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Reconsidering SPLOST


“Reading about officials again discussing SPLOST will anger many people. After all, just last fall, voters rejected renewing the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. The voters have spoken, some may think, why is it going to be on the ballot again?”
Source: Valdosta Daily Times Len Robbins: What if we put sharks in a tornado?
“I recently watched the trailer for a movie called ‘Sharknado.’ ‘Sharknado’ is about two cops – one straight-laced and by-the-book, the other a renegade “wild card” who doesn’t play by the rules – who are paired together to solve a crime. At first, they hate each other. Sparks fly. But, as the story unfolds, they learn to respect one another, and, ultimately, solve the crime!”
Source: Thomaston Times

Theatre Guild’s 25th: On with the show
“For a quarter century, Theatre Guild Valdosta has allowed area performers to entertain, educate and enlighten Valdosta audiences.”
Source: Valdosta Daily Times

Little fixes have to do
“For a brief shining moment, there appeared a glimmer of hope that our courageous and wise leaders in Washington, D.C., would muster the will to patch up our cracked immigration system.”
Source: Gainesville Times

Johnny Vardeman: Area eventually felt full brunt of Depression
“After the stock market crash in 1929, the economy really sank into the tank across the country. While it seemed Northeast Georgia was immune from the worst of the Great Depression in its early months, local businesses and industry would suffer eventually.”
Source: Gainesville Times

Harris Blackwood: Message to build an ark
“Having lived through several years of drought, it is hard to complain about the rain. But, we have had our fair share. Perhaps, a tad more than our fair share. At the moment we are adequately hydrated and I hope we can say that in the weeks to come.”
Source: Gainesville Times

It takes a hero
“Heroes rarely set out to be that. They are ordinary people thrust into extraordinary circumstances, often with a nano-second to take action. The firefighter rushing in to grab an unconscious person; the soldier holding the line so his comrades can get the injured out; the police officer facing a hostage situation with a gun pointed at him.”
Source: Newnan Times-Herald

Feds join university campus speech police
“The university campus speech police have been doing pretty well all by themselves. Now they have help from the U.S. departments of education and justice. Not that the denizens of political correctness and academia seem to need such assistance.”
Source: Savannah Morning News/Saturday

Cartoon: Mark Streeter — Gimme shelter
Source: Savannah Morning News/Saturday


• Mark Streeter: Gumption
Source: Savannah Morning News/Sunday

• Rick McKee: Re-election 
Source: Augusta Chronicle

• Mike Lester: How to prevent Zimmerman riots
Source: Rome News-Tribune

‘The balkanization of news’
“If Americans are more politically divided than ever, the media may have a lot to do with that. A Gallup Poll indicates that 55 percent of Americans get most of their news from television – where news is pretty much sliced and diced to suit particular points of view.”
Source: Augusta Chronicle/SaturdayRichard Hyatt: Don’t call it Cody Road High anymore
“Walk the campus on what used to be Cody Road. Hear the bell on the clock tower chime. Search for a parking place. Walk into buildings that weren’t there the last time you visited. Try and find Woodruff Gym and while you’re at it keep looking for a parking place.”
Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer/Saturday

Dimon Kendrick-Holmes: Feeling good and feeling bright
“Earlier this week, I returned home from a family road trip and realized that I’d left a wheelbarrow upright in the backyard. It was slap full of rain.”
Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer/Saturday

Carol Megathlin: Do we do enough for returning troops
“The message came from Alma, a Texas lady who is supporting a soldier in Afghanistan with care packages, letters and emails. Her soldier is fine — coming home soon — but another soldier, a young veteran, recently entered her life. She asked a question about him that rendered me silent for days.”
Source: Athens Banner-Herald/Saturday

Millard Grimes: Dramatic drop in deficit is good news
“One of the biggest economic stories of the year has gotten very little attention from either the media or politicians.”
Source: Athens Banner-Herald/Saturday

Dave Gammon: Songs may be all that’s pretty in mockingbirds’ lives
“They pick fights. They cheat on and beat their spouses. They’re sometimes bad parents. It’s almost like they’re human. Examine the lives of mockingbirds and other wild species and you quickly realize the challenges they face do not contrast categorically from our own. Understanding their similarities and differences with us provides essential context for appreciating what it means to be human.”
Source: Athens Banner-Herald/Saturday

Dick Yarbrough: Marietta Visitors Bureau’s next director needs media relations moxie
“Perhaps you read in the MDJ this week that the Marietta Visitors Bureau is in the market for a new director with the retirement of Theresa Jenkins, who stepped down on June 28 after 29 years.”
Source: Marietta Daily Journal/Saturday

Farm bill has tough row to hoe
“It got worse this week for farm legislation. In fact, lawmakers may very well be at the point where the chances of passing new multiyear farm legislation have gotten just about as iffy as the weather.”
Source: Albany Herald/Saturday

Utility still trying to find a home in Brunswick
“Who would have thought finding a home would be the difficult mission it’s turned out to be for the Brunswick and Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission? Seven months into their term and members of the utility board appear to be no closer to having a home of their own than their predecessors did two-plus years ago.”
Source: Brunswick News/weekend

Odds and ends
“Former Savannah Mayor Otis Johnson has announced a two-day program will be held in August to celebrate 1963 as a “watershed year” in the civil rights movement in Savannah and nationwide.”
Source: Savannah Morning News/Sunday

Larry Peterson: To bear fruit, inquiries must be varied
“Caught in the throes of summer brain rot, I recently scanned the dusty top row of my home-office bookcase.”
Source: Savannah Morning News/Sunday

Trudy Rubin: A difficult road to democracy
“Egypt’s military coup against an elected president, cheered on by the country’s liberals, once again raises the nagging question: Is the Middle East somehow unsuited for democracy?”
Source: Savannah Morning News/Sunday

Building on success
“If you had a seriously sick child in the hospital for any length of time, where would you stay? And how long could you afford it? Hopefully you’ll never have to think about those things. But it’s sad that families with sick kids do.”
Source: Augusta Chronicle/Sunday

Dimon Kendrick-Holmes: There’s hope for Muscogee County’s choice of superintendent
“Earlier this week, I returned home from a family road trip and realized that I’d left a wheelbarrow upright in the backyard. It was slap full of rain.”
Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer/Sunday

Dusty Nix: By George…no, they still don’t get it
“A rant in this space a few weeks back had to do with Georgia’s “civil forfeiture” law. It’s a piece of rank Constitution desecration under which authorities can, and frequently do, seize money and property from motorists — and keep it, whether or not the people they took it from are ever convicted of, or even charged with, any crime.”
Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer/Sunday

Chattahoochee Valley’s higher ed advantages
“Two recent stories from opposite sides of the river, both involving institutions of higher education, spotlight a fact we already know but often take for granted: Such institutions pay off for a community in more than just the obvious ways.”
Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer/Sunday

Darrell Huckaby: Don’t judge a ‘Dawg’ by the length of his hair
“I thought I was in high cotton Thursday night at the annual University of Georgia Fellowship of Christian Athletes Gala at the UGA indoor practice facility. I was hanging out with three of my favorite people — Mike Young, Kevin Price and Steve Middlebrooks. Mike Young and I were Eagle Scouts together, longer ago than either of us care to recall. Kevin Price and I were as close as brothers during that same era. Steve Middlebrooks has become a very gracious friend over the past couple of years.”
Source: Athens Banner-Herald/Sunday

House immigration bill — if there is one — must put enforcement first
“Most Americans — and most Georgians — favor an “enforcement first” approach to immigration reform. But unfortunately, the “Gang of Eight” immigration bill passed last month by the U.S. Senate takes what amounts to a ‘legalization first’ approach. There’s plenty of lip service about enforcement, but lip service is all it is. It is an amnesty bill in all but name, heavily focused on rewarding those who have made their way into this country illegally by creating a new ‘path to citizenship.’”
Source: Marietta Daily Journal/Sunday

Worth School Board needs civic lesson
“The Worth County Board of Education demonstrated collective shortsightedness on an embarrassing level last week when it essentially expelled 57 students whose parents are serving our nation in the Marine Corps.”
Source: Albany Herald/weekend

Carlton Fletcher: Galloping along the edges of heartbreak and memory
“I shed a tear for a horse … And for the little girl who loved him unconditionally, called him her best friend and won ribbons blue, red, white and yellow riding on his back; the girl whose blue eyes filled with wonder and whose world of possibilities expanded exponentially at first sight of him.”
Source: Albany Herald/weekend

GOP’s challenge to be relevant or correct
“There’s an old adage that goes something like: If you own something, it owns you. That seems relevant to the Republican Party these days. Its candidate has finished first in only one of the last six presidential elections.”
Source: Savannah Morning News

Earth isn’t flat
“The most intemperate part of the global warming debate may be President Obama’s own rhetoric.”
Source: Augusta Chronicle

Walter Jones: Court order affects more than election dates
“When federal Judge Steve C. Jones ordered the date changed for Georgia’s federal elections, he set in motion a series of political changes as well.”
Source: Athens Banner-Herald

Ed Grisamore: Mulberry youth center dances still stir the memories
“Allen Gilbert has fond memories of hanging out at the youth center at Mulberry Street United Methodist Church in the 1960s.”
Source: Macon Telegraph

Charles Richardson: It’s past time for new blood in the Democratic Party
“What do Danny Glover, Sarah Hunt, Daryl Morton and Fred Swann all have in common? They are all ex-chairs of the Bibb County Democratic Party — all since November 2011. Next up for a beat-down — Vice Chairman Sandy Powell.”
Source: Macon Telegraph

David Oedel: Troubled Macon boosterism
“I read with skepticism Harold Goodridge’s July 6 article in The Telegraph fantastically titled, “No end in sight for downtown Macon’s fast-pace commercial, residential growth.” The article seemed to report on some other downtown Macon than the one we know.”
Source: Macon Telegraph

William J. Self: Background checks are not as simple as some believe
“When we talk about background checks, let’s be honest. (A tip of the hat to Dr. R. Kirby Godsey, author of “When We Talk About God, Let’s Be Honest,” Mercer University Press, 2005.)”
Source: Macon Telegraph

Don McKee: Lessons learned from Trayvon Martin shooting far too costly
“Some lessons to take from the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman in Sanford, Fla., in February 2012: If you are engaged in neighborhood watch, don’t carry a gun and don’t confront any person that seems suspicious to you. Call the police and stay in your house or your car even if you lose sight of the person. If George Zimmerman had done that, he would not have had an encounter with Trayvon Martin and would not have shot him.”
Source: Marietta Daily Journal

Gwinnett up to the Cleanup challenge
“With all due respect to The Coasters, when it comes to taking out the papers and the trash there’s usually more “yakety yack” than action taken in local communities. But as the latest results from the Great American Cleanup show, Gwinnett pays more than lip service when it comes to beautification and recycling efforts.”
Source: Gwinnett Daily Post


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