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Mayor says Prince Avenue study has become 'political football'

@RoyBoy: We all want pedestrian safety. However, please tell me what elevates Prince Avenue safety above any other main thoroughfare within ACC. There's Milledge Avenue, Lumpkin Street, Broad Street, Lexington Road, Gaines School Road, College Station Road, just to name a few. Where is the outcry for those who actually walk along these corridors?

If I am not mistaken, there is a traffic signal at every intersection from Pulaski Street to Milledge Avenue, and beyond. Why is it pedestrians cannot safely cross at these lights?

"Athens Trojan" is correct in his common sense assessment above. Eliminate mid block crossings, and you eliminate the problem. Unless you are willing to make the same traffic changes to all main traffic corridors, costing additional revenue we don't have, and creating additional traffic congestion we don't need, then you seem to be putting the safety and benefit of a few, above the safety and benefit of all.

posted @ Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 09:23

Mayor says Prince Avenue study has become 'political football'

@ponsoldt: "i know quite a few people who have become "one issue" voters this year: they will support only candidates who endorse at least the plan for temporary pedestrian islands on prince. and this is not just a safety issue--it's a neighborhood issue as well."

Let me see if I have this straight. Of all the issues citizens of this county have to be concerned with, ie. crime, joblessness, poverty, budgetary issues, taxes, services, or lack thereof, exodus of citizens and businesses to other counties, infrastructure, and on and on, "quite a few" will base their vote on pedestrian islands on Prince Avenue? And they actually admit this?

Neighborhood issue or not, this type of self centered thinking is part of an overall problem facing many in ACC. One neighborhood vs. another. We all have neighborhood issues, and we all want them to be safe. Whether the neighborhood is located in the "Urban Services District", or the "General Services District", sidewalks, enhanced police patrols, sewer service, re-surfaced roads, to name a few, would be "nice". I would wager, however, that most citizens, when voting for a candidate, do so based on what he/she envisions as best for ALL citizens, and ALL neighborhoods. At least I hope so.

posted @ Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 08:13

The Editor's Desk: Voter registration notification another 'Athens moment'

@Jim Thompson: With all due respect Mr. Thompson, the same measures were not afforded to all. Why the need for individual letters to certain voters, if the extensive media coverage, and the info on the BOE website was sufficient? This very newspaper instructed the residents of Pauldoe explicitly what they would need to do, in order to vote in the upcoming election. If you deem it sufficient for most, why not all?

I am clearly aware that the letters to Pauldoe residents were sent out by the Housing Authority, rather than the BOE. However, unless I am reading the above op-ed wrong, the AHA was contacted and the individual letters were sent at the urging of the BOE as well as the affected candidate, Herb Gilmore. Also, did the AHA notify all public housing residents notifying them of the election date change, and the new deadline for making any needed changes in voter registration, as a way of "keeping in touch" with it's residents?

Just as an aside, I am in no way advocating that it is the BOE's responsibility to notify all residents of election changes. Just as you say, the information provided by their website and the extensive media coverage, should be sufficient. However it should be sufficient for ALL. Along with the right and privilege of voting, comes some responsibility from the voters.

posted @ Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 10:11

The Editor's Desk: Voter registration notification another 'Athens moment'

My only question regarding the above op-ed, and the article that briefly appeared in yesterday's on-line edition regarding this topic is this:

ALL residents are affected by the moving of the primary/nonpartisan elections from the usual July date to the May 20th date, which is the earliest date these elections have ever been held.

Were ALL registered voters sent letters by the BOE, or better yet, the candidates themselves, notifying them of this move, and the subsequent actions they might need to take, or did they just assume that most voters were paying attention.

There is nothing wrong with taking extraordinary measures to make voters aware of changes, as long as the same measures are afforded to all.

posted @ Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 09:05

Student housing development proposed for tract near downtown Athens

@kconner: I'm glad that you understand the need for an increased tax base, but believe you are in the minority, as evidenced by the businesses that have been forced elsewhere, either by public protests, or zoning laws.

So much of the taxable property in ACC is either owned by UGA or ACC government, that there is little left for revenue producing commercial enterprises. In turn, the burden of taxation is falling ever more on homeowners, and existing businesses here.

I also respectfully disagree with your assertion that Selig pulled out because the site was not workable, rather than because of the mountain of protests that ensued from their proposal. I doubt they would have spent the money necessary to do the site and economic studies they did prior to their proposal, had they deemed it unworkable. That may have been the reason given, but there comes a time whey any commercial enterprise will simply give up under such pressure.

Lastly, I agree with "linnyt" above. Just how much student housing do we need, and what about the seemingly forgotten other half of this county's population? If those in charge do not begin to focus on what brings in the most tax revenue, and what creates desperately needed jobs, as "scarborj", also points out, we will become a county of nothing but student and section 8 housing. What then?

Again, pretty vs. practical. I choose practical.

posted @ Friday, March 28, 2014 - 10:04

Student housing development proposed for tract near downtown Athens

@kconner: It blends in nicely? Have you or others excited over this prospect, ever considered the dollar factor here? Or does that not matter? How much tax revenue will this "attractive addition" bring in vs. a commercial enterprise. How many desperately needed jobs will it create?

Pretty vs. practical. No surprises here.

I will be waiting patiently for all those who have ranted in the past about the traffic problems a Wal-Mart or other commercial entity would cause, or do you think the occupants of this "attractive addition" do not have automobiles?

posted @ Friday, March 28, 2014 - 08:37

Judge allows admitted Athens cop killer to act as his own attorney

@retiredandhappy: "Anything can happen with a Clarke County jury".

Bingo!! Contrary to those who believe otherwise, it will be a miracle if a jury sentences Hood to death. In the meantime, he is being given a forum to continue his ridiculous antics, the whole process becomes a circus, and the last three years of delays have been for naught.

How sad for the Christian and Howard families, and those within this county who simply want to see justice served.

posted @ Friday, March 28, 2014 - 08:26

The Editor's Desk: Mayoral debate ends up as draw

"But, if the mayor fell short Wednesday, so did Tim Denson in some equally problematic ways. His calls for free public transit and government involvement in child care issues revealed a serious lack of understanding of the fiscal realities and the other workings of local government."

BINGO!! I am much more concerned over, as you rightly point out, his apparent lack of understanding of the fiscal realities facing our local government, and the citizens who fund it, than I am of some off handed remark that might offend someone.

Nothing here, or anywhere else is "free", and I am more interested in Tim's plan to pay for these "freebies", whether presented in a guarded or unguarded moment.

Also, it amazed me that with all the problems facing this county, the legalization of marijuana seemed to be the "hot topic" of the debate. Priorities people, priorities.

posted @ Friday, March 21, 2014 - 10:50

Pot possession a hot topic at Athens-Clarke mayoral candidates debate

"The mayor, noting she is a lifelong Democrat, struck a decidedly conservative tone. She countered Denson’s calls for increased public transit service and for governmental help with child care by asking where he’d take existing funds from, in order to fund his proposals."

Why is Mayor Denson's counter argument to Tim's above proposal deemed "decidedly conservative"? Sounds more like common sense to me. Where will the money come from? Increased property taxes? A plastic grocery bag fee?

She is correct. It all comes down to the money. Our current transit system is already operating at a loss, and has basically become a charity operation. Expanding it will only increase it's losses.

She's correct on one more thing. Raising property taxes on those already here, could prompt an exodus from ACC to other nearby counties. We've already seen that happen, not only with citizens, but with businesses. Our property tax base has been shrinking for years. We need to look for incentives to attract property owners and businesses, not run them out.

Badge cameras for police officers is the answer to the high property crime here? I believe those who actually wear the badges would disagree.

As to the marijuana issue, I don't necessarily disagree with the legalization of it, but it won't stop the property crimes being perpetrated to purchase it and other drugs.

I don't know what Tim's 21st century vision is for Athens Clarke County, but mine is less crime, more attention to public safety, more jobs, more people moving in, than moving out, and moving in to actually work, rather than to take advantage of expanded social programs.

posted @ Thursday, March 20, 2014 - 10:05

Holmes: GOP confused on Obamacare

@proftom: "why would our esteemed legislature waste time grandstanding with moves such as Rep.Spencer is doing (other than it being election season)"

I believe your statement applies to our esteemed President also. I'd venture to say that everyone is confused by now, whether you are for or against Obamacare. There have been so many changes and postponements to this law since it's inception, it's become laughable, most of them solely by the President himself.

Perhaps after the 2014/2016 elections, it will become clearer. Do they really think citizens are that stupid? The answer is, yes, they do! Don't pay attention to the man behind the curtain.

posted @ Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 08:55

Today's editorial cartoon

@cyou299: What "details", what "reality"? You mean the details that have yet to emerge from Lois Lerner, who continues to refuse to testify by taking the fifth? What is she afraid of saying that would incriminate her, and why would she need immunity from prosecution, if she, or anyone else is not culpable?

I'd venture to say the the foot dragging and evasive tactics we've witnessed since this investigation began, is the true sad and scary part. There are currently multiple investigations being held over the IRS targeting groups for their political beliefs, yet not one has reached a definitive conclusion. Evidently you, like the President, have. Where is the logic in that?

posted @ Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 08:36

Thomas: Conservatives should focus on minority children

Excellent Op-Ed Mr. Thomas!!

@cyou299: Evidently there are those minorities that are convinced that charter schools help their kids. Just ask the parents of those who are outraged at New York's Mayor deBlasio, who is choosing to close them. Results don't lie.

posted @ Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 08:17

'90s documents show Clintons' health care concerns

"That is politically and substantively a much harder sell than the one we've got — a much harder sell," she told congressional Democrats in September 1993, predicting it could send "shock waves" through the "currently insured population."

Fast forward to 2014: It could, and has.

"A Clinton-era memo noted that the policy promised people could "'pick the health plan and the doctor of your choice.' This sounds great and I know that it's just what people want to hear. But can we get away with it?"

Once again, fast forward to 2014: It might have been what citizens wanted to hear, but it is not what they got. Obviously, the Obama Administration, and the Democrats had no qualms getting caught red handed deceiving the American public. Sad!

Talk about de javu!

posted @ Saturday, March 1, 2014 - 11:09

Today's editorial cartoon

Teddy Roosevelt's admonition to the American people: "Speak softly, but carry a big stick."

Barack Obama's admonition to the American people: Threaten loudly, but assure your enemies that you have no stick.

posted @ Friday, February 28, 2014 - 11:48

Hagel says US military must shrink to face new era

@mpd0.59: "The military should focus on increasing special forces, combating and waging cyberwarfare, constructing deeper intelligence gathering networks, and developing the abiity to fight battles from afar."

You mean like the NSA Intelligence gathering, or the Drone Program? Once again I don't disagree with what you are saying, but we can't have it both ways.

Many Americans want an open door immigration policy, but balk at efforts by the NSA to track those who have entered here with the intent on doing us harm. Tracking U.S. to overseas phone calls and E-Mails that could provide information on terrorists. Many Americans are against boots on the ground, but balk the at the drone program, which is "fighting battles from afar". Once again, you can't have it both ways.

Nonetheless, whether it's fighting wars with technology, planes, tanks or combat troops, all cost money, money that we are quickly running out of.

posted @ Wednesday, February 26, 2014 - 11:17

Hagel says US military must shrink to face new era

@Ben Had: "Our military was intended to be used to protect our borders from invasion, right?"

Right! How's that working our for us so far? Mention putting Military presence on the borders of this country, and wait for the outcry.

I agree with you that we should not be the World's Police force, and that the Military could and should be used to protect our borders. However, with the lax immigration policies we have, that's not happening. The perpetrators of the attacks on 911 were here legally. The perpetrators of the Boston massacre were here legally, and they were being supported on the taxpayers dime, and on and on.

Let's be honest here. The reason our Military is being cut is that we can no long afford it. The number one priority of our forefathers was the protection of it's people from it's enemies both foreign and domestic. That's why the military was created in the first place.

That has now become unsustainable. A huge percentage of our gross national product, soon to reach 100% if something does not change, goes for interest on our massive and growing debt, and for entitlement and social programs to do for citizens what they used to do for themselves.

Couple that with the intent of some to disarm individual Americans, the vulnerability that results is frightening. I predict this is a decision we will all come to regret.

Forget the Military protecting our citizens. We need someone to protect us from ourselves.

posted @ Wednesday, February 26, 2014 - 10:27

Hill: Health care law brings down insurance rates

@JanetEHill: The only people President Obama is attempting to appease are voters who have seen their insurance canceled, premium costs go up, and benefits go down.

With all due respect, you don't have to be a mind reader to see that this latest delay is purely political. The negative affects this healthcare bill has had on many individuals, families and businesses is non-partisan.

Watching this Administration fumble and hem-haw each time a non biased report surfaces on the negative affects Obamacare is having. and will have, on jobs, individuals and businesses economic bottom line, would be amusing if it were not so pathetic.

The latest report from CMS is that 65% of all small businesses will see their premiums increase, not decrease. Counter argument from Dems: Don't forget the subsidies. Yep, subsidies that will come from the tax revenue collected from the very people who are being negatively affected by this law. Like it or not, for millions of Americans, this is a no-win.

posted @ Wednesday, February 26, 2014 - 09:18

Hill: Health care law brings down insurance rates

Just one question here out of basic curiosity. If Obamacare is as profitable as some would have us believe, why did the President feel the need to postpone the mandate for small businesses until past the 2014 election?

Obviously, Ms. Hill is in the minority among the small business community, and the President knows it.

posted @ Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - 11:44

Hagel says US military must shrink to face new era

"He made no direct mention of China or Russia, but both are investing heavily in their military capabilities."

Enough said. Discounting the increasing terror groups throughout the Middle East, bent on doing us harm, the above statement should be enough to convince everyone that reducing our fighting forces to pre-WWII levels is a huge mistake.

posted @ Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - 11:19

Admitted Athens cop-killer's second arraignment postponed

Many on this forum have assumed since day one, that a death penalty verdict is a given in this case. It is not. As much as I would love to see that happen, it will be a miracle if it does.

Clarke County is among, if not the most, liberal county in Georgia. Unless this case is tried elsewhere, I don't see the death penalty being given in this, or any other case here. All it takes is one hold out

It has been three years since the murder of Officer Christian, and the wounding of Officer Howard. Their families and the citizens of this county have been forced to witness and endure his attention getting antics before the Court, and his spewing of ridiculous accusations against Officer Howard. He is reveling in this, and will continue to do so.

The best thing that could happen in this case, would be for him to change his plea to guilty, and be put away for life. If not, I'm afraid all of this has been for naught. As cocky as he has shown himself to be, someone in the prison population would do the job for us before too long.

Three years of this is enough. No matter how, it is time for it to end, and bring some closure to the families of these Officers and the community that shared in their tragedy.

posted @ Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - 11:13

Ponsoldt: Reasonable minimum wage would support 'trickle-up' economics

"Let’s support ‘trickle-up economics’ ".

Support it or not, the concept of "trickle-up economics", was put into place, and continues to be touted by the Obama Administration going on six years ago now. Their entire economic policy has been based on that concept.

The "rich" are richer, the "poor" are poorer, and growing in numbers, and the "middle class" is slowly disappearing. So please, tell us again how it's working out for us so far?

posted @ Thursday, February 20, 2014 - 10:56

Obama threatens consequences for Ukraine violence

"There will be consequences if people step over the line," Obama said. . . .

Could this line be red I wonder?

Boy, I'll bet they are shaking in their little Ukrainian shoes!!

posted @ Thursday, February 20, 2014 - 09:54

Harrop: CBO report isn't bad news for Obamacare

"But to be precise, millions of workers will choose to cut their working hours. What’s bad about that if that’s what they want?"

What's so bad about that?

Those who "choose" to cut their working hours will be able to do so, on the backs of those who are seeing their insurance premiums rise, and their coverage shrink, due to Obamacare.

The majority of those, I would assume, will not have the luxury of cutting their work hours. Many will have to increase them, or cut back sharply on other expenses in order to pay their higher premiums, deductible and co-pays.

This is the ever-present theory of "spreading the wealth around" that the President and his minions love to tout. The sad irony is, however, that it is not the wealth of the rich that is being spread, but the wealth of the shrinking middle class. For a President who constantly laments this shrinking middle class, he has done more to achieve it than any of his predecessors.

Ms. Harrop fails to mention how many of those who will see their jobs decrease to part-time, are not happy, and simply cannot afford the revenue cut. She also fails to mention how the loss of tax revenue will affect the economy as a whole.

@marshalld: You are correct, the President did give us a dose of reality during his State of the Union Message, and it was, in my humble opinion, an indictment of his very own Presidency. Five years in office, the first two under total Democratic control, billions of dollars spent in "stimulating" the economy, and we continue to live the reality of a weak economy. Obviously his policies and programs have resulted in little improvement, as you so stated, by his own admission.

If allowing over two million people to "stay at home", because "that's what they want", is one result of having the Federal Government take over one-sixth of our economy, discounting the other negative effects Obamacare is producing, then it becomes even less appealing as time goes by.

The Administration should have taken a little more time and thought in attempting to paint the CBO's report on Obamacare's affect on jobs in a positive light. Their current attempt to do so, is lame at best.

posted @ Friday, February 7, 2014 - 12:13

Sikora: Republicans share blame for Benghazi

@Jim Thompson: No apology necessary! Obviously I was right when I suggested that I had missed your point of humor.

posted @ Friday, January 31, 2014 - 12:14

Sikora: Republicans share blame for Benghazi

@Jim Thompson: Nope, didn't post anything yesterday. You must have me confused with someone else.

I did respond to Mr. Sikora's op-ed of January 26th, titled the same as this one, resulting in my "Groundhog day" remark. That was my last post here. Perhaps that is what you are referring to, or else I am missing a point of humor here?

posted @ Friday, January 31, 2014 - 11:34

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