Monday, August 29, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
|The following information was received today. Volunteers to work at the polls are urgently needed.|
Pajamas Media » Every Single One: The Politicized Hiring of Eric Holder’s Voting Section
Monday, August 22, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
The dizzing array of potential solutions to ridding the planet of radioactive waste, generated by decades of developing nuclear weapons, nuclear energy and nuclear medicine are mind boggling. They include shooting it into space with the hopes that the sun will burn it up, dumping it into the seas (Russia does it), throwing it down deep holes for permanent disposition (a global favorite), storing it in pools next to nuclear reactors (such as Fukushima Dai ichi and some U.S. plants), and/or vitrifying it and dropping the resultant glass logs into cement vaults for indefinite storage (as in the Defense Waste Processing Facility storage buildings at the Savannah River Site).
As public conern in the U.S. over the disastrous potential for national security, health and safety risks, and environmental pollution increases, more and more stakeholders are at long last becoming convinced that the future of nuclear energy lies in the back end of the production cycle. That is, the production cycle should not only include manufacturing energy but also disposing of its resultant waste. The phrase "close the fuel cycle" is frequently used in relation to this mind set. With over 60,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel stored in both wet and dry environments at some 104 aging nuclear power plants (increasing by some 2,000 per year) there is a growing urgency to finally insist on a comprehensive federal plan for nuclear energy production that encompases both its generation and its radioactive waste products. Scrutinizing some of th current plans sharply indicates the lack of federal planning and policy in this regard. Unfortunately, that effort also points out another obstruction to resolving this problem that has been a chronic American behavioral pattern--public apathy.
Yucca Mountain. With the government's blessing, nuclear energy production practices and planning lacked procedures for processing the resultant waste, leaving the fuel cycle unclosed, and allowing relatively unchallenged claims that nuclear energy is clean, cheap, and safe. The production of nuclear energy's radioactive twin, legacy waste (from the production of atomic, hydrogen and nuclear weapons), has been left to follow the same path of disregard.
The Yucca Mountain fiasco embodies all that has been, and is, wrong with federal planning and policy for the control of nuclear waste, industrial practices, and public indifference. The development of a national repository for nuclear waste in Yucca Mountain has been in the works since Congress amended the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) in 1987 and designated the Nevada mountain the only site eligible for national disposition of radioactive waste. Since then, billions of taxpayer dollars have been spent testing the mountain to ensure its appropriateness for permanent storage of nuclear waste, or retrieval of such waste if required. Scientific testing indicates that it is appropriate. President George Bush reviewed the final reports on the decades of study and tests and approved the Department of Energy's (DOE) request to apply to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for a license to develop the site. With no apparent scientific grounds, the Obama administration has found the site to be inappropriate and withdrew the license application to NRC.
South Carolina and Washington File Appeals in Federal Court. The withdrawal of the license application to NRC has been challenged in federal court by both the states of South Carolina and Washington. The court ruling appears to leave the door open to future legal challenges to the administration's action while simutaneously ruling against the states' case. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dismissed litigation brought by the attorneys general of the two states which alleged that DOE violated the congressional 1985/1987 NWPA in seeking to carry out President Obama's directive to withdraw its application to NRC for permission to build and operate the underground Nevada disposal site. However, the panel of judges also made it clear that their decision in no way is a final resolution of the matter and that it is prepared to take action to force the NRC to finally rule on the Yucca Mountain application if the agency continues to drag its feet on the issue. The judges also found reasonable the complaining states' fear that administrative efforts to kill the Yucca Mountain plan leaves the states holding mountains of DOE nuclear waste that were supposed to go to the repository. In addition, the judges found the South Carolina and Washington complaints premature and improperly focused by challenging the administration's action on Yucca Mountain because the NRC has not yet ruled on whether to allow the withdrawal of the application. The court noted that an NRC licensing panel has already ruled that DOE lacked the authority to withdraw the license application and reminded the complainants that the five NRC commissioners are now considering whether to uphold or overturn the licensing board's decision. South Carolina and Washington can file a new lawsuit alleging failure by the NRC to meet the NWPA requirements and the court is prepared to issue writs of mandamus to force NRC action on the matter if necessary. "We will not permit an agency to insulate itself from judicial review by refusing to act."
Finally, the judges suggested that South Carolina and Washington may have shot themselves in the foot by focusing most of their complaint on DOE's effort to withdraw its Yucca application, rather than the NRC's failure to act on the withdrawal issue. One judge openly wondered why the states failed to make a case for improper action by NRC, stating that "Despite months of extensive briefing and protracted questioning at oral argument, the states still see only the president and his administration obstructing their path to judicial review. Such stubborness may snatch defeat from the jaws of victory".
Energy and Water Appropriations Bill. In an apparent attempt to put the Yucca Mountain plan back on the table, a House subcommittee has filed a draft of the Energy and Water Appropriations bill which provides $25 million for the Yucca Mountain project. The bill also provides an additional $10 million to continue the license application process and prohibits the use of funds to cancel the program. This is an unveiled challenge to the presidential cancellation of the funds to continue the licensing application.
Blue Ribbon Commission. Following the withdrawal of the Yucca Mountain license application to the NRC, a special presidential Blue Ribbon Commission (BRC) was appointed and charged with finding alternatives for America's nuclear future (without further consideration of Yucca Mountain). The commission has released a draft report with seven key elements in their recommended strategy:
1) A new, consent-based approach in siting future nuclear waste management facilities.
2) A new organization dedicated solely to implementing the waste management program and empowered with the authority and resources to succeed (would remove the program from
3) Access to the funds nuclear utility ratepayers are providing for the purpose of nuclear waste management.
4) Prompt efforts to develop one or more geologic disposal facilities (the President ordered the commission to not consider Yucca Mountain).
5) Prompt efforts to develop one or more consolidated interim storage facilities (Yucca Mountain Plan B/SRS?).
6) Support for continued U.S. innovation in nuclear energy technology and for workforce development.
7) Active U.S. leadership in international efforts to address safety, waste management, non-proliferation, and security concerns.
In other words, continue down the same circular path.
Nuclear Waste Reprocessing. In June of this year the NRC held a two-day meeting in Augusta GA to gather public input on how to create an appropriate framework of rules and regulations for possible future private industry applications to develop and manage nuclear fuel reprocessing facilities. Such facilities would reprocess spent nuclear fuel from commercial nuclear reactors and would meet the definition of a "production facility" under the 1954 Atomic Energy Act.
Current regulations of Part 50 and Part 70 of the Title 10 Code of Federal Regulations do not meet the necessary framework for licensing such production facilities. They largely focus on nuclear power plants. When the last major revision of such federal regulations was mde in 2000 the licensing of a nuclear waste reprocessing facility--with a large and varied radionuclide inventory--was not even envisioned. In fact, during the Carter administration a presidential edict was issued against reprocessing spent nuclear fuel. President Carter was concerned about the development of a "plutonium industry", nuclear proliferation, and national security.
The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) had previously developed a White Paper as a framework for this NRC rule making effort. The current draft NRC regulations document (Draft Regulatory Basis for a Potential Rulemaking on Spent Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing Facilities) incorporates many of NEI's proposed approaches. However, the NRC draft document also incorporates many safety-significant requirements not addressed in the NEI paper, such as specific hazards which increase the potential for radiological risk and the varied radionuclide inventory in a reprocessing facility.
From a safety perspective, a reprocessing facility can be considered intermediate between a nuclear power plant and a fresh nuclear fuel processing facility. A number of potential safety risks must be addressed in considering issuing licenses to private industries for such purposes. In terms of emergency planning, high burn-up fuel will be used. A large spent nuclear fuel inventory will be present with the potential for emergencies such as the recent fuel pool disaster at Fukushima Dai ichi. New and/or modified standards for fire protection must be developed. The process vessels and their connecting pipes, or electrochemical cells, which contain highly radioactive materials in the form of gases, aqueous solutions or molten salts and metals, must be designed for potential seismic events to prevent major releases of radionuclides.
Siting procedures must include public input and opinion, as the controversy over Yucca Mountain has demonstrated. Decommissioning procedures must also be addressed. Additionally, the Japanese disaster indicates that emergency planning for nuclear fuel reprocessing should identify emergency zones. That need brings up the issue of singular or multiple zone planning. For example, should zone parameters for people be different from zones for agricultural products?
Public Comments. I am a private citizen who is also a member of the DOE Site-Specific Advisory Board for the Savannah River Site and chair of the Board's Nuclear Materials Committee. My comments to NRC's request for public input on this issue included the need for such facilities to be:
1) Developed and managed only by the federal government due to concerns for national security, nuclear proliferation, potential proprietary issues, and the need for transparency.
2) Sited at government facilities where equipment and experienced personnel already exist to support this effort.
3) Sited based on public opinion and buy-ins.
4) Developed and operated only within a comprehensive U.S. nuclear waste management policy.
Senate Committee on Reactor Fuel Cell Technology. In the conclusion of this Senate committee's report, chaired by ex-Senator Dominici, it states that "No currently available or reasonably foreseable reactor and fuel cycle technologies--including current or potential reprocess and recycle technologies--have the potential to fundamentally alter the waste management challenge this nation confronts over at least the next several decades, if not longer. Put another way, we do not believe that new technology developments in the next three to four decades will change the underlying need for an integrated strategy that combines safe, interim storage of spent nuclear fuel with expeditious progress toward siting and licensing a permanent disposal facility or facilities. This is particularly true of defense high-level wastes and some forms of government-owned spent fuel that can and should be prioritized for direct disposal at an appropriate repository".
Conclusion. After decades of scientific tests on Yucca Mountain, billions of dollars spent on its study, a presidential recommendation to proceed with a licensing application, a presidential Blue Ribbon Commission preliminary report on America's nuclear future (including nuclear waste management), House appropriations supporting licensing Yucca Mountain, a federal court hearing on state opposition to withdrawing the Yucca Mountain license application, NRC public meetings framed by an NEI White Paper on nuclear waste reprocessing, public input on the NRC proposal, and a Senate subcommittee study on the need for a U.S. strategy to manage nuclear waste, there is still no resolutionl
The public will apparently turn out in droves if they whiff a suspected corrupt land deal involving local government or irregular home appraisals for taxation purposes. However, where the critical challenge of nuclear waste management is concerned, the public will continue to fork over billions of wasted tax dollars, ignore volumes of government speak with no forward movement, briefly attend to and then mentally store away such red flags as Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukashima Dai ichi, as well as other less well known accidents. Apparently, not until it happens in our own backyard at a magnitude of historically disastrous proportions will the public antenna arouse a level of alarm that leads to demands for actual resolutions. The fault for this neglect lies in America's old adversary--public apathy. We appear to have met the enemy, and they is us.
Monday, August 15, 2011
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Sunday, August 7, 2011
I received this information earlier today from the City Manager. We will discuss this item at Monday's City Council Meeting.
Subject: June 30, 2011 Year End Financial Status
Finance Director Kim Abney has provided me with the FY 2010-2011 budget final report. She has reported unspent and (overspent) funds as follows:
General Fund (001)
Utilities Fund (002)
Storm Water Fund (006)
Fortunately, we have reserve funds to cover the expenditures that took our Stormwater Fund (006) over its budgeted amount. An unexpected sinkhole at the Jeweler’s Loupe on Richland Avenue contributed to this additional spending.
The Utilities Fund unspent funds of $3,664 will be carried over to FY 2011-2012 needs.
The unspent money in our General Fund needs to be applied as follows:
Total to be Applied $935,022
Worker’s Compensation Insurance, Deductible
General Liability Policy, Deductible
Health Insurance, Cap on Individual Claims
Northside Revitalization Projects
Crosland Park Revitalization
Public Safety, Body Armor Purchase
Council Chambers, Renovations
Parks, Recreation & Tourism, Call Boxes
Parks, Recreation & Tourism, Security Installation
Parks, Recreation & Tourism, Woodward House Fence
Parks, Recreation & Tourism, Trolley Replacement
Parks, Recreation & Tourism, Tennis Court Sidewalks
Remaining Unspent General Fund Balance
Our employees have worked extremely hard this past year to help contain our costs, limit our expenditures, and work to obtain an unspent balance of General Funds to remain in the General Fund for carry over to FY 2011-2012.
As I discussed with you in our budget hearings in June of this year, I have delayed the implementation of any COLA employee salary adjustment pending review and confirmation of the availability of funds to pay for it. There fore I want to proceed to apply this remaining unspent balance to a 1% cost of living salary adjustment for ur employees beginning with their September 30, 2011 employee pay checks.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
AGENDA ITEMS FOR CITY COUNCIL MEETING ON MONDAY AUG 8.
for the District 3 City Council position. The feedback I have received during my
first term has been very positive. With Council’s support, we have made
significant progress in the areas of transparency of financial data and
neighborhood crime statistics; a comprehensive review of city finances
in the form of a zero based budget review; and strong constituent
support. I have promptly returned phone calls and developed this email
(following Dick Smith’s lead) to keep our citizens informed of what happens
at our Council meetings. I look forward to continuing to provide you with the
service you deserve from your elected City Council representative.
REQUEST FOR APPROVAL TO TURN THE TOWN TEAL FOR OVARIAN CANCER AWARENESS CAMPAIGN - September has again been designated as the National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. The local group known as "Gail's Anatomy" [a Relay For Life Team] that asked for Council approval last year has also requested that the City participate this year in an awareness campaign. This campaign will help promote ovarian cancer awareness and its symptoms by placing teal ribbons, which are biodegradable and made in the USA, at various locations around our downtown. They will also ask local businesses and citizens to become involved by placing signs on their private property stating that September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Campaigns similar to this have been approved by City Council in the past and will simply need an affirmative vote by Council to approve their request.
PROPOSED CAROLINA BAY SERVICE PROJECT - Katie Miller, Angie Drake, and Macy Vernon are working with the local Girl Scouts’ Caroline Miller, Erin Drake, and Mina Krohn-Vernon. These scouts are members of local Troop 5225. In order to receive a Silver Award, they must participate in a public service project. These scouts would like to construct several items for use at our Carolina Bay. Their public service project must include 50 hours of community service work that makes a lasting, positive difference in their community. They are proposing building six more benches for our Carolina Bay, which will also have back supports and arm rests. In addition, they want to make ten birdhouses, six butterfly houses, and six bat houses to be installed on the trails around the Carolina Bay. They would like to prepare educational materials to be included on our Carolina Bay kiosks, set up a scavenger hunt flyer, and develop some Carolina Bay 'patch programs' so other Girl Scouts can earn patches as they learn more about our Carolina Bay area. These scouts joined us when a group of City staff, Aiken Land Conservancy members, business owners, and concerned citizens walked the Bay to see what can be done to make it a more user-friendly City facility.
Our plans for improvements at our Carolina Bay include clearing the area of unnecessary undergrowth and invasive plant species, freeing up the native plants that have already been planted along the trail, improving visibility into the park from Price Avenue, upgrading the parking lot, and developing plans for an outdoor learning center to be built adjacent to the Bay with CPST funds collected in Round II.
REQUEST FROM CHILD ADVOCACY CENTER TO HOLD A FUNDRAISER ON NEWBERRY STREET - Dewayne Jones of Holley Tractor has written to request an in-kind support by the City of Aiken for their annual "Cooking for Kids" barbeque fundraiser to benefit the Child Advocacy Center [CAC]. In past years, this event has taken place at the Holley Tractor business location. However, this event has proven so successful over the years that a new venue is needed. Mr. Jones and the volunteers would like to use our Newberry Street Festival Center.
City Council will recall that you approved $6,000 in the FY 2011-2012 budget in support of the Child Advocacy Center. In addition, ADPS employees Alan Willing, Mike Grabowski, and Eddie George have cooked for this event. Other members of City staff work in tandem with CAC staff in support of the Center's goals. This Center provides valuable assistance and support to children who are victims of crimes perpetrated on them, or who find themselves removed by SCDSS from abusive or neglectful parents or guardians.
FIRST READING OF AN ORDINANCE TO REZONE PROPERTY OWNED BY CROWELL & CO. ON FOX HAVEN DRIVE FROM PLANNED RESIDENTIAL TO RESIDENTIAL SINGLE-FAMILY (RS-6) - Crowell & Co., as owner of a 0.34-acre tract of undeveloped real estate on Fox Haven Drive in Fox Haven Subdivision, has made an application to rezone this property. It is currently zoned Planned Residential. They seek to rezone it to RS-6 [Residential, 6,000 square foot lots].
As Planning Commission Chair Bill Reynolds' July 13, 2011 memo explains, this application was spurred by a 50-foot wide gas pipeline easement that separates this tract from the rest of the Fox Haven Subdivision. This tract also connects two subdivisions--Fox Haven and Deodar Plantation.
After the Planning Commission's review of this application, the members present unanimously determined [5-0], is appropriate for approval because it is within the Comprehensive Plan provisions for this area of Aiken.
FIRST READING OF AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE CONCEPT PLAN FOR THE VILLAGE AT HOUNDSLAKE - The principals of Gaul and Kisner, LLC have applied for approval of amendments to their concept plan for their Planned Residential development--known as The Village at Houndslake. It is located at the intersection of Pine Log Road and Alpha Drive.
Council will recall that you approved a concept plan February 10, 2003. The minutes from that approval [and the Planning Commission action on it] are attached. The 2003 plan showed 37 attached two-story, single-family dwellings grouped three to four per unit. Of this total number, 23 units were proposed to be built outside the looped street and 14 within the confines of this loop. One condition of your 2003 approval was preservation of 10 existing trees shown on the development plan. Now, the developers wish to modify the 2003 concept plan as follows:
1. New units to be built inside the loop are proposed to be 1.5 story, and not 2 stories, as well as detached instead of attached. The number of units is being reduced from 14 to 7 to be built inside the loop.
2. Establish an 8 to 10-foot wide protection zone for the grand specimen deodar cedar that is within this development area. Interim Coordinator for Urban and Community Forestry of the S.C. Forestry Commission, Jimmy Walters, has provided a detailed course action for steps to minimize the impact of the inner loop Development on a large, existing Grand Specimen deodar cedar. His June 6, 2011 memo is included in these materials for your reference. Several citizens have expressed concerns about the impact of this development on the existing grand specimen deodar cedar. Their comments are also attached for your review.
Several letters from concerned citizens are included in these materials, including a July 24, 2011 letter from Susan and Bob Scherphorn addressed to City Council.
The Planning Commission members in attendance voted unanimously [5-0] to approve the July 13, 2011 Revised Site Plan which shows 7 detached, single-family residences upon these conditions that:
1. The house in the bend of Amberly Circle be located as far away from the two Deodar Cedars as possible, that temporary construction fencing be placed as determined by the City Horticulturist to protect these two trees during construction, and that the protected area be permanent;
2. The design of the houses be substantially similar to the attached townhouse units;
3. Conditions of this approval be shown on the Concept Plan as revised;
4. Applicants execute an agreement listing the conditions of approval; and
5. The agreement be recorded by the City at the RMC Office within 90 days of approval by City Council
FIRST READING OF AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE ZONING ORDINANCE REGARDING DWELLING UNIT DENSITY IN THE PLANNED RESIDENTIAL ZONING DISTRICT - Council will recall that at your joint meeting with your Planning Commission members this year, you asked them to review the Planned Residential [PR] portion of the Zoning Ordinance to see what, if any, revisions to it would be appropriate. The increased number of apartment construction projects within our city limits has also spurred this review. Council has pursued a policy that all proposed residential-use developments / annexations need to be zoned PR. Planning Department staff has encountered concerns from developers with this policy, which is seen as too restrictive by developers regarding dwelling unit density. Developers have instead sought RML or RMH zoning, and these zones do not provide for Council approval of a development plan. Further background regarding this issue is provided in a July 13, 2011 memo from Planning Commission Chair Bill Reynolds.
Planning Commission has reviewed this section of our Zoning Ordinance. The Commission members present voted unanimously [5-0] to revise the existing Zoning Ordinance provisions as shown in the Exhibit attached to Chairman Reynolds' July 13, 2011 memo. These proposed amendments include recommended City Council action to:
1. Delete the requirement that an entire project must have at least 20% green space to instead read that the predominantly single-family residential section have at least 20% open space; the portion of the development that will be built as multifamily residences have at least 40% open space, and any predominantly nonresidential portion of the proposed development have open space set aside as described in the Planned Commercial zone requirements of our Zoning Ordinance.
2. Delete existing provisions that do not allow the multifamily open space development area to be credited toward the total 20% open space requirement in the proposed PR development.
3. Add a provision to allow City Council to vary these open space percentages as Council may determine is needed for creative PR development design.
FIRST READING OF AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE ZONING ORDINANCE REGARDING REVISIONS TO THE PLANNED COMMERCIAL ZONE - Council will recall that at this year's joint meeting with your Planning Commission members, several action items were discussed. One of these items was review of the Use Table for the Planned Commercial [PC] zone to determine what revisions to it were warranted. This Council request resulted from concerns amongst you that certain uses were permitted by right in PC-zoned tracts, and Council involvement with development of these tracts is currently limited to site plan approval, intensity of development, appearance, and related issues. With these concerns in mind, our Planning Commission has reviewed the Use Tables related to Planned Commercial developments. In addition to Council's concerns, Planning Commission members took what they consider to be two additional, related issues under advisement:
1. Incorporating previous Planning Director interpretations into the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance related to Planned Commercial [PC] development.
2. Adding language to the Zoning Ordinance to clarify that City Council has authority to grant waivers from Zoning Ordinance provisions except to Section 4.3.8, Planned Commercial primary section and to Section 3.1.6 Planned Commercial Use Table.
The notices given by Planning Commission of its work session, public hearing, and public vote are included in these materials. After their review, Planning Commission members present voted unanimously [5-0] to send Council their recommendations that:
1. The Use Table not be changed, and if there are specific uses that City Council thinks should be prohibited in PC developments, that they so advise the Commission so that a recommendation can be made on such specific possible amendments;
2. The amendments incorporating the five interpretations made by our Planning Director be adopted; and
3. The amendments making it clear that City Council may waive any provision of the Zoning Ordinance except for Section 4.3.8, and the Use Table at Section 3.1.6, be adopted.
FIRST READING OF AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND THE RIDGE AT CHUKKER REEK DEVELOPMENT PLAN - City staff has continued to work with the principals of FPA, Inc. and Hollow Creek Preserve, LLC who are building the Ridge at Chukker Creek Subdivision. City Council approved annexing this property--and its development Concept Plan--as part of the 2006 ordinance approving both annexation and development of these tracts. A copy of the 2006 materials is included with this memo.
Since that time, Planning Director Ed Evans has notified these principals--Ron Monahan and Bill Kolarek--of seven situations from the development done so far which need attention or appear to deviate from the approved development plan.
Deviations from the 2006 approved concept plan include:
1. Gaps in the required vegetation buffer.
2. Equestrian trail designated area is now filled with large rock/riprap.
3. Planting needed in the 10 foot-wide buffers for the perimeter of the development.
4. Removal of between--lot connectors originally described as for equestrian use.
5. Detention pond silting.
The developers have indicated to our staff that they would like to appear to City Council and describe their previously-approved development process and potentially request modifications to their development plan.
PROPOSED GREEN SPACE PURCHASE .5 ACRE - Engineering and Utilities Department Director Larry Morris and I have visited a 0.5 acre parcel immediately adjacent to our deep well building on East Pine Log Road, on the southside of Aiken.
Oswalt Family Real Estate owns this tract. They are willing to sell this parcel for $60,000. A proposed contract of sale is attached, along with a Resolution approving this purchase. Contingencies for this purchase are City Council approval and the purchase price of $60,000.
We believe purchase of this property not only protects green space on our southside of town--along a stretch of heavily-traveled roadway that has seen a lot of commercial development—but also preserves additional, beneficial buffer between a residential development, a manufacturing facility, and our deep well water facility.
REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF YEAR-END BUDGET REPORT FOR FT 2010-10 - This item contains a summary of unspent and overspent funds from last year’s budget. Unfortunately it is in a format that I cannot copy for this email. I will send a separate email with this information on Monday.
SECOND READING OF AN ORDINANCE TO CONSOLIDATE VARIOUS AIKEN CORPORATION DEBTS INTO A SINGLE LOAN: Over the course of several years, Council has approved a few loans to Aiken Corporation in the name of better economic development. These loans have so far been maintained separately, with each having been accounted for separately. The Executive Committee has met and unanimously voted to consolidate three of these loans--each having similar terms--into one consolidated debt.
Blue House Loan $67,500
Willow Run Paint Bill $11,300
Toole Hill & Northside Revitalization Loan $250,000
“AVENUE OF OAKS” STUDIED: Robert Mackintosh in support of Woodlanders Nursery has sent some oak tree leaf specimens away for DNA analysis. The particular species to be examined are very rare. They are doing the testing at the request of Raakel Toppila, a horticulture graduate student at the University of Delaware. Ms. Toppila is making a comparative study of the DNA of wild oak tree populations and their cultivated counterparts. These trees are located on our “Avenue of Oaks” that is westerly of Park Avenue and northerly along Beaufort Street. This area contains the largest collection of various oak species in the United States.
ANNUAL STATE OF OUR COMMUNITY LUNCHEON: The Chamber of Commerce will have its annual State of the Community Luncheon on August 31st at the USCA Convocation Center from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Mayor Cavanaugh will give his State of the City address, which will focus on the many accomplishments we have made in the last year and present the City’s vision for the future. This event will also feature presentations by the Aiken County Council Chairman, our Aiken County School Superintendent, the current Aiken Chamber Chairman, and the DOE Site Manager at Savannah River Site.
CROSLAND CONNECTION SUMMER PROGRAM: Our Crosland Connection Summer Program has been another success. Crosland Connection is an important component of our Northside Revitalization project. This summer’s program was coordinated by Cynthia Mitchell who worked very hard on it. Every weekday afternoon in July, Crosland Park children gathered to make crafts, learn about Aiken and its environment, and have fun. This effort was made possible by presentations from businesses and educational facilities within our community. Volunteer assistance was provided by employees from our Public Safety, Public Services, and Finance departments. Future Crosland Connection programs are tentatively scheduled during extended school breaks in December and April.
DAILY SUMMER WATER PRODUCTION: Despite our very dry summer, our daily water production is keeping up with residents’ demands. Engineering and Utilities Director Larry Morris informs us that the level of average daily water production at the end of July was 12.76 million gallons per day. He adds that if we can keep our usage in this range and our state remains in moderate drought, or better, status, as defined by the SC Department of Natural Resources, no watering restrictions should be necessary this year. We will continue to monitor this situation and keep Council and our citizens informed.
RECOGNITION FROM THE NATIONAL LEAGUE OF CITIES: The National League of Cities has offered its congratulations to us for our 2011 Municipal Achievement Award. In June we were awarded the prestigious Municipal Cup from the Municipal Association for our Green Infrastructure Project, a collaborative effort with the Clemson University’s Center for Watershed Excellence, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and SC Department of Health and Environmental Control. The National League of Cities has shared that they are impressed by the project’s “strong commitment to improving the quality of life” in Aiken.
COMMENDATIONS: Dr. Joseph Spencer, President and Program Coordinator of the Aiken Junior Sports Association, writes to express his thanks to Public Safety Officers Clark Smith and Bryan Griswold for their assistance with summer clinics for golf and croquet. Dr. Spencer also commented on the fine reflection of our PAL program made by 7 of its members.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 18 AT 6:00 P.M.: The Aiken Council of Neighborhoodswill meet at the Smith Hazel Community Center. This group currently has five neighborhoods actively involved. All City neighborhood representatives are encouraged to participate with this group.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 5 AT 11:00 A.M.: To celebrate Labor Day, the City of Aiken will be sponsoring a Hard Labor Day BBQ Cook-off in our Newberry Street Festival Center. Attendees will be able to sample some of the finest pulled pork, ribs, chicken, and fixings that area cooks, many from our local law enforcement community, have to offer. Proceeds from this event will benefit the United Way of Aiken County.
For other events and happenings around Aiken, be sure to visit www.AikenIS.com.