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Assembly reaches halfway point

The General Assembly is at a critical juncture as we mark the midpoint of the 2012 Legislative Session. With many bills still being reviewed and debated in committees, there is a growing sense of urgency to pass legislation prior to Crossover Day.

One bill in particular that I would like to highlight this week is SB 292, also known as the Social Responsibility and Accountability Act.

February 22, 2012 | By Steve Gooch For the Dawson Community News | LETTERS/COLUMNS


Laws should make you mad

I seem to have an innate ability to make folks mad. Usually, it is the humor-impaired and special interest twits.

Today, I hope to make everybody mad, no matter your race, creed, color or university affiliation. This diatribe is for all.

February 22, 2012 | By Dick Yarbrough For the Dawson Community News | LETTERS/COLUMNS


Do we need a constitutional amendment on education?

Over the past two weeks, I have received at least 200 e-mails pertaining to HR 1162 (a proposed constitutional amendment on public education) and its companion legislation, HB 797. The e-mails are split about 50/50, with most of those asking for a "no" vote being from school teachers and most of the "yes" votes coming from parents.

This begs the question: Why does Georgia need a constitutional amendment on public education this year?

February 22, 2012 | By Amos Amerson For the Dawson Community News | LETTERS/COLUMNS


HOPE scholarship back on track after restructuring

As we've discussed in previous columns, Georgia is currently one of the most generous providers of merit-based financial aid in the nation. However, the HOPE scholarship is currently under attack by opponents who have proposed an income-based salary cap for students whose families make more than $140,000 per year.

When HOPE was originally created, eligibility was partially based on family income levels; this restriction was removed in 1995. No other state lottery restricts eligibility based on family income; every state lottery scholarship is set up to be a merit award program.

February 15, 2012 | By Steve Gooch For the Dawson Community News | LETTERS/COLUMNS


Some people have been ‘ready for doing’

There was a time at my (Methodist) churches when we regularly stood in line to go kneel at an altar, be served communion, and then hear the minister announce, "Let these retire and others take their places."

We are doing it somewhat differently now: Going to the altar individually (after communion) rather than in groups. But whenever I learn of someone retiring from a public position, I remember that phrase and often wonder what will happen when "others take their places."

February 15, 2012 | By Helen Taylor For the Dawson Community News | LETTERS/COLUMNS


Why not a signing for non-athletic achievements

Knock! Knock!

"Come in."

February 15, 2012 | By Dick Yarbrough For the Dawson Community News | LETTERS/COLUMNS


Legislative Session is moving ahead

The 2012 Legislative Session is moving forward at a rapid pace under the Gold Dome as we begin to move bills through the legislative process. In just a few short weeks, we've already made great progress toward passing legislation that responds to our citizens' needs.

Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting with commissioners of the Union, White and Dawson County delegations at the Association of County Commissioners Legislative Conference where we discussed issues relevant to the county's needs.

February 08, 2012 | By Steve Gooch For the Dawson Community News | LETTERS/COLUMNS


FY 2012 amended budget passes by unanimous vote

A miracle took place in the House of Representatives last week. For the first time in recorded history, a budget passed without a single dissenting vote on either side of the aisle.

Last January Gov. Nathan Deal conservatively estimated state revenues of $18.3 billion for Fiscal Year 2012.

February 08, 2012 | By Amos Amerson For the Dawson Community News | LETTERS/COLUMNS


It’s time for annual State of the Column

In order to keep my national certification as a modest and much-beloved columnist, I am required to submit annually a State of the Column message. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Please stand and applaud if you hear something that floats your boat or look bored if you don't. You may be on television.

"My fellow Georgians, ladies and gentlemen and significant others, I am pleased to tell you the state of this column has never been better. (Applause.)

February 08, 2012 | By Dick Yarbrough For the Dawson Community News | LETTERS/COLUMNS


A thanks for defending education in column

I just wanted to thank Dick Yarbrough for his recent column about teachers and the state of education in Georgia.

I am glad he will be watching Chip Rogers to see if he tries his vouchers bill again.

February 01, 2012 | By Reader Submitted editor@dawsonnews.com | LETTERS/COLUMNS


Much going on at Gold Dome

The 2012 Legislative Session is off to a fast start, as lawmakers have already passed several pieces of legislation and met to discuss the governor's budget recommendations.

In addition to my duties at the Capitol, I spent time this week meeting with several key leaders from throughout the 51st District, as well as my constituents.

February 01, 2012 | By Steve Gooch For the Dawson Community News | LETTERS/COLUMNS


Baptist leader speaks right from heart

Whew, that was close. I almost became a Baptist the other day. Not just any Baptist, but a (gulp) Southern Baptist.

Let me add here that there have been times when the Rev. Dr. Gil Watson, the world's greatest preacher, has become so weary of trying to save my sorry soul that he would gladly trade me to the Baptists, Presbyterians or even the Islamic Center for the Advancement of Self Pity in return for two altos, a Sunday school teacher and an usher to be named later. Dr. Gil only has these thoughts when I insult some demographic ...

February 01, 2012 | By Dick Yarbrough For the Dawson Community News | LETTERS/COLUMNS


Mayor’s Day a success

The mayors and city officials from around Georgia hosted a breakfast for the General Assembly and selected state-wide officers on Jan. 23.

Mayor Gary McCullough, the Dahlonega City Council, Senator Steve Gooch and I were present for the occasion.

February 01, 2012 | For the Dawson Community News | LETTERS/COLUMNS


Obama in the world of make believe

There must be some irony in the timing of President Obama's recent trip to Disney World. He returned to his home base of "fantasy land" to give an address regarding the need to boost tourism. He looked a tad on the silly side using Cinderella's Castle as his backdrop while exclaiming "America is open for business!" Taking a vacation in the middle of a depression is hardly a choice when you are unemployed.

Yet just hours earlier, the president was turning "thumbs-down," killing the Keystone XL Pipeline in our midwest.

January 25, 2012 | By Reader Submitted editor@dawsonnews.com | LETTERS/COLUMNS


Governor starts the 2012 Budget process

Last week was budget week at the Capitol. The Appropriations Com-mittees of both the Senate and House held joint hearings from the governor and his department heads.

Gov. Nathan Deal has set the "revenue estimate" for FY 2013 at $19.2 billion.

January 25, 2012 | By Amos Amerson For the Dawson Community News | LETTERS/COLUMNS


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Articles by Section - LETTERS/COLUMNS


Baits work well for fire ant control

Fire ants can be a nasty problem in the home landscape. They love to make unsightly mounds in the middle of our lawn turf and ...

March 22, 2017 | By Clark MacAllister | LETTERS/COLUMNS


Being a modest and much-beloved columnist can get testy at times

I regret I won't have time this week to get into the details about how Barack Obama managed to wiretap Donald Trump's shoelaces ...

March 22, 2017 | By Dick Yarbrough | LETTERS/COLUMNS


Promises not delivered

On March 6, Ken Akins, Marissa Pyle, and Bette Holland met with Rep. Doug Collins (R) at his Gainesville office to talk about the Affordable ...

March 22, 2017 | | LETTERS/COLUMNS


House bill 217: Another attempt to siphon money from public schools for private schools

House Bill 217 has passed the House and is now in the Senate for consideration. It seems to me that the legislators are again trying ...

March 22, 2017 | | LETTERS/COLUMNS


Finalizing Georgia's budget

As the General Assembly marches closer to Sine Die, our constitutional duty of passing a balanced budget for Georgia's government has become our biggest ...

March 22, 2017 | By Sen. Steve Gooch | LETTERS/COLUMNS


Some random thoughts on some random subjects

After almost two decades of doing this, you think I would have figured out by now what pushes your hot button.

March 15, 2017 | By Dick Yarbrough | LETTERS/COLUMNS


Crossover Day is complete

We returned to the Gold Dome on March 6 for legislative day 29, which began the ninth week of the 2017 session.

March 15, 2017 | By Kevin Tanner | LETTERS/COLUMNS


Working after Crossover Day

Crossover Day was a wild ride for everyone involved, but like every year, we made it through-even if it was late into the night.

March 15, 2017 | By Sen. Steve Gooch | LETTERS/COLUMNS


Low-performing schools initiative takes a major step forward

Don't look now, but the initiative to deal with low-performing schools in Georgia has taken a big step toward becoming law.

March 08, 2017 | By Dick Yarbrough | LETTERS/COLUMNS


Contradictions in Bills on public education

Last week Rep. Kevin Tanner's bill on how to help our challenged schools in Georgia passed through the State House and will now be ...

March 08, 2017 | | LETTERS/COLUMNS


A new future in Georgia

With the completion of Legislative Day 28 last week, the State Senate continues to work hard as we approach Day 40, when the 2017 Legislative ...

March 08, 2017 | By Sen. Steve Gooch | LETTERS/COLUMNS


Broadband Access Moves Forward with Senate Bill 232

Friday marked the end of a very busy week at the Capitol. The Senate picked up the pace with committee meetings running late into the ...

March 01, 2017 | By Sen. Steve Gooch | LETTERS/COLUMNS


Good customer service may be going the way of the dodo bird

Sometimes I wonder if good customer service has gone the way of the dodo bird and 8-track tapes.

March 01, 2017 | By Dick Yarbrough | LETTERS/COLUMNS


Crossover Day approaching

On Feb. 21, the House reconvened for another lively week under the Gold Dome where we were hard at work drafting, discussing and passing legislation ...

March 01, 2017 | By Rep. Kevin Tanner | LETTERS/COLUMNS


Commissioners fail taxpayers when rejecting Paladin request

I have been a homeowner in Dawson County since 2008.

March 01, 2017 | | LETTERS/COLUMNS


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