LA: Panel Doubts Coast Can Be Saved

The Army Corps of Engineers still hasn’t proved its key assumption that Louisiana’s disappearing shoreline can be maintained, and that could be a fatal flaw in the agency’s developing plan on how to provide some protection against catastrophic storm surges, a peer review panel said Tuesday.

The National Research Council praised much about the voluminous Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration (LACPR) draft plan that the corps is preparing for Congress and set to deliver in December.

But the council, whose members come from the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering, also offered sweeping criticisms on several levels and challenged the corps to tackle a number of issues that are bound to stir political unrest, including:

— Seriously studying a major realignment of the lower Mississippi River to capture sediment critical to coastal reconstruction.

— Using the corps’s own permitting powers to slow future conversion of water or wetlands to urban and other uses.

— Collaborating with local and state governments to implement full-scale buyout programs in the most at-risk areas.

— Aiding local governments in the use of planning, zoning and other regulatory tools to discourage more development in flood-prone areas.

The report, ordered by Congress after Hurricane Katrina, is expected to identify the best methods of providing some defense against the kinds of major storms once routinely referred to as Category 5 events. It will rely on a combination of protective measures, including restoration of the state’s at-risk coastline.

But the National Research Council, which is being paid by the corps to pick apart its work and make suggestions for improvement, zeroed in on the LACPR report’s failure to even identify how much Mississippi River sediment is available to do the massive restoration work required to stave off more coastal land loss.

FL: Pensacola To Save Older Trees

My hat goes off to the Pensacola planning people…..The MS Gulf Coast cannot do something this far sighted…we lost so many older trees during Katrina and since the storm at the hands of developers.  Sad that a 100 yr old tree can survive a Katrina only to be assassinated by worthless developers.  I am proud of the Pensacola initiative.

After nearly six months, changes designed to protect Pensacola’s older large trees have the backing of the Pensacola Planning Board.

The board voted unanimously Tuesday to approve revisions to city tree and landscape regulations with the support of both environmentalists and developers involved.

“There was a lot of give and take on both sides,” said Planning Board chairman Clay Roesch. “I think there’s been a lot of commonality of interest in this process.”

The two sides compromised on a key change — the size that defines a heritage tree. Emerald Coastkeeper Inc., representatives of Moulton Properties and city staff agreed last month to a 34-inch tree diameter.

Coastkeeper proposed heritage trees be designated at 24-inch diameter, while Moulton representatives favored 44 inches.

“That was one of the real accomplishments, recognizing heritage trees needed a definition,” said Emerald Coastkeeper Taylor “Chips” Kirschenfeld. “We are pleased we were able to cooperate and provide input for this new tree ordinance that hopefully will protect heritage trees for generations to come.”

GS Free Press Editorial–Mississippi

I recently gave an idea to my readers on how to try and curb the raging prices of gas.   suggested that the industry be nationalized and then the obscene profits could be used to the benefit of the American people.  OK, that started a wave of accusations of “creeping socialism” and on and on and……..

Why do I bring this up?  Ok, you asked!  Mississippi has an monopoly on the liquor sales in the state.  That was the price that was paid for getting the “good old boys” to support any alcohol in the state.  It is the same in many of the Southern “Bible Belt” states.

It a state has a monopoly on any sector of the economy, is that not similar to the nationalization proposal?  All profit goes to the state to be used as a revenue to fund state programs.  Still sounds like a nationalized industry to me.

In Mississippi, it is the largest revenue generating program.  But now, somewhere I have read that it is not legal for a government to be a monopoly…thinking….if true. how does Mississippi and other states get away with it?  Competition has been eliminated, free trade has been eliminated, many things have been eliminated….so how does this continue?

I say it is time to check the legality of this situation.  If all is alright, then it is time to think about the nationalization of other industries, most notable, the Oil industry.

Peace Out

Miss. Democrat Wins Election–District 1

It’s becoming a disturbing trend for Republicans: losing traditional GOP strongholds to Democrats in some hard-fought congressional races.

It happened again Tuesday, as Travis Childers beat Greg Davis in a special election to replace Republican Roger Wicker, who served in the House since 1994 and was appointed to the U.S. Senate to fill the seat vacated by Trent Lott.

Childers’ win will give him the chance to over the next several months left in the seat’s two-year term to build a fundraising and publicity advantage as he heads into November’s general election. He will again face Davis, as well as two other opponents.

Childers’ win gave Democrats a 236-199 edge over Republicans in Congress.

Childers stressed his independence, emphasizing his support of gun rights and opposition to abortion. He said his values match those of most voters in the deeply conservative district.

Tom Cole, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said the Mississippi race showed that “Republicans must be prepared to campaign against Democrat challengers who are running as conservatives, even as they try to join a liberal Democrat majority.”