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Million dollar babies: High-end real estate is selling

One million dollars. It was once the plateau that was as far away as the moon. A generation ago, a worker might work an entire career and never earn a million dollars.

June 01, 2008 | Harris Blackwood | Viewpoint


A real fixer-upper

Gainesville's loan review committee now has the authority to lend more money to those needing assistance with housing rehabilitation. But the authority to lend more does not necessarily mean that there is more money to offer.

May 25, 2008 | Ashley Fielding | Viewpoint


Getting schooled on traffic jams

GAINESVILLE - Seventy-five minutes before the final bell rings, the first cars start showing up in the student pick-up lane at the entrance to Davis Middle School in South Hall.

May 17, 2008 | Jeff Gill | Viewpoint


Are you in good hands?

When a tornado or other disaster strikes, it's too late to ponder the amount of insurance coverage you have on your home.

But insurance executives and state officials alike say that all too often customers who have not updated their insurance policies may find they have inadequate coverage to rebuild their home or replace its contents.

May 11, 2008 | Harris Blackwood | Viewpoint


Are more dams on the Flint the answer?

The Flint River is an oddity in Georgia. The river begins as a spring or groundwater seep underneath the runways of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The flow is channeled off the airport by large drainage pipes.

From there it meanders 350 miles in a basin that is only 212 miles in length. It has 220 miles of unimpeded flow, making it one of only 40 rivers in the U.S. with open flows of 200 miles or more.

May 04, 2008 | Harris Blackwood | Viewpoint


Getting your voices heard

From the state Capitol in Atlanta to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, the mailbag is much lighter than it was a few years ago. The amount of correspondence hasn't changed. Its delivery method has.

April 27, 2008 | Harris Blackwood | Viewpoint


A model for success

An estimated 1.7 million Georgians don't have health insurance. State officials say that's unacceptable, and they're taking steps to change the situation.

Gov. Sonny Perdue and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle are both promoting various pieces of recently introduced legislation that they hope will reform health care in Georgia.

April 20, 2008 | Debbie Gilbert | Viewpoint


Making choices that help society

One cannot have the best of both worlds. For example, Daniel Webster had to sacrifice his stubborn views on slavery for the betterment of the American Union when he chose to advocate Henry Clay's Compromise of 1850.

But is that not what choices are all about: making sacrifices? Did Oscar Wilde's Dorian Gray not have to sacrifice morality for aestheticism and inevitably face the consequences? A choice can not be made without a sacrifice evident in the clear denotation of the word "choice."

April 13, 2008 | By Kunal Lahiry Third place, Gainesville Evening Optimist Club | Viewpoint


Smart decisions lead to smart results

Today's choices affect my future because all of my actions have consequences. Every choice made has consequences, either good or bad. The path less taken may create a better outcome for me in my future, but my choices made today help me to get on the path for success. Today's choices affect more than my future; they also affect my character and how I appear toward other people.

If I make a good choice, I can usually be assured of a good outcome, but many times even a good choice may not produce the greatest positive effect. The ...

April 13, 2008 | By Sean Zottnick Third place, Hall County Optimist Club | Viewpoint


Don't despair about risks; live your life

Today's choices affect my future because I may not be here tomorrow. Before I move along, I assure everyone that I am not suicidal and am not medicated with anti-depressants or any other drugs regarding the end of a person's life. I'm simply stating a fact. A person's anatomy is incredibly fragile, and day-to-day life has various risks. I prefer to risk it all.

One of my greatest achievements in life has been my tennis. Not only does it help relieve the stress of a busy high school student by serving balls at several miles per ...

April 13, 2008 | By Meagan Cole Second place, Gainesville Evening Optimist Club | Viewpoint


Choices today can ensure a bright future

A person makes thousands of decisions a day. These decisions are based on the benefits and consequences of the future. Our decisions will affect our futures, whether we like it or not.

Many people make decisions without considering the consequences; these decisions affect many lives. Decisions are most crucial in living a healthy and beneficial life. The choices I make today affect my future jobs, my voice in the environment around me, and my health.

April 13, 2008 | By Brittany Chandler Second place, Hall County Optimist Club | Viewpoint


Future is based on our decisions today

In a practical sense, the definition of the word "choice," a decision made from a range of options, falls blatantly short of what the word implies. A choice is a decision made from a range of options, but the definition does not entail what, if anything, occurs afterward.

In reality, a choice, no matter how small, always has consequences. Therefore, it is logical to assume the choices that one makes today have a direct impact on the future. Yet, within the enigmatic domain of life, there are certain consequences that occur outside of our control (that is to say, that ...

April 13, 2008 | By Mark Casper First place, Hall County Optimist Club | Viewpoint


Our choice must be peace

Today's choices shape my future because the way we handle foreign affairs affects us domestically, which unfortunately most people, including politicians, don't seem to realize.

By making enemies around the world with our pushy, power-hungry policies, we alienate ourselves as a nation, making us vulnerable. We should seek alliances and build channels of communication, otherwise we may be losing innocent lives that we would never even imagine would be put in harm's way.

April 13, 2008 | By Nichole Kayne First Place, Gainesville Evening Optimist Club | Viewpoint


Life is a hallway

In my dream, my life was a hallway. It stretched ahead with doors on either side. Some doors were wide open with bright lights that beckoned me to enter. Some were barely ajar and some were firmly shut and locked.

It did not take much poking around to realize that the locked doors were options for my life that I would never dream of exploring, such as the door with "Petty Thief" scratched across the stained wood. Next to it was "Valedictorian" printed in cursive script. I happily observed that it was wide open and welcoming.

April 13, 2008 | By Rachel Glazer First place, Middle School Essay Contest | Viewpoint


Downtown Upswing?

The future of downtown Gainesville is looking a little less square.

Last week, the Gainesville City Council unanimously approved a zoning request for a $35 million development in midtown that will feature a 13-story hotel and two 11-story office buildings on Jesse Jewell Parkway. Gainesville's Wendell Starke, owner of City View LLC, has joined forces with Atlanta-based P.C. Management Co. to form Gainesville City Center LLC, which will oversee the 5.5 acre project.

April 06, 2008 | Jessica Jordan | Viewpoint


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