Liberty County is our home. Just as we take care of the homes we live in with our families, we need to take care of our community. Keep Liberty Beautiful sincerely appreciates the nearly 4,000 volunteers each year who help to make our county cleaner and more attractive through neighborhood projects and area litter cleanups, but those who are interested in going to the next level should consider "adopting" Liberty.
The state of Georgia's Juvenile Justice System is going to the dogs. And that's a good thing.
It happened a few months back. My father-in-law celebrated, to our great joy, his 88th birthday. There was no pomp or circumstance involved. He abhors that. Because he is among the most beautifully well-mannered people I have ever encountered, he politely took all the calls though he really wished we would just treat it as another day and leave him alone to watch the news channel.
As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, chairman of the Economic Development and Tourism Committee, and a member of the House's Ways and Means Committee, last week was a busy one for me. We gathered for four days of hearings at Gov. Nathan Deal's office, where the budget was presented. We also listened as state agencies offered input about budget needs and then asked questions regarding which programs worked well or were under- or over-funded.
My fellow Georgians: In order to keep my national certification as a modest and much-beloved columnist, it is required that I submit to you at the first of every year my State of the Column message. (Yay! Clap! Clap! Clap!) I do that gladly today. For one thing, this will be a lot shorter and less boring than the State of the Union address (Boooo!) and, also, we don't have to endure a bunch of fawning politicians trying to be seen on national television. (Yay! Ha! Ha! Ha!)
In politics, you must take advantage of windows of opportunity. Sometimes good ideas are sidetracked by unfortunate events, a bad economy or even personality conflicts among political leaders. Given the risk of delaying decisions, Georgia needs to address its transportation shortfall quickly and practically.
Ready to start this new year right?
Editor, Since Georgia's own Sen. Johnny Isakson voted for discriminating against pre-9/11 veterans and later against ending this discrimination, I've penned and sent the following to then-Senate Veterans' Affairs Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-VT, who introduced the Caregivers Expansion and Improvement Act of 2013:
It happened the other day. It's funny how things so simple can remind us of things so meaningful, of those sweets that are tucked inside our hearts and unknowingly treasured.
Two weeks ago, my husband, daughter and I struggled to come up with a fun way to pass a Sunday afternoon. My mother-in-law had just been staying with us, and she left that morning to head back to Florida. Since I'd given our house a good, thorough "pre-mother-in-law-visit" cleaning before she arrived, I was completely caught up on chores and housework.
Editor, In an attempt to somewhat clarify and somewhat respond to the recent letters to the editor, the online opinion poll question in the Coastal Courier and subsequent results of said poll, I want to say that the protests (locally and nationally) are not anti-police, as some have and continue to misinterpret them to be.
Editor, In recent weeks, more than 20 police officers have been killed or wounded by fanatics and/or terrorists on this planet. This would be a great time for Rep. Al Williams, Mayor Pro Tem Charles Frasier, Commissioner Gary Gilliard, Councilwoman Luciria Luckey Lovette, et al., to make a statement of recognition and support for police officers - wherever they serve. This exercise of their rights would go a long way to heal the wound of what was interpreted by many to be anti-police sentiment last month.
With major policy decisions on transportation, education, health care and tax reform on the legislative agenda, Georgia should think beyond the traditional approach of spending more money as the solution for every problem. Focusing on ways to enhance economic opportunity and empower individuals beats doubling down on the status quo.
Editor, I read Mr. Bruce McCartney's letter to the editor regarding the Wounded Warrior Project. He is totally correct. The project is top-heavy with a greedy group of executives. The top 10 officers have a compensation package from $150,000 to $333,000 a year. The remaining funds are disbursed to over 40 distribution organizations with similar management configurations.
Editor, On behalf of the St. James Community Church family, we would like to give thanks to everyone for coming out to our church-appreciation banquet that was held Saturday, Dec. 6.
It has been 31 years since he passed away, and not a day goes by that I don't miss him, especially on Father's Day.
The transportation bill received much attention this past legislative session, and rightfully so. It doesn't take long for one to drive anywhere in Georgia before noticing that our roads, interstates, and bridges are in terrible disrepair.
You may be surprised to learn that people sometimes disagree with me. You may be equally surprised that sometimes I see their point in the disagreement. Sometimes, I agree with that disagreement.
Many years ago, at the conclusion of the longest criminal jury trial in Liberty County's history, I overheard an attorney's son, who sat through several days of presentation of evidence during the trial, tell his father that, of all the jobs of court officials involved, he wanted my job as clerk of superior court.
Are you planning your summer vacation? I hope you don't think you have to toss out all your good green and sustainable habits when you travel!
Editor, The following is written in response to your article on June 10, 2015, discussing the indictment of Crystal Tilley. The Coastal Courier called the City of Walthourville earlier in the week seeking comments on the indictment. Then, as now, it would have been inappropriate for the city to officially comment on this matter. There is an ongoing criminal case, and current city officials and employees may be witnesses or called to give testimony.
Editor, Locked out!
You've got to give credit to U.S. Rep. Dr. Tom Price, R-Ga.: He introduced his first post-Obamacare bill as early as 2009 and has reintroduced an updated version in every Congress since then. The latest Empowering Patients First Act (House Resolution 2300), introduced this month, is the fourth iteration.
On June 19, a Vietnam veterans welcome-home ceremony will be held at Cottrell Field on Fort Stewart. Many local communities also have designated the day as a time to honor all veterans who served during this war. This ceremony is a great event and one that everyone in the community should make plans to attend.
Last week, Congress passed, and President Barack Obama signed, legislation that will alter somewhat how federal law enforcement can monitor our phone calls in the future.