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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 | 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

Thoughts on politics, journalists, birthday girl

State Sen. Tommie Williams, R-Lyons, one of our two unelected lieutenant governors - Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock, is the other - sent out a puff piece taking much credit for authoring a bill to require local school boards to consider a teacher's "effectiveness," not seniority, when getting rid of teachers.

People both inside and outside state government tell me that Williams has solved a problem that doesn't exist. Many school boards are already doing this. Seniority is a big issue in the Northeast, where there are teachers' unions. We have none in Georgia.

January 25, 2012 | By Dick Yarbrough For the Dawson Community News | LETTERS/COLUMNS

Are you ready for some doing?

Most of us can find good excuses for breaking any New Year's resolutions we may have made - and mine is physical disability.

It's not that I have been very physically active in the last several years, but over the holidays I compounded my ailing-back-syndrome and thus postponed "getting back to some activities (including Silver Sneakers exercise)" that I was doing before my forced inactivity during summer and early fall.

January 18, 2012 | By Helen Taylor For the Dawson Community News | LETTERS/COLUMNS

Future looks bright for Georgia

In what is normally a traditionally ceremonial first day of session, members of the Georgia General Assembly passed two significant bills aimed at setting a positive course for Georgia's future.

On the opening day of session, Senators worked to advance student achievement in the classroom and ensure the right people are in place to lead our students.

January 18, 2012 | By Steve Gooch For the Dawson Community News | LETTERS/COLUMNS

Governor’s State of the State Address signals start of Session

Officially, the 2012 Legislative Session began on Jan. 9.

On Jan. 10 we got our marching orders from the Governor in his State of the State Address.

January 18, 2012 | By Amos Amerson For the Dawson Community News | LETTERS/COLUMNS

Georgia’s education chief: Teachers are life-changing

State School Superintendent John Barge knows what teachers can do, given the opportunity.

"A teacher turned my life around," he said in a recent telephone conversation.

January 18, 2012 | By Dick Yarbrough For the Dawson Community News | LETTERS/COLUMNS

KARE for Kids is appreciated

I would like to express my appreciation to the KARE for Kids organization.

Their work makes such a difference at Christmas for so many children. The people at Bethel United Methodist Church that took the applications were so nice and caring.

January 11, 2012 | By Reader Submitted | LETTERS/COLUMNS

Outback Bowl proves some phrases never go out of style

The folks at Lake Superior State University in Michigan have just released their recommendation for words and phrases that should be erased from our vocabulary in its annual List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness.

Why Lake Superior State? And why the list? Well, for one thing, they don't have a football team which gives them a lot of time to think about stuff like this. I wish Lake Superior State did have a football team and maybe Georgia could have played them in the Outback Bowl instead of that other ...

January 11, 2012 | By Dick Yarbrough For the Dawson Community News | LETTERS/COLUMNS

Marketers no longer have my permission

Some years ago, Seth Godin, one of the best Internet gurus, coined the phrase "permission marketing."

The idea was that the Internet allowed companies to market to the consumer in a different manner.

January 11, 2012 | By Charlie Auvermann For the Dawson Community News | LETTERS/COLUMNS

Plum Nelly Pitts agrees to prognosticate in this space

It is with a great deal of pleasure that I announce the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located over a pool hall in Greater Garfield, has signed an exclusive contract with one of the nation's premier prognosticators, Plum Nelly Pitts, of Varnell, Ga.

I don't have to tell you what a coup this is. Frankly, it was a major commitment by the company but you deserve the best experts I can assemble and Plum Nelly is the best. It was not easy convincing her to join the team. Prognosticating is still controversial in some places. For ...

January 04, 2012 | By Dick Yarbrough For the Dawson Community News | LETTERS/COLUMNS

Top issues facing 2012 Session

In preparation for our 2012 Legislative Session, I have been looking at what other states consider to be their top issues. Here are a few that seem to emerge as most important: Energy, jobs, Medicaid, state budgets and college affordability.

Americans are spending more than ever to put gas in their cars, heat their homes and pay their utility bills. Rising energy costs have increased the costs for everyday goods. Energy costs trickle down into everything we buy and every service we use.

January 04, 2012 | By Amos Amerson For the Dawson Community News | LETTERS/COLUMNS

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