is equally important. We firmly believe our solution is safer, 3 billion dollars less expensive, has less risk and will employ more Jackson County Citizens at our Industrial Parks without the legacy of dangerous, RADIOACTIVE Waste. We respectfully request an audience before the Jackson County Commission on Monday Feb. 8, 2010. The total amount of time should take less than 25 minutes."
(2) Reply from the County Commission Clerk:

Mrs. Sadie has placed you on the agenda for February 8th, 2010. She also wanted me to tell you that no one has said anything about a resolution.

Anna Lewis
Commission Clerk
Jackson County Commission
(3) Memorandum concerning incident forwarded to individuals involved:
Memo for the Record.
After being instructed by Ms. Lewis via phone conversation that I needed to send an email to her concerning our group request(see attached email...), which I did, and previously leaving a message with the Chairperson of the Commission on her cell phone, per instructions from the clerk, (I was told Ms. Bias, Chairperson of the Commission was out sick but I could call her on her cell phone.) explaining our group request on Wed. Feb 3rd., which I did, not receiving a return call, then receiving the confirmation below from the clerk concerning our request via the email below with the specific requests in regards to time and people requesting to speak. Then calling the county commission clerk to confirm the group request was granted as stated in the email, which was confirmed, one would think all was in order.

I was told today by the Commission Chair that only I could speak for 5 minutes. The Commission also attempted, via Mr. Clemmons' motion, to amend the agenda by removing me from the agenda at today's meeting, the motion did not pass, a tie vote was broke by Ms. Bias. I spoke for the 5 minutes, mostly in protest to the treatment members of our group received and mentioning the 7 million pounds of nuclear waste present at the Tennessee River Valley Nuclear Plants. It was suggested that our group return for the work session. That is not possible since our Science Director has traveled over 250 miles to make this presentation, plus he has other commitments next week and others have work commitments. I asked after the meeting was adjourned if anyone of the commissioners would care to hear the concerns of their constituents that had showed up for the commission meeting. Not one commissioner bothered to inquire about the specific concerns of the citizens present in our group.

Garry Morgan
In other business per link from the Huntsville Times article from David Brewer: http://www.al.com/news/huntsvilletimes/local.ssf?/base/news/1265710517244150.xml&coll=1
Consent agenda approved: 1) $2737.50 payment approved to Tennessee Valley Family Services, Jan.2010. 2) County Attorney fee for January 2010, $4004.10

Scottsboro City Council

There was no old business. New Business: 1) Council Resolution 2010-02-02, bid was approved for recycled materials. 2) Council Resolution 2010-02-01, Declaration and sale of surplus property at Rec-Com, includes auto, funds from sales to be placed into Rec-Com's capital expense fund. 3) Ordinace declaring property surplus was not approved at this meeting but will be placed on the agenda at the next council meeting. Property involved is the old police station on John T. Reid Parkway. There was no motion to set aside the rules in order to bring the issue to the table for a vote. The property must be declared surplus before it may be sold. 4) Vacancies on the Personnel Board, Museum Board and the Tree Commission announced, from the Jan 26 meeting regarding deadline and info on positions available: Personnel Board 2 vacancies; Tree Commission 2 vacancies; Museum Commission 1 vacancy for completion of term. All requests for Board or Commission placement must be submitted to the City Clerk by Monday 15 February, 2PM. 5) After a 2 minute recess, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League made a presentation outlining concerns of nuclear energy. Local concerned citizens along with subject matter experts expressed facts about why nuclear power is not a good idea for Bellefonte. Alternative solutions were submitted to the council. 3 local citizens expressed concerns indicating why they did not want nuclear power at Bellefonte. Within the near future the City Council will be voting on a resolution of support concerning Bellefonte and nuclear power. 6) The Mayor announced a Green Energy grant approval for methane recovery at the Scottsboro land fill. Story from the Huntsville Times: http://www.al.com/news/huntsvilletimes/local.ssf?/base/news/1265710579244150.xml&coll=1

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Truth About Nuclear Power Expansion. Political greed and payoffs, a Presidential connection.

Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant, $5 billion spent and not one kilowatt of nuclear power produced. The TVA completed and published a study in 1997 that Combined Cycle Natural Gas was the most economical means of producing power at Bellefonte. A 800mega-watt plant would cost under $900 million dollars. Bringing a gas line in from Marion County Tn. would cast another $150 million dollars. The completion of the nuclear plant at Bellefonte is estimated to cost between $3 and $5 billion. New nuclear construction per reactor unit will cost between $8 and $10 billion.

As the story below relates the nuclear power industry has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on political payoffs and propaganda.

Nuclear Links disclosing the deception of Bellefonte: http://arklite.blogspot.com/search/label/Bellefonte%20Nuclear%20Plant

(The article from UCS} "Nuclear Industry Spent Hundreds of Millions of Dollars Over the Last Decade to Sell Public, Congress on New Reactors, New Investigation Finds: (The propaganda, payoffs and treachery of the nuclear industry continues. They care not for the safety and risk thrown upon the public, their concern is money for their industry's bottom line.)

The nuclear industry claims that there is increased public support for nuclear power as a solution to climate change, and some members of Congress are arguing that massive incentives for new nuclear reactors are critical to passing a climate and energy bill. Today, the Obama administration is expected to propose tripling the amount of loan guarantees to the industry to $54 billion and there are proposals in Congress to add billions more through a new "clean" energy fund and other incentives to support nuclear power expansion. (I'll add, the nuclear industry is far from clean, it is deadly to the workers who manufacture nuclear fuels.)

Where did all this support for new nuclear reactors come from? Let's follow the money.

Growing support for new nuclear power comes after an extensive decade-long campaign in which companies and unions related to the industry have spent more than $640 million on lobbying and campaign contributions from 1999 through 2009, according to a new analysis by former Los Angeles Times reporter Judy Pasternak, now with the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University. (See below investigative reports link.) In the first three quarters of 2009 alone, the nuclear energy industry spent $84 million lobbying Congress.

"In many ways, the nuclear power industry's efforts to win support are a textbook case of how the influence game is played in Washington," Pasternak reports. "Besides the money spent on lobbying and campaign contributions, the industry, led by the NEI [Nuclear Energy Institute], has created a network of allies who give speeches, quote one another approvingly and showcase one another on their Web sites. The effect is an echo chamber of support for nuclear power."

Two of the industry's celebrity spokespeople, former EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman and former Greenpeace activist Patrick Moore, have been stumping around the country, writing op-eds, and appearing on TV to extoll the virtues of nuclear power as the co-directors of the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition, but they rarely, if ever, mention that the NEI created the coalition and is its sole funder. "
An investigative report, Nuclear Energy Lobby, Deep Pockets, $645 million spent by lobbyists: http://investigativereportingworkshop.org/investigations/nuclear-energy-lobbying-push/story/nuclear-energy-working-hard-win-support/
President Obama's connection to nuclear energy--Exelon Energy--big campaign contributions: http://investigativereportingworkshop.org/investigations/nuclear-energy-lobbying-push/multimedia/exelons-links-president-obama/ Hundreds of thousands of dollars to his campaign funds, millions of dollars to nuclear lobbys in supporting deceit that radioactive nuclear power is safe, cheap, clean, reliable, it is none of the above. Money buys propaganda and politicians. The nuclear industry has Washington politicians in their back pocket in support of the nuclear deception.

More from UCS: http://www.ucsusa.org/