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Stop I-3 Coalition Newsletter

September, 2007


From the Chair

Study Far From Stopped

Hello Everybody,

Thanks to all of you who have written to your representative and senators asking for their support in taking I-3 off the books once and for all.  If you haven’t voiced your concern yet, please do so now.  Contact information and talking points at http://www.stopi-3.org/action.html.  Our congressmen still need a lot of education and encouragement. 

We are thrilled to have Representative Paul Broun in office.  Unlike his predecessor, who sponsored the I-3 legislation, Broun is firmly against this unneeded interstate. Please continue to urge Rep. Broun to make the most of his remaining term and remove the earmark he inherited.

After a month of trying, I also finally got my five minutes with Senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia. He said that the study of I-3 was necessary so that all could have their say – good reason to flood his office with letters to the contrary. He seemed surprised when I told him that the Savannah River Parkway from Savannah to Augusta was nearing completion and the Georgia Road Improvement Project called for the four-laning of Georgia 17 from near Augusta to Toccoa. He said, “Well, then they won’t need another four-lane road will they?” Again he assured me those counties that don’t want an interstate will not get one.  Yet how many interstates are only built half-way, or in bits where the people in one county supposedly want it and not in the next where they have been more vocal in their opposition? 

The Coalition is still attempting to talk with Senator Saxby Chambliss.  His staff has assured us that he is on the same page as Senator Isakson.

We continue to work to raise awareness along the corridor south of I-85.  If you have contacts in between Lavonia, Athens, Augusta and Savannah, please forward them this email.  We would like to connect with more people in that region.  Their senators and representative especially need to hear from them.

I encourage each of you to try to actually talk with your congressmen.  Getting to talk with them personally is not easy, but it greatly enhances the written communications they are receiving.   At least through conversations the staff members begin to know who we are and what is at stake.  If you have a connection with one of these congressmen and would be willing to speak with them on the I-3 issue, I or our executive director would be glad to accompany you.

We need to keep making our points that the interstate is unneeded, unwanted, and economically and environmentally disastrous.  Meanwhile, if the study moves forward, members of the Stop I-3 Coalition will continue to ready us to show the world that this interstate is a horrible idea. We continue to raise awareness along the route from Savannah to Knoxville, working to obtain more county resolutions like the ones posted on our website. 

You may reach me at info@stopi-3.org.  I welcome news from you at any time. 

          — Lucy Bartlett,
Chair, Stop I-3 Coalition



Come on down to the Conservation Fair this Saturday

All members and supports of the Stop I-3 Coalition are invited to attend the Conservation Fair in Clayton, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., this Saturday, September 15, hosted by our partner supporting organization, the Chattooga Conservancy.

The Stop I-3 Coalition will have a table with petitions for new supporters to sign, materials to show your support for stopping the road (bumper stickers, yard signs), and volunteers ready to answer your questions.

Details at www.chattoogariver.org, include appearances by raptor rehabilitator Monteen McCord, storyteller Barbara Freeman as well as food, drink and music.  The fair is being held in Clayton, Georgia, at the corner of Pinnacle Drive and Warwoman Road.  
 

Save the date - October 27, 2007

We are having a party for all the Stop I-3 supporters under the oak trees behind the Tiger Mountain Vineyards on Saturday, October 27th!  We will have a picnic around noon, music, and a catch-up-on –what-is-happening and getting-to-know-each-other good time. If you would like to help plan this fun gathering, please let us know at info@stopi-3.org.

Tiger Mountain Vineyards are two miles south of Clayton, GA on Old 441.  The tasting room will be open for those who would like to sample the wine.  More details and a map will soon be in your e-mail box. 



Sharing your time and talents
with the Stop I-3 Coalition


The Coalition has ongoing, short-term, and one-time needs that our volunteers ably step up and fill, enabling the organization to be even more effective in its work.  We would like to know about your interests and talents so we may contact you as the need for them arises.  Positions include monitoring news sources for transportation related articles, coordinating events, and networking with elected and government officials.  Go to http://www.stopi-3.org/volunteer.html to review the complete list of options and to let us know what you are interested in. 

The Stop I-3 Coalition appreciates your support, whether that has been signing a petition, responding to an action alert, writing a letter to your newspaper editor, or giving money.  You have helped make a difference in stopping this road.  Thank you for considering giving more.
 

Conservation Impacts of Corridor K


The plans for Corridor K, generally aimed at linking Chattanooga with Asheville, were conceived and put into play over 40 years ago. Although there has been environmental analysis as sections have come up, there was never an environmental analysis, environmental planning, or any real environmental consideration of the entire route. Because of this lack of planning and forethought, the sections that have not been constructed are planned through the most difficult terrain and some of the most sensitive habitat and scenic areas of Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee. 

These sections, if constructed, would cause profound environmental and scenic destruction and would cost billions in taxpayer money to build. These uncompleted sections have been put on hold for precisely these reasons. Their environmental and economic costs are just too high. Recently there have been efforts to revive these projects. This effort is ill advised and ignores the environmental impacts and the high cost of these projects when existing roads need maintenance. 

If this road were to be punched through, one of the hardest sections of I-3 to construct would already be mostly completed.  If you want to be involved with this particular project of the Stop I-3 Coalition, let us know on the volunteer interests form here. For more details about Corridor K, go to http://www.stopi-3.org/research/corridor_k.html

 



Website chocked full of information


The Stop I-3 Coalition website is a great resource for I-3 relatied information.  New postings since our last newsletter went out:



New Northern Arc Proposed

The Georgia Department of Transportation has revived plans for a new “Northern Arc,” an interstate-style beltway north of Atlanta.  The previous plan fell of its own political weight as Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue first took office.

Now, Perdue’s highway department is reviving the arc idea, but proposing to locate it further north (and closer to the Appalachians,) roughly on a line from Interstate 75 at Calhoun to Cumming, Georgia, and from there somehow over to Interstate 85.

The coalition will be monitoring Northern Arc developments closely.




Burma Shave matters

The Stop I-3 Coalition reminds you that we have some great Burma Shave Sign sets available for your yard or pasture fence and yard signs (16" x 24") with our name and web address to place in your yard to show your support of stopping I-3. For more information or to order your signs call Sandy Lyndon at 706.754.0046 or email her at sandy@bbinc.org




Send the money!

Stop I-3 Coalition is a lean, low-budget enterprise – always has been -- whose success has largely depended on the hard work of willing volunteers who pitched in to further the cause.

Meeting our goals, both short- and long-term, also means that we are going to have to raise a bit more cold, hard cash. That’s a fact.

So please dig deep enough to send money, today, right now.

  • On the web, at http://www.stopi-3.org/donate.html
  • Or, mail checks or money orders (made out to SAFC/Stop I-3 Coalition,)
    46 Haywood Street, Suite 323, Asheville, North Carolina 28801-2838.


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