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Opinion articles for Screven County and surrounding areas.

‘Secret’ not the service we want; commission violated the law

This publication, your Sylvania Telephone, continuously harps on getting people involved in their community.
You listened, but Tuesday morning another group tried to steal your thunder – sadly though it was in a negative way.
By the time the item made it to the county commission, 21 people expressed interest in becoming members of the Industrial Development Authority. That is absolutely outstanding.
Three IDA spots were up for the taking and then two more positions came open with the resignations of current board members. So the commission filled five seats.

Citizens, do you want more economic development?

Question for you, but before you answer understand there is a stipulation to your response.
Do you want more economic development?
A reply of “no” means you can have more chances to take a nap now, but a higher likelihood that your community will take the proverbial “dirt nap” in the near future.
A “yes,” however, means you must keep your peepers open, keep your legs in motion, and keep your mind on the intense importance of a stable in-county economy.

Mother didn’t know about telling stories for fun and profit

Our mother always told us children not to tell stories. That was a nice way of saying, “Don’t you lie to me, young’un.”
But now I realize that telling stories is not only sanctioned, but profitable, too. In fact, a guy named Bil (with one l) Lepp makes a living off of lying. He travels all around the country, telling tales so tall that a 40-foot ladder couldn’t reach them.
And he’s not alone. The woods are full of professional storytellers — many of them expert liars and proud of it.

If a man doesn’t make the bed and wash the dishes, is he sorry?

My wife has been gone visiting a few days, and I’ve been fending for myself. It’s not hard to do, really. I don’t have to make the bed; there’s no one here to complain if it’s not made. Just throw the covers up and it’s done.
I don’t wash dishes — or put anything in the dishwasher — until the odor of spoiled food begins to permeate the whole kitchen. That usually takes a couple of days unless I have the air conditioning on. Then I can go three days.
I haven’t filled the sink but once anyway. I went out to eat last night, and I plan to go out again tonight.

House meets Ralston’s challenges

When we began this year’s legislative session, David Ralston, Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives, challenged the state House to pass four pieces of legislation that would improve the entire state of Georgia.  Each of these bills was aimed at addressing a particular problem currently affecting our entire state.

Community wins again because of you

As astute readers of the Sylvania Telephone, you probably noticed this week’s front-page article about the state advertising award won Friday by this publication.
If you did have an opportunity to review the article, I am sure you were quick to note that this latest honor for the Telephone did have the Sylvania newspaper’s name on the plaque, but it instead should have read “Screven County Community.”

House makes cuts, passes fee changes bill

Georgia’s economy has continued to weaken over the last months. An unprecedented drop in state revenues of 4.5 billion during the period has required the House to make even deeper budget cuts because of our slow economic recovery. We eventually found that simply cutting programs and services would not be enough to close Georgia’s budget shortfall. In order to fill the deficit, yet preserve our commitment to education and public safety, other measures had to be taken.

Livestock Memories: Now And Then

This was the theme for the 2010 Screven County Livestock Festival and I would like to say that it has been fun reliving memories of festivals past and creating new ones this past week.
Thanks goes out to the junior Woman’s Club for a fantastic Queen contest. All the young ladies dazzled the audience with talent and beauty and Jessica Collins will wear the crown for a year.

State revenues up for first time since 2008

This week Governor Perdue released the March 2010 revenue figures, and I am encouraged that they showed the first monthly increase in state revenues since November 2008.  This is an increase of $10,523,000 compared to March 2009 – the same time a year ago.  While this is a positive sign for Georgia’s economy, it is not enough to fill the hole in our state budget.  Revenues are still down 11.5 percent in Fiscal Year 2010 compared to FY 2009.

Country mouse rides tractor to town for festival parade

In Aesop’s fable “The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse,” a town mouse visits his cousin in the country. The country mouse offers his city mouse cousin a meal of simple country foods, but the visitor turns his nose up at it. He then takes the country mouse back to the city to show him the “fine life,” but their city meal of cakes and jellies is interrupted by dogs who force the mice to abandon their feast and scamper off to safety.
After this, the country mouse immediately returns to the country and says:
“Better beans and bacon in peace than cakes and ale in fear.”

Don’t forget the day of Relay on its way

Maybe it is because of the astronomically high count of yellow pine pollen that has enveloped our community. That yellow tint has coated vehicles, driveways, Easter suits, everyday shoes and even your pet cats and dogs.
Maybe it is because while Tax Day April 15 looms, some of us continue to receive our second and third mailed copies of the U.S. Census as our neighbors haven’t gotten their first returnable one.
Maybe it is because we have understandably become entranced with the pride, the splendor and the history of our community’s annual livestock festival.

Book for little ones can have big meaning

Later this month – April 21 and 22 to be exact – Screven County will take center stage. And it may not be a question of how many are in the audience, but rather how many lives can be directly affected by the attending spectators.
It may be a half dozen or two dozen individuals by the time the first-ever event actually commences, but I can assure you the potential is substantial, massive, considerable or in a more subsequent word “big.”

Debate, vote begins after cross over

Now that we have passed the 30th legislative day of the 2010 session, all legislation approved by the state House or Senate has “crossed over.”  This means that for the last 10 legislative days of this session, we will debate and vote on bills and resolutions which have already passed the Senate. This week some Senate bills made their way through House committees, and were considered on the House floor.

Are you taking everything too seriously? Find a way to lighten up

It’s April Fools Day as I sit here and stare at my computer. One of composer Franz Schubert’s symphonies is playing on the radio. It may be the one he didn’t finish, the “Unfinished Symphony,” we music aficionados call it.
 Schubert composed only two fully orchestrated movements of Symphony No. 8, and then lived six more years. That would be plenty of time, you’d think, to complete a traditional symphony — two more movements.
I have a theory about why he didn’t finish it.
It was a joke.
But few people got it.

The sun’s shining so let’s chase opossums

And you thought “Punxsutawney Phil” was the only furry critter getting any action in that central Pennsylvania town.
A recent report that involves a long-dead opossum and an intoxicated man has taken at least a smidge of the spotlight from Phil the Groundhog, whose annual claim-to-fame in February is the prognostication of six more weeks of winter or an early spring.

Bill to attract more doctors to rural areas

In an effort to entice physicians to rural areas of Georgia, the Georgia House passed HB 866, the Physicians for Rural Areas Assistance Act. This will allow rural hospitals, other health care entities, local governments, and civic organizations to receive matching grants from the State Medical Education Board for the purpose of attracting physicians to rural areas throughout the state.

Efforts made to balance budget

The Georgia House  has spent much of the session looking at ways to reduce spending in order to help balance the state budget.  While cutting spending and prioritizing state programs is one of my top priorities, I am also determined to make sure everyone is paying their fare share of taxes and am looking at ways to reform our tax code, making it fair for all Georgians.  This is what honest, hardworking, tax paying Georgians deserve.  With that in mind, the House introduced legislation this week creating a blue ribbon committee to study tax reform and passed several bills to help the state c

Sister Elaine: A good sport, unwittingly witty and a trouper

My brother Kenneth and I came down with the measles at the same time; I was 8, he was 12. Our dad gave us a choice: We could haul our little splotchy bodies to Mama and Papa Hudgins’ house down on the farm or to Mama and Papa Stevens’ house in town. But we couldn’t stay home.
We chose the farm, where Mama Hudgins sequestered us in a dark bedroom with the shades pulled and the calendar turned to the wall so we wouldn’t strain our eyes trying to read it. 


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