Artist questions project
Use of the stars and constellations as celestial navigation guides has depended on the position of Polaris -- also called the North Star -- for centuries. Who among us has failed to look for it when we’ve searched for the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper and the Milky Way. When humans have explored the earth and the heavens, they often have been comforted by the beauty and the stable position of the North Star, the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper were trusted guideposts and beacons in the wilderness. I have read that slaves in this country frequently used the light from the North Star to guide the way to free lands. Also, in fact, there are folks who believe that light of the North Star is actually the light from Heaven itself. They believe that the North Star is, indeed, the Seat of Heaven.
In contrast, the proposed North Star Jefferson Renewable Energy Facility does not stand as a beacon of safe guidance or prosperity. The proponents of this development have not yet gained abundant public confidence about their plan. The value or goodness of the facility has not been established. Neither have questions of its threat to human health and public welfare been answered satisfactorily. The prospect of its contributions for the betterment of the people has not been embraced with public pride and enthusiasm.
Our local history, our health and our welfare recently have been challenged.
South of the river, down the road a few miles, pristine lands are being disturbed.
Dreams are sullied by rumors and mumblings and doubts.
Surely, violation of high standards and good stewardship will bring great suffering.
Children and grandchildren will bear the burden of their fathers’ judgments.
There will be no boundaries to the consequence of shabby thinking.
Listen. Be warned. Environmental justice of all kinds is being tested.
For the People
Don’t wait. Go there. Own the place. It’s yours in public trust.
Like an eagle, fly over it.
Look at the bare land. Scraped. Cleared. Search for the wonders once there.
Look for the dew-covered mystic spirals of spider webs.
Hunt for the bees. Butterflies. Wasps. Hornets.
The great birds. Feathered friends of the Ancients.
Look for the light from the Milky Way.
Search for sounds of croaking toads and frogs and other critters at twilight.
Watch the creek waters flow over the stumps and logs.
Listen to the waters rise. Can you hear them?
Recall the music from our past. Listen to the hymns of ancestors.
Listen to the sounds of the Ancients.
Are those dreams? Dreams lost to progress. Erased from memory.
The creek is dry. Sometimes the waters no longer flow there.
Nature’s creatures are gone. Scared away. Exterminated.
For the Stewards
Have you been blinded by fables of quick gold? Profit? Wealth?
Like the cotton barons from another time.
Are you willing to abuse the earth, pollute air and deplete the water supply?
Are you prepared to forfeit obligations of environmental stewardship.
Have you failed to hear the anxious moans of ancient souls?
Are you willing to jeopardize the health of even one child?
Has your spirit dried to dust?
Have contaminated winds already hardened your lungs and heart?
Are your aspirations already eroded?
By acid rains and polluted air from Atlanta?
From Birmingham and Chicago?
For the Ancients
Hear ye, protectors. Ancient souls. Lovers of the seasons.
Lovers of the woodlands and the waters. Rise up.
Victims of Yazoo. Rise up.
Remember treaties. Violated. Ignored. Rise up.
Remember promises of the fortune spinners. Rise up.
Spirits of the Ogeechee. Ocmulgee and Altamaha. Rise up.
Return to the edge of your beginnings.
Return to the roots of your heritage.
Fill the dried creek bed with your tears.
Pray thee. Ancient Souls and lovers of things good and right.
Examine. Search. Bring reason to the round table.
Bring wisdom. Bring the warmth and comfort of sunlight.
Ancient peoples of the streams and the woodlands.
Rise up! Come forward!
Trees and wood chips and wafers of rubber the size of saltine crackers will be burned in the incinerator -- 24 hours a day, almost every day of the year. Electricity will be produced and sold to a power company. Will the power be used in Jefferson County? Probably not!
And, where will the wood and rubber come from? How much fuel will actually be required to run this plant day and night for years and years? How many acres of trees will be needed to feed this machine every day? It will gobble up natural resources like a starving dragon.
Is this proposed plant ecologically sound? Is it sustainable? What will happen when the water supply is depleted? What will happen when the trees are all gone? Look at India. Ask the Chinese. Look at Easter Island.
On a daily basis, more water than used by the City of Wadley will be needed to cool the boiler in this plant. Some of the water may be recycled waste water from the town but additional water will be drawn from the aquifer which is already stressed. The creeks and surface water also are threatened. Aquifer depletion will alter farm practices and will limit our share of food production for a growing population worldwide.
Emissions will come from a boiler stack and dangerous chemicals will be released into the atmosphere, into the air we breathe. Theoretically the permitted volume of these toxic emissions will be controlled and limited, but the volume of emissions may very well be kept just under the amount considered necessary for the preservation of minimum health standards. Personal moral and ethical restraint will not control the amount of these emissions; instead, laws, federal and state regulations will determine the quality of air contamination. But should individuals be held responsible for any corporate infractions against personal health and ecological well-being.
Profit and profit margins are essential components of company justifications. Health, environment and ecological preservation often are not factored into the equation unless required by law. And compliance is often stretched as thinly as possible.
Indeed, ashen seeds of disease and death may easily hide between the winds and the fire.
And remember...the whine of an industrial turbine at this plant will not be like the purr of the kittens on your back porch. Additionally, the trucks and trains might get a little noisy, too. The nine o’clock sounds of the Nancy Hanks coming from Bartow through the swamp at night may have been romantic in years past, but this pending traffic and noise will not be so romantic.
Bill Paul is a 5th generation native of Jefferson County and he is an artist who lives in Athens. In 2002, Paul, Emeritus Professor of Art, retired from the faculty of the University of Georgia after 43 years of college teaching in Georgia and Missouri. His biography is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Art and other similar lexicons.
D’Antignac moving forward
I read Mr. Bryan’s comments on what I wrote and he’s right about what Mr. Carville said. As for following my own advice, believe me I do. I’ll own up to what I said, but he shouldn’t make excuses for Mitt, saying what he said as a play on what Mr. Carville said. The only thing Mitt is reminding the country of is: If we, the people, don’t listen up and wise up to him and the Republican Tea Party, we’ll be back, not only in a second recession, but a depression like nothing we’ve ever seen.
That (G)rand (O)ld (P)arty is not the same as it was four years ago. The extreme right of the party doesn’t want to compromise on anything. It’s their way or the highway. They are even turning on their own. Just yesterday (5/8/12) they kicked out a senator that has helped them for 36 years. And what did they replace him with, a tea drinker. Senator Lugar, should do what, Senator Murkowski of Alaska did, and run as an independent, and beat that tea drinker, back to where he came from.
You can say what you want to about Pres. Obama, he is bringing America back. Jobs are coming back to America, manufacturing is picking up, unemployment is coming down, even gas prices are coming down as well. Every time these republicans get America in a hole, America elects Democrats to get them out, get a surplus, and America turns right back to the idiots that’ll put them in a deeper hole again.
It is my opinion that Mr. Bryan has been watching too much Fox News, when he equates forward with backward. If he continues to listen to people like Limbaugh, O’Riley, and Hannity, he’ll find himself in the same position as the people of Wisconsin. Once they found out that they voted in a bunch of crooks, they organized to throw the bums out, with a recall.
Let me just mention a few people and things that have used the word forward, and you tell me if they are Marxists. The word forward:
(1) It is the State of Wisconsin’s Motto, and the State Coin even has Forward on it.
(2) It is part of the registered servicemark (Reagan Forward) of the Ronald Reagan Society at his alma mater, Eureka College.
(3) It was even used by Fox News in on-air promos that shouted “Move Forward.”
(4) Richard Nixon’s 1969 inaugural address phrase was: “To go forward at all is to go forward together.” Are those Marxist too?
America, four years of Mitt, and his Tea Party will not only devastate this country, you’ll start to see the beginning of a real depression. For every lie they tell you about Pres. Obama, I’ll tell you the truth. This you can believe, and take to the bank. The President has done more for this country in less than four years than all of the eight years of Pres. Bush, and almost two years of the Republican House, with their “no, no, no” to every job bill Pres. Obama has sent them. What we need is the two parties to come together for the good of all the people, not just the well off.
And finally, I hope you, Mitt, and the Republican Tea Party took notice of the elections of France, and Greece. Just as they rejected cuts, cuts, cuts, we the people will do the same. Again I say, what happens in Europe, affects us too. So I repeat what I said with a twist: It’s not really all about the economy, and we the people are not stupid. Let’s keep moving forward America. It took Pres. Clinton eight years to clean up the 12 years of GOP-Mess. When he left, America had a surplus. Give Pres. Obama another term to finish cleaning up, the GOP mess, again.
Future Wadley Resident
Scott displeased with service
On the morning of April 21, 2012, my mother became ill. At first my family and I wanted to take her to University Hospital but decided since Louisville/Jefferson Hospital was closer, to go there. Turned out that was the wrong decision.
After waiting for a while, the doctor comes in and concludes that she only has allergies. We told the doctor of her medical history and still he said it’s just allergies.
So we decided to call her specialist and he suggested that we ask them to do some blood work and check to be safe. When another family member asked the doctor about doing some blood work he rudely replied, “Why don’t he (the other doctor) come down here and do it?”
Surprised and shocked, we couldn’t believe this. After a short discussion with family we decided to leave but before leaving I informed the ER nurses that we were leaving. The doctor starts waving his hand and says, “Let ‘em go, it’s just allergies.”
The ER nurses seemed shocked by this also. Good thing we went ahead to Augusta because she was admitted and had to stay in the hospital for a full week. My family and I are still upset and shocked at how we were treated and the misdiagnosis from the “doctor” on duty. He was very rude and unprofessional.
Because of his actions I can honestly say, next time an emergency happens, Jefferson Hospital will not be our first stop.