A new year is upon us and like everyone else, this is a good time to look back on the previous year and take a closer look at what we achieved.
I'll go ahead and admit to what everyone else is already thinking: We're missing the extra deployment money. It's not that we blew all of the additional pay and didn't save anything. We saved, but we were definitely living a little more comfortably, too. Now, with all of that saved money off limits, hundreds less per paycheck, and the increased expense of feeding a full grown man, we just don't have quite as much fun money as we once did.
When we were young, most everything was good. We made it out of high school and many of us went on to college, trade school, the military, the work force or maybe even hitchhiked across the country. Some of us married our sweethearts and settled down to buy homes and raise families. Others moved far away and some chose to stay nearby or in our hometowns, close to family.
The past week you would have thought we were living in two different states. North of the Gnat Line, it seemed like Siberia. Even possums and yard dogs were hugging each other trying to stay warm. South of the line, folks assumed that God was punishing North Georgia for having taken most of the political power in the last election.
Dear Editor: I have been following the Bryan County News reports since November about the new bullying policy adopted by the Bryan County Board if Education in accordance with the Georgia law passed in May of 2010.
If you are a veteran or the widow(er) of a veteran, you may be entitled to collect $1,000 to $2,000 tax-free per month that you earned through service to our country. Many Bryan County residents, like most veterans nationwide, are still unaware of the aid and attendance benefit available through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Designed to help pay for health-care, this benefit can be a lifesaver if you are facing the challenge of paying spiraling costs while maintaining your quality of life.
Editor's note: State Sen. Buddy Carter, R- Pooler, will periodically provide written updates during the legislative session, which began Jan. 10 and is expected to last until the latter days of March.
Almost instantaneously the horrific shooting in Tucson, Ariz., became the occasion for partisan hatred.
We remain skeptical that the courts will step in to save Yucca Mountain - and, by extension, the Central Savannah River Area.
Among the great things about the deep South is that we have grits, the best college football in the land and very little snow.
Sometimes the most important lessons learned at school don't come from a classroom.
It sneaks up on you, your love for this place. You're assigned this duty station, so you pack up all your bags, hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. You arrive in the heart of the summer, and your lungs feel like the humidity just might kill you. You have no friends, no family, no job and no school. Then it happens.
When the state of Georgia arrested four Final Exit Network volunteers, it accused them and our group, which advocates for the right to die with dignity, of assisting in suicides. In doing so, it drew attention to a Georgia law that violates the First Amendment right to free speech - and now FEN has brought an action in U.S. District Court to defend its rights.
Year 2010 was not the year of the Georgia Bulldogs football team. Coach Mark Richt's team just could not seem to get anything right in 2010.
To Nicholas Wansley and Brian and Thomas Yarbrough:
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.
When thinking about the $1.1 trillion spending bill passed by Congress last month, one might ask, "What does Congress have against conservation?"
Dear Cameron Charles Yarbrough: For the past 15 years, I have taken the opportunity at the beginning of the New Year to share some advice - first with your dad and his cousins and now with you, my great-grandson. I hope you don't mind and will bear with me. You probably would rather be playing with your Legos and I understand that but maybe something in this letter might make a difference in your life in years to come. I pray that will be so.
Editor, I've been seeing a lot more commercials for the Wounded Warrior Project on television recently, requesting that I send in my $19 per month.
A few years ago, the magazine I have long loved - Southern Living - changed. Like most Southerners, I have an aversion to change, which is why our traditions have such stranglehold. We never let go.
There's nothing like a good, old-fashioned road trip to ensure that good parenting habits and ground rules are not only broken, but stomped to smithereens and tossed out of a (moving car) window.
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