The blog.

16
Dec

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for December 16, 2015

Gwinnett Urgent Shepherd

This sweet, 6-year old German Shepherd male is begging for his last chance. He’s already been given one reprieve and is likely to be euthanized unless he finds a home immediately. Here’s his story:

THIS BOY IS VERY SWEET AND WONDERFUL AROUND PEOPLE BUT HAS BEEN HERE SINCE 10-29-15 AND HIS MENTAL HEALTH IS SLIPPING. HE KNOWS OBEDIENCE AND LOVES TO BE LOVED. HE DOES NOT LIKE OTHER DOGS AND WOULD NOT BE A GOOD FIT FOR FAMILIES WITH YOUNG CHILDREN. HE NEEDS A RESCUE WHO IS FAMILIAR WITH THE BREED AND COULD WORK WITH HIM. HE HAS UNTIL MONDAY 12-14-15 AT 4PM TO BE PICKED UP BY A RESCUE. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN HELPING THIS SWEET BOY PLEASE CONTACT THE RESCUE PHONE OR EMAIL. HE IS RESCUE ONLY.
Yes, he’s rescue only, but often rescues will work with someone who is willing to foster a dog. If you’re interested in helping this boy, despite the odds against him, email [email protected] His pen is SD-09 and his ID# 47843.

 

47843v2

48435

Pen number 48435 is a small male Terrier mix who is available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.

Gwinnett25871

Number 25871 is a young female Labrador Retriever who is available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.

16
Dec

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

While not the most famous signer of the Declaration of Independence, Button Gwinnett’s is generally the most expensive. In 2010, an example sold at auction for $772,500, while an offering earlier this year failed to cross the block at an estimated £600k-800k.

Today, you could bid on a document signed by Lachlan McIntosh, who actually shot Button Gwinnett in a duel, for $3500 on Ebay.

On December 16, 1773, the Sons of Liberty, led by Patriot Sam Adams, boarded three British ships in Boston harbor and threw tea worth $700,000 to $1 million in today’s money into the water in what came to be known as the Boston Tea Party.

Boston Tea Party

Governor George Towns signed legislation on December 16, 1847 to build a State School for the Deaf and Dumb. The institution now known as the Georgia School for the Deaf was begun with a log cabin, $5000 from the legislature and four students and is still in operation in Cave Spring, Georgia.

On December 16, 1897, Gov. William Atkinson signed legislation recognizing June 3, the birthday of Jefferson Davis, as a state holiday.

On December 16, 1944, a German counterattack in the Ardennes region of Belgium created a “bulge” in Allied lines with particularly difficult fighting near the town of Bastogne. During the Battle of the Bulge, 89,000 Americans were wounded and 19,000 killed in the bloodiest battle fought by the U.S. in World War II. National Geographic has an interesting article published for the 70th Anniversary of the Battle.

President Jimmy Carter announced on December 16, 1976, that he would name Andrew Young, then serving as Congressman from Georgia’s Fifth District, as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Today we begin with two Star Wars: The Force Awakens political mashups.

The biggest local news in Brookhaven is that Google is hard at work building out its fiber network, with construction of a Fiber Hut at Blackburn Park. Google Fiber can’t get here quickly enough. If they’re having trouble siting their hut closest to me, I have a suggestion for a parcel owned by a utility company.Continue Reading..

15
Dec

Governor Nathan Deal Receives 2015 Champion of Justice Award from the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association

Atlanta, GA – The Georgia Trial Lawyers Association is pleased to announce that Governor Nathan Deal has been named the recipient of the 2015 Champion of Justice Award. This award, which is given at the direction of the GTLA President, recognizes an individual’s tireless and often-historic work to advance the cause of justice in Georgia.

“On behalf of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association’s 2,000 members across the state, I’d like to congratulate Governor Nathan Deal on his receipt of this well-deserved honor,” remarked GTLA President Darren Penn. “Since taking office in 2011, Governor Deal has exhibited a unique understanding of the vital role that the justice system plays in our society. As a lawyer, a former judge and a proud father of a judge, he brings a perspective to the Governor’s Office that has guided him through many tough decisions affecting our state’s legal system.”Continue Reading..

15
Dec

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for December 15, 2015

Remi

Remi is a young female Labrador Retriever mix with a gorgeous brindle and white coat who is available for adoption from Street Paws, Inc. in McDonough, GA.

Yoki

Yoki is an adult female Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from TLC Pet Rescue in Stockbridge, GA.

My name is Yoki and I am a fun loving goofy 3 year old Lab mix. I love to hide my bones in the yard to save for later. I also enjoy walks, as i’m good on a leash. Due to some anxiety, I would do best in a home with no small children, but I am pretty good with the bigger ones. I like other dogs, too! I love to snuggle close to my humans while I sleep, but I will go in the crate if you tell me to. I won’t chew your furniture or shoes, just the toys and bones you choose to give me. I can sit, speak and shake on command! I can probably learn some really cool tricks if you would teach me. I am a really good girl and I just want someone to give me a home I can call my own.

I am spayed, UTD on all my shots and heartworm negative!

Please email [email protected] if you’re interested in adopting me! I can’t wait to meet you!

Molley

Molly is an 8-year old German Shepherd with a striking white coat, and is available for adoption from K9 Angels ( small dog rescue) in Stockbridge, GA. It appears she gets along well with other dogs.

Molley deserves a loving family where she is well cared for. The owners had to give her up due to health problems but almost killed her with treats so molly is trying to lose some weight….she is house trained and great with other dogs…

Please consider Molley for your family…

15
Dec

Josh McKoon filed English-language Constitutional Amendment

via Press Release:

Sen. Josh McKoon Pre-Files Legislation Reinforcing English As The Official Language of State Government

ATLANTA (December 14, 2015)  |  On Thursday, December 10, 2015, Sen. Josh McKoon (R – Columbus) pre-filed Senate Resolution 675, which would add an amendment to Georgia’s constitution declaring English as the official language of the state government.Continue Reading..

15
Dec

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

On December 15, 1791, Virginia ratified the Bill of Rights, giving the first ten Amendments a three-quarter majority required to become law.

On December 15, 1859, Georgia Governor Joseph Brown signed legislation outlawing public execution of criminals. The previous day he signed legislation prohibiting slave owners from freeing their slaves on the owner’s death.

President Jimmy Carter announced on December 15, 1978 that U.S. diplomatic recognition of the People’s Republic of China would begin on January 1, 1979.

The United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee released a report on Dcember 15, 1998 that recommended impeachment against President Bill Clinton and introduced H.Res. 611.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

In Henry County, the Mayor of Stockbridge, Tim Thompson, left office after a City Council session devolved into a discussion of his temper.

Back in March, Thompson was accused of threatening to fight the mayor pro tem in the parking lot.

The City Council ordered an investigation and asked Thompson to undergo anger management courses. He says he met with his pastors, starting the day after.

“I didn’t really go about it the right way. For that, I’m extremely sorry,” Thompson said.

Monday evening, former and future council members gave harsh critiques of the mayor.

Thompson told 11Alive he resigned because of a hostile environment at the city.

After he announced his resignation, Thompson said, “All I ever wanted was the best for the City of Stockbridge,” but added, “I got my life back.”

Thompson was supposed to be the city’s mayor until 2017, according to the City of Stockbridge’s website.

Governor Nathan Deal received the 2015 Champion of Justice Award from the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association. Writing for the AJC Political Insider, Greg Bluestein contextualized the relationship between GTLA and Republicans,

Trial lawyers enthusiastically supported some of his biggest legislative initiatives, including his criminal justice overhauls.

The association’s president, Darren Penn, cited his support for legislation that gives child sexual abuse victims more time to pursue civil lawsuits against their abusers and “a strong track record of appointing highly-qualified judges” to openings.

Penn said there’s another reason for the show of support for Georgia’s top Republican: The trial lawyers association has become more bipartisan as GOP rule became more entrenched here.

Former State House Majority Leader Larry Walker wrote an open letter to his son, Larry Walker, III, who was recently elected to the State Senate. It should be required reading for all newly-elected officials.

Georgia Democrats continue to struggle to field a 2016 candidate against United States Senator Johnny Isakson, according to an article out of McClatchey’s Washington operation.

 “To even have a chance to unseat him, they would need to run someone that’s a quality challenger,” said M.V. Hood, a political science professor at the University of Georgia. “Someone that’s got political experience, elected office-holding experience – and it doesn’t look like they have anyone who wants to jump into the fray.”

Potential Democratic challengers who’ve passed on the chance to challenge Isakson include state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, state Reps. Stacey Evans and Margaret Kaiser, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and the Rev. Raphael Warnock, pastor of Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church.

Hood thinks viable Democratic candidates may be simply waiting to run for an open seat. “They’re waiting for a better opportunity. That’s not uncommon,” he said.

But part of their reluctance could stem from Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn’s 8 percentage point loss to Republican David Perdue in 2014, said Jennifer Duffy, senior editor at the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.

“I think the problem they face is, ‘If Michelle Nunn can’t win, then who can win?’ That makes recruiting really hard,” Duffy said.

Howard Franklin, a Democratic strategist in Atlanta, expects a slight dropoff among Georgia’s black voters next year without Obama on the ballot. But “the combination of direct mail, urban radio and telephone calls has proven effective at bringing black voter turnout in line with other ethnic groups, regardless of whether the White House is in play,” Franklin said in an email.

Duffy said it’s no coincidence that Democrats are courting a number of black candidates to run against Isakson, in hopes of replicating Georgia’s strong black turnout in 2008 and 2012. But Franklin said ethnicity alone won’t be enough.

“In 2014, Georgia Democrats fielded a historic statewide ticket featuring five African-American women – the backbone of the Democratic coalition – but it didn’t translate into success at the polls. Candidates still have to raise impressive sums, build a statewide apparatus and offer voters a clear choice on Election Day,” Franklin wrote.

I would argue that the lesson of 2014 and of the 2015 election in HD 80, the most heavily-contested race between a Democrat and a Republican this year, is that a candidate without prior political experience may be the best candidate.

Whenever state legislators have dollar signs in their eyes and Scrooge McDuck fantasies of swimming through the state coffers, you can assume we’re all about to get Scrooge McDucked.

That’s what it looks like to me when lawmakers are debating tax rates on casino gambling before addressing the merits of legalizing it. From WABE,

 Casinos will likely pay Georgia more than the 12 percent tax on gross gaming income included in pending legislation (House Bill 677) that would change the state constitution to allow casino gambling.

State Rep. Ron Stephens (R-Savannah), the main sponsor of the legislation, said he’s worried a high tax rate could scare away the big-name casinos.

“You don’t get the reinvestment back into the facilities to keep it looking fresh and to keep people coming,” he said.

Stephens acknowledged that the 12 percent rate is negotiable.

“I believe 12 and 25 percent is the correct number and we all need to decide what that number is going to be.”

State Rep. Stacey Evans (D-Smyrna) is behind a push to expand scholarship programs with casino tax money.

She said the tax rate in the current legislation needs to change.

“I don’t know what it’s going to be. I’m not going to pretend to sit here and know the answer. But it’s higher than 12,” she said.

That’s how I know the legislature is more likely to legalize casino gambling than growing cannabis – they’re talking about how much to tax casinos but not cannabis.

Four candidates so far are campaigning to replace Dawson County Sheriff Billy Carlisle, who is not seeking reelection, according to BigCanoeNews.com.

The candidates are Jeff Johnson, Tony Wooten, Frank Sosebee and Jeff Perry.

Jeff Johnson has been a county resident for over 31 years. He is married to Lisa Hodge of Dawson County and they have two children together.

“As a county resident for over 31 years, I have invested interest in our people, our county, and our safety. This is where I work, where I worship and where I play,” said Johnson.

Johnson has nearly 23 years of experience serving in both a Sheriff’s Office and Police Department capacity.

Hit the full article for more on all of the candidates, but it’s a strong field. I totalled up 98 years of law enforcement among the four candidates.

State Senator Michael Williams (R-Forsyth County) will hold a Town Hall meeting at West Forsyth High School on January 11, 2016 at 7 PM.

State Senator Josh McKoon (R-Columbus) has pre-filed legislation to put on the statewide ballot a Constitutional Amendment affirming English as the official language of Georgia state government.

English is the tie that binds us as Americans and is the indisputable language of success in the United States. This idea has been sound public policy in our state for over a decade,” said Sen. McKoon. “All this resolution would do is strengthen what our state’s position currently is and commit that position to our state constitution.”

Georgia passed a bill declaring English the official language during the 1996 legislative session. The resolution would add an amendment to the state constitution reinforcing the measure as the official language of the state government. A constitutional amendment would require voter ratification after being passed by the House and Senate.

The resolution requires that state records, services and official notices be maintained in English. Other languages may be used in many instances outlined in the measure including protecting public health, crime victims and criminal defendants as well as teaching English.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp has released a report on how the agency released 12 CDs containing personal information about all registered voters in Georgia.

The 30-page report is the fullest accounting yet from Kemp’s office after a lawsuit filed last month revealed nearly 6.2 million voters’ Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers and birth dates had been released to media outlets and political parties.

The report, produced by two of Kemp’s deputies, faulted an employee in the office’s Information Technology Division for violating policies and procedures, being unclear with a contractor and giving another employee his login to access a file containing voters’ information.

Gov. Nathan Deal also signed an executive order Monday appointing three private-practice lawyers as special attorneys general representing Kemp in the lawsuit filed by two Georgia voters. No cost estimate was provided.

Deal’s executive order said Attorney General Sam Olens and the Georgia Department of Law declined to represent Kemp “due to the potential conflict of interest.” A spokesman for Olens said the office’s consumer protection responsibilities could cause a conflict.

Georgia officials have a new vendor for mailing out car tag renewal notices, thought the first batches won’t include the traditional blue return envelopes, according to the Macon Telegraph.

The state Department of Revenue’s Motor Vehicles Division has contracted with a new vendor to print out the notices that are mailed out as reminders to update registration. Since September, many vehicle owners in Georgia had not been receiving notices after World Marketing, the company that printed them, shut down.

Bibb County Tax Commissioner Wade McCord said he was notified by state officials that people with January birthdays could have their notices mailed out this week.

The Georgia Baptist Convention opposes opening in-state growing of cannabis to provide CBD-oil to Georgia patients allowed the drug, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen.

Mike Griffin said he doesn’t believe that lawmakers are trying to pave the way for recreational marijuana use.

Even so, the spokesman for the Georgia Baptist Convention fears it will happen if cannabis is legally grown in Georgia, which he calls an “incremental step” toward liberalized drug laws.

“Cultivation of marijuana in our state, even for medical purposes, pushes us to a line that will be impossible to maintain,” Griffin, who is also a pastor, said Wednesday to the state’s Commission on Medical Cannabis.

The first right whale calves of the season have been spotted with one mother and calf off the coast of Georgia and another pair off the coast of Florida.

A whale nicknamed Harmony was resting and nursing her calf 10 miles east of Jekyll Island on Thursday, a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission aerial survey crew reported. The team saw the other pair near St. Augustine, just a mile and a half off Ponte Vedra on the same day.

Scientists estimate there are as few as 465 right whales remaining, making them among the rarest marine mammals in the world. Every winter, pregnant females travel more than 1,000 miles from their feeding grounds off Canada and New England to the coastal waters of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida’s east coast. Here right whales give birth and nurse their young. The mother whales are about the size of a school bus; the newborns are closer to car-sized. Last season, researchers documented 17 newborn calves.

The population of these critically endangered animals appeared to increasing slowly, but documented births have trailed off over the last five years to an average of 15 a year; that number was 24 a year in the prior decade. Also, fewer nonpregnant whales seem to be traveling to Georgia and Florida. Researchers counted nearly 200 of these other whales in years past.

As they did last year, Georgia researchers plan to tag up to five whales with satellite tags. If they’re successful, the public may be able to follow the whales’ journeys online with a DNR-supported website similar to a popular shark tracking site.

In 1985, a joint resolution of the General Assembly designated the Right Whale the Official Marine Mammal of Georgia.

Train enthusiasts in Macon are working to restore a steam locomotive that has stood in Central City Park and have it under steam by the 100th Anniversary of Macon’s Terminal Station in October of next year.

In 509′s heyday in the 1900s, the train was operated by Central of Georgia Railroad, a name that remains intact on the side of the locomotive.

Macon-Bibb Mayor Robert Reichert said Friday that its a significant undertaking to restore a train like the 509 and that he hopes the nonprofit can pull it through.

14
Dec

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for December 14, 2015

Atlanta Lab Rescue works to foster and adopt out Labrador Retrievers and Lab mixes and has helped more than 2000 dogs in six years. Please consider donating online to help them continue saving dogs from shelters.
Logan Lab

Logan is a 1-year old two-tone Lab mix whose mother was a purebred yellow lab and whose father was a scoundrel; Logan is available for adoption from Atlanta Lab Rescue. He was adopted and returned last month because he was too big and active and they didn’t have time to spend with him. He is friendly and sweet, housetrained and crate trained, good with other dogs and bigger kids, but as “Captain Obvious” would point out, he’s a young lab! If you would like more info about Logan you can email [email protected]

SweetieAtlanta Lab Rescue

Sweetie is a small 7-8 year old Lab mix male who is available for foster or adoption from Atlanta Lab Rescue. He is super sweet and easy and I long overdue for a HOME. If you can foster him, please email [email protected].

Juniper and Danielle

Juniper and Danielle are young female Black Lab mixes who aren’t biological sisters, but were paired in the same foster home and have become best friends. The two have the same personalities, energy level and love of chasing tennis balls. They’re both great in the house and they keep each other entertained and exercised, yet they are cuddly and lovable, too. Juniper and Danielle are available for adoption from Atlanta Lab Rescue.

14
Dec

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 14, 2015

President George Washington died at Mount Vernon on December 14, 1799. Here’s an article about the nation’s mourning for our first President.

The Congress, in session at the capital of Philadelphia when Washington’s death was announced, immediately adjourned. The House of Representatives assembled the next day and resolved to shroud the Speaker’s chair in black and have members wear black during the remainder of the session. On December 23, John Marshall speaking for the joint committee of both houses, presented five points that became the foundation for the United States’ first “state” funeral. Resolutions structured mourning events around public commemorations that fostered unity and a sense of national identity among grieving Americans.

President William McKinley addressed the Georgia General Assembly on December 14, 1898.

McKinley_at_Atlanta2 McKinley Atlanta SM

On December 14, 1939, a parade was held through downtown Atlanta with stars from Gone With the Wind and the Junior League held a ball that night. The next day, December 15, 1939, Gone With the Wind held its world premiere at Loew’s Grand Theater in Atlanta.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

State Senator P.K. Martin (R-Gwinnett) made good on his wager with Senator John Albers (R-Roswell) over a high school football game.

Meanwhile, Senator Renee Unterman (R-Buford) and Sen. Bruce Thompson (R-White) followed the lead of their colleagues and met at the Georgia Dome for a charity challenge to support their local high school football teams.

Chatham County Sheriff Roy Harris, who took over the office when Sheriff Al St. Lawrence died in office, will run for the job in a Special Election on March 1, 2016.

He qualified to run on Tuesday and is one of five candidates in the nonpartisan March 1 election, each of whom has experience in the department.

St Lawrence’s daughter, Tammy St. Lawrence Canfield, said afterward the family supports Harris as her father’s successor.

“Today I speak for my beloved father who wished for Roy Harris to continue his legacy as a public servant. It was his belief that Roy Harris is committed to protecting your family and our dedicated law enforcement professionals.”

Harris is one of five candidates to qualify for the post by the Wednesday deadline:

• John Wilcher, 71, a 40-year veteran of the sheriff’s office who retired in 2014 as jail administrator with the rank of colonel.

• McArthur Holmes, 60, who served in the sheriff’s office for more than 33 years before retiring as jail administrator in 2011 with the rank of colonel.

• Ken Williamson, 57, who served 10 years in the Deputy Sheriff’s Reserve Unit before leaving in 2008 and with more than 30 years in the commercial finance industry.

• Kimberly Middleton, 54, who served for 28 years in the sheriff’s office before retiring in September as chief of operations with the rank of major.

Clarkesville Mayor Dr. Terry Greene died Sunday after a gunshot wound to the head and the investigation continues.

Reva Jennings, a well-known and popular Georgia Republican activist, died this weekend after it appears she accidentally drove into Lake Lanier. She’ll be sorely missed by all who knew her. I’ll miss most her always-positive and enthusiastic attitude.

Reva Jennings Scott Walker

Continue Reading..

14
Dec

Van Ness appointed to four Senate committees for 2016 | OnCommonGroundNews.com

Sen. JaNice Van Ness was recently appointed to serve on four committees for the 2016 Legislative Session by the Senate Committee on Assignments.

Van Ness was appointed to serve as a member of the Economic Development and Tourism, Education and Youth, Health and Human Services and State Institutions and Property Committees.

“I am honored to have been selected to serve on four vital Senate Committees, and thankful to my constituents for their constant support,” said Senator Van Ness. “I am confident that my experiences in early childhood and k-12 education as well as my eight year tenure as a county commissioner will enhance my role as a member on these committees. I’m passionate about strengthening Georgia’s future, and I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues to pass effective legislation that will benefit not only District 43, but will continue to improve our state as a whole.”

via Van Ness appointed to four Senate committees for 2016.

12
Dec

Ted Cruz in Savannah December 19, 2015, Kennesaw the 18th

Cruz Savannah Invite4

We’ve also been informed that the Cruz campaign will hold a rally in Kennesaw, GA on Friday, December 18, 2015 at Cobb County International Airport at McCollum Field, Kennesaw at the Hawthorne Aviation Hangar.