Tag Archives: community

Repurpose toll road funds for virus relief

Update 2020-04-16: Videos: No Build: Fire and Traffic at M-CORES toll road meeting, Madison, FL 2020-02-11.

Here’s an idea from WWALS member Janet Mikulski Messcher.

To: Governor Ron DeSantis
GovernorRon.Desantis@eog.myflorida.com
800-342-3557

Dear Governor DeSantis,

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, please seek ways to shift funding from unnecessary and destructive projects to those that support our current public and community health needs. In particular, the M-CORES legislation, passed in the 2019 session, includes money for the task force process and for construction of three destructive tollroads. There is significant public opposition to these roads which have not been proven to be necessary nor economically viable. Attention should be focused on supporting our public health, including additional testing and research to support development of a vaccine.

If the Legislature returns to Tallahassee for a special session to address the budget in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we recommend that the House and Senate budget leaders consider diverting the $135 million (FY 2019/20 and FY 2020/21) earmarked from the M-CORES tollroads to go to pandemic response efforts and other community health priorities.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]

Please share this post and send in your letters. Feel free to copy your M-CORES Task Force members.

Photo: Bill Galvano, President, Florida Senate, Twitter, 17 May 2019.
Photo: Bill Galvano, President, Florida Senate, Twitter, 17 May 2019.

Here are more videos from the Madison County meeting of February 11, 2020, continuing the series that I started yesterday. I do not know whether these speakers support repurposing the funds as above, but Florida Conservation Voters was among the 90 organizations that asked Gov. DeSantis to veto the toll roads bill, as part of the No Toll Roads to Ruin coalition.

Lindsay Cross of Florida Conservation Voters asked the M-CORES Task Force to consider community vision instead of the toll road vision foisted on all of us by a few people in Tallahassee.

The Mayor of Monticello, Troy Avera, had been trying to sit on the fence, but he really doesn’t like a bypass, which would starve his city.

VSU Geology and ASA at Land Between the Rivers 2019-11-26

Two Geology Professors visited The Land Between the Rivers and wrote a letter about many projects they and their students can do there, at the site of Troupville Boat Ramp. This is more in-kind match for the GOSP grant pre-application.

[Prof. Don Thieme & Can Denizman, 13:30:33, 30.8515417, -83.3452859]
Prof. Don Thieme & Can Denizman, 13:30:33, 30.8515417, -83.3452859

Letter from Donald M. Thieme, Associate Professor, Geology, Valdosta State University (VSU):

[Donald M. Thieme, Associate Professor, Geology, VSU]
Donald M. Thieme, Associate Professor, Geology, VSU
PDF

I am very pleased and excited about the proposal by WWALS to develop the Troupville River Camp. The property in question is Continue reading

Architect Mac McCall supports Troupville River Camp 2019-12-13

Architect John M. “Mac” McCall’s support letter for the Troupville River Camp includes an offer of in-kind services. That will help bring down the cash match for the grant application.

Other organizations can still send in a letter until the end of this month.

[their work will... help monitor and keep clean these watersheds will have a great impact for generations to come.]
their work will… help monitor and keep clean these watersheds will have a great impact for generations to come.
PDF

Please accept this letter as my indication of support for the WWALS Watershed Coalition’s Application for grant assistance regarding the Troupeville River Camp project.

As a property owner of separate properties in Valdosta, Lowndes County, and on the banks of the Suwannee River in Florida, | fully support the mission of the WWALS Watershed Coalition and the work they are doing for the rivers. The impact their work will have to help monitor and keep clean these watersheds will have great impact for generations to come. The funding provided by this grant will only serve to add to their ability to do this work and to help citizens learn about and experience these rivers that are the natural assets of the State of Georgia.

As a Principal of McCall Architecture, I am glad to offer my firm’s in-kind architectural services to the project to assist in any planning or architectural design needed.

Thank you for your consideration of this Application. Please let me know if any additional support or documentation would be helpful.

This offer of in-kind architectural services adds to the in-kind services already provided by Continue reading

Madison County, FL, supports Troupville River Camp 2019-11-26

Madison County sent the first support letter from an elected body for the Troupville River Camp, almost a month ago. Other organizations can still send in a letter until the end of this month.

[...will increase tourism and the recreational opportunities for locals in our area.]
…will increase tourism and the recreational opportunities for locals in our area.
PDF

Thank you, Chair Alston Kelley and Commissioners Alfred Martin, Rick Davis, Donnie Waldrep, and Ronnie Moore, as well as County Coordinator Brian Kauffman, for this letter.

The Board met during a special called meeting on November 26, 2019, to discuss this issue, and it was unanimously approved because this project will increase tourism and the recreational opportunities for locals in our area.

[Three in a row]
Photo: Gretchen Quarterman for WWALS, of Nankin to Four Freedoms Trail, Withlacoochee River cleanup and paddle 2019-11-16
Madison County, Florida, near side; Lowndes County, Georgia, far side.

Although we live in Florida, Madison County views the Withlacoochee River as a shared resource with Valdosta, Lowndes County, and the State of Georgia, because the river crosses all political boundaries. In addition, we are very familiar with the River Camps that were built several years ago on the Suwannee River and know that these camps have worked extremely well to facilitate increased tourism. Therefore, the Madison County Board of County Commissioners is excited to provide this letter of support for the development of the Troupville River Camp.

The Troupville River Camp will be in the center of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT), leading down by Continue reading

SRWMD supports Troupville River Camp 2019-12-04

The Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) “is excited to provide this letter of support for the development of the Troupville River Camp. This project will increase tourism and recreational opportunities for local communities in our area.”

[This project will increase tourism and recreational opportunities for local communities in our area.]
This project will increase tourism and recreational opportunities for local communities in our area.
PDF

Thank you, SRWMD Executive Director Hugh Thomas and Edwin McCook for this support letter. Continue reading

Florida Community Solar SB 1156

If you want solar power in Florida, please call your state Senator and ask them to support SB 1156. If incumbent electric utilities don’t get on with solar power, community solar is one of the things that will replace them. Expect utilities and fossil fuel companies to oppose this bill, so it is important for you to support it.

Vote Solar
Florida Introduces Community Solar Legislation to Expand Clean Energy Access, Jobs, by rosalind, Vote Solar, 19 February 2019.

Vote Solar et alia, Press Release, 19 February 2019, Florida Introduces Community Solar Legislation to Expand Clean Energy Access, Jobs, Continue reading

WWALS Water Trail trailers 7PM tonight at VSU CAUSES mini-film festival 2016-01-23

April Huntley submitted a 90-second video about the Alapaha River Water Trail, and Gretchen Quarterman sent one in about the BIG Little River Paddle Race on the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail. Come cheer for them and other local community entries, 7PM tonight, Bailey Auditorium, VSU, Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia.

-jsq

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

Conservation

There’s are a reason the WWALS Mission says “conservation”. It’s pithily summed up by Prof. Rahul Mehrotra.

Elizabeth Gudrais wrote for Harvard Magazine May-June 2012, Engaging Students with Conservation,

PROFESSOR OF URBAN DESIGN and planning Rahul Mehrotra has been involved with restoring historic palaces, writing a law on historic preservation in Mumbai, and crafting a conservation master plan for the Taj Mahal. Harvard recruited him in part for this expertise, and this academic year, with Noyes professor in architectural theory Michael Hays, he has launched a conservation track for Graduate School of Design (GSD) master’s students.

Conservation, he says, is not the same as preservation, which focuses on protection and repair. Conservation is broader and richer, combining historical integrity and creativity to develop narratives connecting the present with the past.

Historical narratives like connecting Continue reading