I have just received Junior E. Lee's analysis of the recent elections. Junior, as you know, is general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in Greater Garfield, Georgia, and a certified pest control professional. When not trying to get rid of termites in Arveen Ridley's barn, Junior manages one of the most highly respected polling organizations in the country, Round or Square Polls Inc. His motto is, "We will cook ...
It's time to look back on some of the more important pieces of legislation I've had an impact on over the last 12 years before my retirement as your House District 9 State Representative takes effect in January. This will be the first in a series of columns analyzing some of those pieces of legislation that I feel have had a positive impact on the lives of my constituents.
The Russian Tu-154 bumped hard on the runway in a jolting announcement to all onboard that we had arrived in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. I worked my way through the customs and immigration lines wishing that the late-night processing would go quickly. A warm hotel bed awaited.
Because of the timing of my column deadline, I will have to defer comment on the elections until next week. I can say this much, however. We cast our votes freely and with no tanks in the street. As imperfect as we may think ourselves to be, this is still the greatest country on earth. The only thing that can change that is our own apathy and lack of appreciation for the freedoms we have. ...
Now that early voting has begun, many voters are learning for the first time that there are two different constitutional amendments to the Georgia Constitution at the end of the ballot. The first amendment, concerning public charter schools, has received a lot of attention.
Rep. Edward Lindsey, R-Atlanta, majority whip in the Georgia House of Representatives says he finds himself bordering between "amused and disturbed" by opponents of the charter school amendment, which is set for a vote on Nov. 6. Specifically, he doesn't like the assertion that the state school board retains the power to overrule on appeal a local school board's decision to deny a charter school after the Supreme Court's ruling on the subject in May 2011.
Amendment 1 on the Nov. 6 ballot asks each voter: "Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow state or local approval of public charter schools upon the request of local communities?" As life-long educators, we have sought insight and answers to the reason for this question.
It has been my honor to serve our students, parents and community on the Dawson County Board of Education for 23 years. During that time, I have taken my responsibility to act in the best interests of children very seriously. During the 23 years, I have never felt it necessary to write a letter to the newspaper on a single issue, as I now feel compelled to do regarding a constitutional amendment.
If the pro-charter amendment people are trying to win friends and influence voters to pass the measure in November, they have picked a bad way to do it. Attorney Glenn Delk and proponents are clearly trying to intimidate opponents of the amendment by accusing the state's 180 local school districts of illegally using taxpayer money to campaign against the amendment.
Recently, I've read several statements that I find highly interesting and want to share. I have also heard some good things, but it's safer to quote the written word unless one has a recorder.
If you aren't careful, it is easy to get pessimistic these days. We have gotten too loud, too adversarial, too politically-correct, too ethically-challenged, too secular and too narrow-minded - not to mention slightly humor-impaired. Just when I think that maybe this world and those that occupy it are beyond redemption, I run across someone like Ava White and I am reminded that there are good people quietly doing good things for all the right reasons.
Last week I had a chance conversation with a friend who succinctly summarized part of what many of us ordinary people have been thinking about present-day politics: "I just want to understand how some of these policies and pieces of legislation will affect me." Well, I thought, maybe politicians and pundits do explain their versions and it's like studying the Bible from different translations: It may be a matter of interpretation.
Junior E. Lee, general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company in Greater Garfield, Ga., just called me with what he said was an exciting development. It either had to be that he had the latest poll numbers on the presidential race - Junior runs our polling firm, Round or Square Polling Inc. - or that he had finally gotten the termites out of Arveen Ridley's barn - Junior is also a certified pest control professional.
"Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow state or local approval of public charter schools upon the request of local communities?" That sounds like an innocuous question to be on the Nov. 6 ballot. My first question was: Why is a constitutional amendment necessary?
With the vote on the charter school amendment just over a month away, the heat is getting intense. I know. I have felt it. I wrote a column a few weeks ago giving the pro-charter folks an opportunity to make their case for the amendment. For my trouble, a number of anti-charter advocates wondered if I was going soft on them and backers of the bill continued to accuse me of giving out "misinformation." I love this job.
It turns out that you can go home again. I recently established a chair in crisis communications leadership at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communi­cations at my beloved University of Georgia. UGA President-elect Jere Morehead, along with Dink NeSmith, chairman of the Board of Regents came for the ceremony and both made my family and me feel warmly welcomed on campus. That is something we haven't felt at my alma mater for a long time.
They are the best University of Georgia athletic team you have likely never heard of. They have won five national titles and go into next week's national championships one of the favorites to win it all again.
I stood on an oil rig miles off the coast of Africa as the final pipe joints were pulled from a just completed well. The mood was somber because we had not found oil. The following week I sat in an uncomfortable meeting where our corporate vice president declared my efforts had resulted in the driest well in years. Back in my office overlooking the beautiful San Francisco hills I pondered what to do next with the project.
When the phone rang, I knew who was on the other end: Skeeter Skates, owner of Skeeter's Tree Stump Removal and Plow Repair in Greater Metropolitan Pooler. I can't tell you exactly why but the phone always sounds more urgent when Skeeter calls. One thing about Skeeter Skates. He gets right to the point. Niceties aren't his style.
In January, the Georgia State Senate started the first term of the 152nd legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly with a challenging task list. We were asked to find a way to fill a large anticipated Medicaid shortfall, evaluate the ethical behavior of elected officials, do more with less in the state budget, revamp the state's juvenile justice system, clarify points from 2012's tax code overhaul and find ways to expand access to higher ...
In my last column, I shared some observations about current happenings and promised some more. So here they are. As Christians observed Holy Week leading to Easter, one of the emphases has been on service and sacrifice.