Each year, the Georgia legislature gathers in Atlanta to attend to the state's business in its 40-day session. And each year, observers, pundits and editorialists ponder on whether lawmakers accomplish much in the Gold Dome.
Dr. John Pemberton could never have imagined it coming to this.
Lawmakers in the General Assembly worked a busy day Thursday to keep their proposals alive on Crossover Day, the deadline when a bill must pass one chamber to make it into law.
No doubt, we live in a disposable era when appliances, electronics and vehicles all seem to become obsolete soon after they come out of the box. But of the items considered temporary, it's hard to imagine a football stadium making that list.
Whatever may be our individual backgrounds, educational levels or career aspirations, we all have one experience in common: At some point in our lives, we were guided by an influential teacher.
So much for "the era of big government is over."
Since 1985, Special Purpose Local Option Sales Taxes have provided Georgia communities with a viable option for financing infrastructure and major capital projects. Throughout the state, cities and counties have used SPLOST collections to build courthouses, jails, libraries, roads, parks and other specific projects that could be clearly defined for voter approval.
As more Americans decry the lack of cooperation among leaders in Washington, D.C., that job gets more impossible by the day.
Inaugural speeches are known for sweeping rhetoric and big ideas, the president's goal upon taking office to offer a vision for his term rather than two dozen bullet points on the legislation he wants passed (that's what the State of the Union is for ... can't wait).
Sometimes, political leaders succeed not by performing great feats, but by knowing their limitations and working within them.
Economic and job growth. That issue was the centerpiece of last year's presidential campaign and remains the focus of all governments as we stagger from the uppercut of a five-year recession.
With the new session of Congress begun and Georgia legislators preparing to bang their gavel a week from Monday, it's a good time to examine what we expect from our elected employees.
With the new year comes the promise of change, and personal resolutions to do so are a traditional part of the turning of the calendar page.
Barring an unforeseen emergency before year's end or a political comeback at some future time, Tom Oliver has presided over his final Hall County Board of Commissioners meeting as chairman. He leaves behind a legacy of progressive leadership and accomplishment that future chairmen will find difficult to equal.
During election season, Georgia is referred to as a "red" state in reference to its reliable Republican loyalties.
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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