06
May
14

5.6.14 … “This media we call social is anything but, when we open our computers and it’s our doors we shut” …

Look Up, YouTube:  When I watched this, I thought to myself, “well done” and “guilty.”

via ▶ Look Up – YouTube.

“This media we call social is anything but, when we open our computers and it’s our doors we shut”… This is one of the most vital messages that everyone needs to hear.

Look Up is a spoken word for the “online” generation. Written, performed and directed by Gary Turk, it is an extremely important life lesson for our youth.  Children are growing up in a world where they don’t play outside or communicate with their friends. It seems today everything is done via text message or over the internet. It’s heartbreaking… I feel guilty myself. We need to spread this message before it’s too late. Please do your part and SHARE it with everyone you know.

via This Is A Video EVERYONE Needs To See. For The First Time In My Life, I’m Speechless. | PetFlow Blog – The most interesting news for pet parents around the world..

 

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver:  I laughed, really laughed and it is now on the dvr. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver | The Official Website for the HBO Series.

Small Town_Deep South, Lost & Found,  Hawkinsville GA, kith/kin:  Part of my childhood.  This is the big town 12 miles from the farming town/community of my grandparents.

The little town where my family all lives is called Hawkinsville, and it is where I spent my summers and holidays.  My aunt and uncle have one son who is a year older than me, so we were playmates during my family’s visits.  He and I spent countless hours climbing the big magnolia tree in my grandmother’s side yard, making mud pies, and playing with the old circus toy set tucked away in my grandmother’s closet. The Georgia of my childhood memories is a magical place, and my uncle was a big part of that magic.

via Small Town, Deep South | Lost & Found.

And following links on Hawkinsville GA, I found this: Hawkinsville River Market – Home and this article about the project.  A Hawkinsville Success Story…. Cotton Mill Lofts and River Market Lofts | Shelly Berryhill

cotton-mill-lofts

It was YEARS in the making.   But persistence pays off.   Sitting quietly on 7 acres along the banks of the Ocmulgee river sat an old abandoned textile mill.   Once a thriving business, for years now it sat empty and was fast deteriorating.  Thieves were stealing the copper wiring.   The environmental hazards were many:  from lead paint to the residuals from the towel coloring process used years earlier.    But now it is a 40+ unit residential complex, almost full, with no environmental issues and has a (soon to be) community market attached.

Mr. Sam Way, III knew of a private development company located in Winston Salem, NC.   He knew of them because they had renovated the Historic Hotel in Cordele, Ga where one of his banks is located.   He called and invited them to visit Hawkinsville to see if there were any properties here they might be interested in refurbishing.   They came.   They looked at the Old Hawkinsville Hotel, the Old Hospital, the upstairs “apartments” in many of our downtown buildings and the old Textile Mill.    While interested in all, they kept coming back to the Textile Mill.   However, this was probably going to be a 10 million dollar project, so they were looking for whatever assistance the local community and/or the state could give.   Brainstorming sessions between Landmark Development and the local governments were held.   The Hawkinsville DDA (Downtown Development Authority) wanted one of the three buildings to utilize as a community market and set about getting grant dollars to help.    Landmark was willing to develop one of the two remaining buildings and was seeing what grant dollars that the state might could help with.   They first looked at Historic Tax Credits, but this did not prove viable.   They finally settled on Low Income Housing Tax Credits as a means to fund this project.   The City of Hawkinsville applied for and got a $500K One Georgia Grant to help with the remediation of the environmental issues.  (The City also agreed to pay for the initial real estate appraisal and helped with the grant application fee.  The City also committed to help with any demolition needed with in-kind contributions of city employee labor).

The DDA completed (with the help of Middle Georgia Regional Development Authority) and obtained a $500K grant as well to turn one of the buildings into a community market.

Landmark got a Feasibility study completed and was ready to submit the Low Income Housing Tax Credit application to DCA (Department of Community Affairs).

THEN THE REAL ESTATE MARKET COLLAPSED.   DCA wisely ordered a NEW Feasibility study based on the CURRENT market conditions and the new study called for a much lower occupancy facility.  It was back to the drawing board for all parties.   But no one quit.  No one gave up.  Finally, a few years had gone by, but the new plans and new grant applications were submitted.   DCA approved and we were on our way.

Construction began on both the Cotton Mill Lofts and the Hawkinsville River Market.   In the mean time, that left one building with no use.   A federal grant application for Housing was submitted to the federal government and a $1 million dollar grant was awarded there.   So River Market Lofts (ten slightly more upper scale units) were now on the drawing board as well.

So what is the final outcome of much patience and persistence?  We now have the completed Cotton Mill Lofts and River Market Lofts.   Adding people into our downtown area to shop and live.    We are in the process of trying to open the Hawkinsville River Market, to highlight and sell local produce and merchandise from middle Georgia farmers and vendors.

But at what cost?   Well, the City of Hawkinsville put out around $30K in hard dollars and another $110K in matching in-kind commitments for demolition help.  What did we get in return?   ALOT!

A former environmental eyesore is now a thriving residential complex.   The private developer is required to pay back (over 20 years) the $30K, the $110K AND the $500K grant awarded.    But the great news is that the money will all go to HAWKINSVILLE, not back to the state government.   So our $30K investment will reap over $600K in hard dollars in return.   WOW!

AND, now we have 40+ units flushing toilets, washing dishes, and cleaning clothes on a daily basis.   All of that water is being purchased from the City of Hawkinsville’s water department!

AND, all trash generated is being picked up and billed by the City of Hawkinsville’s sanitation department.

AND, now we have a multi-million dollar real estate parcel on the tax roles (paying property taxes ) rather than a couple of hundred thousand dollar depreciating abandoned textile mill.

AND, now we have proof that public-private partnerships WORK!   The government can’t do it all.  We don’t have the money or the resources.  But we CAN assist private developers to the extent that the law allows and help everyone come out a winner.

via A Hawkinsville Success Story…. Cotton Mill Lofts and River Market Lofts | Shelly Berryhill.

And from the River Market site, I found this …

Oliver Oil Company, artisan oils, pecan oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil,  infused peanut and sunflower oils:

In case you missed it earlier, we added a new line of artisan oils this week. All oils are unrefined and cold-pressed from non-GMO crops all produced and pressed on Oliver Oil Company’s small family farm! They are all incredible and your taste buds will thank you!! Oils include: Pecan, Peanut, and Sunflower. Peanut and Sunflower oils are also available infused.

Members add these to this upcoming week’s order before the TUESDAY CUTOFF! If you haven’t joined us yet, we would love to have you!! REGISTER HERE–> http://www.localorganicmoms.com/

 

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097e288a8e31da936b3d4dcdabc8fbddThe Oliver Farm located near Pitts, Georgia in Wilcox County is a family owned and operated working farm.  Since 2012 the farm has been recognized by the state of Georgia for being a centennial farm; a farm owned by the same family for 100 years or more.  Orginally purchased in 1903 by Daniel Henderson Watson, the farm is currently owned and operated by the fifth generation of the same family.  Crops grown include cotton, peanuts, grain sorghum, rye, soybeans, and sunflowers.  Livestock continues to be an integral part of the farm with beef cattle and swine still on the property. Several original buildings still stand on the farm and continue to be used today.  The log cabin home and kitchen of D.H. Watson still stands and are in use today.  They also serve as reminders of hardships of an earlier time and the perserverance and determination of an earlier time.

The oil business came about from an idea several years ago when fuel prices soared and the American economy faltered. There was a lot of talk about alternative fuel sources. That sparked an interest in an area that I knew very little about. I began researching, visiting oil plants, and talking to individuals in this field.My initial thought was to make my own fuel. The equipment needed to extract oil is expensive, and the savings on fuel would not pay for the equipment for many years. I was fortunate enough to meet a couple of people who influenced me to consider growing, processing, and selling food grade oil. So, in 2012, I grew my first crop of sunflowers for oil production. This endeavor has been very challenging, but deeply rewarding. Currently we are extracting oil from sunflowers, peanuts, and pecans. Plans are in the works for more oilseeds to be used in the future.

via About Us.

**Pecan Oil Dip Recipe-  1 cup Oliver Oil Co. Pecan Oil, 1 1/2 tsp basil, 1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, 1 1/2 tsp brown sugar.  *Combine all ingredients , except oil in a bowl.  Pour oil over and mix.

via Links.

 Bible writers, Thomas Merton, What I Learned During Lent- James Howell: 

Bible writers! Thomas Merton, in his wonderful journal called The Sign of Jonas, began thinking one day that, if he struggled to get anything out of Scripture, he might actually ask the Bible writers themselves for help – assuming they are in heaven, and living eternally…

He mused, “I have a great, though sometimes confused, affection for the writers of the Bible. I feel closer to them than to almost any other writers I know of. Isaiah, Moses, David, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are all part of my life. They are always about me. They look over my shoulder, earnest men… I feel they are very concerned about me, and that they want me to understand what God had them write down – and that they have always surrounded me with solicitous prayers, and that they will always love me and protect me.”

Wow. Bible study feels like a solo activity: I open the book and try to make sense of it or find something helpful. It can be hard, we’re buffaloed at times, distracted or maybe even bored. Maybe I’m in a group, like Disciple – and I at least have friends helping me to reflect and dig deep.

But Merton expands the circle sumptuously! Maybe I am alone, I am hoping to read something from God, a word of hope, or just to know more about God and understand what the heck is going on in my life from God’s viewpoint. What if I could think of Isaiah, Matthew, Paul and John hovering above me, rooting for me, praying for me and loving me?

Easter is about the resurrection, about the dead having a wonderful communion with God – so we might well expect the ancient writers to enjoy each other but also be somehow palpably available to us, maybe even eager to see someone reading their material they labored over and treasured so much.

I’m a writer – and believe me, I think about this stuff long after it’s gone, and I hope and pray you get something from it, and I stand ready to help, to answer a question or two. How much more then would God’s inspired authors feel even more strongly about you and their marvelous library of publications we call the bible? Could Merton be right – that you have some invisible but real help?

James

james@mpumc.org

via What I Learned During Lent- James Howell

Viking River Cruises, Downton Abbey, power of advertising: The other day I posted this inquiry on Facebook:

Last week, I asked one of our pastors what he was doing this summer. He responded that he was taking a river cruise. He then supplemented his response and said that obviously he and his wife were fans of Downton Abbey. So I wonder, has Viking River Cruises seen a big increase due to the popularity of Downton Abbey?

Several friends responded that they had friends or family taking Viking River Cruises because of the ads.   I would love to see the numbers.

 


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