Tag Archives: watershed

Winners of the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Valdosta, GA, July 2, 2017 — In a good time with good food and good music, at the Salty Snapper in Valdosta, Saturday afternoon, June 23, 2018, three judges from Georgia and Florida deliberated a long time after six songwriters from Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida sang, and selected winners of the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2018.

The WWALS Songwriting Contest Committee met many times to plan for the first annual contest. The purpose of the contest was to raise awareness of the WWALS watershed and its accomplishments. Will Eason of the Salty Snapper welcomed us, WWALS Ambassador Dave Hetzel spoke about the origins of WWALS, Board member Bret Wagenhorst spoke about Outings, Committee Chair Eileen Box spoke about the Committee, and WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman was the M.C.

Winners and Judges (Sharon Yeago)
Winners and Judges (Sharon Yeago), left to right: Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman, WWALS E.D. and contest M.C. Gretchen Quarterman, ? (JJ), ? (JJ), Jay Jourden (JJ), Judge J.J. Rolle, Emmett Carlisle, Laura D’Alisera, Mike Tappan, Judge Cindy Bear, Dave Pharr, ? Tom Shed (JJ), Don Austin (JJ), Hollin Gammage, and the small child is next year’s contestant (JJ marks members of Jay Jourden’s band).

The finalists, who played in random order, selected by drawing straws, with sound by Will Eason and other help by Scotti Jay, were: Continue reading

Landowner wins over Sabal Trail in jury trial, jsq on Scott James radio 2018-06-29

The just compensation for property takings required by the Fifth Amendment is not “just” compensation, said Scott James. And a jury of peers of a landowner told Sabal Trail to pay up five times what it offered for an easement for its fracked gas pipeline.

“…nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
—Fifth Amendment, U.S. Constitution

Scott said this jury award was big news and asked if it was just compensation. I said yes, front page in the Valdosta Daily Times.


VDT front page

And five times is more just than before. But how is a one-time payment Continue reading

WCTV: Celebrating victory against Sabal Trail

Emma Wheeler, WCTV, 27 June 2018, Landowners, environmentalists celebrate ‘small victory’ over Sabal Trail,

The Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline was granted eminent domain in order to run through some of the private properties along its path. In doing so it was required to offer what the defense calls ‘just compensation.’

Eminent domain

One Moultrie land owner was offered around $20,000 for an easement on his property. This week a jury, siding with the land owner, decided that was not enough.

Sabal Trail is now ordered to pay five times that amount, more than Continue reading

Valdosta spilled 300,000 gallons Tuesday 2018-06-26

For a year and a half, Valdosta had no major sewage spills. Until yesterday. The 300,000 gallons Valdosta spilled uphill from the Withlacoochee River is far more than the 90,000 gallons Albany spilled into the Flint River a month ago, and far more than the 36,000 + 5,400 gallons Tifton spilled into the New River a few weeks ago. It’s even more than the 250,000 gallons Tifton spilled into the Little River last September during Hurricane Irma.

New WWTP site near Withlacoochee River

Sure, 300,000 is less than the millions of gallons Valdosta spilled in January 2017. And sure, Valdosta has spent tens of millions of dollars building a whole new Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) uphill out of the flood plain, and a force main, and mamy other improvements. Sure, the situation is better than it used to be, as I’ve been bragging about on the radio and in this blog recently.

But it was that same new WWTP that spilled yesterday. Sure, what spilled was mostly rainwater.

But people in the seven Florida counties downstream (or in Lowndes and Brooks Counties, Georgia downstream) are not Continue reading

Sabal Trail loses jury trial in Valdosta, GA 2018-06-26

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 26, 2018, Valdosta, GA — The jury deliberated a bit less than an hour two hours, delivering a verdict just before 7PM tonight: $103,385 for easement and $4,531.50 for timber. The figures offered by Sabal Trail were $19,979 for easement and $4,117 for timber. Assuming these numbers transcribed from various speakers are correct, the jury awarded five times what Sabal Trail offered for the pipeline easement and somewhat more than their offer for timber.

“When Sabal Trail goes to jury trial, it loses,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman.

Here are the winners, waiting in the hall before the jury came back:

Fred Jones, Lynn Lasseter, Jonathan Waters, Reese Waters
The winners: Fred Jones, Lynn Lasseter (Defendant), Jonathan Waters (attorney), Reese Waters (attorney’s assistant)

This jury verdict from the U.S. Court, Middle District of Georgia, is very similar to Continue reading

Quarter million dollar upgrade to Lowndes County Land Application Site 2018-06-25

Lowndes County Utilities Director Steve Stalvey wants about $20,000 for impellers and wear rings for the pumps in the Francis Lake Lift Station and about $275,000 to improve the Land Application Site (LAS), where they spray sewer waste onto a field which they then rent out for hay production (the county does not have a wastewater treatment plant).

The agenda for this morning’s Lowndes County Commission Work Session and tomorrow evening’s voting Regular Session doesn’t say where the LAS is, but apparently it’s these two parcels nestled between Moody AFB’s Grassy Pond and the private Pike’s Pond Fishing Club, west of I-75 and Lake Park.

Parcels 0172 119 and 0204 001
Parcels 0172 119 and 0204 001, Lowndes County Tax Assessors.

Parcel 0172 119, 537.84 acres, no location address given, but Continue reading

Running Springs painting by Julie Bowland for Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest today 2018-06-23

WWALS Scout and VSU Art Professor Julie Bowland donated this painting of Running Spring for auction 1-5PM this afternoon at The Salty Snapper, 1405 Gornto Rd, Valdosta, GA 31602, in the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest.

Springs, painting by Julie Bowland

Come on down to hear new songs about our rivers, with a buffet and cash bar! Plus you could get this painting, maybe even for Continue reading

Videos: Songwriting Contest on Scott James Radio 2018-06-22

Come hear good music this afternoon, new songs about the Suwannee, Withlacoochee, and other rivers, said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman on the radio yesterday morning with Scott James. The M.C. for today’s finals of the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, WWALS E.D. Gretchen Quarterman, explained the raffles (kayak, swag, and silent auction), and we mentioned the buffet and cash bar at the at the Salty Snapper, 1405 Gornto Rd, Valdosta, GA 31602.

You can even paddle 9AM this morning down the Withlacoochee River into Valdosta to get to the Salty Snapper.

Scott James Talk 92.1 drive-time radio show

We listed the finalists in the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, and described the format: speeches (especially by Will Eason of the Salty Snapper), finalists play new songs about the rivers, judges score on music, lyrics, history, etc., and finally the results of the raffles, and the prizes. We showed off the First Prize plaque, just handed to us by WWALS Board Member Phil Hubbard, who made it.

Here’s a LAKE WWALS video playlist:


Videos: Songwriting Contest on Scott James Radio 2018-06-22
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS),

Once festival season is over today, we noted we’ll get on with the programs WWALS fundraising pays for. Such as water quality testing: Continue reading

Songwriting Contest on Scott James Radio 8:00AM 2018-06-22

Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman will be on the radio 8:00 AM this morning, Friday June 22, 2018, with Scott James on his Talk 92.1 drive-time radio show, out of Valdosta, Georgia, talking about:

Scott James Talk 92.1 drive-time radio show

When: 8:30 AM, Thursday, April 26, 2018

Where: You can listen on the air, or through the radio show’s own website, or through several online listening services.

Tickets: To listen to new songs about the rivers Saturday, don’t forget to get your tickets, $10 online, or $12 at the door.

Event: facebook for the radio show;
facebook and meetup for the music Saturday.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

Sabal Trail Jury Trial in Valdosta, GA 2018-06-25

Update 2018-06-26: Cross examination starts at 9AM today in the Sabal Trail Jury Trial in Valdosta. John S. Quarterman went to the oral arguments yesterday afternoon.

Update 2018-06-25: Oral arguments start 1PM today in the Sabal Trail Jury Trial in Valdosta. Gretchen went to jury selection this morning, which wrapped up rapidly.

PDF flyer.

Maybe this will end up like the last jury trial, which didn’t go so well for Sabal Trail. Come see!

Photo by Mjrmtg on Wikimedia Commons of Federal Building, Valdosta, GA, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0. The date, case number, judge, and defendant, are from Attorney Jonathan P. Waters. Anything additional I have dug up.

When: 1PM, Monday, June 23, 2018, and may run all week.

Where: Continue reading