I like to surround myself with those smarter than me. In my case, that's not hard to do. I could make a sack of rocks look like a Mensa meeting.
Editor, When Buddy Carter was the mayor of Pooler, I was the city's financial officer. We worked together closely with the council and the city manager during those years as our small town grew to the bustling city that it is today.
At Easter Sunday worship a few weeks ago, the preacher used the term "all in" while delivering his message to the several hundred people that had gathered on the beach for the early morning service.
Many trends in American politics and government today make me worry about the health of our representative democracy. These include the decline of Congress as a powerful, coequal branch of government; the accumulation of power in the presidency; and the impact of money on the overall political process.
My husband, Tink, had been in Los Angeles for a week. The morning before his plane left LAX, it occurred to me that a good, wifely thing to do would be to welcome him back to the Rondarosa with a homecooked meal.
I realize there's a fine line between making sure children eat healthy most of the time and being overly strict about every morsel of food they put in their mouths. As it turns out, I may not be doing a great job of walking that line.
Editor, I personally want to thank the sponsors who made this year's Easter Extravaganza a success. We thank the Lord for parting the water, giving us the perfect break from the rain we needed.
With debate about your Second Amendment rights in the news recently, it's important to remember the principles behind these discussions.
Editor, How many injured horses and hospitalized people will it take before cruel and dangerous carriage operations are banned? In cities that still allow these rides, horses have been hurt, people have been airlifted for emergency medical treatment and property has been damaged or destroyed - all in the last few months alone.
The scene: The office of Teya Ryan, president of GPB.
Coastal Georgia's unique scenic quality is dominated by beautiful vistas across vast areas of tidal marsh.
Editor, Our military is in trouble. Budget cuts and anticipated reductions are having a serious impact on the maintenance and modernization of land systems, ships and aircraft. Another Base Realignment and Closure threatens bases, National Guard facilities and local businesses. Troop strength is being slashed. Compensation for those serving now and benefits for our veterans are being reduced. Yet, in a dangerous world, America needs a strong military.
Just a wisp of time elapsed, and the almighty sand gnat is back with a vengeance. Like a swallow returning to Capistrano or a martin to a gourd, the little varmints were back just in time for the Blessing of the Fleet. They just refuse to give up.
Five years ago, the federal government spent $169 billion to fund basic research and development. This fiscal year, it's down to $134 billion.
Editor, Contrary to popular opinion, I still believe public service is an honorable profession. Every family, wage earner and small business in America can do better - if only we have the right people and policies in Washington, D.C.
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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