Editorials

Editorials

Hard to feel sorry for this congressional time crunch

It’s been pretty quiet in and around Washington, D.C. with Congress adjourned for the last two weeks. We should all be so lucky. But that peace is about to end when lawmakers once again fill the halls of Congress when they return Monday, and waiting for them is a full slate of issues all needing immediate attention. Health care is still on the plate simply because nothing can be done about tax reform until the health care conundrum is settled. But there is another more pressing issue that could turn ugly and put health care on the back burner along with several other congressional initiatives.

Editorials

Rough traffic week in Atlanta

Transportation issues in and around the Atlanta metro area are vexing on a good day and good traffic days have been frightfully few since March 30 when a section of Interstate 85 mysteriously caught fire and collapsed. A vital route used by thousands of cars and trucks daily was suddenly out of commission and the section will be out of service until the middle of June if all goes according to plan. Contractors are working 24-hours a day to repair that section of highway. Commuters are left using surface streets and other travelers are stuck and not just those in the city. Traffic has slowed all around the Atlanta metro area.

Editorials

Recreation growing up in the International City

Warner Robins, you have lift off. The city council decided on a recreation plan that will be funded through sales taxes to the tune of $20 million. The city will see a recreation expansion over a period of six years (2018-2024) like it has never seen before and that’s a good thing.

Editorials

What will we leave as our community legacy?

Once again, like a friendly ghost, the legacy of Peyton Anderson, former owner and publisher of this newspaper, reached out on what would have been the week of his 110th birthday and set his sights on another target for his philanthropy. This time it’s a new $500,000 grant program for teachers titled, “Teach to Inspire.”

Editorials

Customer service: The right thing for good business

There is a lot of finger pointing going on at United Airlines these days. It all started with a total collapse of any semblance of customer service when United flight 3411 was getting set to depart from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to Louisville International in Kentucky. One problem. The flight was overbooked. The airline randomly selected four passengers to be told they were being bumped and would have to leave the aircraft. Three did, a fourth, Dr. David Dao, did not.

Editorials

Union issues continue to plague Robins

UNCERTAINTY: Situation where the current state of knowledge is such that (1) the order or nature of things is unknown, (2) the consequences, extent, or magnitude of circumstances, conditions, or events is unpredictable.

Editorials

Athletes and parents should do the math

Congratulations to the University of North Carolina Tar Heels, the 2017 winner of the NCAA National Basketball Championships, more generally called March Madness. While we still have visions of that “One Shining Moment” playing in our heads, we must first recognize that the NCAA has turned this tournament into a marketing Juggernaut that is unparallelled in college sport. March Madness holds the country’s attention as 68 teams get whittled down in nail-biter after buzzer-beater starting in the middle of March, ending on April 3, this year.

Editorials

Long and winding road, winding down

The seniors who gather at the Macon-Bibb County Senior Center are finally nearing the end of their long ordeal. While not over, their attempt to get a new senior center is entering its last phases. Their ordeal, started with the passage of the 2012 SPLOST with the help of votes from seniors on the promise they would get a new center. But here we are five years down the road and no center, yet. The delay should be a lesson in how a SPLOST really works and also a lesson in perseverance — and something else that comes with being a senior — they weren’t going to accept just anything.

Editorials

Report provides roadmap to a healthier community

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released its “County Health Rankings & Roadmaps report last week and Georgia — and particularly Bibb County could use a heavy dose of improvement. The report is aimed at state leaders to help them “identify ways for everyone to have a fair chance to lead the healthiest life possible,” the report states.

Editorials

Poor process kills court consolidation, for now

Senate Bill 283, we bet you’ve never heard of it, and won’t until next year. The bill would have folded the Municipal Court’s duties into State Court. Probably not a bad idea, but the bill died because of poor execution, not on the state level, but the entire idea stepped off on the wrong foot.

Editorials

The ‘Pink Carpet’ has been rolled out for the 35th time

Just to be clear, Washington, D.C., is home to the federal government, the Washington Monument, Jefferson, Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr. memorials and many, many others, but it is not the Cherry Blossom Capitol of the world. How could it be with only 3,000 trees? You would be in the Cherry Blossom Capitol of the world if you take Washington, D.C.’s number of trees and multiply by 100. That would land you right smack dab in the middle of Georgia. Right smack dab in Macon-Bibb County.

Editorials

The dissonance of the sessions last days

They can go home now. Lawmakers have competed the only task they legally have to do: Pass a budget. And on Wednesday, that’s what the General Assembly did — pass a $49 billion budget which includes federal funds. Still and all, state funds account for $25 billion of the total. The only thing left for the men and women under the Gold Dome to do is to sing “Sine Die” and go home. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen. There are still hundreds of bills to be considered and this period in any session is the most dangerous for Georgia citizens.

Editorials

The good news and bad about Tuesday’s vote

There was a lot of backslapping and smiles going around in several counties as the votes started adding up that passed special purpose local option sales tax referendums Tuesday night in Houston, Baldwin, Jones, Pulaski and Wilkinson counties. A special 1 mill hospital tax was passed in Monroe County in hopes to keep itshospital afloat. The Jones and Wilkinson measures were E-SPLOSTs in support of education.

Editorials

Congress gets last word on Trump budget

Any business or organization’s mission is ultimately revealed by where it decides to spend its money. The federal government is no different. Thursday, President Trump released his skinny budget, named so because it’s difficult, no, impossible, for a new administration to wrap its mind around the largest bureaucracy in the world that employs 2.1 million civilians and several hundred thousand more under contract.

Editorials

Commission should answer three Municipal Court questions

The move to eliminate Macon-Bibb County’s Municipal Court and have its work assumed by State Court hit another confusing stretch when state Sen. John F. Kennedy was inserted in the mix. Sometimes when a state lawmaker gets involved in a local issue it’s not a good thing. He or she is either uninvited or hasn’t consulted with members of local government — sometimes both — about a bill that will have a direct impact on them.

Editorials

Deal budget almost to the fiscal finish line

Gov. Nathan Deal has to be feeling pretty good about himself right now and he has every reason to crow a little bit. The state Senate passed his $49 billion 2018 budget that mostly follows what he proposed during his State of the State address in January.

Editorials

The governor may be the only adult in the room

It was May 3, 2016 when Gov. Nathan Deal pulled out his veto pen and struck a note for common sense by using his power to stop House Bill 859, better known as the campus carry legislation, from becoming law. He wrote, ““If the intent of HB 859 is to increase safety of students on college campuses, it is highly questionable that such would be the result.”

Editorials

Lawmakers take another swipe at ‘unacceptable’ schools

For 40 days citizens of this state shudder to think where their lawmakers might decide to reach. From trying to influence county border line disputes to looking up skirts to carrying guns on college campuses, nothing is too near or too far from their grasp. Why it doesn’t matter if their constituents have already given them a smack down at the ballot box. If the result didn’t suit them, it’s damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead.