"A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives."


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Scottsboro City Council Meeting, Regular Session for November 25, 2013 - Landfill Receives State Award - K9 Officer Mato Retires

Best Landfill in the State - Employees of Scottsboro's Solid Waste Department receives the State of Alabama Department of Environmental Management's Award for their plan, innovation, maintenance and meeting environmental standards of the Martintown Landfill. Mayor Potter and Solid Waste Committee members Brent Miller and Gary Stewart presented the award. Scottsboro's Waste Management Plan http://www.cityofscottsboro.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=85&Itemid=171
K9 Mato, SPD
Loyal Officer and Friend - Scottsboro Police Departments K-9 Mato Retired. FaceBook Picture, caption reads:Alta-Tollhaus German Shepherd Dogs  "Keeping watch of his cruiser is SCOTTSBORO POLICE DEPARTMENT, AL-K9 Vest Recipient#48, "Mato" On May 28, 2007 the Scottsboro Police Department enhanced their capabilities to serve the Scottsboro citizens by welcoming Mato to the force. Mato was born in December of 2005, in Czechoslovakia. Mato is a German Shepherd and has received special training to detect the odors of narcotics. He has also been trained for tracking people and police patrol. Mato was formally trained by the Huntsville Police Department's K-9 training program and has been nationally certified as a dual purpose police dog. Sergeant Shavers joined the Scottsboro Police Department on Feb 1997. He became the K-9 handler in October 2012. The duo attended a 13 week training course at the Huntsville Police Department .The Scottsboro Police Department is looking forward to utilizing Mato and Sergeant Shavers to assist with patrol, rescue, tracking, and drug enforcement. Sergeant Shavers and Mato do routine school searches in Scottsboro and if requested [in] Jackson County."

Scottsboro Police Chief, Ralph Dawe said Monday that Mato would be used as a search and rescue dog by a local non-profit organization. The City Council voted to declare Mato as excess property.  Mato should receive a proper retirement ceremony. K9 working dogs are valuable assets to any police department.

                                City Council Video

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Jackson County Commission, Regular Session, November 25, 2013

 Jackson County Courthouse Square 1915, original photo owned by Garry Morgan.
 Jackson County Courthouse Square, 2013.Photo by G. Morgan

Thursday, November 21, 2013

WAFF-TV Investigative Report on Browns Ferry Relating to the Radioactive Emissions and Health Hazards Surrounding the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant in Alabama

Update: Dec 7. 2013 - The videos have been removed from the WAFF site. The WAFF link below remains active. TVA's 2012 radiation report is active at this link -  TVA's latest radiological report (pdf) It is interesting to note that current radiation levels are reported on charts to be lower than pre-operational levels. TVA attributes this to a lack of nuclear weapons testing. However, there have been two(2) nuclear reactor accidents which have contributed massive amounts of radiation contamination worldwide. This fact and subsequent radiation measurements as a result of the nuclear accidents are omitted. For this reason the report from the TVA is suspect. TVA radiological measurements are from 2012; unfortunately the TVA and the NRC fails to report their findings to the public in a timely fashion.

WAFF Investigates: Health concerns at Browns Ferry
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - By Margo Gray 
A local citizens' advocacy group is calling out the nuclear industry and taking on Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant.
 The members of BREDL/BEST/MATRR appreciate WAFF and Ms. Gray for the opportunity to inform the public about nuclear power health risks and specifically about our concerns with the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant  - Garry Morgan, Project Director-BEST/MATRR Community Radiation Monitoring Project. 

WAFF Investigates: Health concerns at Browns Ferry
WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL  (deactivated by source - WAFF)

Featured in the video is a nuclear industry mouthpiece - "The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) is an organization that exists to debunk what they call junk science, and Doctor Josh Bloom says that's exactly what this report is. "They are using selective data and they are picking out the numbers that supports their case and they are ignoring the others and trying to bury them," said Bloom." One of several ad hominem attacks.  Update- May 12, 2015: American Council on Science & Health has been identified as an anti-environmental group submitting bogus reports to support various corporate interests including the nuclear industry. http://www.polluterwatch.com/anti-environmental-archives

The data in the  Radioactive Emissions and Health Hazards Surrounding Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant in Alabama is from the National Cancer Institute and the Center for Disease Control, and compiled by an Epidemiologist.

ACSH is a member of CASE, a Nuclear Energy Institute, NEI, entity, fully funded by the NEI.
ACSH falsely claims that nuclear energy is sustainable, clean energy in this handout - http://www.acsh.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/20080911_nuclear_energyfinal.pdf 

"The ACSH is known as an "industry-friendly" group according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)...2013, Mother Jones magazine received leaked internal financial documents from ACSH, which revealed that 58% of the organization's donations in the period from July 1, 2012, to December 20, 2012 came from corporations and large private foundations, many of which themselves had close ties to industries with financial stakes in the specific issues on which ACSH issues industry-favorable opinions."[32]   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Council_on_Science_and_Health

Source Watch's file on ACSH - Alar, Death Panels and  Michael Crichton   http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=American_Council_on_Science_and_Health

BEST/MATRR Video of Interview with cancer maps as posted below.

TVA Spokesman Jim Hopson on Browns Ferry WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL  (deactivated by source WAFF)
Note - quote in the Jim Hopson video near the end: "..according to the World Health Organization there have been no deaths from nuclear radiation." Department of Labor's EEOICP statistics dispute that claim - http://www.dol.gov/owcp/energy/regs/compliance/weeklystats.htm
Near 100,000 workers costing tax payers near $10 billion dollars due to nuclear energy industry workers sickness and death. This does not include all nuclear facilities. These statistics have only been compiled since 2001 upon passage of the law authorizing compensation for nuclear energy workers. Prior to 2001 data/statistics on nuclear energy worker related sickness and deaths were classified.

Concerning Mr. Hopson's ad hominem fallacy: He says, we have made "unsubstantiated claims" against workers. Our report does not in any way form or fashion make any unsubstantiated claims against the rank and file workers at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant. Our group has expressed our thanks to the TVA Board and the NRC for the hard work of TVA's rank and file workers. The reliability of TVA's Management Culture relating to the management of TVA's nuclear program is an entirely different matter. Hopson also wrongfully stated in the WAFF interview, "They (referring to our report) are saying the dedicated Browns Ferry workers are baby killers..." This ridiculousness is typical TVA deceit, these type of attacks have been seen on other occasions and are reflections on the TVA's deceitful corporate culture.

The TVA has demonstrated management negligence in their nuclear power operations which jeopardizes the health and welfare of the valley's citizens. This is documented in BEST/MATRR's report, reference Appendix 4 - "Request to the NRC to Suspend the Operating License of the Browns Ferry Nuclear Reactors" by the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, BREDL. BEST/MATRR is part of the BREDL group. The report may be viewed on our web site at http://www.matrr.org

As in this case, TVA's public relations personnel and TVA's Management do not always describe situations accurately and are deceitful in their presentations concerning the risks (including health risks) and cost of nuclear power. Mr. Hopson is the one making the unsubstantiated claim. The report speaks for itself.

TVA nor the State of Alabama will agree with the report. If they did they would have to increase the warning zones concerning nuclear power to 100 miles and install radiation sensors at downwind locations up to 100 miles. No governmental or non-profit organizations interviewed which attacked our report explained the high cancer incidence and mortality rates. All had financial connections to the nuclear industry while denying facts about nuclear power hazards and risks.
BREDL/BEST/MATRR states radiation may be a contributing factor to high cancer rates and suggested the government perform further testing. They can not prove that an inaccurate statement but yet they wage an aggressive series of false attacks.

Director, Alabama Office of Radiation Control WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL  (deactivated by source WAFF)

The State of Alabama does not test downwind environs more than 10 miles away from Browns Ferry. The majority of our test data reflected background radiation readings. However, during rain events downwind from the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant the radiation counts per minute were greatly increased as reflected in our report.

If the state of Alabama has consistent real time monitoring surrounding Browns Ferry, why are they not publishing the data on a daily basis or displaying the counter display via a web site?

It is important to point out that the State of Alabama Governor sits on a board which supports nuclear power. The Retirement System of Alabama also has input to this board. What is this board? The Southern States Nuclear Compact, also known as the Southern States Energy Board, Codified into Alabama Law under Conservation and Natural Resources - http://www.sseb.org/files/legislation-alabama.pdf   also  http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/alcode/9#sthash.4P4Sv5E2.dpuf 

The Southern States Energy Board (SSEB), of which Alabama Governor Robert Bentley is the Chairperson, supports nuclear power as a means to further development in the South and Alabama. http://www.sseb.org/reference/policy-positions/    The SSEB also calls the EPA's efforts to improve our water and air quality a "Train Wreck."  “Train Wreck”-SSEB Resolution

The SSEB receives advice and support from many lobbyists and corporations including most of the U.S. nuclear energy industry and the nuclear energy industry lobbyist, the NEI. http://www.sseb.org/members/industry-partnership/

The bottom line -  The State of Alabama via the SSEB is in bed with the nuclear power industry. The health and welfare of the public takes a back seat to the financial incentives provided to the state and its politicians by the nuclear power industry and supporting organizations.

Neither the Alabama State Department of Health, the TVA or nuclear power's mouth piece - ACSH could explain why the cancer rate for north Alabama is high. But yet, these groups emphatically state nuclear power is not a cause, ignoring facts presented in federal CDC and NCI statistical reports. Our data and studies demonstrate the nuclear industry in the Tennessee River Valley appears to be a contributing factor.

                ALABAMA CANCER MAPS - National Cancer Institute
The second highest killer other than cigarette smoking for lung cancer is radon. Get you homes checked for radon contamination, it is dangerously high in this area. http://www.adph.org/cancercontrol/

Alabama Brain Cancer Incidence Rates
Ionizing radiation is the only established environmental cause of brain tumors (Preston-Martin 1996). Occupational exposure to radiation has been consistently linked to adult brain tumors (Alexander and DiMarco 2002), and has also been linked to childhood brain tumors in the offspring of people exposed to radiation at work. One study looking at geographic and time-related patterns of brain tumors in children found that rates of the disease significantly decreased in downwind communities when nuclear power plants ceased their operations (Mangano et al. 2002).  More information: http://www.healthandenvironment.org/brain_cancer


Ionizing Radiation is cumulative. All ionizing radiation has the potential to cause cellular mutations.
“There is no safe level of exposure and there is no dose of (ionizing) radiation so low that the risk of a malignancy is zero”--Dr. Karl Morgan, the father of Health Physics"

The nuclear power industry and government organizations such as the TVA and Department of Energy like to boast that there have been no deaths as a result of civilian nuclear power in the U.S. Facts found in statistical analysis of U.S. cancer incidence and death rates point toward another conclusion - nuclear power is killing people. http://www.acereport.org/downloads/Download_02_attachment_02.pdf

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Scottsboro City Council Work Session, November 18, 2013

Scottsboro Mayor Melton Potter (photo by G. Morgan)

Jackson County Commission Work Session Monday November 18, 2013 - Hot Issues: Non -Partisan Elections & Lodging Tax

No more Democrat and Republican Party control over Jackson County Elections?

Lodging Tax - Taxation without representation?


VIDEO of Work Session less above videos. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

TVA Quarterly Meeting, November 14, 2013 at Oxford, Ms.

COAL - At today’s Board of Directors’ meeting in Oxford, MS, TVA announced that it will be retiring 3,308 MWs of coal capacity from 3 plants. -  See more at: http://blog.cleanenergy.org/2013/11/14/big-coal-retirements-announced-at-tva-board-of-directors-meeting/#sthash.M5DUzR97.dpuf
The Tennessee Valley Authority's board has voted to close six coal-powered units in Alabama and replace two others in Kentucky with a natural gas plant.  http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20131115/business/711159750/
     FINANCES -  "The Tennessee Valley Authority ended fiscal 2013 with net income of $271 million on $11 billion in operating revenues despite a decline in sales, while record levels of low-cost hydroelectric generation helped offset higher fuel costs. TVA reported solid financial results in 2013 despite lower sales and revenues,” TVA President Bill Johnson said in the utility's annual report filed today." http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2013/nov/18/tva-sales-drop-income-rises-fiscal-2013/?breakingnews
BELLEFONTE - TVA President Bill Johnson told TVA directors Thursday a new assessment projects that finishing just one of the two reactors would cost $7.4 billion to $8.7 billion. The earlier estimate was $4.9 billion...The numbers and the recent decline in TVA power sales mean there's no need to finish Bellefonte anytime soon. Johnson said a proposal from former TVA Chairman Dennis Bottorff and Haney to help the utility finance the work doesn't add up and won't be done in time to qualify for needed federal tax credits..."We'd either have to borrow a lot more money or raise rates and either of those, we think, would make it hard to continue our basic mission," Johnson said.   http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2013/nov/15/bellefonte-costs-rise-again/
Zombie plant costs ratepayers, evidence of poor utility management.  http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2013/oct/27/bellefonte-at-a-glance/

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Scottsboro City Council, Duel Session, Nov. 4, 2013

Monday, November 4, 2013 was a duel work Session and Regular Session. The city rewrite of the Wrecker Service Ordinance was the big topic of discussion. A regular session was conducted to approve minutes from past meetings; the Wrecker Service Ordinance was not approved during the regular session.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Budget Woes and Local Laws, Jackson County Commission Work Session - Nov. 4, 2013

Work Session of the Jackson County Commission at the Jackson County Courthouse, Scottsboro, Alabama on Monday November 4, 2013. Local laws and budget woes. County suffers due to state control of county business; a holdover from the post Civil War era of Jim Crow Alabama politics.

A dysfunctional state government relishing the destructive era of Jim Crow politics has resulted in not only the longest, most complex state constitution in the world but it inhibits local control of county government. This coupled with previous non-efficient, unprofessional county commissioners has created the current budget problems for Jackson County.

Three part video of the work session.

VIDEO-Part 1

Video Part 2

Video Part 3