Slabbed, The local cyber meeting place for the I-10 corridor

One thing I’ve learned doing Slabbed is established print media do not mix and match their state lines. Here at Slabbed the only rule is there are no rules. The benefit to this philosophy today is the following Anita Lee story, which traces its family roots to Thomas “Butch” Ward of the River Birch Ward family. Everyone should therefore read it.

EPA wants Port of Gulfport projects studied ‘holistically’ ~ Anita Lee

So much for MDOT taking the whole enchilada in the Turkey Creek watershed.

19 thoughts on “Slabbed, The local cyber meeting place for the I-10 corridor”

  1. I’m trying to decide if Anita deserves a interest free loan for dressing up her kitchen where she artfully paints and cooks her Butterball turkeys now or should we wait for her future Turkey Creek stories.

    The best followup story might be be to trace the land conveyances of the watershed land, she reports was settled by slaves,to current owners.

  2. I recommend to all a drivethru tour of the Historic Turkey Creek area.I can assure you will be disappointed. A whole lot of junk and homes in disrepair.The creek has been used by residents over the years to dispose of unwanted items such as wash macines,refrigerators,cars,ect.Now all of a sudden the EPA decides it has historic value.Taxpayers beware.We will need to spend a lot of money to make it right.This is really BS at it’s highest level.Just send a nice check to all and their attorney and the welcome mat will be out for whatever progress brings.

  3. Everyone on the Gulf Coast knows that there have been questionable issues with the Port Expansion and the the Connector Rd to I-10.What would be interesting is to have some Federal Agency follow the money and see what properties might have been bought and by whom in antisipation of resale to the state for a nice profit. I have heard of such conversations being held by politically connected people in Gulfport.

    1. If you heard names I guarantee you a former member of the Port Authority that is also a Realtor was mentioned prominently.

    2. A brief description of some recent legal activity concerning this in this article. Army Corps Wrongly Approved Wetland Fills, Judge Rules

      The full Memorandum Opinion and Order Granting Plaintiffs’ Motion for Summary Judgment may be viewed here. The portion beginning on page 20 with “Merits of Properties’ NEPA Claim” is interesting. (The mitigation plans did not at first focus on the use of the lands owned by Ward Gulfport Properties LP and T. Gerard Gulfport LLC.) From page page 24:

      Moreover, while the Permit required, without explanation, an approximately 10:1 real property mitigation ratio(13) see R. at 1127-28, the Administrative Record is devoid of evidence explaining whether any of these 1,637.9 acres of real property earmarked for mitigation actually constitute “wetlands.”

      Footnote 12, could that be an MDOT/EPA oops? The full Administrative Record might be interesting.

      See also this previous Slabbed comment.

  4. I know of other properties the same Realtor located and brokered for the connected few at the direction of Gov.Barbour’s people.The buyers were from out of state and now feel they were taken advantage of by the whole group of Barbourtistas.Bet the lobbyist does not lobby for them anymore.Properties are now worth about 25% of what they were purchased for.

  5. Is the “Port of Gulfport,” redundant? Should it be the “Port of the Gulf?” or maybe the “Gulf Port?” Just curious.

    1. Well, the official name is the Mississippi State Port Authority at Gulfport. Gulfport itself is a marketing name made-up by Hardy and Jones during the timber boom. People who lived in Mississippi City or Handsboro 120 years ago would be appalled that their communities were swallowed up by Gulfport. The Turkey Creek community also was there before either the port or the city.

  6. An environmental assesment is not good news to the Ward property.It will take a long time with no certain outcome.They would have been smart to take the $35,000.per acre for 1300+ acres= about 45 million dollars.No brainer for property they paid $750.per acre for.

    1. Well, any historic community in South Mississippi where blacks were allowed to own homes 100+ years ago are going to be in a swamp and close to a rail yard, port, saw mill, paper mill or some other enterprise that depended heavily on their labor.

  7. Brian

    Why doesn’t Taylor run as a Republican and
    go on his own turkey shoot? I believe 90 percent
    of the Dems would openly support him as a Repub
    goven the alternative. Is there a Dems to draft
    Gene for the GOP Committee? If not form one
    somebody. The real turkey ain’t in the creek it’s in Washington.

  8. Rfp, in my neck of the woods you’d find no such court interference – assuming you made nice with the local kleptocrats and cut them in for a piece of thepie. There was a development by a partnership of Chatelain and Babovich on the west bank of New Orleans along Louisiana Highway 406 proposed in the early 1980s and wouldn’t you know, it was declared a wetland by the US Army Corpse of Engineers (the misspelling is intentional.) Fastforward, though, you’ll see some high priced developments in the same area 20 years later (and to the detriment of water ponding in heavy rains). Change of sponsor will often bring “positive” results – you of course understanding what I mean.

  9. The big money developers whine about wetlands regulation but the rules practically guarantee that wetlands near urbanized areas will be developed and that deep-pocketed, politically-connected developers will do the deed.

    The policy has been “no net loss of wetlands.” That means that if a developer wants to fill wetlands in the stressed ecosystem and flood prone Gulf Coast urbanized corridor, he proposes to buy some wooded, inaccessible flood-prone swamp land up in the Pascagoula-Leaf-Chickasawhay river system or similar remote swamp that no one wants to develop and then donate it to the Nature Conservancy or some other environmentally-named organization who will then be his mitigation partner when he applies for the permits.

    It is a system that prevents small projects that would have minimal effects but then inevitably permits major developments, casinos, hotel, infrastructure projects that overwhelm the entire watershed.

    1. Brian you have a lot of good information you post but you have the wetland permiting process all wrong. As an engineer who has worked thru the process dozens of times I am going to correct you a little later.

    2. The problem here is the “relationship” you describe which is only possible through government having the power, and in the US an absence of private litigant cause of action to protect water/air/ground rights owners. Factor One is paramount, as we’ve seen, as no private party litigant or even a large group could take on both a private offender AND a government body, particularly armed with a printing press.

      1. I remember back in the 90s a waterfront property owner who was yelling about private property rights when the city of Ocean Springs would not zone his property for condos and he could not sell it for millions to a condo development.

        Here is the thing. The main reasons his property was worth millions to a developer was because it was adjacent to a publicly-maintained beach, with access to a publicly-maintained channel and harbor, protected by clean water regulations that made the water swimmable, the fish edible, and the smell of the breeze pleasant. It was served by a public water and sewer system, benefited from the zoning he complained about that made it a desirable, affluent residential location with no dirty, polluting, or loud industries, junkyards, pig farms, etc. nearby, a publicly maintained transportation system with major highways, bridges, and an interstate that makes it possible to live in Ocean Springs and commute easily to good jobs in Biloxi or Gulfport or Pascagoula, and so on. His property was worth a lot more because of beneficial regulation and civilization than if it were waterfront property in the middle of nowhere with no public provisions and no rules.

        My complaint about regulation is that governments tend to allow work-arounds or variances or mitigation banking or special exemptions for deep-pocketed, politically-connected interests, so you end up with a system that blocks small projects that would have minimal impacts but then approves much larger projects that have far-reaching impacts that defeat the purposes of the regulation.

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