Last week Gov. Nathan Deal signed the state House and Senate legislative district maps, and by the time you read this, he may have also signed the congressional maps which add a new 14th district.
Lumpkin County is in the center of that new district, which will continue to be the 9th Congressional District.
Does my title herald another political treatise? Well it might, because that is the message of some politicians and pundits. It is also my personal message of the moment.
I write this on Friday afternoon of a week in which I can really see light at the end of this "tunnel summer."
Another school year is here and the excitement of new friends, teachers and new experiences are the first thought of all of us. I wanted to just mention something that I've been thinking about for a while.
It's not too late, although the classes have already begun. I hope each school and their teachers may see this column and will consider the possibilities that providing this one thing can change everyone's outlook for the day, month or year.
The General Assembly was called in special session last week to undergo the arduous task of reapportionment. This is a process done every 10 years to redistrict the state to ensure equal representation based on current population.
By all accounts the Dawson County Treatment Court is a huge success. However, no one should be misled to think that the Drug Court is easy for the participants.
The requirements are stringent, there is no tolerance for noncompliance, all personal search rights are waived, and if the participant fails to meet the criteria and is removed from the program, they face full sentencing for the original drug charges.
The Georgia Constitution requires that the Legislature reapportion the General Assembly, as well as the Congressional seats in the year following the decade census. The Special Session started on Aug. 15, and already the House redistricting map has been introduced. You can see the proposed House and Senate maps at www.legis.ga.gov and click the link to the reapportionment maps.
The 2010 census found that 68 current House districts had too many people and 112 House districts had too few when compared to the ideal of 53,820 people.
"For the want of a nail, a shoe was lost ... all the way to a big battle loss, and all for the loss of a two-penny nail."
I don't remember the exact context of this old story, but I certainly understand the point: A seemingly small incident can have long-lasting results.
I have spent the last four months attending the Dawson County Board of Education work sessions, meetings, and retreats in an effort to learn what goes into budgeting for our school system.
I knew there were cuts to the state education budget, but didn't realize how drastic these cuts became when combined with property re-evaluation, the 70 and over exemption, and the 5 mills provision.
In light of the recent storms that we have had all over our area here, I would just like to say a huge "Thank You" to all of the people who helped to get our electricity back up and running.
On June 18, my power went off and was off for 18 hours, going into Sunday.
Candidly, I have never thought that the world revolved around me, not even my own personal world.
And certainly, during the past decade I have purposely limited participation in many areas that previously claimed much time and effort.
The Fourth of July or "Independence Day" is the national day of the United States set aside to commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. This piece of paper declared our independence from Great Britain, and was signed by 56 great men who risked treason to create our great nation.
From that day on, the Fourth of July is one of, if not the most important day in American history.
On June 6 the Georgia Mountain Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America, a group of active, retired and former military officers, sponsored a golf tournament at Lake Lanier Islands for Wounded Warriors (wounded service members of any war or conflict) to raise funds for Homes for Troops, Fisher House and Wounded Warrior Transition and related programs.
The chapter will donate over $30,000 to those programs.
The House Science & Technology Committee, which I chair, spent two days in Atlanta listening to representatives of General Electric and Atlanta City Government talk about electric vehicles and how they could help Atlanta meet the clean air standards.
We attended technical and business workshops and got to drive and ride in the vehicles. Before discussing today's electronic vehicles, I will give a little historical background of their use in the United States.
In your June 8 article, "Legislation in the Wings," [by Rep. Amos Amerson] you alerted readers to many significant pieces of legislation that were not passed in the recent legislative session. I appreciated your publicity of these issues, and on a similar note, I would like to remind readers not to overlook the larger national pieces of legislation that have equal impact on our own backyards.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund is a great example of one of the important issues we are missing out on.
There is more to Girl Scouts than cookies and camping.
It is girl leadership, time management, public speaking, decision making, teamwork, money management and community service.
It is a potential killer whose numbers rival the deadly Ebola virus and it doesn't get near the attention it should. Unlike the dreaded illness currently ravaging West Africa this is one with a quick cure.
Rap. Rap. Rap.
I just learned of a book called, "Say Goodbye to your Southern Accent."
The U.S. Senate race this November between Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perdue will be one of the more unusual campaigns we have witnessed in Georgia. Neither has held public office and both are anxious to portray themselves as the ultimate "outsider."
In 1997, Gov. Zell Miller appointed me to fill a vacant seat on the five-member State Ethics Commission and then reappointed me to a full term where I served until 2002. It was a rewarding experience and I am proud of the good things we accomplished at the commission.
I am humbled. I am grateful. I am honored. And I am overwhelmed. I said it to the people who came to my 90th birthday celebration at Bethel, and I say it again to the many people who made that lovely celebration possible and to those who sent good wishes even if they couldn't attend.
With the July 22 runoff elections fast approaching, I called Junior E. Lee, general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in Greater Garfield, Ga., to get his thoughts on the various races and to see who he thinks will make it to the finals of the November general election and who will be eliminated this round.
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