Education

SB183: STATE LEGISLATURE TRYING TO ELIMINATE SEALED BIDS & EVADE PUBLIC SCRUTINY BY GIVING TAXPAYER MONEY TO OTHER ENTITIES TO DO WORK

SB183: STATE LEGISLATURE TRYING TO ELIMINATE SEALED BIDS & EVADE PUBLIC SCRUTINY BY GIVING TAXPAYER MONEY TO OTHER ENTITIES TO DO WORK

Posted on March 9, 2017

March 9, 2017
Hearing on SB183 March 9, 2017 at 2PM
https://livestream.com/accounts/19771738/events/6811894/videos/151342386

catherine bernard

The following information was sent from Catherine Bernard, a lawyer and political activist. This information shows you how desperately we need to drain the Georgia swamp!

“…to preserve [the people's] independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.” -Thomas Jefferson

Dear Friends,

With a Republican-controlled state legislature and Republican officials occupying all executive offices in Georgia, you’d think we might get some fiscally conservative policies. This legislative session continues to show how wrong that expectation would be. Other than a few targeted tax breaks for wealthy special interests, like yacht owners and Delta, the 2017 legislative session has been new taxes, more taxes, regulations, and scariest of all – new powers to borrow and lend public money.

Today at 2:00 p.m., in Room 506 of the Coverdell Legislative Office Building at the Capitol, the House Transportation Committee will hear testimony onSB183. Most of the coverage of this bill so far has focused on how it would create permanent mandatory toll roads, but that’s only part of the issue. What’s even more dangerous are the provisions eliminating the public competitive bid and sealed bid process requirements for State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA) projects, combined with the massive new grants of power to SRTA: to extend credit and make loans to any type of entity, to incorporate multiple non-profit corporations as subsidiaries of SRTA, and to expand the definition of “self-liquidating project” to include not just projects by cities and counties, but by any “person, firm, corporation, limited liability company, or other type of entity”. I.e., they can take your money and give it to literally whoever they want to, and they might even do it through private corporations set up to evade public scrutiny.

The permanent mandatory toll road part is pretty bad too. Georgia law only authorizes the state to charge a toll until the road construction project is fully paid for, e.g. GA 400, where tolls were collected from 1993 to 2013 (and even then, it took dedicated citizen activists holding the government to its promise). Changing this would be a big deal, deserving of much more public debate than we’ve seen on this important topic.
Send an email to the Committee chair, Rep. Kevin Tanner, and the bill sponsor, Sen. Brandon Beach, letting them know what you think of this bill.Email Rep. Tanner Email Sen. Beach Or give them a call: 404.656.3947 and 404.463.1378

Good news on the no-knock search warrant bill, though: I showed up at the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing ready to testify against SB94, but the bill sponsor didn’t show up and it was removed from the agenda. Since it didn’t pass the Senate before Crossover Day, technically it’s dead for the session – but this legislation has already been revived too many times, so I’m keeping a close eye on it.

Thanks for engaging with these important issues, so that together we can make our political world more reasonable and thoughtful.

Warm regards,
Catherine
============================

TWG
Citizens, be informed and stay informed! Only by being informed, can the citizens understand what is being done and talked about, and then press our officials to make good decisions for everyone in Jasper County. That is our goal with the Taxdogs blog.

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When to Stop: Sharing the Road with School Buses

When to Stop for School Buses

When to Stop: Sharing the Road with School Buses
Courtesy of SDIA

As DeKalb County students return to school on August 8th, SDIA’s Safety Committee reminds you of Georgia’s law regarding passing school buses.

In most cases, all drivers are required to stop when meeting or overtaking a stopped school bus that has its red lights flashing and its stop arm extended when loading or unloading passengers. The only exception to this rule is when highways are separated in the center by a dirt, grass or concrete median. In this situation, only vehicles following or traveling alongside a school bus in the same direction must stop.

A warning that a bus stop is about to take place will always be given with the flashing amber lights on the front and rear of the school bus. Upon seeing these flashing amber lights, vehicles approaching the school bus from both the front and rear should immediately slow down and prepare to stop. All drivers must pay special attention to children, be focused and exercise caution when in the vicinity of a school bus stop, as student riders can sometimes be unpredictable. Once the bus is fully stopped, the flashing red lights will activate and the stop arm will deploy. Vehicles must stop and should remain stopped until all loading students are aboard in the morning or all unloading passengers have cleared 12 feet off the roadway in the afternoon. Motorists should proceed with caution, only after passengers have cleared the roadway, the stop arm is cancelled and the flashing red lights are deactivated.

MULTI-LANE: Paved. Vehicles traveling in both directions MUST STOP.
DIVIDED HIGHWAY: With dirt, grass or barrier median. Vehicles behind MUST STOP. Vehicles traveling in opposite direction must use caution.
TWO LANES: Vehicles traveling in both directions MUST STOP.

Failure to obey the law not only puts the safety of our children at risk but also puts you in a position to be fined. The fine? $300 for a first offense, $750 for a second offense, and $1,000 for each subsequent offense in a 5-year period. Think you won’t get caught? Every school bus driver who observes a violation is authorized and directed to record the vehicle description, license number of the offending vehicle, and time and place of occurrence and report to local law enforcement agency which has jurisdiction where the alleged offense occurred.

South DeKalb Improvement Association, Inc. (SDIA)

Mission: Restore District 4

CBS46 News

Restore District 4:
By Restore DeKalb

New Vision, New Direction, New Leadership

R - Restore Public Trust by removing the “Cloud of Corruption”
E – Economic Development throughout the county
S – Safety and Security for our community
T – Transparency and Integrity
O- Open, Honest and Accountable Government
R – Rebuild and Reclaim our Local Control
E – Ethical and Efficient Governance

1. Restore Public Trust by removing the “Cloud of Corruption”:
a. Steve Bradshaw will demand a forensic audit of the Watershed Department to verify a recent complaint that $70 million dollars is missing. He will have a full forensic audit of the county budget so that we have a clear understanding of where our money is going.
b. The Incumbent (I) was on the Public Works Committee that oversaw the Watershed Department 5 of the 7 years the committee existed. She was/is chairman of the Finance, Audit and Budget committee. Yet, she stated that she could not have a forensic audit because, “we don’t have the infrastructure in place to do it (audit)”.

2. Economic Development throughout DeKalb County:
a. Steve Bradshaw has a new vision for the 4th District as a businessman to increase commercial development. He pledges more aggressive business development efforts to drive job growth.
b. The Incumbent (I) has hindered commercial development throughout her term. We ask that everyone drive down Memorial Drive. She is attempting to build a library at Wade Walker Park in violation of federal regulation that cost taxpayers over $100,000 in grants.

3. Safety and Security for our community:
a. Steve Bradshaw will ensure the police and fire personnel receive adequate funding to retain our experienced officers. He pledges better pay and benefits for our public safety and public works employees. He also pledges more timely and efficient code enforcement.
b. The Incumbent (I) has hindered increased funding for police, fire and code enforcement. During her term, she has had open differences with the Code Enforcement Advisory Board.

4. Transparency and Integrity:
a. Steve Bradshaw pledges to honor the Open Records Request Law and answer requests in a timely manner.
b. The Incumbent (I) refused to answer Open Records Request until the watchdog group, Unhappy Taxpayer & Voter, filed a complaint to the state Attorney General.

5. Open, Honest and Accountable Government:

a. Steve Bradshaw pledges to have at least one County Commission meeting a month in the evening so that more citizens can be engaged and additional town hall meetings in the 4th district. He will support expanding the public comment time during County Commission meetings.
b. The Incumbent (I) was instrumental in starting the policy that restricted the public from using the Commissioners’ name during public comment. The practice was so controversial that it made national news. She is notorious for not answering complaints from citizens, home associations, etc.

6. Rebuild and Reclaim our Local Control:
a. Steve Bradshaw pledges to work with the local representatives and form a partnership with the Board of Education. He will establish a District 4 Mayor’s roundtable and Pastor’s roundtable so that our cities and churches are partners in government.
b. The Incumbent (I) has a history of being divisive and dishonest. In her two terms thus far, her record has decreased the development of our local community.

7. Ethical and Efficient Governance:
a. Steve Bradshaw pledges to behave in an ethical manner with integrity and honesty. He is an honorable discharge commissioned officer and has a history of business ownership, management, and ethical governance.
b. The Incumbent (I) is presently suing the DeKalb County Board of Ethics at taxpayers’ expense. Watchdog groups view this as nothing other than a delay tactic on her part. The Incumbent’s executive assistant was found guilty by the Board of Ethics of the following charges:
i. Failure to properly preserve government records. Specifically, failure to maintain purchase card receipts.
ii. Theft by taking, theft by deception, false certification of gift cards with county funds for personal use, improper purchase of personal items on government issued purchasing card without reimbursement to the county in many cases.
iii. Theft by deception, false certification by employee, making a false statement in violation of O.C.G.A. Specifically, use of county time to attend Barnes Sutton’s political event.

Unhappy Taxpayer & Voter and Restore DeKalb were victorious. They originally filed this complaint May 30, 2014 against Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton and her executive assistant, Judy Brownlee. Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton threw Judy Brownlee “under the bus”.

CBS46 News

Violation of Citizens 1st Amendment Rights Places DeKalb County in National News

CBS46 News

Violation of Citizens 1st Amendment Rights Places
DeKalb County in National News
By Viola Davis, July 11, 2016

Memorial Day gives honor to our fallen soldiers that risk their all to protect our Constitutional rights against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. Who would ever guess that DeKalb County would make national news for violating one of the most important Constitutional rights of them all, the 1st Amendment (Freedom of Speech).

DeKalb County Board of Commissioners in Georgia instituted a new rule prohibiting citizens from using the names of commissioners during the public comment portion of the county meeting.

This rule carried little weight with Ruby Bozeman Davis, co-founder of the Unhappy Taxpayer and Voter ministry. Davis appeared at the May 10th Board of Commissioners meeting to speak during the public comment to simply state the board members’ names. Her first attempt to call the name of the Presiding Officer, Commissioner Larry Johnson, was met with an episode of chastisement.

The interaction was televised throughout our nation, particularly on CBS stations and made national news to include:

1. Conservative Tribune article titled, “County Leaders Get Brutal Surprise After Ordering Voter to Keep Their Names Secret” at link -http://conservativetribune.com/county-leaders-names-secret/

2. The Blaze.com article titled, “County Commissioners Prohibit Citizens From Saying Officials’ Names During Public Meetings — the New Rule Doesn’t Go Over Well” with 673 shares – http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2016/05/18/county-commissioners-prohibit-citizens-from-saying-officials-names-during-public-meetings-the-new-rule-doesnt-go-over-well/#

Taxpayer Ruby Davis told WGCL-TV, “That’s my First Amendment right of freedom of speech.”

first amendment violation pic 2

DeKalb Co. commissioners ask for names not to be mentioned at public meeting. @MurphyCBS46 > http://bit.ly/1qsrcZ6

By Adam Murphy
✔‎@MurphyCBS46

Taxpayers blast #DeKalb commissioners for prohibiting them from mentioning their names during public comment.@cbs46
9:49 AM – 17 May 2016

first amendment violation pic 3

“They forget that they’re supposed to work for the taxpayers,” Davis said. “They believe the taxpayers work for them.”
“You’re getting an ethics complaint, each of you, on violation of our freedom of speech,” said taxpayer Jerry Jackson.

During a meeting, taxpayer Jeff Long noted that “the county’s own written comment policy does not address using a commissioner’s name during public comment time.”

“If you don’t want your name mentioned during public comment time, then stop doing outrageous, offensive, illegal and, quite frankly, stupid things,” Long said.

Also during a recent meeting, taxpayer Beth Long said, “With this rule, the message that you’re sending to us the public is that you hold yourselves above our constitutional rights,” adding, “We the public are the ones who put you in those seats.”

barnes sutton head shot

(Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton Picture)

WGCL noted that one of the commissioners — Sharon Barnes Sutton — found a creative way to avoid hearing her name at the meeting: She arrived two hours late.

Read entire article and view the video at the link:

http://www.cbs46.com/story/31999475/dekalb-county-commissioners-ask-for-names-not-to-be-mentioned-at-public-meeting

http://www.cbs46.com/story/32329960/70-million-allegedly-missing-dekalb-taxpayers-demand-audit

CBS46 News

DeKalb NAACP Candidate Forum for Commission District 4 & 6

DeKalb NAACP Candidate Forum for Commission District 4 & 6
Recorded by Viola Davis

DeKalb NAACP hosted a forum on May 21, 2016 at 3015 South Rainbow Drive, Decatur, Georgia from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The candidates for CEO, District Attorney, Tax Commissioner, Sheriff, District 4 Commissioner and District 6 Commissioners that attended include:

Chief Executive Officer:
Joe Bembry
Connie Stokes
Michael Thurmond

District Attorney:
Sherry Boston

Tax Commissioner:
Irvin J. Johnson
Susannah Scott

Sheriff:
Geraldine Champion
Ted Golden
Kyle Jones
Michael Williams

District 4 Commissioner:
Steve Bradshaw
Lance Hammonds

District 6 Commissioner:
Kathie Gannon (Incumbent)

The candidates that did not attend include:

District Attorney:
Robert James (Incumbent)

Tax Commissioner:
Stan Watson

Sheriff:
Jeffrey Mann (Incumbent)
Harold Dennis

District 4 Commissioner:
Sharon Barnes Sutton (Incumbent)
Willie Willis

District 6 Commissioner:
Warren Mosby

I want to go on record as endorsing Lance Hammonds for County Commissioner for District 4. In my years (over 15 years) of working as a government watchdog and with statewide government watchdogs, I have found Lance Hammonds to be trustworthy, ethical, community-oriented, a change agent and an independent spirit. If you want to see honest people in government, join me in supporting Lance Hammonds for the 4th District Commissioner.

viola davis pic

Viola Davis – Co-Founder of Unhappy Taxpayer & Voter – agreed to write the endorsement for voters that support Lance Hammonds.

Joel Edwards with Restore DeKalb agreed to speak for supporters of Steve Bradshaw.

We have two excellent candidates that will serve Commission District 4 and help restore public trust. Our community deserve representation with honesty, ethics, integrity and respect for taxpayers and voters.

Update of New Video: Newly formed Political Action Committee (PAC) endorsing candidates in DeKalb County…

CONTACT:
For more information, comments and/or questions: Dr. Curtis Thrasher Phone: 404-284-9984 or Viola Davis Phone: 770-256-0034; View the reasons to elect anybody but Sharon Barnes Sutton and Stan Watson at http://anybodybut.org; http://anybodybut.org , (reasons, articles and video) Email: anybodybutstan@gmail.com or anybodybutsharon@gmail.com

Dr. Curtis Thrasher leads a coalition of citizens to move DeKalb County in a new direction with new leadership. Dr. Thrasher has identified two elected officials that need to be removed from office in order for DeKalb County to recover from the cloud of corruption and restore public trust. We have submitted documents to the Board of Commissioners that show missing money from franchise fee and peg fees with Public Access Television and over $70 million dollars missing from Public Works/Watershed. Ask your Commissioners for copies under the Open Records Request and demand an audit of these departments. Sharon Barnes Sutton and Stan Watson were on the Public Works Committee 5 of the 7 years the committee existed. Jeff Rader and Kathie Gannon were on the committee 3 of the 7 years. Lee May and Elaine Boyer were on the committee 2 of the 7 years. Nancy Jester was on the committee less than 1 of the 7 years.

TAXPAYER & VOTER ARE THE “EMPLOYERS”
Our Vote – Hire and Fire Elected Officials
Our Tax Money – Pay Elected Officials Salaries and provide Money for Budgets
These two facts define us as “Employers” of the elected officials

NEW LEADERSHIP, NEW VISION, NEW DIRECTION
DeKalb County needs to elect new leadership with the courage to move our county in a new direction. DeKalb County needs a new vision.

FREDERICK DOUGLASS QUOTES:

Frederick Douglass/Quotes If there is no struggle, there is no progress.

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.

Top Nine Zip Codes for Section 8 Housing in DeKalb County, Georgia

Top Nine Zip Codes for Section 8 Housing in DeKalb County, Georgia
By Viola Davis, May 11, 2016

DeKalb County - Section 8 Housing Pic 1

Red Dots – Section 8 Housing in DeKalb County…Glenwood Road, Covington Hwy, Redan Road, and Rockbridge Road…

We have the top nine zip codes for Section 8 Housing to include:

Dekalb County Zip Code; Total Section 8 Housing
1. 30032; 906
2. 30058; 878
3. 30034; 677
4. 30083; 503
5. 30035; 443
6. 30038; 400
7. 30088; 343
8. 30021; 333
9. 30319; 215

DeKalb County - Section 8 Housing Pic 3

Red Dots – Section 8 Housing outside City of Atlanta around Candler Road, Glenwood Road, and Columbia Drive

Thank You to District 1 Office in 2012 for Section 8 Stats

What Defines Criminal Activity in DeKalb County?

crime pic

What Defines Criminal Activity in DeKalb County?
By Viola Davis, May 9, 2016

A coalition of activist, organizations, business owners, etc. have joined together to demand transparency, ethics and accountability from DeKalb County government. We search for the “truth” that will remove the “cloud of corruption” and restore public trust by demanding the following request:

• A special prosecutor assigned by a federal or state agency
• A forensic audit of the Watershed, Purchasing and Contracting Departments
• Expansion of the Public Integrity Unit beyond the District Attorney’s Office with federal oversight

Why?

The coalition is making these requests due to the recent article published in the AJC in the month of April, this year, concerning the grand jury report. This article stated that District Attorney Robert James made the following statements:

• James told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he’s completed a review of the grand jury’s findings, and not enough evidence exists to bring charges against nine people highlighted in the report. He declined to discuss three others named in the report. While the special grand jury uncovered serious concerns about inappropriate behavior, the conduct wasn’t necessarily criminal, the district attorney said.
• “We don’t make decisions based on what things look like,” James said. “We make decisions based on facts and evidence.”

da robert james pic in ajc

DeKalb District Attorney Robert James and Senior Assistant District Attorney Cynthia Hill presented the findings of their review of a special…

http://www.myajc.com/news/news/local-govt-politics/no-further-charges-expected-from-dekalb-corruption/nq6Pr/

The DeKalb County LSBE vendors voted to make the information public that we gave to law enforcement. The LSBE vendors were very upset that DA James proclaimed that there was no need to investigate issues/people concerning the grand jury report, particularly in the Watershed Department.

We are forwarding information on one particular contract for $1.4 million dollars. After submitting an Open Records Request and receiving Kelvin Walton’s emails, our researchers went through (and continue to go through) over 20,000 emails and hundreds of attachments. We found an attachment that provided the amount of money paid out on different contracts. The contract for $1.4 million paid out over $72 million dollars. Please note that this is the same contract that the FBI indicted two county employees for extortion and bribery in 2012.

I, Viola Davis, personally spoke to the contractor, and he said he did receive the $1.4 million dollars. However, he did not know anything about the $72 million. Our question is, who received the money?

We ask that you review the documents we delivered to District Attorney Robert James. We did not deliver the attachment of documents that involve the $72 million dollars because of the lack of action on former documents presented to the District Attorney’s Office. We are presenting these documents to the public to review and decide if there is enough information to demand action and another outside third party review for criminal activity.
We have the following questions for District Attorney Robert James to answer to include:

1. Is it criminal and/or illegal for the Board of Commissioners to vote on a local contract for approximately $1.4 million then Purchasing and Contracting Department listing the payout at over $72 million dollars?
• See attachment

2. Is it criminal and/or illegal for banks to issue three “bank checks” with the same number to three different people, on three different dates, and for three different amounts?
• LSBE Vendors Request for RICO Investigation due to Fraudulent Checks and other Information: https://www.scribd.com/doc/265964076/DeKalb-LSBE-Vendors-Call-for-RICO-Investigation

Video – DeKalb LSBE Vendors Call for RICO Investigation and Criminal Forensic Audit: https://youtu.be/N4TWHCm_-3E

and https://youtu.be/QW01JwaByJU

3. Is it criminal and/or illegal for DeKalb County to provide an auditor with copies of fraudulent checks for an audit report that states the numbers on the “bank checks” do not match?
• LSBE Vendors Request for RICO Investigation due to Fraudulent Checks and other Information: https://www.scribd.com/doc/265964076/DeKalb-LSBE-Vendors-Call-for-RICO-Investigation

4. Is it criminal and/or illegal to post the same purchase orders for multiple payments to drain money from taxpayers’ coffers and deny a criminal forensic audit to verify if this money was stolen?
• Multiple Payments of the same Purchase Order: https://www.scribd.com/doc/272708108/Commissioner-Sharon-Barnes-Sutton-and-RightThink-Multiple-Payments-Part-1-Summary-of-the-Ethics-Complaint

5. Is it criminal and/or illegal to destroy government documents that are needed to expose criminal activity yet, refuse to neither prosecute the individuals identified or stop the practice?
• Destruction of Government Documents: https://www.scribd.com/doc/288126677/Dekalb-County-Email-Secrets-Attachment-2

Review the following documents before you answer:

• Multiple Payments from the same Purchase Order: https://www.scribd.com/doc/272708108/Commissioner-Sharon-Barnes-Sutton-and-RightThink-Multiple-Payments-Part-1-Summary-of-the-Ethics-Complaint
• LSBE Vendors Request for RICO Investigation due to Fraudulent Checks and other Information: https://www.scribd.com/doc/265964076/DeKalb-LSBE-Vendors-Call-for-RICO-Investigation
• Destruction of Government Documents: https://www.scribd.com/doc/288126677/Dekalb-County-Email-Secrets-Attachment-2
• Debate between DA Robert James and former Solicitor General Sherry Boston on April 12, 2016: https://youtu.be/zBU5AQMYqqs
• Attachment of documents on contracts concerning $72 million dollars; Excel spreadsheet will be made available upon request at UnhappyTaxpayers@gmail.com.

If you agree that there is enough evidence in the documentation we are providing to demand a special prosecutor, forensic audit and expansion of the Public Integrity Unit, please send an email to UnhappyTaxpayers@gmail.com.

Example of an email:

Acting Attorney General John Horn and our local law enforcement have investigated crimes in DeKalb County indicting political officials, government employees, business owners, and police officers. We need to restore public trust, remove the “cloud of corruption” and reclaim our local government.

We, the undersigned, are concerned citizens, activists, organizations, and business owners, etc. who needs our local, state and federal law enforcement to move forward with an action plan that includes the following:

• Special Prosecutor with federal oversight
• Criminal forensic audit of Watershed, Purchasing and Contracting Dept., etc.
• Expansion of the Public Integrity Unit beyond the District Attorney’s office with federal oversight

Signature: _____________________________________________
_____________________________________________
Date: ______________________________________________

Dr. Curtis Thrasher, Jr. Request DA Robert James Investigate Complaint Against Stan Watson and Others Concerning Missing Money

Dr. Curtis Thrasher in Red

Dr. Curtis Thrasher, Jr. in red – Photo from Youtube

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 2, 2016

FROM: Dr. Curtis Thrasher Jr., Founder/CEO
New Life New Hope Center
1711 Donald L. Hollowell,
Atlanta, Georgia 30318
CONTACT:
Phone: 404-284-9984

Dr. Curtis Thrasher, Jr. Request That DA Robert James Investigate Complaint Against Stan Watson and Others Concerning Missing Money

Dr. Curtis Thrasher Jr., Founder/CEO of New Life New Hope Center, hand delivered a letter/complaint to District Attorney Robert James requesting an investigation into alleged missing money involving membership fees, PEG fees, and/or franchise fees concerning the Comcast and DeKalb County division of Public Access Television.

Dr. Curtis Thrasher Jr. called a press conference on May 3, 2016 at 10:00 am to denounce the actions of former Commissioner Stan Watson and others at Comcast that allegedly cheated 30 producers out of approximately $15,000. Dr. Thrasher goes further into questioning missing money involving membership fees, PEG fees and/or franchise fees.

Dr. Curtis Thrasher, Jr. is the past president of the Atlanta Rainbow Push and is presently representing 30 aggrieved producers at Comcast Public Access Television. After appearing at the Board of Commissioner’s meeting and researching the issue, Dr. Thrasher makes the following alleged accusations:

• 30 Producers with Comcast allege that Stan Watson worked in collusion with a Comcast worker to cheat them out of money (approximately $15,000 dollars) paid to place their programs on Public Access Television.
• Researchers discovered over $5,000,000 (5 million dollars) in Comcast payments to DeKalb County, using a state law co-sponsored by Stan Watson that removed Public Access Television. Where did the money go?
• Stan Watson secured programming for his private show called “The Stan Watson Show” while “locking out” the 30 producers (majority black) at Comcast. Despite the producers paying the required membership fees, Watson secured access and protection for himself with the help of Comcast employee, Sue Ann Taylor with Zeel TV.
• The 30 producers were forced to work through Comcast employee Sue Ann Taylor from Canton, Georgia despite the history of her not paying her incorporation fees, questionable business behavior and being involved with two lawsuits (one which involves DeKalb County and Comcast).

Viola Davis and Ruby Bozeman-Davis CrossRoadsNews 2016 Community Kudos Award Honorees

April 22, 2016

Viola Davis and Ruby Bozeman Davis
Founders of Unhappy Taxpayer & Voter
909 Rays Road
Stone Mountain, Georgia 30083

Jennifer Ffrench Parker and Curtis Parker
Crossroads Newspaper
2346 Candler Road
Decatur, Georgia 30032

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Parker:

We wanted to take a moment to extend our most sincere thanks for choosing us to receive the CrossroadsNews 2016 Community Kudos Award. We are writing to express our sincere gratitude to you for a memorable and wonderful evening that will stay with us forever. You have no idea how happy you made us when you handed us the award.

We are truly humbled and honored you recognized us with your “Making a Difference Award with Dedicated Service”. Once again, we are very grateful for this reward, which is an excellent morale-booster that will encourage us to continue doing our community ministry work. We are also very appreciative to everyone who helped you make the gala a “must attend” yearly event.

Yours sincerely,

Viola Davis
Co-Founder

ATTENTION: Do You Want Radioactive Waste Stored in Georgia?

Attention logo - red and gold color

A US Department of Energy Consent-Based Siting Public Meeting

Place: Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center, 800 Spring Street N.W., Atlanta, GA 30308

Time: April 11, 2016, 12:00 Noon to 6:00 PM

Why: The federal government is looking for places to dump tens of thousands of tons of radioactive waste from the nation’s commercial nuclear power plants. They are looking for volunteer communities who would consent to taking this waste.

Questions: Why would any community volunteer to take this dangerous waste? What does the Department of Energy mean by consent? Whose consent is the agency seeking? Is the waste being managed safely at power plant sites where it’s stored now?

These and many more questions should be raised at the meeting. The US Department of energy is holding a series of meetings at different locations across the country. The meeting in Atlanta is our opportunity to ask questions and give our opinions.

nuclear-waste pic

Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League
www.BREDL.org PO Box 88 Glendale Springs, North Carolina 28629 BREDL@skybest.com (336) 982-2691

If we leave the field open to the vision of those who are imposing their way upon us without challenge, we will lose everything.

Environmental Justice

It is important to include EJ specifically and consistently in all our principles, comments, correspondence, position papers and talking points during these consent-based meetings. Why? Because all the communities which have ever been selected for radioactive waste have been EJ communities: African American, Hispanic, Appalachian, Native American etc.

In the South, studies of the locations of nuclear generating plants also reveal disproportionate impacts prohibited under the Civil Rights Act. It is of particular interest to us in the Southeast because of the perennial magnet for nuclear waste known as the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. We have the right to say “NO!”

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs receiving federal assistance. This overview provides a foundation for our approach to DOE’s so-called consent-based process:

If a recipient of federal assistance is found to have discriminated and voluntary compliance cannot be achieved, the federal agency providing the assistance should either initiate fund termination proceedings or refer the matter to the Department of Justice for appropriate legal action. Aggrieved individuals may file administrative complaints with the federal agency that provides funds to a recipient, or the individuals may file suit for appropriate relief in federal court. Title VI itself prohibits intentional discrimination.

President John F. Kennedy said in 1963: “Simple justice requires that public funds, to which all taxpayers of all races [colors, and national origins] contribute, not be spent in any fashion which encourages, entrenches, subsidizes or results in racial [color or national origin] discrimination.”

Technology Questions

The DOE should choose the best available technology for radioactive waste storage. This should be based on long term safety, not short-term cost savings as is now the case. The DOE must exceed Nuclear Regulatory Commission standards to avoid radiation leaks and potential explosions. Most of the rest of the world uses thick metal storage/transport casks (10” to 20” thick) and stores them in reinforced buildings. They are designed to be maintained. The DOE plans to use inferior thin-walled canisters.

Rather than consent-based siting, DOE efforts and public meetings should be focused on the storage, transport, funding, and states legal authority issues. It would be folly for any community to consent to the transportation and storage of high level spent nuclear fuel until all these issues are resolved.