Marijuana: how far should Georgia go?

3:09 pm Feb. 12, 2015

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

I met U.S. Army veteran Perry Parks, today’s lead columnist, at a joint legislative subcommittee hearing on medical cannabis last summer in Macon, where he spoke poignantly on the benefits of marijuana in the treatment of his service-related injuries. He supports the legalization of the plant in Georgia and his state, North Carolina, as a way to treat veterans. On the other side of the argument, two

AIDS, measles and educating the public

12:00 pm Feb. 12, 2015

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Moderated by Rick Badie

Today, a Fulton County medical director writes about the vigilance necessary to prevent and treat the AIDS virus. She wants to make Atlanta “greater than AIDS,” and outlines a new program in Fulton and DeKalb counties to inform and curb stigmas. Monday, the Georgia Department of Public Health announced the state’s first confirmed case of measles since 2012. A labor attorney offers guidelines

Angel investors spur growth

12:22 pm Feb. 11, 2015

Moderated by Rick Badie

Legislation that would renew Georgia’s angel investors tax credit is under consideration at the Gold Dome. Last week, the state House of Representatives introduced a measure to renew the credit for another five years, a move vital to local start-ups seeking investor money, writes the president of the Technology Association of Georgia. Elsewhere, a policy analyst questions transportation funding as currently outlined in the 2016 state budget.

Angel

Support the transportation bill

2:00 pm Feb. 9, 2015

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

The House transportation bill continues to be reworked as state legislators look to raise $1 billion to $1.5 billion in new annual revenue for road and bridge repairs. Backers also want to commit regular state funding for transit. Today, a Northside business organization writes in support of the legislation and against detractors who balk at increased taxes. In our second column, the Georgia Transit Association says the

Nursing home blues

11:00 am Feb. 6, 2015

Grandma’s care needs a new discussion

By Morgan Driskell

Being in a nursing home is considered a normal part of life: Grandmother is simply too old to be left home alone, and paying for her to receive care in a healthy environment with peers can only be beneficial.

But what is really happening in nursing homes?

With the recent introduction of House Bill 72 in Georgia, it is time for a conversation about how

Should U.S. normalize relations with Cuba?

10:15 am Feb. 5, 2015

Moderated by Rick Badie

On Dec. 17, President Barack Obama announced a historic Cuban thaw: The U.S. would resume full diplomatic relations with Cuba for the first time in more than 50 years. Today, a Georgia congressman hails the Cuba-U.S. deal, citing the expansion of Georgia imports to the island and gains of U.S. influence in the region. Meanwhile, a U.S. representative from South Florida calls the initiative a threat to

A personal fight against litter

2:38 pm Feb. 4, 2015

Small effort, inspiring dividends

By Mary Norwood

At the Buckhead Coalition’s annual luncheon recently, CNN founder and philanthropist Ted Turner regaled us with his wonderful off-the-cuff comments. Always entertaining and poignant, his comment about picking up litter around his building — he lives downtown in the Bona Allen Building above his Ted’s Montana Grill restaurant — struck a chord with many of us in the audience.

Atlanta is a great city. We have

Hurting school bus drivers, children

2:29 pm Feb. 4, 2015

Stripping health benefits will jolt the system

By Garry Puetz

Gov. Nathan Deal says it’s not fair school bus drivers who work less than 30 hours a week receive State Health Benefit Plan (SHBP) coverage, when other state employees who work less than 30 hours per week do not.

But overly simplistic comparisons of positions or groups, utilizing only one factor, can lead to a shortsighted assessment, neither accurate nor effective.

In our opinion,

Gas prices plunge; return of the guzzler?

10:27 am Feb. 4, 2015

Moderated by Rick Badie

Auto sales are going gangbusters, thanks in part to drastic declines in gas pump prices. Fuel-efficient vehicles, however, aren’t necessarily drawing consumers to car lots. It’s gas guzzlers — big trucks, SUVs and such. Today, an environmental lobbyist suggests we forego the Chevy Suburban for a Volt, while a research fellow says, buy whatever floats your fancy.

Think twice before buying that SUV

By Mark Reynolds

People filling their cars

Transportation bill pro and cons

2:14 pm Feb. 2, 2015

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

The House Transportation bill has dominated headlines, and drawn its share of critical fire, since its introduction recently. Today, a member of the transportation infrastructure committee that developed guidelines for the bill answers detractors with a call for much-needed action. In turn, the leader of a statewide cities group suggests a broader search for revenue, rather than the current legislation, which he says would decimate city budgets.