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Articles by Section - Columnists


Pumpkins growing weary

Can it be? Is it September already? One of my favorite tunes, "September Song," was written by Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson for a Broadway musical in 1938 called "Knickerbocker Holiday. The lyrics could apply today to the current political season in Georgia - "For it's a long, long time from May to December, but the days grow short when you reach September."

September 02, 2014 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Try realism in the Middle East

America rarely does time capsules anymore, but the ones it does should include videos from February 2011 of American TV reporters exulting in the triumph of the Arab Spring. "This is the sound of a people rising," ABC's Terry Moran told us from Cairo. For Egyptians, it was a day "when a people rose and made themselves a new country, a new world, a new life."

September 02, 2014 | Richard Cohen | Columnists


Blacks must confront reality

Though racial discrimination exists, it is nowhere near the barrier it once was. The relevant question is: How much of what we see today can be explained by racial discrimination? This is an important question because if we conclude that racial discrimination is the major cause of black problems when it isn't, then effective solutions will be elusive forever. To begin to get a handle on the answer, let's pull up a few historical facts about black Americans.

August 30, 2014 | Walter Williams | Columnists


Time to call a spade a spade

As the character Cecily said to Miss Fairfax in a play written by Oscar Wilde entitled "The Importance of being Earnest": "When I see a spade I call it a spade."

August 30, 2014 | Mychal massie | Columnists


In 1970, we had a riot; Ferguson looks like war

The news from Ferguson, Missouri, has brought back unpleasant memories from the long-ago riots in Asbury Park, New Jersey. It was the summer of 1970, and I was a young teenager close enough to the action to be appropriately frightened.

August 28, 2014 | Staff Report | Columnists


The Value of Work and Labor Day

My first paying job was cleaning the bathrooms at the First Baptist Church of Carrollton, Georgia, where I was a member. I was 14, the minimum age for "children" to work. This was neither glamorous nor exciting work, but useful and needed work. On Sundays I often over heard the "little old ladies" of the church commenting on the cleanliness of the bathroom. I remember my subsequent feeling of pride. While not a glamorous work, my actions were helpful and appreciated by those who used the facilities. For providing this useful service I earned minimum wage in 1981, ($3.35 ...

August 28, 2014 | Staff Report | Columnists


Family’s tragedy: text less, live more

It is a potential killer whose numbers rival the deadly Ebola virus and it doesn't get near the attention it should. Unlike the dreaded illness currently ravaging West Africa this is one with a quick cure.

August 26, 2014 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


The new face of evil

As Hannah Arendt foresaw, we are once again up against the question of evil. An American photojournalist, James Foley, was presented to the camera and methodically decapitated. The instrument was not the ax reserved for royalty or the whooshing blade prompted by that reformer Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, but an ordinary looking knife. Death would be neither swift nor painless. This, somewhere in the bleached desert, was pure evil.

August 26, 2014 | Richard Cohen | Columnists


Decision Pending on Newton’s Government Structure

The structure of county government is once again on the agenda of the Board of Commissioners (BOC), which has scheduled a work session for Aug. 26, 2014. As readers may recall, this has been a topic of discussion for several months and the BOC has met with experts from both the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) and the regional planning agency. Representatives of both clearly have indicated that the current "hybrid" system of having both a full time Commission needs to be changed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of county government.

August 23, 2014 | Larry McSwain | Columnists


50 years in newspaper industry

The other day I found myself thinking on how long I have been a part of the newspaper industry - it turns out that this will be my 50th year, with one year of my life working with mentally challenged adults and two working with people going into their final sunset, through Hospice.

August 23, 2014 | T. Pat Cavanaugh | Columnists


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Archive By Section - Columnists


The best birthday gift

Today's the 234th birthday of The United States of America. Born July 4, 1776, as 56 brave men signed a pledge birthing government of the people, America received her first birthday present.

July 04, 2010 | Nat Harwell | Columnists


Education system needs some work

Of some 15,000 school systems in the United States only one has lost accreditation in the past four decades. In August 2008, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools denied accreditation to Clayton County.

June 30, 2010 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Saxby and Johnny could wreck the state budget

In normal times, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson would not have anything to do with drafting the state budget.

June 30, 2010 | Tom Crawford | Columnists


Sad, sorry situations

Tunica, MS - My wildest dreams of traveling the world to exotic locales never included Tunica, Miss. But my wife, along with her mother and aunt, accepted a free week's trip to a resort, airfare included.

June 27, 2010 | Nat Harwell | Columnists


A nose for news (and opinion)

We are flooded with news and what-appears-to-be news on a non-stop basis. The news consumer can spend hours a day between newspapers, TV, radio and online, viewing multiple websites that include wanna-be-news sites called blogs, or more accurately, opinion.

June 27, 2010 | By Bob Furnad | Columnists


Newton’s dreamers

It's easy for some who call themselves rational thinkers to dismiss dreamers and their dreams. Dreamers are viewed as starry-eyed loafers with an aversion to a hard day's work. But think of dreamers like Henry Ford, Ted Turner, Bill Gates. Without dreamers, there'd have been no United States of America. This world needs its dreamers.

June 25, 2010 | By Barbara Morgan | Columnists


Random thoughts on random subjects

Not only is Vince Dooley a Hall of Fame football coach but he is a Master Gardener, too. I just got a copy of his new book, "Vince Dooley's Garden: The Horticultural Journey of a Football Coach." (Looking Glass Books) How many people do you know who have had a hydrangea named after them (Hydrangea Macrophylla, also known as the "Dooley") and can recognize an over/under 4-3 defense?

June 23, 2010 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


In the moment

Call it "Mis-place-ism." Call it "Lose-itis." It really doesn't matter, but I'm here to report an epidemic of it and not just at our house. I hear about it daily from one friend or another.

For example, one friend, looking for a safe place to put a ring out of sight while workers were in the house, dropped it into her coin purse. Later that day at the market, a soft ball team was bagging groceries for donations. My friend turned the contents of her coin purse upside down into the collection jar and walked away with her ...

June 18, 2010 | Barbara Morgan Columnist | Columnists


Perdue did the right thing

Gov. Sonny Perdue reached a significant milestone last week as he finished the process of signing or vetoing the bills and resolutions passed by legislators this year.

Barring an emergency that requires him to call a special session of the General Assembly, those will probably be the last pieces of legislation Perdue signs during his two terms as Georgia's chief executive.

June 16, 2010 | Tom Crawford | Columnists


The best option for our county

The budget process for the Board of Commissioners is entering the final countdown. A budget must be set and voted on by June 15; however, there are major decisions yet to be made. Citizens, county employees and BOC members are all keenly aware that Newton County faces a major revenue shortfall. Yet to be seen is how the BOC will determine a final budget and subsequently set a millage rate that will generate funds enough to provide modest services above and beyond those that are mandated.

June 13, 2010 | By Nancy Schulz | Columnists


I support the rollback rate

Let me be perfectly clear. As Newton County Commission Chair, I am strongly in support of the rollback millage rate of 10.9 mils. For 10 years, the millage rate has remained at 9.73, adequate during our flush times but far from adequate as this county struggles with a dramatically reduced tax digest down some 24 percent since I took office 18 months ago. If three district commissioners vote to continue that rate and not adopt the rollback rate, they will be contributing mightily to an unnecessary decline in critical areas of county services.

June 13, 2010 | By Kathy Morgan | Columnists


Good friends, girl friends

Once upon a time, from 1980-88, a man I regard as one of the four greatest to serve as President of The United States of America inhabited the White House. Ronald Wilson Reagan, former actor, figuratively rode into Washington, D.C. on a white horse right out of his old Western movies and led America back from the brink of economic oblivion, skyrocketing inflation, staggering unemployment and Jimmy Carter's attempt to downsize our Navy to under 200 ships.

June 13, 2010 | Nat Harwell | Columnists


Don't let the people perish

"Where there is no vision, the people perish." Thus says Proverbs. And I'm feeling it sometimes these days as an observer of local politics.

Roy Varner just died, beloved as a man and revered as Newton County Commission chair for 16 years. A friend said of him: "It seems like most politicians today, their agenda is a personal agenda, and what they can get out of it for themselves. Roy was a person trying to do good for his community. He didn't care who got credit so long as it got done." Son Aaron quoted him: "He said ...

June 11, 2010 | Barbara Morgan Columnist | Columnists


Not quite an eye for eye

When I first heard the name Melbert Ray Ford, it meant very little to me. But I think that once you've watched a man die, you are cursed to remember his name forever. After learning of his crimes and watching his obvious lack of remorse until the bitter end, remembering Melbert Ford is indeed a curse that I will have to carry.

June 11, 2010 | Amber Pittman | Columnists


We stand alone together

Whenever June 6 falls on a Sunday, my column subject will most likely be that longest of days in 1944 when Allied forces assaulted Nazi Germany's "Fortress Europe." Operation Overlord, history's largest naval invasion, still staggers the mind when considering logistics, alone.

June 06, 2010 | Nat Harwell | Columnists


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