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.
You would have thought someone would have checked this out before they sent this guy to help me, but apparently not. I came down out of the Mt. Hagen highlands of Papua New Guinea after about four weeks to finish up some work in the coastal swamps. I was out of the cool mountains and into the hot sticky flatlands. I met my help at the airstrip and we soon found ourselves pitching tents in a grassy reed area near some bogs.
For this week, I really wanted to tackle a political issue, but that can wait a bit. Time is passing for some local events that, if you haven't already done so, I hope you will consider.
When the gavel bangs to open the 2013 session of the Georgia General Assembly, I would suggest the first order of business be to have Willie Nelson serenade our solons with "The Party's Over." Willie sings that song better than almost anybody and it would be an effective way to remind our intrepid public servants that there is a new sheriff in town. We the Unwashed are calling the shots on lobbying reform these days ...
Rep. Edward Lindsey, R-Atlanta, majority whip of the Georgia House of Representatives asked me if I would talk to the proponents of the upcoming constitutional amendment on charter schools and get their side of the story. This was after Lindsey and I had publicly crossed swords over the issue.
I got called a "liberal" the other day by a reader in Cherokee County who doesn't think much of my opinions and suggested "Someone should retire his word processor." My word processor, Barney, was elated at the thought. Barney hates this job. When I brought Barney home, it was with the promise that he and I would create poetry. I was afraid to tell him the truth about writing snarky columns because I figured he ...
On July 3, 2012, the Georgia Department of Driver's Services (DDS) enacted a secure ID program to enhance the integrity and security of your Georgia driver's license or identification card. In order to ensure that your renewal or application process runs smoothly, I would like to discuss how these changes will affect you - the constituents of the 51st Senate District.
With summer winding down, with school and football (How about those Tigers?) reving up, with the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention energizing the political scene, it's time to leave commenting on the contemporary to experts. Instead, let's relax with some quotations I have taken from various sources.
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.