"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, September 27, 2012

Scottsboro City Council Meeting

Monday was a regular meeting of the Scottsboro City Council.
Tabled Issues
Appointment of Municipal Judge, Ass't Municipal Judge and Municipal Prosecutors.
Approved Issues
a) Street Department and job description change; b) RecCom job description change; c) Ridgedale and Woods Cove Roads were approved for improvements. d) Resolution approving Energy Conservation Project Bond Issue for City School System for approximately $6 million dollars. e) Laurel St. closing approved in the area of the Scottsboro Electric Power Board for customer appreciation Day on Oct 18, 2012.
Bid Awards, see Sep 17, 2012 work session report below for more info.
a) Garner Oil for fuel purchases; b) Jackson Oil Co. for oil & lubricant purchases; c) RecCom cleaning contract; d) pool chemicals for RecCom pool; e) RecCom Pool roll up shutters approved for purchase. Low bid was Wilson Garage Door of Huntsville, Al., bid-$15,500.
Board and Committee Vacancies, requests must be submitted to the City clerk no later than Friday, 4:30PM, Oct 12, 2012
a) Library Board, 1 vacancy; b) Museum Board, 3 vacancies.
Budget hearings will begin on Oct 8, 2012 after City Council meeting. 2nd meeting on Oct 10, 2012 at 6PM.
Please vote on Tuesday, Nov 6, 2012; do not support the Jackson County Local/Special Act which allows the governor to appoint elected officials if they cannot serve their full term. Titled Local Legislation No.1, Senate Bill 378. Link to the proposed local act:

Currently, a local act is in place which allows the Governor to appoint if there is less than a year left on the unfilled term or if the governmental entity does not arrange for a special election within a given time frame. The current law works fine, "it ain't broke, it does not need fix'n." 

The local legislative delegation and Republican Party minions in the county commission have arranged for this item to be placed on the Nov 6 election ballot using the excuse of election costs.

 The Republican Party is carrying forth a movement to insure poor and minority people are not represented in order to maintain power in various national, state and county offices.  The excuse placed forward in Jackson County Alabama by minions supporting the Republican Party's agenda is the cost of elections.

Governmental officials in Jackson County complain they cannot afford a Special Election but have gave pay increases to public and elected officials when many private citizens are suffering.

No one has a right to deny or remove citizens their voting rights due to the cost of an election. The right to vote has been bought and paid for by Airmen, Marines, Sailors and Soldiers, don't forget it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Jackson County Commission - Attempted Disenfranchisement of Voters

Monday Sep. 24, 2012 was a regular meeting of the Jackson County Commission.

Before I post the county commission agenda I'll comment on a local act which is to be scheduled for a vote in the Nov 6, 2012 election. The vote for this Local Act concerns a "Proposal to Repeal Law of Calling a Special Election to Fill a Vacancy," Senate Bill 378, Act #2012-197

It seems some of our local political leaders, including some in our local press, do not agree with our  right to elect political representatives. Some think elected representatives should be appointed if the representative cannot fill their full term of more than 1 year. There was an article in the Daily Sentinel on Sep. 18, 2012 about this issue. Unfortunately the article has not been added to the web edition. However, there is an Op Ed article which 'seems' to support this most un-American disenfranchisement of the voter. Link: http://thedailysentinel.com/opinion/article_ac395056-071a-11e2-b560-0019bb2963f4.html

A local act is in place which allows the Governor to appoint if there is less than a year left on the unfilled term or if the governmental entity does not arrange for a special election within a given time frame. The current law works fine, "it ain't broke, it does not need fix'n." Link to the proposed local act: http://arc-sos.state.al.us/PAC/SOSACPDF.001/A0009210.PDF

There is a source in Jackson County for this un-American activity and it appears to be the Republican Party and their hidden minions of support on the Jackson County Commission.

Monday, the Jackson County Commission voted the commissioners, elected officials and other public employees of the county to receive a 3% pay increase (Agenda Item A). Yet, some local elected officials wish to nullify citizen voting rights due to an excuse of expense? That reasoning is ridiculous and careless. This attempt is beyond our laws and rights which guarantee our right to vote.

Ladies and gentleman do not support this local act or any act which removes your right to vote. Many have died to preserve your right to vote. Using the excuse that we can't afford voting when politicians are being paid more than their worth is ridiculous and a slap in the face to our Constitution, liberty, freedom and our military who have sacrificed so much for our nations freedom and the voter.

For those elected officials, Democrat or Republican, who support this act - vote them out of office or do not vote for any official who supports the removal of your voting rights.

Commission Agenda

Note item S on the agenda, " ...Engineer's personnel decision." This item is not adequately described on the agenda and serves the purpose of hiding actions of the commission. Commissioner Jack Smith inquired as to the intent and purpose of this item. Mr. Smith abstained from voting on this item. It was after Mr Smith's inquiry the County Attorney spoke about the issue. The County Attorney disclosed it was to terminate the employment of an individual under the supervision of the County Engineer.
I inquired after the commission meeting as to the release of the name of the individual who was to be terminated. That disclosure was not provided and is reflective of the hidden agendas of the county commission. Apparently, some fail to recognize the  difference between a private company and a government entity bound by law to disclose their business and decisions.  The terminated employee was present and recorded the meeting.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Jackson County Commission

Sep. 20, 2012 work session meeting of the Jackson County Commission.

 Agenda Review: 1) Jackson County Park-  Discussion concerning restaurant equipment to be sold on govdeals.com; Mike Lanford, park employee, discussion concerning pay increase, $1.00 per hour. Job position to be created and announced for park secretary. Comment- I made inquiry as to inventory of park equipment. Items above $5000 inventory lists are maintained at the County Commission office. An inventory of property below the 5K limit is maintained at the county park. This inventory and accountability method is not a preferred method. Short comings: Was all Jackson County Park Equipment and property inventoried prior to the abandonment of the park board? Is there a periodic inventory of all property? By all appearances, the inventory of property within Jackson County is a historical short coming of this and past Jackson County Commissions. The lack of periodic inventories and reports to citizens are seriously lacking.  2) The Jackson County Tax Assesors Office is hiring under contract an ARC employee for 20 hours per week.  3) GASB 34 Accounting requirements will be changed and the software programs the county utilized will need to be updated. CSI Technology Outfitters of Mobile, Al. ( http://www.csioutfitters.com/Home.aspx )  will be updating the county's accounting systems.
Ms. Sandra Erickson, Jackson County Commission Administrator, discusses requirements of the new GASB 34 accounting system.

4) County Engineer Phillip Widner discussed the issues listed on the agenda plus reported on  a bridge on Co. Rd. 384 between Pisgah and Dutton which is to be repaired. A bridge status was discussed in Paint Rock Valley within the Francisco community which is in bad need of repair. However, there is a problem with repairing the bridge in that there is no access once the bridge is closed for repair. Another road problem was discussed concerning the maintenance of a private road. Apparently a private road leading to a barn was graveled with 8 loads of county gravel in 2009. The road was reported as not being in the county inventory. Comment: The 8 loads of gravel cost the citizens approximately $5,000.00
County Engineer, Philip Widner, discusses road & bridge issues. Mr Phillip Widner informed a Paint Rock citizen that a road previously graveled by Jackson County was not in the county road inventory and the county would not be able to maintain his private road. Commission Chair stated she would review commission records to determine if the road had been taken into the county inventory. Mr. Widner indicated he had searched his records and there was no indications that the road is a public road.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Jackson County Economic Development Board Meeting

Today was a meeting of the Jackson County Industrial Development Board and the Economic Development Authority.
The 2013 fiscal year EDA budget was approved for $458,000. Up from $434,000 from the previous fiscal years budget. A 4% employee raise was approved, 3% cost of living increase and 1% merit increase. Marketing cost increases and legal fees have been added to the 2013 budget. 
Next meeting will be Oct. 30, 2012 at 3:30 PM
IDB Agenda
EDA Agenda


Scottsboro City Council Meeting

   Monday Sep 17, 2012was a Work Session  of the Scottsboro City Council.
Council Member Thermon Bell serves as Council President in the absence of Matthew Hodges.

Comments: 1) Bids- Garner Oil received a recommendation from the Bid Committee as the bidder which meet all requirements and was a local company. Their bid was .o81 cents above cost per gallon of fuel. Other Bid Committee recommendations: Oil & Lubricants products was awarded to Jackson Oil Co.; Hester Cleaning was recommended for the Rec-Com cleaning bid at $85.00; pool chemicals-Anders Pool Co. of Huntsville, Al.. 2) Discussion- Resolutions concerning Alabama Department of Transportation Program funds: a) traffic signal; b) Porter Rd and Woods Cove Rd.; c) Ridgedale Rd. 3) Discussion and  review of Street Department Organizational Changes. 4) Discussion- name change of Jefferson Dr. to Heroes Dr. (Comments: Questions concerning costs and affects on private business in the area were not discussed. However, it was stated that Maples did not agree with the move and would cost them considerable funds. I wonder if folks will feel good about the heroes name if it equated to laying off workers or a decrease in workers benefits so that some folks will feel good about a name.)
Reports: E. Laurel St. will be closed on Oct. 18 beginning at 7AM for Scottsboro Electric Power Board customer appreciation.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Plutonium Mox Fuel Use in TVA's Nuclear Reactors? - Plutonium MOX Fuel Info

"The commercialization of nuclear weapons Plutonium as a fuel for commercial nuclear reactors is compounded insanity." Garry Morgan
Huntsville Times Op-Ed about using Plutonium MOX Fuel at TVA's Browns Ferry Nuclear Reactors
Mixed Oxide Plutonium Fuel (MOX) is composed of uranium dioxide and plutonium dioxide powders which are mixed inside of fuel pellets. Because plutonium releases more radioactivity than uranium, this mixed fuel is more difficult to control inside of reactors and requires more safeguards than traditional uranium reactor fuel. In 2008 MOX fuel rods being tested by Duke Energy started warping and Duke withdrew from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s testing agreement.
The additional risks posed by MOX plutonium fuel, along with renewed global skepticism about nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, have resulted in the world-wide decline of the MOX industry. Japan has cancelled all of its orders for MOX plutonium fuel and the UK has recently closed its MOX plant in Sellafield due to a lack of customers. With no willing customers, the Department of Energy is pressuring the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to use MOX plutonium fuel. Some of the reactors that TVA is considering for MOX have the same Mark I exploding design that failed in Fukushima. http://www.ananuclear.org/Issues/PlutoniumFuelMOX/tabid/75/Default.aspx

Fuel Rod Assembly Model  (approximately 1/7th scale-2ft. 2in.)
MOX or not? Gov't likes weapons fuel, public doesn't [The Decatur Daily, Ala.] Sept. 14--The Energy Department believes it is safe to use weapons-grade fuel at Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant, but not many residents attending a public hearing Thursday agreed. http://www.equities.com/news/headline-story?dt=2012-09-14&val=479809&cat=energy

You Tube-Calhoun College, Near Browns Ferry, Alabama, DOE-NEPA Plutonium MOX Hearing

Chattanooga meeting on MOX fuel draws a crowd - More than 100 people crowded a room at the Chattanooga Convention Center on Tuesday to talk about using a largely untried fuel in local nuclear reactors to help keep plutonium out of the hands of terrorists. http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2012/sep/12/chattanooga-meeting-on-mox-fuel-draws-a-crowd/

Why is Plutonium MOX Fuel a bad idea?
--Plutonium fuel weakens the reactor pressure vessel due to embrittlement of the metal in the primary containment as a result of a high neutron flux. http://www.nirs.org/factsheets/basicmoxinfo.htm and  http://www-pub.iaea.org/books/iaeabooks/1264/Neutron-Irradiation-Embrittlement-of-Reactor-Pressure-Vessel-Steels
--At Cabri France, testing demonstrated Plutonium MOX Fuel has a higher failure potential than Uranium Oxide fuel and there is a potential for fuel rod rupture at comparable burn up. http://www.princeton.edu/sgs/publications/sgs/pdf/9_1lyman.pdf
--The use of Plutonium as a commercial nuclear reactor fuel increases the risk of theft and diversion of nuclear materials.  The threat of terrorism and nuclear weapons proliferation is greatly increased.  http://www.nci.org/b/berlin.htm & http://www.psr.org/nuclear-bailout/resources/nuclear-power-in-france-setting.pdf
--Plutonium reactor fuel can be utilized to fabricate a nuclear weapon. http://www.fas.org/rlg/980826-pu.htm 
--Utilization of Plutonium as a commercial nuclear reactor fuel serves one purpose, the financial benefit of the commercial nuclear power industry. Tax payers are paying for the construction of the Plutonium-MOX fuel facilities to benefit the nuclear power industry. Total end costs are estimated at 16 billion dollars for the Savanah River Site (SRS) MOX Plant.  President Obama promised $85 billion for “Complex Modernization” in late 2010. http://www.ananuclear.org/Issues/NuclearWeapons/tabid/68/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/587/Default.aspx
-- The use of Plutonium fuel at Browns Ferry, Alabama or Sequoya, Tennessee compounds the insanity of utilizing this dangerous high risk nuclear fuel. Both reactors are old, and in the case of Browns Ferry the reactors are the defective GE Mark 1 reactors which are under increased scrutiny by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The nuclear reactors at Fukushima which exploded and “melted down” are the GE Mark 1 series of reactors.
--Weapons Grade Plutonium Mixed Oxide Fuel is high risk and has failed in previous testing at civilian nuclear power reactors.  http://www.ucsusa.org/news/press_release/nuclear-fuel-test-failure0140.html
--The use of ex-warhead Plutonium imposes a significant increased health risk to the public if an accident occurs. http://www.princeton.edu/sgs/publications/sgs/pdf/9_1lyman.pdf

The Solution as National Policy: "Two separate initiatives should be developed for dealing with military and civilian Plutonium, to proceed on separate tracks but eventually be brought together into a unified international regime. On the military track, the U.S. should move assertively to strike a deal with the Russians to pursue vitrification in a joint venture underwritten by the United States. The U.S. should make clear that no U.S. funds will be made available for using plutonium in reactors or for reprocessing spent fuel. Instead, a reciprocal approach to joint construction, operation and inspection of vitrification plants in Russia and the U.S. should be proposed." http://www.nci.org/b/berlin.htm  (NCI-Nuclear Control Institute)
There is a solution which is recommended for all Plutonium waste materials as indicated in the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) regarding Plutonium weapons material and waste. Glass vitrification of all Plutonium weapons materials and wastes as indicated in appendix G, page G-1 of the NNSA’s July 2012 Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. http:www.tva.com/environment/reports/mixed_oxide/vol2/AppendixG.pdf

Short video version of above Plutonium MOX Hearing

Information from the NNSA on Plutonium and Plutonium MOX 
Plutonium Disposition: Weapons-grade plutonium and highly enriched uranium (HEU) are the critical ingredients for making a nuclear weapon. With the end of the Cold War, hundreds of tons of these materials were determined to be surplus to U.S. and Russian defense needs. http://www.nnsa.energy.gov/aboutus/ourprograms/nonproliferation/programoffices/fissilematerialsdisposition/plutoniumdispositio
Plutonium Inventory: 34 tons are reported as surplus weapons materials. Total inventory may be found at http://www.nnsa.energy.gov/mediaroom/pressreleases/puinventory62912
The 34 tons:
The Shaw Areva MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility (SHAMS)


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Act of War, Terrorists Murder U.S. Ambassador and Staff - al Qaeda group responsible

Why was there no military assigned to protect the Embassy or the Ambassador?
Administration warned: "Clinton warned about embassy security problems." http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/49522   

"The Obama administration was warned in a GAO report that was released to the U.S. Congress, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and concerned agencies and organizations." http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d10290t.pdf

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton must answer for this failure or resign. A pro al Qaeda group appears to be responsible for the terrorist attacks which resulted in the death of our Ambassador and 3 security personnel. It has been reported that 10 Libyan Police officials were killed in the attack while guarding the consulate.

 "A pro-al Qaeda group, Omar Abdul Rahman Brigades,  responsible for a previous armed assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is the chief suspect in Tuesday's attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya, sources tracking militant Islamist groups in eastern Libya say."
"According to our sources, the attack was the work of roughly 20 militants, prepared for a military assault; it is rare that an RPG7 is present at a peaceful protest," Benotman said.
"According to our sources, the attack against the consulate had two waves. The first attack led to U.S. officials being evacuated from the consulate by Libyan security forces, only for the second wave to be launched against U.S. officials after they were kept in a secure location."

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Scottsboro City Council Meeting

Monday, Sep. 10, 2012 the Scottsboro City Council held 3 meetings, a work session, regular meeting and Solid Waste Authority Meeting.

Presentation of Election Certificates for Mayor Melton Potter and Council Member Elect Brent Miller.

Work Session Agenda

Citizen Presentation - Complaint Concerning the Goose Pond Colony Park Board

City Council regular meeting synopsis.
1)Approval for the closure of Micah Way Saturday, Sep. 15, 2012 from 7AM to 4PM for the Scottsboro High School Cross Country Track Meet from Snodgrass Rd. to the north side entry of the Wal-Mart Shopping Center. 2) 113 public service radios were declared excess. 3) Mr. Thomas Crumbley and Mr. William Parks were reappointed to the Scottsboro Water Sewer & Gas Board. 4) The Alabama Department of Conservation awarded a  $166,900 grant for improvement of the Scottsboro City Park. The city's share of the grant will be $42,000.  New parking spots will be added including handicap access areas. The City Council approved the grant and city's cost share. 5) Approval was given for the purchase of a new Ladder Fire Truck in the amount of $999,878. A 2.3% loan was approved for a 10 year period. $175,000 annual "fire tax" will insure the loan repayment. 
Mayors Report: Workers Comp Savings, article from the Daily Sentinel http://thedailysentinel.com/news/article_180ca0fe-fce3-11e1-8f74-0019bb2963f4.html  
Solid Waste Authority Meeting, article from the Daily Sentinel http://thedailysentinel.com/news/article_ed41ad88-fce2-11e1-927a-0019bb2963f4.html

Jackson County Commission - Jackson County Legislative Delegation

Monday was a regular meeting of the Jackson County Commission.


Commissioner Clemmons Letter to the Editor in the Daily Sentinel concerning the purchase of  a building for the Jackson County Legislative Delegation. http://thedailysentinel.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/article_e7987544-fc22-11e1-ae71-001a4bcf887a.html

Mr. Clemmons brings forward important issues as to the disclosures of commitments and spending of public funds under the control of the Jackson County Legislative Delegation.

By all appearances, the members of the Legislative Delegation do not understand the concept of Open Government or the law relating to Open Meetings in Alabama. TVA in lieu of tax funds, public funds, are dispersed in secret without any process of open deliberations or decision making concerning the funds dispositions. A lack of openness has historically been a long standing problem, changes in the local law concerning the TVA in lieu of tax has resulted in in a "muddy water" situation.

Secrecy is a problem concerning the process of open government relating to discretionary fund disbursements of the Legislative Delegation.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Valley of the Tennessee - "The whole TVA is yours."


Photo by Alfred T. Palmer, June 1942: Tightening a nut on a guide vane operating seromotor in TVA's hydroelectric plant, Watts Bar Dam, Tennessee. Located 530 miles above the mouth of the Tennessee River, the dam has an authorized power installation of 90,000 kw., which can be increased to a possible ultimate of 150,000 kw. The reservoir at the dam adds 370,000 acre-feet of water to controlled storage on the Tennessee River system.

If you have a few minutes please watch this 1944 "War Department" film, the purpose of the Tennessee Valley Authority - TVA for the people, all of the people, for the future of the valley. "Understanding nature and harnessing its power for the service of humanity." To conserve for our future, not destroy it with pollution, radioactive nuclear trash and unbearable debt.

The TVA utilized the natural renewable resources of sustainable energy to build our valley's future. Enjoy this 29 minute 1944 film by the "War Department."

Friday, September 7, 2012

Jackson County Commission Work Session - No Funding for Big Bass Classic?

Commissioner Jack Smith, photo by Garry Morgan.
Commissioner Smith stated today in reply to the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce's request for additional funds for the Big Bass Splash Tournament, "I don't see them doing nothing, what have they done for us?" 
 Commission Chairperson Sadie Bias stated the Chamber of Commerce had requested $15,000 for funding. The Commission approved $10,000. The Chamber had apparently spent $4000.00 for a previous tournament according to the Chairperson.
The discussion today over the Bass Tournament funding request was not supportive of the Chamber of Commerce's request. Bass Tournaments bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars to the local economy. Fishing tourism provides millions of dollars to local businesses.
In other related business: John Wodall's request for appointment to the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourism Association Board was discussed. The discussion involved appointing Carl Barnes to the Mountain Lakes Board.
Commission Agenda, click on image for an expanded view.
In other business: 1) Bob Spencer of the Jackson County Fire Protection  Association requested a line of credit for the Association from the commissioners for purchases until a purchase order may be drawn up and paid. 2) Discussion concerning John Porter, County Attorney, contract for 3 years. 3) Sheriff Chuck Phillips discusses fuel money shortage. Sheriff Phillips said he will need another $50,000 for fuel expenses, see video below. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Jackson County Commission, Emergency Meeting

On September 4, 2012 the Jackson County Commission held an Emergency Meeting to approve a  Public Works Contract involving improvements of County Road 33 near the rear entrance of the scrapped Bellefonte Nuclear Plant. According to the County Engineer, Phillip Widner, TVA will be paying for the project. The commission must approve the action at this time so that TVA may reimburse the county for the improvements this month. The Federal Fiscal Year Calender ends this month.

The 2 members of the commission present voted yes to approve Phillip Widner, County Engineer, to enter into a contract with persons and entities to insure the paving gets accomplished. Commissioners Clemons and Smith were absent.