Sunday News 11202011

One-percenters everywhere rejoiced when Gulfstream’s newest luxury jet, the G650 (don’t call it a G6), received a provisional certification from the FAA. There is no truth to the rumor that the G650 was code-named “Icarus.”

Georgia Tech-incubated startup Suniva wins $10.8 million solar project with MARTA using stimulus funds.

Georgia has lost nearly 400 square miles of land, according to federal geographers. Sen. Jeff Mullis says, “Did we throw ourselves in the dryer or something? I don’t know,” said Georgia Sen. Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga. “I’m amazed that that statistic is out there.” Rather than another Tennessee land grab, geographers attribute it to better measurement technology.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas visited his hometown of Pin Point, Georgia to help dedicate an historical marker and heritage museum.

Former President Jimmy Carter led a three-day meeting of Baptist churches aimed at minimizing differences and renewing the commitment to social justice.

If Occupiers threw a party and nobody showed up, are they still idiots? Occupy Kingston helped answer that questionwith a resounding “Yes!” To which we say, “Mic Check!” …[crickets]… “Is this thing on?!” …[crickets…]

The Augusta Chronicle opines that “the Occupy movement has presented no coherent message; has become a public health menace that even liberal city leaders have had to remove forcibly; has cost people their jobs and cut into their livelihoods; has been the scene of numerous crimes; and has lost the sympathy of most Americans.”

Prices for Georgia’s cash crop of salty nuts continue to soar, from $7 per pound in 2008, to $9 last year and an expected $11 per pound this year.

Folks in Columbus continue to hope that high-speed passenger rail will come to Georgia, and doing so, not skip their city the way interstate highways did.

Savannah’s Bill Dawers see hope for next year’s TSPLOST vote in the overwhelming approval by local voters of this month’s ESPLOST.

In water news, the tri-state water litigation is taking a breather in the lower courts as the US Supreme Court granted an extension of time to file an appeal by Alabama, Florida, the city of Apalachicola, Fla., and Alabama Power Co. taking issue with the ruling by a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals reversing a District Court decision.

That decision by the 11th Circuit panel held that Lake Lanier had always been envisioned as a water source for metro Atlanta. Attorney General Sam Olens expressed optimism that the appellate court’s decision could lead to an end to the decades-long dispute between Georgia, Alabama and Florida.

At the same time, the director of Georgia’s EPD has asked the Corps of Engineers to reduce water releases from Lanier by more than 10 percent because of drought and predictions of lower amounts of rain this winter and spring than usual.

The Georgia Water Supply Task Force has released its recommendations, focusing on expanding the existing supply rather than conservation measures. Included in the recommendations are greater direct state investment in local projects.

Tim Echols, the Energizer Bunny of the Public Service Commission held the first of up to twelve energy town hall meetings, this one in Brunswick.

Echols said he is concerned about the economic impact of closing the two coal units at Plant Branch in Putnam County near Lake Sinclair in 2013. He also is concerned that part of the replacement power will come from Alabama.

That includes the loss of jobs and having to depend on outside sources for energy.”We need to discuss the long-term impact of shutting these plants down before we decide,” Echols said.

Echols also wrote an Op-Ed that ran in Athens:

A decision by the PSC to “control” the units at Plant Branch would bring hundreds of temporary construction jobs to the area, but these jobs would go away in several years. By doing the upgrade, though, the plant retains its employees many years into the future and the area gets a shot in the arm from the construction workers and the millions of dollars they’ll spend on food, lodging and the like.

So why is this decision so hard, when the benefits seem so obvious? It’s because it costs more money than other choices we have before us. Plant Branch sits beside Lake Sinclair just off U.S. Highway 441, and the unusual footprint of the plant, along with the age and size of the units, makes it pricey to install the massive pollution controls required….

On the one hand, we save money on your monthly bill by taking the least cost option and shutting the units down, but with the same stroke of the pen we potentially devastate the economy of a county like Putnam. Power customers around the state, already upset about higher power bills, seem ambivalent about where we get the power as long as it is there when they need it. Meanwhile, Putnam County residents are shaking in their boots.

I’m not sure if the statute controlling PSC oversight of Georgia Power gives the Commission the ability to consider the impact on local jobs of business decisions made by the utility. This might be a question for the General Assembly.

Candidates for Mayor and City Council in Peachtree Corners, Georgia’s newest city, can qualify for the March 6th election from November 28th through 30th.

Questions about the Albany Ward 2 election appear to be headed for court and a runoff respectively and the Albany Herald opines that a court review should be forthcoming and that the General Assembly may need to clarify election law in the next session.

The Glynn County Administrator has been accused of using county assets to promote passage of their SPLOST and a complaint has been filed with the Campaign Finance Commission.

The State Elections Board issued two fines in a case of forgery involving election petitions to get an independent candidate on the ballot in Chatham County.

The board accepted consent orders agreed to by political operative Edwin Morris and a young woman he recruited and duped into signing the transmittal document for the forged petitions, Alexia Williams. It dismissed allegations against former Commissioner John McMasters for lack of evidence.

Carroll County Commission Chairman Bill Chappell has announced that he will not seek to put a SPLOST vote on the March ballot after commissioners spoke against it. Chappell said:

Chappell said. “The only reason I wanted to go ahead with it is because we have the TSPLOST (transportation SPLOST) vote next summer. I felt strongly we ought to ask voters to extend it before that election.”

The Marietta Daily Journal is describing next year’s TSPLOST as a “bait and switch” or a “transit transformation.”

11 comments

  1. Calypso says:

    “Georgia has lost nearly 400 square miles of land, according to federal geographers.”

    Will we be able to vote on exactly which parcels to lose next time this happens?

  2. saltycracker says:

    We find disgust in clueless occupiers and tea partiers unable to rationally express their anger. It is a tell that the root cause may be the injustice in so many Americans just taking because they can.
    From wall street to D.C. to public servants to illegal immigrants to fraud in government programs to the have/have not growing gap.

    The “me first” culture is at all percentages not just 1%.

  3. Max Power says:

    Perhaps the best thing that could happen to the Occupy movement is the stupid way the cops have handled them across the country, when you have scenes like this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjnR7xET7Uo

    It only builds sympathy.

    A G650 burns about 450 gallons of JetA an hour, at $4 a gallon that’s about $1800 for a one hour flight and of course 65 million for the plane itself. Still beats taking your shoes off for the TSA.

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