Will Vicksburg experience much lower utility costs this winter?

Natural gas futures are down to $5.7/mcf today, December 5. Entergy and the City of Vicksburg base their fuel adjustment primarily on what they pay for natural gas. Based on that price, Vicksburg residents should experience significant relief. You can look at historical prices here:

http://www.wtrg.com/daily/ngfhl.gif

Will we see relief? Your opinion is appreciated.

Published in: on December 5, 2008 at 10:50 am  Comments (1)  

Cameras to enforce Vicksburg traffic laws?

The City of Vicksburg is considering the installation of cameras at the intersections of Halls Ferry Road/Pemberton Boulevard and Mission 66/Clay Street to finger drivers who disregard the traffic signals installed there. Natchez and other cities across the country have already approved such installations. At no cost to the city, the company that provides the cameras makes its profit by splitting traffic fines collected as a result of the apprehension of lawbreakers. The VPD supports the project, but there are many people across the country who have decried such installations as an infringement upon their rights. How do feel about such?

Published in: on November 19, 2008 at 10:40 am  Comments (5)  

“Tammy’s Club” to open Hwy 61S

“Tammy’s Place,” formerly “Club Extreme,” will open Friday night at its location at 4303 Highway 61S. Tammy Smith, owner, was granted a special exception by the city zoning board. Other attempts to open nightclubs at 3961 North Washington Street by Tyrone King, and 2321 and 2624 Washington Street by Anthony Chiplin, have in the past been denied, primarily because they were located near residential areas.

Published in: on November 6, 2008 at 12:51 pm  Comments (1)  

Will the city and Entergy pass along the natural gas savings?

Natural gas is $6.73/mbtu on the open market as of today, 10/14/08. That’s a far cry from the $16 – $18/mbtu level when Entergy began charging its 28% “rate increase,” and when the city raised its “adjustment” to the highest levels in our history. The City of Vicksburg today charges us approximately $19/mbtu, while Entergy bases its fuel adjustment charge for the most part on the price of natural gas. Will the city and Entergy pass along the natural gas savings to us?

Published in: on October 14, 2008 at 9:59 am  Comments (5)  

Vicksburg and its two (2) airports

Mayor Leyens is spending many of our tax dollars, plus many dollars from a federal grant, in an effort to make the local airport “luxurious.” Our taxes also fund the Vicksburg-Tallulah Regional Airport at Mound, Louisiana. The local airport had been “abandoned” by previous administrations who deemed the new (1993) VTR airport as necessary and desirable, and sufficient to serve Vicksburg and Warren County. So, why are we funding two airports? Wasn’t the danger imposed by the tall stack at the Baxter Wilson power plant the reason behind “abandoning” the local airport and building the VTR airport? Who will make use of the local airport? Who will use the VTR airport? Will the money spent on the local airport result in a return to the citizens of the city and county? If not, why upgrade the local airport at all? Is pressure from local businessmen behind the decision? Your opinions are appreciated.

Published in: on October 11, 2008 at 6:35 pm  Comments (11)  

Bare your booty with saggy jeans?

How do you feel about people who allow their underwear to be exposed by loosely fitted pants? Lots of towns and school districts are banning the practice. Here’s the experience of one…

A law that landed a Florida teenager in jail for having sagging jeans that exposed his underwear is unconstitutional, a judge has decided.

The 17-year-old spent a night in jail after police arrested him for exposing 4in (10cm) of boxer shorts in Riviera Beach, south-east Florida.

Town voters backed the law in March after supporters raised a petition.

However, a circuit judge ruled that the law was unconstitutional based on “the limited facts” of the case.

Carol Bickerstaff, defending teenager Julius Hart, had urged Judge Paul Moyle to throw out the law, saying: “Your honour, we now have the fashion police.”

Before making his ruling, Judge Moyle said: “We’re not talking about exposure of buttocks. No. We’re talking about someone who has on pants whose underwear are apparently visible to a police officer who then makes an arrest, and the basis is he’s then held overnight.”

Gaining popularity

Moves to ban baggy or saggy jeans are gaining popularity in several parts of the US.

Dallas, Texas and Atlanta, Georgia are among the larger US cities considering similar measures.

However, civil liberties groups say such laws will unfairly target young African-Americans.

The fashion is believed to have originated in prisons, where inmates are given baggy uniform trousers and have their belts removed to prevent hangings and beatings.

The trend made it to gangster rap videos in the 1980s and then spread to skateboarders and high-school hallways.

Should a similar ordinance be made law in Vicksburg?

Published in: on September 22, 2008 at 3:14 pm  Comments (8)  

What do Vicksburg Gas and Entergy have in common?

Answer: The cost of natural gas significantly affects the amount of your bill each month. And since the cost of natural gas has plummeted to roughly HALF what it cost at its peak a few months ago, your monthly bill should see a SIGNIFICANT decrease. Will it happen? What’s your opinion?

Published in: on September 4, 2008 at 9:45 am  Comments (4)  

Oak Street homeowners leaving town

Nate Holman and Nonie Jones, who bought their “dream home” in the 2500 block of Oak Street back in 2006, are packing to leave after gunshots outside their home late Sunday evening. The couple had been featured on the front page of the Vicksburg Post’s Sunday morning edition in a story regarding their love of the house, and their fear of the neighborhood. They accuse the police of being slow to respond to their calls (200 911 calls over the past year), and unconcerned about their predicament, though others in the area have praise for the police. Several factors contribute to the high incidence of crime in the area, and to the VPD’s failure to control it. Give us your opinion: Why is crime so rife along Oak and Speed Streets? What can be done to make the areas safe?

Published in: on August 21, 2008 at 8:54 pm  Comments (50)  

Vicksburg’s panhandlers

They’re alternately called panhandlers, bums, mentally ill, or homeless, and they inhabit most if not all of our larger cities. They also sit on the benches alongside Vicksburg’s downtown streets, sometimes singly, sometimes in groups. Some have been known to the local shopowners for years, some just appear from nowhere. Some have been known walk the streets intoxicated and belligerent, others merely sit and stare at passersby, or lie quietly sleeping. But at some point, each will stop a passing stranger or shopowner or one of the many residents of the downtown apartments and ask for a handout. When approached, many people are intimidated or fearful, while others choose nonrecognition. Some contribute, others don’t. For your discussion are the following questions: Should we try to change the behaviour of these people? Are they negatively affecting the quality of life in downtown Vicksburg? Are they affecting trade? Should ordinances or laws be enforced or crafted to prevent such activity? Should churches and like organizations such as the Salvation Army be more actively involved in trying to better the lives of these individuals? Many more questions come to mind – comment as you like.

Published in: on August 17, 2008 at 10:34 am  Comments (14)  

Vicksburg mayoral contest: Leyens vs. Winfield?

Assuming Alderman Mayfield or others do not enter the race, this year’s mayoral battle could well come down to a choice between Mayor Laurence Leyens and Board of Supervisor’s attorney Paul Winfield. Leyens has accomplished much for the city since his election to the office, but his frequent conflicts with others have earned him few friends. Winfield has apparently performed tolerably as Board attorney, but rumors of conflicts with business partners that have resulted in legal action may affect his candidacy. Your opinions of the two, pro and con, are invited.

Published in: on July 15, 2008 at 7:57 pm  Comments (56)  

How will you cope with the rising cost of energy?

Entergy has announced that its rates will increase by 28% over the next three months due to the higher costs of natural gas. Gasoline is at $4.00 a gallon and rising. The City of Vicksburg has raised natural gas prices five times this year. Almost everything we buy today costs more than yesterday. How will you cope? What would you recommend we do to stem the rising costs of energy? Would you recommend drilling offshore and in ANWR? How about alternative energy sources – wind, solar, geothermal, etc.? Would more coal and nuclear plants help? What role does conservation play, and of what will it consist? Are you planning on purchasing a more fuel-efficient vehicle? Your input is solicited.

Alternative transportation

An excellent “letter to the editor” in Sunday’s Post suggested more walking and bicycle-riding as a partial remedy to high gasoline bills, obesity, pollution and climate change, and heart disease and stroke, and even make Vicksburg a more attractive destination for tourists and residents. The letter further suggested that Vicksburg provide more bicycle and walking paths and trails. The suggestion is obviously a good one. But can Vicksburg and Warren county afford it? Or can they afford not to?

Vicksburg’s issues and challenges

We face many in the years to come. But progress has been and is being made in our city and county. From your viewpoint, what are our greatest accomplishments? What are our biggest challenges? What improvements in city/county government would you recommend? Higher/lower taxes? Timely notification of changes in property tax? Bigger/smaller government? More/less regulations? Code changes? Subsidies to lower fuel costs? More bond issues for further capital improvements? More/fewer casinos? Inventory tax elimination? Merging of additional city/county functions? Changes in law enforcement, including merging city police with sheriff’s department? Full staffing of the VPD? More emphasis on recycling? Changes to our public school system? More attention to illegal immigration? A new movie house? Better reporting of crimes and more attention to their prevention? More mass transit (rail)? Additional recreational facilities? More variety in our restaurants? Jail all the lawyers? Legalize marijuana? Mufflers for the horns on KCS’ trains? Impoundment of any vehicle rattling to the beat of boom-boom rap and other vulgar “music?” Make permanent the downtown post office? Bigger flower beds in Washington Street? More/less trees/plants/other esthetics?

Club XXL – 2321 Washington St., Vicksburg, MS

Vicksburg Speaks has obtained a small “flyer” advertising a new adult club here in Vicksburg  -Club XXL, located at 2321 Washington Street. City officials apparently have no knowledge of this new establishment. The building at 2321 Washington Street appears innocuous at present. Is the club operating incognito? See the following website for photos of the flyer.

http://photosmisc.blogspot.com/2008/06/culb-xxl-flyer-2321-washington-st.html

Published in: on June 5, 2008 at 6:08 pm  Comments (82)  

Another four year term for Leyens?

Mayor Laurence Leyens made clear this week that he will run for a third term as mayor of Vicksburg. “Whether you like me or not, you can’t deny progress,” he said. “I don’t feel like we’ve completely gotten there. I feel obligated to give (developers) an opportunity to invest and get the outcomes they’re expecting.” He went on to describe the progress made so far, particularly downtown, and to discuss the improvements to be made with the money obtained through the bond issue for the Oak Street Corridor project.

In your opinion, should Leyens be given another four-year term? Has he performed his duties in his first two terms to your satisfaction? Will you vote for him next year? Is there any advice you would give him? Who do you think will run against him? Would you recommend anyone?

Published in: on May 24, 2008 at 1:01 pm  Comments (9)