"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."


Friday, January 27, 2012

IS TVA HEADED FOR THE BIG CRASH? - Debt and the Bellefonte Financing Scheme Creates Bankruptcy Risk

Will the Bellefonte financing scheme bring down the TVA?  (ARTICLE UPDATED: Jan 30, 2012)

Business Insider lists the TVA at #6 in their list at high risk for bankruptcy. The house of cards nearing a tumble?  http://www.businessinsider.com/the-next-17-big-companies-that-are-at-risk-of-bankruptcy-2012-1#tennessee-valley-authority-6  Business Insider rates the  "Financial distress (failure) probability of the TVA at 11.82%."

"One other way TVA has looked to raise money is by selling off facilities, and leasing them back. Thomas (John Thomas CFO, TVA) argues that’s not as cheap as using bonds, and he says customers ultimately bear the added expense." http://www.keyumc.org/2011/11/tva-could-replace-30b-debt-limit-with-coverage-ratio/ 

A TVA spokesman has stated said he could not provide details about John Sevier Combined Cycle Generation LLC because of a nondisclosure agreement. Chief Financial Officer John Thomas said of the LLC, "it is a group made up of large, institutional investment companies." John Sevier Combined Cycle Generation LLC is a corporation registered in Delaware. The sale of the combined cycle gas plant was complete in September of 2011 in secret. There was no mention of such a transaction at the November 2011 TVA Board meeting in Starkville Ms. (Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclay's Capital and Morgan Stanley were the joint book-running managers for the sale and other TVA bond sales.) http://www.ubs.wallst.com/ubs/mkt_story.asp?docKey=1329-L1E8CAE2G-1&first=0

 In part from KnoxvilleBiz.com- TVA plans more lease purchase deals; who will pay? Ratepayers-"...the financing cost for TVA for the $1 billion amounts to about 5 percent, with TVA paying $10 million a year for 30 years, for a total of $300 million, for which it would immediately get the use of the $1 billion."

Specific details of the sale are secret due to the signing of a non-disclosure agreement. Details such as the terms of the contract and what determines a default are secret. This is a slap in the face to accountable, open government and what appears to be a violation of the Federal Sunshine Act.

The Federal Sunshine Act states: "§ 552b. Open meetings
(a)For purposes of this section—
(1)the term “agency” means any agency, as defined in section 552(e) [1] of this title, headed by a collegial body composed of two or more individual members, a majority of whom are appointed to such position by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, and any subdivision thereof authorized to act on behalf of the agency..."  Note: "any subdivision thereof authorized to act on behalf of the agency..." Currently there is no committee meeting of the TVA open to the public although various committees act in behalf of the TVA..

More lease projects planned costing the ratepayers- "TVA also plans to do a lease-purchase deal with its Watts Bar Unit 2 nuclear reactor and Thomas said that will probably occur late this year, which also is when the project is expected to be completed. TVA plans to sell the John Sevier plant plus the Watts Bar reactor to help fund completion of the $4.9 billion Bellefonte nuclear reactor in Northern Alabama." http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2012/jan/22/tva-plans-more-lease-purchase-deals-like-john/

From The Chattanooga Times Fee Press,  Dec 1, 2011 article by Dave Flessner concerning TVA's lease purchase plans. "S&P credit analyst Theodore Chapman said the risk on TVA's $1.2 billion of outstanding long-term leases on buildings and generation facilities is even greater than TVA bonds.
"We believe that the debt service associated with these leases, which are paid as operating expenses of TVA's electric system, is less likely to receive extraordinary financial support from the federal government in periods of distress compared to debt issued directly by TVA and that is denominated in TVA's name as government-sponsored enterprise debt," S&P said in its analysis."  http://timesfreepress.com/news/2011/dec/01/debt-crisis-casts-doubt-on-tvas-long-term/

Bonds in this deal not protected by implicit federal government support: From "Market Watch-Wall Street Journal, Jan 10, 2012: Fitch Ratings has assigned a rating of 'AA' to the John Sevier Combined Cycle Generation LLC (LLC or the Lessor) lease note obligations... The notes are secured by basic lease rent payments to be made by theTennessee Valley Authority (TVA) whose obligation to make rent payments is absolute and unconditional. Noteholders are also granted a first mortgage interest in the assets under the lease. The rating of the LLC notes reflects TVA's absolute and unconditional obligation to make basic rent payments. However, Fitch does not believe that the implicit federal government support enjoyed by the global power bonds, (rated 'AAA', with a Negative Outlook by Fitch) extends to TVA's lease rent obligations. "  http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fitch-rates-john-sevier-combined-cycle-generation-llc-lease-note-obligations-aa-outlook-stable-2012-01-10

Browns Ferry NRC Inspection, Part 2 - Safety and Work Planning Problems Cited

"“We did identify safety culture problems, both with the workforce and with management,” said [NRC's] John Jandovitz, the team leader for the second group of on-ground inspectors who spent weeks watching maintenance and other work at the plant.'"

"“Work planning is weak, and people here told us, ‘Yeah, we know. We just live with it.’ That’s not appropriate,” Jandovitz said. "   Chattanooga Times Free Press article by Pam Sohn:  http://timesfreepress.com/news/2012/jan/27/inspectors-cite-inadequate-work-planning-browns-fe/
Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant near Athens, Alabama has 3 GE Mark 1 series of nuclear reactors.

A defective residual heat removal (rhr) system flow valve was found defective in October 2010. However, the defective component had been defective for more than a year and the management at Browns Ferry did not correct the problem.

NRC Inspectors, pictured above, delivered part 2 yesterday of a 3 part out briefing. Part 1 was conducted on October 3, 2011 blog link: http://arklite.blogspot.com/2011/10/nrc-inspection-red-findings-tva-browns.html  Link to all Browns Ferry related items: http://arklite.blogspot.com/search/label/TVA%20Browns%20Ferry

TVA Executives and managers were given an opportunity to respond to the NRC's presentation. Keith Polson (seated second from left), Vice President of TVA Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant stated: "We concur with the NRC's findings. We strive for excellence, our goal is to be the best nuclear plant operating in the United States."

"Preston Swafford (Seated far left at table, picture above.), TVA's chief nuclear officer, told the audience that TVA has been learning more through the inspection process, but has known that its maintenance programs and processes have been deficient for some time. Swafford said they have been working hard in the past 30 months or so to bring in new personnel, and when necessary, to provide plant managers with contract workers to bolster the workforce."It has been an ugly period as we've been identifying issues," Swafford said. "But you can't get well unless you put these issues on the table and address them."" Huntsville Times article by Brian Lawson- http://blog.al.com/breaking/2012/01/nrc_offers_tough_assessment_of.html

I met with Mr. Polson (photo above) after the meeting to discuss management communications at the facility.  He told me he had been at the plant for 2 years and it has been a challenging task to overcome negative attitudes and behaviors related to the safety culture. He stated he meets with different sections each week and there is a daily "morning report" which is reviewed by Browns Ferry Managers to identify and resolve any problems.

Members of BREDL and BEST/MATRR  (BREDL- Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, BEST/MATRR-Bellefonte Efficiency and Sustainability Team, Mothers Against Tennessee River Radiation http://www.matrr.org ) spoke to the NRC and the TVA to express their concerns about the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant. Ms. Jackie Posie, Ms. Gretel Johnston, Mr. Stewart Horn and Mr. Garry Morgan discussed their concerns relative to plant safety, deficiencies of design and the lack of a secondary containment structure above the cooling pool level.

There are approximately 1 million people who reside within a 50 mile radius of the Browns Ferry Nuclear reactors. Browns Ferry has over 3.5 million pounds of highly radioactive spent fuel at the facility. The large majority of the radioactive spent fuel is contained within the fuel pools of which there is no required reinforced secondary containment above the cooling pool level, a serious design defect.

TVA 2012 Emergency Information Calendar link: Browns Ferry - TVA

Electric Light and Power web magazine listing-

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Scottsboro Parks and Recreation Board Meeting and Audit Review, January 17, 2012, by George Anderson

The Goose Pond Colony/Plantation Pointe Board Meeting and Audit Review by George Anderson

All Goose Pond Colony Board members, except Mike Baggett-prior engagement conflict, were present;  Jim Olyniec presided.

 The audit for 2011 was presented by the Mr. James C.Smith, lead auditor from TUCKER, SMITH & ASSOCIATES P.C., the regular auditing firm for the board. Mr. Smith said that their audit was 'unqualified' or did not disclose any items they would have concluded that were not in compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Procedures.  In other words, they gave the Goose Pond operations and management an 'attaboy' and said they were doing great.  Mr. Smith also praised the Board for their decision to curtail Plantation's ops and opined the decision should show big savings in 2012 since the course will only be open about 35% of the days the Colony  course is open.

Overall the 2011 audit showed:
Revenues decreased $42,946 (-1.4%) from 2010; Expenses decreased $150,614 (-5.2%) from2010;  $153,034 PROFIT (Increase in Net Assets) - resulting from lower expenses as compared to last year's $13,295 LOSS.

Ending Net Assets for 2011 increased 14.4% to $1,217,087 from 2010's $1,064,053

$29,690 LOSS for the Snack Bar at the Colony.  Board leased the Goose Pond Colony course Snack Bar to Stevarino's starting 1/1/2011.
TOTAL ASSETS on balance sheet decreased $195,930 (-3.2%) from 2010's $6,088,971 due mostly to recognition of depreciation of capital assets.
Cash available decreased $32,786 from 2010

80 golf carts purchased; 70 for the Colony, 10 for Plantation Pointe.

Copies of the audit are available to be purchased at the office.

Profits and Losses (Losses) in parenthesis) for the Goose Pond Colony/Plantation Pointe complex for 2011 as shown in the audit.
Colony Golf Course               116,188
Colony Pro Shop                    (28,935)
Colony Snack Bar                   (29,690)
       Total                              57,563             

Plantation Golf Course            (88,480)
Plantation Pro Shop                 (14,106)
Plantation Snack Bar                  5,928
      Total                                (96,658) 

Swimming Pool                     (26,261)
Marina                                 272,259
Bait & Tackle                         13,011
Convention Center                (14,795)
Colony Club House                 (11,201)
Plantation Club House            (19,823)
Patio Restaurant                     (2,694)
Cottages                               304,953
Campground                          179,607
General and Administrative  (333,296)
Maintenance                        (169,711)

GRAND TOTAL                     $153,034

The Plantation Pointe course course may open either 2/17 or 3/17.  If 3/17/2012 it will be open for 10 days straight because Spring Fling is being played at the Colony. Thereafter - Fri, Sat, Sun - 3 days per week!!
The Board is going forward with their plan to move into the [Plantation Pointe] Clubhouse and close the Pro Shop building. Interior modifications are needed, but final details are still being discussed. The board approved $3000 to purchase gravel for the new cart path layout.
The first tournament is 2/7/2012;  the current plan is to hold 8-9 tournaments each year.  They pay no lease fees till May or June, then $500 per month + $1 per vehicle launching a boat and parking at the Bait and Tackle Shop.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Jackson County Commission & Scottsboro City Council Report

                Jackson County Commission
Monday Jan. 23, 2012 was a regular meeting of the Jackson County Commission, the agenda was approved.

The consent agenda consisted of 2 items: a) $20,334.88 was approved for payment to Meadowbrook Insurance for Audit Adjustment for Workers Coimpensation fund. b) $460.00 was approved for the Coosa Valley Youth Services for juvenile detention for the month of December 2011.

Personnel Board appointments: Carolyn Carter from Hollytree was selected by Commissioner Clemmons; Jenni Carter from Scottsboro was selected Commissioner Stone and David Kennamer was selected by Commissioner Allen. (My comments: It is a disservice for citizens not to be informed of the background and qualifications of Personnel Board appointees. It demonstrates arrogance, laziness and closed government on the part of commissioners. Qualifications should be discussed and based on applications announced and selected in a process of open deliberations. The current process is not in the best interests of the citizens nor representative of Open Government in our Republic.)

Deborah Peek was selected to fill the vacant Motor Vehicle Technician position-level 1; effective January 30, 2012.

Contract was approved for OPEB Actuarial evaluations.  More information concerning the terms: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GASB_45

Application for SAVE program was approved. More information on the SAVE program: "The SAVE Program is an inter-governmental initiative designed to aid benefit-granting agencies in determining an applicant's immigration status, and thereby ensure that only entitled applicants receive federal, state, or local public benefits and licenses. The Program is an information service for benefit-issuing agencies, institutions, licensing bureaus, and other governmental entities." http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=1721c2ec0c7c8110VgnVCM1000004718190aRCRD&vgnextchannel=1721c2ec0c7c8110VgnVCM1000004718190aRCRD

Advertisement of a Vehicle Mechanics position was approved for Solid Waste. The purchase of a vehicle for the Solid Waste Department superintendent was also approved.

                    Scottsboro City Council
Last night was a joint Work Session and Regular City Council Meeting.  

Work Session- More taxes in the form of licensing fees.
In the work session there was 1 item discussed. Business License Code adjustment. a) Alcohol sales: The Alcohol Beverage license for the city may be adjusted to reflect a fee increase of up to 50% of the Alabama alcohol Beverage License Fee. b) More business license fees. The City of Scottsboro may increase the city business license fees through an increase in the issuance fee. (My comment: The City of Scottsboro is out of touch with the realities of struggling small businesses in Scottsboro. Additional fees equate to hidden taxes which will be passed on to citizens thus increasing the cost of goods. This also increases inflation and decreases the value of the dollar. Our illustrious and distinguished city council would not be reelected by raising taxes outright,  so they think up of ways to increase their revenue to pay for the city's massive debt by license fee increases, just another hidden tax.)

UPDATE: Jan 26, 2012 - From city Attorney:  The ABC Board rule modification recommended will actually result in a cut of $50 per year in license fees for businesses under that particular schedule. The issuance fee apect of the recommended changes will result in a possible $2 per year increase in 2013.

Regular Session
2 upcoming vacancies on Scottsboro's Personnel Board announced. The terms of Kelly Goodowen and Norma Sebring will expire in February. Interested citizens should submit applications no later than 4PM, 17 Feb., 2012 to the Scottsboro City Clerk.

The terms of Arlene Grebe, Elbert Beard and Jim Reid on the Tree Commission expire in February. Interested citizens should submit applications no later than 4PM, 17 Feb., 2012 to the Scottsboro City Clerk.

An additional item was added to the agenda per request of Mr. Smith. This involved a discussion of "Electronic Citations Software (E-Citations)" utilized by the city courts and police to coordinate citations and fines issuance between the city police-courts and Department of Public Safety in Montgomery. The E-citations system is being upgraded; the cost of the upgrades will be $4,000.00 which will be paid from the "courts and jail" fund. This includes system maintainance and installation costs involving the software.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

TVA Financing Schemes, Memories of Enron

(Updated, Jan 19, 2012) How will the TVA finance Bellefonte (TVA photo to the left)? A question which has now been answered, the formation of a Delaware registered corporation(s), its name: "John Sevier Combined Cycle Generation LLC plans to issue $900 million of 30-year secured bonds in the U.S. debt markets on Tuesday, according to a person familiar with the issue." http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20120110-706518.html  A shill corporation of the TVA? But that ain't all folks, Watts Barr Nuclear LLC will be next involving near 3 billion dollars.

John Sevier Combined Cycle Generation LLC (photo by TVA). TVA sells the Combined Cycle Gas plant, then leases it back and we the people and businesses pay for the TVA Boards lack of control and financial management. Not only do we pay for its construction cost and financing we will pay for the $1 billion dollars in revenue to be paid to the newly formed LLC. (Update: per terms of the new Construction Management contract, the TVA will pay an additional $188 million to the new owners for Construction Management.)

The "ponzi scheme" explained: "A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to its investors from their own money or the money paid by subsequent investors, rather than from any actual profit earned by the individual or organization running the operation." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponzi_scheme

TVA, electricity for all, by any means and regardless of the cost. Historical TVA logo to the right. The John Sevier Combined Cycle Generation LLC is a "shill corporation" formed for no other reason than to circumvent a Congressional mandated debt limit of $30 billion. TVA's "actual debt value" is near $28 billion dollars.

 "John Sevier Combined Cycle Generation LLC plans to issue $900 million of 30-year secured bonds in the U.S. debt markets..." another link- http://www.ubs.wallst.com/ubs/mkt_story.asp?docKey=1329-L1E8CAE2G-1&first=0
The parties to the sale of John Sevier Combined Cycle Gas Generation Facility. (Click on image for an expanded view.)

A sale by the TVA, then a leaseback to the TVA by the  John Sevier Combined Cycle Generation LLC,  registered in Delaware on Jan 3, 2012. It is reported the new LLC is to receive 1 billion dollars in revenue proceeds for their troubles. We the ratepayers will foot the bill. The TVA reports the decision to sell the plant was made at the executive level with the TVA Board delegating the authority for the sale and leaseback of the power generation asset at the August 2011 board meeting. The sale and leaseback deal was accomplished secretively in September 2011. A review of the August 2011 meeting video reveals no specific authority stated in the public meeting regarding a delegation of selling power generation assets then leasing them back. It was discussed but not specifically authorized in the public meeting.

UPDATE Feb. 25, 2012 : A review of the Aug. 18, 2011 TVA Board Meeting Minutes, aquired via a Sierra Club Freedom of Information Act request, reveals an authorization for $4,400,000,000 in "alternative financing agreements." Expenditures for leases, clean air, new power generation facilities...Authorization to sale and lease back. The terms and specifics were never discussed in the open meeting.

                              TVA's Ponzi Scheme - a reminder of ENRON?

Report Links: Market Watch report. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fitch-rates-john-sevier-combined-cycle-generation-llc-lease-note-obligations-aa-outlook-stable-2012-01-10   
Alcrastore Research: http://www.alacrastore.com/research/s-and-p-credit-research-Summary_John_Sevier_Combined_Cycle_Generation_LLC_Tennessee_Tennessee_Valley_Authority_Wholesale_Electric-929099

Standards & Poors listed abstract concerning this transaction:
Abstract: Standard&Poor's Ratings Services assigned its 'AA-' rating and stable outlook to John Sevier Combined Cycle Generation LLC (John Sevier LLC), Tenn.'s series 2012 secured notes, issued for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA; AA+/Negative). The rating is aligned with TVA's stand-alone credit profile of 'aa-' because the John Sevier LLC lease is based on TVA's general creditworthiness. Applying our government-related entity (GRE) criteria, we believe that the debt service associated with the lease, along with other existing lease-leaseback arrangements that are unconditionally paid as operating expenses of TVA's electric system, is potentially less likely to receive extraordinary financial support from the federal government in periods of distress compared to debt issued directly by TVA and that is denominated in [U.S. notes.]
Brief Excerpt: RESEARCH Ratings Definitions PDF Summary: John Sevier Combined Cycle Generation LLC, Tennessee Tennessee Valley Authority; Wholesale Electric Publication date: 10-Jan-2012 Primary Credit Analyst: Theodore Chapman, Dallas (1) 214-871-1401;...
Report Type: Summary
Ticker: 3015A
Issuer: Tennessee Vy Auth
Sector: Global Issuers, Public Finance, Structured Finance
Country: United States

What is to prevent the sale and leaseback of all of TVA's assets? I wonder if the shill corporation scheme could be used to reduce the Federal Deficit? Lets form U.S. Military Bases LLC, sell bonds worth $100 trillion dollars. The Fed could do that for every federal owned facility. We the people would no longer be the owners, the "neu corporate entity" would be the owners.  The bureaucrats and politicians may raise and spend more money in the scam 'till the cows come home with governmental sale leaseback schemes such as this. Schemes such as this may only occur when irresponsible government officials show no concern about debt or Open Government; the TVA board should be ashamed of themselves for their abject neglect of the principles of open government.

The TVA's "shill" corporation, the John Sevier Combined Generation LLC, is an excuse to increase the debt of the TVA over and beyond what the law allows. 

 Who are the officers of this newly formed Delaware corporation, past TVA Board of Directors?

The TVA is not a corporation which may operate beyond the authority of the laws governing the governmental entity's operations. Allowing its corporate executives to sell and lease property without the direct approval of the board of directors appears to violate the intent of the TVA Act concerning the sale of its generation assets.

Next shill corporation, Watts Bar Nuclear, LLC. Instead of a $900 million scheme it will be near a $3 billion scheme costing the ratepayers. Where and when will the debt circumvention schemes stop?

Why is the TVA acting like ENRON?  The Congressional mandated $30 billion debt limit is the answer. TVA can't afford to build Bellefonte due to its $28 billion actual debt value. It must create a schemes to circumvent law for the enrichment of the multinational nuclear corporations and their political puppets. Who will pay for the Bellefonte nuclear sinkhole and the enrichment of politicians and the multinational corporations - we the citizens and businesses of the TVA area will pay the additional debt load with ever rising electrical rates.

Monday, January 9, 2012

LICENSE INSPECTOR TERMINATED, Jackson County Commission Meeting

The hot topic at this afternoon's County Commission meeting was the termination of the temporary Jackson County License Inspector, 25-year-old Bradley Tyler Smith of Higdon, the grandson of Commissioner Jack Smith. The younger Mr. Smith was hired  to fill the license inspector position on a temporary basis. The motion to agenda item -I- to terminate was placed forward by Commissioner Allen, Commissioner Stone seconded the motion. A long one sided dissertation singing praises about the license inspector emanated from Ms. Bias.

WAFF-TV was present to video the commission meeting. (When the video becomes available I will post within.) During the long dissertation Ms. Bias took the opportunity to "bad mouth" WAFF, Ch 48's accurate reporting of the situation. (previous WAFF link: of the story with video:  http://www.waff.com/story/16407093/jackson-co-may-have-full-time-license-inspector-with-criminal-record )

No one else commented except Commissioner Smith and a Smith family member about the issue. Chairperson Bias would not allow a request from another citizen to comment who did not agree with Ms. Bias's position. The vote on the issue was 3 votes to terminate, 1 vote no. The lone no vote came from Commissioner Jack Smith, the grandfather of the license inspector.  The license inspector was terminated.
Bradley Tyler Smith was present in this afternoons commission meeting (pictured above). The County Commission Chairperson Sadie Bias made a long speech about what a "good job" Mr. Smith had performed while in the license inspector position. However, she did not mention he had been charged with 2nd Degree Theft and 3rd Degree Robbery Criminal Case 2010-0544 and 0545 which involved drugs, the reason he is enrolled in the drug court. Mr. Smith has not completed the drug court program but was hired for this position by Chairperson Bias. Ms. Bias was aware of the pending disposition of Mr. Smith in Drug Court and his entry of a guilty plea to the charges against him, she went ahead and hired him knowing by his own admission he was a convicted felon and he had not completed the drug court program.

The License Inspector position requires a bond to be approved by the Governor of Alabama. Mr.Smith (former license inspector Smith) was not bonded until some time after his employment as a license inspector. The Governor had not approved the bond as required by state law. A license inspector in Alabama is a law enforcement position in regards to licensing and permitting of businesses, mobile homes and issues citations, initiates summons as a Sheriff  of an Alabama County would issue legal documents. Other counties require such inspectors to attend and successfully complete the Alabama Peace Officers Course.

Commission Chairperson Sadie Bias allowed Commissioner Jack Smith to make very negative and unsubstantiated allegations as a verbal attack pointed at Commissioner Jack Allen due to his request to place the issue of the Temporary License Inspector's termination on the agenda.
 Ms. Bias also allowed a female relative of the Smith's  to make unsubstantiated negative comments pointed at Commissioner Allen. The Chairperson refused to control the very negative allegations and the attacks being issued. Ms. Bias created an intimidating, threatening, hostile atmosphere of negativity.
Commissioner Jack Allen tolerated a structured attack pointed at him orchestrated by Chairperson Bias, Commissioner Smith and Smith family members. It was reported the attack was planned in the Chairperson's office prior to the commission meeting. Mr. Allen replied he had been informed by many Jackson County residents they did not support nor think it was proper that a felon, the grandson of a commissioner, was selected as the license inspector.

Since Ms. Bias allowed a citizen to speak concerning Commissioner Allen I asked to be allowed to speak. My request was: "Madame Chairperson since you are allowing comment from a citizen during this session I am requesting to speak on the issue." Ms. Bias replied, "I will not recognize you, you are out of order, you may not speak"

During last Thursday's work session I requested from Chairperson Bias a document which she provided to each member of the press, all members of the press present were female. I was the only male member of the press present. I informed Ms. Bias of my position concerning a member of the press as a blogger. Ms. Bias is aware of my blog site and its postings. She refused to produce the documents requested. Mr. Jack Allen produced the documents requested.

Taking into consideration Chairperson Bias's comments and actions today, and previous occasions,  in the decision making process during her term of office there is evidence the current Chairperson is creating a hostile work site climate which is discriminatory in nature, specifically pointed at males. During an early meeting with Ms. Bias, after her election, I was alone with her in her office. She said to me, "Ohh, you smell good," she hugged me and then said, "mmm." That was power assertion behavior, typical of those persons who practice sexual discrimination in positions of power. Power assertion conduct of males in a position of power is unacceptable pointed toward females and this discriminatory activity is likewise unacceptable conduct presented by females in positions of power directed at males.

Previous postings concerning the license inspector position on this blog:  http://arklite.blogspot.com/search/label/license%20inspector

Today's Commission Agenda
The other significant issue related to the License Inspector is item -C- on the agenda, the advertising of the license inspector position. It was pointed out by Mr. Clemmons that the advertising of jobs issue was decided in 2006 to advertise in and out of the county personnel system. However, the personnel policy was not updated related to the 2006 change.

This current commissioners changed the personnel policy, removing the recommended point system, early on during the current commission's term of office.

Commissioner Clemmons moved for -C- to be tabled, a second was received and it was tabled. 

"White Hat Leadership" saved the day yesterday and the commission did not realize it.

 More on "White Hat Leadership:" http://whitehatleadership.com/how-to-become-a-white-hat-leader/

Commissioner Clemmons' vote was correct yesterday. It saved further embarrassment to the citizens of Jackson County and corrected a wrongful action. This writer says thank you.

I have not agreed with many of Mr. Clemmons' political actions, but I have the utmost respect for his business sense and success along with his business leadership abilities.

January 10, 2011 WAFF-TV, Ch. 48 Video

WAFF Link:  http://www.waff.com/story/16491855/jackson-county-commision-votes-to-terminate-license-inspector

January 10, 2011,  The Daily Sentinel- http://thedailysentinel.com/news/article_ad97e588-3be2-11e1-8cd6-001871e3ce6c.html "Smith Fired - Discussion got a little contentious during Monday's regular Jackson County Commission meeting over a motion to terminate the current county license inspector."

My thoughts concerning this latest update and the 6PM WAFF-TV, Ch 48  interview of Mr. Tyler Smith this evening.

Commission Chairperson Sadie Bias and Commissioner Jack Smith refuse to accept responsibility for their actions and error. Instead they take the course of blaming others. A very sad state of affairs.

Sadie Bias and Jack Smith, this mess is your fault, problems and wrongful actions you created concerning the license inspector. The three commissioners vote to terminate Mr. Tyler Smith's employment (Tyler Smith is the grandson of Commissioner Jack Smith) is correcting your wrongful actions.

To make matters worse, the former license inspector followed in the two errant commissioners steps today in an interview on the 6PM evening news on WAFF Ch 48. In the interview shown Mr. Tyler Smith placed blame on politics and the commissioners who terminated him. Saying in reference to Commissioner Clemmons, "he threw me under the bus."

Mr. Tyler Smith failed to take responsibility for his personal actions relating to the theft and robbery. An individual who wishes to make amends for his criminal acts must take responsibility for his actions. No where in the 6PM interview shown did Mr. Tyler Smith display any sign of remorse or an indication to make amends for his crimes. Today in the interview he blamed politics and other people for this current situation. Conveniently failing to mention that he is a convicted felon and that is the reason for his termination.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Jackson County Commission, Commissioner Allen Stands Up For What is Right - County License Inspector and Probate Judge Issue

Today was a work session of the Jackson County Commission. Several important topics were discussed.

Prior to the agenda, Chairperson Bias directed the County Administrator to read a letter from her to the public concerning Probate Judge Hambrick's pay. The following is the letter concerning the issue. The Letter from the Commission Chairperson was also supported by a letter by the County Attorney addressed to the Commission Chairperson. (Ms. Bias refused to produce a copy of the letter upon request after adjournment. She provided all other members of the press present with the letter. I requested the documents from the Chairperson pro-tem, Mr.Jack Allen. Mr. Allen provided a copy of the documents posted below.) Click on image for an expanded view.

Concerning this letter (my comments in red): In my opinion it is double talk to justify an action. Examples: Attorney General's (AG) opinions are used as references. What is not stated is the fact not one of the  AG opinions pertain to a Probate Judge or the removal of a Judges pay. AG opinion # 2007-029, which is utilized as an authority to take the judges pay says, "the sheriff must correct the administrative error regarding longevity payments by making the six percent supernumerary contribution to the county general fund based on the total amount of longevity payments received." An AG's opinion is not an authority to withhold or remove pay. AG opinion 2002-216 deals with a county treasurer and states, "The office of county treasurer is not included in the list of county officials entitled to receive cost-of-living raises pursuant to the Omnibus Salary Bill for county officials." The probate judge is not a county treasurer.

The letter also states, "the constitution provides generally that the salary of public officials shall not be increased or decreased during their term of office." That is not what the Alabama Constitution says, quote: "nor shall the legislature or any county of the state in any manner or by any means decrease, or authorize the decrease of, the salary, fees or other compensation of any such officer, during the term for which he is elected or appointed." There are no generalities to the statement. The supreme law of the state FORBIDS the decrease of an elected or appointed officials pay in "any manner or any means." That includes any reason by the commission. AG opinions do not circumvent in any way form or fashion the Constitution of the state; nor does a Commission chairperson circumvent the Constitution of the state. The key to this is the statement in the Constitution "in any manner or by any means decrease or authorize the decrease." There are no ifs, buts or "generalities," the statement is final and may only be ruled upon by a Court of the State, not a county commissioner or the authority of the commission. It is significant in the county's justification they use the words "public official" instead of an elected official. There is a difference as stated in Alabama's Constitution between a classified public official and an elected official.

Another interesting comment in the letter. Quote, "...the issue of the overpayment of the Probate Judge's salary based upon the application of the local act applicable to the Jackson County Probate Judge to the Omnibus Pay Bill was not the subject of the finding and therefore was not specifically addressed." In the previous paragraph the Omnibus Pay Bill and the local law was the reason given for the Judge's reduction and garnishment in pay. This is double talk in the attempts to justify a violation of the state's constitution in reference to an elected officials pay.

It was the county commission which authorized and paid the probate judges pay at the previous level until this year. The judge had nothing to do with the receipt of his salary. The county commission in this case is serving as a defacto judicial court ruling on the validity of  a constitutional issue in which they have no authority to make such a ruling. Not only do they decrease the judges pay in violation of the Alabama Constitution, (They conveniently left out the several pay increases received by all officials, including the probate judge.) they now come forward and institute a garnishment action of the judges pay without any authority of law or order of any court.

1) A prescription discount program was presented by Mr. Ron Howard of Welldyne, Coast2Coast Pharmacy discounts. WHNT-TV of Huntsville, Al. covered a previous presentation in Limestone County. http://www.whnt.com/news/morganandlimestone/whnt-limestone-county-offers-new-prescription-drug-discount-card-20111004,0,6755361.story 2) Several issues were covered concerning the Public Works Department by Mr. Phillip Widner, County Engineer. 3) The Personnel Policy needs more work and updates before being approved. Leave without pay is one of the areas which must be looked at and changed. 4) Chairperson Bias stated the commission job advertisement resolution for the County License Inspector position within the county personnel system only would be rescinded.  A new resolution is to be submitted before the commission at Monday's meeting to advertise the position within the county personnel system and to the general public. 5) The License Inspector official vehicle is broken down. The current inspector is currently utilizing his personal vehicle. However, there is no money to reimburse the license inspector for mileage. A discussion ensued to allow Ms. Erickson, County Administrator to make payments to cover mileage reimbursement. 6) Commissioner Allen requested an item be placed on the agenda for Monday's meeting to terminate the current temporary license inspector. Chairperson Bias stated she did not agree with Mr. Allen's request. Mr. Allen replied it did not matter if she agreed or not, it is the proper procedure in accordance with the commission agenda rules to place an item on the agenda of the regular commission meeting to be brought forward in the work session for inclusion on the following regular session. All blog articles concerning the license inspector issue: http://arklite.blogspot.com/search/label/license%20inspector  7) A discussion ensued concerning tax money and funds available for capital improvements as a result of a request from Scottsboro's City Board of Education Superintendent Dr. Judy Berry.

Mr. Clemmons asked the press not to quote him concerning his comments about Dr. Berry's request. His comment refering to me was , "I'm sure Morgan will misquote me."

The Chairperson and Commissioner "Little Napoleon" Clemmons (usage rights acquired)
 Little Napoleon says to the Chairperson, "I'll tell the personnel director the licence inspector don't need no stink'n bond signed by the gubnor. We sure don't want no quotes, especially by that miz quot'n Morgan."

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Bellefonte, A Continuing Saga of Abuse, Neglect and Bad Government

        $8-10 billion dollars the cost of one nuclear reactor.
Vultures await the final disposition of Bellefonte. It seems as if the vultures know death is in the air at this zombie reactor.

Local reports indicate layoffs abound for the contractors at Bellefonte as the TVA runs short on money. The cash strapped TVA apparently is transferring funds to Watts Bar from Bellefonte in the attempt to complete that troubled reactor up river in Tennessee. One nuclear reactor costs between $8-10 billion dollars. With cost overruns it will be more.
Bellefonte Unit 1 reactor tubines. Note the heavy corrosion present.
Laid off Union contractors report severe corrosion of metal parts and a general state of ill repair of the stripped, reactor at Bellefonte. Pipe fitters, electricians and carpenters report serious degraded conditions at Bellefonte. The nuclear plant's quality control lapsed during the period of the cancelled construction permit where unskilled laborers literally ripped the guts from the nuclear reactor. There have also been reactor containment retaining tendons which have broken due to corrosion.

An antiquated nuclear construction permit which was reinstated by the NRC without one vote of approval from the NRC-1 vote disapproved and 3 votes jointly approved/disapproved. That breach of nuclear safety law landed the NRC and the TVA with their cadre of lobbyists from the Nuclear Energy Institute, NEI, in the Washington D.C. Federal Court of Appeals, where we await the decision of the court.

THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY IS THE WATCHDOG OVER THE NRC. It has been discovered the NEI, the nuclear industry lobby, has staff working at the NRC's new reactor licensing division. Nuclear Energy Institute, the nuclear industry's lobby, prepares policy, trains and participates in nuclear planing; including safety and security planning and new plant licensing. Reference: http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/search.cfm?q=Mr.+Russell+Bell+NEI&s=+

Power struggle in the NRC: http://timesfreepress.com/news/2011/dec/19/power-struggle-racks-nuclear-regulatory-agency/ Note the picture of the Bellefonte unit 1 turbine cover and the heavy corrosion present in the picture depicted at the Times Free Press link.

Local politicians and the Chamber of Commerce clamor to acquire the money from additional tax revenue and TVA-in-lieu-of-taxes. Failing to consider unsafe conditions at the stripped Bellefonte nuclear plant site. The local politicians are more concerned about their bureaucratic existence and how much of your money they may spend rather than be concerned about public safety and a dangerous nuclear power plant within 6 miles of downtown Scottsboro.

Fukushima Chronicles, The Saga Continues, Another Installment

TEPCO and the IAEA continue with their deceptions. Mr. Arnie Gunderson, nuclear engineer and former nuclear industry senior vice president continues with Fairewinds Associates exposes on the Fukushima, Japan nuclear disaster.

TEPCO Believes Mission Accomplished & Regulators Allow Radioactive Dumping in Tokyo Bay from Fairewinds Energy Education on Vimeo.

Could the Fukushima Nuclear Reactors experiance a China Syndrome? Nuclear Engineer Arnie Gunderson provides updates on the seriousness of the situation and the true threat.

Fukushima - Could it Have a China Syndrome? from Fairewinds Energy Education on Vimeo.

A professional video of Marco Kaltofen's presentation to the American Public Health Association.

New Video of Scientist Kaltofen Presenting to American Public Health Association from Fairewinds Energy Education on Vimeo.
Marco Kaltofen Slide Presentation to APHA  http://fairewinds.com/content/marco-kaltofen-presentation-apha

Recent Items in the News Regarding the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster.

"WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- An estimated 14,000 excess U.S. deaths may be
linked to the radioactive fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster in
Japan, two researchers say." http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2011/12/29/US-excess-deaths-linked-to-Fukushima/UPI-87991325205290/#ixzz1i2qLZu1C

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information
(SPEEDI)--the government computer system that projects the dispersal of
radioactive substances--was designed to pinpoint which areas should be
evacuated after a nuclear accident. However, the government initially
withheld SPEEDI's projections after the Fukushima nuclear crisis erupted,
claiming that releasing the data "would cause unnecessary panic."" http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T111229004169.htm

"Fukushima Daiichi, Units 2 & 3, Aged Deterioration" http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima-np/images/handouts_111228_03-e.pdf

Seals with damaged flippers and hair loss 'are being killed by radiation from Fukushima plant', biologists warn. Seals washed up with hair loss and bleeding lesions. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2079317/Seals-damaged-flippers-hair-loss-killed-radiation-Fukushima-plant-biologists-warn.html#ixzz1hqArQlH9Seals

"Public health fallout from Japanese quake"

Workers decontaminate around an elementary school in the town of Katsurao, Japan, near the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima.
Workers decontaminate around an elementary school in the town of Katsurao, Japan, near the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima.
Photo credit: Reuters/Kyodo Kyodo
"A “culture of coverup” and inadequate cleanup efforts have combined to leave Japanese people exposed to “unconscionable” health risks nine months after last year’s meltdown of nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant, health experts say. " (Canadian Medical Association Journal)  http://www.cmaj.ca/site/earlyreleases/21dec11_public-health-fallout-from-japanese-quake.xhtml 

"Japanese officials in Tokyo have documented elevated levels of cesium — a radioactive material with a half-life of 30 years that can cause leukemia and other cancers — more than 200 kilometres away from the plant, equal to the levels in the 20 kilometre exclusion zone, says Robert Gould, another member of the board of directors for Physicians for Social Responsibility. "

Earthquakes are continuing:  "TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.0 jolted a wide area in eastern and northeastern Japan on Sunday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, issuing no tsunami warning." http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20120101p2g00m0dm039000c.html