Make Radiation Visible Workshop Is Saturday At UTC

Friday, February 21, 2014

As part of its campaign to Make Radiation Visible, a Tennessee Valley environmental group, BEST/MATRR, is offering a Rendevous for Action Workshop Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at UTC, Room 124 in Holt Hall next to the University Center on 5th Street. The workshop offers free training on safe and scientifically sound methods for monitoring and recording radiation in the community. The group has an ongoing radiation monitoring program in the valley, and invites citizens to join their monitoring teams or to create their own. 

The workshop will be led by BEST/MATRR's Monitoring Project director, Garry Morgan, and
by Lou Zeller, executive director of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, a
league of environmental groups in seven southeastern states.  BEST/MATRR, a local group of concerned citizens in north Alabama and Tennessee, is the Bellefonte Efficiency & Sustainability Team / Mothers Against TN River Radiation, a member chapter of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL). More can be learned about the group and the issues on their website at MATRR.org.

Mr. Morgan is retired from the U.S. Army Medical Department with experience and training in Radiation Protection, Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Decontamination and emergency response in military and civilian medical care settings, with military experience in Personnel Reliability-Nuclear Surety inspections. Mr. Morgan's training will include protocols of the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security and State of Alabama Department of Health Radiation Control. Mr. Zeller will be training in data analysis methods of the Technical Education Research Centers Statistics in Action program.

BEST/MATRR has been monitoring radiation in the Tennessee Valley, and is linked to a
real-time online network of groups and individuals monitoring around the country. The group
published a preliminary 52 page report last summer, Radioactive Emissions and Health Hazards Surrounding Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant in Alabama. The monitoring in north Alabama is ongoing, but they have expanded their range to include east Tennessee from Sequoyah Nuclear Power Plant, 17 miles from Chattanooga to Watts Bar Nuclear Power Plant near Oak Ridge and Knoxville. They plan to publish a report on that area later this year. 

They launched a national campaign to Make Radiation Visible last month in Washington,
DC, as part of a multi-group committee meeting with Nuclear Regulatory commissioners,
Environmental Protection Agency radiation specialists, and other government officials. With the
Make Radiation Visible campaign, the group proposes a plan to reveal these invisible
toxins for public health and safety. 

First, they call on the NRC to upgrade monitoring rules, replacing outdated quarterly averaging, currently reported only once a year, with real-time online data about radiation levels around nuclear power plants. Second, just like odor markers for natural gas and propane, they ask that visible dye-markers be dispersed with emergency radiation plumes, providing immediate warning about where the radioactive releases are traveling – which could be a critical life-saver for the public and first-responders. Third, they call for public health alerts when these known carcinogens and mutagens are released into the environment.  

Says campaign developer, Gretel Johnston, “We have weather alerts, smog alerts, and even pollen alerts – why not radioactivity alerts when these poisons are both routinely and accidentally
released into our air and water? We are alerted to other hazardous substance spills, why not
radiation? The people being exposed to these toxins deserve to know the levels of radioactivity
in their environment – when it is released, not a year later.” 


Deputy Spurlock, Always On Duty To Give A Helping Hand, Named Whitfield County Employee Of The Month For April

Going above and beyond seems to be the norm for Deputy Tommy Lee Spurlock of the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office. For example, he was off duty, on his way home after working a detail, when he noticed a vehicle matching a description of an armed robbery suspect.  His investigation determined that it was the same person who still had on the same clothes worn during the ... (click for more)

The Chattanooga Convention Center Celebrates Its 30th Anniversary

The Chattanooga Convention Center opened its doors 30 years ago as the largest public meeting facility in the Scenic City at over 300,000 square feet in total size, with 185,000 square feet of rentable space.  In the heart of downtown, the CCC was designed with the intent to create national reach for Chattanooga and draw more visitors to the city. The center expanded to keep ... (click for more)

Dunlap Man Arrested, Accused Of Shooting Sheriff's Deputy Following Wednesday Night Pursuit

Shaun Michael Powers, 21, of Dunlap accused of shooting a Sequatchie County deputy following a Wednesday night pursuit, was arrested and charged by special agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. At the request of 12th District Attorney General J. Michael Taylor, TBI Special Agents began investigating the circumstances surrounding the shooting of Sequatchie County ... (click for more)

Attorney For Bobby Stone Hits Berke, Fletcher For Commenting On Pending Case

The attorney for Bobby Stone on Wednesday said it was "fundamentally wrong" for Mayor Andy Berke and Police Chief Fred Fletcher to comment on the case in which Mr. Stone is charged with domestic assault against his wife, Berke advisor Lacie Stone. Attorney Lee Davis said the comments were unfair and "a disservice to the court." Mayor Berke denied any inappropriate contact ... (click for more)

Case Handled Like Any Other? - And Response

It is interesting that Chief Fletcher would deem the handling of the Mayor's encounter as typical or normal. Is the Chief asking the public to believe that all misdemeanor domestic violence arrests include a 4-hour taped interrogation, and delayed reporting after a visit to the Chief’s house. Of course, we believe that Chief Fletcher. April Eidson * * *  I ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The American Dream, 2016

On this, the week of commencement, junior high graduations, and achievement at every level is displayed, we stand with hope and wonder as the next wave of promising Americans gives our nation the reason we pray for our next tomorrow. On Monday, as Vice President Joe Biden addressed 950 cadets who would become 2nd Lieutenants by the end of the day at the United States Military ... (click for more)