– Oct. 12, 2022 –

The supremes on Spaceport

The Georgia Supreme Court took its nine justices on the road to Augusta last week. There it heard oral arguments about the validity of Camden County’s March 8 referendum on the purchase of land for the proposed Spaceport Camden, The Current’s Mary Landers reports. Citizens opposed the county’s purchase by a nearly 3-1 margin. On Thursday, each side had just 20 minutes to plead their case. (A video of the proceedings is here.) Camden argued the state constitution doesn’t provide for the overturning of a resolution of this type by referendum. The citizens and the probate judge who vetted the vote emphasized the citizens’ right to petition the government. The justices asked repeatedly about procedural issues, indicating the court might not rule on the merits of the case. A decision is expected within six months.

Intervenor Paul Harris, left, chats with Probate Judge Robert C. Sweatt Jr. before oral arguments at the Georgia Supreme Court. Credit: Mary Landers/The Current

Bee positive

With so much news about the decline of insects worldwide, it’s a relief to hear that Georgia’s urban bees are doing OK, as WABE’s Molly Samuel reports. A UGA study found nearly a fifth of the state’s more than 500 bee species over the course of two years’ worth of surveys in and around Athens. “Bees are harbingers of biodiversity,” said one researcher. The story is worth noting for its human element, too. The main student researcher died before the study was complete, but her teachers and colleagues found a way to honor her contributions, making her the lead author of the resulting peer-reviewed paper in the Journal of Insect Conservation.

A bee makes its way around a Savannah garden. Mary Landers/The Current Credit: Mary Landers/The Current

Preserve that pumpkin

It’s disappointing when the pumpkin you brought home as a Halloween decoration turns to moldy mush weeks before Oct. 31. Luckily, science has some tips to make that gourd last longer, writes plant pathologist Matt Kasson in The Conversation. He advises consumers to shop for pumpkins just like they do any other produce, then transport them gently. Wipe pumpkins down before you carve them, and use a clean knife. When the inevitable happens and your pumpkin does start to mold and collapse, don’t throw it in a landfill, Kasson advises. “Put it out for your neighborhood deer or atop your compost pile.”

Credit: Photo by Eleni Petrounakou on Unsplash


The previously reported start date for city-sponsored glass recycling in Savannah was Oct. 1. That didn’t happen. Glasswrx LLC was awarded a contract in August to collect the city’s glass at multiple drop-off sites around the city. Co-founder and general manager Chris Fisher said Tuesday he’s now aiming for a Nov. 1 start date.

The Center for a Sustainable Coast announced a change to its upcoming public forum on new federal funding for clean energy solutions to climate change. Headlining the forum is now Kate Cell, Senior Climate Campaign Manager, Union of Concerned Scientists. Register with the Center at susdev@gate.net or call 912.689.4471. The forum is 5-7 p.m. Oct. 13 at Savannah’s Cultural Arts Center, 201 Montgomery St. There’s no fee but donations are encouraged.

Camden County Administrator and Spaceport Project Manager Steve Howard is the top pick for a new job in Citrus County, Florida. Howard interviewed at a public meeting of the Citrus County Commission in late September and is currently in salary negotiations. Howard declined to comment last week on those negotiations. But a Citrus County spokeswoman said, “The negotiating team hopes to have something to present to the full Board at their regular meeting on Oct. 18, 2022.”

If you have feedback, questions, concerns, or just like what you see, let us know at thecurrentga@gmail.com.

Justices question procedure, merit of Camden’s spaceport case

State Supreme Court hears oral arguments on spaceport referendum. Decision expected within six months.

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Georgia Supreme Court to weigh validity of Spaceport Camden vote

The court’s decision will shape not only Spaceport Camden, how Georgians in other counties can respond to local governing bodies in the future.

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Company helps Coastal Georgia upcycle old bottles, jars to new uses

Glass is again being diverted from landfills in coastal Georgia after a hiatus in curbside glass recycling

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Mary Landers covers Coastal Georgia’s environment for The Current, a topic she covered for nearly 24 years at the Savannah Morning News, where she began and ended her time there writing about health,...