When trying to finish a job faster, adding more tasks to it wouldn't seem the best approach. Yet, that's exactly what the Georgia Department of Transportation is doing – and early results are promising.
Take a look at the Georgia Department of Education's assessment of student performance on this year's Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests, and you'll read statements like the following:
Dear public school teachers in Georgia,
Frightening seniors about Medicare changes is often referred to as Medi-scare. All Americans should be scared: In the coming years, 78 million baby boomers will place unprecedented demands on Medicare. Meanwhile, Medicare's Hospital Insurance Fund will run out of money in 2024, according to the 2011 Medicare Trustees Report.
Men - especially military men - just function differently than women. It's possible that's the most obvious conclusion I've ever made, but I recently found myself needing the reminder.
This is America. All of our kids are smart as a whip. So, why do Atlanta teachers and administrators even have to think about erasing wrong answers on standardized tests in order to make them look good? Aren't they good already? The history of their grades over the years would seem to prove that, after all.
Justice may have been served Wednesday when Joseph Bozicevich was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the September 2008 shooting deaths of Staff Sgt. Darris Dawson and Sgt. Wesley Durbin in Iraq. But even though the sentencing decision likely was what the families of the deceased had been hoping for, there clearly are no winners in this situation.
In the context of a state budget, even a depressed and depleted one like Georgia's, $30-$40 million isn't really all that much. In contexts that involve real people and real money (as opposed to the Monopoly money politicians sometimes act as though they're tossing around), it's huge.
In the 18th century, Great Britain, with trade domination, was the world's powerhouse. Starting in the 19th century, the United States surpassed Great Britain as the industrial leader, and we never looked back. America was every country's desired trading partner.
Next week, the Georgia State Legislature will convene into special session to redraw House, Senate and Congressional districts to conform to the 2010 U.S. Census. The special session is expected to last two to three weeks.
If "compromise" means an agreement that doesn't satisfy anybody, then last week's Washington budget deal should be part of the dictionary definition.
I usually try to run the big decisions by you before I take action, but I know you have been distracted over the past weeks watching our selfless public servants in Washington put our interests and those of our nation above petty, partisan political sniping in the debt ceiling debate and marveling at how our crackerjack president, Mr. Swivelhead, makes Jimmy Carter's woebegone administration look like a cross between the Garden of Eden (pre-apple tasting) and Brigadoon.
Severe storms, extreme heat, a crippling freeze, deadly tornadoes, terrible wildfires - Mother Nature has managed to throw almost everything in the book at us within six short months. With just half a year under our belt, the state of Georgia and metro Atlanta already have experienced their share of severe weather, and we obviously don't know what's in store for the second half of 2011.
Editor's note: this op-ed column is a response to a guest editorial from the Athens Banner-Herald that ran July 30.
The Georgia General Assembly will reconvene less than two weeks from now in a special session to take on the constitutionally mandated legislative task of redistricting. Like the U.S. Census, and as a result of it, this process occurs every 10 years when states redraw their congressional and legislative maps to reflect population and other demographic changes.
A little time has passed since Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's, which means we're far enough removed from the festivities that I can pen this opinion piece without letting those warm and fuzzy "holiday feelings" bias my sentiment. It has become clear to me that Americans are doing all they can to take God out of the holiday season, and it's disturbing.
Editor, There are a multitude of ads on TV these days from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals concerning homeless, injured, abused animals.
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.
The state of Georgia's Juvenile Justice System is going to the dogs. And that's a good thing.
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.
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.
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!)
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.
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, On behalf of Bryan County Children's Fund, I would like to take this opportunity to extend our sincere appreciation to everyone who helped to support the program this year. We were able to provide Christmas gifts to over 400 disadvantaged children in our county. This would not have been possible without collaboration and assistance from local churches, businesses, schools, social-service agencies and many others. The communitywide response was overwhelming. We are exceptionally thankful to The Good Ol' Boys, who raised funds through the annual Santa Scramble Golf Tournament and to Pembroke Advanced Communication for use of their space ...
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.
Allen Peake is a man on a mission. The five-term Republican state representative from Macon is the driving force behind proposed legislation to legalize medical marijuana in Georgia. He may succeed this year after suffering a setback in 2014 when the House and Senate got into a bit of political brinksmanship at the last minute and failed to pass his bill, which had sailed through the House with only four negative votes.
My parents, according to the world's definition of "cool," were not. Neither drank, nor did either ever possess a credit card. Groceries and clothing were paid for in cash, utilities paid by check, and the only monthly payments they ever allowed themselves were a mortgage for a house, a short-term loan for another farm, and a couple of cars bought, over time, and paid for quickly.
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