Wednesday, September 30, 2009

U.S. Supreme Court grants cert to a case on strict local gun laws with national 2nd amendment implications.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,557840,00.html?test=latestnews http://savannahnow.com/latest-news/2009-09-30/ban-handguns-supreme-court-taking-new-look

Exposing yet another liar among the pro status quoers.

Hacking around Reply » Report Abuse Judge it! #27 17 hrs ago Judged: wow deb hase needs to know that "social sites" like facebook are pretty much open to anyone. She was talking about the on-going PBS national parks program the part about john muir. deborah's comment: "Yes, it was sad at the end, though, when Muir was alone in the big house defeated in his cause for saving the valley in Yosemite, and dying not long after...on Christmas Eve. Although he lost that battle, he didn't live to see how his efforts raised awareness about the need to protect the land." uh yeah. right then. lets just move the airport, fill in those wetlands and kill the satila river. way to "raise awareness" deb! way to "protect the land". deb needs to get that each FB friend has hundreds of friends and this stuff gets passed around and then goes viral. i got it after 57 connects from FB. Apparently, someone brought this crap to Councilwoman Hase' attention. She just e-mailed me to set the record straight. She has never even accessed "Face Book," much less posted on it. She also goes on to point out that the other two alternative sites for the new airport would all involve eminent domain, thereby displacing actual human beings , not just "bugs." Moreover, the other two sites would have to be purchased for millions by the tax payers whereas the proposed site would be a gift from Sea Island Co. CORRECTION: I just received a correcting e-mail from Councilwoman Hase pointing out that I read something into her last e-mail that she did not actually say. On checking, she is correct. The fact is that she does have a FaceBook account which she hasn't posted to in ages and has NEVER posted anything to it about Ken Burn's PBS special on the national parks.

Just give 'em time, Roger Buzzard; just give 'em time.

Buzzard Reply » Report Abuse Judge it! #30 42 min ago On September 29, the following quote was posted on St. Marys city council candidate Roger Rillo’s blog by Jay Moreno. It was in response to Mr. Rillo’s assertion that we should leave the airport where it is and strive for industrial development in the existing industrial park. “Realistically, do you think that the St. Marys EarthKeepers would actually allow ANY business that takes raw materials or semi-finished product in one door and ships finished product out the other to locate in the heart of St. Marys? I'm sure you know exactly who recruited the couple of extreme leftist organizations who will fight the new airport, regardless of where it is built. She will do just exactly the same thing with any "manufacturing" concern, no matter how "light," that might be recruited to St. Marys (or Camden at large, for that matter). It's the nature of the leftist beast.” This is not the first time that the St. Marys Earth Keepers have been attacked with the allegation that they are a radical, anti progress group and part of a larger organization whose goal is the disruption of anything non-natural. Earth Keepers president, Alex Kearns, has been singled out repeatedly and accused of being a one-woman force of evil, bent on sending St. Marys back into the industrial dark ages. A little investigation reveals that the St. Marys Earth Keepers are in no way affiliated with, or connected to, any other organization of that name. The group was founded about 3 years ago by Barbara Ryan and Alex Kearns to promote recycling and to urge the city council to allow Advanced Disposal to take over garbage collection and recycling. The two founders chose the name simply because they liked it. The group grew and the campaign for citywide recycling was hugely successful. Today St. Marys recycles at twice the "compliance rate" of the USA (30%). The organization now has about 60 dues-paying 150 non-paying associate members. The roster includes members from diverse age groups, professions and political affiliation and includes city council members and ministers, teachers and teens. Other projects sponsored by the Earth Keepers include the Memory Garden that was proposed as an alternative to clearing and paving the lot next to the cemetery and which was constructed at no cost to the city. They also sponsored the Earth Hour, which was received enthusiastically and will become a yearly event. The city co-sponsored this event and initiated a joint proclamation with Kingston and Woodbine. It is ironic that some of the same people who now attack the Earth Keepers praised them before the publication of their resolution condemning airport relocation to the Billyville Road site. Their stated goal in adopting this proclamation was their perceived responsibility to draw awareness to potentially environmentally harmful actions before they are carried out and become irreversible. The environmental dangers of construction on the site are real and have been previously pointed out by several agencies and the city’s own engineering firm. So can we please stop demonizing St. Marys Earth Keepers just because they don’t agree with us on this one issue? If you have a valid argument, pro or con, concerning the environmental consequences of building an airport on the proposed site, bring it on and lets all discuss it. A suggested Rev. A. K. primer. Don't miss the piece about dove hunting. http://www.alexkearns.com/

Enough is enough! De-certify, already!

http://jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-09-30/story/fired_officer_had_checkered_past_report_says Rick Rogers now has much more information from an FOIR on his blog. http://www.schoolpolice.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Former St. Marys Mayor Ward Hernandez has died.

Sorry, I almost forgot that Sidney Howell made that announcement at the city council meeting last night. I believe he said that he had died earlier in the day. Was he the mayor immediately before Jerry Brandon? 9/30: http://jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-09-30/story/former_st_marys_mayor_ward_hernandez_dies

Local comparative government.

Kingsland, in addition to their actually elected mayor and council, has one board and one authority. They have the Tourism Board and the Downtwon Development Authority. That's it. The council handles everything else and not with a committee system, but with a committee-of-the-whole. Their typical city council meeting lasts maybe 30 minutes. They seem to be humming right along. Now, let's take a look at St. Marys. In addition to our elected mayor and council, we have: 6 authorities; 5 boards; 2 commissions; 1 committee; 1 council; and 1 foundation. That's 16 groups of anywhere from 7 to 9 people per group, folks. Go to this link to check them out: http://www.ci.st-marys.ga.us/pubdocs/authorities.boards.commissions.committees%20lists/Authorities%20Boards%20Commissions%20%20Committees%209.17.09.pdf Our typical meeting can run from 1.5 to 2 hours plus. That's largely because on many issues, the three councilmen who were on a particular committee have to try to communicate to the mayor and the other 3 councilmen who were not at the meeting on the issue with the civilian board/committee/authority/council, etc., what said unelected group advised the elkected commiottee do and then what the elected committee members themselves feel should be done (i.e, do they feel strongly enough about the issue to run the political risk of bucking the prevailing sentiment of the advisory group when they know the better interests of the citizens-at-large demands it). All things considered, methinks that perhaps our mayor and council's cups runneth over with advice. What say y'all?

Cleaning up bogus Buzzard puke.

Buzzard Reply » Report Abuse Judge it! #5 58 min ago Get a clue wrote: Candidates will say what they think they people want to hear. I can't understand why anyone would want to keep the airport where it is. It doesn't do anything for St Marys. Very few people use it. Most have never been there. It cost money to maintain, that the city never got back. It isn't marketed properly to get people to use it. There aren't any ads to come fly to St Marys. I understand that a lot of folks do not want to spend money for a new airport outside of the city. I think that is the real debate. If you want a good airport that will grow and make some money, you have to build it. The old one will never be anything more than it is, it needs to close. For too long people have been getting wrapped around the axle on this topic. (Buzzard)I agree wholeheartedly that this airport issue has dragged on way too long. However, there can be no doubt that a well run modern airport can be an asset to a community. The present proposal calls for a total investment of $20 to $30 million in federal funds to build an airport in Woodbine. The cost to the city is estimated to be over $10 million based on the true market value of the old airport property which we must pay back to the federal government to offset their expenditure. Would we be further ahead to spend perhaps $2 to $3 million of federal funds to improve the airport we already own and which is, incidentally, located in St. Marys. This improvement could be done at no cost to the Taxpayers and the improved airport could be used as a draw for potential businesses looking to relocate in St. Marys. As to your statement that "Candidates will say what they think they people want to hear." Absolutely. And it appears that a growing number of people, the people who will cast the votes, want to vote for a candidate that will not spend our money to move a valuable city asset to a competing community. Watching The 2nd paragraph of Buzzard's response contains an egregious misstatement of the facts. Whether or not that was deliberate, I will leave to the reader to decide. However, I would note that the "error," were it to be believed, would inure to the benefit of the status quoers. Here are the facts: If we close the old airport, sell it, and build a new airport, the FAA will get not a set amount (i.e., "$10,000,000"), but WHATEVER the airport ACTUALLY sells for. The estimated fair market value is $10,000,000, but that is not what we would be OBLIGATED to pay if it did not, in fact, sell for that. If we get $10,000,000 at closing,then write a check for that same amount to the FAA, did it cost us, the taxpayers, $10,000,000 in collected taxes? Of course not. Here's another fact. Remember, the city's original cost basis is $1.00 paid to the Federal government years ago. If we sell the old airport but DO NOT build a new airport, we do not have to give the sales price back to the FAA. All we have to give back to the FAA, in that instance, is the DEPRECIATED value of all of the airport improvements the FAA has made in the last 20 YEARS ONLY. That is currently estimated to be $500,000. So, if we sell it for $10,000,000, we KEEP $9,500,000. Folks, the entire city budget for this year is only $10,274,828! Think what we could do with $9,500,000. After beefing up the "rainy day " fund, we could set up a revolving loan fund for business development for the St. Marys Development Authority - the one tasked with bringing prosperity to where the other 99% of us live. Now, ponder this. Suppose that there really is a buyer out there willing to pay $10,000,000 for the airport property. That is the estimated value of the property stripped of evey structure currently on it. Now, furhter assume that there are 20 pilots who enjoy their hobby flights out of the airport on a regular basis. If youy divide a $10,000,000 value of the land alone by 20 pilots, we are subsidizing those 20 pilots' hobby to the tune of $500,000 per pilot. Now, by comparison, the cost to acquire the Howard Gilman Waterfront Park was about $960,000. By the time you add the structures and landscaping, you're looking at about $2,000,000. Now, if we had the same cost per user as the airport, only 4, FOUR, people would be able to use the park. Would the public sit still for that? Why not? We have exactly that situation at the airport!

New stuff on candidates' blogs / website.

There is new material on all three blogs. Does anyone know if any other candidates have set up blogs or websites? Please send me the link if you do. http://jolenehaney.blogspot.com/ http://www.tomcyphersformayor.com/ http://rilloforcouncil.blogspot.com/

"Goth" vandals invade Howard Gilman Park.

At last night's St. Marys City Council meeting, council candidate Sidney Howell alerted council to the fact that a pack of nearly 20 "Goths" (the misfit, teenage idiots who dress in all black, often including a black trench coat (year -round), wear dark eyeshadow, lots of body piercings, etc.) have been invading the park of late. To date, they have carved a swastika into the exterior wall of the restrooms, smeared human feces all over the interior of the restrooms, pulled the concrete top caps off of some of the fence posts and smashed them, and defaced or destroyed a number of other things. Howell said he had personally witnessed the pack harassing and intimidating an elderly woman in the park. To confirm what Howell was reporting, a man (whose name I missed), a member of the St. Marys Yacht Club, said that on several occasions when he had spent the night on his sailboat, he had observed this same pack of human debris partying in the park as late as 2:00 AM, well beyond the park's closing time. Someone said that they were pretty sure that this pack of vermin comes from Kingsland. The more I thought about it as the meeting went on, the more frosted I became. So, at the final "Comments From the Public" opportunity, I suggested that the mayor might want to put a bug into the ear of the municipal judge concerning an appropriate punishment for these punks when they are apprehended. I suggested that they be fined an amount equal to the cost of all of the materials needed to repair the damage they have done. Additionally, they would be sentenced to a year of community service, to include performing all of the needed repairs under the supervision of someone from Public Works. When they finished the repairs, for the remainder of the year, they would spend every Saturday, from sunup to sundown, in the park, continually cleaning the park and the restrooms. Finally, they would be required to show up for their community service sans any makeup; wearing NO body piercing jewelry; with conservative haircuts; white shirts and ties for the males; and "Sunday-go-to-meeting" dresses for the girls. Those suggestions drew applause from both the council and the audience. Catching them will not be easy. My guess is it will take video tape to succesfully prosecute them. Let's keep an eye out for this scum.

U.K's Green Garbage Gestapo.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1216680/Council-spies-dressed-hoodies-rifle-residents-rubbish-waste-analysis.html?ITO=1490

Monday, September 28, 2009

City of St. Marys meetings for Monday, September 28, 2009.

Upcoming Meetings/Events Public Notices Monday, September 28th Property Committee Meeting (4pm; City Hall Council Chambers) Consent Agenda Meeting (5:45pm; City Hall Council Chambers) City Council Meeting (6pm; City Hall Council Chambers) Property committee agenda: http://www.ci.st-marys.ga.us/agendas/2009/9%2028%2009%20Property%20Committee%20Meeting.pdf City council meeting agenda: http://www.ci.st-marys.ga.us/agendas/2009/9%2028%2009%20City%20Council%20Agenda.pdf I would encourage all who can to make tonight's council meeting. A quick review of the agenda (click on link above) shows some items that should have considerable public interest. It will be quite interesting to watch those up for re-election tip-toe through this minefield. Update @3:38, 9/28. This just in from the conspiracy theorizing, anti-progress, pro-airport status quo crazies. Watching Reply » Report Abuse Judge it! #315 38 min ago And apparently the letter that Shanahan sent to the FAA (the one that was full of "errors" 'cause it listed a huge number of non-existent airspace violations) was in fact written by the very company that did the initial feasibility studies - a company and may stand to make a tidy profit in the building of a new airport. Tonight's council meeting should be interesting - I'm told that Hase will be confronted with a demand that she provide the documents where the Pentagon/FAA said to move the airport etc. She must be some mad at her friend Jay right now. No, she isn't and why she would be is, I'm sure, as much of a mystery to her as it is to me.

St. Marys DDA revolving loan programs first project, the Riverview Hotel renovation, nearly complete.

http://jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-09-27/story/rooms_named_after_the_famous_at_st_marys_riverview_hotel This looks like it was a good loan on a worthy project. Another is in the works to renovate the building where Kyle Lewis had his hardware store for some kind of a psychological counseling practice. So much for downtown, but how about the "unhistoric" hinterlands where the other relatively politically feckless 99% of us live? Speaking of Kyle Lewis, Kyle is the current chair of a moribund development authority for said hinterlands. It is called "The Development Authority of St. Marys." You can see who the other members are by going to this link: http://www.ci.st-marys.ga.us/pubdocs/authorities.boards.commissions.committees%20lists/Authorities%20Boards%20Commissions%20%20Committees%209.17.09.pdf When is the last time you ever (if ever) heard of some good news (or any news) coming from this authority? Why do they not have a revolving loan fund for the rest of the city? You know, the more I see of all of these citizen boards and authorities, the more I wonder how it is that Kingsland seems to be moving right along, arguably outpacing St. Marys, with NO such entities. Their mayor and council handle all of the functions assigned to boards in St. Marys. Perhaps what we should do is encourage city council to take the following action (after the election, of course): 1. Announce that effective midnight, 31 December 09, all appointments to all unelected boards be vacated. This would not apply to authorities. 2. From January 1 to the second city council meeting in February, 2010, the newly seated mayor and council would seriously reconsider the need (if, at all) for each board. 3. For such boards as whose very existence made the cut in step 2, the council should take a serious look at and revise where necessary the council's charge to these boards. 4. The members of the newly reconstituted boards will be 7 in number with 6 being appointed by one of the six councilmen and one by the mayor. There would be no more instances of 9 stepping forward, without one-on-one council sponsorship, and all 9 being seated. 5. There would be an inaugural meeting of each board at which the mayor and the entire council would attend for the purpose of making 100% certain that the new members understood just exactly what their mission was and the strictly advisory nature of their service as a subservient creature of the elected council.. 6. All board appointments would be for 2 years. 7. All members would be limited to two terms. 8. All appointments would be staggered with 1/2 of the members coming up for relpacement or re-appointment every two years Now, as to authorities, I see no need for appointments longer than 4 years. Again, with 4-year appointments, you would have staggered replacement or re-appointment of 1/2 of the authoity members every two years with a two term limit per member. Rather than call for the termination of all current terms on a date certain (i.e., 31 Dec. 09) just let the current terms expire. All but one will expire no later than 31 Dec, 2011. Oh, and one more thing, now that I think about it. In order to be elected to office in St. Marys, you must be a citizen of St. Marys for one year AND you must first be a citizen of the United States as well. I think that those two prerequisites should apply to membership on city boards and authorities as well. At present, we have one foreign national serving on the Citizens' Advisory Board. He/she who is not eligible to vote in city elections should not be eligible to influence city policy until such time as he/she is, it would seem to me.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

My view of the local economy.

That is to say, the literal view from the windows of my home. Looking east out of the bay window in my kitchen, across three vacant lots, I see that the house which is like mine on the exterior (mine is way different inside - wheelchair friendly) that was built over a year ago as a spec house has just sold. Looking north out of that same window, I see the construction workers coming and going from a new, two story house up the block that was started about three weeks ago for a paying customer. Looking south out of my dining room window and when I'm out in my back yard, I can hear and sometimes see through the tree buffer the boom of the track hoe that is clearing land behind me for condo construction. That is the land adjacent to and on the east side of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church across from Saturday Park on Hwy 40. So, who else is seeing signs of a possible beginning of the end of the recession? Any real estate activity in y'all's neighborhoods?

New CVS coming to St. Marys?

Someone on the seldom read "TOPIX, St. Marys" is reporting that the CVS corporation has bought the north west corner of the intersection of Hwy 40 and Spur 40 to build a new store, presumably a clone of the new one in Kingsland. They bought the lots that the convenience store and the old car wash sit on, according to the poster. The same source is also reporting that a Big Lots is going in where Goodys used to be.

Mmmm, baked ham!

Today's Sunday menu at Aunt B's includes fried chicken, baked chicken, pork loin, and big, thick, juicy slices of Virginia-cured baked ham! I did not want to take more of their prep time to go into vegetables, but I sure hope they have that delicious yellow rice which goes so well with their baked chicken. Of course, there will be their killer mac and cheese and traditional southern sweet potato souffle to compliment that delicious ham. Sometimes when they serve ham, they also serve this killer casserole of pineapple chunks, cheese, and buttered bread crumbs. Oh, it is so good with that ham. As loyal customers know, there is a really fresh salad bar (with the best chicken salad you've ever had), well over a dozen hot vegetable choices, and a desert bar, anchored by two favorites: hot peach cobbler and pound cake better than your granny made - and more. They're open from 11:30 AM to 5:00 PM on Sunday's. (912 Kingsbay Road - 729 - 7172). See you there! Oh, and tell 'em I sent you.

Bird-eating frog but one of 163 newly discovered SE Asian species.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/science/09/26/mekong.species/index.html

Sunday Funnies; Volume 83.

Older Women Are So Reasonable AFTER BEING MARRIED FOR 44 YEARS, I TOOK A CAREFUL LOOK AT MY WIFE ONE DAY AND SAID, '44 YEARS AGO WE HAD A CHEAP APARTMENT, A CHEAP CAR, SLEPT ON A SOFA BED AND WATCHED A 10-INCH BLACK AND WHITE TV, BUT I GOT TO SLEEP EVERY NIGHT WITH A HOT 25-YEAR-OLD GIRL". NOW I HAVE A £1,500,000.00 HOME, A £45,000.00 CAR, NICE BIG BED AND PLASMA SCREEN TV, BUT I'M SLEEPING WITH A 65-YEAR-OLD WOMAN. IT SEEMS TO ME THAT YOU'RE NOT HOLDING UP YOUR SIDE OF THINGS.' MY WIFE IS A VERY REASONABLE WOMAN. SHE TOLD ME TO GO OUT AND FIND A HOT 25-YEAR-OLD GIRL AND SHE WOULD MAKE SURE THAT I WOULD ONCE AGAIN BE LIVING IN A CHEAP APARTMENT, DRIVING A CHEAP CAR, SLEEPING ON A SOFA BED AND WATCHING A 10-INCH BLACK AND WHITE TV. AREN'T OLDER WOMEN GREAT? THEY REALLY KNOW HOW TO SOLVE YOUR MID-LIFE CRISIS.

Getting newly medically insured poor to buy into cost control efforts will not be easy.

http://jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-09-27/story/insurance_could_mean_problems_for_patients

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Proposed St. Marys vehicle take-home policy.

Click on images to enlarge.
These are the proposed new rules which will be discussed and voted upon Monday night. I'll bet you that IV B 2 has not been run by the city attorney. Unless the laws have changed, I doubt that it is legal to discriminate against an officer who lives outside the county. It was not legal when the late city attorney, Terry Floyd, researched it in the early '90s.

Who is John Morrissey?

John Morrisey is a candidate for St. Marys City Council Post 5. I've never met the gentleman and never heard of him before he announced. However, I have been at three different meetings in the recent past where he has spoken, albeit briefly. My take is that he appears to be a highly intelligent fellow and is likely well educated. I do know that he serves on the city's ethics board. Anyone know anything else that would be germane to his qualifications in the race for Post 5?

Listen up, Thuggies!

http://www.statesman.com/news/content/news/stories/local/2009/09/18/0918comments.html

Brantley hires new county manager.

Sounds like they were in desperate need of one. http://jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-09-26/story/brantley_hires_florida_man_to_be_new_manager

Charlton County tax revolt.

http://jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-09-26/story/charlton_commission_scraps_budget

Friday, September 25, 2009

For the benefit of decent people who may be wondering....

The lying, degenerate, vermin on TOPIX who claim that I publish comments on TOPIX under false names know that they are lying. My computer ID (forget what you call that) was blocked by TOPIX. I can't post on any of their forums. Just to make sure that was still true, I tried to just a minute ago. I can't. Moreover, I never publish anywhere that I do not publish under my own name. You have my word on it. 9/26 Bill again Reply » Report Abuse Judge it! #20 3 min ago Jay keeps saying he's been "banned" from Toipx and that they have a trace on his ISP so that he can't comment. All he needs to do is use another computer. The library has them and if he has a friend the friend most likely would. "Bill," What you fail to realize is that real men from my generation do not hide behond false names when we exercise our right to free speech. Why in the hell would I speak my mind freely on a blog under my name, then sneak around in the cowardly way, a way which you are apprently intimately familiar with, and pretend to be someone else? And while I'm at it, let me assure you that, unlike the Rev. K, I do not post self serving "anonymous" comments on my own blog.

Tommy Weaver to get bait stand contract.

I just got word from a reliable source, via a message left on my phone, that "the decision has been made" to award the contract to operate the bait stand in the waterfront park to Tommy Weaver. Congratulations, Tommy! I have no other details. I thought that it had to be voted on by council, but maybe not. I'm sure more will come out Monday night. Also, I would not be surprised to learn Monday night that some politically palatable accommodation has also been made for the St. Marys Yacht Club.

Don't bother.

I just checked the blogs of Rillo and Haney respectively, and the website of Cyphers. Dead as door nails. It looks like Rillo and Haney have achieved their main objectives: stating their stance on the airport issue. I'm not at all sure what Tom Cyphers hoped to accomplish with his website. I'm not sure he does either. Should you want to look anyway, go to the the alphabetical list of links to blogs and websites on the right hand side of this blog. I'll like y'all know when they start showing any signs of life - although with Cyphers' non-interactive website, I'm not sure how one would tell.

My first hand report of Friday's Citizens' Advisory Board meeting.

Well, I went to the high noon meeting of the St. Marys Citizens' Advisory Board today. Upon my entering the room, I observed that it was set up with a long table for the board over by the windows, then and L shaped arrangement of tables for guests and observers. Noticing that it would have required moving a table to let me get to the back side of the guest tables, member Cookie Johnson motioned for me to sit at a much more accessible and vacant seat down on her end of the board table. Before the meeting got started, all of the members made a point of cordially introducing themselves, shaking my hand and thanking me for coming. That is, all but the Rev. A. Kearns who pointly kept her seat at the other end of the table and did not greet me. That would be the same Rev. A. Kearns who said, in print, that I was too much of a coward to attend one of their meetings. When the meeting started, the chair asked that all members introduce themselves. She then asked all guests to introduce themselves. I'm sure I'll miss one or two of the guests, but they included SMPD Chief, Tim Hatch, St. Marys City Manager, Bill Shanahan, St. Marys Public Works Director, Bobby Marr, the St. Marys Code Enforcement Officer, whose name escapes me, mayoral candidate Tom Cyphers, husband of City Councilwoman Weaver, Royal Weaver (who was doing his best to give me the stink eye - presumably for my comments about the "odd name" article - but succeeded only in looking like a constipated, bedragled, Smurf with a squint rather than fearsome), city council candidate, John Morissey, Mayor Eskridge, and some anonymous coward, about whom more later. After dispensing with the Robert's houskeeping chores, they came to the matter of the board's recommendations on changes to the 3rd draft of the proposed "Shipshape Community" ordinance. There is a complete copy of all twelve pages earlier on this blog. Almost immediately, the mayor chimed in. He pointed out to them, in a somewhat scolding tone, that he had fielded quite a few phonecalls from concerned citizens about this. He said that he thought that the board had misunderstood their mission and was overstepping their bounds and getting needlessly bogged down in a matter which was way outside their bailiwick and rightly belonged to the Property Committee. Cookie Jonhson and some snarky woman jumped right back, informing the mayor that they did not come looking for the task; rather, they had been asked to do it. They would not reveal then who asked them nor later when I asked them pointedly. Chief Hatch, who has some sort of supervisory role over these people which makes no sense to me and is way unclear, then read off a list of things he had problems with. He particularly had a problem with their stated goals (as seen in their first T&G PSA I brought to y'all's attention) and the encouragement to the public to engage in "community activism." Rev. Kearns promptly attempted to deflect that objection by making a motion to drop the word "activism." That did not satisfy the chief. He wanted more extensive revisions to their stated goals to make it crystal clear that they - and the public - would understand that theirs was strictly an advisory role to the elected mayor and council, as Mayor Eskridge had said moments earlier. After some huffing of the "But y'all asked us to - and this is the thanks we get!?" nature, one member made the motion that they just drop the issue immediately and speak not one more word about the ordinance as a group. Someone else chimed in that rather than waste all of their hours of consideration of same, indiviudal members might make suggestions as individuals at the meeting of the Property Committee to discuss said ordinance at 4:00 this coming Monday. That motion passed unanimously. Then came the public comments section. I made the comment that now that their mission had been clarified as , essentially, " A garden club on steroids with enhanced access to city council." Well, at that point, some old, snarky gal on the board who had obviosuly been itching to give me hell, jumped all over me, tellng me that no, it was not, then persisted, like the nag from hell, to talk over me and attempt to drown me out. I finally told her, "Look lady, you know damned well that's what it is, or was intended to be." She shut up. At any rate, I went on to try to ascertain who it was that had actually asked them to weigh in on the ordinance. Dead silence. They are either full of it, or, far more likely, they are protecting whoever it was. I believe that they were asked by someone, but as Mayor Eskridge pointed out, it certainly did not happen at any council meeting where he was present. Anyway, I pointed out that in the minutes of their last meeting, they stated that they had obtained clarification that they were, in fact, entitled and authorized to print whatever they wanted to in the paper or air anything they wanted to on radio, without the express permission of a damned soul in city government, much less the mayor and council. When I pressed them for who, exactly, had given them that permission, I again was met with stone silence. I note at this point that Bill Shanahan said nothing whatsoever during the entire meeting (save warning me). I pointed out, in conclusion, that an example of the kind of thing I thought they ought to be working on was the two median strips on Colerain on either side of St. Marys Road - a project (irrigation system and wildflowers) that has had several false starts and dragged on for over a year. The snarky, bitchy woman said, "Well, I'll have you know, Mr. Moreno, that Bobby Marr and I were out there looking at that just yesterday." I was through ..until one of the male members ( the same guy, I believe, who had derisively suggested in an e-mail y'all saw that the board should try to ascertain my "opinions on apple pie and motherhood") , engaged me in a civil conversation (or so I thought - turns out he was the straight guy in the set up), ostensibly to clarify his understanding of my position on the board's "right" to publish independently of the city council. I fell for it hook, line, and sinker. His accomplice, the trigger man, was the aforemetioned anonymous coward who was sitting at the L-shaped table just behind me. The straight man carefully manuevered the conversation to a point where, as planned, he could ask, "So, is it really your opinion that we should have to ask the council's permision before we publish anything as a board?" My response was, "Yes, exactly." That was the cowardly hit man's cue. He immediately burst into loud, uproarious laughter just behind my back. I whirled my chair around, rolled up in front of him and asked pointledly, "And who, Sirrah, might you be?" He smirked and replied "Just another citizen who thinks you are a fool - and a funny one!" I replied forcefully, "Go fuck yourself, you son-of-a-bitch!" He quickly quit laughing and shut the hell up. So much for that "coward" thing, eh, Reverend? There was dead silence. Of course, all of the men in the room, for sure, the Southerners anyway, knew that he had that and the serious ass whupping he would have gotten had he pulled that crap six-years ago, coming to him. Shanahan broke the silence ( by that time I had already turned back around to my table) by saying to me, "Sir,we can't have that kind of language. If it happens again, I'll have the police in here." Chief Hatch, who was sitting right beside him, said not a word until he smiled and said "Have a good day, Mr. Moreno. See you next time," as he was holding the door open for me after the meeting. Obviosuly, Hatch knows the meaning of "baiting," "provocation," and the "fighting words" doctrine in law. Oh, for the old days when it would have been well worth the fine to send that cowardly son-of-a-bitch to intensive care! So, the CAB is out of the ordinance writing business. However, I would encourage all citizens concerned about the seemingly Draconian nature of some of the provisons of the proposed "Shipshape Community" ordinance to try to make it to Monday's 4:00 P.M. meeting of the Property Committee and then the 6:00 PM city council meeting where the Property Committee's final recommended draft will be presented to the council for consideration. I'll see you there. Oh, by the way, I would be remiss in not pointing out that if there was one member of that board who actually had a clear understanding of what their mission was, and should have been from day one, and that they had no business "tweaking" an ordinance, it was a lady named Penny Rewis. As you might expect, when she took the side of the mayor and Chief Hatch, the remainder of the board immediately gave her grief. She's a keeper - if we need this "board" at all. I think the same function could be accomplished much more efficiently and knowledgeably by a literal, well established, local garden club with many years of combined knowledge of what will and will not grow here.

Avian comings and goings.

http://savannahnow.com/column/2009-09-23/birders-eye-view-getting-ready-fall

Three pieces of human debris arrested in Kingsland home invasion.

http://www.news4jax.com/news4georgia/21102632/detail.html http://jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-09-25/story/3_men_arrested_in_kingsland_home_invasion

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My cup truly runneth over!

http://www.stmarysgaweddings.com/about.html Thank you to the TOPIX poster who tipped me off to this! I'm having more fun than a human being should be allowed to have! I would be literally rolling on the floor were it not for the fact that I could not get back into my wheelchair! http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enologist I wonder if Alex knows she is walking in the footsteps of the Rev. Billy Frank? Hmm, this casts the establishment of the Kearns Memorial Park in a whole new light. Perhaps they should ad a new slogan to their website. "Two ministers; two gazebos; no waiting!"

Intrusive Green eco-weenies launch campaign to become an even bigger pain in the butt!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/23/AR2009092304711_pf.html

Councilwoman Hase answers a few FAQs on the airport issue.

Click on image to enlarge.
Councilwoman Hase is home recovering from the flu. Earlier today, I e-mailed an inquiry to all of city council. I'll get to that question and answer in a bit, but she was prompted to not only answer my question but a few she has been asked by numerous citizens of late. The "FYI" above is dated this morning and from Councilwoman Hase.
Now, here is the text of the e-mail I sent this morning to all of city council and the city manager.
Ladies and Gentlemen, My understanding is that if we sell the airport and build a new one, we must remit 100% of the purchase price to the FAA UNLESS we can get them to accept the value of the donated land at the new site in lieu of the sale proceeds. However, I'm not clear on what would happen to the sale proceeds if we sold the airport property and DID NOT build a new airport. Could some one tell me definitively what the answer is? If there is an FAA letter stating what would happen in that event, a copy would be much appreciated. Thank you. Jay Moreno Based upon the answer I got from Councilwoman Hase, here is the comment that I made on another post this morning in response to a reader' question on the matter. Okay, having not heard back from Mr. Shanahan, I sent an e-mail to all of city council. So far, Councilwoman Hase has responded. Here are the facts. 1. If we sell the airport in the course of building a new one (which, incidentally, would be done AFTER the new one is built - a five year project), then 100% of the proceeds of the sale will go back to the FAA UNLESS the city can convince (as they are now trying to do) the FAA to take the value of the donated land at "Site 1" in lieu of the sale proceeds. 2. If we decide to sell the airport property and NOT build a new airport, the city must pay back all of the money that the FAA has spent on airport improvements for the last 20 years. That is currently estimated at $500,000. However, the estimated sales price of the property is $10,000,000. If those numbers were to turn out to be accurate, we would keep $9,500,000 AND get the tax revenues from the developed property in perpetuity. 4:45 PM: I just retrieved an e-mail from Bill Shanahan. He just got off of the phone with the FAA in response to my question. In turns out that not only was Councilwoman Hase correct, but it gets better. If we closed it and did not rebuild another, we would only have to reimburse the FAA for the DEPRECIATED value of the FAA-funded improvements of the last 20 years! Relative peanuts.

EarthKeepers tiptoed through IRC Section 501(c)(3) minefield.

I invite the reader's careful parsing of the language in the first paragraph after "Issue Advocacy vs. Political Campaign Intervention." Arguably, they may well have already tripped a mine when they sent that obviously politically motivated and timed press release on the airport site earlier this week.

Tom Cyphers' website.

http://www.tomcyphersformayor.com/ Not to be confused with an interactive blog.

Methinks they doth protest too much!

http://ap.savannahnow.com/pstories/us/20090924/496674990.shtml

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"Shipshape Community" ordinance coming soon to a spiteful busybody and an ambitious code enforcement officer near you?

Click on images to enlarge.
This St. Marys ordinance revision will next be reviewed and critiqued by the Citizens Advisory Board (the political arm of the St. Marys EarthKeepers) at the CAB meeting at the DDA building (the old police building) at high noon this Friday. It's open to the public. I'll be there.
Come on down and meet Alex Kearns. After that, it goes before the Property Committee in city council chambers this coming Monday at 4:00 PM. Open to the public. Then, city council is scheduled to vote on it during the regular council meeting at 6:00.
Suggestion: If you put out any yard waste for collection, get yourself a yardstick.
Also, you might want to increase your budget for painting and general exterior home maintenance.
And to be doubly safe, set aside a grand just in case you run afoul of this ordinance in a bad way.
Oh, and if you put out trimmed tree limbs for pick up, be sure to separate the leaves from the limbs.
9/24/09: One citizen's concerns:
http://www.topix.com/forum/city/kingsland-ga/T3R8ETPTLP1S35IKL Elsewhere, he goes on to say: Retired United States Reply » Report Abuse Judge it! #105 20 min ago better watch that group "St.Marys earth keepers"-you as a citizen of St.Marys just may be railroaded if the earth keepers get council to change their codes. Then the group just like roaches will scurry their way and form Kingsland Earth Keepers-they are a greedy bunch who are looking for a federal paycheck through grants. Got to hand it to them though-they have to eat-however-most likely this group wil totally hurt the people in the long run. We are a free nation!!! We do not need a group of people telling us what we need to do. We are not children.

My, but the Queen of Green has been a busy little B!

http://www.alexkearns.com/

Unbiased reportage?

No doubt, this Friday you will see the T&G's piece that results from the St. Marys EarthKeepers' press release of Monday (posted on this blog) apropos the proposed Billyville Rd. airport site. As you read it and, for that matter, any subsequent coverage of St. Marys Earthkeepers activities and the remainder of the six free PSAs the Trib is running for the Citizens Advisory Board ( the political arm of the EarthKeepers), there is something you should bear in mind.
In the top exhibit above, you will see that in the Earthkeepers membership list, the Tribune & Georgian is listed (with a banner, no less) as not only a member, but a "Lifetime Environmetal Steward."
Now, drop down to the bottom right hand corner of the bottom exhibit to see what the T&G got for their $5,000.00.
You can bet that the EarthKeepers own a copy of Jesse Jackson's "Corporate Shakedowns for Dummies." However, my guess is that the T&G folks were willing and enthusiastic supporters.
What was the T&G thinking?
Thanks to the sharp-eyed reader who brought this to my attention. Glad to know some of you are starting to get it.

EarthKeeper website du jour.

http://www.earthkeepers.net/wolf/aboutUs.html Oh, hell, why stop with espousing a return to a Paleo-Indian way of life? Let's set our sights on the Homo habilis "footprint!"

My very first local letter-to-the-editor.

Click on images to enlarge.
I also sent a copy to the then "Camden County Tribune." Both papers published it.
NOTE: In both instances where I quote Joe Crawford (who was elected to city council - twice) as referring to "these outsiders," what he actually spat out was "these DAMNED OUTSIDERS." I had to omit that because I knew that the papers would edit it out. So, when you hear me using the expression "damned outsiders" to describe the "native" take on those of us who don't trace our roots in Camden back several generations, know that it was not of my invention.

Camden County school system numbered among countless Cisco victims.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-09-23/story/camden_county_schools_cheated_by_cisco_indictment_says

GTU coverage of EarthKeepers' thinly veiled political act.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-09-23/story/environmental_groups_oppose_st_marys_airport_relocation_site Of course, they can't call it what it really is because that would be a fatal violation of their 501(c)(3) charter, rendering the proceeds of their membership fees and memorial brick sales taxable.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Trust me: the obstructionist, Green eco-weenies are just getting warmed up!

From: St.Marys Magazine [mailto:barbara@stmarysmagazine.com] Sent: Tuesday, September 22, 2009 12:17 PM To: acarter@goldenislesmagazine.com; alan nesmith; brunswick news; Chris Daniel; Coastal Companion; folkston newspaper (cceditor@windstream.net); Jackson, Gordon; Jill Helton; jim steele; judy@southerndistinction.com; kathleen@thedariennews.net; Nassau County Record; 'Nassau Sun'; News Leader Editor; News Leader Publisher; Patricia Crosby; Paul Hafer; 'Renda Broadcasting'; Sian Perry; tribune online; tv camden; wcganews@yahoo.com Subject: airport relocation press release PRESS CONTACT: BARBARA RYAN 912-729-1103 barbara@stormersmarketing.com FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... ST. MARYS EARTHKEEPERS PASS RESOLUTION TO OPPOSE ST. MARYS AIRPORT RELOCATION TO SITE 1 (Billyville Rd.) St. Marys, GA—In a Monday night board meeting of the St. Marys EarthKeepers, board members voted to pass a resolution formalizing their position to oppose the proposed relocation of the St. Marys Airport to “Site 1” (Billyville Rd.). In a statement released by the St. Marys EarthKeepers, Alex Kearns, Chair of the organization, said it is important that the public have a full understanding of the potential impact the development of Site 1 will have on our environment and cited specific reasons for establishing a formal position on this controversial subject. Kearns said, "The EarthKeepers' Board, after extensive research, reduced it to three fundamental considerations: Our stated mandate: "To actively inform, encourage and galvanize the residents of St. Marys and surrounding areas regarding matters of effective environmental stewardship.” The existing wetlands ordinances of the City of St. Marys, and The potentially devastating ecological impact of relocating the airport to Site 1 (as cited by The Department of the Interior and others). Upon consideration of these factors, our decision was clear." The resolution reads: WHEREAS the St. Marys EarthKeepers act as a body to protect the environment; and WHEREAS St. Marys City Ordinances state: Sec. 46-200. Title and purpose. (a) Title: This article will be known as Wetlands Protection ordinance of the City of St. Marys, Georgia. (b) Purpose: The wetlands in the City of St. Marys are indispensable and fragile natural resources with significant development constraints due to flooding, erosion, and soils limitations. In their natural state, wetlands serve man and nature. They provide habitat areas for fish, wildlife and vegetation; water quality maintenance and pollution control; flood control; erosion control; natural resource education; scientific study; and open space and recreational opportunities. Nationally, a considerable number of these important resources have been lost or impaired by draining, dredging, filling, excavating, building, pollution and other acts. Piecemeal or cumulative losses will, over time, destroy additional wetlands. Damaging or destroying wetlands threatens public safety and the general welfare of our community. This article is to promote wetland protection, while taking into account varying ecological, economic development, recreational and aesthetic values. Activities that may damage wetlands should be located on upland sites to the greatest degree practicable as determined through a permitting process. (Ord. of 1-9-06(2), Ex. A) http://www.municode.com/Resources/gateway.asp?pid=12856&sid=10 and: WHEREAS, according to the report submitted to the City by R,H&S (Reynolds, Smith and Hills, Inc., 10748 Deerwood Park Blvd. South, Jacksonville, FL 32256-0597) Site 1: "Drainage of the Site flows southeastward to the Rose Creek Swamp, which ultimately discharges to the Satilla River. There is a sizable floodplain that crosses the northern and southern portions of the Site, as well as a significant amount of wetlands that are dominated by a seasonally flooded, forested system associated with the drainageways. ...potential disadvantages associated with the selection of this Site as the preferred alternative. Those disadvantages include: - A large portion of the Site has been identified as being within the 100-year Floodplain. - The Site contains a large amount of wetland areas that would potentially be impacted by construction." "Wetlands at the Site (1) as the preferred alternative: numerous runway airfield configurations were developed in an attempt to minimize and avoid unnecessary impacts to the wetlands system. Approximately 40 acres of high quality wetlands, 19 acres of medium quality wetlands and 14 acres of low quality wetlands will need to be filled for development. In addition, secondary impacts will occur as a result of disturbance to wetlands not being filled due to the topping and or removal of trees and other obstructions to meet FAA obstruction clearance requirements. Of the disturbed wetlands (not filled) wetlands, approximately 133 acres will be of high quality, approximately 15 acres will be medium quality, and approximately seven acres will be of low quality." http://www.ci.st-marys.ga.us/pubdocs/studies/Airport%20Study%20Website/frame.htm Final Site Selection. WHEREAS The Department of the Interior has stated that further studies must be undertaken regarding the presence of the Flatwoods Salamander, the Eastern Indigo Snake, the Wood Stork, migratory birds, the rare swallow-tailed kite, Bald Eagles and other fragile species in Site 1; and WHEREAS the Department of the Interior recommends that another site be selected due to "greater wetlands impact than at the other sites"; and WHEREAS such worthy organizations as The Satilla Riverkeepers and the Southern Environmental Law Center are firmly and actively opposing airport relocation to Site 1 and: WHEREAS it has been shown to our satisfaction that the relocation of the St. Marys airport to Site 1 will pose a documented and very real threat to the continued well-being of the species of that area as well as the fragile wetlands; Let it be HEREBY RESOLVED that the board of the St. Marys EarthKeepers unanimously agrees upon and formalizes its position: Against the relocation of the St. Marys Airport to Site 1 (Billyville Rd.) P Consider the environment... don't print this e-mail unless you really need to Barbara Ryan, Publisher St. Marys Magazine 912-729-1103 barbara@stmarysmagazine.com http://www.stmarysmagazine.com/ For those of you who are not yet familair with the anti-capitalist, neo-Marxist, anti-American, worldwide activities of the EarthKeepers, consider this. Their motto is : "Think globally: act locally." You've probably seen that bumper sticker on the back of a Subaru wagon or two. Now you know. And "acting locally" are the St. Marys EarthKeepers under the zealous leadership of their chair, Alex Kearns. Right now, they're going after the airport. Chances are good you might like the fact that they are opposing that which you politically oppose. But how will you feel when the JDA recruits a manufacturer with good, high-paying jobs, and the Green eco-weenies fight to thwart that? Trust me, they will. Like I said before, these people bear watching. "Act locally.." I like that idea. So tell me: do you still think that these people are just a bunch of apolitical little old ladies combatting roadside litter and militating for recycling?

St. Marys Downtown Development Authority's website.

http://www.stmarysdda.com/category/board-of-directors-meetings/

More on that mill site marketing agreement I first told y'all about on Friday.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-09-22/story/agreement_reached_to_market_paper_mill_site_in_st_marys

That sounds about right ...and strangely familiar too.

Pittsoff Houston, TX Reply » Report Abuse Judge it! #5 46 min ago I have to agree. There have been way too many "fights & arguments" that are unwarranted because someone may be intruded upon. I ahve lived here for 23 years. I have seen Saint Marys grow and would like to see it continue to grow. Those that do not want it to grow are only kidding themselves. Look at downtown Saint Marys. Where is the action? Where is the hustle and bustle? Where is the businesses? The problem is that no on ewanted another hotel down there because it would compete with the Riverview. No one wanted another restaurant down tere because it would compete with Trolleys, Seagles etc. No one wanted any other business down there that might "compete" with some elses. Well using a simple thought process, no one is going to travel all the way down town for 1 restaurant. No one is going to travel all the way down there for one shop. The more that is offered down there the more people will come. Something needs to be down with the area from the old Mill property to down by City Hall. It is filled with eyesores and hodge podge looking buildings. Areas need to be redone or torn down and redone. My 2 cents

Savannah lands a major employer.

http://savannahnow.com/news/2009-09-22/mitsubishi-power-systems-build-pooler-megasite "For its part, Georgia delivered all the items on Mitsubishi's list, Perdue said: a skilled and deep labor pool, easy access to the ports and interstates, and the ideal site to facilitate the company's global growth and expansion." Arguably, between retired Navy technical types and some former mill workers of working age, we, too, have a pool (albeit not as deep as Savannah's) of skilled labor. That pool should (or could) get much deeper when the local campus of Okefenokee Technical College is built in the near future ( or is it Altamaha Technical College - I forget). Clearly, we have "easy access to ports and interstates." Our time will come.

Monday, September 21, 2009

What is the true cost to the taxpayers of maintaining the St. Marys Airport as is?

Well, from the above page from the city's budget, you might think not much. The precipitous drop from FY 2008 results from the airport authority suddenly becoming capable of paying more of the operating costs when voters (well, the brighter, logical ones, anyway) began to realize the true "lost opportunity cost" of the airport. Forget a new airport. We don't have a pressing need for one. But, if we sell the present airport property to a deep pocketed developer capable of developing the nearly 400 acres to their highest and best use - a combination residential / commercial / professional development - the combined annual tax revenues on such modern construction would likely be over $1 million. If you pooh pooh that number, insert whatever number you feel comfortable with. Would that positive number not be better than a cost of $7,000 annually? For the other 99.999% of us who do not own those 24, for fun, small private planes, and are not Greg Bird, how does maintaining a non-commercial airport at a lost tax-revenue cost of at least hundreds of thousands - not to mention the new jobs - benefit us? It doesn't. If you still want to keep it at all costs, please just admit that it makes no economic sense at all and that you are just submitting to the local tribal loyalty litmus test rather than making a rational decision. Oh, and please don't trot out that bogus, pseudo-rationale that it would not be a good move because we would have to give the sales price of the airport back to the FAA. Our original cost basis in the airport property was $1.00. So we cough up the sales price. We get it from the buyer and hand it over to the FAA: a wash. BUT, we get hundreds of thousands and eventually millions in annual tax revenue in perpetuity and both contruction and permanent jobs! Where's the problem?

General McChrystal tells it like it really is in Afghanistan.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/20/AR2009092002920_pf.html

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The CAB's "Shipshape" ordinance?

Apparently, the St. Marys Citizen's Advisory Board (the political arm of the St. Marys EarthKeepers) held a called meeting this past Thursday. Don't feel bad: they did not notify me, either. I think you will find this intriguing. Minutes City of St. Marys Citizens Advisory Board (CAB) Called Meeting – Thursday, September 17, 2009 @ noon @ DDA Building In attendance: Chair, Peggy Hollis. Members: Cookie Johnson, Alex Kearns, Tim Ward, Dick Russell, Maryann Meador. Guests: Chief of Police Tim Hatch & City Manager Bill Shanahan. Members absent: Loretta Hutchinson, Joe Lucent, Penni Rewis Quorum? Yes The meeting was called to order at noon by Chair Peggy Hollis and the agenda was reviewed. There was discussion of the focus of the CAB and ways to deal with potential roadblocks that might impact our work. It was decided that the Chair of the CAB (or another designated member) will respond to inquiries from the public, providing the requested information or directions on how to obtain it, and communicating the dates and times of upcoming CAB meetings. It was verified that the CAB has the authority to create and distribute communications to the community, such as PSA’s in the newspaper, on radio, etc. which serve to educate the public about issues under CAB’s mission and goals, as long as no costs are incurred. The group discussed the draft of the proposed “Shipshape” ordinance. The property committee of the City Council will meet to review the new ordinance on Monday, Sept. 28 at 4 PM in Council Chambers. The CAB wishes to provide the property committee with their input/ideas on the ordinance. The consensus of the CAB is that where possible, the writing of the ordinance be made more easily understandable and “user friendly”. While the CAB understands that certain legal terminology is necessary in the wording of an ordinance, they encourage the use of simple, clear wording, where possible. City Manager Bill Shanahan will meet with Planning Director Roger Weaver – the original author of the ordinance – to re-write the ordinance such that it will retain its’ substantive content while being easier to read and understand. Specific suggestions on language and content were provided to Mr. Shanahan. Further suggestions for the Shipshape Ordinance (to be shared with Mr. Weaver) included : - more detailed provisions for enforcement/fines/consequences, etc. in the event of non-compliance with or violations of any and all provisions of the ordinance. - clarification on how issues of non-compliance will be handled in the case of severe weather or other emergencies. The CAB will meet to review the amended ordinance at a called meeting on Friday, September 25 at noon at the DDA building. Respectfully submitted: Maryann Meador, secretary pro tem I found this passage particularly interesting: "Further suggestions for the Shipshape Ordinance (to be shared with Mr. Weaver) included : - more detailed provisions for enforcement/fines/consequences, etc. in the event of non-compliance with or violations of any and all provisions of the ordinance." Yes, folks, Big Green Brother is watching! Yes, I've already asked Bill Shanahan - who sent me these minutes today, on a Sunday - to please get me a copy of the draft of this ordinance, finished or not. I find it very interesting that the Green eco-weenies are pushing this after qualifying but before the election to cow any incumbents into voting for it. We shall see. This next one did not quite register the first time I read it. "There was discussion of the focus of the CAB and ways to deal with potential roadblocks that might impact our work." I'm honored.

Post 5 candidate Jolene Haney now has a blog.

http://jolenehaney.blogspot.com/

Holy mackerel! The Kingfish' campaign has morphed into a "ministry!"

sandy feller Joined: Aug 7, 2009 Comments: 190 Saint Marys, GA Reply » Report Abuse Judge it! #286 5 min ago shane wrote: so yall going to tell me yall want vote for a man bc he doesnt have a job that sounds kinda chicken sh*t. hell the way i see that man worked most of his life he has the right not to work if he doesnt want to thats NONE of yalls busnies. and if he doesnt have a job Guess what that means more time to spend on what needs to be done ("No caps" Kingfish) i apologize, i don't know who you are talking about. if it is me, i work 6 days a week. i could have retired years ago, but that is not my style. while others my age have retired the good lord has given me good health and i guess my ministry is to do the people's work. that't why the developers and the elitists don't like me very much.

Jolene, was that you?

jolene Saint Marys, GA Reply » Report Abuse Judge it! #14 2 min ago When I found out last Tuesday Tommy Weaver had put in a bid on The Bait Shop I was thrilled. He is the only person I know who has the knowledge to make this venture work. I have seen his bid and it makes sense. I know the DNR looked at the location last week. This is a great opportunity for the City of St. Marys to give a small business a chance to get going. The yacht club wants nothing more than to run a social club on the city's dime. http://www.topix.com/forum/city/kingsland-ga/TN9VUG114MRC6F15O Now, the question is, was that Jolene Haney going after the fishermen's votes or an opponent of her's trying to cost her the St.MYC votes? Will the real Jolene Haney please stand up? Nevermind! jolene haney Saint Marys, GA Reply » Report Abuse Judge it! #2 16 min ago On Tuesday when I found out Tommy Weaver put in a bid on the bait shop I publicly stated he is the one person I know who can make this work. He has more knowledge than anyone I know about fishing. I have never been in favor of turning the bait shop over to the Yacht Club. I have always said if no one submits a bid to sell live bait, we should let the city operate the shop as a welcome center before we turn it over to the yacht club. The proposal the yacht club submitted to the city was for no rent and half of the profits. The bid Tommy Weaver submitted was $275 a month rent and further stated he understands about slower times in the season and will make provisions for those times. It is common sense the bid should go to Weaver. If anyone wants to know my opinion on specific issues please ask. It works better than rumor. http://www.topix.com/forum/city/st-marys-ga/T1K7OPUHK1BBM5MBL

China rethinking one child policy?

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,552601,00.html?test=latestnews Somewhere, in the back of my mind, probably from a sociology course, I seem to remember that a human population needs to have a minimum of 2.1 live births per 1 death to maintain a positive population growth. It may be a simple matter of China having figured out the economic value of human capital. Thomas Sowell has written extensively on the subject.

Sundy Funnies; Volume 82.

WARNING FOR MALE SHOPPERS Women often receive warnings about protecting themselves at the mall and in dark parking lots, etc. This is the first warning I have seen for men. "A 'heads up' for those men who may be regular customers at: Lowe's, Home Depot,or Costco. Over the last month I became a victim of a scam while shopping. Here's how the scam works: Two 20-something girls approach as you are packing your shopping into the trunk. They both start wiping your windshield with a rag and Windex, with their breasts almost falling out of their skimpy T-shirts. When you thank them and offer them a tip, they say 'No'. Instead, they ask you for a ride to McDonalds. You agree. They get into the back seat. They start undressing. One climbs over the front seat and starts crawling all over you, while the other one steals your wallet. I had my wallet stolen June 4th, 9th, 10th, twice on the 15th, 17th, 20th, 24th, & 29th. Also July 1st & 4th, twice on the 8th, 16th, 23rd, 26th &> 28th, three times last Monday and very likely again this weekend. Tell your friends to be careful. Wal-Mart has wallets on sale for $2.99 each. I found cheaper ones for $1.99 at K- Mart and bought them out. You never will get to eat at McDonalds. I've already lost 11 pounds just running back and forth to Lowe's, Home Depot, and Costco."

S.E. coastal deep-water corals get new protection.

http://savannahnow.com/news/2009-09-20/southeastern-coral-get-new-protection Has anyone ever heard of, much less eaten, a "golden crab?"

The clock is ticking down for Cumberland residents.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-09-20/story/resident_on_historic_island_property_hopes_she_can_stay_there

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Oh, brother! Can a "Shop local: shop Green" campaign be far behind?

http://www.americansalonmag.com/americansalon/Better+Business/Big-Fish-Small-Pond/ArticleStandard/Article/detail/623142?ref=25 I wonder what the intial "suggested contribution" will be to have your business inspected, certified "eco-friendly," and get your "official" window decal from St. Marys EarthKeepers?

Camden Watch Dogs report over 5,000 appeals!

http://www.camdenwatchdog.com/

Kingfish has truly lost his mind!

sandy feller Joined: Aug 7, 2009 Comments: 188 Saint Marys, GA Reply » Report Abuse Judge it! #278 1 hr ago mr moreno (alias Benny) appears to have aligned himself with mr rillo. that is his right. mr rillo has posted on his own blog his areas of interest. that is as it should be. the question is, what would he do about them? my posts here and on my own blog show that i offer solutions to problems rather than just stating the obvious. mr rillo is new to campaigning so let's give him some slack to develop his positions. perhaps it boils down to experience vs zeal. http://www.topix.com/forum/city/kingsland-ga/TPBLQJNHO6RDNQ9N5/p14#lastPost (And don't forget, folks, I get my orders from the great "EVIL DOER," Steve Berry)

2/3 of all new teachers will switch careers within 5 years.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-09-19/story/keeping_teachers_at_a_school_isnt_just_a_matter_of_money

Forrest Gump had better sense!

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-09-19/story/st_marys_officer_fired_after_facebook_posting

Friday, September 18, 2009

Ooops, I screwed up!

In the course of adding a link to Rillo's blog to my list of links, I somehow deleted all of them! What a drag! I'll get them back up over the weekend.

Rillo campaign blog now moderates (i.e., screens) voters' questions!

Well, folks, it looks like I've asked my last question on Rillo's blog. He has now turned on "comment moderation." Careful you do not submit an unfavorable question. I notice he did allow the Queen of Green to get in a response, though. http://rilloforcouncil.blogspot.com/ Update: Actually, about 5 minutes ago (8:15 PM) I submitted a series of perfectly good questions concerning urban renewal on Osborne downtown from city hall back north to the mill site. Update @ 9:36 AM, Saturday, 9/19: Roger has now answered my questions. I've just asked him a follow-on question. Update @ 3:41 PM, Saturday: No answer on the last question yet, but I've just finished asking another one. Folks, asking a question is not at all difficult. Just click on the link to his blog (above). Now, scroll down to the next to last line, where it currently says "2009 8 comments." Click on "comments." The rest is self explanatory. Update @ 9:21 PM, Saturday: Okay, he has now answered both of my outstranding questions. I'm going to give it a rest for a while and see what questions you folks have.

Although he has had his own blog for 5 years, Kingfish Feller has opted to corral the cretin bloc vote on TOPIX.

http://www.topix.com/forum/city/kingsland-ga/TPBLQJNHO6RDNQ9N5 (And no, I can not and do not post on TOPIX. However, some imposters do aspire to be me from time-to-time).

Good news on the economic development front may be closer than I thought!

Click on images to enlarge.
Okay, above, you will see a follow-on series of e-mails resulting from my asking Kingsland City Council if they knew the current status of the project. Sounds promising, eh?

Former SMPD officer Bob Godley speaks out.

Bob Godley Saint Marys, GA Reply » Report Abuse Judge it! #6 1 hr ago Rick I would like to take a oppertunity to thank you! If an investigation was conducted of any type against me for ant reason I was not questioned about it, nor was my Supervisor ever informed of it, as per Departmental Policy. I was called by Lt.Lauf at 4:15 pm prior to the City Council meeting on the 14th, and told not to report to work per Maj.Wooten, about a complaint at City Hall. I went to the Police Dept. on the 15th at 11:00 and met with the Chief, Major, Lieutenant & Donna Folsom. I was told the that my termination comes from Downtown by the Chief. This was a first for me. Nobody has allowed me to defend myself against an alligation of any kind. I know you are a seeker of the truth, so good luck to you! The invitation to meet me is still open! Sport Kingsland, GA If this was indeed written by Bob Godley - as I believe it was - I would remind him that the city has a grievance board. However, I don't believe that the board - civilians appointed by council - has EVER ruled in favor of a terminated employee of any kind in the 16 years I've lived here. If you truly believe you've done no wrong, get an attorney. I would recommend Jim Stein. http://www.topix.com/forum/city/kingsland-ga/TCL0T5L3EEDT3JK88

Rillo campaign off to a quick start with campaign blog.

http://rilloforcouncil.blogspot.com/ Get a load of who asked the very first straightman / softball / set-up question and the date she asked it vesrsus te date the existence of this blog hit the T&G. Interesting. He does gret points for having the cajones to admit in his profile that he is actually the CURRENT PRESIDENT of the St. Marys Downtown Merchant's Association (even though, so far as I know, neither he nor his wife Rosemary have actually ever been downtown merchant's, just their long standing darling mouthpieces).

Yes, we definitely have a winner in JDA Director, David Keating!

Click on image to enlarge.
I attended this morning's 9:30 to 10:15 JDA Board meeting at the county annex next to the library off Gross Rd.
JDA Executive Director David Keating gave an excellent and highly professional presentation. There is not a scintilla of doubt in my mind that this gentlemen will, in his first year on the job, expend more actual effort and achieve more actual results than his two immediate predecessors did during the entirety of their combined sinecure tenures. It is obvious to me that the JDA Board of Directors is well pleased and impressed with David and eager to support his efforts. I would hope that the Camden County Commission is similarly impressed and willing to step up to the plate.
Above, as the first item, you will find today's press release (you saw it here first) detailing a new partnership between the bankruptcy trustee for the old Durango mill property and the JDA, with hopes to soon bring in the St. Marys DDA as a third partner, with a goal of finding a serious, well financed buyer / developer for the property at the earliest opportunity. Note that David is also pursuing a $1 million dollar grant from the federal EPA fro environmental remediation.
David also gave an excellent "Progress and Accountability Report" (what a novel concept for a JDA director). See copy above. Clearly, he's ben busy.
He also debuted the above sheet of "Camden Quick Facts" for interested businesses.
Finally, there is a proof of the sign which will be erected on the north- bound side of I-95 just south of Harriets Bluff Rd. Inquirers will be asked if they called as a result of that sign to track effectiveness.
Also, I gave David the entire Corps of Engineers report which Wyman Westberry gave me on that container handling project in Kingsland.
Keep the faith and look for good things coming to Camden in the not too distant future.

When Green, eco-weenies attack!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/sep/17/jeremy-clarkson-horse-manure-protest

College of Coastal Georgia likely to get approval for addition of a BSN program.

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2009-09-18/story/brunswick_college_hopes_for_bachelors_in_nursing_program

Discovered: tiny T-Rex ancestor.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/science/09/17/tiny.t-rex.dinosaur.discovered/index.html

Thursday, September 17, 2009

New "temporary" city attorney for St. Marys.

I got wind of the St. Marys City Council hiring a new city attorney in executive session Monday night. When I asked the city clerk for details, here's what I got. Jay, Mr. Alexander Atwood is the City of St Marys’ temporary City Attorney. I do not have any other information at this time. Thank you, Darlene M. Roellig City Clerk Quien sabe?

At last, a TAD-worthy, win-win project?

Click on images to enlarge.
Tuesday afternoon, I ran into my old friend Wyman Westberry coming out of Walmart. For those who don't know, Wyman was the original builder/owner/operator of all of the Mom&Pop stores which he sold to the "Green Cedars" folks. Wyman still has remaining business interests in Camden County. He tells me he now spends about 3 days per week in St. Marys looking after those and 4 days per week at his farm, a little north and west of Jesup, where he is raising "a few hundred head" of cattle. The conversation soon turned to local politics. We were talking about industrial development - or more precisely, the lack thereof. That's when he told me of a couple of documents he received back in April from the Savannah District Office, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. I found his description so interesting and was so amazed I had not heard of the Kingsland project involved, that I asked if I could get a copy. It so happened he had one readily available, so I followed him back to his office (still where it always was). Here's the deal. The ports of Savannah and Jacksonville are both on the cusp of a huge expansion of their container handling capacity. As a result, they both share a similar problem: limited room for container staging and bottlenecks for truckers coming and going. The proposed solutions are identical. The plan is to build off-site locations where the containers can go from ship to train to off-site handling and warehousing locations. The one in Savannah will be in Port Wentworth, on the doorstep of the Garden City Container Berths of the GPA. The proposed solution for the expansion on Blount Island / Dames Point is to haul the containers by train to a new handling, warehousing, and trucking center in Kingsland. Where? Well, refresh your memory by clicking on this link. http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/111507/geo_217793932.shtml
. Okay, so back to the container handling facility. You can see where it will be located in the first illustration above. That shaded area represents a 1,816.42 acre tract within the 15,000 acre development. Containers would come up the existing rail lines from Blount Island / Dames Point, then be diverted into the handling facility. There they would be offloaded. Some would be picked up, unopened, and further shipped by tractor trailer to their end destinations. Others would be unloaded into warehousing for sorting. The contents would then be repacked to fill orders , then shipped out by tractor trailer. This will generate hundreds of reasonably well paying jobs. I would hope that it would also lead to the four laning of Hwy 17 all the way from the 17 / I-95 intersection in Florida to the 17/ I-95 junction in Glynn County at Exit 29. It occurs to me that if that part of the 15,000 acre project could be built first and a TAD would help get it done sooner rather than later, it might well be worth considering.