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POSTED: May 3, 2010 2:35 p.m.
Some recent thoughts, in no particular order. No particular order at all.
- First, a question: Why is it that so many people with “educator” license plates on their vehicles drive like they need driver’s education? And why are teachers called educators now, anyway?
- I think I have one answer to why there’s a childhood obesity epidemic. I was in a neighboring county the other day around the time school got out and got stuck behind a bus in a residential area. It stopped once, and two kids got out. It stopped two driveways down and one kid got off. It stopped at the next driveway maybe 100 feet down the road and another kid got out.
In all, I counted six stops in less than a block, all for seven kids. In my day, we had a bus stop on the corner and it was about two miles away, uphill. Both ways. That’ll work your flab off.
On the flip side, I don’t know if I’d want my kid walking 20 feet on the side of any road these days. There’s so much traffic and so many motorists drive like they have educator plates, so it’s not exactly safe out there.
- I believe health care reform is desperately needed. I also tend to believe things are never quite as bad as some folks say they are or as good as others claim, and that probably applies to the recently passed legislation known far and wide as health care reform.
I believe this, too. Much of the opposition to this plan isn’t so much about health care. It's instead frustration about people who can and won’t work and feel entitled to a government check. Rightly or wrongly, a lot of folks see health care reform as yet another government handout their tax dollars will have to support.
And they’re tired of that.  Quite frankly, I don’t blame them.
Especially when approximately half the people who live in the U.S. pay no federal income taxes.
- When did compromise become a dirty word? And while I certainly believe less government is better government, I can't help wondering where the Tea Party was when the Republicans were in power, bailing out banks?
- Another Earth Day has come and gone, and in honor of it I’m giving out my first ever Jeff Whitten Earth Day Award for environmentalism. Sure it's late, but I didn't think of it until Thursday night.
I don't know what I'm going to call it, but it is my small (very small) way of giving a tiny bit of recognition to people who give to the environment. What do they win? Nothing but respect.
Now, I thought about a number of people I could give this award to, but since I don't want to leave anyone out, I'm only going to name the winner --- Richmond Hill resident Roy Hubbard, one of the most cantankerous, obstinate, pugnacious, scrappy and downright irascible tree huggers I have ever met.
Yep, I used a thesaurus.
I don’t always agree with Roy, a Savannah native and former Green Beret who for some reason reminds me of the late great actor George C. Scott and is actually a very nice person who lives life to the fullest.
What's more, even when I disagree with him, I respect Roy's point of view and his tenacity when it comes to his causes. 
In fact, he’s written yet another guest column in today’s issue.
But he does more than compose fiery rants for newspapers. An old school political conservative, Roy is nevertheless tireless in his dedication to protecting Georgia’s coast. He attends meetings. He badgers politicians and bureaucrats and anyone else who will listen.
Roy even threatens on occasion to run for office in an effort to cause a ruckus in establishment circles.
He’s certainly unafraid to take on special interests or the powers that be, and in that regard Roy -- who signs his emails on occasion as a ’whacko tree hugger’  or something like that -- has thanklessly fought for what he thinks is right.
And I suspect he loves a good fight.
Still, there are times I get the sense that Roy is getting a bit frustrated by his perceived lack of progress on certain issues and his perception that too many of us are far too apathetic about the world we're about to leave to our kids and theirs.
I understand. It can seem at times there's a great black hole of disinterest out there. Apathy reigns. 
But then something happens and Roy gets riled up again. That's a good thing.
In closing, this:
Some might think one Roy is enough. Others probably think one Roy is about 10 too many.
I believe our coast needs all the Roys it can get.

Whitten is editor of the Bryan County News.

 

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