You expect me to say "there are signs of Christmas," and certainly that is true. Retail establishments didn't wait until Black Friday to begin offering Christmas specials, and I hope we all remembered to "shop local businesses" on Small Business Saturday.
Individuals are putting away fall and Thanksgiving decorations and clothes and pulling out Christmas stuff.
In case you have been vacationing on the moon, you may have missed the news that the student-athletes from the University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South, came up a wee bit short in attaining the football championship of the Southeastern Conference.
That honor went to the young men of Louisiana State University who, having observed them in post-game interviews, are destined to become either, you know, great orators or, you know, quantum physicists.
Today, I ask for a moment of personal privilege. It was two years ago this week that I wrote about the Three Wise Men that have so greatly influenced my life: Roy Hodnett, a real estate magnate on Saint Simons Island; Dr. Raymond Cook, my college professor, now residing in Valdosta and John W. Jacobs Jr., a broadcast pioneer and philanthropist from Gainesville. All three in their 90s or close to it. All three a part of the Greatest Generation. All three family men of faith. I could not have asked for better role models.
Last week, John Jacobs died ...
Gov. Nathan Deal spoke to a large gathering of Republicans and Tea Party members on Nov. 22 in Dawson County. The event was sponsored by all three of the counties I represent as House District 9 Representative (Lumpkin, Dawson and Forsyth).
Deal covered a wide range of topics that would be looked at during the next Session of the General Assembly, as well as updating us on the budget situation.
Junior E. Lee is one of my most valued associates, but he can be a load to manage and a bit of a know-it-all. Junior, as you know, is general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in Greater Garfield.
He has two primary responsibilities: First, keep as many bugs as possible out of Emanuel County - particularly Arveen Ridley's farm - and then to help us all to make better informed political decisions. The exterminating profession doesn't seem to have a lot in common with the democratic process, but when you have someone of Junior ...
Representatives from France and French firms met with American industry executives and academics at Georgia Tech recently where the discussion centered on how recycling in France reduces nuclear waste by more than 95 percent.
The procedure of refurbishing spent fuel rods is commonly called reprocessing in the United States and recycling in France.
Knock! Knock! Knock!
"Come in. Well, if it isn't Spiro Amburn, my favorite chief of staff. How are you, Spiro?"
In the last issue of "Panorama," The Georgia Conservancy's quarterly magazine, Conservancy President Pierre Howard eulogized former board member Ray Anderson, who had recently died.
Howard wrote about a speech that he heard Anderson give in 2005 at the Carter Center. He was dealing with the question "How could a living planet - the rarest and most precious thing in the universe - lose its biosphere, its essential livability?"
As you know, well as some of you know, on Nov. 8, there was an election held in the city to elect two council members and pass or reject alcohol sales on Sunday within the city.
But only 264 ballots were cast voting for city council members out of 1,104 registered voters within the city.
I see on the Web that some folks think that a reservoir is a dirty idea for Dawson County.
They oppose it saying that it will eliminate habitat for a protected species of fish and that it will harm downstream communities by using "their water."
As chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee, I get many opportunities to see up close and personal what's happening in Georgia with all the energy options we have available. I had not realized that Atlanta has so many solar installations until I toured some of them recently.
Turner Enterprises has covered their Luckie Street parking facilities with 25 solar canopies that can provide 228,000 watts of electrical power annually. We were not told the cost of the installation, but these canopies are expected to provide 25 percent of the power needs at a savings of $30 ...
Oops! I left the "t" off the Rev. Bryant Wright's name in last week's column about the possibility of the Southern Baptist Convention dropping "Southern" from its name.
I was just so excited to learn that whatever the organization's future nomenclature, the Rev. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern (sic) Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., will continue to favor us with his observations on such critical theological issues as yoga and women preachers. (Al doesn't approve of either and I don't approve of Al, but that's a topic for another day).
As we enter November, we are concluding two of Dawson County's very successful programs for the year.
The third annual Dawson County Citizens Academy graduated 24 participants on Nov. 1. The 10 week program gives participants an in-depth look at how their local government operates.
I was struck by the irony of a comment attributed to Dawsonville Mayor Pro-tem James Grogan as to the reason the city passed an ordinance prohibiting pigs and chickens.
"To avoid having agricultural businesses that could be a nuisance to residents," was cited in a front page article in the Dawson Community News titled "Local farmer considers de-annexation from city."
I am hoping you will allow me to express my concern. I think people are forgetting how to drive. Two issues I see most often are confusion at roundabouts and failing to use blinkers. I would like to remind everyone that roundabouts require you to yield to traffic already in the roundabout (aka the vehicle that might wreck into you). Find a gap in traffic and enter the circle. You can only go right in roundabouts. Keep an eye out for pedestrians.
As for blinkers, I am not sure when it happened, but apparently we do not use them anymore ...
Last week Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter shared via this column his vision for public education in Georgia.
"You need to write something about domestic violence," a friend told me recently. I hadn't thought about tackling that subject because so many others have done so.
With all of the attack ads running on TV this election season, Georgians have no doubt had their fill of pessimism and negativity.
For more than 40 years I was fortunate to be able to work in international business. I traveled the globe, not as a simple tourist, but living, in some cases for years, in other countries, getting to really know the people, the cultures and the governments in those many places.
I have asked the two major gubernatorial candidates to talk to Georgia public school teachers about their respective education platforms. This week the floor belongs to Jason Carter, the Democratic challenger. Next week, it will be Republican Gov. Nathan Deal's turn.
I have one of the most interesting jobs in the world. One day I am advising world leaders on the nuances of international monetary policy. The next day I am consoling a distraught reader who thinks I need to "look within myself spiritually." The last time I looked within myself, I saw my navel. It was full of lint. Never again.
The Woman Who Shares My Name instructed me that this week's column was to be about positive things. She says she is tired of bad news and thought you felt the same way. "Surely, you can find some positive things to write about," she said, "and temporarily take people's minds off all the terrible things going on in the world. I think your readers would appreciate that."
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.
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