AFTER A WINTER with far too many snow days for schoolchildren, parents can only share the obvious delight of the Rome school superintendent and Board of Education in announcing that in the next calendar year, 2014-15, the days of being snowed under by state government that put education funding in a secondary role are coming to an end.
The news that a small percentage of the country’s physicians collected billions of dollars from Medicare in a single year may or may not be a testament to individual greed; some of the top recipients are under investigation for allegedly bilking the system, while others work long hours delivering costly care.
Not everyone in Venezuela is shouting in the streets about crime, inflation and the country’s continuing slide toward authoritarian rule. In working-class neighborhoods, the crowds are standing in line at the state-owned grocery store, clutching their new electronic identification cards.
CHIEFTAINS Museum/Major Ridge Home, probably the most important Greater Rome heritage site rooted in real history, is in no trouble or danger despite recent events clearly the result of financial difficulties of the sort often described as “trying to bite off more than you can chew.”
The Annie E. Casey Foundation has released a new report that people won’t like for different reasons. At a time when many Americans insist it’s time to stop thinking in terms of black and white, or brown or yellow, the Casey report says race still matters.
It’s hard to get executions right.
The United States needs immigration reform. Doing nothing is not good for the economy, as America has always benefited in the long run from immigration. Doing nothing is not good for social cohesion, as a nation with 11 million undocumented people who share no sense of belonging is fractured by definition.
OBVIOUSLY the city and county are in no all-fired rush to make a decision regarding where to locate a fire station ... a move approved and funded by Greater Rome voters in the 1995 SPLOST referendum. There’s even $600,000 sitting in the bank for the job so, as sometimes happens with a SPLOST project list, it is not a case of falling short and having to leave something undone.
SOME REALLY PLEASING WORDS cropped up in a little news item recently when it was learned a new senior housing complex, “funded with private money” — apparently some $11 million of it — had been proposed for construction on Woodrow Wilson Way.
SPEAKING OF REAL ESTATE, this must be the equivalent in that realm of man bites dog. The federal courthouse in Rome is looking to rent taxpayer-owned office space to private-sector interests. This is, the U.S. General Service Administration admits, a “unique situation.”
CONTINUING WHAT APPEARS TO BE the theme for the day — property considerations — Rome is apparently considering using $50,000 a year from its Community Development Block Grant to hire an additional code-enforcement officer. About time! There’s enough “business” regarding battling blight conditions to warrant employing a small army in this community.
AMONG ACRONYMS, a sort of language shorthand supposed to condense long concepts or titles into quicker forms of identification, one of the best known is probably DIY, meaning “do it yourself,” which stands for a particular sort of affordable usefulness through self-improvement. Far less identifiable is BID, which is a Rome downtown variation of the same thing with identical purpose.
The outrage over Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory’s Buckhead mansion has been headline news all over the country for most of the last week. And the fallout has not been limited to Catholics whose faith offerings paid for it.
The Senate Intelligence Committee voted to declassify parts of its report on the CIA’s use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” to extract information from terrorist detainees, but parts of the work that have been leaked appear to confirm Americans’ worst fears about the secret program.
YOU, as a citizen, can successfully fight city hall, county hall, state hall ... heck, maybe even federal hall. That may be a rare thing but is also the most important aspect of the verdict in which a jury found the state ethics commission is a hotbed of unethical behavior.
The U.S. Supreme Court decision last Wednesday striking down limits on total campaign contributions by individuals elicited strong disapproval from a host of Democrats and liberals, as well as from good-government groups. President Barack Obama, a spokesman said, was “disappointed,” and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., predicted that henceforth, “billionaires like the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson will control our political process.”
Last Wednesday, conservatives on the U.S. Supreme Court continued their project of undermining reasonable attempts by Congress to limit the corrupting influence of money in election campaigns.
A TROJAN BALLOT is going to be wheeled into state polling places this November where it will doubtless be happily received by unsuspecting citizens. They will then awake the following year to find the same legislators inside their household walls massacring their wallets.
WORDS ARE INADEQUATE to deal with some events of the sort when only the heart can speak. Such is doubtless the case for many, this space included, in trying to comprehend the sudden, unexpected loss of the Rev. Nim B. Russell in a traffic wreck on Ga. 140.
THE NEED FOR VIGILANCE and activism to maintain and advance equality is a constant need, as the late Nim Russell would have been the first to stress. Greater Rome, while far from perfect in such matters, has a good reputation for not putting up with prejudiced nonsense — and fools.
THE URGE TO SHOUT “HURRAH!” and “At long last!” regarding the news that the state plans to schedule bidding on the Ga. 140 four-laning project (Ga. 53 to Adairsville) this December was tempered by it coming right after the saddening news of the Rev. Nim Russell’s death on the very roadway to be improved.