With another comment today on the GAGOP Resolution from the Executive Director of the Southeastern Wood Producers Association, I did some additional research on LEED certification regarding timber, and saw this newspiece from AthensOnline.
As the story states, one doesn’t have to use LEED-certified wood to receive LEED certification. What it doesn’t state is that there are different levels of LEED certification and, for that reason, every point counts. LEED uses the international FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification for wood. This certification actively and openly discourages pine plantations.
For the free marketeers, the problems are legion. The FSC agreement addresses labor relations, the community interests in private property, and even how much timberland can be clearcut at a time. The limit, unless there are extenuating market demands, is 40 acres. The exception allows for 80 acres. For people with hundreds or thousands of acres of pines, this is simply not acceptable. It also negates the advantage most of Georgia has in the speed with which pine trees reach maturity by forcing harvesting over an extended period of time.
If you have lived in Georgia for very long, you have likely heard some story about so-called dirty elections. Whether that story was some elaborate tale of how the dead rose from their graves and voted for Eugene Talmadge (in alphabetical order) or some local election gone wrong. Perhaps you aren’t aware that Dodge County was at the center of the largest vote buying scandal that has ever been prosecuted – just a few years ago.
You’d really think we would learn our lesson here – and some people have, others not so much. The former Sheriff of Dodge County was caught buying votes in his 2004 election. That’s like the fox guarding the hen house, as my Granny would say. And for his misbehavior, Lawton Douglas was sentenced to 18 months in prison. Let’s hope he doesn’t run into this guy.
Voting irregularities down here are not likely to end anytime soon, but I think the defense attorney in this case nailed the issue:
“To say that voter fraud is a problem in our district, in our circuit, is an understatement, from the municipal level up to some of the county offices, if not higher. … It cheapens the process. We have a pretty hard time getting good people to run for office in our little town.”
This isn’t the sort of press central Georgia needs. And this isn’t an anomaly – these problems have happened here before and after all that fallout they continue. You can read the full story in the Macon Telegraph.