My recent observations on the lack of respect given public school teachers in Georgia engendered a lot of responses but none better than this story sent to me by my friend, David Egan, co-director of the Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island and a former educator himself. I commend it to those members of the General Assembly who seem to spend more time and effort these days trying to starve public schools to death financially and ...
I often write adventures from the past, but today I am writing about an event that is occurring this very moment - the Rome Confluence.
Last December, after a long day of meetings, I could think of nothing more important than going home and hugging my kids tightly. The Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy was everywhere that day - TV, newspaper, social media and general conversation. When a parent sends a child to school or when a teacher goes to work, it is assumed both will return home safe and sound at the end of the day.
Experts tell us that we need a vision of a desired outcome in order to achieve it. I've been thinking about some of the visions I have heard recently.
Are you sitting down? I had a meeting with House Speaker David Ralston last week at the Capitol. Got your breath yet? There's more. It was a good meeting.
Last week was another busy week under the Gold Dome. Bills were introduced on various topics and all of my committees met to discuss legislation and to learn about issues occurring in our State. The House and Senate went into a joint session on Thursday in the House of Representatives for the State of the Judiciary Address.
So far this winter we have had periods of chilly weather mixed in with more mild conditions. This is the time when we might expect to see some springtail activity popping up. I have already had one call from a household that was experiencing a sudden flush of tiny purple insects invading their house. This description is consistent with springtail activity, and if we continue to have mild and moist periods this winter, we can expect more springtail infestations.
As many of you recall, I opposed the recent charter school amendment, not because I oppose charter schools - I don't - but because I thought the wording of the amendment was duplicitous. I thought it grossly unfair that Gov. Nathan Deal could wax eloquently on the need for passage of the amendment but State School Superin-tendent John Barge was not allowed to talk about opposing it. It was like Goliath beating up David.
There are many things that I simply do not understand and that's OK. The fact that I am not able to take advantage of lots of electronic devices may make me feel stupid, but it does not raise my blood pressure. I have long ago acknowledged that my finite mind will not comprehend infinity or divinity. But arguments being floated against some measures of gun control not only surprise but outrage me.
In every middle school government class, there is a lesson about how a bill becomes a law-complete with charts, diagrams and textbook chapters. We spent many hours as students reviewing and memorizing the process, and of course, passed the quizzes with flying colors. But with age sometimes comes a fuzzy recollection of those important lessons we learned so many years ago, and the one step of the process I am asked about the most is ...
This past week was busy in the Georgia General Assembly. We voted on several bills, including House Bill 57, legislation designed to protect Georgians from the growing problem of synthetic marijuana and narcotic "bath salts." These designer drugs can cause extreme paranoia, suicidal tendencies, hallucinations or death in some cases.
Every month, I sit down to review my family's household bills and pay what we owe in full. Although there are always a few surprises (I remind my kids that they were not born in a barn, but the consequences of an open front door are reflected in the electric bill from time to time) my wife and I rearrange our budget to accommodate all of our monthly expenses. Even though our bills may fluctuate from time to time, we are careful to never spend beyond our means.
Last week the House and Senate appropriations committees began the arduous process of reviewing the governor's budget recommendations and turning them into the actual legislation that will ultimately guide all state spending. Gov. Nathan Deal started the process Jan. 22 and was then followed by the leaders of our state agencies, each of whom explained their agency's budget and answered questions from House and Senate members.
Knock. Knock. Knock. "Hello. Can I help you?" "Hi. Are you Teya Ryan, president of Georgia Public Broadcasting?" "Yes, I am. Who are you?" "I am Chip Rogers, your new employee. I used to be the majority leader in the state Senate, where I was responsible for such cutting-edge issues as preventing our body parts from being microchipped without our permission and for making people aware that the United Nations intends to take over local ...
My pilot eased back on the throttle, allowing our floatplane to start its decent toward the Wouri River. The massive river in Cameroon had flooded its banks because of the monsoons. Low clouds and spotty fog hid much of the river as we scanned for a clearing in the grey muck. As we skimmed just above the rain forest canopy an opening emerged and we drove down, pulling up just before the water.
It was interesting to read the recent recommendations for downtown Dawsonville revitalization. They were almost identical to the items we identified when the previous revitalization committee was active probably 15 years ago, including the desire to utilize the David house in some way. We also worked under the guidance of a University of Georgia planner, Paul Kreager.
Dear public school teachers in Georgia:
David Pennington, the mayor of Dalton, is making noises about challenging incumbent Gov. Nathan Deal in the 2014 Republican primary. Say what?
The legislative session has ended, and Gov. Nathan Deal has now either signed or vetoed every bill that passed the General Assembly.
The debate surrounding second amendment rights received national attention a few weeks ago as the U.S. Senate voted down a bill that would require expanded background checks for firearm purchases.
We just wanted to say thank you to everyone who supported the Lady Tigers basketball team this season.
Senator Gooch recently wrote about the final budget for Georgia for fiscal year 2014.
Relay for Life is a stunning example of what the caring, compassionate and hard-working people who live in Dawson County can accomplish.
When I was named chair of the Senate Transportation Committee in January, it was becoming clear that there could be some struggles with producing a balanced FY 2014 budget for Georgia.
When the terrorist attacks occurred in Boston during the running of the Boston Marathon, memories came flooding back of our own dark days in Atlanta. It was 17 years ago, July 27, 1996, when those of us who were a part of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games had our worst fears realized. A pipe bomb detonated in the Centennial Olympic Park during the middle weekend of that worldwide celebration, killing two people and ...
A friend and I met up in the massive Frankfurt airport's central lobby just by coincidence.
One of the most challenging tasks the Georgia General Assembly takes on each year is sorting through the state's finances. Unlike legislation, the budget isn't something that can be carried over to the next biennial year.
Has it really been 43 years since the first "Earth Day?" I remember it well; that's when I became an environmentalist.