Tag Archives: Politics

Paused, not stopped: Northern Turnpike Extension toll road 2022-08-05

Two more versions of what’s happening to the toll road project: “paused” until they come up with options to “address concerns” or “include” concerns.

[FDOT PR, NTE Project Update, Study Area]
FDOT PR, NTE Project Update, Study Area

There is nothing about satisfying community concerns. There is a statement that they will “continue to refine and develop viable corridor concepts for this area”. They’re going to write a report despite this “pause”, and sooner or later they will plow ahead. Nevermind no need for any of those alternative routes has ever been established. Watch for that Report so you can comment No Build.

This pause is just a feint because of all the community objections thus far. Don’t let this pause cool your objections. More toll roads means more clearcutting and runoff, more pollution from that runoff, more development and more water withdrawals, lower levels in the Floridan Aquifer, rivers, and springs. And all that traffic is aimed up US 19 across the Suwannee River to Madison County. Water is more important than profit for developers and toll road builders.

FDOT and NTE say they will Continue reading

Florida scraps proposed toll road routes for I-75 and others 2022-08-03

Update 2022-08-05: Paused, not stopped: Northern Turnpike Extension toll road 2022-08-05.

It’s good news, but watch out: “Instead, FDOT will look at making improvements along Interstate 75 and possibly other corridors to relieve traffic congestion.”

[No four routes]
No four routes

Nobody has ever demonstrated any need for such a toll road, or for these I-75 “and possibly other” road expansions. The M-CORES committee deliberated for a long time and reported no need. The succeeding plan for four potential routes from Wildwood to US 19 did not dispute that lack of need, but plowed ahead anyway. FDOT said the legislature said (in SB 100) that the Northern Turnpike Extension was “in the strategic interest,” yet the new process would determine a need. It did not.

Instead, Continue reading

Feds will delay Bomb Train Decision until Christmas –CBS12 2022-07-25

Cecile “CeCe” Scofield is famous for related activity in addition to being the driving force behind the WWALS Petition to FERC for Rulemaking on small, inland, LNG facilities, on which you can comment or intervene.

[Oncoming Train --CBS 12 News, 2022-07-25]
Oncoming Train –CBS 12 News, 2022-07-25

Mike Magnoli, CBS12.com, July 25, 2022, I-Team: Feds will delay “Bomb Train” Decision until Christmas, Continue reading

Dollar Tree Trash Pile, 1801 Norman Drive, Valdosta, GA 2022-07-31

Bobby McKenzie reported yesterday, “Well again without wanting to and without trying…I found yet another mother load…”

This one is behind the Target, 1801 Norman Driver, Valdosta, GA 31601.

[Trash, drain, Hightower and Sugar Creeks]
Trash, drain, Hightower and Sugar Creeks

It drains into Hightower Creek, then Sugar Creek, then the Withlacoochee River.

Sure, the WaterGoat near the bottom of Sugar Creek, will probably catch this trash when it gets that far. We thank Valdosta again for buying that WaterGoat, and we look forward to Valdosta’s plan for cleaning it out.

And we are still looking for Valdosta to come up with a plan for education and enforcement of its quite good trash ordinances to get parking lot owners to keep trash from getting off their property and to put out trash cans and keep them emptied, as their own 2010 Stormwater Master Plan said they should do “immediately” twelve years ago.

Sure, people shouldn’t litter. But the fast food outlets sell this single-use packaging, and the parking lot owners let it get into the creeks despite the city ordinances. They should bear responsibility.

The City of Valdosta doesn’t expect volunteers to clean up sewage spills, even though city employees do not produce most of that sewage. Why should volunteers be expected to clean up Valdosta’s ongoing trash spills? Continue reading

Valdosta homemade trash trap, detention pond, One Mile Branch, Ashley Street 2022-07-29

Update 2022-08-01: Plus a response from the Valdosta Stormwater Manager.

Twelve years late is better than never.

Bobby McKenzie reported Friday:

[Movie, Detention Pond, One Mile Branch, Sugar Creek]
Movie, Detention Pond, One Mile Branch, Sugar Creek

This is a complete shocker! One step closer Continue reading

Videos: Suwannee Riverkeeper on Scott James radio 2022-07-19

Songwriters, don’t forget to send in your song to the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest by tomorrow, July 20, 2022! Really final deadline this time.

[Movie: Intro: Suwannee Riverkeeper and WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc.]
Movie: Intro: Suwannee Riverkeeper and WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc.

Valdosta Mayor Scott James and Suwannee Riverkeeper talked about that and many other topics on his radio show this morning.

Here’s a Continue reading

WaterGoat cleanout 2022-07-12

As a temporary stopgap, volunteer Russell Allen McBride continues to clean out the WaterGoat trash boom on Sugar Creek, to keep more trash from getting down into the nearby Withlacoochee River.

[WaterGoat and trash]
WaterGoat and trash

Thanks to Assistant City Manager Richard Hardy for agreeing last Thursday to organize a meeting this coming week to discuss a more permanent cleanout solution, as well as locations for more WaterGoats, and upstream trash solutions. Continue reading

Trash boom good; more needed –Suwannee Riverkeeper @ VCC 2022-06-23

Fixing Valdosta’s trash problem would cost far less than a single sewer line. Thanks for starting by putting in one trash boom; thanks especially to Council Andy Gibbs and Mayor Scott James, who have come and helped clean up on Sugar Creek and the Withlacoochee River.

Now what’s the plan to clean that one out? When will we see the other two or more trash booms? And where’s the plan to get businesses to stop trash upstream at the source?

[Valdosta Mayor and Council, trash boom, Holly Street]
Valdosta Mayor and Council, trash boom, Holly Street

At their meeting last Thursday, I thanked Valdosta Mayor and Council Continue reading

Valdosta Watergoat installed in Sugar Creek 2022-06-21

Two years of politics and less than an hour to install. And a fun summer solstice celebration!

[Delivery, installation, WaterGoat]
Delivery, installation, WaterGoat

Today the WaterGoat the Valdosta Mayor announced a month ago was installed on Sugar Creek, where it should stop trash from getting into the Withlacoochee River.

This first trash boom (a steel cable with floats and a 12-inch mesh below it) is a good start. Continue reading

Videos: Right to Clean Water, Waterkeeper Alliance Conference 2022-06-11

It was standing room only, as presenters from India, Bangladesh, Colombia, and the U.S. (me) discussed different approaches to rights to clean water and problems such rights might solve, in a panel at the Waterkeeper Alliance Global Conference 2022, Saturday, June 11, 2022, in Washington, DC.

Update 2022-06-16: Fixed typo (Colombia, not Ecuador).

[Presenters and Questions]
Presenters and Questions

Many thanks to Rodrigo de la O, Maule Itata Coastkeeper, Chile, for using my phone to video the session.

And congratulations, Rodrigo, on winning the Terry Backer award!

Below are the videos of each presenter and some questions. First a video playlist, then individual videos with a few more pictures.

Here’s a WWALS video playlist:

Continue reading