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Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange
Lowndes County, Georgia
We go to local governmental, business, and citizen meetings, take notes and videos, blog some of them, and connect a few dots.
Interests: Citizen dialog for transparent process.
Recent Activity
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Posted Apr 2, 2013 at On the LAKE Front
Here are videos of the February meeting of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Convention Center and Tourism Authority. We can guess they met again 27 March 2013, but there's nothing on their website or their facebook page to indicate that. Their Chair did say 27 March 2013 was the next meeting right at the end of this meeting. And their executive did promise the new website will have meeting times, list of board members, etc. They're spending money on security cameras and VCRs; hm, maybe they could use some of those cameras to record their own events? Maybe record other board and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2013 at On the LAKE Front
While Georgia failed to reform its antique Territorial Electric Service Act and toyed with a solar monopoly, New Jersey, far to the north with far less sun, finished installing a gigawatt (1,000 megawatts) of solar power. The rest of the U.S. installed 3.3 MW total, slightly higher than projections of 3.2 MW, but Georgia lagged behind. When will the legislature and the Public Service Commission, and perhaps more importantly, Georgia Power and Southern Company, stop stop wasting our money on that three-legged nuclear regulatory-capture boondoggle at Plant Vogtle and get on with solar in Georgia for jobs, for profit, and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2013 at On the LAKE Front
Moore's law continues to drive solar costs down and installations up. According to SEIA, U.S. Market Installs 3,300 Megawatts in 2012; Driven by Record Fourth Quarter, 2012 was a historic year for the U.S. solar industry. There were 3,313 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaic (PV) capacity installed throughout the year, which represents 76% growth over 2011's record deployment totals. The fourth quarter of 2012 was also the largest quarter on record as 1,300 MW came online, driven in part by unprecedented installation levels in the residential and utility markets. SEIA and GTM Research forecast that the market will continue to grow... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2013 at On the LAKE Front
The solar bill that's been talked about for weeks has finally appeared in the Georgia legislature: HB 657. It's better than I expected, because it's about rural solar generation and distribution. However, there is a catch: a "community solar provider" must be certified by the Public Service Commission, instead of just setting up in business as in most states, and the PSC could certify only one state-wide monopoly; note the summary at the front says "an independent community solar provider" as in only one. But the body of the bill is more circumspect and says "any". Perhaps if we get... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2013 at On the LAKE Front
Big Little River Paddle Race postponed on account of weather for one week until Saturday 29 30 March 2013. Sorry about that; please come next week! -jsq Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2013 at On the LAKE Front
A surprising number of questions were asked by Commissioners at yesterday morning's Work Session, yet still nobody asked about the well near one of the proposed rezonings. We had a microphone failure during the first few items; sound picks up as the Commissioners start asking questions on 5.b. REZ-2013-04. Because of the sound glitch you can't tell that for sure from the videos that nobody discussed SPLOST, but Gretchen was there from call to order to adjournment, and she didn't hear anything about SPLOST. Maybe they'll say something about it tonight at their 5:30 PM Regular Session, at which they... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2013 at On the LAKE Front
All over the news today: Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter on radio 105.9 this morning; Lowndes County Board of Commissioners and Valdosta City Council reach a SPLOST deal (VDT). The Lowndes County Board of Commissioners and the City of Valdosta reached an agreement Monday on how to divide the seventh cycle of the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, which both entities will push to appear for a second time on November ballots after its defeat in 2012. Last week, the city requested that State Rep. Amy Carter withdraw the bill that would have allowed Valdosta to put a MOST... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2013 at On the LAKE Front
More sinkholes in Florida in the same Floridan Aquifer that's under us, this time evacuating a church. Maybe sinkhole safety should be important here, too. WCTV carried an AP story today, Suspected Sinkhole Forces Church Move Pastor Rick Shuck told WBBH in Fort Myers on Monday the sinkhole has caused uneven floors, cracks in the walls and a hole in the ground so large that a landscaper fell into it. Shuck says they had to end Faith Community Church's Sunday service early because "it's just not safe anymore." He says some cracks in the walls are a half-inch wide and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2013 at On the LAKE Front
Groundbreaking for solar power to save Dublin High 40%, thus reducing teacher furloughs, financed by municipal bonds, made possible by cooperation among a wide range of government officials, private companies, and individuals: that was the groundbreaking story in Dublin, Laurens County, yesterday, videod by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE. Dublin City Schools are willing to try something new, and that's why they were groundbreaking, said Chuck Ledbetter, Superintendent, yesterday. He recognized members present of the Dublin City Council, the Laurens County Commission, the Dublin-Laurens Development Authority, and state representative Matt Hatchett, and Public Service Commissioner Bubba McDonald. Ledbetter's theme, Everybody worked... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2013 at On the LAKE Front
Yes, please put them on a leash. The Tree Commission told you planting them was a good thing, but apparently they didn't know, either. -jsq
OK, the LAKE meeting will be 7PM 29 January 2013 at Let's Eat Cafe on US 84 just west of I-75 in Valdosta. For me, see -jsq
We're planning on a LAKE meeting Tuesday evening. Is there some place to eat convenient to Naylor that would work for the Naylor Committee? -jsq
Good question. Do you have a link to the public notice about that CDBG? I couldn't find it in the online VDT public notices. -jsq
Georgia Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign probably contributed to Georgia Power's recent decision to shut down some coal plants. Now Sierra Club offers a petition to ask Georgia Power CEO Paul Bowers to go farther, and replace those coal plants with solar offshore wind power for jobs and health for Georgia. Dirty Coal is Out, Help Usher Clean Energy In! Georgia Power recently announced their plans to retire three of their oldest and dirtiest coal fired power plants. Now, we must send a clear message to Georgia Power's leadership that we want to keep Georgia Jobs by investing in homegrown... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2013 at On the LAKE Front
The Lowndes County Commission has deployed a clock! Where people can see it. Even the speaker in Citizens Wishing to Be Heard can see it! Congratulations to new Chairman Bill Slaughter and new Commissioners Demarcus Marshall and John Page. The clock above County Manager Joe Pritchard, Chairman Bill Slaughter, Commissioners Joyce Evans, John Page, Richard Raines, Demarcus Marshall, Crawford Powell. This is a welcome change from when former Chairman Ashley Paulk stopped Jessica Bryan Hughes at 4 minutes 39 seconds on 24 May 2011 and cut me off at 4 1/2 minutes on 28 June 2011, both times less than... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2013 at On the LAKE Front
Once a year busloads of people go to Atlanta from Lowndes County and Valdosta to lobby their legislators with small birds. It's curious we only hear about this from Valdosta, not Lowndes County. -jsq Bird Supper 2013 Tickets on Sale Now Posted Date: 1/3/2013 Sementha Mathews, Public Information Officer Phone: (229) 259-3548 E-mail: Tickets are on sale for the 2013 Bird Supper, scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, at the historic Georgia Railroad Depot, in Atlanta, beginning at 5 p.m. The tradition—over 50 years old—brings together hundreds of state officials and local business, professional and government personnel for a... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2013 at On the LAKE Front
Yet another connection between ALEC and fossil fuels, this time "clean coal". -jsq Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2012 at On the LAKE Front
Dear Who, that's why we allow anonymous comments on this blog: occasionally one provides useful information. Now riddle me this: why did the county leave the citizens to guess about Veolia and Advanced Disposal Services of Central Alabama, Inc.? -jsq
Jane, that's one of the questions Dr. Richard asked that wasn't answered: "Any development dollars that are generated are not going to help this area. Dr. Matthew Richard location There's already a convenience store right next door already gone out of business once; that's why I asked about the marketing survey. I don't think Dollar General is going to help that business at all here locally." -jsq
The Greater Lowndes Planning Commission made recommendations on cases involving buffering a car wash, sizing parking spaces, alcohol at a corner store, and a development inside the Moody exclusion zone, all at its 29 October 2012 Regular Session. Here's the agenda, and here's a video playlist, followed by a summary of the cases. Regular Session, Greater Lowndes Planning Commission (GLPC), Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE), Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 29 October 2012. Valdosta, Final action Thursday 8 Nov 2012 2. CU-2012-07 Stafford Properties 1609 Norman Drive, Valdosta Request for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP for... Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2012 at On the LAKE Front
The old store at the corner of GA 122 and Cat Creek Road was the subject of debate over alcohol at the Planning Commission's 29 October 2012 Regular Session. Here's a playlist. This was the rezoning item: 4. REZ-2012-16 Cook County Land Ventures SW corner of Georgia Highway 122 East and Cat Creek Road, Hahira Request to rezone ~2 acres from E-A (Estate Agriculture) to C-C (Crossroads Commercial) County Planner Jason Davenport said the owner wants commercial zoning for a store, since previous conditional use had expired, and there was concern about prohibiting alcohol, especially if a store was opened... Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2012 at On the LAKE Front
It's the usual content-free agenda tonight at the Industrial Authority, differing from last month only in the dates of the documents mentioned. More than a year ago, when Roy Copeland was first elected VLCIA Chair by the other board members, he told me he hoped to get the agendas and minutes published. He's been re-elected since then, and so far what we see is agendas that tell us nothing and no minutes. -jsq Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority Agenda Tuesday, November 20, 2012 5:30 p.m. Industrial Authority Conference Room 2110 N. Patterson Street General Business Call to Order Invocation Welcome Guests... Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2012 at On the LAKE Front
What is this Agenda 21 referred to by the anti-sustainability astroturf talking points movie shown at the Georgia statehouse? The real Agenda 21 is a typical U.N. set of do-good wishful thinking documents adopted at a U.N. conference in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. If you think it's been successful in actually implementing sustainability, you haven't paid attention this summer to the U.N. Rio+20 successor conference from activists actually interested in a sustainable economy. Such pro-sustainability activists generally bemoaned the lack of effective action in the intervening twenty years: the climate continues to warm as almost every nation continues to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2012 at On the LAKE Front
Hi "Guest". If you'll be willing to say who you are, I'll be happy to post your comment as a main blog post. Critics of the county's trash decision are willing to do that, so you could, too. -jsq