Wednesday, March 14, 2012

And the WINNER of the Caption Contest is . . .

ODEC attn'y

"Oh my God! I think I touched a local!"
Thanks to everyone who entered and voted! No prize will be given out, because the winner lives in my house. LOL. Congratulations, honey!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Judge the Caption!

OK, y'all seriously brought it for the Caption Contest HERE!

I don't remember the last time I laughed so hard....and it was darn good (and much needed) medicine.

Here are all the entries for your enjoyment....and tough decision.

Let me know which comment (numbered for your ease) is your favorite, and I will announce the winner this Wednesday.


ODEC attn'y

1.  GAH! I'm allergic to democracy!!

2.  Wahhhhh!!! Someone called me a mean name! 

3.  Steve Blaine pauses during the meeting to have a mild and brief Fly Ash Stroke.

4.  Ewwww! Get it off, get it off, get it off!

 5.  I only want to spoil Dendron, not wear it.

6.  Has this ever happened to you? Avoid those embarrassing public hearing accidents with Depends for lawyers.

 7.  Crap, that better not be coal ash again.

 8.  I got called a mean name!! I wish someone would apologize to me!! waaaaaahhhhh.

 9.  The guy behind me must have had beans for dinner!

10. Good, let the hate flow through you.

 11. Oh, Mr. Smithers!

 12. BEGONE, Satan-uh! Begone!

 13. So much smaller than I remember.

14. Give yourself to the dark side. It is the only way you can save your friends.

15. You cursive brat, look what you've done! I'm melting, melting.

16. I'm covered in hog wash, hog wash!

17. To ease my public speaking fears I just picture the town council in their underwear....

18. My pants really ARE on fire.

19. Oh my god! I think I touched a local!

20. Oh God! Not the ants again!

21. Oh God, I really hope this strange feeling is just acid reflux... I can't afford to develop a conscience at this point...

22. Dam! They're telling all our secrets!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

See! Are you dying?

OK, pick your fave, let me know in the comments or email me: You have until tomorrow night....winner will be announced Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Caption Contest

OK, people...let's blow off a little steam, shall we?

After two weeks of back-to-back hearings and seeing how broken our democratic process is, I believe we need a little good-natured fun.

So let's have contest!

Below is an incredibly unfortunate shot of one of ODEC's attorneys from last night's public hearing--Steve Blaine. You might recognize him from the Steal This Video post HERE. He's the same lawyer who (wrongly) advised Dendron to vote last time.

Give me your best caption for this shot.

Keep it clean. Leave it in the comment section or email me at I'll post all the entries Monday and y'all can vote on your favorite. There might even be a prize! Woohoo.

ODEC attn'y

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Such a Sham(e)

One of the things that came out of last week's Planning & Zoning hearing (besides the fact that out of 350 attendees, only 7 residents spoke in favor of the coal plant....more on that another day), was that finally there would be an official recommendation that the Town of Dendron commission a 3rd party study.

Citizens have been asking for a 3rd party study for years.

What's a 3rd party study?

Simply put, it's an investigation into a proposal, made by an independent 3rd party. Very common with proposals much, much, much smaller than this. If your community has a Walmart, it's likely your elected officials commissioned a 3rd party study to evaluate the proposal--impacts, drawbacks, benefits, and any loopholes that might have been missed.

Seems reasonable enough, right?


Not here.

Not with the biggest coal plant in the entire state.

ODEC has said for years it's not needed. It would delay the process. The Army Corps of Engineers will do one. Blah, blah, blah...

Kind of scary if people actually look at your project I suppose.

But, yes, last week the Planning & Zoning Commission (a body charged with looking at the zoning details and other minutia of any application, and then making recommendations to the Town Council) discussed that a 3rd party study ought to part of their official recommendation to the Dendron Town Council.

One commissioner, in particular, brought it up multiple times--trying to find the appropriate place in the official recommendation to insert it.

Each time she brought it up, she was instructed by the Commission's legal counsel that this was not quite the appropriate time or place to insert it.

Sure. That's fair. Gotta do things by the book.

Finally, nearing the end of the proceedings, this Commissioner brought it up again, asking if she needed to make an official motion on the matter. A motion is essentially a call for a vote on an issue.

Legal counsel assured her that she did not need to make a motion.

Legal counsel went on to say that the 3rd party study recommendation would be part of the official recommendation.

Perfect! Done and done.


Nope. Not even close.

The official recommendation does not contain one word about a 3rd party study.

How can that be?

In an attempt to understand, yesterday I obtained the entire packet of information that will be given to the Dendron Town Council on Monday when they hold their public hearing on the coal plant and consider the Planning & Zoning Commission's official recommendations.

Part of the packet includes a letter from the Chairman of the Commission to Dendron's mayor.

The Chairman does mention the 3rd party study:

"In addition to the conditions recommended to support Conditional Use Permit Application No. 2011-03, the Commission made recommendations to the Dendron Town Council related to an independent third party study of environmental impacts of the project and delineation of the proposed right-of-way for the rail line.

These recommendations were discussed but were not voted upon and are outlined in the attached verbatim copy of minutes for the February 27th Commission meeting and begin on page three."

Discussed but not voted upon.

Flipping through the "attached verbatim copy" of the minutes (which won't be approved by the Commission until weeks after Dendron's hearing), I find the spot where I recall the Commissioner asking if she needed to make a motion about the 3rd party study.

It reads:

"Inaudible comment."

Immediately after there are the assurances of the legal counsel (referring back to, of course, nothing):

"You do not need to make a motion to that.
Ms. Mack [planning staff] can indicate to the Town Council that
that was a concern of the Planning Commission
once she makes a report to Town Council."

So there you go...

The third party study recommendation is not worth the paper it isn't written on.

The Commissioner should have made a motion to vote.

She was told by legal counsel that she didn't need to because it would be added by staff.

It wasn't added by staff because they never voted on it.

Why didn't they vote on it...?

Right. Round and round we go.

Like I said before, it must be some kind of scary if people actually look at this project. No one's asking that we hand over our first born children. We're simply asking for a neutral party to check it out.

Ignore the citizens. Hold illegal hearings. And, for God's sake, DO NOT LOOK AT WHAT YOU ARE APPROVING.

Such a sham(e).

P.S. If you are going on Monday, please join me in asking why Commissioner Clark's recommendation was not included in the official recommendation. And urge the Dendron Town Council to get a 3rd party matter what!
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