By Jeff Whitten
A year and a half after the country came perilously close to economic collapse, average Americans are sitting up and taking notice of the debate in Washington over financial reform. No one wants another financial crisis, and one thing that consumers, the White House, Congress, regulators and bankers of all stripes agree on is that financial reform is needed.
Day 34 (Monday, April 12): This is the sixth year that I have had the honor and privilege of serving in the Georgia State Legislature and one of the things that I am most proud of is how we begin each session in the House and Senate with the Pledge of Allegiance, a short devotion led by our "Pastor of the Day," and a prayer. Today is a special day for me as I have my pastor from Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church in Savannah, Rev. Creede Hinshaw as our "Pastor of the Day." As usual, Creede does a wonderful ...
Returning from our recess, the General Assembly was refreshed and ready to get back to doing the people's work. It has been a longer legislative session in comparison to the past few years; however, the end is in sight. With only four legislative session days left, the General Assembly confirmed that our last day of the 2010 Legislative Session will be Thursday, April 29. One of the most complex budget years in the history of the state, we have made necessary, but difficult, choices as we reduced spending and therefore the size of our government. When the economy does ...
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.
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!
In theory and by law, businesses in Liberty County are supposed to charge customers only 6 percent sales tax. That has been the case since April 1, when the county's Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax expired because a majority of voters chose not to renew it during the November election.
Fifteen months ago, a local reporter asked me if there was any interest within the General Assembly in taking on the medical marijuana issue for the 2014 legislative session, and I told him, emphatically, that there was none and that I did not foresee that issue coming up anytime soon in Georgia. Then, a week later, I met a little 4-year-old girl named Haleigh and her courageous mom and dad, and was I proved ever so wrong.
Editor, If you are a father seeking custody of your children in Hinesville, please read this carefully.
The April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was called catastrophic by many. President Barack Obama declared, "This oil spill is the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced." The National Resource Defense Council said two years later, "A people wronged and a region scarred remains."
My fellow Americans, it is with a heavy heart that I announce to you today that I will not be a candidate for president of the United States in 2016.
Editor, It is mindboggling to me to hear Liberty County Board of Education members and Liberty County School System administrators talk of the millions of dollars tossed about our school district's budget during school-board meetings, work sessions and public forums as if it's no big deal. According to information presented by the district, our revenues for the 2013-14 school year were $92,203,140, and our expenditures were $98,130,080 - meaning, our school board authorized $5,926,940 in overspending. However, the board continued to operate in the same manner for the first half of the 2014-15 ...
Many people have crossed the path of my life, but only one crossed it from three different directions. Don Light, one of Nashville's most admired powerbrokers and star-makers, was meant to be part of my life. I said this repeatedly because I encountered him through friends in country music, Southern gospel and NASCAR racing.
Sometimes a man, despite his best efforts, doesn't find his destiny. Try as he might, down through the earnest years of his life, he chases it and even can believe he has it, only to awaken one morning and discover he doesn't - that what he has is an illusion, a mirage that he tried to turn into reality.