Are you sitting down, dear reader? House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, has announced that he will propose a full ban on gifts from lizard-loafered lobbyists in the next session.
Before you fall over in a dead faint, let me remind you that politicians are crafty sorts. They excel at saying one thing and doing another - "another" being whatever is in their self-interest. That is why we need to wait and see if the speaker really means it and if the General Assembly really does it.
Now that the dust has settled from our recent Dawson County election, I would like to offer some reflections on the various candidates' campaigns - reflections on the good, the bad and the ugly campaign tactics and strategies.
The good: We were most impressed by three candidates who cared enough to walk in the sweltering heat and knock on our door and share their thoughts and vision with us.
What in the world was State School Superintendent John Barge thinking when he endorsed the reelection campaign of State Sen. Majority Leader Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock? Chip Rogers, in case you are not aware, is not exactly public education's best friend.
Rogers talks about education "being in his blood" and then proceeds to bleed public schools by promoting a variety of schemes, including school vouchers, virtual schools and pushing the state to take control of the process for creating charter schools (and the campaign contributions of for-profit charter school management companies that comes with that) away from local school systems.
I wanted to let everyone know that chivalry is still alive and well in Dawson County.
I went to the post office last week and as I got in my car to leave, my car would not start.
Hard to believe, but it has been 16 years since the Olympic Games were held in our state.
As I watch the festivities in London, I remembered the phone calls I had received over the past year from media members in Great Britain, asking me if I had any thoughts on what was going to happen when the Games began in London.
In one of my favorite Merle Haggard songs, "Okie From Muskogee," Haggard writes about the local college saying "Football's still the roughest thing on campus and the kids there still respect the college dean."
Herbert Robinson was the first dean of what was then Gainesville Junior College. They didn't have football, but I am quite confident the kids truly respected the college dean.
And others I won't.
As the community recently paid respects and said final farewell to beloved members Charles Finley and Dr. Herbert Robinson, many were aware of what they personally would miss with these two gone.
I knew the adults were upset again. I had first seen it when I was very young living in Cuba.
The Castro revolution had advanced to the Navy base perimeter and the adults were tense. Military families left Cuba shortly thereafter.
I have just returned from a memorable trip to Valdosta. I went there to speak to the Rotary Club. The members laughed in all the right places, which not only was memorable, but downright remarkable.
What made the trip even more special were two visits I made while there. I dropped by to see my beloved college professor, Dr. Raymond Cook on his 93rd birthday. My detractors will find little comfort in this but I would not be where I am today had I not been assigned Dr. Cook's English Literature course in the spring term of my freshman ...
One of the most contentious issues facing Dawson County has been the conversion of Elliott Field to a regional airport.
All studies have concluded this is not a suitable location for such a facility and the vast majority of the areas residents are opposed to such a drastic transformation.
The courthouse is beautiful, right? Most agree that it is. Just like a large diamond ring, it is beautiful to see. But in these strained economic times neither is practical.
In 2007 (economic boom times) the voters approved SPLOST V by a large percentage of those few who voted.
Would you allow an unlicensed electrician to install a bug zapper in your living room?
Would you let an unlicensed plumber unclog the throne in your reading room?
I saw a candidate sign that seemed to me to say that our new county courthouse was wasteful government spending and that the county could have gotten along just fine with what we had.
People that used our old building or tried to keep it going know that the now gone courthouse was too small and at the end of its useful life and that it had no architectural value that warranted preservation.
Last week Rep. Amos Amerson (Republican, 9th District) wrote about the Supreme Court Decision to uphold the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare as the Republicans like to call it.
He called it a tax that would fall primarily on young people and the poor people who can't afford it.
Of course, everyone talks about the weather, although we can't control it.
Records substantiate our complaints about the heat: It really hadn't been that hot on any other Independence Day - all over the country.
I have recently received several calls about trees suddenly dying. Upon close inspection, the trees had several small toothpick-like structures hanging off the trunks and ...
There is a saying that the two things you don't want to see made are law and sausage. Sometimes, they are hard to tell ...
I started going to work out and walk at Rock Creek Park around three years ago with my fiance.
This is another column that should have been written last week or even two weeks ago.
You may have read about the sudden resignation of Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley last week. The "Luv Guv" as he was known in the local ...
On St. Patrick's Day in 2009, the Public Service Commission decided one of its most important cases ever.
Many home gardeners and small-scale producers have a growing interest in organic production. Defining what "organic" means can vary from one person to the next ...
Continuing a long-standing Easter Week tradition in this space.
Last week the Trump Administration launched an attack on the health of American families and our environment when Trump signed an executive order rolling back ...
My fellow Americans, it is with heavy heart that I inform you today that I am not now nor will I become a candidate for ...
I wish I could tell you that Georgia's lawmakers are getting better at the way they handle the people's business, but that would ...
Dawson County 4-H Club, All Animals Veterinary Hospital, and Dawsonville Veterinary Hospital will be hosting an annual rabies clinic on Saturday, April 22. It will ...
The Georgia General Assembly reconvened under the Gold Dome on Monday, March 20 for day 36 of the 2017 legislative session. Sine die is this ...
The county originally turned the AMP rezoning request down, so in 2007 the City of Dawsonville went slipping through the wood all the way from ...
This week marks Day 38 of the 40-day legislative session. We have reached the point where committees are no longer meeting and we are working ...