Don't look now but it's nearly election time again.
If you've paid any attention to the financial news in the last few weeks, you're probably wondering what happened to the recovery we were told was under way.
This week, Georgia legislators begin the arduous and divisive process of redrawing the state's political maps based on population shifts reflected by the 2010 census. It's a tough job for whichever party has the reins.
Like a bungling buffoon in a kid's cartoon, Hall County commissioners have painted themselves into a corner with their handling of the county's recreation department, and at this point there's no clear path to a solution without leaving a lot of footprints in the paint.
Three years ago this summer, Gainesville's school system was in a state of chaos.
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"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.
Broken families. Neglectful parents racked by poverty, addiction or poor personal decisions. Abused children denied a normal upbringing. Government agencies short on resources and personnel scrambling desperately to keep a bad situation from getting worse.
If this year's political ads sound like you've tapped into Nick at Nite reruns of old campaigns, you're not imagining it. That's because there's little new in politics; it only seems that way sometimes when candidates repackage old ideas.
There's a famous quote by Hall of Fame baseball manager Casey Stengel that describes what's going on today in our federal government. As his expansion New York Mets were going through a historically bad season, Casey lamented: "Can't anybody here play this game?"
Wanted: Magic money tree. Must produce massive quantities of legal tender to help pay for state's most pressing needs and fulfill all campaign promises. Please deliver to state Capitol by January 2015.
This may seem a naive and silly question, but bear with us as we ask: When did voting itself become such a partisan issue?
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