Monthly Archives: January 2018

Hahira: against GA state fee diversions and for WLRWT 2018-01-30

Tonight, a resolution supporting the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail, and a resolution for Georgia HR 158 against state fee diversions, (the one already passed by three counties and two cities in the Suwannee River Basin), on the agenda at the Hahira City Council Work Session (and Thursday at the Regular Session). Both will be introduced by Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman.

When: 6:00 PM, Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Where: Hahira Courthouse, 301 W Main Street, Hahira, GA 31632

What: Work Session, Hahira City Council

Continue reading

Hotchkiss Road Landing, Old State Road, and Naylor Boat Ramp

Common question: isn’t Hotchkiss closed? Answer: the old Hotchkiss Landing in Lowndes County is closed, private, and don’t go there! Caution! But Hotchkiss Road Landing in Lanier County is open as always, do go there to get to the Alapaha River. Boat landing And there’s a new park at US 84, with a Naylor Boat Ramp being built by Lowndes County, as urged by WWALS.

600x450 Bret Wagenhorst, Dave Hetzel, Gretchen Quarterman, at Hotchkiss Road, in Alapaha River Outing, by John S. Quarterman, for WWALS.net, 24 August 2014
Bret Wagenhorst, Dave Hetzel, Gretchen Quarterman, at Hotchkiss Road (open, do go there Boat landing), in Alapaha River Outing, by John S. Quarterman, for WWALS.net, 24 August 2014.

Previously there was some discussion of using a different name for Hotchkiss Road Landing in the Alapaha River Water Trail, but then nobody would know what we were referring to, since that’s what it’s always been called, down at the end of Hotchkiss Road off of US 84.

For those relatively new to WWALS, WWALS was heavily involved in Continue reading

Gornto Road, Valdosta, access to Withlacoochee River 2018-01-24

It could use some markers to keep people on it and off private property, and maybe some loaner kayak wheels, but there is public access to the Withlacoochee River off of Gornto Road in Valdosta.

Tea-colored water, 16:22:37,, Withlacoochee River
Tea-colored water, 16:22:37,, Withlacoochee River 30.8623900, -83.3224600

And a very nice blackwater river it is. Continue reading

Biggest city in Suwannee River Basin passed resolution for dedicated state fees @ VCC 2018-01-25

Hear it from the Mayor, Acting City Manager, and Council of Valdosta, Georgia, and just in time for them and the Lowndes County Chairman, Manager, and Commissioners to attend their annual Bird Supper in Atlanta to discuss it with state legislators: fees collected by the state of Georgia should be dedicated to the purposes for which they were collected. Below are LAKE videos are from the Valdosta City Council, Thursday, January 25, 2018, including a few words I said about which local governments already passed this resolution.

Biggest county in Suwannee River Basin passes resolution against Georgia state fee diversions 2018-01-23

Monday the Lowndes County Chairman spoke for it, Tuesday the Lowndes County Manager spoke for it, and then they passed it: a resolution to stop the Georgia legislature from diverting funds collected by state fees. This was the fourth such local resolution in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia. Thursday Valdosta also passed it (video to come) and more after that.

5.f. Resolution Supporting HR 158 to Stop Diversion of State Fees 
      5.f. Resolution Supporting HR 158 to Stop Diversion of State Fees

Video. County Manager Joe Pritchard said the resolution “really is supporting Continue reading

No five-month extension for Sabal Trail, FERC 2018-01-26

Instead of giving Sabal Trail a five-month extension, FERC should revoke Sabal Trail’s Certificate of Convenience and Necessity, as the U.S. District Court already ordered. Sabal Trail no longer has the customers for 90+% of its gas on which that FERC’s February 2 Order depended, not since Sabal Trail dropped Duke Energy Florida (DEF) from its customer index on New Year’s Day.

Tillerson and Czaputowicz
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (L) and Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz shake hands during a joint press conference after their meeting in Warsaw on January 27, 2018. / AFP / Wojtek RADWANSKI

It’s time to stop the fossil fuel industry using Sabal Trail as a political tool to undermine the overall energy stability and security of the U.S. southeast for the profit of a few companies from Texas and Canada. Just like the U.S. State Department recommends for Europe, FERC should seek to diversify energy supplies by getting on with solar power onshore and wind power offshore in the Sunshine State, Georgia, and everywhere else.

Suwannee FGT M&R Yard KMI JEP, Suwannee County
Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS on Southwings flight June 21, 2016, of site of Sabal Trail Suwannee County M&R Station connecting to Florida Gas Transmission (FGT).

What’s that “one additional M&R facility,” Sabal Trail? Is it the one in Suwannee County to feed your fracked gas through Continue reading

Critical Notice of Sabal Trail Hildreth Compressor outage 2018-01-24

Why are you having an outage at your Hildreth Compressor Station in Suwannee County, Florida, Sabal Trail? And are there continuing stink leaks at your site without a compressor at Dunnellon, Florida in Marion County? Meanwhile, you’re still shipping nothing. For that $3 or $4 billion, much more electricity from solar power could be online right now in Florida, shutting down gas power plants instead of building them.

Hildreth Compressor Station,
Photo: by anonymous, of Sabal Trail Hildreth Compressor Station site, 2016-12-12.

Thanks to eagle-eye WWALS member Janet Barrow for spotting Continue reading

Fragility of monoculture agriculture in varying water conditions

They don’t want to say “we don’t know,” but they don’t know. At least they have a working hypothesis about the collapse of the 2017 peanut crop in much of Florida: it has to do with variations in rainfall.

Bob Kemerait, Southeast Farm Press, 22 January 2018, Peanut collapse: Something happened but it’s not clear exactly why,

…For months, University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension agents led by Anthony Drew, Mace Bauer and Dee Broughton had been sounding the alarm that an unprecedented collapse of the peanut crop was occurring across large areas of Florida’s production region. Symptoms of this collapse included stunted plants, late-season yellowing and leaves with distinctive marginal leaf necrosis. Where most severe, entire fields wilted in the weeks prior to harvest. Abysmal yields, off by as much as 45 percent, forced some to consider their future in farming if solution could not be found.

During the latter third of the season, Continue reading

Pictures: PCS Phosphate mine permit Public Hearings, Jasper, FL 2018-01-23

Update 2018-01-25: Fixed Attorney Scott Shirley’s attribution.

Hamilton County did due diligence by hiring a consultant to review the PCS phosphate mine’s record and permit applications. The Mericles and me were the only non-county non-PCS people who spoke, but the Planning and Zoning Board interacted quite a bit last night at the public hearings. Both the motions they passed recommended approval of the permits, but the second motion included taking into account the points raised by the public, such as better public access to permit materials and review of the mining company’s water quality data.

Some of the cast; Cliff Adams took notes throughout, Public Comment
Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS, Left to right: Deanna Mericle, Consultant Gregory M. Hitz, County Attorney Cliff Adams, Planning and Zoning Board: A.L. Milner(?), Eddie Wynn, Megan Carter, Jim Tompkins, Harrell Tyree, Riley L. Anderson, for PCS: Attorney Scott Shirley, Danny Johnson.

County Attorney Cliff Adams took notes throughout, and there was a sound recording.

The public consisted of Continue reading

Lowndes County Chairman speaks for stopping state fee diversions 2018-01-22

The Lowndes County Commission votes tonight, 5:30 PM, on a resolution Chairman Bill Slaughter put on the agenda yesterday morning in support of stopping diversion of state fees, just after a report about a tire amnesty that was apparently funded by the Georgia Solid Waste Trust Fund, which has had fees diverted upwards of $50 million. Valdosta and Hahira also have that resolution on their agendas, after Lanier County, Adel, and Atkinson County passed it recently. If you can attend one of these meetings and thank these elected officials for doing this, I’m sure they would appreciate it.


      Chairmanr: Add to agenda resolution supporting GA  H.R. 158

Video. Chairman Bill Slaughter said Continue reading