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Letters to the Editor: Feb. 11 Edition

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By The Staff

Beware of

carpetbaggers

The carpetbaggers are here in the name ADAGE, Duke Power and Areva. ADAGE is probably a contraction of the word advantage. They came here to take advantage of us for their own benefit, their huge profits. They came here because they think we are poor, lazy (apathetic) and ignorant. Now I am insulted.

They think we are too poor to fight them but I am not poor alongside other citizens who oppose this dangerous plant in our county.

They think we are too lazy to get out and fight. Sure, I was enjoying a peaceful retirement in this paradise. I wasn’t paying attention..did not think anyone could possibly destroy all that is precious in Gadsden County. A group of concerned citizens has shaken me off the hammock and I am fired up.

They think we are ignorant. Don’t call me ignorant. Call me uninformed.

But with the support of a growing number of concerned citizens I am becoming more and more informed, more outraged and more horrified at what these carpetbaggers plan to do to our community.

We were caught off guard by the schmoozing and gift exchanges done in secret meetings.

Promises were made without ever finding out what we, the people want. Elected officials did not bother to represent us. They represent their own interests, not mine and not yours.

One sided information was provided with outrageous promises and not one of our elected representatives questioned this billion dollar corporation. No one was suspicious, never looked up any of the available data on biomass plants. Nothing. It is appalling and yes, corrupt. Handshaking, back patting and congratulations replaced research.

The carpetbaggers are back to steal from the South again. This time it is fresh air and water, two essentials to life. They will steal our oxygen while raping the forests. They will contaminate our water, rivers and lakes. They will suck the very life out of Gadsden County and rejoice in their horrendously profitable scheme. Now I do feel poor.

Anne Draper   

Chattahoochee

Take advantage of

education, opportunity

I am a 63-year-old mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. I have had many jobs in my lifetime, from the tobacco fields to owning my own business to government jobs. I have supported the war efforts while two of my daughters served 46 years between them, fighting for our freedom.

I retired after 39 years and returned to Gadsden County, only to find that the only things that had changed were the people who make the decisions.

I have always believed that education is the future. I took advantage of a program for people 55 years and older and successfully completed the course, and received my certified nursing assistant license.

I now wish to speak to the youth. Because of a mistake I made in my youth, I cannot use my license in Florida. I have been turned down for jobs because I have a criminal record. One moment of anger has altered my life.

You have a right to work and provide for yourself. Do not give anyone a reason to take that away. Education is the key, and committing a crime will make you a 21st century slave.

Carrie Nelson

Gadsden County

Residents speak out against facility

Probably most Gadsden County residents are aware of the big public debate that is going on about a proposed ADAGE biomass incinerator in Gretna.  From the huge crowd at the Gadsden County commission meeting last week, it is clear that this is a subject of great concern to our citizens. There were three local doctors (one a past president of the Florida Medical Association) speaking about the health problems, as well as several speakers on the air pollution caused by the incinerator. 

Citizen after citizen came to the mic to oppose the biomass plant.  There were only three proponents of the incinerator at the podium – the ADAGE representative, a funeral director and an unemployed fellow from Quincy Farms.

Late in the night, during that very same meeting, way, way down on the agenda, after nearly everyone was gone, there was a 3-2 vote to remove the TV cameras from the commission room.  Commissioners Holt and Taylor valiantly voted to keep the cameras for public awareness, while commissioners Lamb, Croley and Morgan voted to remove them due to the “cost.” 

How interesting and convenient it seems to me to remove them during this big public discussion.  Many people who are not able to come to the meetings rely on them being televised.  If they do not have the cable channel they can pick up a copy of the recording at the courthouse to watch at their convenience.

I think, commissioners, that perhaps this decision might make the public outcry just a little bit louder.

Jessica Shiver

Havana

The promotional material from the newest “Big Green Industry” in town, aka ADAGE LLC - Gadsden, presents biomass as “clean, renewable energy,” sustainable and ever so green. The U.S. Department of Energy uses the terms “clean and renewable” when introducing visitors at its Web site to the topic. 

To be clear, biomass incineration technologies are neither clean nor sustainable.

However, the public tax dollars of struggling Florida’s and Gadsden County citizens are expected to cover the startup costs and operations of very old, abominable technologies.  The biomass industry is supported by both federal and state governments through five main advantages: tax credits, subsidies, research, Renewable Portfolio Standards and preferential pricing afforded to technologies that are cleverly labeled “renewable” energy. Florida DEP is fast tracking the permitting of such projects and creates formidable hurdles for comment by common citizens.  Economically and socially depressed local City and County Governments become intoxicated by fowl promises offered by upstart companies formed only to take advantage of these taxpayer subsidies.

Without government funded support and local complicity, biomass power plants wouldn’t be viable outside of a very limited number of cogeneration facilities operating for the past 45 years within lumber mills and other resource industries. These industries too have had their problems, indeed creating superior public liabilities.

But under the current Sisyphean imperative of “energy independence” and with generous access to public assistance, the extraction of biomass from our farmlands and public forests is set to have a huge local impact and encourages region-wide land abuse and public health degradation.

Gadsden County commissioners and ADAGE, the Siamese twins joined at the purse, seem not to have a problem of disregarding democratic determination of its citizens who oppose the sacrifice of its air, waters, health and home lands for out of state energy profits.

Adage is “A Direct Assault on Gadsden’s Essentials” and a threat to all positive, sustainable futures for the economic improvement we need. There are much better alternatives for positive economic futures.

D W Borland 

Quincy