The 2010 session of the Georgia General Assembly came to an end late last Thursday night, several hours after lawmakers finalized a $17.9 billion state budget for fiscal year 2011. Having started Jan. 11, this was the longest legislative session on record since the 1880s.
Animal-rescue groups from Liberty County and surrounding areas, while working for a very noble cause, are slowly tearing down their own credibility. The infighting among these groups is hurting their reputations and, possibly, turning off potential donors.
The Georgia Legislature has finally approved a funding mechanism for transportation. Next comes the jockeying for placement on project lists among advocates, agencies and authorities for the various modes. Just because there's finally an opportunity for transportation funding, however, doesn't mean throwing good money after bad. Taxpayers must be vigilant and demand sound solutions and bang for their buck – or their 1 percent sales tax, to be precise.
Some recent thoughts, in no particular order. No particular order at all.
Well, there you go! I spend time and take up valuable space in this paper telling people that offshore oil well drilling has a sterling reputation of success where oil spills are a concern and bingo! We now have the first serious oil rig spill in the history of the industry. I hope and pray the flow is stopped before the slick reaches the fragile eco-systems of the Chaudeleurs Islands National Wildlife Refuge.
Just a few weeks ago, most seemed glad to hear that President Barack Obama planned to open up areas off the Atlantic - and Georgia - coast to offshore drilling for oil. But there should be some second thoughts and careful assessment in the wake of the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which is getting worse by the day.
Now that the legislative session is (drum roll, please) history, it is time to turn our sights to the governor's race.
In 2001 saltwater fishermen in Richmond Hill formed a chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association or CCA. The objective of the CCA is to conserve, promote and enhance the present and future availability of these coastal resources for the benefit and enjoyment of the general public. CCA is a national organization with chapters in 17 coastal states. From the very beginning Richmond Hill has had a very strong chapter. Today there are 150 local members. Four of these members represent the state CCA board: Mike Odom, Fraser Bowen, Coley Bryant and Jimmy Roberts. Mike Odom represents Richmond Hill and Georgia ...
Last week was Georgia Cities Week - a Georgia Municipal Association creation that is aimed at informing the public on the importance of cities. Nearly 100 municipalities in the state participate in the event in one form or another, including Hinesville, Midway, Flemington and others.
Each day across Georgia, the state Department of Corrections prepares enough meals to feed the population of the city of Marietta. Breakfast and lunch are served to nearly 60,000 adult prisoners. Paying for 31 state prisons annually costs taxpayers $1 billion, including the cost to manage 150,000 parolees.
When we think of forests, majestic trees, precious wildlife and clean, fresh air might come to mind. We probably don't think about the water we drink.
Day 37 (Tuesday, April 20, 2010): With only four days remaining in this year's session, we get down to business today by passing the amended FY 2010 budget that runs through June 30 of this year. The historic drop in state revenue is evident here as the FY 2010 budget has been reduced to 2004 and 2005 levels as revenues have fallen $1.6 billion since the original 2010 budget was passed last April. Totaling $17.7 billion, the average agency has been cut 18 percent while vital services such as Medicaid and Education have been cut only 9 ...
The 2010 legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly is nearing an end after months of hard work and dedication. Major milestones were completed this week and now with day 38 completed, the marathon is almost finished and the finish line is in sight. With two days left, this week legislators met some of our goals for the session. The General Assembly has now balanced the budget for the state, passed a transportation funding bill, and passed ethics reform.
School-aged children make a variety of independent choices daily pertaining to their routines and behavior. While parents usually set guidelines and ultimately hold veto power, most students are free to decide who to befriend, what to eat for lunch, how much to study, what activities to participate in and how to handle conflict. However, one choice Liberty County School System students don't face is what to wear to school. And that's OK.
Can it be? Is it September already? One of my favorite tunes, "September Song," was written by Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson for a Broadway musical in 1938 called "Knickerbocker Holiday." The lyrics could apply today to the current political season in Georgia: "For it's a long, long time from May to December, but the days grow short when you reach September."
History is fickle with heroic humans, even when they loom over their generation in service to humanity. Even presidents suffer the fickle hand of history, especially when events in their administrations overshadow them. It happened to Herbert Hoover.
Editor, Recently, I've spotted some news headlines - around the region, state and country - that I never thought I'd see. It really makes me wonder, "Whatever were they thinking?"
As many of our readers know, over the past few weeks the Courier received numerous comments and requests to look into recent policies and decisions made by leaders and administrators of the Liberty County School System.
Editor, The Hinesville Fire Department responds to several residential fires each year. Often, the structure involved in the fire is rented property. In several incidents that I have responded to in my 21 years with the department, residents have lost all of their belongings and did not have renter's insurance. This is a reminder from our department for renters to get renter's insurance today.
National Planting Day, sponsored by Keep America Beautiful, is a special way for us to celebrate the value and power of native species for local landscapes.
Have you noticed how "nostalgia" sells? This hit me like an antique butter churn the other day as I was watching television, and so many of the commercials have incorporated "old rock" music into their marketing spiels. And we can say, "Yes I remember that one!" We might even say, "Hey, that was our song!"
When business called my husband, Tink, back to Los Angeles, he decided to take the opportunity to have his annual check-up. When it ended, he called home.
Last week, seemingly all the national news agencies reported on the American Academy of Pediatrics' new recommendation that middle and high schools start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. to help ensure older children get more sleep.
Editor, Two and a half years ago, Hinesville renovated its mosquito-control program to bring it in line with the American Mosquito Control Association's recommendations for an integrated mosquito control program.
Nostalgia is popular these days: Retro fashions, disco and '80s pop, "Throwback Thursdays" on social media. What's old is new again, what used to be hip turned square and then back to cool.
For many environmental organizations in Georgia, Earth Day will never be the same.
Editor, My hat goes off to the Tri County RC Flyers for their recent airshow and the thousands of dollars they raised for wounded veterans. Unfortunately, the Courier's story contained a description of the Wounded Warrior Project organization that was misleading and is inaccurate. It read "… which helps veterans wounded in conflict…"
Editor, My wife went grocery shopping the morning of Aug. 21 with our 2-year-old son. While shopping, she bumped into another shopper along the way several times and made small talk. My son started to get bored and upset, so my wife cut her trip short and headed to the checkout.
It is a potential killer whose numbers rival the deadly Ebola virus and it doesn't get near the attention it should. Unlike the dreaded illness currently ravaging West Africa this is one with a quick cure.