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.
If I can be so bold as to name a time of full glory for Georgia, spring is it.
Even by my impossibly high standards, this has been a good week. It began with a whack upside the head from a reader in South Georgia after I opined that those who want to change the way we teach our children in public schools ought to have their kids in public schools. I was referring to the efforts led by Sen. William Ligon, R-Brunswick, to overturn the Common Core curriculum in the recent legislative session.
Having had time to reflect on the recently completed 2014 session of the Georgia General Assembly, it is with great regret that I have to say it was the most embarrassing performance by your state legislature that I can remember.
Sometimes, I think I focus too much on the litter. But it is the nature of what I do.
Editor, I travel a lot and have written on the subject of gun rights before. Recently in Atlanta, they locked down a school because a neighbor was squirrel hunting nearby. Those people in Sandy Hook, Conn., are getting a new school because one of their own citizens committed murder there. Pretty soon, local commissioners are going to be sending drones through the community to look for zoning violations.
Editor, April marks the nation's "Month of the Military Child" - a time to honor youth and their service to our country. On Tuesday, April 15, as a visible way to show support and thank military children for their strength and sacrifices, the public is invited to "Purple Up! For Military Kids." Everyone in the community is encouraged to wear purple shirts, scarves, shoes, buttons and pants. If it's purple, or can be turned purple, make it happen.
It happened recently - the 20th anniversary of stock-car racer Davey Allison's death. Maybe you remember him. Maybe you don't. But I shall never forget him.
There is nothing more important than the safety and protection of innocent children. Not constitutional rights, not animal rights, not thoughts, opinions, feelings or political beliefs. The lives of children must be given top priority.
Editor, Call me what you want for changing my mind on who I want to support in the upcoming 1st Congressional District primary, but I can no longer say I will be voting for state Sen. Buddy Carter.