Author Archives: jsq

Charlton County Commission passed resolution supporting titanium mine near Okefenokee Swamp 2019-08-15

Causing outrage from the packed house, the Charlton County Commission refused Thursday to let anyone speak who did not live in the county or own land there. This was after the Commission unanimously passed a resolution supporting the proposed titanium mine, without any public hearing and with citizens at all permitted to speak beforehand. The resolution apparently says it depends on the miners getting permits, and Charlton County does not decide on those permits. The opposition is now even more determined to stop those permits by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the state of Georgia. You, too, can comment to USACE and GA-EPD by the current deadline of September 12, 2019.

[Signs]
Photo: John S. Quarterman, before 2019-08-13 TPM meeting. L-r: Mark Lyons of Citizens Against Phosphate Mining, Alice Keyes of One Hundred Miles, ? and Jim Tatum of Our Santa Fe River (OSFR) and WWALS, Rena Peck Stricker of Georgia River Network, Mike Roth and Kristin Rubin of OSFR and WWALS, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee Riverkeeper, Merillee Malwitz-Jipson of OSFR and WWALS.

The Charlton County Commission’s public speaking rule is indeed new, since the previous month Continue reading

Last year’s winner Laura D’Alisera headlines Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest

Last year, Laura D’Alisera of Jacksonville, Florida, won both the $50 prize for best song from outside the Suwannee River Basin, and the $300 First Prize for best song. This year, she’s on the committee that selected the seven finalists who will play for the three judges and you this Saturday, August 24, 2019. But first, Laura and Joe Smothers will entertain you, so come on down, 1-5 PM, to The Salty Sanpper, 1405 Gornto Road, Valdosta, GA, where radio personality Chris Beckham will be our M.C.

Laura D'Alisera (Sara Jay)
Photo: Sara Jay, of Laura D’Alisera winning the First Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest last year (2018).

Laura said her song is Continue reading

Fracking is causing global rise in methane pollution

So bad even the fossil fuel industry press is reporting it: Nick Cunningham, OilPrice.com, 18 August 2019, Shale’s Dark Side: Methane Emissions Are Soaring,

Figure 1: methane emissions rising since 2008, and it's fracking
Figure 1 from the study: Methane emissions are rapidly rising since 2008, and carbon 13 signatures show it’s not cows, it’s not swamps, it’s not coal, which is crashing: it’s fracking.

A new study finds that shale oil and gas is behind the global rise in methane pollution over the past decade, a major source of greenhouse gas emissions.

The study, published in Biogeosciences, was able to separate methane emissions from conventional versus unconventional drilling, as well as methane from other “biogenic” sources, such as agriculture or wetlands. “This recent increase in methane is massive,” Robert W. Howarth of Cornell University, the author of the study, said in a statement. “It’s globally significant. It’s contributed to some of the increase in global warming we’ve seen and shale gas is a major player.”

Methane emissions rose Continue reading

Speakers, NextEra Quitman Solar II, Brooks County, GA 2019-08-05

The speakers against NextEra’s 150 megawatt Quitman II Solar on wooded wetlands were many and eloquent, from the very directly affected Brian Duck surrounded by solar panels to the strategic NextEra’s deadlines are not our deadlines, to the philosophical: Chad Stipe on Heritage and values, and Abigail Pope Sowell on care of the earth as our most pleasing responsibility.


      Surrounded by solar panels --Brian Duck
Brian Duck in the wheelchair on the left, about to tell the Commission how he is surrounded by NextEra’s proposed solar panels.

The speakers for let out some stunners, such as Deer will just move –Corey Haines, Biologist, Trees and roads no concern –Atty. Jonathan E. Wells, and Cancel out my wife –George Wallace.

My favorite was the allegedly impartial Daniel Geller of UGA who claimed Georgians import all our energy. I rebutted this by noting my 15 kilowatts of solar panels on my farm workshop, before telling the Commissioners some things they may not have known, about FPL in Florida and Sabal Trail burning in Quitman. Opposition attorney Waters also got Gellar to explicitly say he was not speaking for UGA.

Compliments to the Brooks County Commission for letting everybody who wanted to speak, with no restrictions on where they could be from (unlike Charlton County). There were, however, some irregularities: Continue reading

One Week to Second Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest

Today is one week from hearing seven finalists play for three judges and you, in the Second Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, at The Salty Snapper in Valdosta, GA, 1-5PM, Saturday, August 24, 2019.

Mike Tappan playing Capt' Curries Blues

Radio personality Chris Beckham will M.C. Headliners Joe Smothers and last year’s $300 First Prize Winner Laura D’Alisera will play before the contestants. There will be copious snacks, a silent auction, and a kayak raffle, and yes, speakers about the WWALS advocacy for which this is a benefit concert.

Here’s last year’s winner in the Blues genre, as well as the winner of the $50 prize for best finalist from within the Suwannee River Basin, Mike Tappan of Valdosta, playing Capt. Curries Blues.

Continue reading

Mining Resolution Premature –Suwannee Riverkeeper to Charlton County 2019-08-15

Sent just now:


August 15, 2019

To:James E Everett, Chairman, jevephotochristianbooks@windstream.net

      Alphya Benefield, Vice Chair, alphyab@yahoo.com

      Hampton Raulerson, County Administrator, hraulerson@charltoncountyga.gov

      Jenifer Nobles, County Clerk, jnobles@charltoncountyga.gov

Re: Applicant: Twin Pines Minerals, LLC, USACE Application: SAS-2018-00554

Dear Chairman, Vice Chairman, and Staff,

Thank you for your hospitality at your July Regular Session. Especially thanks to the County Clerk for letting me back in to get my hat, and to the County Administrator for coming to St. George Tuesday to find a spot in the shade. Please distribute this letter to the rest of the Commissioners.

On your agenda for tonight is a resolution in support of the titanium mine proposed by Twin Pines Minerals (TPM). While I understand everyone wants jobs, I respectfully submit that far too many things are still unknown, so the time is premature for the Commission to support or oppose this proposed mine.

[Premature for resolution]
Premature for resolution
PDF

Please note that the jobs numbers given by the miners have varied quite a bit, and Continue reading

WWALS Boomerang paddle race in Albany Herald

Picked up from the WWALS PR, in the Albany Herald, 11 August 2019, Watershed coalition to host ‘Boomerang’ paddle event,

VALDOSTA — WWALS Watershed Coalition will host a fun-filled day of “Boomerang” paddle racing and leisurely paddling on the idyllic blackwater Withlacoochee River on Oct. 26 with plenty of water, no deadfalls, plus shoals. Participants will paddle from State Line Ramp in Georgia, with staggered starts for turnarounds in Florida at 1, 2 and 3 miles, then back to where the event started.

Tickets are $20 until Oct. 15, then $30.

[Flyer]
Flyer
PDF

“Sign up to race and get a beer for participating,” Boomerang mastermind Bobby McKenzie said in a news release. “Thanks to Georgia Beer Company.”

Vendors vested in conservation or stewardship of the state’s waters already Continue reading

Holton Creek River Camp Overnight Outing 2019-09-21

Join us for an overnight two-day paddle on the Suwannee River, staying at Holton Creek River Camp.
Day 1: 5.5 mile paddle from Deese-Howard Ramp to Holton Creek River Camp. Spend the night in a screened platform.
Day 2: 6.4 mile paddle from Holton Creek River Camp to Gibson County Park.

When: Day 1: Gather 10 AM, launch 12 PM, Saturday, September 21, 2019
Day 2: Gather overnight, launch 9 AM, Sunday, September 22, 2019

Put In: Deese-Howard Boat Ramp

GPS: 30.41439, -82.96292

Take Out: Day 1: Holton Creek River Camp. If you don’t want to camp, you can make it a one-day outing by paddling on to:
Day 2: Gibson County Park

Bring: the usual personal flotation device, boat paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) a day for non-members. So that’s $20 for the two days, or $10 for non-members who go only one day. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today! Individual membership is only $25 and family $40, and then the outings are free to you for a year.

Event: facebook, meetup

Continue reading

Swamp more important than miners under Consent Order in Florida

A resolution supporting the TPM mine is on the agenda for the Charlton County Commission meeting, 6PM this Thursday, August 15, 2019, 68 Kingsland Drive, Folkston, GA. Especially if you live in Charlston County, please go to that meeting and object. Even better, contact your County Commissioner before the meeting.

[Suwannee Riverkeeper op-ed 2019-08-13]
Suwannee Riverkeeper op-ed 2019-08-13

Suwannee Riverkeeper op-ed in the Charlton County Herald, yesterday, August 13, 2019:

Swamp more important than miners under Consent Order in Florida

Twin Pines Minerals (TPM) promises jobs, taxes, and low impact to mine for titanium between Moniac and St. George, on property that extends up to the Okefenokee NWR.

People from Baker, Bradford, and Union Counties, Florida, say they don’t know any locals who have the mine jobs promised by Chemours. The TPM application for Charlton County promises Continue reading

Consent Order, FDEP v. Chemours involving Twin Pines Minerals 2019-02-07

Twin Pines Minerals (TPM) is cited in a consent order on Chemours mines, for failure to collect data, spilling waste through silt fences and not cleaning it up, and being out of compliance on numerous counts, including radium and iron, in the Suwannee, St. Johns, and St. Mary’s River basins in Florida.

[Four times spelled out]
Four times spelled out, on four different pages

This is the same TPM that has applied to mine titanium in Charlton County, Georgia, near the Okefenokee Swamp, which is the headwaters of the Suwannee and St. Mary’s Rivers.

[TPM, GA and Chemours FL mines]
TPM, GA and Chemours FL mines

You can read the Consent Order yourself: Continue reading