In all fairness, Gov. Nathan Deal – and, in fact, any new Georgia governor – faces a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" conundrum in connection with marking their inauguration as the state's chief executive, and the issue of whether public or private resources are used to fund any festivities associated with their taking the oath of office.
Rats. I thought I could get out of writing a column this week.
It looks like Porsche has no problems with the new Georgia law that mandates that all companies with more than 10 employees use the free, federal E-Verify system to determine whether those people are in the country legally.
The 2011 General Assembly marked my seventh year as a legislator. Every year, I learn something new or am reminded of something along the way. This year certainly was no different. Here are a few things I either learned or was reminded of:
We invaded Afghanistan because the Taliban was harboring Al-Qaeda members and allowing them to train fighters who were willing to kill Americans. Now, 10 years later, we are still there but I don't think Al-Qaeda is. We now are fighting the Taliban, which, I admit, is a bad group, but not the correct target. We appear to be fighting the Taliban because the Afghans are unable to put together a sufficiently trained army to defend themselves. It is time for us to leave.
Gov. Nathan Deal recently signed into law SB 36, the Patient Safety Act of 2011, making Georgia one of the last states in the nation to implement a prescription drug monitoring program to combat the growing problem of prescription drug abuse.
For at least a week now, it's been a barrage of commercials and sale flyers for Memorial Day. I don't have a problem with any merchant or business capitalizing on holidays or anyone getting a good deal on a new car or mattress, but I'm concerned that we lose the real meaning of Memorial Day every May.
Almost all military spouses can be divided up into two categories: passive and active. Recently I've experienced some confusion about which category I belong in. I've always considered myself rather passive when it comes to my position as the soldier's other half. I'm not much into Family Readiness Group meetings - although I probably should be - and I rarely find myself worrying about my husband's upcoming promotions.
For many of us, the observance of the fourth Monday in May has taken on special significance during our lifetimes. The long-term conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, in particular, have affected so many families and individuals right here in our community. Memorial Day also rekindles memories of our past, not only the aftermath of more dated conflicts, but also of customs observed during our childhood and beyond.
All over Liberty County - and most of the country, for that matter - folks are striking up grills for backyard barbecues, hitting stores for holiday sales and reveling in the fact that they don't have to go to work Monday.
• One of the greatest singing voices I ever heard and one of the most talented people I ever knew died last week and, yes, he was a Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket through and through. Josh Powell lost his battle with multiple myeloma at the age of 70. He was an outstanding basketball player - a part of Tech's first NCAA tournament team in 1960 and captain in 1962. He was an Emory law graduate who spurned the profession to work with kids through the Josh Powell Summer Day Camp, which he began in 1972 and still is in operation today ...
I checked my pocket this morning and the only change that I could count on was two dimes and three pennies. Forget looking in my wallet. All that I have there are two $1 bills and family photos.
For years, the charter-school movement was thwarted in Georgia by local school districts that turned down application after application. Many of those denials were for cause. Other charter school applications, however, were turned down for myriad other reasons.
We all produce trash that must be managed and disposed of in a manner to protect human health and the environment. I am Steve Harbin, a professional engineer with 29 years of engineering experience, 28 of which have included a primary focus in the planning and implementation of more than 300 solid waste projects, including design of more than 40 municipal solid waste landfills.
The regular session of the 2011 Georgia General Assembly was a mixed bag – some good, some bad, some rancor over both. But the heated partisan debates over things like immigration and tree-cutting end up looking like garden parties compared to what lies ahead in August.
Last week, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter shared via this column his vision for public education in Georgia.
Editor, Those of you familiar with the Long County School System are aware of the student growth and financial struggles faced by our system for many years. We are a low-wealth system, ranked 171st out of 180 school systems. Our students and teachers presently occupy many classrooms built in 1951 or earlier. The hardships we have faced have been many, but with the dedication of previous and present boards, superintendents, administrators, teachers and staff, we have survived.
Yes, I know that I am, occasionally, prone to embellishment. But trust me when I say this is the law and the gospel: I have a longtime friend who only calls me when someone dies. Most times, I know the person, but sometimes I don't have a clue the person ever existed.
Go get a flu shot. Also, make sure you're children get flu shots. It's a plain and simple set of instructions, but following them could save a life. Please, go do it.
Editor, Watch out, Bryan County, in case the Sunday-voting issue rears its head in your neck of the woods, just as it has in Liberty County. This is something I think everyone in our region needs to be aware of, because it involves something greater than just run-of-the-mill politics.
I have asked the two major gubernatorial candidates to talk to Georgia public-school teachers about their respective education platforms. This week, the floor belongs to Jason Carter, the Democratic challenger. Next week, it will be Republican Gov. Nathan Deal's turn.
The talking heads and politicians love to use the term, "boots on the ground." It sounds macho.
A friend of mine, long embroiled in upsets, distractions, problems and tribulations, called one day to announce happily that she was learning to let things roll right off her back.
Letting a child watch too much TV may be as bad for parents as it is for little ones. In fact, depending on which shows a child is allowed to watch, it may be worse for parents.
Last week, the Georgia Ports Authority approved allocating up to $3 million for maintenance of the shipping channel to the Port of Brunswick, marking the second-straight year the GPA has had to supplement federal funds for this project.
I talk to a wide variety of people throughout the week. The topics of our discussions vary greatly, but it is safe to say that many of my conversations deal with aging parents and aging issues in general.
Over the next three years, as many as 60,000 military members are expected to return to Georgia. Already, 770,000 veterans call Georgia home. In fact, the Peach State is home to the fourth-largest population of veterans nationwide. In addition to those returning to Georgia, more than 10,000 service members will be transitioning from the state's Army installations - 4,000 from Fort Stewart alone.
If I die anytime soon - and I have no plans to do so at the moment - please see that the first paragraph of my obituary reads, "He was past president of the University of Georgia National Alumni Association." You can save for later paragraphs the part about my being often mistaken for Brad Pitt and my uncanny ability to put commas where they don't belong.
"It's a funny thing." That's what Mama used to say when something baffled her. Like Mama, I prefer that things make sense. Otherwise, I'll ponder, figure, study and try to decipher that funny thing until it's somewhat sensible.
This month marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dr. Jonas Salk.