As we end the 34th legislative day of the General Assembly on Friday, the end of the 2010 session is in sight. The highlight of the week was House passage of the 2010 budget.
As a leader in the state Senate, I often reflect on the vision of our nation's founders and, on occasion, will even go back and read The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution of the United States.
On the way home after attending a friend's wedding in Americus recently, my wife and I made a small detour through Andersonville, home of the infamous prison during the Civil War.
The Georgia General Assembly worked diligently last week on passing important pieces of legislation before midnight on the 30th legislative day (Thursday). This event represents a milestone in the legislative process as bills must "cross over" into the opposite chamber in order to have the chance to become law this year.
When President Barack Obama wanted to push an $800 billion "stimulus" or "recovery" bill through Congress, he thought an atmosphere of economic crisis helped his cause. So he repeatedly warned of "catastrophe," of "a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse."
Did I hear somebody say "change?" The word is too mild. Try "train wreck," if you are a Republican. "A new beginning" may fit your feelings better, if you voted Democratic in the last presidential election.
A narrow majority of members of the House of Representatives unfortunately took another step backward when it comes to education in Georgia on Thursday by eliminating the year-long, rigorous program of National Board Certification for public school teachers and the 10 percent salary increase incentive that goes along with it.
My wife and I recently had the opportunity to travel to the southwestern corner of the state to attend a wedding.
It is difficult to reconcile the fact that one of the premier families of 19th century American science and exploration were slaveholders. One can only hope that, 150 years from now, we won't be judged too harshly for our own policies and practices.
George H.W. Bush made a "read my lips," no-new-taxes pledge in his acceptance speech at the Republican Convention in August 1988, and broke it two years later. That seemed a fast turnaround, but President Barack Obama has outpaced him by making, and then signaling his intention to break, a no-new-taxes pledge all in the same address.
Thursday, the Senate exercised leadership in making much needed reforms to Georgia's transportation governance. With the passage of SB 200, the Senate voted for a clear funding process to enable transportation dollars to be spent more efficiently, effectively and strategically.
In 1932, the federal courts affirmed gangster Al Capone's 11-year prison sentence and heavy fine for income tax evasion. He was sent to Alcatraz and then the Atlanta pen before he was given his freedom to die of advanced syphilis.
It's hard to be vision impaired. People who aren't just don't have a clue how difficult it makes life in so many ways.
These are extraordinary political and economic times, and even from a distance you can sense the animation on Capitol Hill as Congress watches President Obama distribute the stimulus package, weighs his executive-branch appointments and responds to his various initiatives.
The Governator: What a sad artifact of a bygone era that moniker is. Arnold Schwarzenegger circa the 2003 "total recall" election was going to sweep all before him as California governor, bringing the same elan and toughness he had on the big screen to fighting special interests and restoring his beloved state to competitiveness.
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.
I am fascinated by how other countries approach recycling. I recently visited a website called Recycle More from Ireland. Their approach, like so many European countries, is detailed. They expect their citizens to make the effort to recycle as many items as possible. And they certainly don't limit their recycling to plastic bottles and aluminum cans. There is no one-stop drop-off for many items. If you are Irish, you take electronics back to electronic shops, batteries to shops that sell them, etc.
As an unusually mild, rainy summer was melting away - or rather, frosting its way into autumn - I took to noticing signs that our mountain people always have used to judge the forthcoming severity of winter.
Football season is upon us. I'm sure some of you are thrilled about its arrival. I am not.