Up until the final days of the 2010 legislative session, Georgia was about to become the only state in the union without an arts council. The Georgia House had dropped all funding for the arts and it wasn't until the State Senate, under the leadership of Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Hill (R-Reidsville), stepped in and restored $860,000 for the Georgia Council for the Arts. That money will allow the state agency to qualify for federal and state matching arts grants.
While I was in Iowa for my most recent visit, people said things like, "He's been gone quite a while. He'll be back anytime now, right?" or "Your husband should be getting home soon, isn't he?"
At town hall meetings, events in my district and even trips to the grocery store, it's clear that main street America is frustrated with an out of touch Washington. The people who come up to me aren't angry as much as they are worried about the future of our country.
Sign seen outside local church:
This past week a number of residents from Bryan County and Richmond Hill attended a workshop sponsored by three organizations dedicated to the preservation of our state's natural environment and specifically the preservation of our state waters.
Kathy Cox has resigned as state school superintendent to take a new job in Washington. I have no way of knowing who will win the post this fall, but I do know that what public education lacks more than dollars is a strong and effective advocate. No one - not Cox, not the State Board of Education, not the Georgia School Board Association, not the Georgia Association of Educators and the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, not the Georgia School Superintendents Association, not the charter school groups, not the city and county school boards, not the governor, not the General Assembly ...
I know everyone has seen the VFW or American Legion Auxiliary ladies selling the Memorial Day poppies at various locations.
In light of the recent tragedy with local Alzheimer's patient Elvin Mosley, the Bryan County Project Lifesaver Program is now in the forefront. The program is a rapid response public safety program that helps protect and locate persons who are prone to wander. Designed to track and rescue those with cognitive conditions who tend to wander, this service answers a critical need for protecting people at risk of wandering, including those with Alzheimer's, autism, Down syndrome, dementia and other disorders.
How often does the Office of Policy Planning and Research, United States Department of Labor produce anything worth reading, let alone a report that reverberates 45 years later?
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder recently called the expanded gun law passed by the Georgia Legislature "very worrisome." He couldn't be more right.
If I want to pucker a few know-it-all Yankee fannies, all I have to do is start bragging about how the Great State of Georgia is most blessed among these our United States.
It was a one-two punch for our fishermen and their families last month. Less than a day apart, the state agency in charge of issuing pollution permits gave the green light to two proposed coal fired power plants in south Georgia. The government gave pollution permits to these coal plants which would allow them to emit approximately 9,000 pounds of mercury to our air over their 50-year life span.
Greece's largest public-sector union is taking to the streets to wage a "social battle" against austerity measures.
Nostalgia is popular these days: Retro fashions, disco and '80s pop, "Throwback Thursdays" on social media. What's old is new again, what used to be hip turned square and then back to cool.
For many environmental organizations in Georgia, Earth Day will never be the same.
Editor, My hat goes off to the Tri County RC Flyers for their recent airshow and the thousands of dollars they raised for wounded veterans. Unfortunately, the Courier's story contained a description of the Wounded Warrior Project organization that was misleading and is inaccurate. It read "… which helps veterans wounded in conflict…"
Editor, My wife went grocery shopping the morning of Aug. 21 with our 2-year-old son. While shopping, she bumped into another shopper along the way several times and made small talk. My son started to get bored and upset, so my wife cut her trip short and headed to the checkout.
It is a potential killer whose numbers rival the deadly Ebola virus and it doesn't get near the attention it should. Unlike the dreaded illness currently ravaging West Africa this is one with a quick cure.
I am fascinated by how other countries approach recycling. I recently visited a website called Recycle More from Ireland. Their approach, like so many European countries, is detailed. They expect their citizens to make the effort to recycle as many items as possible. And they certainly don't limit their recycling to plastic bottles and aluminum cans. There is no one-stop drop-off for many items. If you are Irish, you take electronics back to electronic shops, batteries to shops that sell them, etc.
As an unusually mild, rainy summer was melting away - or rather, frosting its way into autumn - I took to noticing signs that our mountain people always have used to judge the forthcoming severity of winter.
Football season is upon us. I'm sure some of you are thrilled about its arrival. I am not.
We are constantly reminded that the world is a very deadly place - not just for our military personnel - but also for members of the Fourth Estate. Some journalists working in dangerous regions in a globe full of conflict will not return home. The latest: 40-year-old James Foley. His gruesome death at the hands of ISIS has been available for all to see.
The regional transportation sales-tax referendum failed two years ago across most of Georgia. So it's encouraging to see movement again, in the form of a joint study committee on transportation funding that met Aug. 5 for the first of seven meetings around the state before the legislative session.
Editor, I would like to respond to the Long County audit for the year ending June 30, 2013, which is - needless to say - a joke.
Rap! Rap! Rap: "The special called meeting of the Loyal Order of Liberals will come to order. Let's begin the meeting as we always do - with the Liberal Pledge of Allegiance:
Editor, I lost a friend last week. I lost a longtime coworker. I lost an Army comrade, though we never served together nor did we share "war stories." And Liberty County lost someone who was a loyal, extremely dedicated and tireless worker until his "untriumphant" retirement last year.
A while back, a messy problem loomed ahead. I don't like confrontation. If that makes me less than a person then consider me to be itty bitty. Life, I figure, is too short for squabbling. My motto is "whenever possible, step out of the way."
My 2-year-old daughter, Reese, adores the Disney movie, "Frozen." I admit, it's a cute flick with plenty of catchy tunes and even a few good one-liners. There's one part, however, that I'm having trouble explaining to Reese, and I fear I'll have even more difficulty with it as she gets older.