The sounds of summer, July 4th, Independence Day - children jumping into pools, burgers sizzling on the grill and fireworks lighting up the darkness as communities celebrate. Sadly, all too often these happy sounds have to compete with emergency sirens or are replaced with the noisy hustle of a local emergency room.
What's a state to do when the federal surface transportation program heads toward its Sept. 1 expiration date with little promise of a new transportation bill, and the Federal Highway Trust Fund's expenditures outpace tax receipts about $1.25 billion a month?
Understanding stormwater pollution actually is quite simple. When it rains, it pours, and when it pours, the storm-water process is set in motion.
A recent Gallup poll which asked 1,027 adult Americans how much confidence they had in 17 of the country's institutions may show what most folks already know.
Mama used to fry biscuits. If you had known Mama, that wouldn't surprise you, because she fried every food possible. In the course of her life, I knew her to fry green beans, corn, grits and cornmeal mush.
I wish toddler enthusiasm was infectious. I love seeing my 2-year-old daughter happy about anything and, to an extent, her elation at simple things does wear off on me. However, it would be nice if I could get as excited about anything in life - anything at all - as Reese does about blowing bubbles. Or sitting in a wading pool in the backyard. Or getting a taste of apple juice that hasn't been cut with water to reduce the sugar content.
I was on my computer the other day - just as I am every day of my life - and I tried to save a project I was working on, but it would not save.
MOULTRIE - I recently tried to make a phone call to a company to address an issue relative to my profession. As I would expect, I got a recording. This is the world we live in today.
Politically speaking, perhaps the biggest news story last week was the historic loss of U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a primary election.
I have said it before, but it bears repeating: If I don't qualify for Heaven - a distinct possibility - my preferred alternates are (a) Athens, Georgia, on a crisp fall Saturday afternoon; (b) Athens, Georgia, on a warm spring day or (c) Athens, Georgia, on any day.
There are many things I love about the South. Southerners are fiercely patriotic. We're neighborly. We're storytellers without equal. We're unabashedly and unapologetically faithful. We're proudly hospitable. But here's what I love just a little bit better than all the rest: We believe mightily in courtesy and manners.
Each year, an estimated 5 million older persons are abused, neglected and exploited.
Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there. It seems to me that there once was a time - now, this was decades ago, mind you - when, if a father did anything out of the ordinary, he was commended and praised for going above and beyond.
MOULTRIE - I seldom watch fishing shows on television. For one thing, if you see someone catch one fish, then you've pretty much seen him catch them all. It's not like he's going to accidentally pull up a sunken treasure chest or a mermaid. Give or take a few ounces, it's going to be the same fish.
Voter turnout was abysmal during the May primaries despite important races for governor and both the Congressional First District and one of Georgia's two seats in the Senate. Statewide, less than 20 percent of registered voters participated. In Bryan County, that number was even lower – only 15.4 percent of the county's 18,400 registered voters bothered to exercise their right to help elect their leaders.
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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