Apologies for the lateness of this update, we completely forgot about it over the weekend.
LaFayette City Council meeting tonight at 7:30. Here’s the agenda. Looks like nothing especially big, but you never know.. If we have someone there, we’ll try to deliver “play by play” coverage on Facebook and summarize it here tomorrow.
The SunRae Water saga continues..
Friday evening Channel 3 released a follow-up report on SunRae Water, directly mentioning the Underground and our “opposition” to the jobs the company will supposedly provide. That called for a blog post in response.
A more balanced report from the Times Free Press on Saturday featured yet another interview with Commissioner Bebe Heiskell, who still (despite continually inserting herself into this story) insists the deal isn’t political. Heiskell also said the company will get its water to bottle from “the nearby municipal water supply” instead of from the polluted Barwick plant property.
But yet another article from the
Catoosa Walker County Messenger quoted SunRae COO Dr. Robert Beeman saying “the water used will come from a source close to the plant, but that the company has not yet decided on a precise location.” Seems like they should know by now where the water will come from, considering it’s supposed to begin operation in about five weeks.
They can waste all the money they want, we don’t care – but the commissioner tied this to her reelection campaign by making the announcement and essentially taking credit for bringing them here. If not for that and the potential (which they deny) for money, tax breaks, business, or other incentives from the county.. We’d totally leave it alone.
We just don’t want anybody to vote for Bebe because of this non-business coming in, when it’s probably not going to ever be anything and they won’t report its non-accomplishment as loudly as its coming here was reported last week. And we want residents of Kensington to be aware of the potential for this to be a garbage processor instead of a water bottler.
- “Of Schieck’s six companies, only one — Sunrae Environmental — has an accessible website. But none of his companies actually produce any products or own any space, Schieck said. ‘They’re startups, and they haven’t started yet,’ he said.”
WRCB TV 3, 05/24/12: “Students in Georgia scored an average of 151 on the National Assessment of Educational Progress exam last year, meeting the national average for the first time. ..Still, the vast majority of students in Georgia aren’t considered proficient in science. Just 30% of Georgia students scored proficient or better on the test, up slightly from 28% two years earlier.”
Meeting the average means we were.. Average. Roughly half the 50 states did worse than us, and half did better. Or did they change the word “average” to mean something else?
Walker Schools never commented about the five-dozen teaching jobs cut, but they did send a memo to all staff Friday announcing 8 furlough days next year.
- “Memo To: All Walker County School System Employees
With the exception of Bus Drivers and Bus Attendants
From: Ed Combs, Director of Personnel
Re: 2012-2013 Work Reduction Days
- “Because of declining student enrollments and declining revenues from both state and local sources and increased costs to employee benefits (health insurance etc.), it will be necessary to reduce the work schedule next year by the equivalent of 8 days for all employees with the exception of those listed above. Half-time employees would be reduced 8 half days. It is regrettable, but this must be done to maintain our fiscal integrity and preserve as many jobs as possible. Each work reduction day saves the equivalent of approximately 5 teaching positions.
- “Over the last 10 years, the Walker County School System has endured austerity reductions (state funding cuts) in the amount of $34,547,338. Projected cuts next year for Walker County are $7,158,170 that brings the total cuts to education funding from the state legislature to $41,705,508 in austerity alone since 2003. In spite of these cuts in funding from the state, Walker County has been able to operate with only 2 work reduction days in 2009-10, no work reduction days 2010-11, and 7 work reduction days this year. Many systems have had 8-10 work reduction days for several years. What we are experiencing now is what other systems have been experiencing for several years.
- “The 2012-2013 school calendar will remain as is for students with changes only to in-service days. You will be provided a revised employee calendar prior to leaving for summer break.”
MyFoxAtlanta.com: “Aimee Copeland severely cut her left leg while zip-lining in a friend’s backyard near Carrollton last week. She contracted a flesh-eating bacteria infection that forced doctors to amputate the leg.”
Later reports say she will lose her other leg, and probably her fingers too if not her hands.
The Summerville News reminds everyone: Stealing Political Signs is a Crime.
But it seems the illegal placement of unrequested signs and placement of signs at churches and on government property is a bigger deal and happening more here than sign theft. And it’s NOT theft to take down a sign someone places on your own property without permission. You nail it to my fence and it’s my sign to do whatever I want with.
WQCH Radio, 05/11/12:
- “A MILLION DOLLAR SEIZURE OF PROPERTY IS REPORTED FROM A DRUG INVESTIGATION IN SOUTHERN WALKER COUNTY ACCORDING TO THE DRUG TASK FORCE. THEY SAY WARREN SMITH, BARBARA SMITH, SETH SMITH, RANDALL FERGUSON, RONALD HISE AND BARRY FRANKLIN WERE PART OF ONE THE LARGEST MARIJUANA OPERATIONS EVER DISCOVERED IN THE AREA. ALL WERE INDICTED BY THE WALKER COUNTY GRAND JURY ON “RICO” RACKETEERING CHARGES, THIS WEEK. SO FAR, 12 OF THE 21 PEOPLE BELIEVED ASSOCIATED WITH THE MARIJUANA RING HAVE BEEN ARRESTED.
- “THE SMITH FAMILY MOVED TO THE MENLO AREA IN SOUTH WALKER COUNTY ABOUT 10 YEARS AGO, ACCORDING TO TASK FORCE COMMANDER, PATRICK DOYLE. IN MARCH, INVESTIGATORS SEIZED MORE THAN 600-THOUSAND DOLLARS IN PROPERTY, INCLUDING REAL ESTATE, CARS AND BOATS, ALLEGING IT WAS ALL PURCHASED WITH DRUG MONEY. WITH MORE PROPERTY SEIZURES PENDING IN GORDON COUNTY, THE TOTAL IS AROUND 1.1-MILLION DOLLARS IN VALUE, ACCORDING TO DISTRICT ATTORNEY, ‘BUZZ’ FRANKLIN. A DOZEN LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES… FEDERAL, STATE, COUNTY AND LOCAL… ASSISTED IN THE INVESTIGATION.”
They were also charged with misuse of a communications facility.. This should be interesting when more details come out.
Local extras are STILL needed for the movie “42″ which starts shooting in a few weeks. Lets get some Walker County people in those seats.
Free breakfast, lunch, and snacks, you might win a prize, you’d be in the movie (albeit from a distance) and you might get to see Harrison Ford in person.