The signing will allow the Corps to accept bids for the first contracts to be awarded under the $706 million project. The Corps’ Savannah District will announce two of those contracts this week.
Deal said the signing next week means the physical dredging of the Savannah River channel can finally begin.
“This expansion project is vitally important for economic development and job creation on a local and national level,” the governor said. “After years of regulatory purgatory, we will soon start moving dirt. I’m grateful to all involved for working tirelessly to see this project through to fruition.
“Next Wednesday will certainly be a great day for Georgia.”
And a day that has been a long time coming. Initially approved by Congress in 1999, the project’s 15-year path to a 47-foot river channel has been anything but smooth.
“When researching a location for exports to Oceania, Toyota’s experience in Brunswick made a GPA facility an appealing option,” Akahoshi said. “The challenge was in bringing together the service profile — vessel schedules, processing, survey requirements and direct rail service.”
Toyota’s collaboration with GPA, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Lines, Vehicle Services Americas and Norfolk Southern took the move from concept to reality within an abbreviated time frame, Akahoshi said.
“We had great confidence that with the GPA as a partner, the project would get done.”
The Japanese automaker will move thousands of Highlanders a year from its Princeton, Ind., plant through Ocean Terminal, which is located on the river just west of the Talmadge Bridge.
The vehicles will arrive in Savannah by Norfolk Southern rail, where they will be staged at Ocean Terminal prior to export. The GPA recently completed paving an additional five acres at Ocean Terminal, bringing the total parking area for roll-on/roll-off cargo to 40 acres on the terminal.
There is a nightmare scenario that keeps most politicos working on both sides of the aisle up at night: after the midterm elections, and even through the anticipated Dec. 6 run off in Louisiana, control of the Senate likely won’t be decided until Jan. 6, the date a run-off in Georgia will take place, if any one candidate fails to muster 50% of the vote. It is this scenario that Libertarian candidate Amanda Swafford, who regularly pulls 5% in most polls, relishes.
“In that situation, if we did force a runoff,” Swafford tells TIME, “I’d say that’s a clear mandate from people of Georgia for a small government and less involvement in people’s lives.”
As of the end of June, Swafford had raised $7,683 for her senatorial bid. The single 37-year-old has kept her day job as a paralegal as she has mounted her campaign. “It makes for a lot of late nights and early mornings,” she says, “but I believe electing someone to the Senate like me, who knows what it’s like to work a job, have a boss, and make ends meet on a regular budget, would bring a valuable perspective to the Senate.”
Swafford is pro-choice and for the legalization of marijuana. And, like most Libertarians, she’s deeply suspicious of President Obama’s engagement abroad, particularly in Syria and Iraq. “Last year, the President wanted to bomb Syria for their chemical weapons, now he’s asking for their help to defeat another enemy,” she says. (Obama hasn’t actually asked Syrian strongman Bashar Assad for help in defeating ISIS.)
As labor commissioner, he has pledged himself to putting as many Georgians as possible back to work, opening several avenues for job-seekers to find work as soon as possible.
And that’s why Butler deserves your vote to remain Georgia’s labor commissioner.
Butler also formed a Regional Coordinator Program and a Business Service Unit that help identify pools of work talent statewide that businesses and industries can access for job recruitment.
He might even be the only labor commissioner in the country with his own SWAT detachment. The Special Workforce Assistance Team helps jobless Georgians better market themselves to potential employers.
Butler’s newest program, christened just this year, is Customized Recruitment, which offers specialized, streamlined job-seeking assistance for newly located businesses.
For all his laudatory work in helping others find jobs in this troubled economy, Butler deserves to keep his job in Atlanta.
I concur and will vote for Mark Butler. I heard him speak about his work at the Georgia Department of Labor at the Walton County GOP recently and his expertise in the subject matter and accomplishments in office are impressive.
Two city councilmen and a group called the Concerned Citizens of Gordon filed a lawsuit early this year seeking Mayor Mary Ann Whipple-Lue’s removal from office. They alleged malfeasance and multiple violations of the state’s Open Meetings Act.
Whipple-Lue was suspended from office twice this summer, but she was reinstated in July on the condition that she abide by specific rules.
In the motion filed Tuesday in Wilkinson County Superior Court, the group alleges the mayor violated the order that reinstated her into office. Specifically, the group points out that Whipple-Lue sent City Attorney Joseph Boone a termination letter Sept. 25 that said “the city will take the next step and secure another city attorney.”
In the letter, Whipple-Lue told the longtime city attorney that although the city charter says the city’s lawyer serves at the City Council’s pleasure, two City Council members who took office with her haven’t voted for him to continue as city attorney.
DECATUR, Ga. — Behind a nondescript storefront just outside Atlanta, Delores Washington makes telephone call after call in this Democratic stronghold using a list of potential voters handed to her by a young party staffer.
The retired high school principal doesn’t ask questions about the massive data collection behind the list compiled by expensive political consultants to predict and influence behavior at the polls.
But she knows what to do. “My job is to expand and get out that base,” Washington said. “That’s how we win.”
Democratic and Republican campaign committees from Washington have invested heavily in field offices here, with paid staffers and volunteers using national party voter databases that try to replicate turnout successes of President Barack Obama’s national campaigns. Both sides are pushing their identified supporters to vote early, and each camp agrees that it will take about 1.4 million votes to win in Georgia this year.
Recent federal reports show that Sen. Jason Carter’s plans for Medicaid expansion would far exceed the costs of President Obama’s plan while doing little to increase access to health care providers.
“Inadequate access to care and higher health care costs for taxpayers are the exact opposite of what President Obama and Democrats promised the program would do,” said Gov. Nathan Deal. “Coverage does not equal access. Medicaid is a critical safety net for our most vulnerable patients and is in need of serious reforms. Rather than address these problems, however, Medicaid expansion doubles down on them.”
“Cartercare” would emulate the Arkansas model, the so-called “private option.” The federal Government Accountability Office recently issued a report showing that the Arkansas plan will cost $778 million more than traditional Medicaid over three years – a massive additional cost covered by taxpayers. (more…)
On Wednesday I had the privilege of meeting with S. Ganbaatar, a member of the Mongolian Parliament.
When he entered the room, Ganbaatar walked up excitedly to examine a framed document that has hung for years in my offices. The document is a list of commitments to the people, signed by dozens of candidates for public office who promised to vote on a specific policy agenda if they were elected to office. It’s framed alongside a picture of the candidates who signed and campaigned on it. Many of them went on to be elected in a historic vote that tossed out a party that had held power since the 1920s.
Ganbaatar was looking at a framed copy of the 1996 “Contract with the Mongolian Voter.” That contract was, as the Washington Postreported the next year, “the most widely distributed document in Mongolian history.” The Mongolian voters — with a 91% turnout — elected the democratic opposition, which four years earlier had held just six seats. With a program of “private property rights, a free press and the encouragement of foreign investment,” they defeated the Communist Party that had ruled since 1921.
Ganbaatar, who was elected to Parliament as an Independent in 2012 and is already one of his country’s most popular politicians, recounted emotionally how the Contract with the Voter was a watershed event in modern Mongolian history. The ideas in that document, he told me, “gave us our freedom.”
Mongolia’s peaceful, democratic transition of power from the communists to a republican government was one of the few hopeful stories to come out of the former Soviet states in the early years after the Cold War.
It was fitting, but only a coincidence, that Ganbaatar visited just a few days before the 20th anniversary of the Contract with America, the inspiration for Mongolia’s Contract with the Voters.
On September 27, 1994, more than 350 candidates for Congress gathered on the steps of the U.S. Capitol to sign a pledge to the American people, a promise to vote on 10 key reforms if we won a majority in the House of Representatives. That campaign, which I helped organize, earned Republicans control of the House for the first time in 40 years.
Last week I told you about legislation I’ve offered to stop the threat of the Islamic State. I also told you that in the midst of meeting this challenge, the House had still been hard at work trying to meet your priorities.
There are now 387 bills passed by the House awaiting Senate action–Senate action of any kind. One of those is now H.R. 2, the American Energy Solutions for Lower Costs and More American Jobs Act. The cost of American energy doesn’t just affect what you pay at the pump, but it’s tied to more than 150,000 jobs in this country. It’s a logical place for job creation, and the House action to spur that industry deserves Senate attention as soon as possible.
The House also passed an economic growth package aimed at alleviating the pressure of regulations on smaller businesses. One piece of that package was my legislation to keep the federal government accountable and open about the ways some regulations are enacted. The House Majority Leader has a great write-up about how these bills work here.
It’s my hope that we’ll see the Senate act soon. As always, you can let me know your views on this or any other issue.
Toyota chooses Savannah for exports to Australia, New Zealand
Ocean Terminal to move thousands of Highlanders every year
The Georgia Ports Authority has doubled its Toyota export business, as the company is now moving Highlander SUVs bound for Australia and New Zealand through the Port of Savannah’s Ocean Terminal.
“The efficiency and world-class customer service at our roll-on/roll-off facilities in Savannah and Brunswick have made GPA a trusted name in the movement of vehicles and heavy equipment,” said GPA Executive Director Curtis Foltz. “Combined, our terminals moved more than 700,000 cars, trucks and tractors last fiscal year, and we’re on track to beat that record in FY2015.”
Toyota began exporting Venza crossovers via the Port of Brunswick to Eastern Europe a year and a half ago. (more…)
Deal: I-285/Ga. 400 interchange project funding plan approved
Interchange improvements will provide congestion relief for hundreds of thousands of motorists
Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approved the Atlanta Transportation Improvement Plan, which includes funding for I-285/Ga. 400 interchange project. The FHWA determined the plan met federal air quality regulations — the final hurdle in moving the project forward and delivering congestion relief to the more than 400,000 motorists.
“These interchange improvements are crucial to improving Georgia’s transportation infrastructure and expanding our role as a major logistics hub for global commerce,” Deal said. “We are utilizing all the tools that the state has available — accrued motor fuel revenues, authorized bonds, private participation through the Perimeter CIDs, Georgia’s strong AAA bond rating and an improved schedule of debt payments — to facilitate this project and provide much needed relief for commuters and area businesses. This decision is good news for Georgia, and especially the metro region. Now that our funding plan has been approved, we can begin construction on a project that will certainly provide important economic and quality of life benefits for many years to come.”
The improvements include the construction of new flyover ramps, new collector-distributor lanes and other facilities to aid east-west travel on along I-285 and north-south travel along Ga. 400. The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) estimates the design-build cost (more…)
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.
Republicans advertise on ‘The Big Bang Theory.’ Democrats buy ads on ‘Big Brother.’
If you have seen the “Today” show or your local news or an NFL game in recent weeks and you are unfortunate/fortunate enough to live in (or near) a Senate battleground state, what I am about to write will probably not surprise you: Those broadcasts have been the most likely to host ads from Senate candidates and party campaign committees since Aug. 1.
Among daytime shows, Dr. Phil sells the most time to Republicans, while “The View” sells more ads to Democrats. Sunday ad time is more likely sold to GOP candidates than Dems. Interestingly to me, and somewhat counterintuitive, is that advertising during “Modern Family” advertising is about 2/3 by Republicans. Someone pointed out to me that in “Modern Family,” each family unit featured on the show has a stay-at-home parent.
Among re-runs, Andy Griffith is very popular among Republicans.
In the aggregate, social media users are younger, more liberal … and less politically engaged than the general populace. Facebook is the closest thing we have to a neutral and all-inclusive public forum — and that’s only because so many people are on it that the overall politics and demographics of the platform are a wash.
Pinterest is one of the most conservative social networking sites — something that was already established by a Harvard Institute of Politics study of young adults from earlier this year. Quantcast also found that Pinterest users were wealthier and older than the users of other major social-media platforms
Twitter, on the other hand, leans the furthest left and features far more active political creatures than Pinterest. Quantcast found that Twitter users were the one exception to the rule that social media users tend to pay attention to politics far less than most Americans. The Harvard Institute of Politics study also found that Twitter users are more likely to be Democrats.
“The managed lanes are a way to meet the need when you need it,” she said. “It is not the best answer, but it’s the only answer we have right now.”
As with the existing toll lanes, the toll to use the new lanes will vary with demand and congestion. The new section, Pope added, will be tolled separately from the existing section and there will be signs indicating where the new toll begins.
“When you need that reliable trip time, you can choose to pay your way in and get it,” Pope explained.
Dacula resident Wayne Rowan is adamantly opposed to the project. Rowan travels approximately 30,000 miles a year, much of it in Gwinnett, but refuses to use the existing toll lanes.
“I refuse to pay for something I’ve already paid for before,” he said. “I don’t have a Peach Pass and I’m not going to get a Peach Pass. I’ll sit in traffic. I don’t care.”
Republican voters must not sit out the November elections. Such inaction could put two unqualified liberal Democrats into office.
Michelle Nunn, candidate for Senate, would be one more puppet vote for Barack Obama’s far-left liberal policies. She would not vote to repeal Obamacare, nor make any changes to that law. Further, as a senator, she would be just one more toady of the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to bottle up any and all legislation, without bringing it to a vote, which Reid doesn’t like. She would also vote along party lines to ensure Obama crams even far more leftists onto the federal courts and non-elected boards and commissions. Their opinions and decisions are as effective as laws but have not been passed by Congress.
Virtually all of her working life has been spent with nonprofit organizations. In this capacity, she has not had to be concerned with making sales to pay employees, pay the bills and keep the doors open. A Sen. Nunn would only help Obama create even more nonprofits from profit-making businesses, leading them to bankruptcy. This would further increase unemployment, the last thing Whitfield County needs.
For governor, an inexperienced Atlanta lawyer, with a flip-flopping voting record in a brief state Senate career, speaks like a true Democrat. Jason Carter has all sorts of solutions to problems but offers no way to pay for them. He must not know that Georgia can’t print money.
With the Legislature solidly controlled by Republicans, he would have no chance of passing his Obama-lite legislation. If his family name were different, he probably would not even be a candidate.
The five have received endorsements from top Democratic figures in the state as well as important progressive groups, but have largely gone under the national radar.
All the challenges women face in running for office — raising money, getting support from their party and convincing voters they have the chops — are magnified for women of color. Case in point: A recent study showed that black women raise an average $235,000 less than their black male counterparts when running for office.
There isn’t much good down-ballot polling for Georgia’s races, but most polls suggest that they will be close, with an edge given to Republicans (similar to the gubernatorial and Senate races), because of the state’s overall makeup. Democrats want very badly to capitalize on the state’s changing DNA and have said that increasing the voter rolls by 3 percent with Democratic voters would mean victory.
As voters, black women will be key to any get-out-the-vote efforts, as they are crucial to the overall turnout of African Americans, who made up 28 percent of the vote in the 2010 midterm elections in Georgia.
And although black women power the black vote, making up almost 60 percent of the voters in that key demographic — and cast ballots at a higher rate than any other demographic group in 2008 and 2012 — that has hardly translated to political power.
Capitol Partners Public Affairs Group, Inc. announced that Caroline Womack joined the firm as a principal. Prior to joining Capitol Partners, Womack served as government relations director at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia.
“Caroline’s strong record of effective advocacy and results in addition to her relentless work ethic are tremendous assets to our clients,” said Rusty Sewell, principal and founder of Capitol Partners. “As we look to the future and position ourselves for growth, Caroline will be an integral part of our firm and leadership team. We are proud to welcome her to Capitol Partners.”
While at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, Caroline played a key role in expanding the company’s relationship with the State of Georgia. During her tenure, she successfully guided public affairs and external communications initiatives during one of the most turbulent periods for the health care industry.
“In government relations, there is no substitute for experience and strong relationships built on integrity and trust,” said Hunter Towns, principal at Capitol Partners. “Caroline brings in-depth knowledge of the legislative landscape in Georgia as well as her affable, winning personality. She knows how to get things done, which is an invaluable quality for our clients and our firm.”
Capitol Partners Public Affairs group represents top companies and nonprofits including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, the State Bar of Georgia, Blue Bird Corporation, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, The Auto Club Group (AAA) and the Georgia Cable Association, among others.
I can’t remember exactly what happened, but I ended up on a shrimp dock in New Orleans all by myself. And there was a big storm coming. It was a hurry cane. I guess that means it was coming fast! I was scared and alone and the waves were getting bigger and bigger. Everyone else was leaving, but I had nowhere to go…
Until my new friend Jill helped save me. She took me to a local shelter and then thanks to help from a few other new friends, including Kim, I made it to Life is labs Rescue in Georgia.
I’m still a little squirt. I love to run and play just like every other puppy. The hurry cane coming was very scary, but other than that I’m not afraid of anything. I love playing with all of my friends of all sizes. And I LOVE to be cuddled and pet.
I have some pretty long legs, so I think I’m going to run like the wind once I figure out how to keep them under me. I would love to go hiking or play ball with you! I bet I’d like to swim, too!
I’m also well-behaved. When I first got her, I thought people liked when I chewed on their hands. but I figured out they don’t. Ok, point taken! Now I just lick! I’m also a very good girl at night; I sleep all in my crate all the way until it’s time to get up again.
I still don’t know why nobody wanted me and left me at a dock? I don’t think I did anything wrong, but maybe I chewed on somebody too much or something??? I don’t know, but you don’t have to worry about that anymore because around here, they keep telling me what a good little girl I am!