Statement from the Bi-partisan Committee

By: Co-Chairs, Habersham Joint Bi-partisan Special Committee

Robert C. Guthrie, Dale H. Latty

“The Joint Bi-partisan Committee commends the Habersham County Board of Commissioners on action taken to delay all future expenditure on Judicial Facility plans that are site specific to Hills Crossing and that the decision to locate a Judicial Facility is now delayed until the seating of two new commissioners after January 1st. However, we reiterate that all pending legal action is also tied directly to the facility plan itself. It is the position of the Joint Committee that proposed non-judicial related “offices” were in no way approved by the voters for consideration under SPLOST 5 for inclusion in a new Judicial Facility. We continue to support the pending Injunction as a means to definitively clarify this important point of law and to focus project funding on the creation of a cost-effective Judicial Facility that will serve the taxpayers of this county for many years to come.”

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Hills Crossing Courthouse Financing 10 Million Bond Issue

From: Bob Guthrie
Judicial Center Financing

Date: Friday, November 12, 2010, 11:36 PM

At 3:15 p.m. Wednesday Nov 10, while many of us were preparing to attend that evening’s celebration of the 235th birthday of the U. S. Marine Corps and making plans to attend Veteran’s Day celebrations the following day, both events in honor of those veterans who have fought and those that died, to preserve the freedoms we cherish, including the right to have a say in our government’s decisions, our county commissioners’ office posted an agenda on the courthouse bulletin board for their Monday evening meeting. (Agendas are posted to inform the public of the items to be acted upon at the meeting.) This agenda listed the consideration/approval to issue $10 million dollars of General Obligation Debt to “be used to finance all or a portion of the cost of (i) certain capital outlay projects for the County..”. The words “SPLOST5” and “Judicial Center” were not used so unless someone asked for clarification (which I did) you would not know that this debt was aimed at continuing, even expediting, construction of the controversial judicial/administrative center project. This project calls for two judicial centers, one at the existing courthouse and one outside the city limits at Hills Crossing.

Two court actions are pending related to this project. One, a recall of three commissioners, was filed in early July and has yet to be heard in court. The other, an injunction to stop the use of SPLOST5 funds for the construction of the judicial/administrative center at the Hills Crossing site is scheduled for a court hearing December 1st. If the commissioners approve going ahead with the issuance of the $10 million General Obligation Debt then the county will incur very substantial, non-refundable, expenses for underwriting, legal and other costs associated with this debt issue. The debt issue document also states that an annual tax levy upon all property within the county subject to taxation is irrevocably pledged should the sales taxes collected be insufficient to satisfy annual debt payments. The debt cannot be prepaid, so once it is issued the county cannot pay it off early if the various court actions underway (and other actions contemplated) result in the cancelation of the Hills Crossing judicial/administrative center project.

Both of our newly elected county commissioners who will be taking office in January, Andrea Harper and Chad Henderson, along with Congressman Rick Austin and Senator Jim Butterworth are on record as opposed to this project going forward as currently planned. WCHM radio has invited the County Commissioners, the Bi-Partisan Committee and the Injunction Sponsors to participate in a forum to answer questions from the public relating to the new judicial center project. Two of the three invitees accepted. One (the county commissioners) declined to attend and answer questions from the public.
A Protest Rally is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. Monday, November 15th, at the Gazebo next to the courthouse. Everyone is encouraged to attend this rally and stay for the commissioner’s meeting at 6:00 p.m. Commission Chairman Doug Vermilya is still insisting that only a few citizens object to separating the judicial functions of the county and constructing a second judicial/administrative center out of town at the Hills Crossing site. The public needs to let him know that he is wrong and that MOST citizens strongly object to this plan!
Please invite all of your friends to take this opportunity to once again express their dissatisfaction with the county commissioners’ actions and to demand that the planned debt issue not be approved.

Thank you. Bob Guthrie

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Judical Center Financing

From : Dale Latty
RE: Judical Center Financing

Dear Friends,
Forwarded here is a call for public participation to attend a 5PM rally prior to the Habersham county commission meeting this coming Monday. We learned on Friday that the commissioners are moving forward to commit bond funding for the courthouse project that is the focus of two public interest court actions and one more to be filed Monday.

There is much talk these days about unresponsive government, unreasonable spending and taxation to build bigger government. As citizens, we often have very little opportunity to actually affect change that we believe will move us in a better direction. The proposal by local government to build two court facilities when voters authorized one is a perfect example of government out of control. Fortunately, we CAN step in, as citizens, in the case of local control. This has been the motivation behind the partnering of the Republican and Democratic Parties of Habersham County. Now we need your help to validate our long running effort to represent fiscal reason and smart growth.

Please support our efforts to reign in spending. More importantly, please support the position spoken by nearly every major community group in Habersham County to halt this project so a more reasonable and effective solution for our court facility needs can be determined.

Please forward this invitation to your list of friends if you agree we can do better than the proposed spending and construction plan of the Habersham County Commission.

Dale Latty

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10 Predictions for 2011 by StreetAuthority

With over 1 million readers and one of the strongest research teams in the business, independent financial research outfit StreetAuthority, whose 2009 stock predictions almost tripled the S&P 500, is once again going out on a limb with a series of startling new forecasts, including…

Another huge oil spill will dump millions of gallons of crude into the ocean — quite likely once again in the Gulf of Mexico. The outcry will force the government to pour billions of dollars into the clean-up. Below we explain why odds are good that this will happen and a surprising way investors can profit.

An astonishing new painkiller made from cobra venom will fly off the shelves in 2011… and push the stock of its maker up +568%. To see why this gain is likely, read on.

The breakthrough energy development of the decade will be tiny nuclear power plants that can be buried in your backyard. We have our eye on one company whose revenues should skyrocket.

The hottest big-ticket item of 2011 will be electric cars. The biggest profits won’t be made by carmakers, but by investors in a rare commodity from the Chilean desert. See our story below.

The most critical commodity for China’s economy in 2011 won’t be oil, but water. We’ve found a company that positioned itself years ago to exploit the increasing scarcity of water in China.

The “bounceback” investment of 2011 will be online gambling. After killing the industry here in 2006, Congress will reverse course and legalize it. Stocks of established online gamers will jump 10 to 1.

The Mexican peso will plunge in 2011 as drug violence spirals out of control, tourists desert the beaches, and remittances by unemployed Mexicans in the U.S. dry up.

Congress will pass a “cap-and-trade” carbon tax in 2011, effectively penalizing coal use. An already-existing technology that burns coal cleanly will suddenly be worth billions. To find out how you can capitalize on this game-changing technology, read below.

The largest solar farm in history will be built in 2011. It will power three million homes. The company building should see its stock rise at least +62% by the end of next year.

A $40 billion flood of cash will start flowing into one particular niche of our health-care system in 2011. Overshadowed by the bitter debate over national healthcare, this already-funded plan will cause a handful of stocks to soar.

Why post someone’s advertising for their business?  The reason is simple:  Energy and Water.  You can’t have one without the other.  Electricity generation requires water either in hydro (which is a direct process) or fossil fuel or nuclear (leaving the alternative forms such as wind and solar out for now due to insufficient capacity online) which requires water for the production of steam and cooling purposes.

Agriculture for now has a virtual lock on who gets that first gallon of water from a stream as it accounts for almost 70% of the water consumed.  Power generation requires water as described above.  That leaves individuals (people and other companies) grasping for the remaining 30%.  The question has been raised is there a priority in the event of a severe drought?  The answer from EPD is somewhat vague in that they will tell you there is no priority unless the Director of the EPD (Georgia) issues one.  This begs the question about whose water is it then?

There is a study out now by the State showing there will not be enough electricity generated in the state within the next 30-40 years to meet demand at the rate which power generation infrastructure is moving now.

Natural gas, coal and nuclear power generators consume large volumes of water because they are required to return cooling water to the streams that is not warm.  Warm water is a pollutant with respect to wildlife.  So, the more plants that are installed, the more water is consumed via evaporation in the cooling towers.

Georgia is not an ideal location for wind supplied power nor solar either.  Therefore, we will continue to see nuclear and some type of fossil fuel plants built for decades.  Most of the fossil fuel plants will most likely be natural gas as EPA is now going after the mercury, nitrogen and sulfur released from burning coal  Clean burning coal still requires some method of removing and disposing of these agents.  The technology for the conversion of coal into a liquid has existed for decades and was used by the Germans during WWII.  Today, there are plants around the world (on a small scale) converting coal into liquid hydrocarbon fuel, ready to be used in aircraft, trucks, cars, etc.  But it is nuclear that offers the cleanest source of energy with even Greenpeace jumping aboard promoting it.

But water is still needed and the competition for potable water is growing.  As the article/ad states, water will be the most sought after item in the near future.  There is even a video out by the name of “Blue Gold” which you can watch the trailer for free when you do a web search for “Blue Gold”.

There are those in Habersham and the surrounding counties who believe Atlanta will import our water to satisfy their needs.  They cannot as it is against the law.  They are part of a legal district which has a law stating no transfers of water into the Metro Atlanta District.  This does not mean they must stop using water which naturally flows into the Metro Atlanta District.  There are some restrictions as implemented during the Three States Water Wars, but they have a say in how we use the water while it is in our hands.

In my last post, I stated the amount of water is a constant and the population change is not.  As we run out of electricity and water, where or what will we do about these two items?  China is using the extra dollars we sent it while buying cheap Chinese products to buy commodities around the world now.  Soon, water will be on that list as they come for water.

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Habersham Won! YEAH!

wsbtv High IQ

Habersham’s team won against Madison county. I didn’t get the final score but they had over 400 points to Madison’s 250. Now according to WSBTV’s website they move on to the next round which is on Jan. 15th.

Great job to everyone on the team! The team includes Cal Williams, My Trinh Dao (alternate), Kristy Syhapahna, Lucky Khambouneheuang and Sam Lyon (captain).

At the top is the link to the air dates and teams.

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Go Habersham!

Habersham High Schoolers compete tomorrow on Channel 2 High IQ show. Watch at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 31, to see how the school fared against Madison County.

The team includes Cal Williams, My Trinh Dao (alternate), Kristy Syhapahna, Lucky Khambouneheuang and Sam Lyon (captain).

Knock em dead!

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Night Raiders nest in New Habersham High School

From: Georgia DNR e news Oct. 2010

Night raiders nest
in new Habersham High

Habersham Central High’s newest raider made a dramatic debut last month.
Maybe that’s not surprising, considering the setting: at least 16 feet high in the unfinished auditorium of the new high school, being built beside Central High near Mount Airy.
Erik Gouine of CD Mechanical in Demorest was using a mechanical lift to check a large air-conditioning duct when he heard something inside. Next came an eruption that made him hit the lift floor. “All I saw was dang wings and feathers!” Gouine said, grinning.
The source of his shock? A barn owl. She and her mate had made a nest in the ductwork – three eggs lain amid gray scraps of insulation (below).
The nest is still there. Workers are staying clear of the duct, while keeping a protective eye on the parents.
Project superintendent Lee Chitwood of Charles Black Construction, the Cleveland company managing construction of the school, said plans are to work around the federally protected birds until the young hatch and fledge.
That could take another two months. Meanwhile, the owls are spotted mostly mornings and evenings in the auditorium or gym. The female often perches in a ceiling corner over the stage, her light-colored body visible against the black roof and walls.
The owls access the buildings through open doors, preying on rats, mice and other small animals. Workers have found owl pellets and parts of rats.
Chitwood’s call to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the company’s patience in waiting out the barn owls before finishing construction is appreciated, said Field Supervisor Sandy Tucker of the agency’s Georgia Ecological Services Field Office.
“This is a wonderful example of how the public is such an important part of conserving Georgia’s native wildlife,” Tucker said.
Chitwood, pictured above near the nest site with Gouine (left), suggested the construction workers have “all turned into” owl watchers. Someone even left a plastic owl figurine in a nest of grass on his desk.
In his 25 years with Charles Black Construction, Chitwood said he has never heard of barn owls nesting on a construction site. Now, the Habersham Raiders have one of nature’s true night raiders next door.
“Who would’a thought?” Chitwood said.

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