"Read my lips ... no new taxes!"
Now that the smoke has cleared from all the last-minute wheeling and dealing that resulted in a county budget for the coming year, a couple of things seem obvious.
Two federal court rulings last week have had a major effect on Georgia's future, and our area's, on two key issues: immigration and water.
Here's the question for the gang of three that is in control of the Hall County Board of Commissioners: What's the plan for adopting a budget that makes sense for the county before Thursday's deadline?
The General Assembly is about to embark on a task undertaken every 10 years that is the political equivalent of cleaning the garage: messy, but important.
A treasured summer tradition is in limbo these days: the annual July trek of football fans to watch the Atlanta Falcons' preseason camp.
We have reached a critical juncture in determining the future of Hall County, and local residents have to speak up now if they want a role in deciding what the county will become over the next few years.
The bands will play, the veterans will bask in the applause and visitors to Monday's Memorial Day parades in Gainesville and elsewhere will wave their flags with patriotic fervor. A few then may visit loved ones at local cemeteries and pay respects to those who were lost in battle.
High school seniors across the region soon will be walking across a stage, grabbing a piece of paper and throwing a cap in the air.
It's a look we see in the faces of others, likely reflected back to them by our own.
When you are a candidate for public office, caught up in the often heated rhetoric of the campaign trail, it's easy to promise sweeping changes. From the outside looking in, problems seem obvious, solutions are crystal clear and strategies for action easily formulated.
As legislative sessions go, this year's General Assembly gathering ranks as useful and effective compared to past years, when too much time was spent on hot-button topics with little real impact, at the expense of more serious issues.
It is both telling and troubling that the state agency assigned to police ethical behavior in government hasn't been able to mind its own store.
Each Sept. 11 for the past dozen years since the fateful day of 2001, we ask ourselves the same question: Are we safer now than we were then?
Labor Day weekend provides us an annual three-day break before summer fades into fall. School and football are back, and though it's still plenty hot, the days are growing shorter and the leaves are crisping up for seasonal changes to come.
Nostalgia is popular these days: Retro fashions, disco and '80s pop, "Throwback Thursdays" on social media. What's old is new again, what used to be hip turned square and then back to cool.
On any given fall Friday night, you'd be hard-pressed to find a football field in the South without a bowed head or a bent knee.
Of all the modern conveniences we take for granted - a light goes on at the flip of a switch, water comes out at the turn of a tap - our roads and highways rank high on the list.
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