Stew Lilker’s 

Columbia County Observer

Real news for working families.  An online newspaper



WEATHER:  Today Tonight

Columbia County 5 Bails Out Suwannee Valley TA After It Runs Out of Money - Again: Gives $50,000

Posted December 18, 2014  03:25 pm

SVTA may soon be auctioning off some of its buses and laying off staff. No plan was disclosed.

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – The Suwannee Valley Transit Authority (SVTA) was front and center at the Columbia County Commission (County 5 or The 5) last night. Once again, the SVTA ran out of money. Records that were not made available to the public in advance of the meeting, in violation of the County Charter, show that on December 1 the SVTA was $50,600 behind in its bills. The request from the SVTA for a $50,000 grant from Columbia County's taxpayers made it onto the County's agenda. There was no explanation how it got there.

The Blanche: Johnson & Decker want inclusion "Anybody that wants a seat will have one"

After the meeting, Chamber Director, Dennille Decker said, "If I have to make the table bigger, I will get a bigger table so that anybody that wants a seat will have one.”

Lake City's Blanche Hotel: $15,000,000 Renovation Discussion Off & Running

LAKE CITY/COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – Yesterday's 8:30 a.m. discussion by the handpicked "Grassroots Blanche Stakeholder Committee" went off on time as City Manager Wendell Johnson led the discussion of the proposed $15,000,000 renovation of the downtown landmark. Ninety minutes after a bit of a shaky start, the committee seemed to have found itself heading for a community project in which the pro and con sides are going to have to come together to make this successful for Columbia County/Lake City and put its historic downtown back on the map.
                         (photo: City Manager reads anonymous letter as Dennille Decker looks on)

LSHA's Berry Says, "Guardian Angel" Posted Ad on Craigslist – Impersonated Hospital Authority

City to Consider Extending Community Redevelopment Handouts Tonight: Million Dollar Loan Cost - $329,749

Family & Holidays: Sometimes Less is More

FDOT's Petihomme Enlightens Planning Council on Fed Funds for Hometown Projects

Vice Mayor Moses High on Downtown Lake City: "There is a new energy downtown"

Billions Available for FL Gulf Restoration
National Wildlife Federation Has a Plan

Gov. Scott's Lake Shore Hosp Auth Bd: Web Design on the Docket Tonight – Another Rubber Stamp?

$4,950 so the indigent can view the website on their iPhones?

Professional Parliamentarian, C. Alan Jennings, Weighs in on The County 5's Bloodless Coup

Columbia County's Bloodless Coup: A New Era at The County 5?

Vote a Sham: "You can't make this stuff up"

Posted December 5, 2014  08:27 am | (2 comments) (2 letters)

Renovation of Blanche Hotel on the Launching Pad:  Will everyone have a chance to participate?

"If this project is something the community doesn't want, we need to know that," Dennille Decker

Posted December 4, 2014  01:55 pm

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – The renovation and revitalization of downtown Lake City's deteriorating Blanche Hotel was on the docket at yesterday morning's Economic Development Advisory Board (EDAB or Board) meeting. City Manager and EDAB member, Wendell Johnson, gave the committee an update. He announced that a committee was formed and Chamber of Commerce Director Dennille Decker had taken "a leadership role in putting the stakeholders committee together."

Economic Development Chief Glenn Hunter Working for Success in a Crowded Field

Posted December 4, 2014  06:20 am

Removal of Citizen Representation
City Manager Johnson Questioned

CM Johnson: "A lot more conversation than we probably need."

Mayor Steve WittLake City Impact Fee Suspension: Mayor Witt Tells the Committee, "We're getting killed..."

Lake City Utility Advisory Committee Tonight: Impact Fees, County Participation Nixed

Evolving Through the Stigma of Mental Illness: When Biology Backfires

Holiday Air Travel? Know Your Passenger Rights

FL PSC Decision on Energy Efficiency Expected Today

FL Walmart Workers Join Fight for Better Wages, Working Conditions

Earthjustice Supports the President: Immigrants will have put the food on our Thanksgiving tables

Environmental Activist Asks County 5:
Will You Ban Fracking in Columbia County?

Posted November 21, 2014  07:50 am

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – Columbia County's County 5 met last night in a two hour plus commission meeting. A large part of the evening was taken up with conversations concerning water: the kind you drink – flush – play in, water conservation, springs protection, and the gorilla soon to be in everyone's room, Amendment 1: what did you really vote for?

Paula Vann Takes the Helm of Columbia County's TDC: A new era begins

City Manager Wendell Johnson Recommending Lifting Utility Impact Fee Moratorium – Tonight

Man's best friend rescued - then becomes boys best friend 

•  Meeting Calendar

Bill Day's Latest Cartoon

FL Gas Falls 7.2¢ - Still Sliding Gas Higher Than Nat. Average

Torture & War: Sen. McCain Speaks With Authority

We're Back To Blaming the Victims for Rape

President Jeb Planning More Neocon Wars

Report Highlights Unsafe Toys in Time for Xmas


It's Payback Time: What Will FL GOP Contributors Expect for Their Millions?

Attorney/Author Jim Slaughter Informs About Robert's Rules After The 5's Bloodless Coup

Florida HIV Cases Rank 2nd Highest in Nation

Nowhere Are We More 'Separate and Unequal' Than in Florida

It’s Happened Again: A Sick Person Goes to a College Campus, Pulls Out a Gun, Starts Firing

Obama's Executive Order Could Affect Up to 900,000 Florida Immigrants

Rhana "Corporations are not people" Bazzini Passed Through Ft. White

Nov. 20, 2014  12:40 pm

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – Rhana, "Corporations are not people," Bazzini passed through Fort White yesterday on her mission to call attention to the corrupting influence of corporate money on the electoral system. “Corporations are not people and money is not speech”, ...

Lake City's Blanche Hotel: Another Pruitt-Igoe?

Pipes vs. Parks: Did Voters Envision Sewage Plants When They Voted For Amendment 1?

County Jail Gets New Customers

Bogus Allegations:
The Injustice of Guilty until Proven Innocent