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Opinion articles for Screven County and surrounding areas.

Laughter is the best medicine

If you consider how most Americans are clawing to survive, finding something to tickle your funnybone is about as hard as finding a few extra bucks in your wallet. You don’t have to look far to find misery, so why would you want to laugh?
Laughter is good medicine for what ails you. When you lose your ability to guffaw, you are slipping. And if you stop laughing, you just might start crying - or worse, commence cussing.

Heroics, humility make UGA legend Trippi ‘The Man’

The Man - that’s what they called the Pennsylvania teenager when he scorched the gridiron for the University of Georgia.
Recently, I had lunch with Charley Trippi - The Man.
Rarely do you get to break bread with a legend, but the 89-year-old Bulldog gave me two hours of his life. All 7,200 seconds were an example for modern-day athletes on how humility helps define true greatness.

His love of language blossoms into a window on the world

If you saw an ordinary window while walking down the street, would you stop to chat?
Probably not. After all, windows are everywhere: in homes, in business offices, in high rises, in cars and airplanes. What’s so special about an ordinary window?
Ah, but that’s not so, says Anu Garg. Window, like all words, has a story to tell, if you’ll only listen.

City council, take a more serious swing at the removal of the bats from the public safety building

Our county has forever had a laid-back feel to it. That is one of the many reasons why our residents call this corner of paradise “home.”
In Sylvania, you can live your life without a tedious 30-mile metropolitan city commute to work that takes an hour-and-a-half because of bumper-to-bumper traffic. Homeowners aren’t awaken in the wee hours of the morn by police cars speeding by with their sirens blaring as they head to yet another crime alert.
It is quiet here, but unfortunately being lackadaisical can actually put a community and its emergency personnel in peril.

In a season of firsts, Friday’s a good time for another

I read a lot of stuff.
I have read items where it is obvious the author has absolutely no concept how to correctly use an apostrophe. I have read “contains 100 percent juice” on the front of a bottle only to rotate that same bottle around to the back to shockingly read the first ingredient is “water.”
I also have read quite a few blogs on newspaper web sites. It is the sports ones of those that intrigue me the most.

A few things have changed since those childhood vacations on the lake

Used to be when my parents’ children traveled together on summer vacation, Daddy was the driver. And he didn’t like to stop except in emergencies, like being nearly out of gas or someone being in severe pain because of a busted bladder.
Fortunately, we didn’t have far to go — just up and over a few mountains to Lake Rabun, Ga., a mere two counties away. I was in puberty before I knew that the Sunshine State to our south was a favorite destination for vacationers. I thought everybody went to the mountains.

Help your school system become even better

Sometimes all the “we need more of this and less of that” and “let’s give that a whirl” philosophies of modern Georgia education still return to a rather simple concept.
So far removed from days of old, most of today’s students have never heard of “The Three ‘R’s’” unless they think it stands for “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.”

Bandit the dog steals fisherman’s heart, becomes everybody’s buddy

Charles Ivey was on his way back from Arkansas when he called Peggy in Gainesville, Ga., to check in. He’d been trout fishing on White River with a bunch of other guys, and his wife would be interested in what he was bringing home.
Usually it was a T-shirt, but this year he was bringing home a dog.
He really didn’t want him because that was the ugliest dog you’ve ever seen. He was dirty, and his ribs were practically touching in the middle, he was so malnourished. He’s white with a brown ring around his left eye. He looks like Petey, the mutt in the Little Rascals movies.

Editor's Diet: Reduce your political e-mail weight gain after the polls close

I have taken on extra poundage for some time now, but certainly in excess over the last three months. I assure you it is not water retention. If I had been packed back a few gallons of H2O, I’m positive our governor Most Cloudy Perdue would have found a way to siphon it out of me to fill Lake Lanier for his Aug. 5-8 mega fishing tournament.
Nope, my blubber bonanza came from the barrage of political e-mails I received from candidates, candidates’ cohorts, and candidates’ opponents who want to denounce the other candidate’s credentials.

Two generals fill parlor with memories, stories of George Patton

Eugene Phillips sat on a settee he and Nadine bought soon after they married in 1941. Steve Arnold sat on a small bench. You could almost reach out and touch the respect each man had for the other as they talked.
Both of them are retired Army generals. Both of them fought in wars. Both of them feel a special tie to another general, George Smith Patton, the man who performed miracles in battle during World War II.
Brig. Gen. Phillips fought in that war and served with Patton. Lt. Gen. Arnold commanded Third U.S. Army, Patton’s outfit, in the 1990s.

Free speech like oxygen in America

People ask, “What’s your description of a good newspaper?” I believe a good newspaper is a smorgasbord of information - something for everyone. A good newspaper also is a community talking to itself.
If news is the lifeblood of the paper, the editorial page is the backbone. I evaluate a newspaper’s strength by its willingness to take stands on important matters and stimulate discussion. I’ve never seen a newspaper with too many letters to the editor.

Governor optimistic about state’s water situation

A year ago on July 17, Senior U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson ruled in a lawsuit filed by Alabama and Florida that the Army Corps of Engineers exceeded their authority in allowing water withdrawals from Lake Lanier to meet the water supply needs of metro Atlanta’s 3.5 million residents.
In his order, Judge Magnuson made it clear that the only way to meet the needs of the metro area is for Congress to authorize Lake Lanier for water supply. The judge stayed his ruling until 2012 to give Georgia time to seek that authorization.

Thumbs up to the county's recreation department

To the Screven County Recreation Department and its staff for a job well done. Year round the local recreation department provides hundreds of youth with fun, character-building healthy activities. However, during the summer the staff adds to its workload by hosting district and state tournaments that not only promote the vast number of county positives, but also bolster the local economy. The all-star teams, with their coaches and slew of accompanying parents, spend money on motels, gasoline and food. Sylvania’s restaurants were packed Thursday, Friday and Saturday with out-of-town visitors.

Nicknames as Southern as sweet tea

As sure as a South Georgia boy shows up for the second grade snaggle-toothed, he’s going to have a nickname. I didn’t have to wait that long. Before Big Dink ever saw that I had his blue eyes, I was destined to be Little Dink.
Monikers are as Southern as sweet tea. Just ask George Irvin Perdue III. Don’t know him? Sure you do. He’s the governor of Georgia. Sonny knows that he, like me, could have been tagged Bo, Buster, Bubba, Booger, Hoss, Rooster, Pig, Catfish, Turkey, Cooter, Pork Chop, Jet, Fuzzie, Skeeter, Speck, Slim, Chubby, Peanut, Toad or Frog.

What would it take to make the cover of AARP Magazine?

The face seemed out of place under the magazine nameplate, “AARP.” But there it was: the unwrinkled face of unretired Valerie Bertinelli, the actress who grew up with us, the actress who lost 50 pounds and gained a lot of money pushing Jenny Craig all over the country, the actress who just turned 50 and qualified for membership in the American Association of Retired Persons.

Seeing really is believing

Did you see the latest news? Probably not with all the chowing down on those Independence Day grilled Angus burgers, but it seems the blind soon will be able to drive cars.
The National Federation of the Blind and Virginia Tech have plans next year to demonstrate a prototype vehicle equipped with technology that helps a blind person drive a car independently.

Turn your thoughts to our February snow to ease the heat

The heat these days is so intense that chickens in the hen house are willingly springboarding into the cook’s frying pan just for some relief.
It’s so hot babies in our county are taking swigs off bottles of pureed jalapenos to cool down their innards.
Yes, even sun worshippers who pride themselves on their metamorphosis into bronze statues are petitioning their congressmen to have the ultra-shiny sphere in the sky transferred inside to the air conditioning.
It is toasty – real toasty.

Commission does the right thing by voting in the open

Whether anyone pops up out of a chair to shout an indictment of “that’s illegal” or not laws, be them local, state or federal, are in place for the benefit of all, not just pesky newspaper people.
One local governing board just got that memorandum.
Tuesday morning the Screven County Commission rectified an error in judgment and it is time to take another baby step toward solid progress in our community.


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