Archive for November, 2011

11/18: A civil dialogue on health care

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Now that the Supreme Court will consider challenges to President Barack Obama’s health care law next year, rhetoric around the issue seems likely to escalate once again.

Below, two voices offer their own alternative to Obamacare, and one calls on Republican colleagues and concerned residents to tone down the hyperbole and keep the dialogue civil.

Continue reading 11/18: A civil dialogue on health care »

11/17: Drug tests for welfare recipients?

Moderated by Rick Badie

State Sen. John Albers of Roswell plans to propose a bill during the 2012 General Assembly that would require welfare recipients to take drug tests. The reason? To prevent abuse of taxpayer money and to reduce the entitlement mentality, he says.

Today, Albers explains his legislation, while the Georgia leader of the American Civil Liberties Union questions this premise.
What do you think?

Continue reading 11/17: Drug tests for welfare recipients? »

11/16: Good sign for job seekers?

Moderated by Rick Badie

Favorable news from the U.S. Labor Department: In September, more jobs were advertised (3.4 million) than at any other point in the past three years. That indicator from employers could mean that hiring picks up in the coming months.

Today, a local professor explains what that means to Atlanta and the state while a plumbing outfit in Lilburn hangs out a help-wanted sign.

Do you think hiring is picking up?

Continue reading 11/16: Good sign for job seekers? »

11/15: Could commercial air service help Gwinnett?

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

The debate surrounding the expansion of Briscoe Field in Gwinnett County, and the possible introduction of commercial air service, is one that could be had in almost any suburban area with a runway. Below, two players in the debate weigh the pluses and minuses of such development.

Mike Royal, a member of Fly Gwinnett Forward, writes that allowing service would expand the quality of life and lift the economic climate.

Jim Regan, a member of Citizens for a Better Gwinnett, believes it would bring noise, harm quality of life and property values.

What do you think?

Continue reading 11/15: Could commercial air service help Gwinnett? »

11/14: Setting climates for learning

Moderated by Maureen Downey

Today, two teachers talk about the role of parents, but from different perspectives.

Shekema Silveri, who just won the Oscar of teaching, talked to me about her calling to teach in classrooms in which children need another mother.

In another commentary, a teacher in a suburban school calls on parents to get more involved in their children’s education.

Continue reading 11/14: Setting climates for learning »

11/13: Backing our schools when it counts

By AJC Editorial Board

Despite a citizen disquiet marked by widespread disdain for most any public institution, last week’s E-SPLOST election results and other recent events prove voters and taxpayers are still willing to back our schools when it counts.

That’s encouraging news for the public schools that educate 9 of 10 Georgia children. Georgia’s Constitution demands that an “adequate” public education be provided for each child. And never has that promise more needed to be fulfilled.

“Yes” votes approved education special purpose local option sales taxes in the cities of Atlanta, Buford and Decatur, and in the counties of Cherokee, DeKalb, Douglas, Fulton, Gwinnett and Henry. The SPLOSTS are projected to bring about $3.2 billion into those districts during the next five years.

The elections showed voters could put aside skepticism or disbelief that the SPLOST proceeds would be well-spent. Now it’s up to school boards and administrators to make …

Continue reading 11/13: Backing our schools when it counts »

11/11: Making urban campuses safer

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Crime on urban college campuses is an ongoing story. In Atlanta, Georgia Tech has experienced a recent rash of late-night assaults and Georgia State has seen a dramatic uptick in snatch-and-grab thefts thanks, in part, to our exploding cellphone culture.

Below, a Tech student leader and a college police chief address campus safety issues. And I talk with the police chief at GSU, where cellphone theft has become an issue.

Continue reading 11/11: Making urban campuses safer »

11/10: What makes a good mayor?

Moderated by Rick Badie

What makes a good mayor?

For an answer, we turn to two local leaders who are finalists for the 2011 Women in Municipal Government Leadership Award. The award recognizes individual achievement in the creation and implementation of successful programs. The winner will be announced Friday at the National League of Cities’ Congress of Cities and Exposition in Phoenix.

Sandy Springs Mayor Eva Galambos writes that doing the right thing isn’t easy.

And Auburn Mayor Linda Blechinger writes about charting a path to excellence.

Continue reading 11/10: What makes a good mayor? »

11/9: Banks or credit unions?

Moderated by Rick Badie

Anger over banking fees has caused some customers to consider, or even switch to, credit unions. Banks large and small and credit unions share some similarities and key differences when it comes to products and services. Which would better serve you? Today’s guest columnists offer insight on the pros and cons of both.

Joe Brannen, president and CEO of the Georgia Bankers Association, writes about the advantages of banks. Mike Mercer, president and CEO of Georgia Credit Union Affiliates, discusses what credit unions offer.

Continue reading 11/9: Banks or credit unions? »

11/8: Is time right for Savannah project?

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

State leaders are united in favor of deepening the Port of Savannah, so more ships can transport more goods through coastal Georgia and Atlanta. But South Carolina opposed the plan early on. And conservationists are wary about what it means for our natural resources.

Today, the chief of the Georgia Ports Authority squares off against a leading environmentalist.

Continue reading 11/8: Is time right for Savannah project? »