My parents are Americans. They are citizens of this great country, which they are proud to call home. They are also immigrants.
You attract more flies with honey than with vinegar … or, as the Hinesville City Council recently demonstrated with its salary-increase vote, you garner more trust (and perhaps a pay raise) with open discussion.
• Day 21 (Monday, March 8): After a two week working recess to address our budget woes, we're back in session today and greeted with more bad news as we learn that February's revenues fell by nearly 10 percent from this time last year. Considering that February 2009 revenues were down by 34 percent from February 2008, this means that February 2010 revenues are down 44 percent from two years ago- devastating news.
The news in Georgia has gone to the birds. Literally. The latest big debate in the state isn't centered on how lawmakers are tackling the much-hyped $1 billion budget hole or even how the Atlanta Braves look at spring training. The campaign creating the most buzz isn't political in nature - it's ornithological.
In the midst of one of the worst economic crises in memory, the Georgia General Assembly has to make some extremely difficult financial decisions. I don't envy their job.
The news is not good for Georgia on the economic front. It seems sales tax revenue is down approximately 10 percent from February 2009, and last year revenue was down ... well, let's say they were way down and leave it at that for now.
April 1, 2010 is the deadline for accepting applications for homestead exemption for tax year 2010. Applications can be accepted year round but those received after April 1st will be applied to 2011 taxes. You can file at either of the two offices of the Tax Commissioner: (1) 11 North College Street in Pembroke or (2) 185 Richard Davis Drive in Richmond Hill.
As a child who wanted nothing more than to grow up and become a journalist, I used to write stories for and draw out my own homemade "newspapers" to distribute to my family on Sunday mornings at breakfast. I tried to design my publications based on what I thought each of my family members might want to read. Dad's "newspaper" was about sports and my younger sister's often featured reports on Strawberry Shortcake and her social circle.
For the past two weeks, the Georgia state legislature has taken a working recess to address our budget crisis. At issue are both the FY 2010 amended and the FY 2011 general budgets.
The crowd gathered behind barricades in barely contained anticipation - and in some cases adoration - Tuesday prior to President Barack Obama's arrival at Savannah Technical College reminded me of Beatle-mania way back in the 1960s, when four charismatic musicians from Manchester, England, forever changed America's rock music scene.
Editor's note: State Rep. David Casas, R-Lilburn helped write this column.
The budget was the focal point and our top priority last week. Although the General Assembly was not in session, our time consisted of attending and giving input during the subcommittee meetings of the Appropriations Committee.
I am up to my gizzard with our governor and Legislature and assorted bureaucrats stomping around in public education with little regard for the consequences of their actions. Example: One school system in the state has been considering allowing the police to bring Tasers into the schools to quell unruly students.
Editor's note: Carter (R- Pooler) is reporting each week during the Legislative Session. The session began Jan. 11, and is expected to last until the latter days of March.
The Georgia General Assembly adjourned last Thursday, after day 20 of the 2010 legislative session. The Assembly has decided to take a two-week break from the legislative session to work on the daunting task of balancing the Fiscal Year 2011 budget.
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.