Liberals – Dale Jackson wants you

Yes, I know that your ideas are best left hidden (how else to explain Steve Raby, Laura Hall, or Jenny Askins?). 

Regardless, your bestest friend, The Kingmaker Dale Jackson of WVNN 92.5FM / 770AM wants you!!!  If you think that you can present your failed lefty talking points to Huntsville in a semi-coherent manner, then drop Dale a line:

Are You The Liberal Dale Jackson? 

Does this animal exist?

The local liberals/progressives/Democrats have no message and no one to vet their candidates because frankly the political media in this town is embarrassing.

I, according to Dr. Jess Brown, pushed coverage of the GOP primary for Congress to a point where real issues actually were discussed and the candidates were actually vetted.

SO… being the humanitarian that I am I want to find someone on the left LOCALLY to do the same.

Here is what I am looking for in the person I am seeking…

  • They need to be entertaining
  • They need to have convictions
  • They need to be able to articulate an opinion
  • They need to have the ability to ask hard question to  political figures
  • They need to be fearless
  • They need to be willing to buck the ideology/party when needed

Do you know someone like this? If so contact me at dale@wvnn.com and we will give you an oppurtunity for a 3 minute tryout over the air, if you can’t go three minutes we will find this out.

What is the prize?

  • You get to be the Democratic Dale Jackson
  • You get a 1 hour segment on The Dale Jackson Show every week (you choose the time)
         + 30 minutes solo (or with a guest)
         + 30 minutes with Dale Jackson
  • Potential to launch a talk radio career

I am serious about this.

I want to find this person. I want this to work.

Are you the one?

Liberals have whined for years about the monolpoly of conservative talk radio and I want to help change that.

If you or someone you know wants to be the “Liberal Dale Jackson” contact me at dale@wvnn.com and we will give you an opportunity for a 3 minute tryout over the air, if you can’t go three minutes we will find this out.

Of course, I expect a “train wreck” – Democratic Party cowards haven’t explained their positions for years – because they know that if they ever exposed themselves they will be humiliated in the marketplace of ideas (and defeated at the ballot box).  Instead, we get Democrats posing as conservatives, or as non-partisan.  For example, I watched Democrat Anzolone operative Zac McCrary lying on APT that it was incorrect to say that AEA’s Paul Hubbert (recent Vice Chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party) was a Democrat (and shame on the APT anchor for not calling him on it).

Anyway, now’s your chance to spread your bile to North Alabama.  Own it.  Explain why Charter Schools are bad, or why killing babies is good, or why allowing Saddam Hussein to kill more people than have died in the Darfur genocide was none of our business.  Tell us how more spending will lead to prosperity.  Remind us how Obama promised that the oceans would stop rising or how John Edwards would cure cancer (only if he was elected). Let us know that Steny Hoyer says that if the Bush tax cuts expire it is a Republican tax increase.  Tell us that you want campaign finance reform (PAC to PAC transfer ban) but how you vote for people who kill it.  Remind us of how many Democrats have been politically persecuted for getting caught stealing from children (Johnson, Schmitz, etc).  Explain why just about every candidate you run has ethical problems, from cheating on their spouses to cheating on their taxes to subverting elections (like Congressional candidate Steve Raby’s role in an attempted school board hijacking).

Try to remember that Dale is offering you the opportunity to speak, as opposed to the standard liberal Stalinist tactic of silencing the opposition..

Big Hugs…

SHCA endorses Pendergraft

The South Huntsville Civic Association endorsed Barry Pendergraft for City Council District 3:

Following a thorough vetting process and a public forum with all candidates, the South Huntsville Civic Association Board of Directors has decided to endorse Barry Pendergraft in the Huntsville City Council District 3 race.

Pendergraft’s background and position on issues important to south Huntsville residents distinguishes him from the other seven candidates.  He served on the Huntsville Police Department from the age of 16 when he volunteered as a Police Ranger until he retired as a Lieutenant and commander of the south Huntsville precinct.  While serving in that role, Pendergraft worked with public housing projects in Huntsville and understands how they operate.  He is the best equipped to protect south Huntsville from the HHA’s overzealous expansion plans…  Since retiring, Pendergraft has continued his service as the Community Watch leader for the Chaffee neighborhood.

Pendergraft understands the mechanics of how Huntsville works and has developed and will continue to nurture a positive relationship with other council members and the mayor.  He has shown a desire to help constituents with not only the big issues, but also the small, day-to-day issues that are critical for an effective council member.  As an example, one of Pendergraft’s goals is to reform ineffective, unenforceable zoning ordinances relating to basic maintenance standards in order to preserve our property values…

SHCA strongly encourages members and supporters to vote for Barry Pendergraft for Huntsville City Council District 3 on August 24th.

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Meet & Greet with Barry Pendergraft
City Council District 3 Candidate
  
Friday July 30, 2010
5:00pm to 8:00pm
McGucken Park  13020 Bailey Cove

 

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Pendergraft is a smart choice.  His experience working in senior management for the City provides insight into City operations.  Pendergraft can hit the ground running at a time when South Huntsville needs effective representation.

Fun fact – let’s hope Pendergraft is as thrifty with City funds as he is with his campaign funds:  he paid about $1.50 each for yard signs, which is half the normal cost of $3 to $5.  As a penny-pincher myself, I appreciate the extra effort he made to get the best deal.

Public Housing HOPE VI Program

I looked into the HUD HOPE VI program that City Council candidate John Olshefski proposed at the SHCA forum.  HOPE VI is a pot of federal grant money available for “revitalizing” “severely distressed” public housing units.  The GAO published a report (GAO-03-555) in May 2003 that appears to form the basis for much of the discussion about HOPE VI, including the ExpectMore.gov program assessment website (which includes current data).

The Bush administration recommended “terminating the HOPE VI program” in 2004 – that was their “Ongoing Program Improvement Plan” (as it turns out that might have saved tens of millions of wasted, frauded, and abused tax dollars).  Note that the program seems to have improved somewhat since then.

As one might expect, the GAO reported that the program was over-budget, behind-schedule, and under-performing.  Housing authorities were 27% complete after having spent half of the money during the standard 54 month schedule.  The activities that were tracked included planning, relocation, demolition, construction, and support services.  The activity that housing authorities performed best was… wait for it… demolition (what an apt metaphor).

From the HOPE VI program assessment: “The program has been shown to be more costly than other programs that serve the same population… the housing-related costs of a HOPE VI unit were shown to be 27 percent higher than a housing voucher and 47 percent higher when all costs were included.”

On the left hand, the HOPE VI program has been criticized for reducing the public housing stock:  the program demolished more public housing (~80K units) than it created (~45K units), while subsidizing an near equal amount of private homes (~40K units). 

The 2009 funding level was $100 million and that amount is expected to be leveraged times six (that is for every tax dollar awarded, private developers are expected to invest at least six bucks, and recently as much as nine dollars).  Given the x6 or x9 leverage factor, I don’t see why a developer would participate since thay have to somehow develop some high value housing / commercial next to a housing development.

Note that the Huntsville Housing Authority is a ‘high performing agency’ – this improves the chances that a grant would be awarded.  However, one of the criteria used in the grant evaluation is a high crime rate (“demonstrate need”) – and we’ve been told all year that HHA properties are nearly crime-free…  Plus, the properties must be “severly distressed” and require an engineering certification saying so – but the HHA actually does a creditable job of maintaining their properties.  Ah, the irony…

To be fair to Olshefski, the HOPE VI developments in Louisville to which he referred (especially Park DuValle), seem to be award-winning successful projects.  However, The American Journal of Economics and Sociology published “Hope VI housing program:was it effective?” in 2007, which focuses on the Park DuValle project:

Mean household income for residents of Park DuValle is about $26,000 in a city in which the per capita income averages $29,300… Both figures are significantly greater than the $5,000 a year household income when the development was government housing (then called Cotter & Lang Homes) reserved for the very poor… However, less than 5 percent of the relocated public housing residents are currently living in the Park DuValle Revitalization Project. So whom does Hope VI truly serve?

Comparisons show that the cost of producing one housing unit is two to three times higher for the HOPE VI developments than for comparable community-controlled nonprofits. During the same time period as the HOPE VI project, the nonprofit Louisville Central Development Corporation was able to build units for as low as $49,500 for a three-bedroom, one full-bath apartment… Compare this to the $54,232,667 spent on Park DuValle to date, producing 320 residential units at a cost of $169,000 per unit… In 2003, 18,000 new homes were sold in the Louisville market. Seventy percent of home sales were priced for less than $150,000.

In conclusion, the research implies that HOPE VI enhances the lives of only a small number of public housing residents that it impacts, and that non-public housing residents seem to occupy a large majority of the housing units. A better way to spend federal money would have been to fund grassroots community nonprofits, building more housing at a significantly lower cost and achieving the objective of building within established urban areas near good jobs, services, and recreational opportunities.

South Huntsville Civic Association Forum

Update #2: Video of the forum has been added below the fold.

Update: Here are the straw poll results:

  • James Lomax – 26%
  • Kelly Sims – 24%
  • Barry Pendergraft – 22%
  • Jonathan Hitt – 17%
  • John Olshefski – 8%
  • Shannon Moore – 2%
  • Deborah Sobczak – 0%
  • James Henley – 0%

Brian and I attended the SHCA City Council District 3 candidate forum last night at Grissom High School.   The event drew a good crowd and plenty of elected officials and candidates.  Eight candidates are vying for the office:  James Henley, Jonathan Hitt, James Lomax, Shannon Moore, John Olshefski, Barry Pendergraft, Kelly Sims, and Deborah Sobczak.

‘The Kingmaker’ Dale Jackson (WVNN 92.5FM / 770AM) emceed the forum.

Candidates gave opening speeches, then sets of three candidates answered eight questions, then they answered a lightning round, and then gave closing statements.  Here are the paraphrased questions and answers:

Question 1 = Huntsville’s financial position, balanced budget, and what to cut?
Lomax = expand economy; small TIFs; develop Ditto Landing.
Pendergraft = we’re hurting and it’s going to get worse; history of wasteful spending (like $500K for downtown parking garage / condo); Big Spring Park construction; recommends buyouts and early retirement.
Sims = unsustainable debt load;  possibly need water treatment plant; basics versus downtown; empty shuttle buses.

Question 2 = South Huntsville revitalization?
Hitt = Chamber of Commerce hasn’t been promoting D3.
Henley = build a Bridge Street-type development.
Olshefski = TIFs.

Question 3 = build an additional High School to serve District 3?  Note that Grissom is in D2.
Sobczak = “not running for school board”; no.
Lomax = “absolutely not”
Moore = says GHS has improved.

Question 4 = HHA and smaller properties?
Pendergraft = “decentralization of poverty does not work” and “crime follows public housing”
Olshefski = transparency; doesn’t support buying apartments; equality between Districts; Federal mandate; suggests Louisville Hope 6 grant program as model [I'll look into that].
Henley = against HHA actions.

Question 5 = downtown?
Moore = need to revitalize South Parkway.
Sims = wants to benefit all Districts equally; will not support private development with public money (like Big Spring Partners).
Hitt = shouldn’t revitalize downtown at the expense of the rest of the City.

Question 6 = examples of fiscal irresponsibility?
Olshefski = art museum expansion; Mary Jane Caylor’s Parkway Billboard; parking garage / lofts.
Sobczak = art museum and HVAC rebalancing (she critiqued the design and estimating process).
Lomax = parking garage / loft;  take care of local needs / finances first as part of a larger national movement.

Question 7 = transparency / public awareness?
Henley = watches Council on TV; improve media coverage; civic groups.
Moore = it’s our duty to hold government accountable.
Pendergraft = end “backdoor politics”; TV; town halls.

Question 8 = TIF (borrow money for projects then pay back from expected property tax gains)?
Sims = TIF for Ditto; emulate Chattanooga;  rail line from downtown to Ditto.
Hitt – hesitant to use TIFs because of borrowing; gain at the expense of others and puts Government in position of picking favorites.
Sobczak = Jones Valley Farm didn’t use a TIF and is successful; no TIFs.

The lightning round didn’t differentiate the candidates much: all no to tax increases; all no to public housing; however, Olshefski and Hitt received most of their contributions from outside the District.

Be on the lookout for an endorsement from the SHCA soon…

What I like:
- the South Huntsville Civic Association for making a difference.
- District 2 City Councilmember Mark Russell for killing the downtown parking garage / young professional lofts.
- preserving Big Spring Park.
- pushing Chamber of Commerce to promote South HSV.
- Barry Pendergraft, as a retired precinct commander, stating that “crime follows public housing” contradicts the position that the HPD has been pushing for a year.
- the basics: roads, schools, public safety…

What I don’t like:
- buyouts (paying experienced people to leave)
- expecting “equality” for each District.  Should schools be allocated by Council District? Garbage Dumps? Water Treatment Plants? Shopping Centers?  That attitude ignores geography (i.e. mountains, rivers) and development patterns (major facilities and employers like RSA or the Hospitals).
- we are not Chattanooga (or in other words, Ditto is not downtown). Should we look for good models to emulate? Absolutely.  Let’s adapt good ideas wherever found, keeping in mind the realities of Huntsville’s development patterns.
- underinformed boosterism.  GHS rankings have slipped and now Bob Jones is the best HS in this area.  Recognizing that and figuring out why it happened so that effective actions can be taken is better than just saying ‘Grissom #1′.
- bashing the Art Museum.  I’ll leave it to the Art Krewe to respond to some of the criticisms.

Elected officials who attended: State Reps Howard Sanderford (R) and Mike Ball (R); County Commissioner and Congressional candidate Mo Brooks;  City Councilmember Mark Russell; and City School Board member Jennie Robinson.  More notables:  State Board of Education candidate Mary Scott Hunter (R); State Senate 9 candidate Clay Scofield (R); School Board candidate Coach Walker McGinnis;  HPD Chief Mark Hudson; and Huntsville Times Editor Kevin Wendt.

From The Huntsville Times “District 3 city council candidates discuss range of issues at forum”.

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The race between incumbent School Board member Jennie Robinson and Walker McGinnis will be interesting – Robinson has been THE lone voice against the School Board’s incompetence and stupidity.  However, I’ve known and respected and liked Coach McGinnis for a very long time.  Kudos to James Lomax for turning out his supporters – I enjoyed meeting UAH ATO President Zac Bandy.  Congratulations to Will Pylant for pledging ATO at Alabama.  My comfort level with John Olshefski has increased: he hired Barbara Nash (she was a big Byrne supporter) as a campaign consultant, and he also has the support of Robert Davis (of Right On).

Continue reading

Popular Mechanics Debunks Energy Myths

Popular Mechanics published “Debunking the Top 10 Energy Myths” (hat tip Instapundit); read the whole thing – here’s a summary:

1.  Nuclear – good (“a few hundred nuclear facilities could potentially supply nearly all the energy the United States needs”).
2.  Switchgrass / Biofuel – overblown (“The low density of the supply is a problem… To supply fuel to, say, the Bay Area, you would need an area of switchgrass that is larger than all the agricultural land in California”).
3.  Wind – part of the solution (“The most optimistic projections calculate that wind can supply about 30 percent of the planet’s electricity by 2030″).
4.  Algae  fuel – not yet (“it’s going to require a lot of testing, technical tweaking and expensive infrastructure to get there”).
5.  Tidal Power – water really is life (“The Rance tidal power plant in France has an installed capacity of 240 megawatts and has been in continuous operation for more than 40 years”).
6.  Coal – not ‘clean’ and not going away (“coal produces roughly half of the nation’s electricity, so technology for next-gen facilities is worth developing. But no breakthrough will cause the nearly 500 plants already operating in the U.S. to magically clean up their act”).
7.  Geothermal – it only causes small earthquakes (“a series of earthquakes shook the city of Basel, Switzerland, in 2006… a scientific analysis concluded that a geothermal system likely set off the quakes, causing a similar project in California to be scuttled… MIT identified 200,000 exajoules of extractable deep geothermal energy, which could supply more than 2000 times the nation’s annual energy use”).
8.  Oil Shale - feasible if oil at $90 per barrel but water intensive (“there are more than a trillion barrels of oil locked in the shale deposits of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, more than all the proven crude-oil reserves on the planet. That would be enough to meet current U.S. oil demand for an entire century”).
9.  Solar – a good deal and costs are coming down (“”There are maintenance issues”… but over time, “solar cells are definitely making you money”).
10.  Oil Drilling – here to stay but power plants can be more efficient (“There’s no question that more mining and drilling can modestly increase overall supply—but… at a steep human and environmental cost”).

Unconditional Surrender

 FortDonelsonFP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This picture is of a 32 pounder gun in the lower battery at Fort Donelson National Battlefield near Dover Tennessee.  BTW the ’32 pounder’ refers to the weight of the shot, not the cannon (the gun barrel weighs about 4700 pounds).  The capture of Forts Henry (on the Tennessee River) and Donelson (on the Cumberland River) by the Union early during the Civil War forced the Confederates to abandon Kentucky and much of Tennessee.  The Battle of Fort Donelson also launched the careers of U.S. Grant and Nathan Bedford Forrest.  General Grant gained the nickname “Unconditional Surrender” for taking Fort Donelson.

Modern Republicans should learn from our GOP ancestors. 

I’d rather vote for a candidate who vows “to break” our political opponents than one whose first thought is “crossing the aisle” to compromise.  That is why I plan to vote for Bradley Byrne for Governor in the Republican Primary Runoff on July 13. 

I like Dr. Bentley, he’s always been very kind to me, and if he wins I will do everything I can to get him elected.  However, during his campaign speeches Bentley touts crossing the aisle like it’s a good thing – and maybe it is – but right now I want someone who will force the lying, cheating, and stealing Democrats to surrender their corrupt rule in Montgomery…

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What do a mover from Florida, a butcher in Tennessee, and me have in common?  We’re all sick and tired of Obama and his socialist regime.  I’ve got to admit that I’m pleasantly surprised when random people start talking about Obama.

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I really like John McMillan for Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries in the GOP Primary Runoff.  McMillan’s new TV ad describes the Ag Commissioner’s job pretty well in a few seconds.  I like that McMillan considers water quality to be an important issue and that when he was a State Representative he worked on water issues.

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Pioneer seed corn is very popular in Western Kentucky – an area which used to be known for tobacco but not so much anymore.  Just to note that politics and history are an inescapable part of life - the Hi-Bred Corn Company (Pioneer) was founded in part by Henry Wallace, the 1948 Progressive Party candidate for President (part of his campaign platform was universal government health insurance – socialized medicine).  Wallace later wrote Where I Was Wrong, explaining how he had been a ‘Useful Idiot’ of the Soviets.