To get the conference rate, ask for “agri-tourism” or South Georgia Growing Local at one of two local hotels. Details are on the lodging page.
Don’t forget to register for the conference!
Elsie Quarterman is 102 years old today. She was born in Valdosta in 1910, played basketball for Hahira High School, graduated from Valdosta High School, got a B.A. from Valdosta State College, and taught English in Morven, Naylor, Columbus, Lake Park, and Lyons, Georgia.
Dr. Elsie Quarterman got a Masters and a Ph.D. from Duke University in in botany and plant ecology. While studying for her Ph.D., she was a professor at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, where she was one of the first women full professors and was the first woman department chair (Biology). She specialized in the cedar glades of central Tennessee, including one now named after her by the state. There is an annual wildflower festival named after her. She rediscovered the cedar glade Tennessee coneflower, Echinacea tennesseensis, which previously was thought to be extinct, but has since been taken off the endangered species list, partly due to her work. Her wikipedia page has more information about her work and her many honors.
Here is world traveller Elsie in 2006 leading a family group on the Isle of Skye in Scotland:Continue reading
Bill Herndon and his neighbors are unhappy about a development being built in their backyards.Marvin Peavy, now why does that name ring a bell? Ah, yes, CEO and CFO of Lower Lowndes, Inc. the corporation that bought 62.53 acres on Quarterman Road and attempted to rezone it from E-A to R-21 back in 2007. One of the neighbors saw the sign out front and a bunch of us helped convince the County Commission to deny the rezoning.
Marvin Peavy, owner of Peavy Properties, has already rented some of the Mar-Mel-Go apartments, and about 70 of the projected 150 apartments have been completed. The other 80 units are scheduled to be added soon.
The two-story apartment buildings rise uncomfortably close to the homes of Pinebrook Drive residents, such as Herndon. Windows of the complex look directly into their backyards and homes.
This time it’s so bad another developer is complaining:
Robert Eddington also lives on Pinebrook Drive. He is a builder and said everyone has a right to develop their property. What he’s disturbed about, among other issues, is that the plans they were shown are not being followed. Eddington was told most of the trees would be spared to protect their privacy, but when he came home several days later, they were all gone except a few.Hm, given that the ULDC got changed a year or so back to require notification of rezoning mailed to adjoining property owners, in addition to a notice in the newspaper and a sign out front, if there was no sign and neighbors didn’t get notices, I wonder if there’s a legal problem with the rezoning.
Eddington and his neighbors successfully fought a similar development on nearby Water Oak Drive four years ago. They had no such opportunity this time, he said. No notices of any hearing were posted. Neither Herndon nor Fuhrer saw any notices posted announcing zoning or development hearings by the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners.
Ah, this takes me back:
Eddington’s fence was damaged during Mar-Mel-Go construction. When contractors finally fixed it 17 months later, he said his wife asked about the gate that was supposed to be installed. The site manager told his wife that it wouldn’t be installed until the rest of the apartments were completed. Eddington said they were originally told these would be “luxury condos,” but are very different from the way they were described.The previous subdivision (not Peavy’s) that did get built on Quarterman Road (because its zoning was grandfathered in way back in the 1980s) involved a builder shoving building trash through my fence into my field. And streetlights that were installed by the developer but never turned on until the subdivision residents got the Commission to institute a special tax district to pay for them.
Curious how yet again “the plans they were shown are not being followed.”
Maybe if the neighbors go to the county they’ll get redress:
Herndon and his neighbors pooled their money several years ago and spent $4,400 to pave Pinewood Drive, so they feel they have a stake in how the road is used. He approached the Lowndes County Commission about the residents’ concerns and was eventually connected with County Engineer Mike Fletcher.Ah, finger pointing! Not the county government’s problem; it’s up to the property owner. Nevermind the county commission approved the development with certain plans and requirements.
Fletcher said a $30,000 siren-controlled gate would be installed on Pinewood Drive for emergency vehicle access only, eliminating unwanted traffic through their neighborhood. The property owner is responsible for installing the gate, said Kevin Beals, Lowndes County development reviewer.
Well, maybe if the neighbors escalate to the county manager:
Lowndes County Manager Joe Pritchard said he thinks Pinebrook Drive residents “have some legitimate questions and we ought to be able to provide a reasonable answer.” Pritchard said he plans to meet with County Engineer Mike Fletcher and Zoning Administrator Carmella Braswell on Monday to discuss the development and see what remedies might be available.Yes, we’ve seen that process many times before. Note he doesn’t say they’ll provide any actual fixes to any of the problems, just “a reasonable answer”. We’ll see if these neighbors get any satisfaction this time.
According to the County Commission calendar, there’s a work session coming up Monday 13 July at 8:30AM and a commission meeting coming up Tuesday 14 July at 5:30PM. The Tuesday public meetings always have an agenda item for Citizens Wishing to the Heard. The work sessions usually don’t, but if you go you can hear what the commissioners have to say about subjects that have come before them, and often you can talk to them directly before or after the meeting.
Existing CSXT railroad tracks are utilized for the planned route. CRT trains consist of 1-3 cars and can carry up to 218 passengers. Maximum operating speed is generally between 65-79 mph.Hm, using existing CSX tracks, just like the GS&F (now CSX) route from Hahira through Mineola, Remerton, Valdosta, Dasher, and Lake Park.
The old Atlantic Coast Line station lot, at the U-turn between Patterson and Ashley just north of the downtown overpass, is owned by the City of Valdosta. That's kind of moot, since there are no tracks there now.
The old Georgia & Florida Station lot between Toombs and Patterson and between Savannah and Florida is owned by Lowndes County, as shown here:
The county Health Department is in the middle of it, but the tracks run against the back parking lot. These are the tracks that go to Moody.
And the old Georgia and Florida station lot, just south of that, is owned by CSX, as part of a strip along their tracks from Toombs St. to Railroad Ave.:
CSX TRANSPORTATION INC
TAX DEPARTMENT C-910
500 WATER STREET
JACKSONVILLE, FL 32202
The old GSF Station lot, just south of that, between Toombs and Patterson and north of Florida Ave., is owned by Norfolk and Southern.
NORFOLK SOUTHERN RAILWAY CO & SUBSID
C/O GULF & OHIO RAILWAYS
PO BOX 2408
KNOXVILLE, TN 379012408
It looks from the aerial maps like it's being used for a park, and there's some sort of tiny building on it, too. These are the tracks that go to Hahira, Mineola, Remerton, Dasher, and Lake Park.
If you select aerial photography you'll see that the tracks are currently located slightly differently than the map above shows.
However, it appears that new Valdosta train stations could be constructed with agreement from nobody other than Lowndes County and the railroads. Well, them and the planning commission, and the county commission, and the Valdosta City Council, and the various cities the passenger service would run to. But the Valdosta station land itself seems to be in the hands of a small number of appropriate parties.
Found on Georgia's Railroad History & Heritage, by Steve Storey
Along with many other stops, it shows service to Hahira, Mineola, Valdosta, Dasher, Lake Park, and Melrose.
There was one station each for:
So 2 out of 3 station locations still have running tracks (and the third I think also has running tracks; they were just rerouted to go under the underpass). I have no idea who owns the station footprints. Wouldn’t have to be precisely the same locations, anyway; somewhere within a block or two would have the same advantages of accessibility to each other and to downtown.