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Thu Feb 19, 2015 at 12:21 AM PST

Georgia: Island Planning Commission

by hannah

St. Simons Island, an unincorporated community in Glynn County does have a separate Island Planning Commission with some final authority. The community turnout (some 500 people) was not entirely prompted by this issue. The concern about plopping a gas station in the middle of a residential neighborhood was more intense. While the "highway commercial" designation of the parcel had been ignored for a long time, the fact that highways aren't attracting as much traffic as they used to seems to be prompting developers to bring highway enterprise right into where people live.

Part One deals mainly with re-zoning from one residential category to another. The applicant, sensing the attitude of the room, finally asked to have the matter deferred, to come back later with a more favorable proposal. So, individual members of the public were not heard. That's why this video is only 8 minutes (after editing) instead of the 30 minutes taken up by the next.

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Sun Feb 08, 2015 at 02:56 AM PST

Mother Nature's Cupboard

by hannah

In the state of Georgia, the Department of Natural Resources has the key. Good customers, who follow the rules, get to help themselves to free stuff. At the most recent meeting of the Board of Directors (who knew state agencies have boards of directors, just like private corporations?), the topic was alligators.

Alligator management, it turns out, means deciding how many permits to issue to insure the right number get killed. And, even though the "success" rate is only thirty percent, alligator hunting is developing into a team sport, increasing in popularity because it's an "opportunity" for cameraderie and a "unique" experience.

The communal kill!!! Now, there's progress!!!

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Sun Jan 25, 2015 at 04:42 AM PST

"Killing Beavers is not Management"

by hannah

That was the subject line of one of my missives in response to the Glynn County Director of Public Works entering into a contract with a trapper to deal with beavers that might presume to clog his culverts with sticks and debris. I was wrong. "Management," it turns out is the catch-all bureaucrats' euphemism for destroying and disposing of whatever inconvenience might impede their enterprise.

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Wed Jan 21, 2015 at 08:37 AM PST

LCP White-Wash

by hannah

It has been known for several decades that various industrial enterprises on the coast of Georgia had left a residue of contaminated soils and wetlands. But that the residues continue to be absorbed by the human population, as well, is not readily apparent because some people just get overlooked.
The income stream from remediation gets more attention because that keeps a small army of "experts" in a job. At present, their focus is on extracting some more dollars from the Honeywell corporation, whose executives made an unfortunate decision to acquire some waste lands on the cheap. A pro-forma public hearing to review the most recent "plans" left all the attendees largely unsatisfied.

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Sat Jan 10, 2015 at 05:19 AM PST

Marshes of Glynn under Siege

by hannah

Marshes of Glynn in late afternoon as seen from Colonel's Island
Oh, those golden isles.
The storied marshes of Glynn, popularized in a poem by Sydney Lanier, are under siege from city, county and state forces. Aptly named, the Golden Isles, are being nibbled to death around the edges by work crews intent on "opening up the view."

Who knew the slayers of the Golden Goose did it on purpose?

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The Coast of Georgia is protected by a string of sea islands, one of which is actually called Sea island and has an eroding Spit at its southern end. Other Sea Island claims to fame revolve around visits by U.S. Presidents, the 2004 G8 Summit, and a spectacular bankruptcy soon after.

Sea Island's history is somewhat significant because, to maximize the "opportunities" attendant to the bankruptcy, the new owners have an interest in selling off the real estate quickly, before the ocean takes it.

I've posted about Sea Island on Hannah Blog, here and here and on Like the Dew, not because I'm obsessed, but because it's in my back yard.

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Sat Dec 13, 2014 at 05:44 AM PST

Of Corporate Shells and Shills

by hannah

Brunswick, Ga-- Yesterday's meeting of the Coastal Marshland Protection Committee was held in the Susan Shipman Learning Center, an adjunct of the Department of Natural Resources District facilities located at the foot of the iconic Sidney Lanier Bridge. In addition to three projects in Savannah, whose representatives either had to get up real early to make a 9:30 meeting, or got to spend a night at the beach, the agenda featured a presentation by the very same Susan Shipman after whom the building is named. Ms. Shipman, having been the director of the Coastal Resources Division of the Georgia DNR, has apparently transitioned from the public corporation to shill as a consultant for our island's newest eleemosynary corporate shell, the Cannon's Point Preserve LLC. Limited Liability Companies are designed to shield the participants in the enterprise from the negative consequences of their acts.

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Mon Dec 01, 2014 at 06:15 AM PST

Walmart, the Waystation

by hannah

In the beginning, Walmart was a merchandizing enterprise which took advantage of the fact that the mark-up on products was typically 100% of the wholesale price. Moreover, other large merchandizers, such as Sears Roebuck and J.C. Penny and Montgomery Ward had accustomed manufacturers to being paid when orders were delivered and sold, rather than when they were placed. American manufacturing was squeezed and that promoted moving production, first to the lower wage southern states and then overseas, where any wage was seen as an improvement over a hand-to-mouth existence.

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Sun Nov 23, 2014 at 08:59 AM PST

"The Reserve at Demere," redux

by hannah

Previous installments of this coastal Georgia saga appeared here and here.

Last week James Holland went along on an official inspection with the County Engineer. Not surprisingly, he had some concerns and put them in writing.

(As an aside, some people seem impressed with the historical significance of their names. So, a Joshua might want to assault some walls and a Paul might be susceptible to visions on the road. The County Engineer is, apparently, not one of those.)

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Sat Nov 22, 2014 at 04:10 AM PST

21st Century Segmentation

by hannah

There's a new wave of segmentation starting up in Georgia and likely moving to other southern states where counties providing services to large unincorporated areas are still the order of the day.

In other parts of the country, New England, the upper MidWest and the Western states, unincorporated territory has virtually disappeared as the landscape has been carved up into cities, also known as municipalities. Georgia has 159 counties serving about ten million people. So, you might think that, whether they are full-service or partial-service counties, the jurisdiction should be small and compact enough to do a credible job.

But, size doesn't seem to have much to do with the level of service. The proponents of setting up new municipal jurisdictions in Georgia quite frankly admit, as you'll see in the following video, that the segmentation and re-organization is largely motivated by money, nepotism and entrenched customs. So, in a sense, it's a divide to conquer strategy, even though co-operation is called for. Co-operation, we might note, is also what Congress claims to want from the President of the USA.

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Sun Nov 16, 2014 at 05:57 AM PST

Fake IDs and Straw Buyers

by hannah

It has to be true that what we don't do, we don't know. At any rate, having never had reason to have, much less use, a fake ID (I've only ever been stopped and asked for my driver's license once in my 58 years of driving and then it was a bogus stop by a cop, who thought out-of-state plates = drug dealer), the whole birth certificate and voter ID kerfuffle has been a puzzlement. But now, having tried to run down the ownership of real estate in Georgia, it's occurred to me that the people, who relied on fake IDs in high school to buy liquor and cigarettes, now use that same strategy to conduct mostly sham business enterprises. For Georgians, Florida seems a favorite place to get chartered. Indeed, there are services on the internet that will file all the paper-work for a fee. Guess that's how Limited Liability Companies resident in P.O. Boxes qualify as owners of property.

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Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 05:29 AM PST

Have We Turned a Corner?

by hannah

For the first time since 2009, the rate at which the dollar moves through the economy on its way to becoming part of the Gross National Product has increased.
The Federal Reserve data collectors had to extend the number out three digits to get there. But, from a low of 1.381, we're now up to 1.386.

The high point for the rate was in the third quarter of 1981, when it reached 3.5 and the country was not only awash in paper dollars, but people were passing them around at an increasing rate. Couldn't have that, could we? Somebody had to put on the brakes. That's why we got double digit interest rates. And, ever since, the money bags have been slowing things down.

Why?

I suspect it's in the vain hope that, if they can just limit the supply of dollars to the hoi poloi, every dollar the money bags can snatch and stash will be worth more.

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