You are going to have to give me a little scat room today. I am having an attack of the nostalgias. Going down someone else's Memory Lane can be as boring as a lecture on the life cycle of guppies, but this has been a reflective few weeks for me. My beloved Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Georgia and the campus chapter of my college fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha, both celebrated their 100th anniversaries this past month in Athens.
On May 22, my youngest child will graduate from high school, and I am ecstatic to see her turn that tassel and move on to her next chapter in life.
Once on "The Andy Griffith Show," Ernest T. Bass tried to join the Army. Several times, Barney says comically, "He's a nut!"
Someone asked the question, "Is Buddy Carter beholden to oil?" Would approximately $400,000 from a super PAC in Texas that represents big-oil interests mean anything? After all, the folks in Texas want Georgia to have good representation in Washington.
April certainly was the month for showers this year.
What if you were told that 95 percent of Georgians are using a product that may not always be the best value for money?
A college education in Georgia just got less affordable. Tuition is rising again in the wake of cuts in state funds for the university system. The HOPE Scholarship covers far less than it used to, and many students do not receive it. A college degree is more important than ever, yet it may be priced out of reach for many students.
Editor, I, along with many other Americans, breathed a sigh of relief at the news that the six officers involved in the Freddie Gray case in Baltimore will face multiple charges. The death has been ruled a homicide. This is a great day for the cause of justice in our country.
Georgia lawmakers left town earlier this month after producing a 2016 state spending plan that invests no more money overall for health care than last year. Georgia ranks near the bottom of all states for health-care investment, and the consequences include hundreds of thousands of uninsured Georgians and hospitals that struggle to stay afloat.
Editor, When 1st Congressional District U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter spoke before Richmond Hill High School students on the issues surrounding Kinder Morgan's Palmetto Pipeline, he stated, "I suspect many of you drive, and gas is expensive. … Having a pipeline could help that. … So sometimes, we have to make tough decisions" (coastalcourier.com, April 17, reported by Jeff Whitten).
What time is it, boys and girls? It's time for Answer Man! Time to dip into the ol' mailbag and see what is on your mind and show you how little is on ours. While we can't guarantee total and complete accuracy in our answers, it is Answer Man's opinion that this won't matter because if you knew the answer, you probably wouldn't have asked the question in the first place.
Editor, I canceled my reservations for the State of the City luncheon. Don't need to go. I see by the two recent boondoggles to Washington, D.C., and St. Simons Island that the city of Hinesville is in "rock solid" shape financially.
Editor, This will be my only commentary on the Hinesville City Council meeting of April 16.
Editor, Why would representatives of Liberty County have to go to St. Simons to hold a meeting when there are many places in Liberty County and Fort Stewart? As usual, they don't care how they spend our tax dollars - travel, hotel and food. And what did they talk about? How to take more of our money and waste it on SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax).
It is that time again!
It is raining while I write this. It is a typical summertime thunderstorm. I love a downpour like this. It just kind of refreshes the air even on a hot, humid day.
The classroom is changing.
This past week, it was reported that Josh Duggar, who is the son of Jim and Michelle Duggar from TLC's "19 Kids and Counting" reality show, molested several girls, including some of his sisters, when he was a teenager.
Taxes are nobody's favorite expense. Most people view them as simply a nuisance bill to pay or as an added cost on a major purchase. Average Georgians rarely give state tax policy a second thought, especially compared to critical challenges like education and health care. But few issues matter more to the pocketbooks of Georgia families, the bottom line of Georgia businesses and the ability of state and local governments to fund quality public services.
My recent open letter to Georgia's public school teachers produced as much response as I have received in a long time. Teachers from one end of the state to the other have weighed in, and the comments are still coming.
A friend said something the other day that has clung like mist to the crevices of my mind. She's soon to turn 70 and this is what she said:
Memorial Day weekend, as you've heard time and again, is that long weekend marking the unofficial start of the summer: beaches, boats and barbecue. Fun in the sun. With all the frolicking, many may overlook that Monday is, first and foremost, a special day set aside to remember those Americans who have died serving in our armed forces.
Editor, Whose great idea was it to let all the high-school students out at lunchtime with no bus service? This is a major issue for those of us who are working and have children.
Cumberland Island was struck head-on by a major hurricane 117 years ago. The Category 3 storm pounded the Georgia coast with winds of 135 mph and massive waves, causing a 16-foot storm surge in Brunswick that left much of the city underwater.
I have been trying to figure out what to do with my free time now that I have decided not to run for president of the United States (or what's left of it).
Getting math right for the students and teachers of Georgia has been a priority of mine since day one. One of my first actions as your state school superintendent was working with the State Board of Education to provide a needed choice between integrated mathematics and traditional discrete mathematics (with assessments to match each option) for our schools.
Here, I'll announce something I've never admitted publicly: I love going barefooted. It's how I was raised.
May is a very hard time for me.
May is Building Safety Month. Although the Hinesville Department of Inspections focuses on building safety all year long, we want to take the time to highlight some building-safety concerns locally. If an individual, organization or a business is trying to find a location within the Hinesville city limits, there are a few things they should know before signing on the dotted line to buy or lease.
Premium increases for Georgia's insurance-exchange health plans beat regional and national rates, according to a recent study by the Urban Institute, cited by Georgia Health News.