OK, class. Our word this week is Kakistocracy.
During the six years that I have served in the Georgia state legislature, this past session may have been the most productive yet.
President Barack Obama said at his BP press conference that when he was shaving the other day, his daughter Malia asked him, "Did you plug the hole yet, Daddy?"
What a Paine!
It was the mistake heard round the world.
The Georgia Chamber of Commerce was heartened to see our state's significant achievements in education reform recognized earlier this year with a strong finish in the initial round of Race to the Top (RT3) grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education. We believe RT3 represents an excellent opportunity to build on Georgia's success, and we commend the state on its submission of a second-round application.
Many in Liberty County were surprised last week when Liberty County Probate Court Judge Nancy Aspinwall appointed Polly Martin to succeed her late husband, J. Don Martin, as sheriff of Liberty County. The public outcry generally questioned whether Martin's wife was the most qualified person to manage and lead Liberty County's law enforcement.
Would somebody tell that guy that runs Mexico to buy a map?
There are 78 million baby boomers and a very large number of them have retirement on their minds. If the past is a guide, more than 80 percent of them will retire before they become eligible for Medicare (at age 65). Although about one-third of U.S. workers have a promise of post-retirement health care from an employer, almost none of these promises are funded and, as is the case of the automobile companies, are likely to be broken in whole or in part.
When schools close for the summer, safe and enriching learning environments are out of reach and replaced by boredom, lost opportunities and risk for too many children. New analysis of data from the America After 3PM study measures the extent of this problem, concluding that just 21 percent of Georgia's schoolchildren (an estimated 350,878 kids) participate in summer learning programs – safe, structured programs that provide a variety of activities designed to encourage learning and development in the summer months.
Former Hinesville City Councilman Alonzo Walden once said he decided who got his vote for sheriff based on trust.
Up until the final days of the 2010 legislative session, Georgia was about to become the only state in the union without an arts council. The Georgia House had dropped all funding for the arts and it wasn't until the State Senate, under the leadership of Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Hill (R-Reidsville), stepped in and restored $860,000 for the Georgia Council for the Arts. That money will allow the state agency to qualify for federal and state matching arts grants.
While I was in Iowa for my most recent visit, people said things like, "He's been gone quite a while. He'll be back anytime now, right?" or "Your husband should be getting home soon, isn't he?"
At town hall meetings, events in my district and even trips to the grocery store, it's clear that main street America is frustrated with an out of touch Washington. The people who come up to me aren't angry as much as they are worried about the future of our country.
In an article that appeared in the Feb. 20, 2013 edition of the Coastal Courier, the Liberty County commissioners blamed Midway for delaying the fire plan, but never addressed or discussed why the city opted out of the county fire plan.
Lately, I've been thinking about the treasure trove that can be found in life's challenging times - the wisdom, the victories, the emotional muscle built and, of course, the stories. As those who know me well often say with a smile, "It's always about the story with her."
This weekend, Keep Liberty Beautiful will host two Native Plant Awareness Giveaway Days to encourage the use of native plants and other great growers in our community.
I realize, perhaps better than anyone, that it's not polite to ask others about their reproductive plans. I've long ranted about how much it annoyed me when friends, family members and even perfect strangers would inquire about a possible plunge into parenthood. Even now, as most of my readers know, I get aggravated when people ask whether my 2-year-old daughter, Reese, will ever be a sister.
Can it be? Is it September already? One of my favorite tunes, "September Song," was written by Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson for a Broadway musical in 1938 called "Knickerbocker Holiday." The lyrics could apply today to the current political season in Georgia: "For it's a long, long time from May to December, but the days grow short when you reach September."
History is fickle with heroic humans, even when they loom over their generation in service to humanity. Even presidents suffer the fickle hand of history, especially when events in their administrations overshadow them. It happened to Herbert Hoover.
Editor, Recently, I've spotted some news headlines - around the region, state and country - that I never thought I'd see. It really makes me wonder, "Whatever were they thinking?"
As many of our readers know, over the past few weeks the Courier received numerous comments and requests to look into recent policies and decisions made by leaders and administrators of the Liberty County School System.
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.