Archive for April, 2012

4/8: Fight for port funding

By the AJC Editorial Board

A full-page color photo of a container ship appears immediately after Gov. Nathan Deal’s introductory letter in the Georgia Competitiveness Initiative’s final report.

That’s no surprise, given the significance of the Port of Savannah to Georgia’s economy. And with the back and forth of international trade, ports are big players for states blessed with oceanfront real estate.

Which makes the ongoing health of Savannah’s port worth fighting for as politicians and port officials nationwide seek federal funding for improvements to accommodate larger ships.

Read the rest of the AJC Editorial Board’s commentary and a sampler of opinions on the project. Then tell us what you think.

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4/6: ‘Fetal-pain’ bill

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

We know what politicians think: State legislators just voted to pass the so-called “fetal pain” bill, restricting abortions in Georgia after 20 weeks.

But how do doctors feel about it? One supporter makes the case that babies are sensitive to pain at 20 weeks and newborns that young often survive.

An opposing group, while thankful for an exclusion for “medically futile” pregnancies, posits that the law is really designed to challenge Roe v. Wade and leaves women and their doctors in a quandary.

What do you think?

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4/5: Health law vital to system?

Moderated by Rick Badie

The fate of the Affordable Care Act, the nation’s landmark health care law now before the Supreme Court, won’t be known until late June.

For now, we present two viewpoints on how the legislation could impact the state. A health care policy analyst says Georgians already have benefited from the law and will continue to do so.

An activist calls the measure an affront to free-market ideals that will cost Georgians more than money.

What’s your opinion?

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4/4: Port price tag worth it?

Moderated by Rick Badie

It’s the $650 million gamble: Should the state deepen the Savannah River to accommodate supersized cargo ships? Politicians and port officials foresee more business and jobs. Opponents question the price tag and worry about environmental impact.

Georgia’s senators explain why they support the project while an environmentalist deems it wasteful and destructive.

Plus, we offer some more views on the port.  Read the commentaries and give us your thoughts.

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4/3: Deepening Savannah’s port

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

The current AJC series on the deepening of Savannah’s port channel raises questions about where the money will come from to pay for the $650 million project. (Georgia taxpayers are on the hook for $252 million.) But without major federal assistance, it won’t get done.

One analyst says a public-private partnership to build and run the port is the way to go, and should be considered.

The executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority says a state-owned and operated facility allows for needed flexibility.

What do you think?

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4/2: Lessons learned

Moderated by Maureen Downey

We devote today’s topic to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s unprecedented analysis of 1.6 million student records from nearly 70,000 schools, an analysis that reveals improbable test-score swings similar to what the AJC found in Atlanta in 2008.

The series has sparked a range of responses, including one today from an official of the National Center for Fair & Open Testing.

Continue reading 4/2: Lessons learned »