The blog.

16
Jun

Order upholding disqualification of Tyrone Brooks, Jr in Special Election today

Final Order Tyrone Brooks Jr Residency

16
Jun

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for June 16, 2015

On June 16, 1736, General James Oglethorpe arrived in England with Tomochichi, the Yamacraw Indian chief, Tomochichi’s wife and several other members of the tribe on a trip to meet the Georgia Trustees and King George II.

Creek Indians signed the Treaty of Fort Wilkinson on June 16, 1802, ceding two parcels of land in Georgia to the United States.

On June 16, 1858, Abraham Lincoln addressed the Illiniois Republican Convention as a candidate for U.S. Senate and warned that “a house divided against itself cannot stand.”

The Atlanta Constitution was first published on June 16, 1868.

Bob Dylan recorded “Like a Rolling Stone” on June 16, 1965.

The Monterey Pop Festival opened at the Monterey Fairgrounds on June 16, 1967, often considered one of the opening events of the “Summer of Love.” Among the artists playing the Festival were the Jefferson Airplane, The Who, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and Macon-born Otis Redding.

Six Flags Over Georgia opened on June 16, 1967.

Atlanta Braves player Otis Nixon tied the modern record for steals in one game with six stolen bases agains the Montreal Expos on June 16, 1991.

Georgia Politics

State Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon) has been named an Administration Floor Leader by Gov. Nathan Deal.Continue Reading..

16
Jun

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for June 16, 2015

Hendrix

Hendrix is an adult male Lhasa Apso who is available for adoption from Animal Ark in Columbus, GA.

Joplin

Joplin is an adult female American Staffordshire Terrier mix who was abandoned outside the admin building at the Gwinnett Humane Society in Lawrenceville, where she is available for adoption.

Joplin’s wagging, wiggling, serenading, and welcoming the volunteers one evening, showed she was completely oblivious to the fact that she had been dumped. And so began the process of turning this powerful bundle of sweetness, joy and energy into a fun-loving yet calmer dog. Her progress has been remarkable and she has become our Welcoming Mascot at our adoption events. She loves everyone and everyone loves her. We just hope one day soon to find her perfect family. Her ideal family is one to provide her stability, exercise, time and patience, and of course Love!

Jefferson

Jefferson is a young male Labrador Retriever/Cavalier King Charles Spaniel mix who is available for adoption from Atlanta Lab Rescue in Atlanta, GA. I’m struggling to think of a better combination of temperaments than the goofy happy-go-lucky Labrador Retriever and the snuggly, highly-human oriented Cavalier King Charles.

This last dog doesn’t fit with today’s naming theme, but he’s a special one, so we’re making an exception.

Charlie

Charlie is a senior adult male Bloodhound who looks like he’s been neglected, and thus is available to rescue groups only, from the Walton County Animal Shelter in Monroe, GA. We seen over the years that for most rescue groups the number one limitation on their ability to take dogs is having a foster home. If you’re interested in helping Charlie, we suggest finding a rescue group that’s willing to pick him up if you’ll foster him. Usually a home check and application are required, but this special boy deserves to recuperate in a comfortable home.

15
Jun

Deal names Peake to House floor leader team | Governor Nathan Deal Office of the Governor

June 15, 2015

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon) will join his House floor leader team. Peake will succeed Rep. Christian Coomer (R-Cartersville), who was recently named chairman of the Transportation Committee.

Peake is currently serving his fifth term in the Georgia House of Representatives representing House District 141, which includes Macon. He serves on the Appropriations, Ways and Means, Health and Human Services and Rules committees. Peake owns Cheddar’s Casual Café and Captain D’s restaurants across the state. He is involved in several First Presbyterian Day School committees and is a trustee of the Georgia State Golf Foundation. He supports numerous charities in the Middle Georgia area, including Sav-a-Life Crisis Pregnancy Center, Covenant Care Adoption Agency, Methodist Youth Home, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Young Life. Peake attended Auburn University and earned a bachelor’s degree from Mercer University. He and his wife, Betsy, have three grown children and reside in Macon.

via Deal names Peake to House floor leader team | Governor Nathan Deal Office of the Governor.

15
Jun

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for June 15, 2015

Georgia and American History

The Magna Carta was sealed by King John on June 15, 1215.

The charter consisted of a preamble and 63 clauses and dealt mainly with feudal concerns that had little impact outside 13th century England. However, the document was remarkable in that it implied there were laws the king was bound to observe, thus precluding any future claim to absolutism by the English monarch. Of greatest interest to later generations was clause 39, which stated that “no free man shall be arrested or imprisoned or disseised [dispossessed] or outlawed or exiled or in any way victimised…except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.” This clause has been celebrated as an early guarantee of trial by jury and of habeas corpus and inspired England’s Petition of Right (1628) and the Habeas Corpus Act (1679).

On June 15, 1740, Spanish troops attacked the English who were led by James Oglethorpe, at Fort Mose, two miles north of St. Augustine, Florida. With 68 English killed and 34 wounded, it was the heaviest losses sustained by Oglethorpe during his campaign against St. Augustine.

On June 14, 1736, James Oglethorpe ordered plans to be drawn for a new city to be called Augusta.

George Washington accepted the assignment of leading the Continental Army on June 15, 1775.

If you’re on Facebook, Tara Ross has daily history notes concentrating on the Revolutionary Period of our nation’s history. Here’s part of what she wrote today.

Washington’s appointment came at the suggestion of John Adams, who formally recommended the creation of an army-and its General! He spoke before Congress of a “Gentleman from Virginia who was among Us.” This man, Adams concluded, “would command the Approbation of all America, and unite the cordial Exertions of all the Colonies better than any other Person in the Union.” He did not mention Washington by name, but everyone understood the reference.

Two people most definitely understood what Adams meant! John Hancock had a very negative reaction. He was from Adams’s home state of Massachusetts, and he wanted the job for himself! Adams had a good view of Hancock’s face when he spoke before the Congress. “Mr. Hancock,” Adams wrote, “heard me [recommend the creation of an army] with visible pleasure, but when I came to describe Washington for the Commander, I never remarked a more sudden and sinking Change of Countenance. Mortification and resentment were expressed as forcibly as his Face could exhibit them.”

For his part, Washington responded differently. Adams could see Washington, too. He related that Washington, “who happened to sit near the Door, as soon as he heard me allude to him, from his Usual Modesty darted into the Library Room.”

I highly recommend “Liking” her page on Facebook if you’re a history enthusiast.

The Oregon Treaty was signed on June 15, 1815 between England and the United States, establishing the border between the U.S. and Canada.

On June 15, 1864, a funeral was held at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta for Confederate General Leonidas Polk, who was killed the day before at Pine Mountain near Marietta.

Georgia Politics

State House Committee assignments continue to filter out, with the following announcements being made:

State Rep. Katie Dempsey (R-Rome) will serve on the Transportation Committee

State Rep. Lee Hawkins (R-Gainesville) will serve as Vice Chair of House Health & Human Services

State Rep. Mandi Ballinger (R-Canton) will serve as Vice Chair of vice chair of the House Juvenile Justice Committee

State Rep. Jason Shaw (R-Lakeland) will Chair the House Industry & Labor Committee.

Continue Reading..

15
Jun

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for June 15, 2015

Barrow Puppies

These three little puppies are six-weeks old and from the same litter, probably a Boxer mix. They are available for foster or adoption from the Barrow County Animal Shelter in Winder, GA. They need to get out of the shelter as soon as possible, as it’s an unhealthy environment for puppies, who have weak immune systems.

Barrow Pair

Marie (Lab mix) and Claire (Chihuahua mix) are young females who came into the shelter together, likely as owner-surrenders. They are available for adoption from Barrow County Animal Shelter in Winder, GA.

Boxer163-1

This guy is called “Belushi” at the shelter, but I’d probably call him “Wiggles,” because that’s what I call every Boxer I meet – they must be the wiggliest breed out there. He’s a 4-5 year old male Boxer, and he’s already neutered, vaccinated, and ready to go home. In fact, he needs to go home as soon as possible, as Barrow County has a large number of dogs currently in their care. He may be adopted for just $55 from Barrow County Animal Shelter in Winder, GA.

Boxer162-2

It also sounds from what the volunteers say about him that he’s probably house-trained. Here’s a video of this sweet boy.

12
Jun

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for June 12, 2015

The first Georgia-Florida war game weekend began on June 12, 1740, as Georgia founder James Oglethorpe led 400 soldiers landing opposite the Spanish fort at St. Augustine.

The Virginia Convention adopted George Mason’s “Declaration of Rights” on June 12, 1776. From Wikipedia:

The Declaration was adopted unanimously by the Fifth Virginia Convention at Williamsburg, Virginia on June 12, 1776 as a separate document from theConstitution of Virginia which was later adopted on June 29, 1776.[2] In 1830, the Declaration of Rights was incorporated within the Virginia State Constitution as Article I, but even before that Virginia’s Declaration of Rights stated that it was ‘”the basis and foundation of government” in Virginia.[3] A slightly updated version may still be seen in Virginia’s Constitution, making it legally in effect to this day.

It was initially drafted by George Mason circa May 20, 1776; James Madison assisted him with the section on religious freedom.

The Virginia Declaration of Rights heavily influenced later documents. Thomas Jefferson is thought to have drawn on it when he drafted the United States Declaration of Independence in the same month (June 1776). James Madison was also influenced by the Declaration while drafting the Bill of Rights (introduced September 1789, ratified 1791), as was the Marquis de Lafayette in voting the French Revolution‘s Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789).

The importance of the Virginia Declaration of Rights is that it was the first constitutional protection of individual rights, rather than protecting only members of Parliament or consisting of simple laws that can be changed as easily as passed.

That means Liberty, y’all.

Delta Airlines began passenger service from Monroe, Louisiana to Atlanta on June 12, 1930.

On June 12, 1961, Ben E. King hit #1 on the R&B chart and #4 on the pop chart with “Stand By Me.”

On June 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan spoke in then-divided Berlin and challenged Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.”

[If that excerpt is not enough for you, here’s a link to the entire speech.]

Kennesaw State College became Kennesaw State University on June 12, 1996.

Carol Hunstein, appointed by Governor Zell Miller to the Georgia Supreme Court, was elected Chief Justice by her peers on June 12, 2009.

Happy Birthday to former President George H.W. Bush, who turns 91 today.

Georgia Politics

Heart Bacon Sticker628

+1 to Smyrna Mayor Max Bacon for his bumpersticker.

State House Last Day of Early Voting

Today is the last day of early voting in House District 55 (Fulton) and House District 24 (Forsyth). The Special Elections will be held Tuesday, June 16, 2015 from 7 AM to 7 PM.

To early vote today in HD 55, here are the locations, which are open from 8:30 AM to 5 PM:

Fulton County Government Center
130 Peachtree Street SW
Atlanta, GA 30303

Buckhead Library
269 Buckhead Ave, NE
Atlanta, GA 30305

SouthWest Arts Center
915 New Hope Rd, SW
Atlanta, GA 30331

In Forsyth County, early voting is open today from 8 AM to 7 PM at the following locations:

Forsyth County Administration Building
110 E Main St
Cumming, GA 30040

Cumming City Hall
100 Main St
Cumming, GA 30040

Midway Park Community Building
5100 Post Rd.
Cumming, GA 30040

Speaking of House District 55

Thanks to Fulton County Judge Kimberly Esmond, the candidacy of Tyrone Brooks, Jr. to succeed his father in that office is back on, as the order by Secretary of State Brian Kemp disqualifying Brooks was stayed yesterday.

Early Voting

As of yesterday’s early voting file, 278 early voting ballots were cast in DeKalb County Commission District 5, and 282 in Fulton County for HD55. Forsyth County with special elecitons in HD 24 and Cumming City Council leads the way with 1154 early votes cast.

State and Local

Governor Nathan Deal announced 60 additional officers will be brought onboard for commercial vehicle enforcement.

“As Georgia’s population and its economy continue to grow, we must adapt to meet the needs of a vibrant state,” Deal said. “While an expansion of the Savannah Harbor means jobs for Georgians and a boost to our economy, it will also mean an increase in commercial vehicle traffic. The safety of our drivers and the effective transportation of goods are of critical importance. This investment is a significant step forward in meeting these goals.”

There are currently 234 commercial vehicle enforcement officers serving in 10 regions. The additional officers will patrol areas identified by the Department of Public Safety as “high crash corridors.” These areas include I-16 and I-95, as well as the Atlanta metro area, and the area south of Atlanta along I-85.

Meanwhile, Tybee Island is working toward being able to police the only bridge connecting them to the mainland.

The Tybee Island City Council approved an intergovernmental agreement and memorandum of understanding that would authorize Tybee police to assist with evacuations, respond to accidents or otherwise handle emergencies outside city limits — specifically on U.S. 80 between the Lazaretto Creek Bridge and the Bull River Bridge.

The Chatham County Commission still has to OK the agreement.

According to the agreement, Tybee Island police already have the authority as sworn law enforcement officers to issue citations or criminal charges related to motor vehicles outside of city limits. But Mayor Jason Buelterman stressed at a meeting of the city’s public safety committee Thursday morning the over-arching goal of the document is to improve response to traffic when the agency in charge of the area, the Savannah-Chatham police department, can’t make it fast enough.

“My goal initially was just to get our police … the ability to get out there and clean up accidents and traffic,” he said. “I think long term … it wouldn’t be anything where we would be necessarily taking it over. It would just be we have the right to go out there and do what we can.”

Savannah City Council will consider zoning and animal control changes that would allow beekeeping and chickens inside the city limits.

Zoning regulations currently allow livestock in limited areas of the city. Meanwhile, the Animal Control Ordinance seems to sanction backyard animals, specifying limits on critters as disparate as cows and hamsters. By ordinance, residents may keep five of each of those species as long as they’re 100 feet from a neighbor’s house.

As proposed, the revised ordinance and zoning regulations would allow one chicken for every 1,000 square feet of high ground on a residential lot, with a maximum of 30. Noisy roosters are more limited than hens: Residents need a 2-acre lot plus a 250-foot setback from the nearest neighbor’s house to keep these birds. About 1,700 lots in Savannah are big enough.

Beekeeping would be allowed with some restrictions, including a required registration and a limited number of colonies based on lot size. For example, lots of a quarter acre or less would be limited to two colonies. In the event of a concern from a neighbor — for example, a mother with a child allergic to bees — an animal control officer can deem a hive unacceptable even if it meets all the stated criteria.

Macon-Bibb County is considering hiring a “blight czar.”

A newly formed Macon-Bibb County Commission blight committee Thursday gave officials permission to advertise for a “blight czar.”

Formed Tuesday, the ad hoc committee is led by Mayor Pro Tem Bert Bivins and includes Commissioners Larry Schlesinger, Virgil Watkins and Mallory Jones. The committee was created to work with the Reichert administration to map out how Macon-Bibb will spend $14 million in bond funds to fight residential blight.

Thursday’s meeting was designed to bring the committee up to speed about blight progress so far and to decide the next course of action. The committee authorized Assistant County Manager Charles Coney to issue a request for qualifications for a blight consultant. Schlesinger referred to the position as a “blight czar.”

Because the federal system of czars has worked out so well.

Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson held the first of a series of public meetings to urge citizens to vote for higher property taxes. You can imagine how that went over.

One resident who did not give her name said she would fight the mayor’s proposal because the freeze protects the elderly and those on fixed incomes. “Good luck passing it, because I’m going to work against it,” the woman said. Tomlinson responded that the freeze only helps those groups as long as they stay in their house. But if one spouse is widowed or when children grow up and move, the homeowners might want to downsize.

Stockbridge City Council voted to call off the investigation into Council Member Robin Buschman, who was accused of violating the city charter.

In Forest Park, the City Council asked the City Attorney to investigate Mayor David Lockhart’s veto of a council vote to adopt the city budget.

In Brookhaven, qualifying for Mayor and City Council Districts One and Three will be held  August 31 through September 2, 2015 from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM and from 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM.

Not content with the upcoming $5 per night Hotel/Motel tax imposed by the State, the Stockbridge City Council voted to increase the local hotel/motel tax from 5 percent to 8 percent effective August 1st.

Augusta’s Downtown Development Authority voted in favor of a new downtown arena.

The DDA board approved a letter that “fully supports” the Augusta Coliseum Authority “vision” that would replace the James Brown Arena on the corner of Seventh and Fenwick streets with a new 10,000-seat facility, which would remain in the “downtown footprint.”

“The James Brown Arena has played a pivotal role in the ongoing revitalization of downtown,” said the letter, drafted by DDA Chairman Cameron Nixon. “In the past six years with Global Spectrum at the helm, sold-out shows have promoted our urban center and have strengthened downtown commerce.”

Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis has spent about half his office budget, with half the fiscal year past, but he’s asking for more money, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

With less than three weeks until the midpoint of Augusta’s fiscal year, Davis has spent about 46 percent of the $305,710 included for mayor’s office staff and other expenses in the 2015 budget, according to city finance department records.

“We knew that going into this process that we were underbudgeted and were just going to make it through the year,” said Davis, who said he has turned to “other resources,” including grants, internships and paid invitations to fund operations.

“We’re being as creative as we can be just to kind of limp along,” Davis said, including using two new Georgia Regents University “Mayor’s Fellows,” but “we can’t continue to operate the mayor’s office with unpaid, part-time student staffing.”

Before taking office in January, Davis asked that the commission double or otherwise increase the size of his office’s budget, saying he needs additional staff to accomplish his goals.

Cobb County may become a battleground over same-sex marriage after an expected Supreme Court ruling.

Brooks Mathis, the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s senior vice president of economic development, said he personally believes Cobb’s business community could benefit from supporting a Supreme Court ruling that allows same-sex marriage.

“It is essential for communities wanting economic growth to be open and accepting of all. If this should pass, Cobb embracing citizens and business owners regardless of their orientation will prove we are ready to be the gold standard community for the next generation,” Mathis said.

“To say that this fight will go away because of the court’s decision — if they do make a decision to overturn (Georgia’s ban on same-sex marriage) — is very naive. This debate will continue for years to come because family is always there, and it will not stop. A court cannot stop family,” [Robert] Potts said.

Swint said marriage is such a fundamental part of society that it will be argued for decades to come, similar to how the decision to allow abortion across the country in Roe v. Wade is still debated today.

“This particular case is going to be sensitive to cultural conservatives and those who are interested in cultural issues. The thing is I don’t know that there’s a whole lot they could do about a Supreme Court ruling. Their hands may be tied, at least in the short term,” Swint said.

12
Jun

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for June 12, 2015

Saguaro
Saguaro is a 2-3 month old, 8-pound female puppy who is available for adoption from Walton County Animal Shelter in Monroe, GA.
Sedona
Sedona is a 2-3 month old, 8-pound male puppy who is available for adoption from Walton County Animal Shelter in Monroe, GA.
Phoenix
Phoenix is a 2-3 month old, 8-pound female puppy who is available for adoption from Walton County Animal Shelter in Monroe, GA.
Beebo
Beebo is a 3-month old, 15-pound male puppy who is available for adoption from Walton County Animal Shelter in Monroe, GA.

11
Jun

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for June 11, 2015

Rooney

Rooney is a young male Labrador Retriever & Jack Russell Terrier mix who is available for adoption from the Atlanta Humane Society in Atlanta, GA.

Polo

Polo is an adult male Dachshund who is available for adoption from Tri-County Animal Rescue Center in Mauk, GA.

Daisy

Daisy is a female Doberman Pinscher puppy who is available for adoption from Tri-County Animal Rescue Center in Mauk, GA.

11
Jun

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for June 11, 2015

On June 11, 1776, the Continental Congress appointed Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, John Adams of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Roger Sherman of Connecticut and Robert R. Livingston of New York to draft a declaration of independence from Britain. Language in the original draft that condemned the introduction of the slave trade in the colonies did not make the final draft.

Abraham Baldwin, founder of the University of Georgia, arrived in Philadelphia on June 11, 1787 to attend the Constitutional Convention. Baldwin was joined by three other delegates, William Few Jr., William Houston, and William Pierce; Baldwin and Few would sign the Constitution on behalf of Georgia.

On June 11, 1963, President John F. Kennedy issued proclamation 3542 ordering Governor George Wallace of Alabama to allow two African-American students to register at the University of Alabama, as ordered by a federal court.

On the morning of June 11, the day the students were expected to register, Wallace stood in front of the University of Alabama campus auditorium flanked by Alabama state troopers while cameras flashed and recorders from the press corps whirred. Kennedy, at the White House, and Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach, in Tuscaloosa, kept in touch by phone.

When Wallace refused to let the students enter for registration, Katzenbach phoned Kennedy. Kennedy upped the pressure on Wallace, immediately issuing Presidential Proclamation 3542, which ordered the governor to comply, and authorizing the secretary of defense to call up the Alabama National Guard with Executive Order 11111.

That afternoon, Katzenbach returned with the students and asked Wallace to step aside. Wallace, knowing he was beaten, relented, having saved face with his hard-line, anti-segregation constituency.

On June 11, 1986, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was released.

[T]he most memorable performer may have been an automobile: the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California, a custom-built car revered by auto collectors.

According to Motor Trend, the first Ferrari 250 GT Spyder California—colloquially known as the “Cal Spyder”—was produced in 1957 and the last was built in early 1963. In addition to the long-wheelbase (LWB) Spyder, Ferrari also produced a sportier, short-wheelbase (SWB) model. Though estimates vary as to exactly how many were made—Cameron says “less than a hundred” in the film—approximately 46 LWB and between 50 and 57 SWB Spyders were produced in all. For “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” the filmmakers used a modified MGB roadster with a fiberglass body as a stand-in for the Ferrari. The filmmakers reportedly received angry letters from car enthusiasts who believed that a real Ferrari had been damaged.

One 1961 250 GT SWB Spyder California, with chassis number GT 2377GT, belonged to the actor James Coburn (“The Magnificent Seven”), who died in 2002. On May 18, 2008, at the second annual Ferrari Leggenda e Passione event at Maranello, Italy, the British deejay Chris Evans bought that car at auction for 6.4 million Euros, or $10,894,400 (including fees), the highest price ever paid for an automobile at auction.

ferrari-california-t-side-view-red-960x540_IAFKIG

Today’s Ferrari California T is a convertible with a retractable hardtop that stickers for just under $200,000 before you start optioning it. But here’s a pro-tip: if you’re in the market, you’ll save a bundle with a pre-owned at Ferrari Maserati of Atlanta – almost any Ferrari you’ll see for sale is going to be low-mileage, and you’ll want it to visit a dealer before purchase as repair costs are a little pricy.

Georgia Politics

From the AJC Political Insider, we learn of several new Georgia State House Committee Chairs.

Christian Coomer, R-Cartersville, was named chairman of the House Transportation Committee, replacing Jay Roberts, R-Ocilla, whom the governor recently appointed as planning director for the Department of Transportation.

Tom Taylor, R-Dunwoody, was named chairman of the Legislature’s MARTA oversight committee, replacing Mike Jacobs, R-Brookhaven, appointed by the governor to a DeKalb County state judgeship.

•   Industry & Labor: Jason Shaw, R-Lakeland;

•   Game, Fish & Parks: David Knight, R-Griffin;

•   Small Business Development: Bubber Epps, R-Dry Branch;

•   Special Rules: Rick Jasperse, R-Jasper;

•   Code Revision: Gerald Greene, R-Cuthbert;

•   Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety: Andy Welch, R-McDonough.

State Rep. John Carson (R-Marietta) joins the House Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications Committee as its new Vice Chairman.

State Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon) will serve as the new Vice Chair of the House Rules Committee.

United States Senator Johnny Isakson (R) announced yesterday that he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in August 2013 and will continue his service in the Senate and his reelection campaign for 2016.

“Parkinson’s you have two choices: You can let it control you, or you can control it. And I’ve chosen to take control of it,” the 70-year-old Isakson said in a well-orchestrated Washington session with reporters. Local reporters were connected via a conference call.

“Once you find out, that’s the worst day. From then on out it’s all downhill. I’m very excited about what I’m doing. I’m very excited about what I’m capable of doing and what I’m able to do,” he said.

Anybody that follows me around for a week in Washington will recognize it’s not a debilitating situation. It’s a matter of me being in charge and I’m in charge. And to that end I’ve been all over the country in the last seven months since I’ve announced for re-election and I’m leaving this weekend to go to Williamsburg, Va., for an event and had a big one Monday in Atlanta at the Capital City Club and continue to pursue the election in 2016. I’m looking forward to re-election, looking forward to whatever challenge comes about and I’m tanned, rested and ready as Richard Nixon used to say.”

Gov. Nathan Deal released a statement:

“In the 35 years that I’ve known Johnny Isakson, he has risen to meet — and overcome — every obstacle he’s encountered with determination and a smile on his face,” Deal said. “There’s not a doubt in my mind that he and Dianne will rise to meet this challenge. As he fights this battle, our distinguished senator will continue representing Georgians’ conservative principles in Washington.”

Senator David Perdue also released a statement:

“Senator Johnny Isakson is a true statesman. When he speaks, people in Washington listen. Anyone who knows Johnny, knows that his top priority is and will always be the people of Georgia. He is a long-time champion for our veterans and Georgia values in the U.S. Senate. As my senior senator, I look forward to working together every day as we fight for Georgia and our country.”

Isakson’s physician chimed in, too.

“I believe he is fully capable of continuing to perform his duties as a U.S. senator, and I believe he is capable of running for re-election and serving for another term,” wrote Dr. Thomas M. Holmes.

Holmes said he has concluded that Isakson is “in stage 1.5 of 5 accepted stages of Parkinson’s disease….indicative of his mild symptoms.”

To learn more about Parkinson’s Disease, one place to start is the Mayo Clinic’s website.

Michael Kinsley wrote a first-person account of his experience after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 20 years ago.

Twenty years ago, I received a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. I was forty-three. (Michael J. Fox, since you ask, was only thirty when he got the bad news.) After several weeks of quietly freaking out, it occurred to me to wonder whether it would affect my brain. I already knew that this was not the right question. Parkinson’s is completely a brain disease, unlike, say, multiple sclerosis, which causes more widespread damage. But I knew what I meant and you know what I mean. Would it affect my ability to think? I already knew the answer to that one, too, really. One of the tricks many people learn is that, if you’re stuck in a chair and can’t get up, you imagine yourself getting out of the chair, and then usually you can do it. So I knew that thinking was involved. I asked my neurologist at the time, and he answered carefully, “Well, after a few years you may lose your edge.” Lose my edge? Lose my edge? Oh, shit! I need my edge. My edge is how I make a living. More than that: My edge is my claim on the world. It’s why people are my friends, why they invite me over for dinner, perhaps why they marry me. What am I worth to the world if I’ve lost my edge?

Gradually, I calmed down. My physical symptoms seemed to be advancing quite slowly. Even after twenty years, if I take my meds I can seem almost symptom-free for most of the day. Sometimes I imagine that I feel my edge dulling, but usually I feel—ominously like those people in the comic book—that nothing has changed. Recently, a standard-issue baby-boomer bad back has been more burdensome to me than Parkinson’s. You’d think that if you’ve been assigned a major health issue you’d get a pass on the minor ones. But it doesn’t work that way.

In 1995, United States Senator Claiborne Pell (D-NY) revealed his Parkinson’s diagnosis at the age of 76. He later decided not to run for reelection in 1996. Sen. Pell lived until January 1, 2009.

To learn how you can help people living with Parkinson’s or to seek help for a friend or family member, you may start at the Georgia Parkinson’s Association or the American Parkinson Disease Georgia Chapter.

During this period, Isakson has remained active, and is credited with a breakthrough in negotiations over chicken exports.

A breakthrough in negotiations with South Africa is expected to lead to $65 million in renewed exports of chicken leg quarters due to congressional pressure.

The president of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council based in Stone Mountain, James Sumner, gave much of the credit Wednesday to Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., saying that Georgia benefits considerably from the development as the country’s No. 1 poultry-producing state.

“His involvement was really critical in all of this coming about,” Sumner said.

For Isakson, the breakthrough is also welcome news.

“It’s the biggest thing I’ve been a part of in my political career in terms of economic benefit,” he said. “…I’m just as excited as I can be.”

He said he’s been working on this issue for three years, including a trip with Coons to South Africa. His seats on the Senate Finance and the Senate Foreign Relations committees provided the chance to add the chicken provision to the preference agreement when it came up for renewal.

“Within a week of passing the bill, they agreed to meet,” Isakson said of the South Africans.

Speaking of chickens, State Rep. Emory Dunahoo is welcoming some new constituents to his district, according to the Gainesville Times.

The redrawing of two state House districts in Hall County could create a perception that boundaries are being manipulated for gain, but elected officials deny this.

“All I gained, basically, was chickens and cattle …” said Rep. Emory Dunahoo, a Gainesville Republican who serves as the District 30 representative in the Georgia legislature.

The changes are being made to bring a farm property Dunahoo’s family owns within his district, he said.

Dunahoo said the district changes amount to a land swap.

[State Rep. Lee] Hawkins said it could impact upward of a couple thousand residents in East Hall, and that he tried to ensure that as few voters as possible were affected by the changes to keep the constituent base for each district mostly intact.

But Hawkins’s district would only gain an additional three dozen or so voters with the changes, Dunahoo said.

Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard has kicked-off her reelection campaign, according to the Albany Herald.

In a room full of supporters at the Albany Area Arts Council on North Jackson Street, Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard officially kicked off her re-election campaign on Wednesday afternoon.

If she is re-elected, Hubbard said the next four years will be about building on what was set in motion the prior four years. This includes the Mayor’s Call to Service that encouraged cleanup efforts, working with the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission to make sure businesses can bring jobs to the city.

“Albany, Ga., is a world-class, dynamic city where people of all ages, all races and nationalities, rich and poor, live together … In this vibrant city, progressive city, we will love our neighbors as ourselves. We will work together to move our community forward,” Hubbard said. “That has been my dream and still is my dream.

The mayor described herself as a cheerleader for the city, specifically for the collaboration of leaders for Albany’s betterment.