With their promise of new energy on Capitol Hill, congressional elections are always a time for hope. This year's contests will be especially significant, for Congress is listing and the nation desperately needs it to right itself.
Bill Shipp column for April 27, 2008
To celebrate Earth Day one year, my husband dressed as a raven and I as an eagle, and we entered the wildlife parade in Sitka, Alaska.
In coffee shops, diners and community meetings, much has been debated about the 2008 Georgia General Assembly session that concluded two week ago. Some have criticized, some have ballyhooed, some jumped for joy, while others registered indifference.
A Statement by the High School Completion Task Force of the University of Georgia College of Education Policy and Evaluation Center
You cannot step into an American community today without finding a lively conversation about educating our children. How to boost math and science learning, whether our children are reading and writing enough, what constitutes a "quality" education. All of this figures in the national schooling debate and its thousands of local echoes.
Since last fall, Georgians have been treated to a spectacle from our state Department of Transportation. The rancor in the poisonous relationship between Gov. Sonny Perdue and House Speaker Glenn Richardson, R-Hiram, has never been higher than when the two were fighting over the replacement for former Commissioner Harold Linnenkohl.
The Georgia General Assembly concluded the business of the state at midnight on Friday, April 4.
When I lived in a city, I liked to take walks, and on recycling day, I was prone to glance at what my neighbors had consumed during the week, as I walked past.
Those who watched this year's legislative session as they would a hockey game - waiting for the fight - were not disappointed. Going in, the focus was a "WETT" session: water, education, taxes and transportation. But beneath the political theater, the final score indicates a victory for good public policy.
Let's hear a thunderous round of applause followed by an ear-splitting rebel yell for House Speaker Glenn Richardson. He is clearly the winner of the 2008 legislative wars.
The end of session has finally come and gone. Legislators have returned to their families, homes and communities.
At a lecture in Athens more than five years ago I was introduced to a beautiful woman with whom I had in common a river. Susan Majette Murphy was born in Jesup, just down the road from my home in Baxley, and had also grown up swimming, skiing and otherwise loving the Altamaha River.
As families struggle with a weak economy due to the high cost of gas, low real estate prices, plus a regional drought, the legislature wanted to do all that we could to help weather the storm.
What did I tell you, Sonny? "Don't go to China." And what did you do, Sonny? You went to China. OK, so you made history too.
I wish I had been there. In Jerusalem. With Jesus.
Congress appointed an independent commission to travel the United States and hold meetings with active and retired soldiers and their spouses. The commission is designed to see what is important to our military and their families - even though there already is a proposed budget that outlines the cuts that will affect our military families.
Editor, Have you ever received a gift that stands out in your mind more than others? Last year, 829 people in Georgia received gifts that will always have a great impact on their lives. It was the greatest gift of all - the gift of life. Will you help others receive this great gift?
It appears that Mayor Dr. Clemontine Washington really believes Midway is hers to rule. Midway's charter calls for a weak-mayor/strong-council system, which means the mayor should have no formal authority outside of the council.
For years, I blamed it on those royal-blue suede high-heel pumps. The ones with the ridiculously tall, spiked heel and absurdly pointed toe. I was 22 when I bought them, 36 when I donated them to the Salvation Army.
I don't believe in illness. OK, perhaps I should rephrase that - I don't believe in a minor illness' ability to keep me down. Unless I'm dragging a limb, hospitalized or totally unable to keep food down at all, I refuse to disrupt my ultra-busy daily routine to do silly things like "rest" or "recuperate."
I am not sure that I would make a good spy. I really like to be up-front about things, so I probably would blow my cover.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month in Georgia, as proclaimed by Gov. Nathan Deal. Child abuse is a subject I don't like to think about, let alone write about, and you probably would just as soon not read about. But it is there, and we need to acknowledge it and demand some solutions.
In the Georgia Legislature, even a relatively simple bill can turn into one of the most important pieces of legislation that is considered.
Just a wisp of time elapsed, and the almighty sand-gnat is back with a vengeance. Like a swallow returning to Capistrano or a martin to a gourd, the little varmints are back just in time for the Blessing of the Fleet. They just refuse to give up.
They all come with some kind of a price and all with a certain amount of disappointment, but still, Rodney keeps trying.
Call me an old-timer, but moms and dads just did things differently when I was a child. The overall approach to parenting seems to have changed so much. My parents fostered independence in my siblings and me. They wanted us to learn early on that we needed to be able to speak and do things for ourselves, and the sooner we understood that, the better off we'd be.
Editor, Hmm. I read in the Coastal Courier that Liberty County's government and various cities' political leaders have declared a war on blight. You know - yada, yada, yada.
In 1965, Wilbur Mills, the chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, brought legislation establishing Medicare and Medicaid to the floor of the U.S. House.