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Richie Bailey Jr. of Glen St. Mary

‘Richie’ Bailey Jr., 42, of Glen

Richard “Richie” A. Bailey Jr., 42, of Glen Saint Mary died Saturday, May 21, 2011. He was born in Jacksonville and was a lifelong resident of Baker County. He was a self-employed auto mechanic. He enjoyed fishing and spending time with family and friends.

Survivors include his mother Frances Womack of Ponce De Leon, Florida; father Richard A. Bailey Sr.; brother John Lindsey (Jessica) of Ponce De Leon; sister Wanda Ortez of Jacksonville; numerous other relatives and friends.

A graveside service was held at 11:00 am on May 26 at South Prong Cemetery in Sanderson with Rev. Gerald Thompson officiating. Forbes Funeral Home of Macclenny was in charge of arrangements.

Recalling the terror of a twister

When I was in the sixth grade, a small tornado crossed over our home in the country.

There were no weather advisories in those days, nothing that warned you of approaching danger except a corner of the sky that might suddenly deepen into a demonic shade of bluish-black.

It was mid-summer. I don’t remember much about the hours before the storm except that things seemed perfectly normal. The sun was shining. Chickens scratched and pecked in the sandy soil under the four peach trees inside their fenced yard next to the barn. Our three horses lazily grazed in the pasture while our dogs, Shortie and Archie, were simply hanging out, sniffing about, doing whatever dogs do.

Mom called us in for lunch about noon and when the sky began to grow dark, didn’t let us go back out.

As the wind picked up, she went to the windows several times, watching the clouds. Although she said nothing, she looked  worried. The sky grew even blacker and the wind blew harder, gusting crazily around the house. When Archie and Shortie began barking and whining outside, Mom opened the door and they shot in like bullets.

At that moment the wind began to roar in a strange way and the entire house shifted on its foundation. Alarmed, she stepped outside, just for a moment, struggling to hold onto the door knob. The world beyond the open door now glowed with a weird greenish hue. A sudden volley of hail swept the yard, then a wall of rain blew across horizontally. Mom bolted back in, shouting as she slammed the door.

“It’s a twister! Get away from the windows!”

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$10 seating on field ridiculous

Dear Editor:

A child has a high school graduation just one time. It should be enjoyable.

Since 60 percent of our taxes go to the school system, parents should not have to pay $10 each to sit on the field (at Memorial Stadium) to see their children graduate. Taxes paid for the football field.

Some of us are not able to get up and down the stadium steps very well. This is a shame and disgrace for a money-hungry administration.

Many changes are needed to improve the failing school system and bring it to what it should be, and until the administration changes there will never be any changes in the system. There is  too much “good ole boy” politics.

No one at the high school could tell me what this money (the $10 to sit on the field) is used for. I just got the “deer in the headlights” look.

Francis Burnsed of Sanderson

St. Mary’s River committee chair asks GA regulators to deny withdrawal permit

May 15, 2011

Mr. Ade Oke
Georgia Environmental Protection Division
4220 International Parkway, Suite 101
Atlanta, GA 30354
Re: Miocene Holdings surface water withdrawal permit

Dear Mr. Oke:

On behalf of the St. Marys River Management Committee, please accept this letter of concern regarding the Miocene Holdings surface water withdrawal permit application under consideration by your office. The St. Marys River Management Committee is an intergovernmental entity of elected and appointed members from four counties along the St. Marys River including Charlton, Camden, Nassau and Baker counties.

The Committee is very concerned about the detrimental impacts to the St. Marys River that would likely occur as a result of the implementation of the Miocene Holdings project. The proposed project would remove 350,000 gallons of water per day from the St. Marys River, filter the water to remove the natural tannins, and then return the filtered water to the river. The removed tannins will be used as a soil amendment for agricultural purposes.

As a public advocate for the St. Marys River, the Committee has numerous concerns about this proposed project. From a water quantity perspective, the Committee is concerned about the volume of water to be removed from the river. The location selected for the removal of the water (the North Prong of the river) is a historically low-flow area and monitoring data suggests that the proposed withdrawal amounts could periodically exceed the volume of total flow at the proposed withdrawal sites. Vague language in the permit application about suspending operations during low water periods does little to ameliorate this concern, especially in the absence of any metric for determining what constitutes low water.

From a water quality perspective, the Committee is especially troubled about the impacts of discharging this filtered water to the river body. The St. Marys River is a high-quality blackwater river with a naturally low pH. The dark color of the water comes from decaying peat and other vegetation that produce tannin, a naturally occurring, water-soluble organic compound. By filtering the water to remove the tannins, Miocene Holdings will be altering the fundamental characteristics of the river’s water. Discharging water treated to a regulatory pH level of 7 into a low-volume blackwater stream with a natural range of pH 3.8 – 4.2 would have significant negative impacts on the river’s ecological functions and native flora and fauna.

In addition, the proposed industrial filtration process could also further deplete dissolved oxygen levels in water being returned to a river system already naturally low in dissolved oxygen.

Finally, as the St. Marys River serves as the boundary between Georgia and Florida, the Committee believes that the approval of this permit inevitably invites another interstate conflict over the use of shared water resources. The water quality and quantity issues that would almost certainly occur as a result of the Miocene project will impact both sides of the river. County commissioners and Committee stakeholder representatives from both states are fielding a groundswell of community response to this proposal and the public comments are overwhelmingly negative.

Because of these concerns, the Committee is requesting that the Georgia Environmental Protection Division NOT issue a withdrawal permit to Miocene Holdings LLC.

Sincerely,

Chip Campbell, Georgia Co-Chair

St. Marys River Management Committee

 

 

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