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Oglesby: Platefuls of pancakes and politics
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Newcomers may not be aware of what we talk about when we ask if they're coming to the annual Kiwanis pancake breakfast Saturday, Sept. 25 at the Civic Center on Green Street. Along with the Wauka Mountain chicken pie dinner, it's Hall County's premier whole-family social event of the year. Here's what makes it special.

Members and the high school K-clubs do the preparations, greetings, cooking, serving and cleanup. They have clowns, musicians and door prize drawings. Politicians wouldn't miss it. Besides pancakes and sausage, the buffet lines include orange juice, milk, coffee and yogurt with syrup on every table.

You'll find your doctor, dentist, banker, broker, employer, insurance agent, merchant, accountant, realtor and virtually every profession serving you. No telling who'll be sitting at the table with you. Get your plates and find a space. You meet and make new friends. The kids have a ball.

All proceeds go to fund the club's numerous youth service projects that include K-clubs, a number of college scholarships, some up to $5,000; Christmas baskets and gifts for underprivileged, transitional housing and training for families of homeless school children, STAR Student and Teacher awards, and periodic "$25,000 legacy gifts" for special projects such as Eagle Ranch, the Interactive Neighborhood for Kids (INK), etc.

Tickets are available from every Kiwanis member or just show up and buy at the door. Several thousand breakfasts are served (including take-outs) starting at 7 a.m. Don't miss it, it's a treat.

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We lost a jewel when "Dub" Jones died. He was an athlete in basketball and baseball (professional), a coach, athletic director, school board member and civic worker.

I once wrote that I considered him the best qualified in his last school board race and ordinarily would have voted for him (as I did when he was elected), but instead I endorsed his GOP opponent solely because Dub was the deciding vote on a bitterly split 3-2 board and the only Democrat up for re-election.

The public was upset with the board. Dub lost and the turmoil settled down. Dub and I remained good friends.

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No, those TV ads about Democratic gubernatorial nominee Roy Barnes going about the state apologizing for his mistakes during his term as governor aren't Nathan Deal's ads. Deal hasn't started advertising yet. He doesn't have Barnes' money. The ads, sponsored by the Republican Governors Association, merely scratch the surface of his mistakes: Ignoring the will of the people, e.g. the state flag issue; shafting the teachers; reapportionment so grotesque a federal court overturned it, at considerable cost to the state; then engineered the horrible alignment we have today, splitting numerous counties and ignoring areas' common interests.

Barnes, meanwhile, has a steady stream of negative ads about Deal without explaining what he plans to do other than the generic create jobs, improve education and cut taxes but without explaining how to pay for it. He, like Karen Handel, is trying to brand Deal as corrupt with allegations that have been explained and shown on public record to be false. I disagree with his liberalism but thought he was a better person. Voters want to know what both propose to do and how they would pay for it.

If Barnes felt the Georgia Association of Educators' early endorsement even before either had put forth their platforms showed teachers had forgiven him, I see strong signs he may have miscalculated. Many members are irate with GAE, even asking for pro-rated dues back. Many are joining the non-union Professional Association of Georgia Educators.

It's interesting to note the GAE letter Saturday failed to mention why it endorsed without seeing the two platforms, which haven't been released yet. What led to such a quick endorsement other than a "director knows best" decision by the labor boss?

Just like Barack Obama — ram through what the public said loudly they don't want.

Ted Oglesby is retired associate and opinion page editor of The Times. His column appears biweekly on Tuesdays and on gainesvilletimes.com. You can contact him at P.O. Box 663, Gainesville, GA 30503.

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