Earlier in the week, the moon was supposed to be closer to earth than it has been in many years – just how much closer, I didn't research. And, of course, it was supposed to look much bigger than usual.
It's funny how closely related the words "community" and "common" really are in their meaning and spirit. The Richmond Hill "community" perceives itself as a group that not only shares a common geographic area, but also a set of "common interests."
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki probably had the Vietnam generation in mind last Wednesday when he spoke of the nation's broken covenant with those who have served us in the armed forces.
"A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you've been taking."
It is not a beautiful day in Mr. Rogers' neighborhood.
In session for two days this week, the Georgia General Assembly completed the week on Wednesday, the 30th day of session. With 30 of 40 session days complete, legislators are closing in on the marathon and almost to the finish line of the 2011 session.
Day 29 (March 14): The Capitol was a sea of green today as we welcome the Grand Marshall and other members of the St. Patrick's Day committee from Savannah. At first glance it appeared that we were in for a long day with 23 bills on the calendar. However, one of the things that a legislator learns is that the number of bills does not necessarily dictate the length of a day as much as the subject of the bills.
In the same sense that good fences make for good neighbors, solid, comprehensive ethics and transparency rules help ensure good governance by our elected officials.
With the beginning of daylight-saving time earlier this month and the temperature warming up, I begin to get very excited about the coming of summer.
There is a parade field not far from here where military units pass and review. There is a walkway, about 4 feet wide, around this field. There are trees, at intervals of about 8 feet, on each side of this walkway. One can get chocked up as he walks along looking at the base of each of these trees where there is the name of a warrior who paid the ultimate price.
The military haircut just may be my arch nemesis. While there are things that bother me more about being an Army wife - let's not forget deployments and three-hour waits in a primary-care manager's office - the topic you'll find me grumbling about most often is my husband's hair.
One of the more fiscally irresponsible components of President Obama's budget proposal for fiscal year 2012 is the plan to increase surface "transportation" spending by more than 84 percent - from $58 billion to $107 billion - over FY 2010 spending levels.
In a remarkable resurrection, the bill that would allow alcohol sales on Sunday, passed the very body – the state Senate – that had vowed to let it languish in committee. And languish it did for a month before its recovery last week.
Dear Editor: The residents of Bryan County should be concerned about the behind-closed-door policies reminiscent of the city of Savannah policies. We all should be concerned about a landfill proposal on acreage which contains wetlands, streams and backs up to a major contributor "Black Creek" to the Ogeechee River.
Dear Editor: I received the following e-mail from our new Commissioner of Agriculture, Gary Black. If you have ever seen the Georgia Market Bulletin, you know there is no hyperbole in Commissioner Black's praise. This is a very useful resource for Georgia farmers. I do not see a viable substitute to replace the bulletin on the horizon. So I wanted to share the message he sent March 8 to University of Georgia Extension personnel:
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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