Editor, The board of directors of Seven Ministries of Liberty County Inc. would like to thank the community for supporting the 2014 Jackie Gilliard-Henderson Memorial Scholarship Walk-a-Thon fundraiser. The weather was a little chilly for our fourth annual event, but the crowd was one of the largest we've had and, again, we say thanks.
Editor, The time to act is now. All Americans must stop and take a close look at the symbol of our great nation, which they might have flying over their residence, place of business, on their vehicles or even on their clothes. Is that great symbol of your freedom, the American flag, unserviceable? By that, I mean is it worn, torn, dirty or just plain ragged? If so, now is the time to replace it with a brand-new American flag.
Editor, In the Friday, May 9 Courier, I saw that the Liberty County Board of Commissioners has finalized the list of SPLOST projects. I noticed that the east end of Liberty County, as usual, was granted just a small portion of the projected $54 million. The two items that I see listed is the Midway City Hall ($317,384) and an east-end medical clinic ($362,725). These two projects are about 0.013 percent of the total revenue expected from SPLOST.
Editor: The city of Hinesville is hosting the fourth annual Project Homeless Connect on June 14, in the Bradwell Institute gymnasium. Each year, at least 100 families in this community experience homelessness. These families most often include young children, victims of domestic violence, people with disabilities, veterans and senior citizens. Regardless of whether their experience is for one night or longer, it is our endeavor to minimize this traumatic experience and prevent homelessness.
To David Perdue, Jack Kingston and Michelle Nunn: Congratulations on making it this far in your quests to become our newest U.S. senator. As you prepare for the next phases of your campaigns, I thought I would pass along to you some unsolicited advice for your consideration.
No matter how old I get, I still need my mom - and my mother-in-law. That's especially true now that I have my own family, house, career and other obligations. This precarious juggling act necessitates a need for motherly help like never before.
I recall a visit I once had with Mama. It was a couple of years before she just up and died without warning and when we least expected it.
Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You may vote in elections, but when you volunteer, you vote about the kind of community you want to live in. - source unknown
Can you believe school already is out for the summer? It seems like it was just yesterday that we began day one of the 2013-14 school year in Liberty County and "set sail" on a course of excellence toward developing the 21st century learner. It's been a busy year of change; but overall, a great year with numerous successes and accomplishments. I am so very proud of our bright and talented students as well as our dedicated faculty and staff in the Liberty County School System. The process has been labor-intensive, but all to the benefit of our students.
Editor, On behalf of the Liberty County Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Observance Association, I want to personally thank our community for its incredible support. We have reached a milestone in our philanthropic work, as this year marks a total of $100,000 awarded in scholarships to high-school seniors.
How's this for a conflict? Recently, I had to choose between going to New York and attending the prestigious Peabody Award ceremonies, sponsored by the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Georgia, or an opportunity to participate in the 14th annual Washpot Festival in Garfield.
Editor, Who can say no to puppy kisses? It's the rare person who does not melt when confronted with a darling puppy full of energy. But it also is the rare person who stops to think about the origin of that puppy.
Editor, The 10th annual scholarship golf tournament was held April 12, and it was the culmination of several events this year hosted by the Liberty County Dr. M.L. King Jr. Observance Association.
Somewhere along the line, it seems, people stopped talking about the American Dream. I can't recall the last time I heard anyone, in person or through the media, remind folks that we live in the greatest country on Earth and that here in this land of profound freedom, opportunities abound and no one, regardless of race or socioeconomic background, is held back from grand and lofty aspirations.
I love being a mother. There are good times and bad, yes, but I'll take the messes, temper tantrums, sleepless nights, extra bills, doctor's visits, endless laundry and daycare hassles any day of the week in exchange for adorable baby smiles, fun days in the park, hugs and kisses, family outings, tea parties, shared meals and hearing my daughter say, "I love you, Mommy," in her perfectly sweet little voice.
Not long ago, the national philosophy behind criminal-justice policy was to lock offenders away and teach them a lesson. This was popular with politicians who found that it played well before crowds, and it was popular in communities where prisons and jails created jobs. Some folks even seemed to celebrate the idea that prisons were real hellholes.
Seven or eight years ago, as our nest became empty, my wife and I began taking short road trips to destinations as far as three hours from home.
Editor, In the recent Courier article announcing Sen. Isakson's visit to Hinesville on Sept. 5, Isakson was quotes as saying, "As you may know, it takes the VA an average 478 days to make a determination on a VA claim. That's more than a year. Although there are signs of improvement, it's still taking too long."
The Woman Who Shares My Name instructed me that this week's column was to be about positive things. She says she is tired of bad news and thought you felt the same way. "Surely, you can find some positive things to write about," she said, "and temporarily take people's minds off all the terrible things going on in the world. I think your readers would appreciate that."
I've always been one of those persons who won't hire someone to do something for me if I can do it myself, such as painting my house, building a deck, building a utility barn, caring for my own lawn, installing new flooring, etc. It was just the way I was raised. And it stuck.
When I think back on the days of my youth, that time when I had the privilege of traveling on the NASCAR circuit, it would be hard to pick a lesson learned that was more important than another.
Most mornings, I spend about five minutes pulling my freshly washed hair into a ponytail. It's easy, it's efficient, and, I like to tell myself, it's even chic. When I know I'll be meeting important people or attending special events, however (like, say, the United Way annual campaign kick-off party or a chamber of commerce breakfast), I break out the products and utensils and spend an extra 20 minutes or so coaxing my locks into what I hope is a more professional-looking style.
I am superficial. I know that looks matter - when it comes to our community's appearance, that is.
Editor, I'm appalled - to say the least - at the extravagant salary paid to Liberty County School System Superintendent Dr. Valya Lee.
I'm not sure how many wilderness survival shows there are on television right now, but it appears there is some kind of obsession going on with this type of programming. And they are running the gamut from being naked in the wild to being fat in the wild. That's right, there's a show now titled "Fat Guys in The Woods." Fortunately, they keep their britches on.
• President Ronald Reagan, Jan. 30, 1984: "Exports create and sustain jobs for millions of American workers and contribute to the growth and strength of the United States economy. The Export-Import Bank contributes in a significant way to our nation's export sales."
Editor, The following is an open letter on sequestration to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, from retired U.S. Army Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, head of the Association of the United States Army:
Some of my favorite Norman Rockwell prints all have something to do with eating, but not for the reasons you might think.
Remember the story of "The Little Engine That Could"? That could well describe the city of Dalton, a town of some 34,000 nestled in the corner of northwest Georgia, not far from the Tennessee line.