Who owns the Yadkin River - revisited

The Supreme Court has ruled, the fat lady has sung, in the PPL Montana vs. the State of Montana case. The Supreme Court overturned lower court rulings that the “Great Falls” section of the river, and possibly other disputed sections, were navigable, and therefore that the riverbed was owned by the state. A key point of the decision was that navigability must be determined on a section by section basis, not on rivers in their entirety.

The decision laid out some legal principles which could have repercussions in North Carolina. Basically, it enumerated three distinct issues:

1. The title to riverbeds is determined under the equal-footing doctrine. The State owns the riverbed if that section of the river was navigable in the customary mode of trade and travel under natural and ordinary conditions at the time of statehood. For NC, that was 1789. This is based in the U. S. Constitution and is interpreted by federal case law. (In NC, riverbeds that are not navigable and therefore not owned by the State are owned by adjoining property owners.)

2. The pubic trust doctrine applies to the public's right to use the waters of rivers for fishing, boating, swimming, recreation, etc. This is governed by state law.

3. Admiralty jurisdiction gives the federal government the authority to regulate waters which have become navigable since the date of statehood, or which could become so by reasonable improvements.

The Pee Dee River has always been widely regarded as navigable from its mouth to Cheraw, SC, and is still so regarded by the US Army Corps of Engineers. The report of the Army Corps regarding the upper Yadkin River, from Wilkesborough to near Salisbury, in 1879, which the Yadkin Riverkeeper previously produced, concluded that that section of the river could be made navigable with improvements.

The Army Corps also reported on the lower Yadkin - upper Pee Dee River in 1888. That report concluded that the entire section of the river from near Salisbury to the SC line was unworthy of improvement [to make it navigable]. The report also noted that that section of the river was more suited to the development of water power than navigation, and that local citizens were more interested in fish having free passage up and down the river.

Therefore, the Yadkin River has not been found to have been navigable by boats used in 1789 in its natural and ordinary condition in 1789, and is therefore not owned by the State. This is what Alcoa has said all along. Alcoa bought, paid for, pays property taxes on, and owns the riverbed under their project. The people of NC have the right to use the waters of the river, and significant time was spent during the relicensing process on developing license terms to accommodate and enhance public use of the river.

Comments

Taxes

Sounds like a complex puzzle. Do you know what the riverbed is "worth" in terms of current appraised tax value?

Yadkin navigability

The court decision referenced above sort of takes the wind out of the political sails of those who want to expropriate the upper Yadkin River from Alcoa, then. Now that the property ownership is settled by the Supreme Court decision, let's examine the costs of expropriating the Yadkin's dams in the State takeover plan. It would constitute a "taking" under the 5th Amendment to the United States Constitution. Therefore, "just compensation" would be required, which means fair market value. Just as Senator Fletcher Hartsell and other State takeover proponents have said, the hydroelectric power to be produced from those dams is quite valuable. It only follows, then, that the fair market value of the system of dams would be calculable based on PE ratio among other market indicators. It would easily run into the hundreds of millions of dollars, and possibly over a billion.

With the knowledge that expropriation would not be "free", having come from the Supreme Court's decision, would it be wise, then, to saddle NC taxpayers for generations to come with the costs of paying for the dam system? I would think that the various concessions that Alcoa is willing to give for public recreation, water levels, clean water sources, and jobs, it is worth not opposing their relicensing. After all, there are contract covenants they're willing to make, as well as State DENR and Federal EPA regulations that would guarantee a stable supply of clean drinking water, without all that debt to saddle taxpayers.

Backing off the State expropriation of the Yadkin River should be a priority of the Democratic Party. It's a matter of consumer protection, as well as fiscal responsibility.

"Value" of Yadkin Project riverbed

James, an interesting question. I don't think anyone has the answer, but I took a rough stab at it. Alcoa owns approximately 38,000 acres, and pays about $1 million in property taxes annually. Of that, about 15,000 acres is, for the most part, undeveloped land (above water) around the lakes. About 23,000 acres are under water. That figure includes land which was submerged as a result of the impoundment of the lakes, far in excess of the original river bed.

I looked at the online GIS databases. Three counties don't show any data for the submerged property. I located submerged parcels in Rowan and Davidson counties, and figured an average of $1500/acre appraised property valuation. Doing a little math, that would work out to a total of about $34,500,000 as the appraised tax value of 23,000 underwater acres.

I think you also have to ask what practical value it has. It's a necessary component for a hydroelectric project. In the lakes, I know Alcoa does charge something to allow boat docks and piers to be built on the lake bottoms. But otherwise, especially if you look at unimpounded areas of the river, riverbed land doesn't seem to have much use, other than as a river bed.

The State of Montana wanted to charge PPL Montana $41 million in rent for the years 2000-2007. I don't know how that project compares, but that amount seems exhorbitant.

BTW, I've noticed a lot of misinformation about Alcoa's relicensing posted on this blog. That's one of the reasons I thought a reasonable person should weigh in. Alcoa went through an extensive multi-year relicensing process in which a number of stakeholders - local organizations, local governments, state and federal agencies - participated. This wasn't just something Alcoa did, it was a democratic process which reached agreement on the relicensing terms. The takeover attempt started afterwards. And darned if I can figure out why they've singled out Alcoa, and aren't applying the same standards to all the other hydro projects in the state.

Alcoa has been an environmental disaster in so many places

Why don't we go ask the people or Bhopal or Calhoun County, TX why Alcoa should be singled out?

Your arguments sound like you might be reasonable as you say but I would like to know your agenda.

These multinational corporations are not reliable partners and when it comes to anything like being stewards of a water source for 1 1/2 million why should they be trusted? Why should we believe anything that they or their advocates say.

Progressives are the true conservatives.

So you say .....

The entire story on pollution in Badin Lake needs its own blog entry. Be patient. I'll let Bhopal and Calhoun County TX take care of themselves. I'm sure they're big boys. I just don't have enough time to fact-check the entire world, and I don't believe everything I hear.

My agenda is to look beyond all the false takeover agenda claims and get to the facts. Personally, I think people should make informed decisions.

Have you looked at Duke Energy's pollution record? That's Duke Energy, who also runs a number of hydroelectric projects in the state. Duke Energy, who is about to become the largest electric company in the U.S. Duke Energy, who still burns entirely too much coal. Duke Energy, who is also multinational, if that's automatically a dirty word to you. It's actually not my aim to bash Duke Energy, just saying. Alcoa's Yadkin Project is a little fish by comparison.

All the Republicans behind the takeover effort might be another topic: Fletcher Hartsell, Stan Bingham, Stanly County Commissioners (who have some real competition coming up in the elections), Richard Morgan (yes, that Richard Morgan) and Carter Wrenn running things behind the scenes.

Bud Light salutes you, Real Men of Genius....

(cue music)

Here's to You, Mr. Public-Spirited-Intellectual-with-Too-much-free-time-and-access-to-obscure-historical-documents-but-in-no-way-a-corporate-sock-puppet-guy!

That's right, I am talking to you, Lords of the Laptop! Some folks might accuse you of being sock puppets-mindless identities serving a corporate overlord desperate for its propaganda to appear folksy and real. But we know better. You are clearly just two regular guys who happen to have the time to read hundreds of pages of obscure legal and historical documents, construct arcane legal arguments from them and then blog them around like you are churning butter. Top notch, sir! Bud Light salutes you, as Real Men of Genius.

So crack open an ice cold Bud Light, you Boethius of the Blogs. You may be spreading manure and keeping us all in the dark, but at least you are growing something.

Bud Light salutes you!

(Mr. Public-Spirited-Intellectual-with-Too- much-free-time-and-access-to-obscure-historical-documents-but-in-no-way-corporate-sock-puppet-guy)

Why, thank you so much!

I've been involved in this for almost 10 years. I'm a member of the public who is a stakeholder involved in Alcoa's relicensing. I pride myself on being knowledgeable. I don't make up my mind, or make statements, unless I'm sure of the facts. There are others of us who have also been involved all this time, who are also very knowledgeable. We've been supporting Alcoa's relicensing, for very sound reasons, locally for a long time. There are even more, a lot more, who wanted the Clean Tech jobs. I may be the first who's made it to your neck of the woods, but we've been here, in the project area, all along. We live here. And I'm a historian. That's what I do. I'm pretty darned good at it. So drink up your Bud Light, and thanks for your open-minded welcome.

NC General Assembly has already provided the answer

There is a bit of Alcoa-fact-twisting going on here.

Mr. Walker (speaking up for Alcoa) says there’s not one doubt the Supreme Court’s ruling in a Montana case proves North Carolina does not own the riverbed of the Yadkin River.

How’s that?

Well, Mr. Walker says, the Court ruled the riverbed is not state property unless the Yadkin was navigable back in 1789 (when North Carolina became a state).

So far, so good. But then the spin starts.

Next Mr. Walker announces that two Corps of Engineers studies done back in the late 1800’s prove the Yadkin was not navigable which sounds fine but turns out to be comparing Corp of Engineers apples to Supreme Court oranges.

In the end the issue comes down to a simple question: Was the Yadkin, like most other rivers in the 18th and 19th Centuries, used as a highway for transportation and trade?

And the North Carolina General Assembly has already provided the answer: In 1885 it passed an Act that stated unequivocally that the Yadkin River – from Davidson County to the South Carolina line – was a navigable river.

Naw, that wasn't what it said

The Act you're referring to never once said anything about navigability. Look again. It declared the river to be a public highway, which certainly goes along with the public trust doctrine, that the public is allowed to use the water. That doesn't mean you could actually get a boat loaded with whatever very far without running into problems. Do you not think the Army Corps of Engineers, who examined the river to ascertain its navigability, knew what they were doing? Do you not think they were a credible source? Well, then, we could also look at a 1909 US Supreme Court decision (Yadkin River Power Company v. the Whitney Company) which said the river was not navigable. We could look at a 1958 Federal Power Commission Order that said the river was not navigable. Or, I tell you what. When I've got more time, I have a hilarious newspaper account I like to call "The Trip Down the Yadkin from Hell" I'll be glad to post. The evidence is overwhelming. The river has never been navigable.

Since people have been asking what my interest in this is, what my agenda is, could I ask the same of all you folks?

A bit off topic, but

I'd love to see that article. My father take a trip down part of the river in the fifties with his Boy Scout Troop. I doubt it's the same write up, but I'd still love to see it when you get time.

_______________________________________________

"...the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be."

Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail

Agenda

I've been working for six years at BlueNC to help protect citizens from being dominated by businesses and governments alike, looking for what's fair and right for the public interest. I am independent, both politically and economically, with no special interests shaping my agenda. In those rare interests where I have an agenda that is tied to an organization or institution, that interests are published with full and open transparency. For example, I challenged Art Pope's planned takeover of NCCU Law because I was considering going to law school there and didn't want my future alma mater slimed by a relationship with him.

You're new to BlueNC, showing up with a clear agenda. Over the years, we've learned that others who exhibit such behavior have been corporate mouthpieces, individuals who stand to make money personally from a certain outcome, media relations professionals, lawyers, or other parties with a stake in the game.

You're under no obligation to explain yourself, except of course, if you want to be take seriously.

ditto

I think I have explained myself. Maybe you haven't read it all. :) I will make it very clear that I am not a media professional, lawyer, lobbyist, employee, or someone who stands to make any money in any way. I do have a stake in what happens to the river, perhaps a lot more so than people outside the area who have been very active in promoting a government takeover. I'm going to have to live with the outcome.

Sounds to me like you have a bias. I will say, in this day and age, there's a lot of distrust of big business - Enron, AGI, misuse of corporate bailouts, etc., and we'd probaby agree on much of that. There was another time when they were viewed more as "sugar daddies". Times change. But I'd hope that you wouldn't tar all companies with the same brush. Those of us who live in the project area know these people. You have no idea how much we went through with them during the relicensing process. I think every one of us was, at one time or another, absolutely furious with them. We've screamed at each other until the veins stood out in our necks (not a pretty sight). But, in the end, we came together and reached an agreement on license terms. In all fairness, I'd have to say Alcoa made more compromises than we did. And I've seen them do things they did not have to do, simply because we convinced them that it was the right thing to do. I've been known to say, "we beat some sense into them." :)

They're decent, honest people. I've double-checked their facts just as much as the facts of their opponents. There were times I was apprehensive that I might not like what I found. But I've never been disappointed in them. I think that's a lot to say.

You're too modest

You are apparently the author of this anonymous blog: YES! Relicense Alcoa-Yadkin Project Citizens For Alcoa-Yadkin Project Relicensing, with a private domain registration, which is somewhat more strident and less objective than you would have use believe you are.

I might agree with you but so far you haven't pass the smell test. If you want trust, transparency is important. For the record, I have the same opinion of people from the opposing side who pulled a similar stunt here a few years ago. You all might have personal reasons for restricting your identifying information but it limits credibility.

PS

An example of objective information about these issues might be: Water Law in North Carolina

Naw

I'm not the only person around who speaks in favor of relicensing Alcoa. I know, we all look alike to you.

Mr. Walker

Are you or are you not involved in the pro Alcoa "Yes!" blog that Greg referenced above? If so, what is the nature of your involvement?

enough on the inquisition

I've shared information with them, and others. Many of the stakeholders share info with each other. That's how we stay informed.

I really think googling me and delving into my personal life has gone far enough. I don't hear anyone asking anyone else these questions. There seems to be a good deal of anonymity here for everyone except me. Why don't you deal with what I say, and quit with the conspiracy theories. There isn't one. The Alcoa people are very corporate-ish. Blogging isn't their thing. I'm exactly who I said I am. I thought a progressive blog might be a lot more interesting than some of the others around, where many of the bloggers sound like cave men grunting after a heavy meal.

Activism is in my blood. I've been an activist since I landed (entirely coincidentally) in Chicago on Tuesday of Democratic Convention week in 1968. That was a wakeup call for someone from rural North Carolina I can tell you! I worked, as a heavy volunteer, in many of the independent Democratic campaigns which brought an end to the political hold of the old Mayor Daley's political machine. I've got stories ...! (I'm not against having some form of voter ID.) I worked in Jimmy Carter's campaign, and went to his inauguration. Can't say that I've done much campaign work since I came back to NC in 1990, but I'm not as young (and spry) as I once was. Blogging's a lot less demanding physically than wearing the bottoms of your feet raw working a precinct.

But I've gotto say, this is one of the unfriendliest places I've ever seen!

A guy who shows up with an agenda

and a group of "stakeholders" is one thing. A guy who set up a website nearly two years ago to promote Aloca's position on relicensing is an entirely different thing.

That other website makes no attempt to look at the Alcoa issues from both sides. It is corporate hackery through and through.

If you can't be straight about the nature of your involvement in this conflict, you have no right to expect anyone to take "what you say" on face value. And if our insistence on transparency is rises in your view to the level of inquisition, so be it.

BlueNC has a long history of looking objectively at issues from all sides. If you can't do that, you have indeed come to the wrong place.

Note to Alcoa:
You might want to invest in smarter sock-puppets. This guy is making you look bad.

I'm from Missouri (well, not really)

I have a definite opinion, one that is very well informed. I'm sorry if that bothers you. I've got opinions on a lot of things. (I'm sure I'm unique in that respect.) I was in the middle of putting together something on an entirely different topic when I noticed the latest Alcoa takeover article in the News & Observer.

You know, James, actions speak louder than words. I don't see you looking at both sides of this issue. All I see is a personal attack on the first person who's showed up in a long time with a different perspective. Guess you think there's absolutely no way any plain old individual person who's not a corporate shill could possibly be supporting Alcoa's relicensing. Dream on!

You may have been thinking

You may have been thinking about an entirely different topic in one particular instance, but you have been relentlessly focused for almost two years in feeding the website I referenced.

To your point, my first response to your first post was to (1) frontpage it and (2) ask about the tax valuation of the riverbed. That's because I have an open mind about the Alcoa situation and want to know more. Your response was to continue to deliver a one-sided view, which of course you are welcome to do. But don't complain when that one-sided view raises questions about your agenda and your "stakeholders".

I absolutely believe there's a way that a plain old individual person could support Alcoa's relicensing. I just don't believe you're that person.

You're the person who brought up the term "stakeholders" as part of your involvement in a pro-Alcoa propaganda campaign. Exactly what "stake" do you and these holders have?

Despite your opinions to the contrary, I am not stupid. After six years of blogging, with a day job in social media consulting, I've learned to distinguish genuine citizen activists from those with hidden agendas. It's entirely possible I'm wrong about you ... indeed, I would love to be proven wrong ... but it's just as possible that I'm right. And as i said on another thread, if you are in any way representing the interests of Alcoa, they're definitely not getting their money's worth.

David Walker's credential

Why is it, James, that those whose "agenda" disfavors a state takeover in the relicensing process get to be labeled as "corporate mouthpieces", "media relations professionals", "lawyers", or "other parties with a stake in the game"? I have no connection to any group that is paid by Alcoa, paid to promote Alcoa, or concerned that Alcoa has been unfairly characterized in Bhopal or Calhoun County, TX.

Is it possible that many of us Democrats on BlueNC have a big distrust of our state government that reflects the greater sentiment of the region and the State voters? I'm thinking that the voters in Stanly County will make some major changes on November 6th, and that even in the Republican primary, some incumbents will be forced into retirement.

There are a number of problems with the State-takeover proponents: First, they have failed to persuade rank and file voters that the State can do a better job of management than Alcoa. Second, they've failed to demonstrate conclusive proof of polluted ground water outside the immediate area that Alcoa has committed to capping off with concrete and thus, have failed to demonstrate that we're actually facing an Alcoa-created problem for future generations. And Third, the press hounds among the State-takeover proponents have some serious credibility problems with NC's mostly conservative-leaning voters---of both parties. For instance, RFK, Jr., Erin Brokovich, and the many exaggerated claims of the director of a relative new, but prominent regional nonprofit that claims ownership of the river are not exactly winning voter 'buy-in' to the State-takeover idea.

To compound problems, the relatively small, yet strident group of individuals supporting the expropriation of Alcoa's property tend to team up and cyber-bully their opponents on blog sites, having opposing viewpoints deleted from threads, especially on The Dispatch and Salisbury Post. Dear God, you'd think we're Holocaust deniers, the way our views are marginalized by some.

Finally, there is that Zoe Hanes email that no one cares to address, where she outlined their "Alcoa is Evil" strategy. Not a better example exists than the yellow journalism that such an attitude cause the Ezster Vajda UNCTV scandal, which led to Ezster leaving and looking for other career alternatives.

I will conclude by saying that this is your blog, James. Freedom of the press means that you are free to deride or even delete opposing viewpoints that differ from your own. There are other sites, like the Rowan Free Press, which still permit your views AND David Walker's views to be aired. And I suppose anyone is free to begin a new website, like www.why-I-absolutely-love-Alcoa.com, or something similar that both you and I would find equally ridiculous.

The bottom line is that there really are well-reasoned persons who do not support the expropriation of Alcoa's property by the State, who have no connection to Alcoa at any other level. If that is too hard for takeover proponents to believe, then perhaps they should re-think their strategies if their political efforts stand any chance at garnishing enough political support to become anything other than the Quixotic efforts that currently have been presented, and shot down by leaders.

Thank you, Sir!

Jefferson

Jeff, we've bounced this issue

around here several times over the last few years. Or, I guess I should say, the issue has bounced us around. We've had professional PR people from both sides pitching their messages, not to mention a lot of anons slinging innuendo around.

I'm not speaking for anybody else here when I say this, but I'm against the takeover. For numerous reasons, but the main one is: I believe the private sector holds the key to the clean energy revolution. Government should set the standards and regs, but the billions in investment should come from investors. That's what our REPS was designed to do, and it's working.

I fear the state's takeover of ALCOA's hydroelectric business would set a precedent that would chill private investment in large utility projects going down the road. Why build something if the state can just take it over?

But I will say this: The move to take over ALCOA's hydro operation has forced them to make sacrifices and concessions to communities in the region, that they would likely not have done in the absence of such a conflict.

corporate mouthpieces

I talk to a lot of people, I know what's going on in the debate, and I have to say I do not know of anyone who's a mouthpiece for Alcoa who has ever posted on blogs. If the same kinds of assumptions were made about them that were made about me .......

I'm glad to hear your opinion.

I think getting on the ball about redeveloping the Badin site for jobs was probably at least speeded up because of the pressure, and because the stakeholders urged them to get things done. (They do listen to us.) If someone could have gotten the Comissoners to meet them half way, we'd have some great jobs in Badin.

There is David Walker who is

There is David Walker who is the Mayor of Locust, NC?

Will the Real Mayor of Locust, please stand up?

Alcoa's Shame

"RALEIGH – Officials with the N.C. Division of Water Quality today notified Alcoa Power Generating Inc. of the revocation of the company's 401 water quality certification, issued in May 2009 for APGI's Yadkin Hydroelectric Project in Stanly County.

This action is being taken after DWQ officials learned APGI submitted an incorrect application and supporting materials for the 401 water quality certification, in that the company intentionally withheld information on the project’s ability to meet the state's water quality standards for dissolved oxygen. This intentional omission came to light after company e-mails were recently entered into evidence during a hearing before an administrative law judge involving Stanly Countys challenge to the issuance of the 401 water quality certification.

The Yadkin Hydroelectric Project includes High Rock, Tuckertown, Narrows – also known as Badin – and Falls reservoirs. DWQ officials believed at the time the certification was issued that APGI’s application for the certification and supporting documentation provided adequate assurance that the proposed activities would not result in a violation of state water quality standards and discharge guidelines.

One of the issues addressed in the certification was concern about the dissolved oxygen levels below Narrows/Badin Lake and High Rock Lake. Dissolved oxygen is the form of oxygen that is available for support of fish and other aquatic animals.

As currently constructed, the dams pulls water from deep in the lake where dissolved oxygen levels are low and then discharges that water to the river below. As a result, dissolved oxygen levels in the river were not meeting state standards. To remedy this issue, the 401 water quality certification required that turbines at High Rock, Tuckertown, Narrows/Badin and Falls lake dams be modified to improve dissolved oxygen levels downstream of the dams.

“I was disappointed to learn that APGI intentionally withheld information regarding the critical matter of dissolved oxygen,” said Coleen Sullins, director of the Division of Water Quality. “The process of certification relies on applicants submitting accurate and comprehensive information to the division. When they do not, revocation is warranted.”

Following receipt today of the notice of revocation of the water quality certification, APGI officials have 60 days to either surrender the certification and file a new application to correct the errors in information previously submitted or to appeal the revocation before the Office of Administrative Hearings.

###

See

http://portal.ncdenr.org/c/journal/view_article_content?groupId=21953&ar...

the Blame game

I don't know you personally, but I've seen a tremendous number of posts on various blogs, read letters to the editor, been to public meetings, etc.. Takeover proponents relish anything they can come up with to embarass Alcoa. Absolutely relish it. They never never never find one good word to say about Alcoa. Every single word that comes out of their mouths is criticism, much of it unjustified. They always assume the worst. Alcoa can never be good enough to satisfy them. No one is that bad!

I've read those emails in their entirety and I think what was presented to the press was out of context. But, the courts will decide the matter, so let's wait and see what they have to say. I do know that Alcoa is meeting state standards for dissolved oxygen more than 99% of the time at the Narrows dam, with only part of the upgrades in place. (The rest are scheduled to be made after the license is issued.) It seems to me the outcome is what's important, not whether there were doubts expressed in some preliminary email discussions about how well things would work.

But, more importantly, I'd like to see a more constructive approach. I liked Jeff Michael's statement in the Fortune article:

"'Badin is a microcosm about what's great about America, what built America, and what challenges industrial America faces,' says Jeff Michael, a touch of sadness and regret in his voice. Michael went to Badin Elementary, where the school mascot is still the Watt, and he keeps a weekend farm nearby. Now the head of the Urban Institute at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, he did his master's planning thesis on the town. 'If there ever was a community that could be a model for the private and public sectors coming together, it's Badin,' he says. 'This could heal the old wounds. Instead we find ourselves in the news tearing each other apart.'"

Get some sleep, David Walker, the people of Locust needs you!

David Walker,

I am worried that the fine citizens of Locust are gonna lose the services of their favorite mayor pro- tem if you keep these late night blogging hours. Of course, I assume that you are their favorite mayor pro tem because there is only one. So that makes you their favorite. I had earlier said I thought you were the mayor, but that was my mistake. Mayor Pro Tem is much better anyway. You only have to really sweat it out if the Mayor cannot fulfill his duties. Uneasy lies the head that bears the crown. That should help you sleep better.

There is no reason to lose sleep defending the Alcoa fokls, that is why God made corporate lawyers. Your employer, Bank of America, has plenty of them so you should know how much they need and just let them earn their daily bread and lose sleep. Everybody has to feed their kids and pets and meters. Alcoa feeds more than most due to their "scandals" being cooked up by their "opponents"-radical elements like Switzerland and the English and being reported in that party organ of socialist anarchy: the Wall Street Journal. http://blogs.wsj.com/corruption-currents/2012/02/15/uk-charges-second-ma...

I wonder why you are losing sleep over their "scandals" when the mystery of the urn of cremains found at the Bethel United Methodist Church in Midland remains unsolved. I hope the pun in the last sentence will make you laugh or at least chuckle since I think you could use a laugh, as well as a good night's sleep. Try some warm milk or wrap a hot towel around your head.

That reminds me, I am planning to take a bike tour of Locust soon. Where in town can I get a good shower at noon? Those hills are going to make me sweat, I just know it. I sure hope they have figured out whose cremains they were before I come. I would hate to think the town is haunted. Maybe that is why you cannot sleep.

With well wishes for your insomnia,

Lazlo

and you were, again?

I suspect that I'm not the only David Walker in the world.

I noticed you just registered yesterday morning, apparently with the only purpose of attacking me. Why don't you share all about yourself, in intimate personal detail, with the rest of us.

Good point

One hidden agenda shows up and the next thing you know, the whole place is covered with them.

I agree that the commenter should share his/her interests, as should you.

Actually Alcoa's officials

Actually Alcoa's officials appear to be very sheepish about public comment OR PR, until they issue official press releases. It has been a disappointment to stakeholders like myself and Mr. Walker, who have been hoping that Alcoa would step forward and defend itself against the misinformation and relentless attacks.

If I may post some links on your website, this links to the Ezster Vajda case:
http://www.yesweekly.com/triad/article-10241-revisiting-the-eszter-vajda...

Then there is the infamous email from Zoe Hanes to her supporters at Yadkin Riverkeeper and various elected and appointed officials, and lobbyists:
http://www.trading-ford.org/YRAnotsaying.html

So if Mr. Walker and I have an admitted bias, and count ourselves among the many other pro-relicensing stakeholders, what do you folks think about the biased folks who work clandestinely to build their case for a State takeover that is highly improbable to succeed?

Thank you for allowing alternative viewpoints to be expressed. I realize this is your blog, and you may elect to shut us out at any time.

wow

Not sure how any rational human being could still claim the State of NC owns the Yadkin riverbed. Such an argument is almost laughable.

The state should not 'buyout' the hydro property (at huge costs to taxpayers), but should instead seek the best partner in running the hydro-facility by maximizing the tax revenues to the benefit of citizens of NC.

And of course...protect the quality of the water!!!