Sylvia Cooper

City Ink columnist and correspondent for The Augusta Chronicle.

Deke and Azziz: Where there's a mill, there's a way

Saturday, March 30, 2013 6:44 PM
Last updated Sunday, March 31, 2013 1:59 AM
  • Follow City Ink

The proposal Mayor Deke Copenhaver pitched to GRU President Dr. Ricardo Azziz and his cabinet to restore the historic Sibley and King mills for the expansion of the GRU campus looks good on paper. At least the artist’s rendering does.

Students are rowing on the Augusta Canal while others are bicycling on a paved path beside the canal over which a pedestrian bridge arches gracefully. The red brick mill looks like a castle with turrets, beneath a soaring tower, commonly known as the Confederate States Powder Works chimney, the lone remaining structure of the factory that produced gunpowder for the Confederacy’s military campaign during the Civil War. How un-PC in this day and age when hardly anybody but Civil War re-enactors have a good thing to say about our Southern heritage?

So obviously, it will never do for the most prominent feature to symbolize Rebel resistance. Therefore, if the mills restoration project comes to fruition, the chimney will either have to be demolished or renamed, and because it sits on the banks of the Augusta Canal, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, renaming it or draping a big black cover over it would be the only choices, and the cover would raise too many questions. So renaming it would be the most sensible option.

Blowing More Smoke Up Our Chimney: Just think, Azziz could announce a chimney-naming campaign and a branding committee and pay $45,500 for a local and nationwide survey to come up with a name that he, of course, would ignore. But I have a better idea.

After Sherman’s army had burned the South to the ground during the Civil War, the only things left standing in many areas were chimneys, which became known as “Sherman’s Sentinels”. So naming the chimney on GRU’s main campus Sherman’s Monument would solve that embarrassing Confederate problem, gratify the politically correct crowd and save upwards of $45,000.

They could hold a dedication ceremony like the one the Georgia Historical Society had at the historical marker on Broad Street last December honoring Union Gen. Montgomery Meigs who was instrumental in defeating the Confederacy. Meigs, who lived in Augusta as a young child, hated the Confederacy so much that after the war he ordered the Virginia estate of the South’s leading general, Robert E. Lee, to be turned into a national military cemetery to ensure Lee never returned to his home.

It could be a trend.

The Sons of the Confederacy might not like for the chimney to be named Sherman’s Monument, but their heritage means even less to Azziz, Gov. Nathan Deal and the Georgia Board of Regents than that of the alumni and faculties of the Medical College of Georgia and Augusta State University.

Skirting the Open Meetings Law: The mayor and commissioners went to great pains to keep the Augusta Regional Collaboration Project’s proposal a secret by meeting in twos, threes or fours in order not to violate the law by having a commission quorum present and therefore having to notify the public.

Learning of the meetings and the Collaboration Project’s plan last week, cleared up something that’s puzzled me for months, and that’s the Boy King’s namby-pamby response to Azziz’s deceitful disregard for the Augusta community and the colleges’ alumni and Boy King’s refusal to get on board the “Save the A” campaign.

It wasn’t for lack of backbone after all, It was because he and the Collaboration were collaborating with the other collaborators at the time.

Oh well, as everybody knows, money talks – and you know the rest of it.

No Crack Near the Kroc: I began last Sunday’s column this way: Augusta is a city of incongruities. It’s the Garden City but has a lot of funky smells. It has a Kroc Center close to a crack center. It has Arts in the Heart and the Soul Bar. It’s a city on the move until the trains roll into town.

Saturday, I received this e-mail from lifetime Harrisburg resident and former Augusta Commission District 1 candidate Butch Palmer:

“Sylvia, I am elated to say that Harrisburg is no longer the “crack center.” Sheriff Richard Roundtree started busting drug houses the first week that he was in office! I can honestly say that I DO NOT know of any Harrisburg drug houses. I could NOT say this during the time Ronnie Strength was in office!!!”

Butch is so dramatic.

Times Flies In Prison if You’re Not the Prisoner: Former Republican state Sen. Frank Albert and his wife, Sister, visited former state Rep. Robin Williams in prison in Estill, S.C., two weeks ago, and also saw former state Sen. Charles Walker. Both have lost weight and look good, Albert said.

“They didn’t have a hang-dog look,” he said.

Williams said he gets up at 4 a.m. and walks on the track,” Albert said. “I think he’s going to a work- release program in Atlanta soon. He’s been in there eight years. I asked, ‘What are you going to do when you get out?’ He said, ‘I can sell anything.”

(If you don’t believe it, just ask the five folks he recruited in his plan to loot the Community Mental Health Center. Four of them went to prison too. Make that three. One of them died before he could be incarcerated.)

Williams was in the state Legislature when Albert, who helped get him elected, was in the Senate. The two had a lot of catching up to do, and the visit lasted three-and-a-half hours, Albert said.

“It seemed like 15 minutes.”

Walker was convicted in federal court of conspiracy, mail fraud and filing false tax returns for his charity football event, the CSRA Classic, and was sentenced to 121 months in prison.

I Yam What I Yam!: Augusta Commissioner Marion Williams said he hasn’t changed since his first two terms on the commission and is speaking out publicly now on some of the same things he did them.

“Go back and check the record,” he said.

I never doubted it, and here’s a 10-year-old example from the City Ink archive vault in July 2003:

LOOKING FOR RELIEF: Augusta Commissioner Marion Williams was grilling Recreation Director Tom Beck during a commission committee meeting last week, but Administrator George Kolb felt the heat.

During a long harangue over delays in the Savannah Place gymnasium project, Mr. Williams, the administrator’s constant critic, said he wasn’t blaming Mr. Beck, but the higher-ups.

“That’s people at the top - sit here and let people get away with doing whatever they want to do when they want to do it, to show you you ain’t supposed to have enough sense to know when you’re being bamboozled,” Mr. Williams fumed. “Well, I’ve been bamboozled enough times to know when it’s coming about. You can’t pour water on me and tell me it’s raining. Something’s wrong at the top.”

“Somebody shoot me,” Mr. Kolb muttered as the meeting ended.

Vote for Joe – Again!: Former Augusta Commissioner Joe Bowles is participating in the Dancing Stars of Augusta benefiting the Alzheimer’s Association. The event, based on the popular TV show, pairs 10 local “celebrities” with 10 professional dancers, all raising funds by gaining votes. The dancers then come together to compete in a one-night gala dinner-dance event. Money raised from the gala will be used to fund care and support for families in the Augusta region, as well as Alzheimer’s research.

“Happy Easter, and don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.”

Comments (19) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
TrulyWorried
15386
Points
TrulyWorried 03/30/13 - 08:31 pm
5
2
Happy Easter

Sylvia Cooper - you are the gem of the CSRA and Rick McKee is the hero!!

Riverman1
86917
Points
Riverman1 03/30/13 - 09:13 pm
4
0
Trying to Figure Out the Albert's Visit

I'm trying to figure out why Sister and Frank spent so much time with Robin. But he's right, he can sell anything. Maybe Sister wants to hire him to sell those fake teeth she manufactures. She told me once that when she first met Frank he wore some of the funny fake teeth as a joke. He went in another room and she told her girl friend who was in on the joke what a handsome man he was, but it was too bad his teeth were so ugly. He returned to the room sans ugly fake teeth. Heh.

PKRichmond
68
Points
PKRichmond 03/31/13 - 01:28 am
3
18
Shameful !

This is disgraceful journalism. there is no plan to demolish the tower! there is no plan to do re-name or cover the canal, but yet the writer has the guts to write this unethical fear mongering. The university and the town has to move on. This is a good thing for the city, are you still bringing that "Save the A" disgruntle on this? please be mature and fair in your writings. Can you please be positive , than mustering all the forces against good things ? Just because you don't like few persons, don't try to create more conflicts between the city and the academic institution. Downtown and this area are not in the perfect form. Let them develop it. !!!

Riverman1
86917
Points
Riverman1 03/31/13 - 04:24 am
15
1
PKRichmond, Just For You

From Dictionary.com

sat·ire
[sat-ahyuhr]

noun
1. the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.

2. a literary composition, in verse or prose, in which human folly and vice are held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule.

seenitB4
90795
Points
seenitB4 03/31/13 - 06:52 am
10
0
Satire...whoaaa

Now RM ya know the good ole boys don't know a thang bout satire....weuns can barely spell satire....

Keep up the good work Sylvia....satire or flat tire...we luv ya..:):):)

seenitB4
90795
Points
seenitB4 03/31/13 - 06:53 am
6
0
Fear mongering...hahah

Welcome to my world Sylvia......hahah lol

nocnoc
44930
Points
nocnoc 03/31/13 - 09:11 am
11
2
Is any one keeping count?

Every piece of property deeded to the State of GA. removes it from the ARC TAX Books.

Every piece of property owned by a church is Tax Exempt, not just the Church itself. This includes all those converted 7-11's, corner stores and shopping centers for church related activities.

Surprise, now we know we have a few people gaming the system. Setting up mini "private" Churches to umbrella properties and claim Tax Exempt status for adjoining properties.

Want a Shock
Last night I was told by a county official. Right now in Augusta-Richmond Co. has between $750M and $1B worth of Property that is Tax Exempt due to State, Federal or Church ownership. If you counted Ft. Gordon that figure would be closer to $75 Billion.

But he did say the ARC figure was really closer to the $1Billion and ARC can't afford to keep doing this.

So can DOWNTOWN afford to continue to be Santa to the State and Business based Churches?.

Because every ARC Taxpayer is Their Elf's. Which means their Elf's have to work harder and/or pay more to make up for Santa. While the ARC budget still grows and residential Downtown properties diminish in value?

So, If some type of sweet heart deal is done after President AZZZzzzz forgot the "A".

It will clearly demonstrate the "Save The A" efforts were a Downtown farce and certain powers downtown never truly supported it or cared.

But if the already overpaid ($600K) politically connected President AZZZzzz is to get the Mills, then Lease them to the Univ Of Augusta for 50 years and require the UOA to pay the normal taxes on it.

Yes I said Univ Of Augusta .

Think about it

President AZZZzzzz cannot be hurting for $$money$$, which is obvious, based on his continued expansion efforts.

Make him Lease it so we don't lose the Taxes.
Santa's Elf's are getting tired.

nocnoc
44930
Points
nocnoc 03/31/13 - 09:19 am
9
1
One County in Metro Atlanta

Had to put a limit on the number of churches per block.
Because they were nothing more than a Tax Exempt Status game.

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 03/31/13 - 09:42 am
2
2
ELVES, please.
Unpublished

ELVES, please.

Gage Creed
17859
Points
Gage Creed 03/31/13 - 10:01 am
3
1
What's ELVES got to do with

What's ELVES got to do with this....Tommy Lee Jones done told us he's gone home....

nocnoc
44930
Points
nocnoc 03/31/13 - 10:13 am
4
1
What is the plural form elf it is Elves

Sorry for the typo.
Santa Deke's and his owners are working us so hard for the next mid season gift, some things are slipping through the cracks.

We can't talk about it now.
But the next one is even bigger, and it is going to take a lot of Elves to cover it.

allhans
24009
Points
allhans 03/31/13 - 11:32 am
8
1
I have a great name for the

I have a great name for the chimney..Let's call it Confederate States Powder Works chimney. Why do we continue to try to rewrite American history.

Fiat_Lux
15912
Points
Fiat_Lux 03/31/13 - 12:15 pm
3
3
Nocnoc has it nailed.

Not that it will matter, unfortunately.

dichotomy
34415
Points
dichotomy 03/31/13 - 12:23 pm
3
0
Don't worry nocnoc......all

Don't worry nocnoc......all of the "tax exempt" and "low valuation" properties are being calculated into the ongoing "tax equalization" talks as we speak.......and YOUR'S and MINE are going up.

countyman
20588
Points
countyman 03/31/13 - 02:20 pm
4
2
The home prices for metro

The home prices for metro Augusta were 20% higher in Feb 2013 compared to Feb 2012.

What residential properties downtown are diminishing in value? The Central Business District is one of the richest areas in the entire CSRA(West Augusta, Aiken, Evans, Summerville, Martinez, Forest Hills).

If the surrounding areas include 'downtown', then the home prices are up in Laney Walker, Olde Town, etc.

I don't understand how anybody could be against GRU taking over vacant land/property. The Enterprise Mill was renovated into mixed-use(residential, companies, restaurant, etc), and nobody stopped any developers from buying the King or Sibley Mill. Look at the amount of growth in the urban core of Savannah(SCAD), Durham(Duke), and Knoxville(UT) attributed to college expansions.

Gage Creed
17859
Points
Gage Creed 03/31/13 - 03:58 pm
3
0
hmmmm I'm fairly sure SCAD

hmmmm I'm fairly sure SCAD and Duke are PRIVATE institutions... You think that would trouble those who like spending other folks money.

allhans
24009
Points
allhans 03/31/13 - 07:35 pm
4
0
My neighbor in Forest Hills

My neighbor in Forest Hills had to reduce his price by $28,000.00 to find a buyer..
Even with the Feds pumping money into the housing market and the ridiculous low interest rate...it is not easy ....

PKRichmond
68
Points
PKRichmond 04/01/13 - 12:28 am
2
5
@Riverman

Look at her previous writings . She has a history of attacking Azziz and she is obsessive about it. It is hard to distinguish whats satire and what real in some of her writings. But no matter, she manages to vent her negative opinions about anything involves Az.

@ countyman you are right! we all need to think positively about this. You don't want the city to be called Disgusta for ever .. Home prices should go up and the quality of life should improve. Just look across the river or evans. There were able to achieve remarkable public projects ( like the greenway ) in few years. But when it comes to Augusta, someone tries to kill the project for their personal ego !!

Gage Creed
17859
Points
Gage Creed 04/01/13 - 08:45 pm
0
0
While some promote the

While some promote the project for their personal gain!!

Riverman1
86917
Points
Riverman1 04/02/13 - 08:18 am
0
0
PKRichmond, so you had a good

PKRichmond, so you had a good idea she wasn't serious about putting a cover over the chimney. You are just upset that she was criticizing Azziz...as most of the CSRA does, also.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Democrats target turnout for Sunday voting

Registered voters in Augusta-Richmond County can cast ballots in the Nov. 4 election from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday in the Advance Voting Center at Augusta Municipal Building, 530 Greene St.
Search Augusta jobs