Tag Archives: Madison

Winners: Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2023-09-22

Hahira, GA, September 25, 2023 — Hahira, Georgia, September 25, 2023 — Ten musicians wrote songs and seven sang them, about the delights of the waters of the Suwannee River Basin and the need to preserve them against numerous threats. Jane Fallon came all the way from Dunedin, Florida, to the Turner Arts Center in Valdosta, Georgia, to sing a story about legendary Sun Daughters reflecting on a proposed mine near the Okefenokee Swamp, the headwaters of the Suwannee River. The three judges marked her high on storytelling and presenting the value of the waters, on originality of lyrics and music, and on performance, with extra credit for naming waterways. She took home First Prize in the Sixth Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest.

[Winners: Suwannee Riverkeeper; Cindy Bear and Franc Robert, Best Folk; Jane Fallon, First Prize; Bacon James, Best from Outside; Kyle Bird Chamberlain and David Rodock, tie for Best from Inside; Chamberlain, Best Blues; Rodock, Best AmeriKinda; Keven Stephenson, Best Country --Chuck Roberts]
Suwannee Riverkeeper with the Winners: Cindy Bear and Franc Robert, Best Folk; Jane Fallon, First Prize; Bacon James, Best from Outside; Kyle Bird Chamberlain and David Rodock, tie for Best from Inside; Chamberlain, Best Blues; Rodock, Best AmeriKinda; Kevin Stephenson, Best Country; and Robert Thatcher (not pictured). Photo: Chuck Roberts

Jane Fallon said, “Thank you for the honor in recognizing my song ‘Chant For The Okefenokee’ in your contest. It is always a special feeling to sing a song for an audience that truly understands its meaning. Thank you also for the work you do in trying to preserve the waterways. It is so important.”

Here is the first half of her lyrics: Continue reading

WWALS Development Director Veronica Oakler on Scott James radio from Jasper, FL 2023-04-28

Live on the air now!

As soon as I mentioned we had hired a Development Director, Scott James invited Veronica Oakler on his radio show, 92.1 FM, this morning, 6-8:15 AM, live from Jasper, Florida.

Listen: talk921.com.

Veronica lives in Madison, so it was a short trip across the Withlacoochee River to Jasper.

[Veronica Oakler on Scott James Radio 2023-04-28]
Veronica Oakler on Scott James Radio 2023-04-28

Event: facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/events/754268986238088/

More about Veronica: Continue reading

WWALS Development Director Veronica Oakler 2023-03-01

Hahira, GA, March 2, 2023 — WWALS is pleased to announce the hiring of Veronica Oaker as Development Director, to help us with fundraising and community outreach. Veronica joined WWALS on March 1st, with a rich background in water advocacy. She has previously worked at Clean Water for North Carolina, the Florida Department of Transportation, the Executive Office of the Florida Governor, and the city of Tallahassee. She has degrees from the University of Florida and the Florida Coastal School of Law. Veronica lives in Madison, Florida. Plan on meeting Veronica at an upcoming outing or event. Or, she might even phone you up to chat.

[Veronica Oakler with huge bald cypress]
Veronica Oakler with huge bald cypress

“I’m excited to come back home to the Suwannee River watershed where my family and I live, work, and play,” said Veronica Oakler. “I have admired the fantastic work that WWALS has accomplished over the past 10 years to raise awareness of water quality issues downstream of polluting sources, especially sewage, pipelines, and trash.”

Continue reading

Adel agenda and WWALS letter 2020-09-08

Update 2020-09-11: Wood pellet plant: speakers and documents @ Adel City Council 2020-09-08.

Here is the agenda for tonight’s Adel City Council meeting:

[Agenda, Adel City Council 2020-09-08]
Agenda, Adel City Council 2020-09-08
PDF

Since it can’t be any of the other items, apparently the wood pellet plant is:
5.B. ANNEXATION AND ZONING OF INDUSTRIAL AUTHORITY PROPERTY

I don’t see anything about any previous hearings, nor any of the maps, plans, etc. that usually accompany a rezoning.

You can still use the Dogwood Alliance Action Alert to send in a comment before tonight’s meeting.

Meanwhile, I sent Adel this letter, mostly about water trails:

[WWALS to Adel, Water Trails and pellet plant 2020-09-08]
WWALS to Adel, Water Trails and pellet plant 2020-09-08
PDF

For background, see Adel wood pellet plant sourcing radius: entire Suwannee River basin in Georgia 2020-09-08.

See you in Adel in about an hour and a half.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

Adel wood pellet plant sourcing radius: entire Suwannee River basin in Georgia 2020-09-08

Update 2020-09-11: Wood pellet plant: speakers and documents @ Adel City Council 2020-09-08.

Update 2020-09-08: Adel agenda and WWALS letter 2020-09-08

If a company from Houston, Texas, gets its rezoning Tuesday at the Adel, Georgia, City Council, it could take trees from 75 miles around to turn into wood pellets to ship to Europe for burning for electricity. It takes 50 to 100 years for natural forest to regenerate completely. Meanwhile, rain on land without forest runs off faster, carries more sediment and pollution (pesticides, E. coli, etc.), damaging fishing and wildlife. Floods also become more likely.

You can help stop this biomass plant. Before 5:30 PM Tuesday, please, which is when the Adel City Council has this rezoning on its agenda.

[Adel, GA, pellet plant sourcing radius]
Adel, GA, pellet plant sourcing radius (PDF)

That 75-mile sourcing radius around Adel would reach Tallahassee, Florida, and Albany, Georgia, as well as all of the Red Hills longleaf area around Thomasville. It would include all the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia: the Suwannee, Alapaha, Little, Withlacoochee, and Okapilco Rivers, from Fargo and most of the Okefenokee Swamp to Cordele in the north and Moultrie, Quitman, and Valdosta. As well as much of the Suwannee River Basin in Florida, include White Springs, Live Oak, Mayo, Jasper, and Madison. Plus the Ochlockonee and Aucilla Rivers and much of the Flint River on the west, and on the east most of the Satilla River and a bend of the Altamaha River.

This is an environmental justice issue because the plant will go in an African-American part of town and poor people are typically most adversely affected by deforestation.

When a local activist alerted me a few months ago to a proposed biomass plant in Adel, I pointed them to Vicki Weeks of the Dogwood Alliance. She has put together an Action Alert. Please follow that link to send your comment to the entire Adel City Council.

According to K.K. Synder, Georgia Trend, 31 July 2020, Adel | Cook County: Community in Motion,

Houston-based Renewable Biomass Group will construct Continue reading

Valdosta concurs last week, but not week before, Withlacoochee River 2020-08-28

Update 2020-09-05: OK this weekend and last, Withlacoochee River 2020-09-03.

Fast changes in water quality in the Withlacoochee River, Okapilco Creek, especially at GA 133 and Knights Ferry, as well as Twomile Branch and Sugar Creek: we could use still more testers to handle all this. The good news is that Valdosta’s results for last week (unlike week before last) are good for the Withlacoochee River.

Valdosta’s results for week before last are a good (bad?) example of how fast Withlacoochee River water quality can change. On Thursday, August 27, 2020, WWALS got excellent results at all three of Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps. Later we learned Madison Health also got excellent results at GA 31 (State Line), CR 150 (Sullivan Launch), and FL 6 (Madison Blue Spring).

[Good last week, bad previous week]
Good last week, bad previous week

Yet the next day, Valdosta got horrible results at K.F., Nankin, and State Line on Friday, August 28 21, 2020. This is why all our water quality posts are merely advisory. Good one day doesn’t necessarily mean good the next day. Continue reading

Pot Spring still closed 2020-07-29

Still closed yesterday: land entrance to Pot Spring.

[Trucks Entering Roadway, 12:12:12, 30.4796780, -83.2201059]
Trucks Entering Roadway, 12:12:12, 30.4796780, -83.2201059

Indeed, a large truck was coming out right then. I had to move on up the road to let him out. Not carrying logs, though; seemed to be empty.

[Vehicular Traffic Prohibited, 12:15:03, 30.4795594, -83.2204892]
Vehicular Traffic Prohibited, 12:15:03, 30.4795594, -83.2204892

I didn’t feel like walking a couple of miles right then, so I turned back.

Sabal Trail Pipeline

Also on SW 28th Lane, a Sabal Trail Pipeline crossing. Continue reading

Video: Sign up to recommend No Build; M-CORES toll road webinars

Floridians moved to Lowndes County, Georgia, after Hurricane Irma, but not because of lack of toll roads. If they had had solar panels and batteries so they wouldn’t be without power for weeks, they might have stayed in Florida, said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman at the meeting in Madison County, Florida, February 11, 2020.

You can recommend No Build this coming week, as M-CORES holds webinars with public comment. See below for how.

[Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman]
Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman says No Build.

The Suncoast Connector Task Force webinar is 9:30 AM to 12 noon, Thursday, April 30, 2020. That’s the toll road that would run from Crystal River across the Suwannee River, through farms, forests, and wetlands, building bypasses around towns and cities, to Thomasville, Georgia.

To listen, you have to Continue reading

Videos: Don’t split farms, and don’t harm nature, schools, or aquifer, at M-CORES toll road meeting, Madison, FL 2020-02-11

Toll roads splitting farms would be generational damage, said farmer Ernest Culver of Jackson County, and the Task Force doesn’t take into account churches or schools, not to mention nature, rivers, or the Floridan Aquifer, said Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson of Columbia County, at the meeting in Madison County, Florida, February 11, 2020.

[Ernest Culver & Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson]
Ernest Culver & Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson

The idea of repurposing toll roads funds for virus pandemic relief continues to get more at least indirect support. Craig Pitman, Florida Phoenix, 9 April 2020, Does Florida still need that trio of billion-dollar toll roads?,

Florida’s controversial new toll roads hit a potential roadblock this week.

Two of them are supposed to Continue reading

Videos: Toll roads as prosperity drain and climate change, at M-CORES toll road meeting, Madison, FL 2020-02-11

More toll roads could drain prosperity, and more driving means more climate change, said two speakers at the meeting in Madison County, Florida, February 11, 2020.

You can send your opinion to FDOT.Listens@dot.state.fl.us. And Sierra Club has provided a convenient way for Floridians to tell FDOT No Build:
https://addup.sierraclub.org/campaigns/no-roads-to-ruin/take-action

See also the No Roads to Ruin Coalition facebook page.

A couple of speakers in Madison were for the toll roads, both claiming economic benefits. Madison County later terminated the consulting contract for one of them as a cost-cutting measure due to virus pandemic.

If one county can do that, the state of Florida can do that, as we previously suggested. See also Philip Beasley, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, April 12, 2020, Put federal dollars in hands of jobless.

Here are the WWALS videos of speakers in Madison: