Georgians applaud President Obama's decision to allow offshore drilling along the mid-Atlantic coast. With the state unemployment rate at 10.6 percent, we understand that tapping into U.S. oil and natural gas resources offshore would create hundreds of thousands of new, well-paying jobs, boost the state and local economies, and help secure our energy future. We also know many factors play a role in whether or not development will ever occur. If the president has our best interest in mind, he needs to act quickly and prudently on his words.
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.
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.
Editor, On behalf of the St. James Community Church family, we would like to give thanks to everyone for coming out to our church-appreciation banquet that was held Saturday, Dec. 6.
Allen Peake is a man on a mission. The five-term Republican state representative from Macon is the driving force behind proposed legislation to legalize medical marijuana in Georgia. He may succeed this year after suffering a setback in 2014 when the House and Senate got into a bit of political brinksmanship at the last minute and failed to pass his bill, which had sailed through the House with only four negative votes.
I know, most resolutions are already ditched by Jan. 8, but if recycling more or being more environmentally minded was one of your resolutions (and it should have been), then I have an opportunity for you.
My parents, according to the world's definition of "cool," were not. Neither drank, nor did either ever possess a credit card. Groceries and clothing were paid for in cash, utilities paid by check, and the only monthly payments they ever allowed themselves were a mortgage for a house, a short-term loan for another farm, and a couple of cars bought, over time, and paid for quickly.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded in 1909. It is the nation's oldest and largest civil-rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the pre-eminent advocates for civil and human rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal-opportunity enforcement in the public and private sectors.