My name is Raphael Semmes, and I'm glad to be a part of our community. By way of introduction, I grew up in Savannah, graduated from "the original" Savannah High School, went off to college at the Universities of Virginia (Charlottesville) and Georgia (Athens), came home after graduate school and the death of my father, and unexpectedly wound up taking his place as treasurer and credit manager for the family's wholesale hardware business.
Last week, the NAACP held a rally in support of having former Liberty County tax commissioner Carolyn Brown paroled.
With $7 trillion in wealth disappearing in the U.S. last year, it hasn't been a banner time for anyone involved in the financial markets. But it may be the Securities and Exchange Commission that has taken the biggest bath.
The Senate returned to session last week with all eyes and ears on the first bills and resolutions of the session. Most notable were bills on transportation, zero-based budgeting and tougher restrictions for metal theft crimes. However, the two major issues on everyone's mind were the Homeowner Tax Relief Grant (HTRG) funding and capping property taxes.
Anyone who thought Democrats and Republicans in Washington would join hands and skip into the sunset together on the Yellow Brick Road must have been dreaming.
This first person account of Barack Obama's presidential inauguration was delayed when I got caught up in the crowd of an estimated 2 million people trying to leave Washington, D.C., at the same time. Thanks to the overtaxed metro system, it took me nearly six hours to make the 18-minute trip back to Arlington, Va., where I was staying.
From what I read in this and other newspapers around the world is that everybody's broke or are going to be soon.
The news out of Atlanta in recent weeks has been how the state is going to deal with a shortfall in the current budget year. Lawmakers are there trying to figure that out now. State law prohibits deficit spending, so our represenatives are trying to figure out what to do. The question is why does the state have a $2 billion deficit?"
On Jan. 12, the 150th legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly was gaveled open as members of the House of Representatives and members of the Senate were sworn in for our legislative duties. This process repeats itself every two years following the elections, and the winners of the 180 districts in the House and 56 districts in the Senate are seated to serve their district and state.
If you believe President Obama inherited a truckload of problems from George W. Bush, consider what the next Georgia governor faces.
As the 2009 Legislative Session convenes, we are addressing issues that are being discussed around kitchen tables throughout the state. As Georgians in every corner of our state closely watch their bottom lines during this economic downturn, it will also be a tough session for lawmakers.
It's getting to the point where every time I watch The View, I have to take a tranquilizer and lie down to keep my head from imploding or exploding or just unscrewing and rolling across the floor.
If we are to continue Georgia's growth and prosperity, we must solve our transportation issues for the entire state. Adding a lane along a busy interstate, extending a rail line by a couple of miles or simply allowing Metro Atlanta to tax itself won't solve our problems.
At least the word "trillion" still has cachet as denoting a lot of money. "Billion" has been surpassed during the past few months, and "million" has long been positively quaint.
In the spring of 1972, the plaintiffs in Acree v. Richmond County Board of Education petitioned the federal court to find the board of education in contempt for not complying with the desegregation orders of Federal District Judge Alexander Lawrence. The contempt motion was assigned to U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Griffin B. Bell.
Even by my impossibly high standards, this has been a good week. It began with a whack upside the head from a reader in South Georgia after I opined that those who want to change the way we teach our children in public schools ought to have their kids in public schools. I was referring to the efforts led by Sen. William Ligon, R-Brunswick, to overturn the Common Core curriculum in the recent legislative session.
Having had time to reflect on the recently completed 2014 session of the Georgia General Assembly, it is with great regret that I have to say it was the most embarrassing performance by your state legislature that I can remember.
Sometimes, I think I focus too much on the litter. But it is the nature of what I do.
Editor, I travel a lot and have written on the subject of gun rights before. Recently in Atlanta, they locked down a school because a neighbor was squirrel hunting nearby. Those people in Sandy Hook, Conn., are getting a new school because one of their own citizens committed murder there. Pretty soon, local commissioners are going to be sending drones through the community to look for zoning violations.
Editor, April marks the nation's "Month of the Military Child" - a time to honor youth and their service to our country. On Tuesday, April 15, as a visible way to show support and thank military children for their strength and sacrifices, the public is invited to "Purple Up! For Military Kids." Everyone in the community is encouraged to wear purple shirts, scarves, shoes, buttons and pants. If it's purple, or can be turned purple, make it happen.
It happened recently - the 20th anniversary of stock-car racer Davey Allison's death. Maybe you remember him. Maybe you don't. But I shall never forget him.
There is nothing more important than the safety and protection of innocent children. Not constitutional rights, not animal rights, not thoughts, opinions, feelings or political beliefs. The lives of children must be given top priority.