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Needless burden of local assistance grants

When Governor Sonny Perdue signed Georgia's $21.1 billion budget for fiscal 2009, it contained $6 million for Local Assistance Grants (LAG), funds appropriated and allocated to a specific recipient or local government for a specific purpose. Lawmakers try to use the fact that these handouts are a relatively small part of the state budget - about 0.03 percent the '09 budget - to defend the spending.

July 14, 2008 | By Kevin Schmidt Guest columnist | Opinion


Finding chicks even in the city

When I start to bake a cake, I no longer ignore the recipes that call for half a dozen eggs. Eggs are a dime a dozen in our household, because we have - joy of joys - our own chickens.

July 14, 2008 | By Janisse Ray Columnist | Opinion


Prepare students for the world, not tests

It is a fact: Students in Georgia and the nation do not measure up to their peers in other countries known to provide a world-class education. While the debate continues over who's to blame and policy-makers pay lip service to preparing students for the 21st century - here for almost a decade already - the U.S. education system muddles on as a 19th-century model.

July 14, 2008 | By Mary M. Jessie Guest columnist | Opinion


Good Morning, Georgia

This may be an answer to Georgia's woes. The University of Georgia has decided to spend a relatively paltry $1.44 million to buy a full-fledged commercial TV station and set it up in Athens.

July 14, 2008 | By Bill Shipp Columnist | Opinion


A rural Georgia family goes solar

This week I visited a family so concerned about the environment that it lives a radically different life than most Americans.

July 14, 2008 | By Janisse Ray Columnist | Opinion


Soldiers helped after accident

I've been covering local, regional and national news in this area for about eight years now and I am often asked by friends how I cope with reporting on stories that sometimes end tragically - vehicle accidents, domestic violence cases, even murders. My response is pretty standard by now: I focus on the story and don't dwell on the circumstances.

July 14, 2008 | By Lewis Levine Correspondent | Opinion


State has taken on the big issues

There is a common saying about government and politicians that government never acts until after there is a crisis. Unfortunately, you don't have to look hard to find examples of this. Just look at the prices at our gas pumps. Gas prices did not climb above $4 a gallon over night. For the past several years, Republicans in Congress have submitted an energy plan that focuses not only on developing new renewable energy sources, but also would allow for us to maximize the resources we already have. Leaders in the U.S. Senate have continuously blocked these efforts. We ...

July 14, 2008 | State Sen. Tommie Williams Special to the Courier | Opinion


Will rebranding work

Rebranding is the latest buzzword in political campaigns. Everywhere you look, some politician or politician's spouse is gearing up to play the rebranding game. They try to change who they are and reinvent what they've said. They're hoping voters have forgotten the old brand and will only remember the new trademark on Election Day.

July 08, 2008 | By Bill Shipp Columnist | Opinion


State is addressing many issues

There is a common saying about government and politicians that government never acts until after there is a crisis. Unfortunately, you don't have to look hard to find examples of this. Just look at the prices at our gas pumps. Gas prices did not climb above $4 a gallon over night. For the past several years, Republicans in Congress have submitted an energy plan that focuses not only on developing new renewable energy sources, but also would allow for us to maximize the resources we already have. Leaders in the U.S. Senate have continuously blocked these efforts. We ...

July 05, 2008 | By Sen. Tommie Williams Special to the Courier | Opinion


Court saves habeas corpus, barely

Once in a while, the fading embers of freedom flare with defiant vigor. That happened the other day when the U.S. Supreme Court sternly informed the Bush administration that it may not hold people suspected of being terrorists indefinitely without charge and without judicial review at its prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

July 05, 2008 | By Sheldom Richman Guest columnist | Opinion


Coming home on the train

I leave the farm in the dark, drive thirty miles to Jesup through wisps of lowland fog and park at the dilapidated train station. The building looks as if it suffered a fire and now it is rotting away, boulder-sized holes in its low-reaching roof.

July 05, 2008 | By Janisse Ray Columnist | Opinion


Prepare students for world, not just tests

It is a fact: Students in Georgia and the nation do not measure up to their peers in other countries known to provide a world-class education. While the debate continues over who's to blame and policy-makers pay lip service to preparing students for the 21st century - here for almost a decade already - the U.S. education system muddles on as a 19th-century model.

July 05, 2008 | By Mary M. Jessie Guest columnist | Opinion


Global warming heats up

In these hazy, 90-degree Georgia days, with gas prices soaring and smog hovering, the guilt trip that global warming proponents are selling is easy to buy. And with industry and academia seeing the green in being "green," it's even to tougher for ordinary Georgians to resist the strengthening tendrils of government mission creep on the subject.

June 26, 2008 | By Benita Dodd Columnist | Opinion


South is back in play

The South may be about to rise again. Republicans can't take the region for granted any longer. To keep Georgia in the GOP fold, the Republican presidential campaign will have to spend money in the Peach State for the first time since 1996.

June 26, 2008 | By Bill Shipp Columnist | Opinion


Can you really love your country

Why do people get upset with Barack Obama for not wearing a flag pin on his lapel or with Michelle Obama for suggesting she's not been proud of her country until now? Why is failing to "support the troops" regarded as a sin?

June 26, 2008 | By Sheldom Richman Columnist | Opinion


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Articles by Section - Opinion


Firefighters recommend renter's insurance

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.

September 02, 2014 | Staff Report | Opinion


Use native plants to save on landscaping

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.

September 02, 2014 | By Sara Ann Swida Columnist | Opinion


Nostalgia sells; he's not buying

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!"

September 02, 2014 | By Dwain Walden Columnist | Opinion


Proof of Southern identity is the food

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.

September 02, 2014 | By Ronda Rich Columnist | Opinion


We all wake up eventually

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.

September 02, 2014 | By Hollie Moore Barnidge | Opinion


Hinesville mosquito control praised

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.

September 02, 2014 | Staff Report | Opinion


Georgia icon still giving 'em 'zell'

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.

August 28, 2014 | Gainesville (Ga.) Times | Opinion


EPD marsh ruling creates a 'fine mess'

For many environmental organizations in Georgia, Earth Day will never be the same.

August 28, 2014 | By Buddy Carter Guest columnist | Opinion


Wounded Warriors don't help older vets

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…"

August 28, 2014 | Staff Report | Opinion


A little help from one mother to another

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.

August 27, 2014 | Staff Report | Opinion


Teens, this is series -- text less, live more

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.

August 27, 2014 | By Dick Yarbrough Columnist | Opinion


Show your 'recycle heart' at fair

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.

August 26, 2014 | By Sara Swida Columnist | Opinion


Learn from those who've gone before us

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.

August 26, 2014 | By Ronda Rich Columnist | Opinion


Let children choose own interests

Football season is upon us. I'm sure some of you are thrilled about its arrival. I am not.

August 26, 2014 | By Hollie Moore Barnidge | Opinion


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