Editor's note: Dr. Jack Blanton is professor emeritus at the Skidaway Island Institute of Oceanography in Savannah. He has researched physical oceanography for more than 40 years. For that reason, we invited him to answer questions regarding the Liberty County Development Authority's proposed wastewater treatment facility. Here are our questions and his replies.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.
I'll hand it to you, Liberty County - you sure know how to make a person feel welcome. And, apparently, you've decided the old adage holds true: The way to an editor's heart is through her stomach, which is just fine with me. Heck, if I'd known our readers and sources were going to invite me to so many functions featuring delicious meals, I'd have tried for my recent promotion even sooner.
A majority of the House of Representatives voted this week to approve a $17.8 billion state budget for fiscal year 2011. I was among the 52 House members voting against the spending plan because it is a continuation of the misguided priorities and fiscal irresponsibility that have plagued Georgia for the last eight years.
Every year, millions of Georgia drivers engage in a behavior almost as risky as texting or talking on their cell phones. And they may not even know it -- until it's too late.
As we all commit to helping our youth, we find that encouragement is needed at all levels of development, starting at home, in the schools and the community. I will engage on the second of the three-legged stool as it relates to the importance of our educational system. That is commitment.
Bob Ryan, noted sports columnist for the Boston Globe recently ripped the National Collegiate Athletic Association for considering University of Georgia president Michael Adams as CEO of that organization to succeed the late Myles Brand, saying it would be a "colossal mistake." The NCAA search is being conducted by Parker Executive Search of Atlanta, the same firm that recommended Adams for the UGA job.
The Easter bunny was good to Georgia last week as he brought us the news that March revenue collections were up from a year ago, marking the first monthly increase in revenues since November of 2008.
Most of the hoopla about off-shore drilling is born from an absence of the facts, or political posturing. For example, Florida bristles at offshore drilling. It's political positioning and nothing more. They already have a plan for a pipeline to connect them directly with inshore drilling platforms suggested for adjoining states along the Gulf Coast. A perfect example of the "not in my back yard" mindset. It's a way to get the oil and the votes at the same time.
Years of research by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation have yielded a sad truth: If free market academics are few and far between in Georgia, free market economists have been scarcer than hen's teeth.
If you haven't seen the Discovery Channel documentary "Life," it's worth a watch.
A bill currently before the Georgia Legislature that would require testing potential drivers in English only is fanning flames on both sides of the always-heated immigration debate. However, the proposed requirement should have nothing to do with racial discrimination - as some opponents claim - and everything to do with safety.
This year, the federal government is conducting the 2010 Census. The Census is a count of everyone residing in the United States. All U.S. residents must be counted, including citizens and non-citizens.
For more than a year, federal efforts at reforming the nation's health insurance system have been controversial to say the least. Now that the president has signed health reform into law, the partisan debate should come to an end.
While reading a recent report from the U.S. Conference of Mayors, I found a statement regarding school reform that provides advice about the importance of our educational system. It notes that "If schools don't work, the city does not work."
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.