Archive for the ‘water wars’ Category

Your morning jolt: For $26 a pop, federal court in Atlanta will sell recordings of health care arguments

Lemonade, popcorn and T-shirts will be offered separately in the lobby. From the Associated Press:

The federal appeals court in Atlanta issued an order allowing the high-profile arguments over the federal health care overhaul to be recorded so they can be sold to the public.

A three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling Tuesday that suspends a ban on audio devices in the courtroom for the June 8 oral arguments.

A court memo says officials plan to sell CDs of the recordings for $26. Electronic devices for the general public are still banned.

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Many sports fans have noted the failure of metro Atlanta politicians to jump into the effort to keep the Thrashers and professional hockey in Atlanta. But in an interview with Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1FM), sports economist J.C. Bradbury of Kennesaw State University said disappointed hockey fans can blame the Gwinnett Braves:

”It’s fair to say that the politicians were being smart. In an age where …

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Green groups flood House chairman on water transfers

As we get closer to Crossover Wednesday, you’ll see stops being pulled out to move legislation. Already, we’ve got word of a Senate Rules Committee hearing on whether to move the Sunday sales bill.

The Georgia Water Coalition reports that it has targeted state Rep. Lynn Smith, R-Newnan, the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, who has blocked movement of legislation restricting interbasin transfers of water.

From the group’s press release:

The Coalition mailed flyers (attached) highlighting this issue to more than 5000 homes and is urging its members to contact Rep. Smith and tell her to hold a vote on interbasin transfer bills.

Three bills have been introduced in the House (HB 111, HB 134,HB 368, ), but Smith has steadfastly refused to hold a vote on the bills, citing action by Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources Board earlier this year. At its January meeting the Board adopted new rules governing interbasin transfers, but the Coalition contends …

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Your morning jolt: Jack Kingston’s race for House budget chairman comes to a head

This is a big week for U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Savannah.

All three candidates for the chairmanship of the House Appropriations Committee – and Kingston is one — will make presentations to the House steering committee on Tuesday.

U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Savannah

U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Savannah

The committee could render its decision anytime afterwards.

Tea Party Patriots intends to make themselves part of the decision-making process. The group plans to hold a nationwide “tele-town hall meeting” from 7 to 9 p.m. this evening, featuring candidates for the leadership of several House committees.

Kingston will be one of those featured. Those who want to listen in need to register here by 2 p.m.

According to a handicapping by The Hill, Jerry Lewis of California has an inside track, but has been criticized as a pork-barrel addict – and may not appeal to the army of freshmen House members. On the other hand, says the D.C. newspaper:

[T]he fact that Kingston is more of an outsider could be a problem for …

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November could bring a north Georgia triumvirate

If things go the way Republicans want, the biggest news coming out of the November ballot box will be the establishment of north Georgia as the state’s new power center.

House Speaker David Ralston, assured of re-election, resides in far north Blue Ridge. GOP nominee for governor Nathan Deal and Casey Cagle, seeking a second term as lieutenant governor, share a single geographic base: the city of Gainesville, on the banks of Lake Lanier.

The three most powerful men in the state Capitol would live within 50 miles of each other, all within the 9th Congressional District.

“It’s a big state to have everybody in one little corner,” admits Ruth Bruner, mayor of Gainesville.

Republican nominee Nathan Deal (left) of Gainesville, and House Speaker David Ralston of Blue Ridge

Republican nominee Nathan Deal (left) of Gainesville, and House Speaker David Ralston of Blue Ridge. John Spink, jspink@ajc.com

Georgia has never had a governor and lieutenant governor hail from the same city, according to the Georgia Municipal Association. Bruner is torn at the prospect.

On one hand, …

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Cartoonish proof that the water war is older than, well, dirt

columbuswaterpic2

“Prime Time Politics,” the new public affairs program by Georgia Public Broadcasting, takes up the issue of water at 7 and 11 p.m. this evening.

Richard Hyatt, columnist for the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, joined us regulars for the discussion.

Hyatt brought along the newspaper editorial cartoon at right, which you’ll note has a run date of March 1977 — proof that the fight over water in Georgia has a long, long history.

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Johnny Isakson questions SCOTUS nominee Elena Kagan on Georgia water rights

Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) greets Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan on Capitol Hill. Associated Press/Harry Hamburg

Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) greets Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan on Capitol Hill. Associated Press/Harry Hamburg

My AJC colleague Bob Keefe in Washington talked with Johnny Isakson after the senator’s private session with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan this morning.

Questioning prospective justices is often fruitless. But Isakson didn’t find it so:

Isakson said he was particularly pleased with Kagan’s answers to his questions about what she might do as a Supreme Court judge considering the arguments in the tri-state water disputes between Georgia, Alabama and Florida over Atlanta’s use of Lake Lanier.

“To paraphrase, she said, ‘In the end, you’ve got to consider the human uses in all these states,’ ” Isakson said. “I found that to be a good statement, because if the governors and states can’t negotiate a water sharing agreement and it goes to court, in the end it should go back to … riparian rights,” allowing users fair use of water as long as it doesn’t harm …

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Your morning jolt: Are microchip implants the mark of the beast?

The Virginia House of Delegates this week passed a bill to prohibit the involuntary implantation of microchips into human beings.

So we have become part of a strange legislative trend. The Georgia Senate passed a similar measure last week, 47-2.

But in Virginia, debate took a more theological turn. This from the Washington Post:

Del. Mark L. Cole (R-Fredericksburg), the bill’s sponsor, said that privacy issues are the chief concern behind his attempt to criminalize the involuntary implantation of microchips. But he also said he shared concerns that the devices could someday be used as the “mark of the beast” described in the Book of Revelation.

“My understanding — I’m not a theologian — but there’s a prophecy in the Bible that says you’ll have to receive a mark, or you can neither buy nor sell things in end times,” Cole said. “Some people think these computer chips might be that mark.”

Which required a trip back to state Sen. Chip Pearson (R-Dawsonville), the primary sponsor …

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The march of the low-flow toilets begins

Gov. Sonny Perdue just announced his water conservation package. Read the entire press release here, but this paragraph below appears to be the most wide-reaching:

Beginning in July 2012, the legislation requires efficient water fixtures in all new residential and commercial construction statewide as well as the installation of efficient cooling towers in new industrial construction.

Also, for all new residential and commercial multi-unit projects, the bill will require sub-metering so that each unit will receive consumption reports and have incentive to practice conservation measures.

Note that the effective date coincides with the deadline set by the federal judge to resolve Georgia’s water dispute with Alabama and Florida.

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After locals protest, Deal drops West Point Lake from list of water-supply reservoirs

Last year, U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal (R-Gainesville) proposed legislation that would authorize the use of all federally created lakes in Georgia to be used to supply drinking water.

The move was a reaction to a ruling by a judge, made this summer, who pointed out that metro Atlanta has no legal right to use the water behind Buford Dam to quench the thirst of its residents.

Deal, who is running for governor, now says he will change the measure slightly. This from the LaGrange Daily News:

U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal will change the language of a proposed bill after meeting with West Point Lake representatives for about an hour Monday afternoon.

“West Point Lake is in a unique situation,” said Deal, a Gainesville Republican who is making a bid for governor. “We’ll be withdrawing the language about West Point.”

….West Point Lake advocates support the move to authorize Lanier as a drinking water source, but say the authorization shouldn’t be made basinwide. Leaders in Troup …

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Sonny Perdue raises the possibility of a special session to resolve water dispute

In a quick session with reporters this morning, Gov. Sonny Perdue said that he and his fellow Republican governors in Florida and Alabama are on track to resolve a 19-year water dispute among the three states sometime this year.

In fact, Perdue mentioned the “L” word he has previously dismissed. Legacy.

But the governor also raised the possibility of a special session this year:

“We’re hopeful we can get it done before the end of this session. That’s an aggressive, challenging timeline. But we have had a lot of progress over the holiday period.

“I sense a renewed spirit of cooperation between Florida and Alabama, in order to get this done. I appealed to my colleagues that, if we’re going to leave a legacy in our states of solving this, rather than punting it to another administration, we’ve got to move very quickly. I think they received that well….

“We are committed to doing it in the regular session. But frankly, if we get a deal that doesn’t fall into the parameters of …

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