Here are some
pictures and videos from last year.
The food and festivities start early in the morning and continue all day,
with the parade in the middle.
They had about 35,000 people last year, more than a dozen times
the usual population of Hahira.
The Chamber, the Industrial Authority, and various other local leaders
say they want knowledge-based jobs, or creative jobs.
We won't get those just by teaching students to show up on time and
do what they're told: that's how you train factory workers,
not knowledge-based employees.
For creative jobs we also need Technology, Talent, and Tolerance.
How do you measure Tolerance?
One key component is the concentration of gays and lesbians.
South Georgia Pride Festival
is a good sign for creative jobs in south Georgia!
The map above shows how metros across the U.S. score on the
Tolerance Index, as updated for The Rise of the Creative Class,
Revisited. The chart below shows the top 20 metros. Developed by my
Martin Prosperity Institute colleague Kevin Stolarick, it ranks U.S.
metros according to three key variables—the share of
immigrants or foreign-born residents, the Gay Index (the
concentration of gays and lesbians), and the Integration Index,
which tracks the level of segregation between ethnic and racial
Do you recognize that shape in the middle of south Georgia?
That's the Valdosta Metropolitan Statistical Area,
consisting of Lowndes, Echols, Lanier, and Brooks Counties.
Looks like about 0.4 on the Tolerance Index.
So sure, we're no Austin, Texas, but we're in the same range as oh,
If you want to help promote creative jobs in south Georgia,
there's a festival going on today:
The Industrial Authority apparently listened to its focus groups,
and discovered that broadband and solar energy are important
to attract industry.
Andrea Schruijer even recommends conversation,
which has been sorely lacking in recent years.
Congratulations, Industrial Authority!
The Authority also plans to work toward the availability of more
broadband Internet service and solar power in Valdosta and
surrounding communities. These amenities would help support local
industries as well as draw new ones to the greater Valdosta area for
the creation of new jobs.
That's a good start. Although it's not clear from the writeup that VLCIA quite got it about
As part of presenting Valdosta as an attractive package for
prospective industries, the Authority attempts to ready the land set
aside for development before beginning the recruitment process. This
means investing in infrastructure, including broadband internet.
“It's not that we don't have broadband,” Schruijer said.
“What we're looking at is the technology behind the broadband.
We have it in certain areas, but in order for us to grow some of
these core targets, such as professional services, we need that
Because the Authority can't “buy” industries into coming
to Valdosta—though it can offer tax abatements—it is
necessary to make sure that new businesses have what they will need
before ground is even broken, Schruijer said. To this effect, the
Authority will “stimulate the conversation” to actively
attract more broadband companies to the area.
Now there's something we've been needing around here.
And it's a refreshing change from only
a year ago when all we heard was
Leaving another event, I saw this on the street in Charlotte.
Whit Jones said they'd just had a demonstration demanding Duke Energy dump ALEC.
Also that he had encountered Duke CEO Jim Rogers and asked him when
Duke would dump ALEC.
Rogers was uncommittal.
Jones' blogged account of that encounter:
In short, I asked Duke's CEO Jim Rogers if he would listen
over 100,000 people who are calling on him to have Duke Dump ALEC
and stop funding voter repression. He responded that "he'd be
listening," and when I pressed him for a commitment to drop ALEC he
said "I'm not going to give you [a commitment right now] but you can
trust that I'm paying attention to what you're saying, and you'll
know in due time."
Paul Wolff said we have a potential for 14.5 gigawatts off the Georgia coast,
without interfering with shipping lanes or the ocean ecology.
He noted big wind turbines need everything down to ball bearings,
much of which can be (and some already is) produced in Georgia.
LAKE blog readers know Paul Wolff
as somebody who has put his money where his mouth is, with
solar on his roof.
Wiregrass Activists for Clean Energy (WACE) have made it clear from
the start that biomass plants have a number of issues: 1) biomass
plants bear significant health risks; 2) biomass plants waste
enormous amounts of water; 3) biomass plants are risky investments
in an increasingly competitive energy sector; and 4) biomass plants
contribute to global warming.
In the light of rising global temperatures, worsening drought
conditions, and dropping prices for solar panels, an increasing
number of people are understanding these simple truths.
The Industrial Authority has to be congratulated for the courage to
admit that energy from biomass plants is indeed more expensive than
energy from solar plants, and we have not even figured in the costs
associated with the consequences of air pollution coming from
Although this point has already been made earlier, note again that
solar plants are much better alternatives, economically and
environmentally: they do not pollute our air, they do not need any
water, and a huge spill of solar energy is simply called a sunny day
... of which we have plenty here in the south.
The vocal protests in Valdosta are long gone, but the controversy
over the proposed Biomass plant lingers. This time not for concerns
of health safety, but over the land.
The Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority plans to sue
Wiregrass Power LLC to end its contract.
Ban the Burn Go 100% Solar.
The proposed Biomass Plant was supposed to be a low-cost source of
efficient energy. Supporters say it would have created hundreds of
jobs. But opponents say the health risks include cancer, lung
disease and respiratory disease.
750,000 gallons of water each day
Tell me, Col. Ricketts, doesn't it feel better to be visibly on the side
of the people, instead of having to defend a bad business deal?