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.
That apple tree. Oh my goodness. Something told me it wouldn't turn out well.
I dislike talking on the phone. For a number of reasons, I've never really been fond of telephone calls or conversations.
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.
Tens of thousands of Georgians live with lifelong disabilities due to brain and spinal cord injury.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Last week, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter shared via this column his vision for public education in Georgia.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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