Thursday, April 30, 2009

And you thought your wait in the ER was bad!

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,518461,00.html

CDC Swine Flu Update and Info.

http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!

CORRECTION: Yesterday, in the course of commenting on the T&G coverage Wednesday of developments relating to the airport at Monday's Lilliput City Council meeting, I stated that the reporter (it turns out it was Emily Goodson) did not report when the contract with the St. Marys Airport Authority expires. She did indeed report, at the end of the fourth paragraph, that the contract expires at the end of May of this year. My apologies. I'll read more carefully in the future. Amazingly, I actually did go back and check before I wrote that - and missed it a second time!

Camden County Libertarian Party meeting.

The next meeting of the Camden County Libertarian Party will be held Saturday May 16, at 10 AM at the Silver Star Steakhouse. The business meeting will last about an hour. Everyone is invited to stay for lunch at their own expense to discuss future plans on an informal basis. If you have any questions, or items you would like to see on the agenda, please communicate with me. Anne Orr Timothy Orr anneorr@mindspring.com EarthLink Revolves Around You. Note: While the author of Camden Commentary can relate to some Libertarian positions, particularly as relates to personal liberties and minimal government, I am a conservative who tends to vote Republican. I published this announcement as a public bulletin board service, not as a personal endorsement of the Libertarian Party.

This just in....

Reuter's is now reporting that Chrysler will, in fact, file Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Added at 1701 HRS: http://money.cnn.com/2009/04/30/news/companies/chrysler_bankruptcy/index.htm?postversion=2009043009

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Latest on the airport front.

Per the T&G hard copy coverage, I'm sorry I missed last Monday's Lilliput City Council performance. It seems that Hase, Trader, Deloughey, and Weaver voted to request that the Georgia State Ethics Commission issue a ruling on Council Greg E.F. Bird's repeated conflict of interest votes on matters relating to the airport. It's about time! The same four also voted not to renew the management contract with the St. Marys Airport Authority until such time as their pending lawsuit against the city is resolved or withdrawn. Y'all will recall that I predicted that move some months ago. The T&G reporter failed to report WHEN the management contract expires.

You might want to stock up on Gatorade, chicken soup, Acetaminophen, Loperimide (generic Immodium) for diarrhea and Emetrol for vomiting.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/04/29/swine.flu/index.html

Newest member of Camden Board of Assessors speaks out on mayors' request for veto of property valuation freeze.

http://www.tribune-georgian.com/articles/2009/04/29/opinion/letters/02letter4.29.txt More on the same subject: http://www.tribune-georgian.com/articles/2009/04/29/opinion/letters/05letter4.29.txt

T&G gets cleaned up version of the vile and almost certainly 100% scurrilous accusations which are being lodged against Sheriff Gregory on TOPIX.

http://www.tribune-georgian.com/articles/2009/04/29/opinion/letters/06letter4.29.txt This just in at 1720 HRS. Rick Rogers has promised to post the current payroll records for all CCSO employees on his blog NLT 2000 HRS tonight. http://www.schoolpolice.blogspot.com/

JDA board narrows director search to three.

http://www.tribune-georgian.com/articles/2009/04/29/news/top_stories/1topstory4.29.txt I'm encouraged by the fact that they are not considering any of the local applicants. Most were just tossing in their resumes in a proverbial hail Mary pass. The one local in a tangential current occupation had nowhere near the qualifications of at least a dozen from elsewhere. It looks like the first two in the article are well qualified. I'm not so sure about the third guy, from Jax. I suspect they are just using him as a place filler to say they had three finalists.

Swine flu update.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/04/29/swine.flu/index.html http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,518323,00.html http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-04-29/story/georgia_prepares_for_potential_flu_outbreak http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-04-28/story/georgia_governor_signs_bill_allowing_flu_shots_without_prescription

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lying Thuggie scum are queering a poll on TOPIX to indicate that 61% of Camdenians disapprove of Sheriff Gregory's performance.

Here's the link: http://www.topix.com/forum/city/kingsland-ga/T6J46P1607M01M9RR. Kindly take a moment to go there and whack-a-Thuggie with your vote.

Before you water that lawn.. know that Lilliput increased water and sewer rates last night.

I was not feeling well last night, so I sat out the Lilliput City Council Meeting. A water/sewer rate increase was on the agenda. I just got off of the phone with whoever answers the phone when you call for the city clerk. She tells me that the rate increase passed four to two with Bird and Johnson voting against. When I asked if in fact they passed the rates proposed on the published meeting agenda, she said she would not want to say unless I could tell her where I had seen it. Go figure. She transferred me to the Water/Sewer Dept. On the first try, I got voice mail. Called back, got a person who said no one had brought the new rates to the Water/Sewer Dept. yet at 10:15 the day after the vote. She referred me to the mayor's office. Voice mail again. I'll let y'all know when I hear back from them. In the meantime, click here to see the proposed rates: http://www.camdenwatchdog.com/ Okay, here are the new fees which go into effect on May 1, 2009. First, Capital Recovery Fees: l Recovery Fee Proposed Proposed May 2009 July 2010 July 2011 Water Tap 3/4 inch $ 1,990 $ 2,190 $ 2,400 1 inch $ 3,230 $ 3,550 $ 3,900 1 1/2 inch $ 6,400 $ 7,050 $ 7,700 2 inch $ 10,180 $ 11,240 $ 12,400 3 inch $ 19,280 $ 21,200 $ 23,300 4 inch $ 32,000 $ 35,250 $ 38,800 6 inch $ 63,340 $ 70,170 $ 77,200 8 inch $ 100,840 $ 112,070 $ 123,300 Sewer Tap 3/4 inch $ 6,460 $ 7,110 $ 7,800 1 inch $ 10,820 $ 11,900 $ 13,100 1 1/2 inch $ 21,320 $ 23,610 $ 26,000 2 inch $ 34,000 $ 37,750 $ 41,600 3 inch $ 63,340 $ 70,570 $ 77,800 4 inch $ 63,740 $ 70,770 $ 78,600 6 inch $ 106,060 $ 117,880 $ 129,700 8 inch $ 335,300 $ 375,150 $ 415,000 Water/Sewer Total 3/4 inch $ 8,450 $ 9,300 $ 10,200 1 inch $ 14,050 $ 15,450 $ 17,000 1 1/2 inch $ 27,720 $ 30,660 $ 33,700 2 inch $ 44,180 $ 48,990 $ 54,000 3 inch $ 82,620 $ 91,770 $ 101,100 4 inch $ 95,740 $ 106,020 $ 117,400 6 inch $ 169,400 $ 188,050 $ 206,900 8 inch $ 436,140 $ 487,220 $ 538,300 Sorry, but city hall sent this in an Adobe file and I do not have the software to deal with it in the original columnar format. Now, here is the new water/sewer rate ordinnace: AN ORDINANCE AMENDING SECTION 98-2, SECTION 98-7(3-b), SECTION 98-9, SECTION 98-10, SECTION 98-53, SECTION 98-54, SECTION 98-55, SECTI0N 98-55(b) AND SECTION 98-57(c)(d) OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES, CITY OF ST. MARYS, GEORGIA BE IT, AND IT IS HEREBY ORDAINED by the Mayor and Council of the City of St. Marys, Georgia, that Section 98-10, Section 98-53, Section 9854, Section 98-55, Section 98-55(b) and Section 98-57(c) (d) of the Code of Ordinances, City of St. Marys, Georgia is hereby amended to read as follows: Current SECTION 98-2(d). Application for water and sewer service. (d) A flat fee of $30.00 will be charged for temporary water, plus any water used, for a time period of less than 30 days. Proposed SECTION 98-2(d). Application for water and sewer service. (d) A flat fee of $35.00 will be charged for temporary water, plus any water used, for a time period of less than 30 days. Current SECTION 98-7(3-b). Meter reading; billings; collections. (b) Service disconnected for nonpayment of bills will be restored only after bills are paid in full, and any additional security deposit that may be required. A service charge of $25.00 will be applied to each account if it appears on the disconnect list. Water meters may be turned off or on by a city employee only, there is a fine of $75.00 to any individual or company that tampers with the meter. When a tamper fee is determined by a city employee, the fee shall be paid before water is restored. Proposed SECTION 98-7(3-b). Meter reading; billings; collections. (b) Service disconnected for nonpayment of bills will be restored only after bills are paid in full, and any additional security deposit that may be required. A service charge of $30.00 will be applied to each account if it appears on the disconnect list. Water meters may be turned off or on by a city employee only, there is a fine of $100.00 to any individual or company that tampers with the meter. When a tamper fee is determined by a city employee, the fee shall be paid before water is restored. Ordinance to Amend Section 98-2, Section 98-7(3-b), Section 98-9, Section 98-10, Section 98-53, Section 98-54, Section 98-55, Section 98-55(b) and Section 98-57(c) (d) Code of Ordinances, City of St. Marys, Georgia Page 2 of 6 Current SECTION 98-9. Transfers. There is a transfer fee of $25.00 for transferring from one address to another within the city's water system. This will be added to the consumer's bill at the time the transfer occurs. Proposed SECTION 98-9. Transfers. There is a transfer fee of $30.00 for transferring from one address to another within the city's water system. This will be added to the consumer's bill at the time the transfer occurs. Current SECTION 98-10 (1.) Complaints, adjustments: (1) The city will make a special water meter reading at the request of the consumer for a fee of $20.00 provided, however, that if such a special reading discloses that the meter was over-read, no charge will be made. Proposed SECTION 98-10(1). Complaints, adjustments: (1) The city will make a special water meter reading at the request of the consumer for a fee of $25.00 provided, however, that if such a special reading discloses that the meter was over-read, no charge will be made. Current SECTION 98-53. Existing and new users: The following rate schedule for use of City water and sewer services shall apply to each existing user and all new users. This rate schedule is applicable to each user, whether actually connected to the system or the availability exists. Ordinance to Amend Section 98-2, Section 98-7(3-b), Section 98-9, Section 98-10, Section 98-53, Section 98-54, Section 98-55, Section 98-55(b) and Section 98-57(c) (d) Code of Ordinances, City of St. Marys, Georgia Page 3 of 6 SECTION 98-53. Existing and new users (continued): (A) Water & Sewer Rate Schedule Inside City Rates: Amount of water used: Rate per month: (1) Residential 0 - 6,000 (base fee) $27.50 (variable fee) $3.84/tgal 6,000 – over $4.42/tgal (2) Commercial I --includes buildings such as laundries, laundromats, dry cleaners, restaurants, bottling plants, service stations, garages, car washes, manufacturing facilities, hospitals, clinics, and schools. 0 -6,000 6,000 - over (base fee) $27.50 (variable fee) $3.84/tgal $4.42/tgal Hotels with restaurants will receive two (2) base rates plus variable fees. (3) Commercial II, III & Industrial: Commercial II - includes buildings (base fee) returning only domestic sewage, such $27.50 as office buildings, churches, hotels, 0 - 6,000 (variable fee) (without restaurants), warehouses (for $3.84/tgal storage only), retail sales, community centers, and recreational buildings. 6,000 - over $4.42/tgal (4) Commercial III - includes users (base fee) discharging less 70% of metered water $27.50 into sewage system such as 0 - 6,000 (variable fee) commercial docks, (except florists) $3.84/tgal as in nurseries and greenhouses 6,000 - over $4.42/tgal (5) Equivalent Dwelling Unit(s) 5,000 gallons equal one (1) EDU - This will apply to Apartments, Condominiums, Trailer Parks, Duplexes, or any other multi family dwelling unit with one (1) water meter. Their bills will be calculated by dividing their water consumption by 5,000 gallons, then multiplying the EDU’s by the base fee of their classification, listed above, plus the variable fee. Ordinance to Amend Section 98-2, Section 98-7(3-b), Section 98-9, Section 98-10, Section 98-53, Section 98-54, Section 98-55, Section 98-55(b) and Section 98-57(c) (d) Code of Ordinances, City of St. Marys, Georgia Page 4 of 6 * Senior Citizens will receive a 20% discount on the base fee and variable fee. SECTION 98-54. Water and Sewer Availability: The minimum charge as provided in the rate schedule, shall be made for such availability. The fixed base rate will be $13.75 for Water, and $13.75 for Sewer. NO FREE SERVICE or use of facilities will be permitted and all connections will be metered. Senior Citizens will receive a 20% discount. Proposed SECTION 98-53. Existing and new users: The following rate schedule for use of City water and sewer services shall apply to each existing user and all new users. This rate schedule is applicable to each user, whether actually connected to the system or the availability exists. (A) Water & Sewer Rate Schedule Inside City Rates: Amount of water used: Rate per month: (1) Residential 0 - 6,000 (base fee) $30.30 (variable fee) $4.22/tgal 6,000 – over $4.86/tgal (2) Commercial I --includes buildings such as laundries, laundromats, dry cleaners, restaurants, bottling plants, service stations, garages, car washes, manufacturing facilities, hospitals, clinics, and schools. 0 -6,000 6,000 - over (base fee) $30.30 (variable fee) $4.22/tgal $4.86/tgal Hotels with restaurants will receive two (2) base rates plus variable fees. (3) Commercial II, III & Industrial: Commercial II - includes buildings (base fee) returning only domestic sewage, such $30.30 Ordinance to Amend Section 98-2, Section 98-7(3-b), Section 98-9, Section 98-10, Section 98-53, Section 98-54, Section 98-55, Section 98-55(b) and Section 98-57(c) (d) Code of Ordinances, City of St. Marys, Georgia Page 5 of 6 as office buildings, churches, hotels, 0 - 6,000 (variable fee) (without restaurants), warehouses (for $4.22/tgal storage only), retail sales, community centers, and recreational buildings. 6,000 - over $4.86/tgal (4) Commercial III - includes users (base fee) discharging less 70% of metered water $30.30 into sewage system such as 0 - 6,000 (variable fee) commercial docks, (except florists) $4.22/tgal as in nurseries and greenhouses 6,000 - over $4.86/tgal (5) Equivalent Dwelling Unit(s) 5,000 gallons equal one (1) EDU - This will apply to Apartments, Condominiums, Trailer Parks, Duplexes, or any other multi family dwelling unit with one (1) water meter. Their bills will be calculated by dividing their water consumption by 5,000 gallons, then multiplying the EDU’s by the base fee of their classification, listed above, plus the variable fee. * Senior Citizens will receive a 20% discount on the base fee and variable fee. SECTION 98-54. Water and Sewer Availability: The minimum charge as provided in the rate schedule, shall be made for such availability. The fixed base rate will be $15.15 for Water, and $15.15 for Sewer. NO FREE SERVICE or use of facilities will be permitted and all connections will be metered. Senior Citizens will receive a 20% discount. Current SECTION 98-55. Solid waste collection: (a) Initial service fee for solid waste collection. Fee (per container) Residential - $ 75.00 Commercial - $175.00 (b) Garbage fees for weekly pick-ups are as follows: Fee (per month) Ordinance to Amend Section 98-2, Section 98-7(3-b), Section 98-9, Section 98-10, Section 98-53, Section 98-54, Section 98-55, Section 98-55(b) and Section 98-57(c) (d) Code of Ordinances, City of St. Marys, Georgia Page 6 of 6 Residential/commercial, 90 gallons - $ 14.05 Apartment complex with commercial can monthly, per apartment - $ 11.30 Commercial, 350 gallons - $ 47.40 Fees for commercial establishments that require more than the regular weekly pick-ups will be increased by five percent over their current rate. Senior citizens will receive a 25 percent discount based on income of $20,000 or less. Proposed SECTION 98-55. Solid waste collection: (a) Initial service fee for solid waste collection. Initial Fee: Residential/Commercial - $ 75.00 (b) Garbage fees for weekly pick-ups are as follows: Fee (per month) Residential/Commercial, 90 gallons - $ 15.46 Apartment complex with commercial can monthly, per apartment - $ 12.43 Senior citizens will receive a 25 percent discount based on income of $20,000 or less. Current Sec. 98-57(c) (d). Construction fees. (c) The aid-to-construction fee for platted and approved commercial subdivisions, less than one acre, and platted and approved residential subdivisions shall be calculated based on the estimated average daily water consumption of each type of structure as outlined in Table 98-57.1 multiplied by the estimated construction cost per gallon, currently $10.23 for 2008, then multiplied by the number of units. The estimated construction cost per gallon shall be adjusted yearly in January based on the Federal Consumer Price Index increase. If the proposed use is not included in Table 98-57.1, then the daily average water consumption rate shall be determined by the mayor and council and/or their designee. Ordinance to Amend Section 98-2, Section 98-7(3-b), Section 98-9, Section 98-10, Section 98-53, Section 98-54, Section 98-55, Section 98-55(b) and Section 98-57(c) (d) Code of Ordinances, City of St. Marys, Georgia Page 7 of 6 The aid-to-construction fee for non-platted commercial subdivisions, greater than one acre, shall be calculated using a base fee per water connection and a base fee per waste water connection or using Table 98-57.1. The aid-to-construction fee for non-platted residential subdivisions shall be based on a set fee multiplied by the number of units within the subdivision. The commercial base fees and the residential unit fee will increase by $250.00 January 1 of each succeeding year beginning in January 2009. GPD (Table 98-57.1) × Cost Per Gallon × Unit Total = Aid-To-Construction Fee Example for a 2006 development with 50 units of one bedroom apartments: 150 × $10.00 × 50 = $75,000.00 is the aid-to-construction fee. (d) Aid-to-construction fees for commercial or non-platted residential subdivisions shall be paid with submittal of a final plat for the residential or commercial subdivision or engineering plans, for a single-lot or platted multi-lot commercial development, greater than one acre, per the following fee schedule: TABLE INSET: Commercial Base fee of $1,000.00 per water tap and $1,000.00 per waste-water tap or as described/calculated in Table 98-57.1 or as described/calculated for "Construction not described above" in Table 98-57.1. Residential $3,000.00 per residential lot Aid-to-construction fees shall be paid upon receipt of a building permit for all previously platted and recorded residential lots and previously platted and recorded commercial lots, less than one acre, calculated per Table 98-57.1. Aid- to-construction fees may be incorporated into a water and sewer agreement for each development project negotiated by the City Manager and approved by the Mayor and Council. Proposed Sec. 98-57 (c) (d). Construction fees. (c) The aid-to-construction fee for platted and approved commercial subdivisions, less than one acre, and platted and approved residential subdivisions shall be calculated based on the estimated average daily water consumption of each type of structure as outlined in Table 98-57.1 multiplied by the estimated construction cost per gallon, currently $11.70 for 2009, then multiplied by the number of units. The estimated construction cost per gallon shall increase May 1 of each succeeding year beginning in May 2010 at a rate of 5%. If the proposed use is not included in Table 98-57.1, then the daily average Ordinance to Amend Section 98-2, Section 98-7(3-b), Section 98-9, Section 98-10, Section 98-53, Section 98-54, Section 98-55, Section 98-55(b) and Section 98-57(c) (d) Code of Ordinances, City of St. Marys, Georgia Page 8 of 6 water consumption rate shall be determined by the mayor and council and/or their designee. The aid-to-construction fee for non-platted commercial subdivisions, greater than one acre, shall be calculated using a base fee per water connection and a base fee per waste water connection or using Table 98-57.1. The aid-to-construction fee for non-platted residential subdivisions shall be based on a set fee multiplied by the number of units within the subdivision. The commercial base fees and the residential unit fee will increase by $275.00 May 1 of each succeeding year beginning in May 2010. GPD (Table 98-57.1) × Cost Per Gallon × Unit Total = Aid-To-Construction Fee Example for a 2009 development with 50 units of one bedroom apartments: 150 × $11.70 × 50 = $87,750.00 is the aid-to-construction fee. (d) Aid-to-construction fees for commercial or non-platted residential subdivisions shall be paid with submittal of a final plat for the residential or commercial subdivision or engineering plans, for a single-lot or platted multi-lot commercial development, greater than one acre, per the following fee schedule: TABLE INSET: Commercial Base fee of $1,100.00 per water tap and $1,100.00 per waste-water tap or as described/calculated in Table 98-57.1 or as described/calculated for "Construction not described above" in Table 98-57.1. Residential $3,300.00 per residential lot THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the City of St. Marys does hereby ordain, resolve and enact the foregoing Ordinances for the City of St. Marys, Georgia which amends Section 98-2, Section 98-7(3-b), Section 98-9, Section 98-10, Section 98-53, Section 98-54, Section 98-55, Section 98-55 (b) and Section 98 (c) (d) of the Code of Ordinances, City of St. Marys, Georgia. Adopted this _27th__________ day of _April_______________, 2009 This ordinance shall become effective May 1, 2009 upon its passage and approval. City of St. Marys, Georgia Attest: Rowland Eskridge, Mayor Darlene Roellig, City Clerk

So, here's the short version. Effective May 1, Lilliputians under 65 years of age will pay residential water rates as follows. For the first 6,000 gallons: a base fee of $30.30 plus $4.22 for each 1,000 gallons up to 6,000. For over 6,000 gallons, $4.86 per 1,000 gallons. When you turn 65, assuming you notify them promptly, you will start getting the 20% senior discount the next month after your birthday month. Residential garbage collection will go from the current $14.05 per month to $15.46 per month, effective May 01, 2009. Senior citizens with an annual income of $20,000 or less will receive a 25% discount on residential garbage fees. Apparently, there is no income test for the water/sewer senior discount.

All three Camden mayors ask governor to veto November referendum on tax freeze.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-04-28/story/southeast_georgia_mayors_ask_governor_to_veto_tax_freeze My question is this: why is it not possible to enact legislation that would INCLUDE commercial properties in the tax freeze? The fact that it is not currently done is not a reason not to consider it. If that were done, then there would be no inequitable burden on commercial property owners (including residential landlords). Why would local pols be equally against that equitable solution as much, if not more so, than the current proposal? Well, it is fairly simple: tax increases would have to be enacted solely by on-the-record and politically "dangerous" votes to raise millage rates - not by valuation creep. Said rate increases would be inevitable to maintain current levels of service. They would require selfless political courage - a quality in rather short supply. My only objection to the current proposal is the fact that it would be inequitable in terms of its effects on commercial property owners and - by extension - renters. Were that inequity removed, I would definitely be in favor of it.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The pathological blogosphere of some victimhood obsessed blacks..

I was reading an article on the Drudge report today. http://www.womanist-musings.com/2009/04/we-sure-loves-us-some-chicken.html A link in the article led me to this totally unexpected and somewhat disconcerting discovery. Scroll down to the second article on this site and check out some of his favorite blogs. So much for the post-racial Obama era. http://www.thefieldnegro.com/

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A tutorial on the two ways to post a comment.

Insofar as I'm acquiring new readers all the time, I find it advisable to republish these instructions from time to time. First of all, any comments that are submitted are read by me and either approved or rejected before they see the light of day. That is why my blog has not degenerated into the sewage pit that some other blogs are. 1. Your first step is to got o the bottom of the post and click on the word "comments." 2. In the upper right hand corner of the screen that pops up, write your comment in the space provided. 3. Fill in the "Word Verification" box by typing in the colored, italicized letters and or numbers seen just above the box. 4. Decide whether you want to publish as "Anonymous" or under your own name or some assumed name - i.e., a nom du plume. 5. If you want to publish as "anonymous" just go down and click on the circle next to "anonymous," then click on "Publish Your Comment." 6. if you want to publish under your own real name or a fictitious name, go to where it says "No Google Account?", then click on "Sign up here." It's free and once you have done it, your name works on any Google sponsored blog. Once you have an account, all you have to do back on the comment page is to write your message; type in the word verification; type in your user name (your e-mail address- which only Google will know - I will not have access to it); your password (whatever you chose when you registered); and, finally, click on "Publish Your Comment." In either event, as soon as you hit "Publish Your Comment," your comment is automatically sent to both my personal e-mail and my blog control panel. I check both frequently. You should see you comment published shortly, unless it is obscene or clearly just more Thuggie hate mail.

Let's hope this is an honest misunderstanding on Sandy's part versus the alternative.

From TOPIX on 4/26/09. This inaccurate statement appeared under the heading "i have been barred from camden commentary." sandy feller Saint Marys, GA Reply » Report Abuse Judge it! #1 12 min ago my question is, should i be flattered or depressed? i await your comments. This is, of course, absolutely untrue. Update: Sunday @ 1907 HRS. I know the denizens of TOPIX do not like to let the truth get in the way of a good, cowardly, gang attack, but someone might want to tell them that the incident upon which they are basing their comments NEVER HAPPENED. Sandy is not now nor has he ever been banned from this site. Nor, to my knowledge, have I ever failed to publish any comment he has submitted. I'm surprised that Sandy has not corrected the error himself, but then I'm surprised at much of what he has written lately. If you want to wise them up, here is the link: http://www.topix.com/forum/city/kingsland-ga/THTCIMDV9OLOP2FI5

GTU coverage of state's proposed changes to teacher compensation.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-04-26/story/georgia_school_reform_ideas_draw_criticism They don't mention it in this article, but I was reading about this somewhere just the other day. One proposal I recall was that there would be a change to compensation for people with a doctorate in school leadership (i.e., administration). The status quo was that if you earned such a degree but continued on as a classroom teacher, you got the higher pay anyway. The change, which I believe may have actually already passed, was that going forward, you can not draw the extra pay unless you actually are promoted to an administrative position. People who had the degree prior to the change but are still in the classroom were grandfathered in.

GTU coverage of how SE Georgia counties are grappling with state's education funding cuts.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-04-26/story/fewer_teachers_larger_classes_next_school_year

Sunday Funnies; Volume 61

The Hotel Bill Next time you think your hotel bill is too high you might want to consider this... Husband and wife are traveling by car from Key West to Boston . After almost twenty-four hours on the road, They're too tired to continue, and they decide to stop for a rest. They stop at a nice hotel and take a room, but they only plan to sleep for four hours and then get back on the road. When they check out four hours later, the desk clerk hands them a bill for $350.00. The man explodes and demands to know why the charge is so high. He tells the clerk although it's a nice hotel, the rooms certainly aren't worth $350.00! When the clerk tells him $350.00 is the standard rate, the man insists on speaking to the Manager. The Manager appears, listens to the man, and then explains that the hotel has an Olympic-sized pool and a huge conference center that were available for the husband and wife to use. 'But we didn't use them,' the man complains. 'Well, they are here, and you could have,' Explains the Manager. He goes on to explain they could have taken in one of the shows for which the hotel is famous. 'The best entertainers from New York , Hollywood and Las Vegas perform here,' the Manager says. 'But we didn't go to any of those shows,' complains the man again. 'Well, we have them, and you could have,' the Manager replies. No matter what amenity the Manager mentions, the man replies, 'But we didn't use it!' The Manager is unmoved, and eventually the man gives up and agrees to pay. He writes a check and gives it to the Manager. The Manager is surprised when he looks at the check. 'But sir,' he says, this check is only made out for $50.00.''That's correct,' says the man. 'I charged you $300.00 for sleeping with my wife.' 'But I didn't!' exclaims the Manager. 'Well, too bad,' the man replies. 'She was here and you could have.'

Friday, April 24, 2009

The easy way to steer folks to Camden Commentary.

After I had finished another excellent lunch at Aunt B's just a few minutes ago, I asked co-owner Janie Highsmith if she had seen my review of The Mill on my blog. She said no, but several customers had told her and Cathy Gentry about it (I can just imagine). However, she and Cathy were unable to find it. Naturally, I wrote down the URL for her and apologized for fumbling her last name. No doubt, whoever asked them if they had seen it did not know how to tell them how to find the blog. Now, I'll grant you, remembering http://www.camdencommentary.blogspot.com/ is rather difficult. There is, however, a much simpler, virtually foolproof way. Just tell folks to Google the words "Camden Commentary." A link to my blog will pop right up. Try it - you'll see. It's the very first listing on the page - and the second one too, for that matter.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Y'all might want to scroll back one page...

to follow new comments on the Penny Woodard law suit against the county.

And now.."Obama" trading cards for young socialists-in-training!

From today's issue of USA Today: "We're almost to Friday! USA TODAY's Cindy Clark here with your late-night notes: Bo, America’s first dog, is getting his own trading card. Topps has added the presidential pup to the Barack Obama commemorative trading card series that was unveiled in January. The First Presidential Pup card features photos of the Portuguese water dog and facts on his journey to the White House. The card can be found in one of every 384 packs of the 90-card series that documents moments from Obama’s life. ... " I wonder if he will eventualy publish his very own "Little Red Book?"

The nose of the socialist camel inches farther under the tent.

http://thehill.com/dick-morris/obamas-leap-to-socialism-2009-04-21.html

Savannah - Chatham teachers face salary freeze.

http://savannahnow.com/node/711295

Sea Island Company reorganizes debt: will rehire some employees.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-04-23/story/sea_island_co_reworks_debt_hiring_more

Federal judge upholds former Cumberland superintendent Jerre Brumbelow's dismissal.

Another Big Thug Willie victim. http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-04-23/story/judge_upholds_former_cumberland_island_superintendents_dismissal

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Run of The Mill

Well, I got some good news today. Y'all may recall that a couple of weeks back, I had to go in for an echocardiogram. It was occasioned by my GP noticing on my chest film to diagnose a case of "walking pneumonia" a month or so ago that I had a very slightly enlarged heart. Moreover, while forcing a lot of fluids, I had experienced some pitting edema in my ankles and a suspiciously high amount of fluid in my lungs, even for pneumonia. Anyone with any kind of medical background will immediately recognize those as possible symptoms of CHF (congestive heart failure) as I did. I got the results given to the cardiologist from Shands / Jax, Dr. Chapman, this afternoon. All findings were perfectly normal. Moreover, my heart is actually in remarkably good shape. For those in the know, my ejection percentage is 77 %. Not too shabby for a guy pushing 62 and in a wheelchair for 5 years as of 5 days ago. So, anyway, I got out of the doctors office off of Kings Bay Road around three. Having had nothing but a child-sized lunch at school, I was a little hungry and in the mood for a good meal. So, I thought, "Why not give The Mill Seafood Bar & Grill a try?" If you don't know, that's the new restaurant opened last week by the current owner of Steffens. It is in the old St. Marys Seafood and Steak building in Lillliput. I got there about 3:15. The first thing I noticed was that there was not a single disabled parking space in sight, much less a "van accessible" space (more about that later). But, given the time of day, there were just handful of cars and, as I suspected, most of those belonged to employees. There were four customers when I arrived, which ain't bad for 3:15 on a Tuesday. I just found a space with an adjacent open space on the passenger side and deployed my own traffic cone in that space after I exited my van. The owner, Linda somebody-or-other, was there, "hands on" managing every little detail. The first thing I noticed when I came in the door was that the rumors that they had entirely gutted the place were true - as I had hoped they would be, if only for sanitary reasons, much less aesthetics. However, the second thing you notice is that the whole place is permeated with a peculiar chemical odor. Perhaps it was a new paint smell, but I really could not identify it. Fortunately, you get used to it in 5 to 10 minutes. Service was prompt by a friendly enough young gal. She only lost points for failing to see that I had no silverware when she delivered my food about 12 minutes (good) after I ordered it. While she had disappeared into the kitchen by the time I discovered the omission, the alert bartender fixed me right up. The decor is interesting enough, especially if you ever worked in the actual mill. The soon-to-be unemployed mill hands obviously took all available mementos - nailed down or not. Many have been donated and now adorn the walls. Once again, though, the owner has not thought out the dining area lighting very well. About three feet from the walls, the are small track lights pointed back at the walls to highlight all of the mill artifacts hanging on the walls. They do that well and I would recommend keeping them. However, they are the ONLY light sources in that part of the dining room. The result is that even at 3:30 in the afternoon, the tables themselves are insufficiently lighted. God only knows how much worse the problem is at night when you would surely be sitting in near darkness with the glare of the spots bouncing off the walls into your dilated pupils. The solution is to keep the tracked spots, but also hang the same lights you have in the front dining area over the tables in the back area. Sure, it will kill the dark cocktail lounge ambiance of the small bar at the end of the dining area, but barflys will just have to suffer through it or go to some dive suitably dark for their liking. Food-eating patrons tend to like to see what they are eating. Now, let's get down to the food. Given that they put themselves forward as a "seafood bar and grill," I naturally opted for seafood. I figured I would try a Southern seafood staple - a combination of fried oysters and fried shrimp. My order came with twelve shrimp, twelve oysters, 0ne baked potato with butter and sour cream, 4 hush puppies, cole slaw, tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, and unsweetened iced tea. The entree was $12.95. The tea was $1.85. Let me start with the cole slaw. The cut and texture were excellent - those little cubed chunks of cabbage that are so nice and crunchy. Unfortunately, someone went nuts with sweet pickle cubes, sweet pickle juice, and sugar. The pickle taste completely and utterly overwhelmed the taste of the cabbage. Without the sweet pickles and juice and with maybe only 1/10th of the sugar, it would have been very good. The baked potato was a nice sized baking potato which, unfortunately, came out of the oven maybe 15 minutes too soon. Practice will fix that. The butter was already on the table when I rolled up. It was those tiny little 1/2 cubic inch plastic containers of whipped butter. You have to open about a dozen to get enough butter for your potato. For God's sake, order a baked potato at, say, Sonny's, and take notes. The small and entirely inadequate dollop (maybe a rounded tablespoon) of sour cream had obviously been dipped out of a larger container back in the kitchen and put into a small plastic cup. It should have been served with 2 of those rip and squeeze, portion controlled, waxed paper containers of sour cream- again, like at Sonny's. The cocktail sauce was mousy. It easily needed half-again as much fresh horseradish. The tartar sauce tasted like they had made it themselves. Not a bad try, but see if you can match Aunt B's - the best I've ever had anywhere. The hush puppies were a doughy disaster. They were not only undercooked, but the things (well, "thing" - I only ate part of one) tasted like they were made from a bag of corn meal that was left over form St.Marys Seafood and Steak - way stale. No onions in them. There is a simple solution: tell your supplier that you must have 25 lb bags of "House -Autry" brand buttermilk hush puppy mix with dried Vidalia onion flakes. All you do is add water to the right consistency. Refrigerated, leftover, mixed dough is perfectly good the next day. Trust me on this: I'm a former seafood restaurant manager and as-need-be seafood cook. Now, moving on to the shrimp and oysters. Both had clearly been thawed out raw, then breaded and cooked in the kitchen. The breading, though tolerable and not too thick, was, unfortunately, 100% wheat flour. You will find that most Southerners (and like it or not, we are and will continue to be the bulk of your customers - if you survive) prefer a breading that is a mix of plain (not self rising)wheat flour and finely ground corn meal - preferably white - in roughly equal parts. The solution is, again, quite simple: tell your supplier not to come back without House -Autry seafood breading. It's exactly the way we like it. The shrimp were on the small end of the jumbo spectrum, but still a little too large for my taste. Both the shrimp and oysters were fried just exactly the right amount of time in fresh, good quality oil at the right temperature. In terms of volume, the meal was a good deal at the price. If she will make the changes I'm suggesting., she could give Lang's a real run for their money. A caveat: if you like to eat at a place where you feel like the owner is genuinely friendly, genuinely cares about her customers and welcomes constructive criticism, then neither The Mill nor Steffen's are good choices for you. Now, on the other hand, if you yourself are from New York and are quite used to scowling, disingenuous, unfriendly asses -or even better, you are one, then you will feel right at home. You will recall my mentioning that I did not see any disabled parking spaces upon my arrival. As I was about to leave my table, the owner came over and warily asked me if everything was alright. Based upon my previous encounters with her at Steffens, I knew she was being totally disingenuous and spoiling for a fight. I told her it was "pretty good" ( and to be sure, I've had worse). I then asked, "Have y'all opted not to have disabled parking or have you just not gotten around to it yet?" Well, she flashed her true self on me instantaneously, blurting out, in a tone only wimpy married men are obliged to tolerate, "Why, that was the very first thing we did. It's right there on the corner. How could you have missed it!?" I calmly replied that I obviously had, but would certainly look for it on my way out. Well, it was there alright. Right on the very front right corner of the building, without any effort to go on the Internet for guidance as to ADA compliance, they had painted a dark blue square, about 36" X 36" in the exact middle of the parking space. The little stick man in the wheelchair was probably hand drawn and painted in fire-plug yellow. In ADA compliant spaces, the entire space is painted about this shade of blue, the stick man is white, the sign is high enough to be seen above the roof lines of cars (their's was 6 inches off the ground on one of those old, cut-off pilings and totally obscured from my view by the car parked in the one space they've marked half-assedly), and it has diagonal lines on either side of the parking space to give extra passenger embarkation / disembarkation space. There had apparently been a car parked over it when I drove up. I know, you're saying, "But Moreno, couldn't you see the diagonal white lines on either side of the designated parking place, or the disabled parking sign on top of a pole marking the place?" No on both counts. The diagonal lines do not exist. If you park in that space and you need a little extra side room to deal with a wheelchair or walker, you're just SOL if there is a car in the next space. One wonders what half-assed Lilliput building inspector signed off on that travesty of ADA compliance? It's y'all's decision, but this is the old gal's third strike with me. She's done. I'll stick to Aunt B's where both Jeannie and Cathy know me and like me, and vice -versa , genuinely appreciate my business, AND the food is always top notch, authentic, Southern home-cooking. Addendum: Just in case the owner might like to be ADA compliant, here is a link to the regs: http://www.access-board.gov/adaag/html/adaag.htm#purpose FYI: Title III - Public Accommodations by Private Business A public accommodation is a private entity that owns, operates, leases, or leases to, a place of public accommodation. Places of public accommodations include a wide range of entities, such as restaurants, hotels, theaters, retail stores, museums, libraries, parks, private schools, and day care centers. Title III prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in all of these areas. Title III requires places of public accommodation to remove barriers in existing facilities where it is "readily achievable." Readily achievable means it is "easily accomplished and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense." Examples include the simple ramping of a few steps, the lowering of telephones, and similar modest adjustments. When barrier removal is not readily achievable, alternative steps are required such as providing in-store assistance for removing articles from inaccessible shelves. Link to info on commercial House-Autry seafood breaders: http://www.house-autry.com/food/breaders.aspx Link to info on commercial House-Autry hush puppy mixes: http://www.house-autry.com/food/mixes.aspx Link to House-Autry retail products for home use: http://www.house-autry.com/retail/index.aspx

Why, pray tell, could this elective inconvenience not have waited until summer vacation?

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-04-21/story/st_marys_traffic_being_rerouted_to_mary_lee_clark_elementary Update at 1637 HRS. From TOPIX: Pittsoff Houston, TX Reply » Report Abuse Judge it! #1 5 hrs ago http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009... First off I understand the need to repair the bridge......BUTWhy did they decide to start NOW instead of the summer? This would have atleast cut down on the traffic and problems for 2-3 months.Also....why in the hell is it going to take 8 months to repair that little bridge? Hell you should be able to tear the whole thing out and rebuild it faster than that. Is one guy doing the job?I am not a bridge worker but for that little bridge 8 months seems a little ridiculous. Sounds to me like someone is trying to ride out the rest of the year and that little job. Camden Commentary comment: Amen, Brother. Why Hell, I've seen a CB battalion in Nam that could have blown and rebuilt the damned thing in 8 HOURS!

Yep: I began smelling this rat about two years ago every time I crossed the Sidney Lanier Bridge.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-04-21/story/brunswick_upscale_condo_developer_accused_of_fraud

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ann Coulter's take on tea parties.

http://www.anncoulter.com/

Sunday Funnies; Volume 60.

WOMEN WHO KNOW THEIR PLACE ......A point of view. Barbara Walters, of Television's 20/20, did a story on gender roles in Kabul, Afghanistan, several years before the Afghan conflict. She noted that women customarily walked five paces behind their husbands. She recently returned to Kabul and observed that women still walk behind their husbands. From Ms. Walters' vantage point, despite the overthrow of the oppressive Taliban regime, the women now seem to walk even further back behind their husbands, and are happy to maintain the old custom. Ms Walters approached one of the Afghani women and asked, 'Why do you now seem happy with an old custom that you once tried so desperately to change?' The woman looked Ms. Walters straight in the eyes, and without hesitation said..."Land Mines". Moral of the story is (no matter what language you speak and where you go): BEHIND EVERY MAN, THERE'S A SMART WOMAN

Smithsonian food-centered cultural exhibit coming to Kingsland.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-04-19/story/see_food_notable_edibles_go_on_exhibit Note: May 2nd is actually a Saturday, not a Sunday as stated in the article. You might want to get some clarification before you head down there. Unless there is a Kingsland library I don't know about, I'm sure Gordon means the Camden County Public Library on Gross Road at Hwy 40.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Painted buntings.

Monday of this week, I was pleasantly surprised when I came home and found a male painted bunting on my bird feeder. After a few minutes of feeding, he flew away. I figured he might well be a migratory bird just passing through. I did not see one again until this morning when there was not one, but two male painted buntings on my feeder simultaneously. They were flitting out to the woods behind my fence and back for a good twenty minutes. I've not seen a female so far, but I expect that I will. The colors are blue, green, and red. They also have remarkable ruby-red eyes.They are indigenous to the area, but it's the first time I've seen them in the 15.5 years I've been here. Anyone else? Meanwhile, activity is picking up over at the occupied blue bird house on the back fence. I'm guessing eggs have now hatched. If you've never seen a painted bunting, here's a link to a picture: http://audubon2.org/watchlist/viewSpecies.jsp?id=156

Cagle drops out; state senator Eric Johnson might run for governor.

http://savannahnow.com/node/707433

Savannah's police chief looking elsewhere.

http://savannahnow.com/node/707434

Another arrow in the quiver of our coming, new JDA executive director.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-04-16/story/glynn_adds_drivers_test_center_new_truck_school

I've long said that we are perfectly positioned - just north of Blount Island Marine Terminal - for

warehousing and distribution centers.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My latest District 2 poll has closed.

Of course, one has to discount the votes for Smith by at least 50% because of the usual vandalous poll queering by sour grapes Thuggies. Otherwise, the results are rather interesting. I think it highly likely that we will see new commissioners in both Districts 2 and 4 in 2010 (well, actually, January 1, 2011).

Cast of downtown Lilliput's characters to be marginally weirder this Friday.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-04-15/story/st_marys_opens_doors_for_new_star_trek-based_movie

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Now we're talking!!!

Captain Phillips leaps from lifeboat; Navy SEALS take out pirates!!! Details are sketchy as yet. Three pirates in the lifeboat were smoked. Fourth cheeky bastard was on board USS Bainbridge "negotiating." He is now a prisoner. Too bad we can't hang him immediately. Well, this is a start. Now, we need to go ashore and wipe out that rats' nest. If only Carter had not killed the neutron bomb!

Sunday Funnies; Volume 59.

Sunday Funnies is on spring break today but will be back next Sunday.

Good morning.

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Russia to build six nuclear subs armed with cruise missiles.

Seen as threat to U.S. carriers. http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/03/28/russian.subs/index.html#cnnSTCText?iref=werecommend

This just in.....

Kingsland Mayor Kenneth Smith asks Govenor Perdue NOT to sign property tax relief for his citizens into law!!!!! First Reader Summary A BILL to be entitled an Act to provide for a homestead exemption from City of Kingsland ad valorem taxes for municipal purposes in an amount equal to the amount by which the current year assessed value of a homestead exceeds the base year assessed value of such homestead; to provide for definitions; to specify the terms and conditions of the exemption and the procedures relating thereto; to provide for applicability; to provide for a referendum, effective dates, and automatic repeal; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. Here's the current status of the bill, which was placed on the governor's desk yesterday: http://www.broc.state.ga.us/legis/2009_10/sum/sb266.htm Mayor Smith has personally contacted the governor's office and asked that he NOT sign this bill into law. Apparently, Smith wants every last cent he can squeeze from the new digest without having to raise Kingsland's current 8 mil tax rate (vs. St. Marys' 5.) Mayor Smith's e-mail address is: mayor@kingslandgeorgia.com

Wintering right whales have a good year.

http://www.news4jax.com/news/19128702/detail.html

Four out of five commissioners were just kidding.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-04-09/story/camden_commissioners_cool_off

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The ongoing manuring of Lilliput's council chamber.

Well, those good, honest Christian minders of everyone else's morals over at the Church of God of Prophecy and their willing accomplices on Lilliput's city council have been at it again. I sure hope that all of that manure they are generating is being hauled over to the Lilliput Community Garden, where Greg E.F. Bird showed up for a photo op in today's T&G (see, the non-flying taxpayers do use the airport). This past Monday night, they once again denied the liquor license to Fin's Liquors, a legitimate business which apparently has satisfied every legal requirement to operate a new package shop - with no on premises consumption - in that little strip center where the original location of Mail-n' More used to be, cattywhumpus from the post office and just south of the old Teeny Weeny Grocery (now demolished). The latest load of manure to emanate from the church ladies is that that shopping center is a hot bed of criminal activity. Pure, grade A, horse hockey!! I challenge the pastor of the church to produce an affidavit from the Lilliput chief of police attesting that it is a high crime area. I will immediately publish it and admit my error. Is that "Thou shalt not lie" thing still operative? How about "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor?" I have not heard of those Christian tenets being repealed. Did I miss it? Council members Deborah Hase, Chuck Trader and Larry Johnson put their own political best interest and or personal religious convictions above the rule of law and voted to deny the license. Council members Greg Bird, Bill Deloughey, and Gull Weaver did the right thing, rendered unto Caesar that which is Caesar's, and voted to uphold the applicant's rights under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In yet another act of political self interest, Mayor Eskridge broke the tie in favor of the feared church ladies. Mark my words: unless there are facts in this case of which I am currently unaware - and I highly doubt that - the applicants will sue and win. The city will, at a minimum, pay attorney fees, courts costs, and possibly any other costs the judge deems fair, like lost revenue during the unnecessary delay. I know I'm rooting for them, as I suspect all local Americans who love the rule of law will also.

Ruben Gomez to run against Zell in District 2?

Ruben Gomez was in attendance at last night's meeting of the CCBOC. The timing is just about right for a planned run against the incumbent in District 2, Mrs. Zell,who narrowly defeated Gomez the last time around. So, if (and it is just a hunch on my part at this time) Gomez runs, then the rumored possible candidates for District 2 next year are: Mrs Zell, Ruben Gomez, E.B Herrin, and Bill Smith. I thought another poll with Ruben Gomez thrown into the mix might be interesting, so there it is, in the upper, right-hand corner ------>.

Mr. President, your response?

http://savannahnow.com/node/702760 Update: The American crew has reportedly wrested control of their ship from the pirates!

Folkston: Okefenokee Adventures moves into new, larger building.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-04-08/story/new_okefenokee_learning_center_means_room_to_grow I highly recommend one of their canoe trips into the Okefenokee. Years ago, in the early 70's, two fellow Vietnam vets and Armstrong college classmates and I did an overnight canoe trip out of there in early May. No bugs out. Gators were. Flowers were in bloom. You paddle out one day to a raised platform for camping. About halfway there, you pass the folks who spent the night there the night before on their way back in. They are the only other humans you will see during the whole trip. Both the flora and fauna are quite interesting. As I recall, you have to make reservations from 6 months to a year in advance.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Agenda for April 7th meeting of Camden County Board of Commissioners.

http://www.co.camden.ga.us/archive.asp?AMID=&Type=&ADID=567 Let me get this straight: crawfish live in the Satilla River; we consume crawfish cooked in water with seasonings at the Crawfish Festival; however, Woodbine needs a permit to build an underground storage tank to hold the water they boil the crawfish in? Is it radioactive, or what? Note agenda item # 10. Last on the agenda. What were the chances. REPORT: I just returned from the meeting. In the most bizarre motion, the CCBOC approved Woodbine's installation of a storage tank at their waterfront park to store deadly crawfish boil water underground in a securely locked tank until in can be pumped out by a licensed septic tank pumper and transported for disposal in the municipal waste water treatment system. I'll bet you are thinking the DNR and or the EPA run amok, right. No, it turns out that the culprit is the County Health Department - specifically the restaurant inspection guys. After the meeting, Jim Proctor and the chairman of the Board of Assessors and I were sharing a good laugh (initiated by me) over the situation. Proctor says he is a member of the Woodbine Lions, who put on the Crawfish Festival. he says they always dumped it into a drainage ditch from which it ran out unto the marsh and eventually into the Satilla River. Who knew that old crawfish boil water could be so dangerous to one's health? Yes, that would be the same water that is in the cooked head when you suck it. No one seemed to know what the safe ppm was for crawfish water in the estuarine environment. During the first public comment session, Mr. Copeland set a new personal record. He droned on for 26 minutes about the history of the names of both the Ella Park Church Road and the Horse "Stomp" Church Road. His theory is that those damned Yankees who built I-95 misspelled stomp as stamp. My alternate theory is that generations ago, Camdenians in that area were not sufficiently literate to know that people stomp and horses stamp. At any rate, St. David promised that the county would look into having it renamed "Horse Stomp Road." In fact, he was ready to vote to do it tonight until Keene pointed out how many addresses, personal checks, etc., would have to be changed. At any rate, the main purpose for Mr. Copeland's sonorous, dragging presentation was to convince the board that it would be a show of disrespect to the GOB's to give a new section of road (well, actually, the old, unpaved section of Ella Park Church Road - they shifted the route and paved the new route of the road) one of those fancy, phony names that those carpetbagging developers liked to use. The only proper way of naming a road was to name it for the place it takes you to, i.e., Ella Park Church. Mr. Copeland wanted to keep Ella Park Road for the paved section and re-name the dirt section (i.e., old Ella Park Church Road) Hardeefield Road because it leads to a little "settlement" on some property given to some American Revolutionary War officer named Hardee in a land grant from the State of Georgia. The commission voted unanimously to give him what he wanted. In the second public comments, Copeland's thanks were mercifully short. All you WatchDog / Tea Party folks are gonna love this. It turns out hat he county attorney, having discovered that state law says you have to pay your Board of Tax Assessor people at least $20.00 per month, he needed approval to amend the resolution from two weeks ago to not pay them. None of the WatchDog / Tea party folks were there. Bad mistake. St. David was hell bent to get back at Berry for last week. St. David claims he just voted to ask for their resignation because it was an accurate expression of public sentiment, but that he personally did not want hem to resign, insofar as they had done nothing wrong. Keene opined that it seemed that Berry was just antagonizing the very people we were entirely dependent upon to get this mess straightened out. He also pointed out that his reading of the law did not say $20.00 per meeting, rather $20.00 for every day that they were performing their duties. He argued that we might end up paying an average of $20.00 X 21 working days per month X 5 members for a total of $2,020 per month rather than $1,000. He may well be right. Sears thought they had acted hastily and wanted to have a friendly meeting with the BOA and hear their side of the story and make smores and sing cumbahya before doing anything rash. Berry stuck to his guns and said he could not believe that they had all wimped out in just two weeks. The vote to have a chat with the BOA was 4 to Berry's 1 this time around. Yes, had I been on the BOC tonight, I would have voted with Berry - and no, that does not make me Berry's puppet. Ruben Gomez was in attendance tonight. Refresh my memory: didn't he run for District 2 - Zell's district, when she was elected?

Bad weather headed our way.

Severe weather in the next 48 hours. http://www.jacksonville.com/news/metro/2009-04-06/story/cold_front_coming_to_northeast_florida_southeast_georgia

Gee, ya think!?

http://savannahnow.com/node/701402

And if they pass the test, they get a Beggin' Strip!

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-04-06/story/test-taking_students_prepare_with_pizza

Well whaddaya know!

A couple of months ago, on a whim, I picked up a bluebird house for $10.00 at Lowe's. I attached to the back run of my fence. Frankly, I was a little dubious that the bluebirds would use it, although I had seen a good many bluebirds in the neighborhood. WRONG! I looked out my French doors this morning just in time to see a male bluebird clinging to the bottom edge of the hole in the box. After a minute of so, he flew off. Immediately thereafter, the female flew in and went straight into the box, where she stayed for about two minutes, then flew out. I'm guessing that they are already feeding chicks, or soon will be. Not a bad return on $10.00. As to my bird feeder, the gold finches arrived Friday. Surprisingly, as small as their beaks are, they nonetheless consistently go after the larger, black sunflower seeds and eschew the smaller ones. They will dislodge about five seeds before actually keeping one to eat. I can't figure how this behaviour is adaptive in the wild. Anyway, the ground feeders like doves and cardinals appreciate it. Here's the list of patrons of the birdfeeder so far: Crows (off of the ground), boat tailed grackles, doves (mourning and common ground doves), lark sparrows, gold finches, bluejays, red-bellied woodpeckers, brown-headed cowbirds, red winged blackbirds, tufted titmice, (plural of titmouse?), Carolina chickadees, and cardinals.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

I couldn't have said it better myself!

Oh, wait! As I matter of fact, I did - at the last JDA Board meeting, in fact. http://www.tribune-georgian.com/articles/2009/04/03/opinion/1opinion4.3.txt

Friday, April 3, 2009

Camden County to make sensible adjustments to employee pay schedule.

Well, for once, I find myself in the position to be able to cut off a pack of TOPIX lies at the pass. Regardless of the BS you will no doubt soon read on TOPIX - the preferred venue of crackpots and soicopaths - here are the facts. The county currently pays employees every two weeks. In the past, this has created somne severe problems for the folks who are task with getting the payrolll out, from the individual department levels to Finance. These problems are most acute during shortened work weeks ocassioned by holidays, especially Thanksgiving and Christmas. There have been may times in the past when people in Finance had to come in during the holidays - sometimes even on Saturdays and Sundays - to get the payroll out during the holidays under the current schedule. County Administrator Steve Howard and County Finance Director Mike Fender have figured out a way to solve this problem. Here are the details. Under the current schedule, county employees would receive a paycheck on June 3oth of this year, then another one two weeks later. In order to adjust the dates of paydays so as to avoid the previously described holiday problems, this year, on a one time basis, employees will receive their next check, after the June 30 payday, one week later on July 7th. That will be a 40 hour check. Then, two weeks later,they will will receive an 80 hour check, and and 80 hour check every two weeks after that, permanently. No one will be "cheated" as some are claiming. I don't know how it could be explained any more simply than that, but anyone who does not get it is welcome to ask for clarification from me or from county payroll. But please, disregard the demented ravings of miscreant lunatics that you will no doubt soon read on TOPIX.

CCBOC to take up issue of Board of Assessors' pay at Tueday meeting.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-04-03/story/camden_county_tax_assessors_still_on_job_despite_resignation_requests Note that St. David, the Patron Saint of Good Ol' Boys has planted the seed of an idea which would enable the BOA to triple their income and stick it to Commissioner Berry.

While Lilliputian "leaders" dithered, Brantley County beat us to it.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-04-03/story/brantley_hopes_improved_airport_will_lure_industry

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Hello!?

Contrary to what you are reading on TOPIX, while there are certainly powerful teachers' unions, Georgia public school teachers are not unionized. Yes, it is true that due to shortfalls in state funding (about 8 million), there will have to be staff cuts next year. The local BOE is hoping to make cuts in administrators first, followed by asking senior personnel with enough years in to retire to consider going ahead and doing it at the end of this year, and lastly, not renewing the contracts of as many 1st year teachers as necessary after the two aforementioned steps have been taken. Affected personnel will be notified on April 15th. The current maximum class size in Camden is limited to 28. Next year, it will go to 30. No - there will not be a single solitary structure to be funded by the recently approved ESPLOST completed and left unstaffed next year and not the year after that either. Remember, this BOE has a strict build-as-you-have-the-funds policy. They will not borrow up-front against expected future ESPLOST revenues. As sure as the economy will make a comeback, state funding will surely return to previous levels - and higher - in the future. 4/2/09 Update: From TOPIX just 40 minutes ago: "The teacher unions have us by the nads and until we start voicing our displeasure and start showing up at meetings and rallies nothing will change." You can lead an ignorant ass to the waters of knowledge, but you can't make him drink.