One of the most widely debated topics today is health care. Between physicians and patients, the dialogue is markedly louder. In an ideal world, physicians successfully could manage their patients' individual health, based on years of medical training using prescribed treatments determined by examinations, appropriate tests, diagnoses and patient histories.
The Georgia General Assembly was not officially in session last week; however, work still took place on behalf of the people. With only three days remaining of the 2011 legislative session, several items still are on the agenda. The No. 1 priority is the passage of the upcoming budget for Fiscal Year 2012. In addition to the budget, numerous other highly publicized and debated issues have yet to pass this session, including tax-reform legislation, the local option for Sunday sales of packaged adult beverages and immigration legislation.
Celebrating "Georgia Cities Week" is an annual event that recognizes the importance of and contributions by local government to its citizens. Cities throughout the state will celebrate during the week of April 17-23, and Richmond Hill is no exception.
A couple years ago, officials in Georgia thwarted an alleged plot by a group of third-grade special-education students to kill their teacher. According to the story, various versions of which were published by news outlets and websites across the state, administrators at Waycross' Center Elementary School learned of the plan when a student told authorities about it.
This week I got several e-mails from various associations encouraging me to become a vegetarian ... to swear off meat. I didn't read too far into any of them because it ain't gonna happen. And besides, I was taught not to swear.
The glaring exception in Georgia's lobbyist disclosure requirements is not the kind of thing for which any state should want to be singled out. Yet Peggy Kerns, director of the Center for Ethics in Government at the National Conference of State Legislatures, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution she knows of no other state where that exception applies.
Much has happened since the Georgia Board of Education unanimously adopted the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Both a new governor and new state school superintendent have come on board, and we will receive a $400 million Race to the Top grant to help improve our public schools.
Buried beneath all of the political ploys and nearly 14 trillion dollars of debt are members of the United States military and their families, all deeply concerned for their futures.
Just hearing the words "dependent exemption," "itemized deductions" and "tax credit phase out" makes most of us want to run screaming to our friendly CPA for help. As policy collides with politics in the tax debate, these concepts have moved to center stage.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as ObamaCare, was signed into law March 23, 2010. More than one year later, the law remains unpopular with the public and a core fiscal concern for many voters, while many are learning just how intrusive the government mandates are.
Let's dip into the mailbag today, boys and girls, and see what is on the minds of discerning readers.
The 2011 legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly is close to the finish line, with only three days of session remaining.
Day 34 (March 28): This morning I found myself right back where I left off the week before, in front of the House Judiciary Committee where I was presenting S.B. 36, the prescription drug monitoring bill. This is one of the toughest committees in the legislature and, while they have made major revisions to my bill, I am glad that it passes out and will now be in the House Rules Committee.
Dear Editor: An afternoon tea party – just what every girl loves. You wear fancy dresses, pretty hats, lavish jewelry, extravagant shoes … oh, and of course don't forget the tea. This is what you will take pleasure in at the Pearls and Purses Afternoon Tea Party benefiting the Richmond Hill YMCA's Priceless Gifts Campaign from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Richmond Hill City Center.
With the arrival of April, I am looking forward to the beginning of the baseball season – not a phrase I thought I would find myself saying before I moved to America.
Editor, Our country is in a precarious position. Our government is intruding in our personal lives, and our religions are under attack. The government is ignoring the invasion from south of the border, as well as the dangers imposed by ISIS and other terrorist groups.
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.