"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."


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Jackson County Park Board--Fire Boat to be Docked at Marina

Fire Suppression Boat now docked at the Jackson County Park courtesy of owner Jim Helms. Mr. Helms stated his staff would train park staff on the operation of the boat and equipment.

The Jackson County Park Board has their monthly Park Board meeting on the 4th Wednesday of each month at the Park Office.

Prior to yesterdays Park Board meeting I had the opportunity to watch a demonstration of the Fire Suppression Boat which will be stationed at the Jackson County Park Marina. The boat is owned by Mr. Jim Helms, owner of Precision Towing and Recovery Services and Precision Tow Boat of Scottsboro, Alabama. http://www.precisionautotruckcollisionrepair.com/pages/towboat.htm general info http://www.precisionautotruckcollisionrepair.com/

This will be the only marina facility in Jackson County, for that matter the Northeast Alabama area, which has marine fire suppression capability. The "fire boat" will be able to pump water and foam to suppress marine fires dockside or on the water. See the Precision link above. For more information contact Precision Recovery at 256-259-0111. Related story from the Daily Sentinel of the recent boat fire at Roseberry Creek adjacent to the County Park Marina. http://www.thedailysentinel.com/story.lasso?ewcd=132f706c2634004a The "fire suppression boat" participated in the extinguishing of this recent marine fire.

Jackson County Park Board Meeting. 1) Financial Report was approved as presented. a) attorney fees were approved for payment. b) Park Board Bookkeeper and accountant, Mrs. Engle, made recommendations for improvements for park accounting. > timely deposits, which is being improved and proper fuel issue and purchase reconciliation were two suggested areas of improvements. > Mrs Engle also gave status on the Park Boards penalties and payments required due to previous park board and management failing to pay Federal and State Taxes dating back to 2001-2005. The total penalty and interest is $33,322 on approximately $13,000 of taxes. Mrs. Engle commented the current board is doing an excellent job in insuring their finacial obligations are met and due diligence is being accomplished in the financial management of the park.

Old Business: 1) Mr. Gary Lackey, Park Board Attorney, gave report on the status of pending litigation between the Jackson County Park and County Commission. Mediation is scheduled for the 28th of June in Scottsboro at Mr. Lackeys Office. The court date of 16 June will be postponed until after the mediation. Mr. Lackey explained that the mediation process is a positive, non-binding effort to resolve issues between the county Park and the County Commission. (Related stories on this blog concerning the case: http://arklite.blogspot.com/2010/05/jackson-county-park-board-vs-jackson.html -- http://arklite.blogspot.com/2010/05/wn-rockey-watson-to-represent-county.html and http://arklite.blogspot.com/2010/04/jackson-county-park-jackson-county.html ) 2) Small Business Council paid for the Rescue Squad to park vehicles. Last month the Park Board voted to handle this payment but the Small Business Council made the payment. A vote was taken to amend last months vote on this issue. 3) The Catfish Festival cost of fish came to $1220, a vote was taken to approve this expenditure. 4) The board voted to approve payment for the installation of electrical outlets on part of the walking trail for vendor setups during events and festivals.

Managers Report: 1) Park Manager, Mr. Carl Barnes, gave report on Camp Ground "Storm Damage Improvements." He stated the plans which had been placed before the commission by Ladd Environmental, contractor hired by the County Commission to repair sites in the park's campground, will only include replacement of 58 camp spots. There were 97 camp spots destroyed by the storm according to Mr. Barnes. Bids will go out to make water and electrical improvements. Mr. Barnes commented that the Scottsboro Electric Power Board will be accomplishing the electrical work. ( My comment: In the county Commission meeting Ladd Environmental discussed that FEMA, ADECA, the TVA etc had not approved the underground or above ground electrical system distribution. This is an area which apparently is contradicted and is a source of confusion between the commission and park board. However, since the County Commission is the responsible authority for the contract any confusion lies strictly on their shoulders. It is apparent that the County Commission has failed miserably in coordinating efforts at the park with park management, for this reason they have created multiple problems due to their lack of positive leadership in insuring a spirit of cooperation and coordination in the improvement of the park due to storm damage.) 2) An issue of long term camping in the park was brought forward. This issue was tabled. 3) The manager brought forward an issue of comp-time and vacation time. The Park Board adjourned into an Executive Session to discuss this issue and other issues concerning the Park Board Manager.

New Business: 1) The office secretary, Mary, was approved forpromotion to Office Manager with expanded duties and responsibilities in the case of the absence of the Park Manager. There was no discussion of pay or what the specific duties entailed. 2) Approval was given for payment of $200 for a broken window of a private vehicle parked at the boat dock parking area as a result of a rock being thrown into the vehicles window while mowing.
It was suggested that a Suggestion Box be installed at the Park Office so visitors and patrons may provide suggestions and complaints to park management.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Korean Penninsula Heating Up, Once Again

The bow section of the South Korean ship torpedoed by North Korea in South Korean waters. The ship broke in half when sunk. Evidence of North Korean a torpedo has been found to have caused the sinking.

YouTube Video Update by AP: May 27- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Etg77Tp0pw

U.S. Military forces have been put on alert. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1280806/US-troops-South-Korea-alert-tensions-rise-Cheonan-ship-sinking.html U.S. news sources are denying the alert status.
The Korean Peninsula. (By clicking on the picture you will receive an expanded view of the map.)

United Nations Peace Conference area at Panmunjom, Korea. The Buildings set on the DMZ, half in the north, half in the south. Discussions between North and South Korea related to military matters occur at this site.

The "Bridge of No Return," Panmunjom, Korea, looking north. This was the site where 2 U.S. Army Officers and 4 Korean military soldiers were murdered in 1976 by North Korean Guards wielding axes. 6 U.S. Army enlisted personnel were injured. The officers were supervising the clearing of a tree from the area which was obstructing the view of the DMZ.

The Korean War for many of the soldiers who have served patrolling the DMZ on the Korean Peninsula never ended. There are many untold stories which the folks "back in the world" never hear about. Sapper attacks and combat patrols are common place in a place where no man goes, it is a "no mans land," it is the DMZ separating North and South Korea. It has always been an area where your life may only be one shot away from death, the same holds true today.

The following links provide a history concerning the current crisis involving the sinking of a South Korean Warship by North Korea.

The Korean War began on 25 June 1950 and a cease fire truce was signed on 27 July 1953. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_War

"Ax Murders in Panmunjom--JSA and the DMZ"

"South Korean navy ship sinks, North link played down"
"North Korean torpedo' sank South's navy ship - report"

"U.S., South Korea Increase Military Exercises Following Attack" http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2010/05/mil-100524-afps01.htm

"North Korea cuts ties with South Korea; tensions rise ahead of Hillary Clinton's visit to Seoul" http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/2010/05/25/2010-05-25_north_korea_cuts_ties_with_south_korea_tensions_rise_in_wake_of_torpedo_attack.html

"Clinton: World must act on S. Korean ship sinking" http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100526/ap_on_re_as/as_clinton_south_korea

"Israel says N.Korea shipping WMDs to Syria"

"Huffington Post--Pictures and Stories"

"N Korea Military Tactics In A War With US"
"OPLAN 5027 Major Theater War - West"

Previous arklite.blogspot article on Korea:
Apparently there is a U.S. News blackout over the alert status of U.S. Military Forces in the Republic of Korea, however other news agencies are reporting U.S. Forces in Korea are on a high state of alert due to this crisis. It has been confirmed there is also a U.S. Military Forces curtailment of email and electronic messaging emanating from South Korea. http://rttnews.com/Media/VideoNews.aspx?ID=37889 and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1280806/US-troops-South-Korea-alert-tensions-rise-Cheonan-ship-sinking.html
This time last year U.S. troops were also placed on alert due to North Korean nuclear weapon proliferation and its renouncement of the 1953 cease fire truce. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,522419,00.html

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

TVA, Bellefonte

Quote from Ms. Louise Gorenflo in the Chattanooga Times Free Press article: "TVA simply doesn’t need to take the risk and spend the money for this plant if it would do more to encourage energy conservation,” member, Bellefonte Efficiency and Sustainability Team (BEST). http://www.matrr.org/

Link to Chattanooga Times Free Press article: TVA wants to finish original Bellefonte reactor - timesfreepress.com
Link from the Daily Sentinel on the subject: http://www.thedailysentinel.com/story.lasso?ewcd=03162787b390c050
TVA's Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement mentioned in both articles contains substantial inaccuracies which will be addressed by BEST members and other environmental groups in their reply to the TVA.

Jackson County Commission Meeting

Yesterday was a regular meeting of the Jackson County Commission. Regular Commission Meetings are held on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month unless there is a holiday. Work Sessions are held on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month.
Consent Agenda: There were 4 items on the consent agenda approved totaling $8362.43.

Old Business: Minutes of the May 10, 2010 meeting approved and minutes for the May 18, 2010 Special meeting were approved.

New Business: 1) $1000.00 donation for a public purpose was made to the Northeast Alabama Boys & Girls Club, located on North Houston Street in Scottsboro for the summer program. 2) A capitalization threshold assets program was approved. 3) Approval was received to advertise for the position of mechanic for the Solid Waste Department. 4) Approval was received to advertise in house for two "collector" positions at Solid Waste. 5) The Commissioners approved $125,000 for paving costs during the summer "paving season." 6) Travel expenses approved for commissioners Jack Smith, Jack Allen, Gaylen Stone, County Administrator Sandra Erickson and County Engineer Phillip Widner to attend the Alabama County Commissioners Association Conference in Orange Beach, Alabama August 23-27, 2010. 7) Mr. Jim Green was unanimously reappointed to the Jackson County Economic Development Authority Board.

The Commissioners, Administrator, County Attorney and County Engineer adjourned into an Executive Session for the purpose of discussing the good name and character of an employee at 4:41PM. The commissioners returned and voted to continue the meeting at 5:03 PM. The commissioners voted on the recommendation of the County Engineer to take disciplinary action on the employee discussed during the Executive Session.

Scottsboro City Council Meeting

Auction flyer for the old police station. Government property may not be sold lower than the appraised value. The minimum bid price for the building, tract 1, will be $280,000, minimum bid for the property, tract 2, will be $510,000 (see property description above). There is 7.16 total acres, more or less. The property may be combined or sold separately, sold as is with the reserve listed. Micah Way will be completed in front of the existing building, it was announced last night that the road extension project will begin soon. Mayor Potter has confirmed the minimum bid prices listed.

Mr. Bud Cook receives congratulations from citizens after being reappointed to a second term on the Scottsboro Electric Power Board.
Last night was a regular meeting of the Scottsboro City Council. Link to the last work session involving the items covered in last nights regular council meeting. http://arklite.blogspot.com/2010/05/scottsboro-city-council-work-session_18.html
There was one item of old business: The date of the public hearing for the new Zoning Ordinace was approved for July 12, 2010. Notice of the hearing will be ran in the North Jackson Progress, voted as the most economical choice, with the complete ordinance to be ran in Scottsboro's The Daily Sentinel.
New Business: 1) There were 3 issues involving surplus property declarations: a) Police Department surplus Property, a 1970 mobile home located at the police training facility, this structure will be demolished; b) Fire Department surplus property, a 4x4 Gator which will be sold on govdeals.com; c) General Administration property, the old City Hall phone system. Approval was obtained for all items to be declared as surplus property. 2) Mr. Bud Cook was appointed for another term on the Scottsboro Electric Power Board. There were 5 applicants with 2 nominations, Mr. Jim Green and Mr. Bud Cook were nominated, Mr Cook was appointed. 3) There are two vacancies on the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Requests to be placed on this board must be turned in to the City Clerk no later than Friday, June 18, 2010, 3PM. 4) Mr. Mike Baggett was reappointed to the Goosepond Park and Recreation Board. There were two applicants, Mr. Baggett was chosen with no other nominations made. 5) There is one vacancy on the Museum Board, application for this board must be turned into the City Clerk no later than June 11, 2010, 4:30PM .
Mayors Report: 1) It was announced that the State Audit of the Water Sewer and Gas Board reflected that the City of Scottsboro has not paid State Utility Tax. The City will be required to pay $13,000 which will be spread out over a year for the payment. The Electric Power Board audit will reflect the same situation according to the Mayor. 2) It was announced that July 17, 2010 will be the auction date for the old Scottsboro Police Department on John T. Reid Parkway, see above pictures and information concerning this auction. 3) There will be a Memorial Day Ceremony at Collins Elementary School on May 31st, 2010.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Helpful inks on classifications of nuclear events, materials released, emergency proceedures, risks, general info related to radioactive atomic power to include new atomic power reactor problems.
The international nuclear and radiological event scale: http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Factsheets/English/ines.pdf
EPA info on radioactive atomic power plants: http://www.epa.gov/radtown/nuclear-plant.html
www.crcpd.org/Homeland_Security/NuclearPowerPlantMaterial.pdf Note page 58 on the pdf page as this lists specific materials released.
"What you are not suppose to know." (routine radioactive releases) http://www.nirs.org/factsheets/routineradioactivereleases.htm
"The rest of the TMI story": http://www.ki4u.com/three_mile_island.htm (Some KI for you poor country folk.)
RISK ASSESMENT: This is important, some nuclear plants have many significant reportable events and present themselves as a constantly changing environment. As the plant ages and the number of EVENTS increase so does risk. The current models and assessments in the U.S. nuclear industry DO NOT take into consideration a fluid environment of change in a plant. U.S. models of accident risk assessment are inaccurate at atomic power plants, they do not consider physical, human and operational changes which occur daily. A scientific study on this subject: Development of Specific Risk Criteria: www.immsgroup.com/images/08%20IJMSR_paper_5.pdf
Quote from the above link: "The most important problem with definition of risk criteria lays in the following fact: the models of probabilistic safety assessment, which may represent a prerequisite for application of defined risk criteria, have very wide area of acceptability. It is difficult to define risk criteria, which would be applicable to all models without conditions and prerequisites. Several factors exist, which, if changed, may impact the results in a larger extent."
Accepted system of dose limitation for routine releases of radioactive effluents at nuclear power plants--ALARA criteria (as low as reasonably achievable, economic and social factors taken into account (or the poor and uneducated country folk are expendable)) www.eolss.net/ebooks/Sample%20Chapters/C09/E4-23-03-03.pdf
History of Nuclear Censorship-The Cover-up: http://www.lornasalzman.com/collectedwritings/Censorhip.html
Radioactive Waste Processing Company Targeted Black Workers for Higher Radiation Exposure: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/12-31-09a.cfm Scrap from the Davis -Besse plant. Remember the hole in the Davis Besse reactor due to corrosion? More about Davis -Besse. http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2010/04/davis-besse.html
Tokaimura Criticality Accident: http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf37.html
New Reactor Issues and concerns.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Scottsboro City Council Work Session

The Scottsboro City Council is to attend a meeting at Ruth Chris Steakhouse in Birmingham, Al., sponsored by Morgan-Keegan, Recovery Bond financing for the Parks and Recreation Project is the subject of this meeting. This notice was announced in the reports section of the City council meeting as well as being announced on the council's agenda for this meeting.

1) Surplus Property Declaration discussion for excess property at Police Department. 1970 house trailer at Police Training Range is to be demolished. 2) Surplus Property at Fire Department discussion, non-operable 4x4 "mule" to be sold on govdeals.com, 3) Discussion on costs of publishing of Zoning Ordinance. Discussion of costs ranged from $17,000 to $35,000. A decision will be made at next Monday's city council meeting concerning which course of action will be taken concerning publishing of the required ordinance change. 4) Discussion concerning Electric Power Board and Goosepond Park Board appointments. Appointments will be made at next Mondays council meeting. 5) Sample of the auction advertisement was discussed for the old police department building on John T. Reid Parkway. 6) Surplus property discussion for old phone system at city hall.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Jackson County Park Board vs Jackson County Commission. More Mediation, More Secret Decision Making...

Jackson County Park before last years storms. Jackson County citizens need to be inquiring of their county commissioners as to why have they terminated the Jackson County Park Board instead of assisting them in repairing the park?
Jackson County Courthouse, the scene of legislative incompetence on the part of the Jackson County Commission.
More secrecy, more mediation; MEDIATION-the new excuse for secret deliberations. A dangerous precedent is set when the courts must enter into legislative actions. Legislative secrecy becomes possible due to court ordered mediation, twice with the current county commission. Related story concerning previous mediation: http://arklite.blogspot.com/2010/03/jackson-county-commission.html
Judge Graham handed down a ruling yesterday, May, 13, 2010, in the case of The Jackson County Park Board vs. The Jackson County Commission, Case # 2010-900048, MEDIATION. Related stories: http://arklite.blogspot.com/2010/05/wn-rockey-watson-to-represent-county.html http://arklite.blogspot.com/2010/04/jackson-county-park-jackson-county.html
The case is set for trial on June 16, 2010. Judge Graham ordered the parties into mediation prior to the trial date. The mediator will be attorney Albert Shumaker of Centre, Alabama, according to court documents. The County Attorney will be "Rocky" Watson of Ft. Payne. Mr. Watson is Ft. Payne's City Attorney, he was the mediator in the "County Engineer Case" where a secret deliberative session was conducted concerning implementation of the Personnel Policy of Jackson County. Daily Sentinel Article: http://thedailysentinel.com/story.lasso?ewcd=25387912a4534598 OpEd: http://thedailysentinel.com/story.lasso?ewcd=443b8633f1dd50be
A synopsis of Judge Graham's order related to mediation in this case. a) Mediation will commence as soon as possible prior to the June 16, 2010 trial date; b) mediator will control proceedures; c) mediation shall be confidential, privileged by all parties involved; d) mediator shall not be called as a witness and the proceedings shall not be recorded by any means; e) parties are encouraged to resolve issues.
To resolve this issue the County Commission must follow the agreement made in 1955 with the TVA relative to the Jackson County Park Board. The Park Board is an integral part of that agreement. What is it that the commissioners and their attorneys do not understand about their lease contract with the TVA??
Commissioners the resolution is simple. Create a Jackson County Parks and Recreation Department, if you can afford it, to manage the affairs of the other parks in Jackson County. Key being, can you afford to create a park and recreation board per the Code of Alabama? However, the current Jackson County Park Board must stay intact per the lease agreement with the TVA, unless you intend on renegotiating your contractual obligations with the TVA.
By all appearances the Jackson County Commission has, once again, failed in their management of county resources. Instead of assisting and giving positive input for the purpose of assisting the County Park Board they have endeavored to employ a destructive course of action to terminate the park board without any sufficient explanation to the citizens of Jackson County.
There has been no open deliberative process in the Jackson County Commissions actions relative to the Jackson County Park. Worse, the process of open meetings and the enforcement of open meetings appears to have been cast aside by the Judges of Jackson County due to the incompetence of the Jackson County Commission for the process of secret deliberations of the mediation process.
I can only hope the end result will not be destructive to the citizens of Jackson County. Hopefully the alleged informed legal scholars will look at all aspects of this case, particularly as it relates to the lease from the TVA of our County Park.
If any readers are interested in a "Friend of the Court" action to preserve the Jackson County Park and for the purpose of making the court aware of stipulations contained within the lease agreement with the TVA and expressing displeasure with the county commissions actions please inform me by email at gmorg50@hotmail.com .

Monday, May 10, 2010

Scottsboro City Council

The new CDA, Commercial Development Authority, as their first order of business, were sworn in after tonights City Council Meeting by City Attorney, Mr. Steven Kennamer. Left to right in the photo: Ms. Bray, Ms. Sage, Mr. Berry, Mr. Kaschak, Mr. Cuthberson. This first meeting of the CDA was continued until Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 5PM, at which time the Authority's President and President pro-tem will be elected. Future meetings, after the continuation, will be held on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 5:30PM. Related article: http://arklite.blogspot.com/2010/04/scottsboro-city-council-meeting.html
Regular Council Meeting. Old Business: The old Scottsboro Police Station on John T. Reed Parkway will be sold by auction which is to be conducted by City of Scottsboro officials. The council requested the Mayor develop a plan for the conduct of the auction. Two other options were discussed but rejected, hiring a private auction company or utilize a sealed bid process. It was decided the public auction process by a city official would be the most economical and would insure a high degree of public disclosure.
New Business: 8 items of surplus property at the Street Department were declared excess property to be sold on "gov deals."

W.N. "Rockey" Watson to Represent Jackson County Commission in County Park Law Suit??

Jackson County Attorney John Porter

Commissioner Jack Allen

Commissioner Gaylen Stone

Commissioner Horrace Clemmons

Commissioner Jack Smith

Commission Chairperson Sadie Bias

Commissioner Jack Allen reported in an interview after last Thursdays work session, May 6, 2010, that Dekalb County attorney W.N. "Rockey" Watson will represent Jackson County Commission in the case of Jackson County Park vs Jackson County Commission. Mr. Watson had served as the mediator for the county commission due to the commission's recent inability to decide on a Jackson County Engineer choice.

The County Park's Attorney Mr. Gary Lackey had filed a motion with the Jackson County Circuit Court requesting that the county's attorney, Mr. John Porter, should not serve as the attorney for the commission due to a conflict of interest, having served as the parks attorney and the county commissions attorney simultaneously. It was also stated in motions filed that Mr. Porter may be called as a witness in this case. Related story: http://arklite.blogspot.com/2010/04/jackson-county-park-jackson-county.html
UPDATE: The Jackson County Commission voted today, May 10, 2010, after a 30 minute Executive Session, to hire another attorney to represent them in the Park Board case. When asked if they were going to hire Mr. "Rocky" Watson of Dekalb County as their attorney in the case, Ms. Bias replied (paraphrased), "we do not have a contract with any attorney at this time."

Monday, May 3, 2010

Scottsboro City Council Work Session

Mr. Speers and Mr. Thomas were absent due to work.
1) Discussion concerning the sale of the old Scottsboro Police Station on John T. Reed Parkway. The question which will be answered next Monday, auction or sealed bid. 2) Discussion and update on zoning ordinance. Requirements of publishing the new zoning ordinance change in local news publications was discussed. 3) Discussion concerning selling of surplus property at the Street Department. 4) Fire Chief Chris White discussed purchase of Fire Truck. Cost will be approximately $500k. Cpt. Myers of the Fire Department discussed training orientation of City Councilman and Mayor at Fire College.
Commercial Development Authority Board, CDA, will have their first meeting after next Monday's City Council meeting.

The Issue of Implicit Support for the TVA

Will the Fed back the TVA in case of default? "Market expectations that the Federal Government would act to prevent a default, should that possibility ever arise, are just expectations and not necessarily a reality. Although the market views a TVA debt default as "highly unlikely," there is no absolute guarantee that the market view is infallible."