Many in Liberty County were surprised last week when Liberty County Probate Court Judge Nancy Aspinwall appointed Polly Martin to succeed her late husband, J. Don Martin, as sheriff of Liberty County. The public outcry generally questioned whether Martin's wife was the most qualified person to manage and lead Liberty County's law enforcement.
Would somebody tell that guy that runs Mexico to buy a map?
There are 78 million baby boomers and a very large number of them have retirement on their minds. If the past is a guide, more than 80 percent of them will retire before they become eligible for Medicare (at age 65). Although about one-third of U.S. workers have a promise of post-retirement health care from an employer, almost none of these promises are funded and, as is the case of the automobile companies, are likely to be broken in whole or in part.
When schools close for the summer, safe and enriching learning environments are out of reach and replaced by boredom, lost opportunities and risk for too many children. New analysis of data from the America After 3PM study measures the extent of this problem, concluding that just 21 percent of Georgia's schoolchildren (an estimated 350,878 kids) participate in summer learning programs – safe, structured programs that provide a variety of activities designed to encourage learning and development in the summer months.
Former Hinesville City Councilman Alonzo Walden once said he decided who got his vote for sheriff based on trust.
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?
Editor, Thanks a lot for printing most of my letters over the years and withholding the ones that would have gotten me arrested. I am preparing to move north to New York City and will sorely miss all the reasons I chose to write those letters while I lived here. I'm not sure the New York Times is going to print my thoughts, but I'll still send them my ramblings when I feel it is needed.
Liberty County is our home. Just as we take care of the homes we live in with our families, we need to take care of our community. Keep Liberty Beautiful sincerely appreciates the nearly 4,000 volunteers each year who help to make our county cleaner and more attractive through neighborhood projects and area litter cleanups, but those who are interested in going to the next level should consider "adopting" Liberty.
It happened a few months back. My father-in-law celebrated, to our great joy, his 88th birthday. There was no pomp or circumstance involved. He abhors that. Because he is among the most beautifully well-mannered people I have ever encountered, he politely took all the calls though he really wished we would just treat it as another day and leave him alone to watch the news channel.
The state of Georgia's Juvenile Justice System is going to the dogs. And that's a good thing.
As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, chairman of the Economic Development and Tourism Committee, and a member of the House's Ways and Means Committee, last week was a busy one for me. We gathered for four days of hearings at Gov. Nathan Deal's office, where the budget was presented. We also listened as state agencies offered input about budget needs and then asked questions regarding which programs worked well or were under- or over-funded.
In politics, you must take advantage of windows of opportunity. Sometimes good ideas are sidetracked by unfortunate events, a bad economy or even personality conflicts among political leaders. Given the risk of delaying decisions, Georgia needs to address its transportation shortfall quickly and practically.
My fellow Georgians: In order to keep my national certification as a modest and much-beloved columnist, it is required that I submit to you at the first of every year my State of the Column message. (Yay! Clap! Clap! Clap!) I do that gladly today. For one thing, this will be a lot shorter and less boring than the State of the Union address (Boooo!) and, also, we don't have to endure a bunch of fawning politicians trying to be seen on national television. (Yay! Ha! Ha! Ha!)
Ready to start this new year right?
Editor, Since Georgia's own Sen. Johnny Isakson voted for discriminating against pre-9/11 veterans and later against ending this discrimination, I've penned and sent the following to then-Senate Veterans' Affairs Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-VT, who introduced the Caregivers Expansion and Improvement Act of 2013:
It happened the other day. It's funny how things so simple can remind us of things so meaningful, of those sweets that are tucked inside our hearts and unknowingly treasured.
Two weeks ago, my husband, daughter and I struggled to come up with a fun way to pass a Sunday afternoon. My mother-in-law had just been staying with us, and she left that morning to head back to Florida. Since I'd given our house a good, thorough "pre-mother-in-law-visit" cleaning before she arrived, I was completely caught up on chores and housework.
Editor, In an attempt to somewhat clarify and somewhat respond to the recent letters to the editor, the online opinion poll question in the Coastal Courier and subsequent results of said poll, I want to say that the protests (locally and nationally) are not anti-police, as some have and continue to misinterpret them to be.
Editor, In recent weeks, more than 20 police officers have been killed or wounded by fanatics and/or terrorists on this planet. This would be a great time for Rep. Al Williams, Mayor Pro Tem Charles Frasier, Commissioner Gary Gilliard, Councilwoman Luciria Luckey Lovette, et al., to make a statement of recognition and support for police officers - wherever they serve. This exercise of their rights would go a long way to heal the wound of what was interpreted by many to be anti-police sentiment last month.
With major policy decisions on transportation, education, health care and tax reform on the legislative agenda, Georgia should think beyond the traditional approach of spending more money as the solution for every problem. Focusing on ways to enhance economic opportunity and empower individuals beats doubling down on the status quo.
Editor, I read Mr. Bruce McCartney's letter to the editor regarding the Wounded Warrior Project. He is totally correct. The project is top-heavy with a greedy group of executives. The top 10 officers have a compensation package from $150,000 to $333,000 a year. The remaining funds are disbursed to over 40 distribution organizations with similar management configurations.