COLORBEARER OF ATHENS, GEORGIA LOCALLY OWNED SINCE 1987

Blog Topic: Government

  • In the Loop: Georgia Republicans Can't Seem to Bring Themselves to Condemn White Supremacists

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    Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones/file

    "Six of one, half dozen of the other..."

    President Donald Trump has been roundly criticized for his milquetoast statement on the riot in Charlottesville, VA yesterday—during which white supremacist thugs killed a counterprotesterand injured dozens more, and two police officers died in a helicopter crash—blaming the violence on "many sides" rather than a particular group of bigots who happen to be his core supporters.

    But he's not the only one who refuses to identify the people who committed the violence or their ideology. Several Republican Georgia congressmen have skirted the issue themselves, condemning violence and hatred in general terms while acting like they're things that just sort of ... happen, instead of things that people do.

    Call them the alt-right, white supremacists, white nationalists, neo-Nazis. Call them whatever you want. But call them out.

    Here's Sen. David Perdue, one of Trump's staunchest supporters:

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  • In the Loop: Protestors Raise a Ruckus at Doug Collins Town Hall

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    Rep. Doug Collins (R-Gainesville)

    Republican U.S. Rep. Doug Collins—who represents a sliver of North Athens—held a town hall meeting in his hometown of Gainesville yesterday, and although the district is one of the most conservative in the country, Democratic protesters were out in force.

    The Gainesville Times was there:

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  • In the Loop: Commission Approves T-SPLOST List, Milledge Circle Historic District Study, Chase Street Reboot

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    Photo Credit: Austin Steele/file

    The future Firefly Trail.

    The Athens-Clarke County Commission approved a $109.5 million list of transportation projects on Tuesday, unchanged from a work session last month.

    That means completion of the Firefly Trail will be fully funded at $16.8 million, allowing it to be completed all the way to Winterville if voters approve a 1 percent sales tax for transportation in November.

    T-SPLOST would also fund road repaving, extending the North Oconee River Greenway, new sidewalks and bike lanes, hybrid buses and bus stops, transit service up Highway 29, replacing an aging Tallassee Road bridge, and a roundabout at Milledge Avenue and Whitehall Road.

    The commission also:

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  • In the Loop: Chase Street Road Diet Will Be Reversed—for Now

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    Photo Credit: Austin Steele/file

    Removing a lane from Chase Street has caused traffic to back up at the Loop.

    Athens-Clarke County officials said Wednesday they will restripe part of Chase Street between the Loop and Newton Bridge Road, returning it to four lanes.

    But that may not be the last change to the street, according to ACC Transportation and Public Works Director Drew Raessler. A consultant hired to update the county's bike and pedestrian master plan will produce a Complete Streets study of the corridor in November.

    "We can't simply go back and say 'that's it,' in my opinion," Raessler said.

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  • In the Loop: Oconee County Considers Plan to Demolish Old Jail, Expand Courthouse

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    Photo Credit: Lee Becker

    The old jail in downtown Watkinsville currently sits vacant.

    Oconee County commissioners are considering a plan to tear down the old, unused jail tucked at the rear of the existing courthouse in Watkinsville and to build an addition to the courthouse where the old jail now sits.

    Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chairman John Daniell announced the proposal at the end of a town Hall meeting held by the commissioners Thursday night at the Community Center in Veterans Park.

    Eighteen people other than the commissioners attended the meeting, which covered a range of topics, including the Animal Shelter, Mars Hill Road, the proposed widening of U.S. 441 and the possibility of a property tax rollback.

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  • In the Loop: Athens Protesters, Congressional Candidates Rail Against Republican Health Care Plan

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    Photo Credit: Austin Steele

    A protest against Senate Republicans' health care bill drew more than 100 people to the Arch Monday evening, as well as two potential challengers to U.S. Rep. Jody Hice.

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  • In the Loop: Athens Rep. Jody Hice Wants to Carry a Gun Everywhere

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    Photo Credit: screencap via YouTube

    "I said, don't touch my truck."

    If U.S. Rep. Jody Hice ever does hold a town-hall meeting in Athens, you might want to think twice about asking him any pointed questions.

    Or, you might find Hice has something of his own to point—a gun.

    On Wednesday, Hice announced that, in the wake of the shooting at the annual congressional baseball game last week, he's introduced the Congressional Personal Safety Act, which would allow congressmen to carry a firearm anywhere in the country, except the U.S. Capitol. (Some of those hearings can get a little testy, I guess.)

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  • In the Loop: Officials Cut Daniells Bridge Extension From Plans

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    MACORTS, the regional transportation planning organization, has begun accepting public feedback on changes to its planning documents, including the removal of the controversial Daniells Bridge Road Extension and Loop 10 flyover from its long range plans.

    The first of three public meetings on the proposed changes in the planning documents will be held from 5–7 p.m. on Monday, June 26 at the Community Center in Oconee Veterans Park, 3500 Hog Mountain Road.

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  • In the Loop: Sessions' Sexist Stonewalling at the Senate Hearing

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    Photo Credit: Baynard Woods

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions is sworn in before testifying at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing Tuesday.

    If you didn’t know, via obscure Latin etymology, that the word “testify” is related to the word “testicles,” you sure could have guessed it from watching Senate testimony pretty much any time ever, but certainly this year. (For what it’s worth in Rome, you swore on your balls to tell the truth.) 

    Back when now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions was in the middle of the confirmation hearings in which he seemingly perjured himself about contacts with Russian officials, Sen. Elizabeth Warren tried to read a letter Coretta Scott King wrote to the Judiciary Committee about Sessions into the congressional record. King wrote the letter in 1986, when Sessions was up for a federal judgeship. Though Sessions didn't get the post because of his racist views, the letter never made it into the record, and Warren was trying to correct that. 

    Majority Leader MItch McConnell pulled out an obscure rule to censure Warren for impugning the character of a fellow senator. McConnell uttered the now famous phrases: “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” 

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  • In the Loop: Check Out the Bishop Park Master Plan

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    Bishop Park is one of Athens’ most popular recreational areas, but it hasn’t had a facelift in more than 40 years. “We’re surrounded by all-1974 infrastructure, and it’s bad. It needs repair,” Park Services Administrator Mel Cochran-Davis said at an open house for the Bishop Park master plan last week.

    Location-wise, not much would change in the master plan, except the basketball courts would be moved from the center of the park to the far northern edge, making way for a stormwater pond. (Water drains there naturally, so Leisure Services couldn’t find anywhere else to put it, interim director Kent Kilpatrick said.) But many existing facilities would be replaced in phases with new, better and larger ones.

    “This is our polished version—taking what’s working about Bishop Park, what people said they want, and making it better,” Cochran-Davis said.

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