James.qxp Nov Dec 2018 web - Page 6



F LOAT I N G
B OAT S
W H O ’S R I S I N G A N D S I N K I N G I N G E O R G I A B U S I N E S S A N D P O L I T I C S
Hurricane Michael hit south Georgia hard but the first
responders, the Federal Emergency Management
Agency, law enforcement at all levels, the Department of
Transportation and other supportive state agencies, the
Georgia Power Co. and EMCs performed yeoman work in
helping Georgians rebound from the terrible storm and its
aftermath. Georgians are especially fortunate that their
former Gov. Sonny Perdue is the U.S. Agriculture
Secretary. He has pledged whatever it takes to assist in
rebuilding devastated crops and communities. Hopes
and efforts for such restoration are Rising…
As her husband’s term is about to end, Georgia’s First
Lady Sandra Deal recently celebrated her 900th trip to
a local school since 2011. The former teacher made childhood literacy the hallmark of her time in the Governor’s
Mansion, visiting schools in all 159 counties and participating in statewide initiatives such as the Georgia
Literacy Commission and “Read Across Georgia Month.”
For all her work with Peach State students, Mrs. Deal’s
ship continues to Rise…
New rankings from the U.S. Department of Veterans
Affairs rate Atlanta’s VA hospital as one of the nation’s
very worst. Years of calls for reform haven’t made much of
a difference for the Atlanta VA Medical Center, which
saw its overall quality rating drop from three stars to one
putting it amongst the bottom 10 percent of VA hospitals
nationwide. Such a drastic drop in patient care and overall quality has the local VA’s ship Sinking…
The Georgia Supreme Court ruled unanimously that
DeKalb County’s process for appointing members to
its Board of Ethics is unconstitutional since it allows
private groups to choose the nominees. Said Presiding
Justice Harold Melton: “As these private entities do not
answer to the people as required by our Constitution,
they are not authorized to wield the power to appoint
public officials to the DeKalb County Board of Ethics.”
DeKalb isn’t much known for its ethics to begin with, but
this ruling essentially gutting the county’s entire ethics
board has it officially Sinking…
The Georgia Chamber of Commerce has been
named 2018 State Chamber of the Year by The
Council of State Chambers for its work in public policy and political engagement in the Peach State. The
organization’s “8 for 18” initiative highlighting impor6
JAMES
N OV E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 8
tant economic issues for candidates and elected officials in 2018 is noted as a prime reason. For Chamber
President Chris Clark and his team, such an award
has their ship Rising…
A major online outage last summer grounded Delta Air
Lines flights across the country leaving lots of unhappy
passengers. With the Atlanta-based company’s website
and app also affected, this wasn’t the first IT failure of the
year. Another systems breakdown resulted in over 2,000
flight cancellations. Whether due to a cybersecurity
threat or something less sinister, repeated miscues in
service have Delta’s ship Drifting …
Reality Winner, the oddly-named National Security
Agency contractor from Augusta who stole and sent to
media outlets a top secret report, has been sentenced to
five years in prison. Prosecuting U.S. Attorney Bobby
Christine noted Winner admitted to “hating America”
and that she “caused exceptionally grave damage to U.S.
national security.” With security breaches, hacking and
leaks of classified information more prevalent than ever,
setting a strong precedent for deterrence has Christine’s
Southern District of Georgia office Rising…
There is always an annual migration of students to St.
Simons Island’s Coast Guard Beach on the last
Friday in October. Known as “Frat Beach,” it draws
them by the thousands in advance of the next day’s
annual college football rivalry between Georgia’s
Bulldogs and Florida’s Gators. Equally predictable is the
subsequent gathering each year at Coast Guard Beach
of civic-minded young people for the “Beach Sweep,”
co-sponsored by Glynn County and other groups. It is
an effective trash-pick up— in fact 2,700 pounds of
trash was collected last year by mostly student
volunteers. Sad to see all that trash, but glad to see an
effective clean-up! Rising…
As a result of a lawsuit, Kennesaw State University
will change policies used to relegate a Christian student organization’s pro-life display to a “speech zone”
that made up less than 0.08 percent of the 405-acre
campus. KSU must eliminate the “zone;” students must
now be able to speak freely in all outdoor areas of campus, and the university will pay $20,100 to attorneys for
Ratio Christi, the student organization that sponsored
the pro-life display to cover expenses incurred in
defense of the group’s constitutionally-protected freedoms. Campus free speech is Rising…

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