Two bills passed in the waning days of Georgia's 2011 regular legislative session will both advance the cause of criminal justice in the state, and both are years overdue.
Here in Richmond Hill and everywhere, we can hardly number all the good things created by the use of the cell phone, such as emergency matters, crime prevention, convenience in communication, enormous effects on the economy, and on and on.
Have people just forgotten how to be kind? Or have forwarded emails warning us to beware of criminal scams to steal our wallets and kidnap our children just resulted in increased public paranoia?
My husband and I now are just a few small steps away from making what may be one of the riskiest decisions a military family can make. That's right - we're buying a house. With only the finalities left in the process, I'm starting to pack up my clothes - most of which don't fit my new pregnant figure anyway - and perusing paint swatches for a nursery.
Today I got an email from Mohammad. And yes, he has a deal for me.
You probably have a favorite tree-lined street in your community. Or a tree-filled neighborhood you've always admired. Or a favorite forest where you like to bask in the beauty of the trees.
Thirty-eight states have approved some form of horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering. Georgia is not one of those 38 states, but for years there has been talk during sessions of the General Assembly about expanding the state horse industry by allowing racing.
I believe that we are about to witness the biggest whoop-de-do since the invention of the Glennville Onion Festival. The royal wedding is a big deal, to say the least. Why, even Elton John and his life partner are attending. They are bringing that little baby they bought. Other celebs who are scheduled to attend include Paul McCartney and Lady Gaga.
"So what's new?" the reporter asked. "Haven't we heard this all before?" His inquiry was striking in its simplicity, yet it was a harsh wake-up call to reality.
I feel like a failure. For years, I have told you what a privilege it is to live in the great state of Georgia. We have beautiful mountains; pristine beaches; the oldest state-chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South; as well as Vidalia onions and more concrete fishponds than you can count. And we are unhappy. Where have I gone wrong?
It was a successful 2011 legislative session for my colleagues and me at the Georgia General Assembly. We accomplished many items on our agenda for this year, and some will be worked on and tackled during the next legislative session.
About the best possible outcome from the latest session of the Georgia General Assembly was that lawmakers would, for another year, find ways to keep the state treading water until better times take firm root.
Under the laws governing the federal highway program, the federal fuel taxes paid into the trust fund by motorists (18.3 cents per gallon) and truckers are returned to the states by a series of mathematical formulas that attempt to match the scope and usage of each state's surface-transportation system with payments received from the trust fund. These formulas, however, embody a number of serious flaws that cause many states (called donors) to consistently receive shares that are less than they pay in, while others (called donees) consistently receive more.
San Olens, Georgia's new attorney general, has hit the ground running and he's making great strides in the matter of transparency in government.
The size of government threatens the American way of life as we know it. The solution is straightforward - cut government. A vibrant grass-roots movement insists that it happen, and Washington is lousy with rival plans for how to go about it.
I happen to love the song "Happy" from the movie soundtrack, "Despicable Me 2."
Most mornings, I spend about five minutes pulling my freshly washed hair into a ponytail. It's easy, it's efficient, and, I like to tell myself, it's even chic. When I know I'll be meeting important people or attending special events, however (like, say, the United Way annual campaign kick-off party or a chamber of commerce breakfast), I break out the products and utensils and spend an extra 20 minutes or so coaxing my locks into what I hope is a more professional-looking style.
I've always been one of those persons who won't hire someone to do something for me if I can do it myself, such as painting my house, building a deck, building a utility barn, caring for my own lawn, installing new flooring, etc. It was just the way I was raised. And it stuck.
Editor, This is an open letter to Attorney General Eric Holder.
Editor, It seems like we just cut the ribbon to our new location at 154 Thunderbird Drive. Our brand new 10,000 square foot facility seemed so BIG next to our little white building on 10055 Ford Ave. Site 3B, where the YMCA had resided in for the previous 10 years. We moved with excitement, added more equipment, larger classes, and exciting new family programs.
I'm not sure how many wilderness survival shows there are on television right now, but it appears there is some kind of obsession going on with this type of programming. And they are running the gamut from being naked in the wild to being fat in the wild. That's right, there's a show now titled "Fat Guys in The Woods." Fortunately, they keep their britches on.
• President Ronald Reagan, Jan. 30, 1984: "Exports create and sustain jobs for millions of American workers and contribute to the growth and strength of the United States economy. The Export-Import Bank contributes in a significant way to our nation's export sales."
Win at life! Isn't that what we all want to do? That is the headline gracing one of the magazines sitting on our coffee table. I guess the real question is, "what defines winning at life?" After all, life has a pretty broad playing field. Maybe what best defines winning in life is society's dire need to be in control. Everyone values their independence and sense of control, right?
Editor, Recently, I've spotted some news headlines - around the region, state and country - that I never thought I'd see. It really makes me wonder, "Whatever were they thinking?"
Editor, The following is an open letter on sequestration to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, from retired U.S. Army Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, head of the Association of the United States Army:
Remember the story of "The Little Engine That Could"? That could well describe the city of Dalton, a town of some 34,000 nestled in the corner of northwest Georgia, not far from the Tennessee line.
Lately, I've been thinking about the treasure trove that can be found in life's challenging times - the wisdom, the victories, the emotional muscle built and, of course, the stories. As those who know me well often say with a smile, "It's always about the story with her."
I realize, perhaps better than anyone, that it's not polite to ask others about their reproductive plans. I've long ranted about how much it annoyed me when friends, family members and even perfect strangers would inquire about a possible plunge into parenthood. Even now, as most of my readers know, I get aggravated when people ask whether my 2-year-old daughter, Reese, will ever be a sister.