Friday, June 19, 2009

I'm writing about what?

In keeping with Community Newspaper Holdings INC.'s credo that we "Surprise our readers every day!," I got to write about this giant pineapple for today's paper.
But no, that's not a giant pineapple. It's really an Agave Americana, the succulent that brings us agave tequila.
This image is of Lockerly Arboretum's Director of Horticulture Bradley Roberts posing with a freshly manicure plant.
As you can see in the images from the UR story, the century plant has grown much taller than it's shown in this image.
But if you're looking for something to do in M'ville, go check it out.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Milledgeville Ex-Pat ex-Pat no more

It was announced this morning that Heather Holder accepted the executive director position for Georgia College & State University's John S. and James L. Knight Foundation funded Milledgeville Community Connections: Digital Bridges...Bringing People Together initiative.
The program is to be up and running June 23.

And top story of the day honors go to...

Alexis Stevens of the AJC for her story, "Man won’t get to keep bear he hit on I-75"
This story elicited more mirth from my little carrel than anything in recent memory. Read on readers!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

More media jumping on the Griffin 2010 bandwagon

Update: When contacted, Floyd Griffin said, "I have no comment on my political future."
So read from that what you will.

While doing the daily media rounds, I saw that Tondee's Tavern is jumping on the Griffin in 2010 bandwagon.
The Tavern, a Georgia Democrats blog, puts Milledgeville's former Mayor up against Ray City's current mayor Carl Camon for the Democratic nomination for the Lt. Governor's race.
Griffin made a failed attempt at Lt. Gov back in 1998. Griffin wrote in his autobiography--which is getting pulled off my shelf more and more these days--that his campaign for statewide office, which was run off a promise to reform education, ended in defeat because of inadequate fund raising.

"My biggest problem during the campaign was the lack of funds. While my opponents racked up nearly a million dollars apiece, I was trying to run a campaign on barely $150,000. This made for a lot of traveling around the state in my own car rather than flying; I couldn't do any mass mailings or yard signs and I couldn't afford to pay any campaign workers. Also detrimental was the lack of a TV ad campaign."

But the Tavern is not the only Georgia blog wondering about a Floyd Griffin Jr. comeback in 2010. Peanut Politics has this post about getting Griffin into some state office next election cycle.
While on the link, you may notice the poll question asking you the reader what office Griffin should seek.
I guess we can expect an updated edition of "Legacy to Legend: Winners Make It Happen" in the next couple of years.

WiMax this way cometh

The AJC had this story online about the city's Clearwire WiMax network getting off the ground.
Clearwire is the company that is getting Milledgeville's $865,000 Georgia Technology Authority grant to create a wireless Internet network in the state's Antebellum Capital.
Two weeks ago Clearwire media reps were not willing to comment about any time frames or buildout information for the Milledgeville leg of this network. I guess I'll be calling them back this week to see if they'd be interested in talking with the Union-Recorder about the Atlanta buildout.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

How they do things in Washington

Jim Galloway at the AJC's Political Insider blog passed along some off-color hilarity from Time magazine's Swampland blog for your weekend browsing pleasure.
And because it is amusing, I thought I'd do the same thing. See Y'all next week.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Grant sees special session coming

I just got off the phone with state Senator Johnny Grant, R-Milledgeville, who told me that news of a 14.4 percent revenue decrease in May--bringing the year-to-date total for 2009 as compared to 2008 down by 10 percent--makes the specter of a special legislative session to consider the state budget almost palpable.
Grant said the Governor will probably take in the June and July revenue figures before making a final decision.
"We hope and pray that the economy will turn around because it is becoming a dire circumstance for the state, same as the world, same as the local economy," Grant said.
Maybe Sonny could hold another prayer conference and get these revenue levels back up. If it were to work anywhere as well as the prayer conference for the drought, whoever takes office in 2010 could be looking at rebuilding the state's diminishing rainy day fund.

Call 'em as they see 'em

Macon uberPolitician Erick Erickson has a good common sense post at Peach Pundit that I feel is pertinent to the ongoing discussion about Baldwin County solid waste collection and disposal.
Let us move beyond the semantics and just call it what it is:

"Any monetary charge imposed by the state, county, or municipal governments or entities whose existence are derived therefrom that a citizen is unable to alter through his own actions except by adding value to or subtracting value from the citizen’s real or personal property must be called a tax."

I guess in this case 'adding value to or subtracting value from' would mean deciding to move out of the unincorporated part of the county. But lets compare that with a guest editorial authored by the Baldwin County Commission about the new $13.50 solid waste fee recently imposed by said commission:

"The county has received proposals to address both of those issues by contracting its sanitation services for door to door pickup, which will
provide an upgrade in service and be paid for by each individual user rather than through the property tax...
"However, this will force the county to operate more centers than originally proposed with door to door pickup, and the fees from those who opt out will be used to operate these additional centers.This will allow the current sanitation expense to be removed from the property tax budget and to avoid a millage rate increase by the board of
"Some will say that this is a tax; it is a user fee. Whether you call it a user fee or a tax, it will be paid by everyone who uses the service and not just property owners."

I guess in the end it doesn't really matter what you call...perhaps just a bill. But who amongst us is going to get that water bill in August and say 'I'll pay your $13.50 as long as it's not an additional tax.'
If that's you, please write in to let me know how you see it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

But For the Grace of God

The Union-Recorder recently ran a story about the ongoing efforts to commemorate the lives of those persons who passed away while under the care of the state at Central State Hospital.
We wrote about the story at this time because NBC's Today Show had come to Milledgeville to feature those efforts as well. That feature ran earlier this week and I would like to recommend that everyone take the time to learn about this ongoing struggle to celebrate the humanity in all people, regardless of their human condition on this earth.
Check out this American Story with Bob Dotson here.

The title of this post comes from a book by Dr. Peter Cranford chronicling the history of, and his short tenure at, Central State Hospital.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

6,7,8 Triple 9,8,2,1,2

City Councilman Ken Morgan finally commented on the internal investigation that led to his resignation from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Read all about that here.
Apparently, it was the city's fault for providing him with tax-payer funded PDA. Our friends at the Baldwin Bulletin open-records requested the city, county and school system to see who was walking around with tax-payer funded tele-technology, and after former school board chair Harold Simmons gave up his, Morgan is the last man texting.

“Communication devices such as cell phones (and) Personal Desk Assistants help elected officials with busy schedules and that are active in their respective communities stay on top of issues that face them and their constituent [sic]…many of my constituents and other citizens have contacted me about many of the issues addressed with Council such as the controversial three unrelated ordinance, Historic District zoning, library funding, budgetary items, problems with their roads, Streetscape tress on Hancock Street, drainage issues and many other issues and I was able to respond in a timely manner whether I was at home or three counties away working…My PDA has allowed for me to respond to citizens in a timely manner whether I’m out on the ball field with my kids or in Washington D.C.”

On a somewhat related note, I talked with Morgan a day ago about his thoughts on raising money for the city's portion of the community's new adult literacy program, and he said that the city should take money out of Mayor and Council's communications budget to cover the $5,000 seed money donation.
Looking at the city budget, it would appear that the only person who'd stand to lose on that transaction is Morgan himself as the roughly $1,200 required to pay for his cell service (as reported by the Bulletin) seems to be the only money being paid out of the $5,000 line item.

I wonder why we didn't think of this, I can't believe they didn't see this sooner

Update: Here is a picture of the copyrighted materials that can be found at Lowes.

This observation was shared with Union Recorder readers through the community forum today:

"Has anyone been to Lowe's Garden Center lately? Wrapped around the tomato plants is a recyclable sleeve by the company Bonnie Plants (trade mark). Their signature states "
Our Roots Run Deep since 1918". The colors of the Bonnie Plants are yellow and green. Does any of this sound familiar to you?
I wonder if this will be another possible law suit for the town of Milledgeville."

I think we can all remember this and the local uproar it caused.
Now I ask: Did anyone responsible for this festival ever google the phrase 'Deep Roots Festival'?
Better late than never, the inquisitive minds in the U-R newsroom did this morning, and this is what comes up.
Happy Hunting.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Waiting, waiting, waiting

Yes. I, like just about everyone else in my line of business, am waiting to hear what this man has to say at his press conference.

Barrow gains a republican contender for 2010

Not to be outdone by Phillip Joiner or the candidates for the 2010 governor's race, former Thunderbolt City Councilman Carl Smith informed the Union-Recorder this week that he'll be challenging Congressman John Barrow for the 12th District seat in next year.
“The reason I want to represent Georgia’s 12th district, is to stand against the congressional borrow, tax, print, and spend policies.” In February 2009, John Barrow voted in favor of the 787 billion dollar stimulus bill. ”That is exactly the type of irresponsible spending that has gotten us in this financial crisis,” Carl remarked.
Funny, I thought that was the type of irresponsible spending that the government proposed to get us out of this financial crisis. But who really knows anyway.
Smith lists his experiences as being a 22-year firefighter and fire chief who has been a first responder to numerous regional disasters. He has also served as President of the Savannah Firefighters Association and served several terms on the Chatham County Fire Chiefs Association, as well as the Georgia Association of Fire Chiefs.
In the political arena--civilian politics I guess--Smith was elected to two terms on the Thunderbolt City Council, during which time he says "he helped reduce property taxes and enhanced the response capabilities of the police and fire departments. As finance chair, he reformed the city’s budget and accounting practices and corrected their audit deficiencies."
Welcome to the race, we'll be expecting a visit to the state's Antebellum Capital soon.