The blog.

30
Sep

The Full Bowers Report on DeKalb County

Click below to download.

Dekalb County Bowers Report

30
Sep

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 30, 2015

Wyoming adopted the first state constitution to allow women to vote on September 30, 1889.

In fall of 1863, Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, the second woman in the United States to graduate medical school, traveled to the Chattanooga area to treat soldiers wounded in the Battle of Chickamauga.

Despite her degree, at First Manassas she was only allowed to serve as a nurse. Eventually she became an unpaid volunteer field surgeon for the Union army and served on front line battlefields for nearly two years.

In fall of 1863, in response to the dire medical needs, she was transferred to a Union hospital in Chattanooga.  Finally, in September 1863, her relentless perseverance paid off, and she was awarded a commission as a “Contract Acting Assistant Surgeon (civilian)” with the Union Army of the Cumberland. It was technically a civilian, not a military, position, but she did receive compensation. A few months later she was appointed a civilian contract assistant surgeon for the 52nd Ohio Infantry, a Union regiment wintering in Chattanooga.

Though she had been a civilian contractor, Walker was recognized as the first-ever female U.S. Army Surgeon. In November 1865, President Andrew Johnson signed a bill awarding her the highest U.S. Armed Forces decoration for bravery, the Medal of Honor. The citation stated that she had “devoted herself with much patriotic zeal to the sick and wounded soldiers, both in the field and hospitals, to the detriment of her own health.  She had also endured hardships as a prisoner of war for four months in a Southern prison.”

Walker remains today the only woman, and one of only eight civilians, ever awarded the Medal of Honor.

President Woodrow Wilson spoke in favor of Women’s Suffrage in an address to Congress on September 30, 1918. The bill to pass the 19th Amendment would die in the Senate that year after passing the House.

On September 30, 1927, Babe Ruth hit his 60th home run of the season.

On September 30, 1976, Democrat Jimmy Carter led the Harris Poll for President over President Gerald Ford by a 50-41 margin. In November 1976, the popular vote tallied 50.08% for Carter to 48.01% for Ford, with an Independent taking nearly a point.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The best news I’ve heard all morning isn’t really news in the traditional sense, but came in the form of an email informing me that Amazon Prime Now has expanded to offer same-day delivery in my area.

Former Georgia Republican Congressman Bob Barr (Smyrna) has joined the Ted Cruz Presidential Campaign as Chair of “Liberty Leaders for Cruz.”

In a statement, Barr said that Cruz understands the oath of office is a “solemn commitment” to act in accordance with the Constitution.

“Which is after all, the mechanism whereby our individual and collective freedoms as a country are secured. It is that commitment to the Constitution and to Liberty that has drawn me to serve Sen. Cruz,” Barr said.

Add State Rep. Brad Raffensperger to the list of supporters for the Georgia campaign of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

Brookhaven Mayor Rebecca Chase Williams has dropped out of the November 3d election after her husband, Dick Williams, fell and broke his leg and required hip replacement.

Williams, who was appointed Mayor when former Mayor J. Max Davis resigned to run for a vacant seat in the State House of Representatives, was finishing the unexpired portion of Davis’ term and qualified to run for Mayor on her own, seeking election to a four-year term. But Williams’ campaign had gotten off to a slow start while she recovered from kidney surgery, and had to make funeral arrangements for her mother, who passed away in August.

Williams said she would not be able to care for her husband and carry out her duties as Mayor while running a campaign.

“My first priority is to take care of my family, especially my husband of 36 years,” Williams said. “I have responsibilities as the Mayor that I will not set aside. That means that campaigning would become the lowest priority, and I owe my supporters more than that. If I can’t make my campaign my first priority, I can’t really ask voters and supporters to do so. That’s why I’m ending my campaign.”

Williams had notified the city clerk of withdrawing from the race, but it was unclear at press time whether her name would still appear on ballots for the Nov. 3 election. An official with the DeKalb County Voter Registration and Elections Office said that ballots were being printed this week in anticipation of mailing absentee ballots and the start of early voting on Oct. 12.

The Brookhaven Post was able to catch up with John Ernst, one of two remaining candidates in the Brookhaven Mayor’s race.

“I spoke with Mayor Williams for a couple of hours yesterday and got the news about her withdrawal from the race,” Ernst told The Post. “I wish her husband a speedy recovery and hope to see him back on the Georgia Gang soon. Mayor Williams has had a distinguished career in public service as one of the founding members of our City and the Editor of the Dunwoody Crier. I look forward to continue working with Rebecca and everyone to make Brookhaven better.”

With Williams pulling out of the race, that leaves attorney John Ernst and competitive eater Dale Boone as the remaining Candidates. This development also negates any possibility of a run-off.

On November 3rd, 2015 Brookhaven will, in fact, elect a new Mayor.

Republican DeKalb County Commissioner Nancy Jester endorsed John Ernst after Williams dropped out.

Jester said in a release, “I first met John Ernst when he served as Chairman of the DeKalb County Ethics Board. Under his leadership, the Board became functional again and handed down its first conviction against an elected official in 15 years.”

Jester says she is endorsing John Ernst for Mayor of Brookhaven “because his experience and leadership make him uniquely qualified to keep up the good work in DeKalb’s newest city while providing the highest level of ethics, accountability, and value-added for the voters.”

“With three generations of his family – his parents, his wife and him, and their two young sons – living in Brookhaven,” Jester adds, “John Ernst is fully-invested in Brookhaven’s success for all its residents.”

Jester went on to say that her family’s prayers are with Dick Williams, who she says has has done so much for the citizens of Dunwoody and DeKalb County and with his wife and current Brookhaven Mayor Rebecca Chase Williams. “We wish them a speedy and full recovery and look forward to seeing them both.”

Did you catch where it says, “competitive eater Dale Boone”? The candidate for Brookhaven Mayor is one of the most interesting candidates not named after our favorite breakfast food. Here’s his logo:

Dale Boone Logo Large

That’s clearly a shooting star trailing bacon behind it. Is this the result of the popularity of Smyrna Mayor Max Bacon’s bacon-themed campaign?

The bio page on Dale Boone’s website barely notes his distinguished career as a competitive eater. So, we turned to that compendium of true facts, Wikipedia for the skinny. Among the highlights of his professional competitive eating career:

In July 2006, Boone took part in the GoldenPalace.net Memphis Rib Eating Championship and emerged as victor.

Boone went on to receive the title of Perry Krystal Champ by finishing, in eight minutes, thirty-seven Krystals.

In May 2009, Boone captured the winner’s title at the inaugural World Donut Eating Championship at Bangalore, India, organised by Donut Baker.

Boone holds a total of 52 world records. Some of them are records for eating hot dogs, including having eaten ten hot dogs in two minutes and fifty-five seconds. He has also set a world record for eating twenty-eight reindeer sausages in twelve minutes. His second world record of finishing two hundred and seventy-four Russian dumplings (pelmeni) in six minutes was included in a compilation by Bleacher Report, titled “Top 10 Unbreakable and Disgusting Competitive Eating Records”. His win at the 2009 Indian donut eating contest earned him another world record for chowing down forty-four doughnuts in twelve minutes.Boone is the reigning World Champion of the World League Of Competitive Eating (WLOCE), HQ in Bangalore, India.

That’s three dozen donuts in six minutes across three rounds of competition. We are in awe.

Presidential News

Lamborghini Diablo 4

If I were looking for a reason to support Donald Trump for President, I might have found it in this: he once owned a bright blue Lamborghini Diablo Roadster and branded it with a Donald Trump plaque. The car is now for sale with an asking price of $299k. In the article about the Diablo, Lamborghini of Atlanta was cited.

I put a call in to Ed Bolian, head of sales for Lamborghini of Atlanta and the man who inherited the Cannonball Runrecord from me. Bolian’s as honest and earnest as a Lamborghini dealer can be, and I trust his judgment. He’s discreet about his politics, so I figured he’d be objective in appraising the car’s value.

“It’s probably worth $175k to 180k,” he said, “but you have to ask at least $100k more than you’ll accept. Anyway, Trump’s ownership doesn’t really add anything, because pretty much anyone who bought a Diablo back then was a celebrity.”

Orange Lamborghini Diablo 10192014

Both of the photos above are Lamborghini Diablo VTs that I photographed in Atlanta. As far as I know, neither was ever owned by Donald Trump.

On Wednesday, October 14th, Dr. Ben Carson will appear in Atlanta at a fundraising reception at Cobb Galleria. For $2700 you get a Photo Op and VIP Reception at 6 PM and will be listed as a Host. A thousand dollars gets you the VIP reception and photo and for $500 you get into the general reception at 6 PM.

With a previously announced event in Gainesville on October 11th, we wonder if Dr. Carson will be spending several days in Atlanta next month.

30
Sep

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for September 30, 2015

Today is the last day of $10 dog and cat adoptions at Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.

GwinnettNC1

NC1 is a sweet 13-year old senior female Terrier mix who weighs 14 pounds and is available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.

46980

46980 is a female Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.

46524

46524 is an adult male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.

45584

45584 is a friendly adult male Labrador Retriever mix who is fully-vetted and ready to go home today. He is available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.

46657

46657 is an adult male Labrador Retriever (or Hound) mix who is available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.

Gwinnett Rabbit

That’s a funny looking dog. Or it’s a rabbit. Either way, it’s available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.

Gwinnett Bird

This is a flying dog. It’s a breed I’ve never heard of before, called either a “Parakeet” or “Budgie,” and it’s available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.

29
Sep

Williams drops out of Brookhaven Mayor’s race – Dunwoody Crier: News

Citing multiple family issues, Brookhaven Mayor Rebecca Chase Williams today announced she is ending her election campaign.

Williams, who was appointed Mayor when former Mayor J. Max Davis resigned to run for a vacant seat in the State House of Representatives, was finishing the unexpired portion of Davis’ term and qualified to run for Mayor on her own, seeking election to a four-year term. But Williams’ campaign had gotten off to a slow start while she recovered from kidney surgery, and had to make funeral arrangements for her mother, who passed away in August.

Last week, her husband Dick Williams broke his femur as the result of a fall, which required hip replacement surgery that will take several weeks of physical therapy to ensure a full recovery. Williams said she would not be able to care for her husband and carry out her duties as Mayor while running a campaign.

“My first priority is to take care of my family, especially my husband of 36 years,” Williams said. “I have responsibilities as the Mayor that I will not set aside. That means that campaigning would become the lowest priority, and I owe my supporters more than that. If I can’t make my campaign my first priority, I can’t really ask voters and supporters to do so. That’s why I’m ending my campaign.”

via Williams drops out of Brookhaven Mayor’s race – Dunwoody Crier: News.

29
Sep

Williams pulls out of Brookhaven Mayoral race | The Brookhaven Post | Brookhaven, GA

With about five weeks left before the November 3rd General Election, Brookhaven Mayor Rebecca Chase Williams has announced she is withdrawing her bid to retain her appointed seat as Mayor of DeKalb’s largest and newest municipality.

According to the Crier, last week Williams’ husband, Dick Williams, required hip replacement surgery after sustaining a fall where he broke his femur, resulting in “several weeks of physical therapy to ensure a full recovery.”

“My first priority is to take care of my family, especially my husband of 36 years. I have responsibilities as the Mayor that I will not set aside,” Williams said in an announcement. “That means that campaigning would become the lowest priority, and I owe my supporters more than that. If I can’t make my campaign my first priority, I can’t really ask voters and supporters to do so. That’s why I’m ending my campaign.”

via Williams pulls out of Brookhaven Mayoral race | The Brookhaven Post | Brookhaven, GA.

29
Sep

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 29, 2015

Georgia History

On September 29, 1526, 600 Spanish colonists led by Lucas Vasquez de Ayllon landed on the Georgia Coast, the first European colonists in Georgia.

Ayllon established San Miguel de Gualdape on Sapelo Sound in present–day McIntosh County. He sailed north from Hispaniola during the summer and first landed in present–day South Carolina. Meeting no natives, he traveled south along the coast before settling in Georgia.

To help establish the colony, Ayllon brought with him the very first group of slaves.  But hunger, disease, and conflict with the natives all took their toll, and the settlement survived for only three months.

Other sources say that the September 29, 1526 landing was in South Carolina and Vasquez de Ayllon established San Miguel de Gualdape on October 8, 1526.

WSB-TV took to the airwaves for the first time on September 29, 1948.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Trump GA2

Would be Peach State supporters of the Donald J. Trump campaign now have a way to get in touch with the mothership sign up to volunteer for the campaign.

Candidates in the State House District 122 race and Columbia County Commission District 3 will speak to voters in a forum at 6 PM at the Columbia County Library’s Performing Arts Theater in Evans.

Commission District 3 candidates Jim Bartley, Gregory Grzybowski, Gary Richardson, Frank Spears and Russell Wilder will take the stage first for a question-and-answer session, followed by state House District 122 candidates Pat Goodwin, Jodi Lott, Joe Mullins and Mack Taylor in a separate session.

Steve Crawford, the publisher of the News-Times, and Ed Burr, a member of the chamber’s board of directors, will ask questions of each candidate, whose answers will be limited to two minutes. Questions from the audience also will be asked, if time allows, event organizers said.

Candidates will also have two minutes each to make opening and closing statements.

The free event is open to the public.

The premiere political event of yesterday was a lecture on Georgia history by First Lady Sandra Deal and her co-authors of Memories of the Mansion Jennifer Dickey and Catherine Lewis. Five former First Ladies joined Mrs. Deal and Drs. Dickey and Lewis at the Atlanta History Center. Here’s my favorite of the stories, told by Mrs. Zell Miller and relayed by Greg Bluestein of the AJC.

Shirley Miller: Sometimes, signature policy events are born in interesting places. Shirley remembered her husband Zell welcoming droves of elite high school students to the Mansion. As he shook hands with each of them, he asked where they were headed to college. Student after student told him they were going out of state. Zell took a pen in hand and got to work that very evening. “So on a kitchen stool on a yellow legal pad, HOPE was born.”

And another favorite told by Jeff Busbee and recounted by Jill Vejnoska of the AJC:

Jeff Busbee recalled that his father worked hard to attract international business to Georgia during his two terms, but also liked to play hard at practical joking. One time a state senator equally well known for his practical jokes departed from a working dinner at the mansion only to be stopped near the gate and made to open his car trunk by a state trooper. Inside was a large box of the official state silverware he’d supposedly “lifted” from the mansion — placed there by that jokester Gov. Busbee.

The Price is Right

Congressman Tom Price made official his bid for Majority Leader in the United States Congress, sending an email to fellow Republicans.

In order to succeed, our Leadership must be responsive to you, the Representative[s] of the American people.

The hurdles that inevitably lay ahead will require effective and capable leaders. It will require new thinking and a change from the status quo. And it mus advance the cause of a smaller, more limited, more accountable government by allowing everyone’s voice to be included.

That is why I humbly ask for your support to by your next House Majority Leader in the United States Congress.

House Ways & Means Chair and 2012 Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan (R-WI) endorsed Price’s bid for Majority Leader.

“Tom Price is a committed conservative and a good friend,” Ryan said in a statement. “He and I have served for years together on the Budget and Ways and Means Committees, working to pay down our debt, fix our tax code, and grow our economy. Tom has a proven record of advancing conservative solutions and principles. He has the knowledge and skills needed to be an effective Majority Leader, and I’m proud to support him.”

Ryan endorsed Price in his 2014 race for conference chair, which he lost to [Cathy] McMorris Rodgers.

Texas Republican Jeb Hensarling said he will not run for a leadership position and endorsed Price. Cathy McMorris Rodgers also declined to run for Majority Leader.

Though she hadn’t formally declared she was running for the job, McMorris Rodgers had started making calls seeking support soon after House Speaker John Boehner surprised the political world and fellow members with the news he was resigning on Friday.

But in a crowded field against the current third-ranked House Republican in Scalise and Price, the powerful budget committee chairman, the Washington State Republican decided to not continue in the contest.

“The best way right now for me to empower my colleagues through positive change is to remain conference chair,” McMorris Rodgers said in a written statement.

The other announced candidate for Majority Leader is Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana.

Scalise, currently the House GOP whip, has attracted the support of defense-minded lawmakers like Ohio Rep. Mike Turner, who opposed Scalise in his last leadership election.

Scalise has not rolled out a list of supporters — and furthermore, hasn’t even officially announced his candidacy. Some have questioned whether he’ll remain as majority whip and forgo a race for majority leader.

But during a Monday meeting with lobbyists at the Capitol Hill Club, Scalise reaffirmed that he’s running for the No. 2 slot. He also emphasized that he’s raised $3.5 million for Republicans this year and has traveled to 50 cities and 25 states.

The New York Times on Sapelo Island

Speaking of Sapelo Island (see History, above), The New York Times has an article about the Geechee-Gullah settlement on Sapelo Island and how property taxes are causing problems for one of the last remaining groups.

Sapelo Island, a tangle of salt marsh and sand reachable only by boat, holds the largest community of people who identify themselves as saltwater Geechees. Sometimes called the Gullahs, they have inhabited the nation’s southeast coast for more than two centuries. Theirs is one of the most fragile cultures in America.

These Creole-speaking descendants of slaves have long held their land as a touchstone, fighting the kind of development that turned Hilton Head and St. Simons Islands into vacation destinations. Now, stiff county tax increases driven by a shifting economy, bureaucratic bumbling and the unyielding desire for a house on the water have them wondering if their community will finally succumb to cultural erosion.

The county, which has about 14,000 year-round residents and thousands more with vacation homes, had for years put off reviewing its taxable property. An outside firm did the last valuation in 2004. Paul Griffin, the chairman of the Board of Tax Assessors, called the work “very, very sloppy” at a June meeting covered by The Darien News.

In 2009, the county was in the process of updating its tax digest when the state froze property taxes to help stanch the effects of the recession. Instead of continuing its work, the county stopped the process until this year.

The county also started a new garbage pickup service and added other services, which contributed to the higher tax rates, he said. Sapelo Island residents, however, still have to haul their trash to the dump.

“Our taxes went up so high, and then you don’t have nothing to show for it,” said Cornelia Walker Bailey, the island’s unofficial historian. “Where is my fire department? Where are my water resources? Where is my paved road? Where are the things our tax dollars pay for?”

Here, where land is usually handed down or sold at below-market rates to relatives, Ms. Bailey has come to hold four pieces of property. She lives on one, which is protected from the tax increases by a homestead exemption. The rest will cost her 600 percent more in property taxes. “I think it’s an effort to erode everyone out of the last private sector of this island,” she said.

Ashes, Ashes, All Fall Down

Coal ash is exactly what it sounds like – the residue from burning coal, and when power plants’ appetite for coal was measured in trainloads, it could accumulate rapidly. Containing coal ash is often done in ash ponds near coal-fired powerplants, and have for a number of years been a target for environmentalists and now the Environmental Protection Agency.

Georgia Power announced yesterday it is working on a timetable for the closure of 29 ash ponds in Georgia.

Georgia Power announced today that the company is developing a closure timeline for all of its 29 ash ponds and expects to finalize and release the schedule within the next six months. The schedule will be developed in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) costly Coal Combustion Residual (CCR) Rule as well as the soon-to-be signed Steam Electric Effluent Limitation Guidelines. The company will consult with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) and the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) to develop the plan.

“We are developing an ash pond closure timeline that will meet all federal regulations in the most economical way for our customers and our business,” said Paul Bowers, chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power. “Safety and compliance will continue to be our primary focus throughout the closure process, while fulfilling our longstanding commitment to protect the environment and the communities we serve.”

Georgia Power has a strong safety and compliance record with a comprehensive and rigorous inspection program to safely maintain its containment structures and facilitate long-term planning. The company is in the pre-closure process at several retired or converted coal-fired generation sites which includes some preliminary site work such as ash relocation and tree clearing, as well as considering vendors for potential closure activities.

The Georgia Chamber of Commerce applauded the move,

The Georgia Chamber supports Georgia Power’s announcement today that it is proactively moving to close all ash ponds associated with its power generation activities across Georgia.

“Georgia Power has a long and distinguished history of delivering high quality, safe, reliable and affordable energy supplies to businesses, industries and communities across the state and this decision exemplifies that tradition,” said Chamber President and CEO Chris Clark.

The Chamber is confident that through this decision, Georgia Power will continue to proactively position its business to satisfy Georgia’s current and forecast energy needs.

This decision will continue to position the state as a national leader in the provision of environmentally responsible and diverse energy supplies.

While supporting this Georgia Power decision, the Chamber is concerned with the continued endeavors of the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to impose layers of costly regulations on the nation’s energy sector.

Each additional regulation adds upward pressure to energy costs and become an additional burden on industry, pressuring industry profitability and competitiveness.

Water Wars Everywhere

A Senate spending bill does not contain language that would affect the tri-state water issues between Georgia, Florida, and Alabama, according to the AJC.

This spring, Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., secured language in an appropriations bill that would have blocked the Army Corps of Engineers from reallocating water in the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa basin until the governors of Alabama and Georgia work out an agreement. This matters because recent court decisions have tilted in Georgia’s direction the battle over how much water metro Atlanta can draw from rivers and reservoirs, and the corps is updating its water plans accordingly.

Georgia does not want Congress to weigh in at all on the water wars, and Isakson said he’s been working to eliminate Shelby’s “egregious language.” The House version of the energy and water appropriations bill does not have the language.

Isakson said the water wars issue was an important reason why he voted for the “continuing resolution” — even though it did not defund Planned Parenthood, as he and most Republicans would have liked:

“I can understand people who want to make a political point [about Planned Parenthood] and that’s all well and good, but I don’t want Atlanta to run dry. … I’ve been crawling on my hands and knees for the last two weeks following along the process to make sure that language isn’t in there.”

Meanwhile, some communities around Savannah are being limited in their withdrawals of groundwater from the Floridan aquifer.

Cities, towns and industries around Savannah have new marching orders about how much water they can pull from local wells.

The city of Savannah, the largest permit holder in the region, will see its current limit of about 23.5 million gallons a day go down to about 18 million gallons.

The cuts are meant to address problems with saltwater seeping into the freshwater Floridan aquifer, an otherwise pristine source of drinking water that flows beneath coastal Georgia. The same aquifer extends south into Florida and north into coastal South Carolina, including Hilton Head Island where wells have become too salty to use.

That issue has become a sticking point between the two states with Georgia officials offering pumping reductions as a way to slow the salt migration and head off a water war with the Palmetto State.

Medical Cannabis

Haleigh Cox, the six-year old namesake of the Haleigh’s Hope Act, has returned to Georgia.

Almost two years ago, now six-year- old Haleigh and her mother, Janea Cox, moved to Colorado.

Her husband had to stay behind in Monroe County to work.

“I’m just happy that we’re able to get home and get Haleigh’s medicine here where she’s happier and healthier,” says Cox.

Governor Nathan Deal signed the Georgia Medical Marijuana Bill, or “Haleigh’s Hope Act,” into law this past April.

They have to order medical cannabis oil from Colorado. Cox says her next steps will be fighting to have medical marijuana grown in state.

State Representative Allen Peake, Chair of the Georgia Commission on Medical Cannabis, will be holding its next meeting this Wednesday.

Tomorrow, the Chairs of the Georgia Commission on Medical Cannabis will gavel in their next meeting to discuss moving forward.

State Representative Allen Peake (R-Macon) announced that the Georgia Commission on Medical Cannabis will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, September 30, 2015 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. in room 606 of the Coverdell Legislative Office Building (CLOB) in Atlanta.

The meeting will feature presentations from the medical community, including two Commission members: Dr. Yong Park, Neurologist, Georgia Regents University; and Dr. Cynthia Wetmore, Hematologist/Oncologist, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Dr. Steven Morris of Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates, the largest gastroenterology practice in the nation will also address the Commission.

29
Sep

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for September 29, 2015

Jetta

Jetta is a 10-month old female Chocolate Lab puppy who is available for adoption from Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare.

Luna

Luna is a 10-month old female Black Mouth Cur mix puppy with a beautiful brindle coat who is available for adoption from Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare.

Mum

Mum is a 14-week old female Black Lab mix puppy who is available for adoption from Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare.

Pansy

Pansy is a 4-month old Black lab mix female puppy who is available for adoption from Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare.

29
Sep

Georgia Chamber of Commerce applauds Ga Power Coal Ash Pond Announcement

via Press Release:

The Georgia Chamber supports Georgia Power’s announcement today that it is proactively moving to close all ash ponds associated with its power generation activities across Georgia.

“Georgia Power has a long and distinguished history of delivering high quality, safe, reliable and affordable energy supplies to businesses, industries and communities across the state and this decision exemplifies that tradition,” said Chamber President and CEO Chris Clark.

The Chamber is confident that through this decision, Georgia Power will continue to proactively position its business to satisfy Georgia’s current and forecast energy needs.

This decision will continue to position the state as a national leader in the provision of environmentally responsible and diverse energy supplies.

While supporting this Georgia Power decision, the Chamber is concerned with the continued endeavors of the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to impose layers of costly regulations on the nation’s energy sector.

Each additional regulation adds upward pressure to energy costs and become an additional burden on industry, pressuring industry profitability and competitiveness.

28
Sep

Georgia Power to schedule ash pond closure

Via Press Release:

Georgia Power announced today that the company is developing a closure timeline for all of its 29 ash ponds and expects to finalize and release the schedule within the next six months. The schedule will be developed in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) costly Coal Combustion Residual (CCR) Rule as well as the soon-to-be signed Steam Electric Effluent Limitation Guidelines. The company will consult with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) and the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) to develop the plan.

“We are developing an ash pond closure timeline that will meet all federal regulations in the most economical way for our customers and our business,” said Paul Bowers, chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power. “Safety and compliance will continue to be our primary focus throughout the closure process, while fulfilling our longstanding commitment to protect the environment and the communities we serve.”

Georgia Power has a strong safety and compliance record with a comprehensive and rigorous inspection program to safely maintain its containment structures and facilitate long-term planning. The company is in the pre-closure process at several retired or converted coal-fired generation sites which includes some preliminary site work such as ash relocation and tree clearing, as well as considering vendors for potential closure activities.

The company’s 29 ash ponds are located around 11 coal plants across the state – Plant Bowen (Euharlee), Plant Branch (Eatonton), Plant Hammond (Coosa), Plant Kraft (Port Wentworth), Plant McDonough (Smyrna), Plant McIntosh (Rincon), Plant McManus (Brunswick), Plant Mitchell (Albany), Plant Scherer (Macon), Plant Wansley (Carrollton), and Plant Yates (Newnan).

The company delivers clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy through a diverse generation mix including nuclear, 21st century coal and natural gas, as well as renewable sources such as solar and wind. As the company has increased its use of natural gas, renewable and other non-coal sources of generation over the past decade, its production of coal ash and other byproducts has significantly declined, and it now recycles more than 50 percent of its current production.

28
Sep

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 28, 2015

William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, invaded England on September 28, 1066.

Washington Yorktown

General George Washington led continental troops into the siege of British forces under General Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia on September 28, 1781.

On September 28, 1863, two Union generals lost their commands after the Confederates routed federal forces at the Battle of Chickamauga.

On September 28, 1889, Georgia Governor John B. Gordon signed legislation designating January 19th a state holiday in honor of Robert E. Lee’s birthday. Lee’s birthday is still a state holiday, though it has become “a moveable feast.”

On September 26, 1928, future President Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke in Atlanta on behalf of Democrat Alfred Smith’s campaign for President.

Atlanta-born Robert Tyre “Bobby” Jones won his first Grand Slam on September 27, 1930.

Georgia Politics,  Campaigns, and Elections

Sonny Perdue Mike Huckabee

Tonight at 7:30 PM, First Lady Sandra Deal and co-authors Dr. Jennifer Dickey and Dr. Catherine Lewis will speak at the Atlanta History Center about their new book, Memories of the Mansion: The Story of Georgia’s Governor’s Mansion.

The Marietta Daily Journal spoke to Mrs. Deal.

“I didn’t know a lot about the mansion when we moved here,” she admits, although they had been frequent visitors during the governor’s time in the state Senate.

After the 2010 election, she remembers walking the gardens, admiring the fountains and wondering about elements of the house and property. She became curious about the seven families who lived there before her.

Gardeners and docents were able to answer few of her questions about the mansion’s past.

Sandra Deal invited former governors and their wives to dinner to “pick their brains” about the history of the mansion.

“I didn’t want it to be a political book,” insists Deal, “I wanted it to be about the families and life here. I wanted it to be something that can continue if other governors wish to add to it in the future.”

“With the history, we started with Oglethorpe’s tent in 1733,” says Lewis, “But what really sets this book apart — and this was Mrs. Deal’s idea — was that each family that has lived here had a full chapter to tell their experience.”

“We were able to interview members of all eight families that lived here,” says Dickey, who would sometimes accompany former residents in a walk through and “talk through” of the mansion.

At the Democratic Party of Georgia’s fundraising dinner Saturday, Rev. Raphael Warnock spoke about the possibility he will challenge Republican.U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson next year.

[T]he senior shepherd of Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic church made crystal clear he was leaning toward challenging Republican Johnny Isakson, and he outlined what would be his platform in a campaign against the two-term incumbent.

A call for the expansion of Medicaid. A push to raise the minimum wage. A demand to expand voting rights. A promise to end wage inequality between men and women. And a vow to “defend the dignity” of gays and other minorities.

In short, it was a blueprint for a Democratic campaign that tries to supercharge the party’s base by appealing to core issues – a campaign that would veer from the more moderate-leaning bid for office last year from Michelle Nunn.

“It has been rumored that I am considering a run for the United States Senate. It’s true, I’m thinking about it. I’m mulling it over,” said Warnock to cheers, adding: “I’m sick and tired of seeing the people I serve every day as a pastor work harder and longer and have less to show for it.”

“Let’s roll up our sleeves. Let’s expand Medicaid. Because when we expand Medicaid, we expand Georgia’s economy. And protect voting rights. Protect worker rights. Give women equal pay for equal work … Raise the minimum wage. Defend the dignity and equality of our gay and lesbian sisters and brothers.”

Since the announcement that Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will resign at the end of October, the question for Georgia Republicans is what it will mean for Rep. Tom Price (R-Roswell). Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-California) currently serves as Majority Leader and appears to be the early favorite to succeed Boehner in the Speaker’s seat. Thatt would open the Majority Leader position and there’s no shortage of ambitious pols in Washington.

Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, who is now the Republican whip, No. 3 in the leadership, has told colleagues he wants McCarthy’s current job. Others said to be considering bids for the No. 2 spot include Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price of Georgia, Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas, and the No. 4 Republican, Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington.

Representative Dennis Ross of Florida has told colleagues he’ll seek to become whip. Challengers may include Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, currently Scalise’s top deputy, and Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma. Peter Roskam of Illinois and Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions of Texas may also seek leadership positions.

Tom Price emailed his fellow Republicans, according to Politico.com,

Georgia Republican Tom Price sent an email Sunday afternoon to his fellow lawmakers reflecting on the future of the House Republican Conference.

“I am hopeful for the opportunity to talk with all of you about the best path forward,” Price wrote. “There are many questions and real concerns that must be aired and addressed so that we all have stock in the decisions that will be made in the days ahead.”

Price, chairman of the Budget Committee, is said to be considering a bid for House Majority Leader, but his message did not announce a formal bid.

“At the end of the day, we have the opportunity, and the obligation, to champion a bold, positive vision for our nation – one that is built on honest, principled, common sense solutions to achieve a more limited and accountable government, consistent with the greatness of our nation,” Price wrote. “I look forward to working with you to achieve that vision and to serve our team in the best capacity possible.”

An impasse over whether to pass a budget that defunds Planned Parenthood is at the center of events that lead to John Boehner’s resignation.

Most recently, Mr. Boehner was trying to devise a solution to keep the government open through the rest of the year, but was under pressure from conservatives who told him that they would not vote for a bill that provided funding for Planned Parenthood.

Mr. Boehner’s announcement lessened the chance of a government shutdown because Republican leaders joined by Democrats will almost certainly go forward with a short-term funding measure to keep the government operating, and the speaker will no longer be deterred by those who threatened his job.

And Tom Price’s current job as Chairman of the House Budget Committee puts him in the mix over any budget deal. It may also provide him an opportunity to show how he could work with members of the Republican caucus to provide more of the progress that the right wing of the party seeks.

The Floyd County Republican Party picked up two new members this weekend, as District Attorney Leigh Patterson and Coroner Barry Henderson joined the GOP.

“I have been thinking about this for about five years and I just decided that it was time to make it official,” said Patterson.

Patterson cited the National Democratic Party’s movement away from her personal values and beliefs as the main reason behind her decision to switch parties.

“I am just more conservative fiscally and I’m conservative about law enforcement, and I don’t like the way I see things moving in that direction nationally,” said Patterson.

While Henderson also cited growing differences with the Democratic Party as a reason for the switch, he said he believes that the coroner’s position should be non-partisan and he considered running as an independent. He decided that the Republican Party is more in line with his values as a born-again Christian.

“I differ so much with the national Democratic party it had just come to a time where the change was necessary,” said Henderson.

Two other constitutional officers switched to the GOP earlier this year — Sheriff Tim Burkhalter and Clerk of Superior Court Barbara Penson.

The Gwinnett County Commission has approved a permit for a fireworks store at Pleasant Hill Road.

The commission unanimously granted Phantom Fireworks’ request to stay at its location on Pleasant Hill Road. The store opened July 1 on a temporary permit which was supposed to extended permanently a month ago, but a vote was pushed back to this past Tuesday.

It is the only fireworks store in Gwinnett that has permission to operate year-round. Year-round fireworks stores began pushing their into the Georgia market after the state legislature legalized fireworks sales earlier this year. The legalization went into effect on July 1.

Peach State Presidential Politics

Sonny Perdue Mike Huckabee

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee released his Georgia leadership team for 2016:

Governor Sonny Perdue, Huckabee for President State Chair

U.S. Representative John Linder, State Steering Committee
State Representative Sam Teasley, Co-Chair State Legislative Committee
State Representative Tom Kirby, Co-Chair State Legislative Committee
Phil Dacosta, State Grassroots Co-Chair
Colonel Larry Mrozinski, State Grassroots Co-Chair

Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the architect of the SEC Primary, is talking about the next step to world domination greater influence for Georgia voters on the 2016 Presidential election.

People flock to the Georgia National Fair at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter in Perry for food and rides, but to cast a vote?

That’s the idea this October 8th through the 18th.

Secretary of State Brian Kempplans to organize the first-ever “Peanut Poll”.

Similar to the Iowa Straw Poll, Georgians will be invited to drop a peanut in a Mason jar, as a vote for their favorite presidential candidate during the fair.

During a visit to 13WMAZ, Kemp said, “You come up, and we’ll have an undecided, all 15 Republican candidates. We’ll have all five Democratic candidates. We’ll have an undecided for people who haven’t made up their mind. And obviously, this is not scientific, but it’s a reason to excite people about this race, raise awareness to it.”

He said he has invited all of the presidential candidates to come and speak at the fair. Kemp said some candidates have shown interest, but not officially committed to attending.