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Archive By Section - Opinion


Choose your way to make a difference

This month, more than 500 local volunteers have made a positive difference for our local waterways by participating in the Statewide Rivers Alive waterway cleanups in Georgia. Over 50 locations in Liberty County have been cleaned up so far by these amazing helpers, who ranged in ages from 2 (yes, they had a little help from their parents) to 80. Several more groups have cleanups scheduled in the next three weeks. Rivers Alive is a statewide effort to preserve and protect our waterways in Georgia. Rivers Alive events also are part of the international efforts of The Ocean Conservancy.

November 04, 2014 | By Sara Swida Columnist | Opinion


Just plant the tree already

That apple tree. Oh my goodness. Something told me it wouldn't turn out well.

November 04, 2014 | By Ronda Rich Columnist | Opinion


Parents are too busy for phone calls

I dislike talking on the phone. For a number of reasons, I've never really been fond of telephone calls or conversations.

November 04, 2014 | By Hollie Moore Barnidge | Opinion


Salute a man trying to better the world

A wise man once said that our only reason for occupying space on this earth is to leave things better than we found them. Unfortunately, not enough of us will. Len Pagano is an exception.

October 30, 2014 | By Dick Yarbrough Columnist | Opinion


Bad drivers must pay for choices

Tens of thousands of Georgians live with lifelong disabilities due to brain and spinal cord injury.

October 29, 2014 | By Paige Havens Guest columnist | Opinion


Leave the baby-growing to friends

OK, I admit it - a few months ago, I suffered from a very short-lived bout of baby fever. I'm happy to announce, however, that I've fully recovered.

October 28, 2014 | By Hollie Moore Barnidge | Opinion


Assembling the pieces of life's puzzle

This happened years ago. Mama was alive then, so it's been seven or eight years. I hadn't thought about in almost that many years but when it came to mind the other day, I took to studying on it and how the circumstances and opportunities of life's journey can be so fascinating.

October 28, 2014 | By Ronda Rich Columnist | Opinion


Common Core math is too confusing

Editor, Why are we dumbing down our children? Our high schools send 90 percent of students out the door without the most basic skills high school is supposed to teach. High-tech businesses won't locate to Liberty County because of our inability to provide educated workers.

October 27, 2014 | | Opinion


State questions on Nov. 4 ballots

While most voters are familiar with the candidates on the Nov. 4 general-election ballot, many are unaware of the ballot's three referendum questions.

October 23, 2014 | By Buddy Carter Special to the Courier | Opinion


Voter apathy should be illegal

Editor, Our country is in a precarious position. Our government is intruding in our personal lives, and our religions are under attack. The government is ignoring the invasion from south of the border, as well as the dangers imposed by ISIS and other terrorist groups.

October 22, 2014 | | Opinion


Governor shares view on education

Last week, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter shared via this column his vision for public education in Georgia.

October 22, 2014 | By Dick Yarbrough Columnist | Opinion


Long Co. school bonds would attract state money for new school

Editor, Those of you familiar with the Long County School System are aware of the student growth and financial struggles faced by our system for many years. We are a low-wealth system, ranked 171st out of 180 school systems. Our students and teachers presently occupy many classrooms built in 1951 or earlier. The hardships we have faced have been many, but with the dedication of previous and present boards, superintendents, administrators, teachers and staff, we have survived.

October 22, 2014 | | Opinion


News of deaths is good Southern gossip

Yes, I know that I am, occasionally, prone to embellishment. But trust me when I say this is the law and the gospel: I have a longtime friend who only calls me when someone dies. Most times, I know the person, but sometimes I don't have a clue the person ever existed.

October 21, 2014 | By Ronda Rich Columnist | Opinion


Protect your family -- get flu shots

Go get a flu shot. Also, make sure you're children get flu shots. It's a plain and simple set of instructions, but following them could save a life. Please, go do it.

October 21, 2014 | By Hollie Moore Barnidge | Opinion


Polls shouldn't open on Sunday

Editor, Watch out, Bryan County, in case the Sunday-voting issue rears its head in your neck of the woods, just as it has in Liberty County. This is something I think everyone in our region needs to be aware of, because it involves something greater than just run-of-the-mill politics.

October 17, 2014 | | Opinion


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Articles by Section - Opinion


Put Christ back in holidays, hearts

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.

February 01, 2015 | By Mike Riddle Guest columnist | Opinion


Keep donations local to help animal shelters

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.

January 29, 2015 | | Opinion


Man cherished by many belongs to all

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.

January 28, 2015 | By Ronda Rich Columnist | Opinion


Juvenile-justice system going to dogs, thankfully

The state of Georgia's Juvenile Justice System is going to the dogs. And that's a good thing.

January 28, 2015 | By Dick Yarbrough Columnist | Opinion


Budgeting must be open, fair

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.

January 28, 2015 | By State Rep. Ron Stephens Special to the News | Opinion


State may get transportation funding right

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.

January 22, 2015 | By Kelly McCutchen Guest columnist | Opinion


Column has never been stronger

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!)

January 22, 2015 | By Dick Yarbrough Columnist | Opinion


At least one lawmaker supports pre-9/11 veterans, caregivers

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:

January 21, 2015 | | Opinion


Things to love about the South abound

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.

January 20, 2015 | By Ronda Rich Columnist | Opinion


Why rush? Stop and enjoy the day

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.

January 20, 2015 | By Hollie Moore Barnidge | Opinion


Georgia needs fiscal prudence, innovation

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.

January 15, 2015 | By Kelly McCutchen Guest columnist | Opinion


Thanks for support of Children's Fund

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 ...

January 15, 2015 | | Opinion


Wounded Warrior Project is too top heavy

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.

January 14, 2015 | | Opinion


Lawmaker wants to legalize medical marijuana

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.

January 14, 2015 | By Dick Yarbrough Columnist | Opinion


Don't apologize for not being 'cool'

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.

January 13, 2015 | By Ronda Rich Columnist | Opinion


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