James.qxp Sept Oct 2018 web (2) - Page 7



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
The much anticipated ‘Brunch Bill’ passed by the
General Assembly will be on a lot of ballots in November.
More than 50 Peach State cities and counties have
approved the measure, allowing voters to decide whether
local restaurants can serve alcohol at 11:00 am on Sundays
(as opposed to 12:30 pm). Expect big victories for the proposal, which has brunchers across the state Rising…
You may not know it listening to complaining drivers
stuck in rush-hour traffic, but Georgia’s infrastructure
isn’t all that bad; in fact, it’s pretty good. A new study
from 24/7 Wall Street ranks the Peach State’s road infrastructure as the 2nd best in the nation, with just 1.9 percent of roads in disrepair and the third-lowest state highway spending per driver. And with more improvements
planned and underway, the state’s management of highway infrastructure appears to be Rising…
Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis, while re-elected in May,
suffered defeat in his plan to move the city’s civic center
from downtown to a defunct south Augusta mall location.
In an August vote, six Augusta Commission members
signaled they don’t want to build a new arena anywhere
but downtown where the James Brown Arena is now.
And then there was that straw poll where 60 percent of
voters said yes to the downtown site. The long voyage to
move a new civic arena away from downtown has ended
with Davis’s boat SuNK…
Dean Charles Davis of the University of Georgia’s
School of Journalism and Mass Communication
tweeted congratulations to childhood friend and “nice
guy” Brian Kemp on becoming the GOP gubernatorial
nominee. But the political Left became hysterical, typified
by tweets calling Davis a “racist” for supporting another
“racist.” Sad to say, the dean caved, saying: “I’d like to
apologize to anyone offended by my tweet shout out to
Brian Kemp... I’ve read and learned so much from you all
and will endeavor to be more thoughtful.” Learned what?
How to appease haters? The educator could have used the
attacks for a teaching moment. His response could have
been a call for tolerance and respect for differing opinions.
But the dean blew it, and his ship has been Drifting …
Former state Rep. Jason Spencer, R-Woodbine, had a
rough summer— but he’s no longer the General
Assembly’s problem. After a humiliating appearance
on satirist Sacha Baron Cohen’s This is America that
featured Spencer shouting racial slurs and baring his
6
JAMES
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018
rear to “fight terrorism,” GOP and Democrat leaders
including the governor called for his resignation.
Spencer complied, relieving a national PR headache for
Georgia. The end to this embarrassing saga has the
state’s ship Rising…
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams
says illegal immigrants have a “right” to the HOPE
Scholarship— a merit-based scholarship reserved for
Georgia students demonstrating top academic achievement. Critics say it undercuts efforts to protect and
increase funding for the scholarships. Indeed, Ga. Code
20-3-519 Section B1 states that a student is ineligible for
any scholarship if the student “is not a United States citizen or a permanent resident alien...” If Abrams wants to
appeal to more moderate/independent voters, such an
extreme position could help SiNK that boat.
Georgia’s capital city has a new team “sport” that may
surprise you. Media conglomerate Cox Enterprises
spent an estimated $40 million(!) on an Overwatch (a
first-person shooting video game) team, which will join
the Overwatch League next season. The move underscores that higher-ups are taking notice of the e-sports
(competitive video gaming) explosion among the youth
and are bullish on its growth. It may not appeal to the
same fans as you might find at a Braves or Hawks
game, but a big investment in a new league has fans of
Overwatch and e-sports in Georgia Rising…
The Georgia World Congress Center has broken
ground on a new $55 million expansion project— its
first of this magnitude since 2002. The 100,000 sq. ft.
exhibit hall will link buildings B and C, creating a continuous one million sq. ft. space that will be able to
host the largest conventions and expos in the world.
With an estimated potential economic impact of some
$632 million, this new project— slated to be finished
by the end of 2019— has the GWCC’s ship Rising…
The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners
voted in favor of a $5 billion transit plan that would
include heavy rail extending past Doraville. The commission later decided, after much debate, to hold the
special election in March as opposed to November.
While that decision caused controversy, the call to
allow voters in the fast-growing county to decide their
own transit fate has Gwinnett’s boat Rising…

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