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.
With the legislature about to wind up another colossal performance of democracy in action, there is still some unfinished business awaiting our public servants.
Each year, many people spend some time on Earth Day planting a tree, cleaning up a park or participating in some other activity that raises awareness of environmental issues.
Our veterans shouldn't need an act of Congress and a presidential signature to get the Veterans Affairs healthcare system up to speed. But that's just what it took.
Whistleblowers, often revered and feared by the Obama administration, have received a special place since the 2011 initiation of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), a global transparency campaign. Their prominence is justified. The OGP will become a magnet for cynicism unless there is safe cover for those who will make it work or fail - whistleblowers on the front lines of fraud, waste and abuse currently sustained through secrecy and enforced by repression.
According to the Federal Register, on Dec. 7, 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency "found" that current and projected concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations. Unfortunately, this finding and the EPA's subsequent action threaten the health and welfare of current and future generations of Georgians far more than greenhouse gases do.
Just when you thought Washington couldn't get any messier, our elected officials in the nation's capital prove it can.
Dear Georgia public-school teachers, It is new school year but, alas, the same old impediments: an out-of-touch federal bureaucracy, ideological state legislators who choose not to send their kids to public schools but intend to tell you how and what to teach, and a society that values reality television more than quality education. Sometimes, I wonder how you manage.
This week, school bells will ring and the 2014-15 academic year will begin. Some children welcome it, others don't. Parents also likely have mixed feelings about the start of another term.
How do you create positive community change? That is a good question. It is one that the national organization, Keep America Beautiful, has been fine-tuning a solution since the 1950s.
Some missing something or the other required me to prowl through closets at Mama's house. That's when I found it. I pulled it out and smiled broadly, warmed by the memories it evoked.
Editor, According to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, our water source is slowly being polluted with saltwater, and the coastal area of Georgia will have to reduce the amount of water that it pulls from the Floridan aquifer by 17 million gallons a day.
It's depressing to read poll after poll highlighting Americans' utter disdain for Congress. But it's my encounters with ordinary citizens at public meetings or in casual conversation that really bring me up short.
Area schools start classes back this week and next. For both students and educators, the new year brings many challenges.
Editor, I would like to personally thank Fort Stewart EFMP, Reaching Milestones and all the wonderful military and civilian volunteers who came out to support our annual Special Olympics Spring Games. The competition would not have been successful without such tremendous support from the Hinesville and Fort Stewart community.