I wouldn't say I'm an overly involved parent when it comes to events, fundraisers and helping out at my daughter's school. Of course, I try to lend a hand when it's needed and I do participate in special functions, but because of my busy work schedule and the fact my office is over an hour away from daycare, I'm unable to just pop by for a visit or to help with lunchtime holiday parties.
My husband was out of town, working on location, when he called one night and discovered that I was still working though the hour had grown late.
Editor, It's sad - so very, very sad - to read of the closing of the Jan and Dennis Waters Educational Center in Allenhurst due to lack of attendance. As reported, the mission goals included "…an education mission primarily for children…" This begs the question, how many of the approximately 10,300 Liberty County students visited the education center in Miller's Pasture on a school field trip? I believe I can safely venture to say very few to none.
A little time has passed since Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's, which means we're far enough removed from the festivities that I can pen this opinion piece without letting those warm and fuzzy "holiday feelings" bias my sentiment. It has become clear to me that Americans are doing all they can to take God out of the holiday season, and it's disturbing.
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.
The state of Georgia's Juvenile Justice System is going to the dogs. And that's a good thing.
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.
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.
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!)
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.
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.
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 ...
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.
The activity surrounding each legislative session is always a combination of fast action with periods of slow-moving, tedious meetings as legislation is researched, deliberated and reconciled before the actual vote. This session was no different, and each day was used to the fullest as we set our sights on tackling some tough issues for the betterment of our state. The following is a summary of some of the major accomplishments and most-significant legislation passed this session.
On Wednesday, Liberty County residents will join millions of people around the world in celebrating the Earth on Earth Day.
There will be a public hearing Tuesday in Richmond Hill held by the Georgia Department of Transportation in reference to the proposed pipeline Kinder Morgan wants to install along the entire coast of Georgia. It is important that Coastal Georgia residents attend.
Lawmakers passed a nearly $22 billion spending plan that includes about $900 million in new revenues, consumed for the most part by school-enrollment growth, increasing retirement benefit-plan expenses for state employees and about $288 million to reduce an austerity cut for public schools. The 2016 budget also increases the local school-district cost of insurance for bus drivers and other non-certified school workers by more than $100 million, so it remains to be seen how much of the $288 million is used for teacher raises and undoing recession-era cuts.
Sometimes we forget that there are a lot of good people on this Earth doing good things. I was reminded of that by my friend, Jack Cookston, who recently had some medical issues that required him to cart around an oxygen tank wherever he went. (Happily, his health has improved and the oxygen tank is history.)
As expected, transportation funding and the governor's proposal to address persistently failing public schools dominated Georgia's legislative session. The measures passed, yet several opportunities to address critical economic issues were missed.
Carrie called the other day, and I grabbed the phone just as I was coming in from the garage. I dropped my purse at the foot of the stairs and sat down on a step to talk. No conversation with Carrie is ever short. Even her voicemails run three to four minutes.
I would love a good, old-fashioned rain - or, as we used to call it, gully washer - this week.
I just finished reading an article written by Valerie Tarico on Yahoo. The story was titled "Right-wing Christianity teaches bigotry: The ugly roots of Indiana's new anti-gay law."