Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus! Most of us are familiar with the letter to the editor that ran in the New York Sun in 1897 from then 8-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon. She wrote, " Dear editor: I am 8 years old, and some of my friends say that there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, "If you see it in 'The Sun,' it's so. Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?"
I finally did it. I learned to make fire by rubbing two sticks together. And although that particular skill is not marketable in a conventional sense and likely not necessary unless you are lost in the wilderness, I feel a sense of accomplishment.
Very often, the way you respond to a problem depends on where you sit and how you view it. As a child, my parents taught me the value of a "bird's eye view." As an activist working in the trenches of the 1960s civil rights movement, I learned about building a movement from the ground up. Today as an elected official, I try to approach issues with a big-picture view to make the best decisions for my neighbors and the state.
This is the miracle of the modern world: In advanced economies, real income per capita is at least 16 times what it was about 200 years ago.
"People have no choice and there is no way to avoid it."
As a young girl growing up in England in the 1970s and 1980s, you are brought up to believe that everything is bigger in America. The movies, we call them films, books and American tourists at the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace all proved this.
I believe in Christmas.
The first thing to know about Georgia's water worries is that just as Washington doesn't have a revenue problem but a spending problem, Georgia doesn't have a water supply problem but a water storage problem. And with a busy session and a cash-strapped state facing Georgia's legislators, members of a joint committee on water supply got a head start last week on the challenges ahead. There were some outside-the-box proposals, but there's still more that could be done.
Working to improve educational opportunities for all Georgia students is a never-ending task. Over the last eight years, we have focused on creating a "lifetime of learning" culture in Georgia, starting from early childhood to late in life. We have placed as a priority improving SAT scores and student achievement, lowering the dropout rate and sending more of our students to college.
Why do I get my flu shot? It's probably not the answer you think. Two words: "herd immunity." They are strange words, but let me explain.
Two things keep me awake at night: The threat of terrorism and wondering what, if anything, our federal government is doing about it.
No more federal earmarks!
If electing a black president with the middle name Hussein was supposed to assuage anti-Americanism around the world, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange didn't get the message.
I've noticed along my journey that sometimes a single, brief comment from someone can greatly impact one's day.
It's only taken the better part of an entire year, but the 2010 election season has finally come to a close. And while all but one seat on two local boards that were up for grabs was uncontested, elections here in Bryan County were definitely interesting, if not exciting, with a three-way race for District 4 commissioner that ended Tuesday with the runoff.
When business called my husband, Tink, back to Los Angeles, he decided to take the opportunity to have his annual check-up. When it ended, he called home.
It was Aug. 30, 1928, when mom was born in Kanawha County, West Virginia, just a year prior to the start of the great depression. Finney Holler is the more exact location of her birth, although it is a little hard to determine exactly where Finney Holler is or was. Not too long after she was born her family moved down the road to Big Chimney; which does happen to be on the map.
Last week, seemingly all the national news agencies reported on the American Academy of Pediatrics' new recommendation that middle and high schools start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. to help ensure older children get more sleep.
Have you noticed how "nostalgia" sells? This hit me like an antique butter churn the other day as I was watching television, and so many of the commercials have incorporated "old rock" music into their marketing spiels. And we can say, "Yes I remember that one!" We might even say, "Hey, that was our song!"
Bryan County has one of the most generous homestead exemptions for senior citizens in the state, knocking $50,000 off the value of a home for both county and school taxes for residents over age 65.
Nostalgia is popular these days: Retro fashions, disco and '80s pop, "Throwback Thursdays" on social media. What's old is new again, what used to be hip turned square and then back to cool.
For many environmental organizations in Georgia, Earth Day will never be the same.
It is a potential killer whose numbers rival the deadly Ebola virus and it doesn't get near the attention it should. Unlike the dreaded illness currently ravaging West Africa this is one with a quick cure.
As an unusually mild, rainy summer was melting away - or rather, frosting its way into autumn - I took to noticing signs that our mountain people always have used to judge the forthcoming severity of winter.
Football season is upon us. I'm sure some of you are thrilled about its arrival. I am not.
People don't remember what you say. And they won't always remember exactly what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel. Feelings are real for people, even when the facts might not support their emotions.
I've heard it said a couple of times. You might get run over by someone on 144, but things like Wednesday's shooting just don't happen in Richmond Hill.
We are constantly reminded that the world is a very deadly place - not just for our military personnel - but also for members of the Fourth Estate. Some journalists working in dangerous regions in a globe full of conflict will not return home. The latest: 40-year-old James Foley. His gruesome death at the hands of ISIS has been available for all to see.
Editor, I would like to preface my comments with the statement that Fort Stewart/Hunter Army Airfield is a vital and virtually irreplaceable national strategic asset. If it is significantly reduced or closed, the loss would be a loss to the nation as a whole. There are very few places in the country like Fort Stewart/Hunter Army Airfield, where the transportation and training assets readily are available for immediate deployment to virtually anywhere in the world.
The regional transportation sales-tax referendum failed two years ago across most of Georgia. So it's encouraging to see movement again, in the form of a joint study committee on transportation funding that met Aug. 5 for the first of seven meetings around the state before the legislative session.