“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” -MLK

Imperial Bondware

Walker County catch-all director Larry Brooks confirms LU report of a week ago about a manufacturer buying the old Sweetheart Cup / Imperial Bondware plant. He says, as LU did, an existing manufacturer is in talks to buy the facility with a deal expected by the end of the month.

Brooks credits the county’s “pro-business attitude” for the deal, which apparently has no government involvement. Because of the county’s attitude, or in spite of? Probably the latter.   Tiny Facebook

LaFayette Presbyterian Church asked the City Council last Monday if they could use Lowell Greene Rec center for a community health clinic twice a month. The council delayed deciding until February’s meeting, wanting more information about potential liabilities and insurance concerns.

Lowell Greene Rec Sign

Councilman Davis spoke up in support of this at the end of the meeting, so hopefully they’ll sign off on it next month. The city has far too many buildings nobody uses for anything, and it looks like this would be a benefit to residents (in the part of town where it’s most needed) with minimal costs.   Tiny Facebook

Public relations king Albert Waterhouse was arrested Thursday in Hamilton County for DUI. He was picked up for the same thing in 2012, 2004, and at least four previous times dating back into the late 1980’s. Thanks to his connections he’s never been given much of a punishment.

Albert Waterhouse 2012 MugshotWaterhouse PR handles marketing for governments and politicians. In Walker County he advised Commissioner Heiskell’s 2012 reelection campaign, taking in $25,221.92 for services described as “Campaign Management.” Waterhouse PR also handles accounts for Chattanooga airport, downtown Chattanooga, Unum insurance, and a multitude of political campaigns like Scottie Mayfield’s failed run for congress in Tennessee a few years ago.

In 2004 Waterhouse, who lives on our side of Lookout Mountain, was stopped for DUI while driving up the TN side of Lookout. He DROVE AWAY from law enforcement, who still had his ID, and still was given a slap on the wrist sentence. The handling of that case led to a grand jury investigation.

Seems he’s a wealthy Lookout Mountain drunk who associates with the Davenports and never faces real punishment for his misdeeds.

In other words, he’s Bebe’s kind of guy.   Tiny Facebook

WQCH Radio reports Walker County Government has rented an empty building in LaFayette to a private business, Primary Health Care Centers.

Downtown Lawyer Office

The former lawyer’s office at the corner of Withers, Duke, and Villanow in LaFayette was purchased by the county in 2007 (SPLOST money probably) supposedly with plans to become a new office for the Commissioner.

Preliminary remodel work was done at county expense, but the Commissioner never moved in. The space was used briefly as an office by the Drug Task Force, which relocated last year.

Primary Health Care has locations in Trenton, Rossvegas, and is opening a clinic inside Catoosa County’s Tiger Creek Elementary. No terms for the lease have been reported.   Tiny Facebook

Jason Hall

Former LaFayette resident Jason Hall is being formally investigated for abusing credit cards while serving as Varnell city manager. Hall resigned from Varnell saying he would help his wife Missy with her “Cookie Boss” business in LaFayette, then abruptly moved out of the area after suspicious activity on Varnell city credit cards was discovered.

Hall, who previously worked as codes enforcement officer in Ringgold, applied for the LaFayette city manager job after Johnnie Arnold was fired in 2012 but was passed over in favor of Frank Etheridge, who also turned out to be a poor choice.

(Cookie Boss is now under new management as Wildflour.)   Tiny Facebook

Senator Mullis explains the first four-day week of legislation in Atlanta with his usual clarity.

“That OK??”

The legislature already passed one bill and sent it to the Governor: a measure moving state political primaries to the end of May, so they can occur on the same day as new court-mandated federal primary elections.

The early date for voting is one reason why this year’s legislative session will be so short. Sitting legislators can’t raise money or campaign during the session so they need to blow through everything as fast as possible to get back to what they do best – begging for money and votes.

GA General Assembly is on break today for Martin Luther King holiday.   Tiny Facebook

Next time you go See Rock City, the city will see you right back, and take note of your car tag.

Lookout Mountain Tag Cameras

Both cities of Lookout Mountain (TN and GA) have invested thousands of dollars into controversial license plate cameras, supposedly to deter crime. If properly promoted, the privacy-invading cameras could also end up deterring tourism.   Tiny Facebook

A group of Georgia parents is pushing the state to fully remove itself from controversial public school standards known as “Common Core.” So far Governor Deal won’t acknowledge or comment about the movement.

Common Core Opposition Material

At the same time, Georgia Chamber of Commerce (increasingly out of touch with citizens and small business, beholden to the government entities that fund it) is stepping in to demand Common Core be defended and retained.

Last July the state modified Common Core rules for public schools, requiring the material be taught but removing some testing requirements. GA Department of Education said the change was necessary due to the expense of mandated online tests, not because of any controversy or issues with the standards themselves.

Governor candidate David Pennington criticized Gov. Deal for his position on this, saying the whole standard – not just the tests – should have been rejected. A State Senator and Mercer professor also spoke up in the summer, echoing the feelings of many teachers: Common Core standards are actually lower standards than the state guidelines they replaced.   Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook  Tiny Facebook

Lawman” – Atlanta Magazine profiles GBI director Vernon Keenan. Lengthy detailed piece, what magazine journalism used to be.

Vernon Keenan

Keenan spent a few years running the GBI office in Chattooga County, and was on hand for the Marsh Crematory investigation here in Walker County 12 years ago. He now sets the tone for law enforcement in the State of Georgia.   Tiny Facebook

New state ethics law gives more questions than answers, both to lobbyists and legislators who fall under its gift limits. By the time this is worked out in court the law might lose the few teeth it had in the first place.

Good thing we have such ethical state legislators in the Peach State!   Tiny Facebook

Speaking of Georgia-style ethics:

A former state judge who was accused of fixing cases was admitted back into the state Bar Association after the crime he pled guilty to (honest service fraud conspiracy) was deemed inappropriate for the things he was accused of doing.

Nobody said he didn’t do what he was accused of, just the thing he pled guilty to wasn’t connected to the accusations.   Tiny Facebook

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