Showing posts from April 4, 2010

Oconee Democratic Book Club April book selection: Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

I applaud the selections, the authors, the audacity of a group bold enough to try to spread ideas of liberty and freedom through literature, and anyone with the balls to try to expand the literacy of an otherwise backwoods country county with a bunch of people meeting in a deli to compare notes on books they love or do not care for and why.

Go check it out in the Oconee County Library. Click on the links and order the book and I may actually see a few pennies someday out of your purchase. Subject: April book selection

Could you please help me get the word out about the book choice for our
April discussion?  We're reading the classic "Catch 22."

I really appreciate your assistance.  Our group keeps growing and is
increasingly diverse.

Thank you!

Pat Priest
Member, Oconee Democrats

The community-wide book group sponsored by the Oconee Democrats is
reading Joseph Heller's "Catch 22" for its April selection.  The

A particularly insidious theiving trend reaches Oconee County church....AGAIN!

TONHS Bike Day Saturday April 10

Bike day in North High Shoals tomorrow and a group is pedaling through.

Begin forwarded message:
From: Fred Johnson <> Date: April 9, 2010 10:32:02 PM EDT To: Fred Johnson <> Subject: TONHS Bike Day Saturday April 10
To any folks with kids who may be interested in the "bike day at the park."

Safety check for child bikes at the park Saturday at 12:30 pm.

Thanks, David Lawrence
The Tony Serrano riders will be using the North High Shoals City ParkSaturday, April 10th, as a rest/water stop on their 100 mile journey!

    The earliest any riders should arrive will be 12:30. Most of the riders will arrive between 1:00 and 3:00.

Tony Serrano's parents, Antonio and Isabel will hold the safety check for the local children around 12:30.Both are avid cyclists and Antonio is a talented mechanic. He will bring the tools necessary to make minor repairs and adjustments.We will also havecoloring booksabout safe bicycling for the children…

Deal used $19k in campaign cash for ethics defense

College comes early for one | The Red and Black

Oconee County Historical Society meeting reminder

I have been wanting to see this for some time.

Hi,             Here's a brief summary of activities you are invited to attend on April 19th.  Some of our members were interviewed for this film and some of the participants will be available for the question and answer session afterwards. Peggy Screening of Film Made by Historical Society Member Celestea Sharp  "Carving Up Oconee," a documentary made by Historical Society member Celestea Sharp, will be screened by Gainesville State College in Watkinsville on April 19th at 6:00pm in the Student Resource Center on campus in Room 522.  The public is invited, and there will be no admission charge.
The film discusses the issues of growth and development in Oconee County .  Since she interviewed many people in Oconee County , here's a chance to see your friends and neighbors on film.  There will be a question and answer session after the screening with some of the Oconee residents featured in the film.
Following the showing …

This year's "Saturday Strolls"

Dr. Pat Priest did a fantastic job organizing the Saturday Strolls last year through downtown Watkinsville. This year she is using Harris Shoals Park as a focal point of the successful series.
Woven brightly,  Daniel J. Matthews, Jr.

This year's "Saturday Strolls"


Finally! We've got the series set up for this year's "Saturday Strolls"
sponsored by the Oconee Democrats.

We're really excited about the series, this year based each week at the
lovely Harris Shoals Park in Watkinsville. We want to get people
outdoors with experts to showcase our interest in and support for nature
and science. (And we also have three art-themed jaunts because Oconee
has such a strong arts community.)

Here are the details below. Please help us spread the word -- and join us!

Thank you!
Pat Priest
Proud member, Oconee Democrats

"Saturday Strolls at Harris Shoals"

Where: Harris Shoals Park
Experiment Station Road (near VFW Drive) in Watkinsville
When: Ev…

Editorial: Winning or losing isn't issue in 10th District ||

Kemp seeks special AG to sue Justice Department

Commission cuts wastewater fees ||

This may be the worst written story about Oconee County government that I have ever read. Glad I had nothing to do with their staff reports, which at one relatively recent point in my journalism career, I would have. Should I have been involved with this story, I would have attempted to attribute these actions with a few more facts and figures and also ask why non-chains seem to be excluded from this decision. I am all for franchises to add to this county's tax roll. I am also for the reallocation of sewer charges which seems to be the unwritten story here (especially when there is a very shown mistake). These businesses are on the fringe of the way the sanitary sewer line is growing for businesses toward Bogart. We are going to continue to have growing pains in the adolescence of industrialization of Oconee Counyt, Georgia. The Banner-Herald would do itself a favor to rehire or reassign a reporter to Oconee County alone to explain the challenges of our rapid growth and decline.…

Hank Huckaby to seek state House seat ||

It is going to be an interesting race, to say the least Hank Huckaby to seek state House seat ||

Everyone in your area needs to see this

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Natalie Foster
New Media Director

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University honors 'cream of the crop' ||

Congratulations to Lisa Pizarek of Watkinsville for graduating with honors and a perfect 4.0 grade point average.
University honors 'cream of the crop' ||

Student will take on Broun ||

Dr. Patrica Priest and Robert Wyatt of the Oconee County Democratic Committee each held United States flags on poles aloft behind Russell Edwards as he announced his candidacy on a pollinated Wednesday evening in front of the Athens City Hall. Dr. Neil Priest introduced the law school student to a crowd of a couple hundred people, including Mayor Heidi Davison as well as Athens-Clarke County Commissioners Mike Hamby (who spoke briefly) and Kelly Girtz. There were many other Democratic supporters in the audience, ranging from Bertis Downs and Kevin O'Neil of the R.E.M. office to many law school students and professors.

For Edwards to make an impact, he will have to be constantly raising funds and attending events in every county in the 10th District not named Clarke. He needs to make high impact introductions to the voters of Northeast Georgia in both paid and earned media. He needs to add a positive voice with real solutions for the considerable problems of the 10th district. The …

Make Oconee Beautiful!

Subject: Make Oconee Beautiful!
Hi Everybody! Since you all were responsible for our Rose Creek Clean Up being so successful, I thought you might want to take part in this event as well!   Keeping Oconee Clean and Beautiful Commission, in association with Keep America Beautiful, has organized this county wide event!    I will be there and I am hoping to gather a group to work along Elder Mill Road, Saxon Road, and Antioch Church Road.  We got about 60% of Elder Mill Road covered last time, but there is still trash washing downhill towards Little Rose and Big Rose Creeks..  Would LOVE to see any of you guys!   Thanks and PLEASE pass this on! Melissa Steele 706-255-8528

Complete Letter to the Editor from Ken Sherman

Ken Sherman is a cyclist from the Athens-Oconee area. While I may have met him, I do not know him personally other than through his work incorporating the Oconee County Cycling Organization. I am not yet a gung ho bike pedaler, although I would like to become one who could join in the rides to Bostwick or Bishop, yet alone Athens or Savannah.

I read a column by Sherman in today's Athens Banner-Herald and understood from a Facebook post that the Editors at the Athens Banner-Herald removed some germane parts of his piece about a deliberate act of driving at a bicycle rider that resulted in an accident and broken bones in Jackson County. Here is the complete letter from Sherman:

Dear Editor:
For the safety and well-being of cyclists and others in our community, please print this letter. 
Earlier today, three other cyclists and I were riding east on New Kings Bridge Road, just a mile or so from the middle school. We were obeying all laws, riding single file, keeping far to the r…

Early predictions? Too close to call on GOP side for 113th

If I were a betting man, or laying odds or percentages for the G.O.P. side with the rumored early entrants of the race for the Republican nomination to replace Bob Smith for the House 113th district, I would lay chalk equally on Kirk Shook (30%), former Oconee County Board of Education member Tommy Malcom (30%) and UGA fundraiser Hank Huckaby (30%) across the district with them scrambling over the undecided 10% to find out who will emerge as the front runner.

Of course that would almost certainly mean a Republican run-off most likely between Malcom and Huckaby. I do not expect this to be an ugly race at all. Although if there are feats of strength or a civics test, then the North Oconee Offensive Line Coach and government teacher Shook is the instant favorite. Huckaby contributed to Paul Broun's race in 2008, which is a badge of honor for some and the kiss of death for others.

UGA VP Huckaby is the latest House candidate |

Capitol Impact: Election Starting Line Is Close - Flagpole Magazine: Colorbearer of Athens, GA

Russell Edwards' Democratic primary opponent?


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OCAF's Summer Art Camp Now Enrolling


Gibbs calls conservative blogger's Census comments 'remarkably crazy' - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room

Nominations of Regionally Important Resources for Oconee County on Vimeo by Lee Becker


Oconee County Historical Marker

Oconee County Historical Marker
Originally uploaded by J. Stephen Conn great shot of our courthouse and the historic marker

Texaco Star

Texaco Star
Originally uploaded by DentTech™ One of my favorite obscure sites in Oconee County off Barnett Shoals Road

Oconee County Observations: No Decision on Courthouse Imminent, Oconee County Commissioner Jim Luke Asserts

Tommy Malcom 'seriously considering' House run |

Newest GOP gubernatorial candidate contributes $2 million to his own campaign

In my many stops in the last two decades as a newspaper reporter, there was none prettier than that of the county seat of Morgan County: Madison, Georgia.

There is even a smaller neighboring postcard of a town called Rutledge which may be the best kept secret in terms of trying to find a place with an old fashion soda fountain pharmacy. The lovely private school Rutledge Academy is there and not a whole more. Rutledge makes Bostwick look big. One of the residents of this lovely village now wants to be the Republican nominee for Governor of Georgia. I can imagine that he will at the very least make the G.O.P. gubernatorial debates a bit more interesting to say the least.  I would also imagine he is not going to generate much traction outside of the Tea Party realm.

So I guess we can expect lots of glowing columns from Rob Peecher in his father's local newspaper about this candidate?

One of the more interesting wild cards in the Georgia Republican race for their nomination would be …

Updated article on the possible replacements for Bob Smith in the 113th Ga. Statehouse District

Blake Aued writes an interesting update at the end of the article (posted yesterday) with quotes from the three germane party chairs. I had no idea Kirk Shook was so young. Although the North Oconee teacher may have a connection with football parents and political science students at the school, I am not convinced the NON CHAIR Oconee County Republican good old boy hierarchy will endorse an Oglethorpe County Winterville resident for this important Statehouse slot.

Good quotes from Jay Hanley and Jonathan Veit.  May I add I respect and admire the leadership of both parties locally for doing a good job in the thankless and very stressful tasks that is being a party chair.

26 year old Jay is no longer the youngest chair in the state as Shook is only 25, but presumably he will resign from being the chair of Oglethorpe County GOP possibly returning Jay to the youngest party chair in the state.

GOP's Smith bowing out as state rep ||

Editorial: Smith is an extraordinary public servant ||

Athens Banner-Herald editorial staff writes an institutional editorial or "instie" as we use to call them, in the newspaper this morning as a tribute to Bob Smith. Editorial: Smith is an extraordinary public servant ||

Subway restaurant coming to Town Center in Watkinsville

Watkinsville diners will soon have another choice for breakfast, lunch and dinner in Town Center.

Normally this would not make me bat an eye, but biking past local restauranteur and former UGA football coach Ray Goff coming out of Mirko's Pasta, I saw a "coming soon Subway" banner adorning the middle section where the clothing store used to be. Once upon a time there was a Quizno's where Mirko's is, so things have changed in this downtown space before. I would well imagine Mike Thornton is behind this one as well, but I do not know that.

There are some Oconee County diners who will surely be happy to have a choice out of the David Weeks continuum of Mirko's and Barberitos and not wanting to take their family to Chops and Hops. There are others who dread the continued encroachment of a national chain and would rather keep Watkinsville weird (to paraphrase a slogan swiped from Austin and fitting for Athens).

I worry about the negative effect on the sales to Kri…

I've already watched this three times

Friend --

I saw this video for the first time about 15 minutes ago, and I've already watched it three times:

It's the story of Becca and Karima, two OFA volunteers who joined David Plouffe in hand-delivering signatures of the more than 1.1 million people who co-signed health insurance reform directly to President Obama.

But it's also the story of the millions of Americans, young and old, who knocked on doors, and called their neighbors, and made history together.

Watch it now.

Thank you for everything,


Mitch Stewart
Organizing for America

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Your morning jolt: No contemplation of switch to GOP, says John Barrow

Why affairs matter — Peach Pundit

I sure hope this is not about any recently retired public officials around here
Why affairs matter — Peach Pundit

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Isakson cancels UGA appearances ||

We wish Senator Isakson continued recovery and recuperation.
Isakson cancels UGA appearances ||

Wing Nut announces for Linder seat

Revered Jody Hice is going to waste an awful lot of money trying to win this seat and become a bigger embarrassment to Georgia than Paul Broun.
Ten Commandments-Georgia founder to run for Congress ||

Area GOP events scheduled for this month, borrowed from Athens GOP blog

Saturday, 10 April – The 1st Annual Anti-tax Rally & Pancake Supper, sponsored by the Oglethorpe County Republican Party, will be held in the Crawford Baptist Church Fellowship Hall. The rally begins at 3:00 p.m., with an all-you-can-eat pancake supper to follow at 4:00 p.m. Tickets for the pancake supper are $5 each. Contact Kirk Shook for tickets or more information. Speakers include Nathan Deal, Austin Scott, Gerry Purcell, Harold Logsdon, Melvin Everson, Gary Black, Darwin Carter, Roger Hines, Richard Woods, and all the State Senate District 47 candidates. Bring your (tasteful) protest signs

Monday, 12 April – The CCRC’s regular monthly meeting is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on Monday, 12 April. Speakers for the evening will be candidate for Governor Karen Handel, candidate for Attorney General Max Wood, and candidate for Insurance and Fire Safety Commissioner Gerry Purcell. The meeting takes place at CCRC Headquarters, located at 445 North Milledge Avenue. Ref…

First possible candidate for Smith's seat?

Oglethorpe County GOP chair and North Oconee HS teacher Kirk Shook was mentioned as a possible candidate for the Republican nomination for the former Bob Smith seat for the Georgia House of Representatives 113th district, which stretches from Walton Oconee to Oglethorpe County encompassing all of Oconee County and chunk of Clarke County as well.

Kirk Shook teaches economics and government at North Oconee High School in Bogart.

One possible problem is that State of Georgia employees such as teachers would have to resign to run for state office.

He is a tough academic instructor, according to someone who respects his rigor, but also is extremely conservative. 

As a county party chair, he would also have to resign that to run as well. 

Oconee County GOP chair Jay Hanley expressed desire to one day run for higher office but does not want to run at this time. 

Rep. Smith says he won't seek re-election ||

Wonder why this did not have this earlier? NewsTalk 1340 WGAU AM's Tim Bryant and the Oconee Enterprise newspaper were all over it yesterday afternoon.
Rep. Smith says he won't seek re-election ||

Oconee County Historical Society at Oconee County Library's Genealogy Expo April 17

I received this reminder in my inbox today.  The historical society will have a table at the expo so drop by and say hello. Peggy
Don't miss the April COGS Genealogy EXPO!
Date: Saturday, April 17, 2010
Time:10:00 am to 4:30 pm
Cost: Free and open to the public
Location: Oconee Public Library

Oconee Public Library is located at 1080 Experiment Station Road , Watkinsville, GA
Between educational sessions visitors can browse displays with books and other materials for sale;  visit various society booths- lineage, hereditary, historical, and genealogical; view genealogy software; and much more! Stop in for a few minutes or stay all day. 

From 10:00 am – Noon - Dr. Robert Nix, Professor Emeritus, Lamar Dodd School of Art, University of Georgia and noted expert on historical photographic techniques, will informally meet with people to answer questions about their old photographs, tintypes, daguerreotypes, etc.

10:30 – 11:30am – Mary Anne Abbe – Non-Population Census S…

Don Palsgaard: Congressman spreading rumors ||

I do not know the political party that this Oconee County gentleman belongs to, but something tells me he will not be voting for Paul Broun's re-election. Don Palsgaard: Congressman spreading rumors ||

Robert Wyatt: Health reform critics too quick ||

Another well written letter by a member of the Oconee County Democratic Committee Robert Wyatt: Health reform critics too quick ||

More speculation on how someone might run for the 113th

With this reasonably short political season until qualifying for the Georgia House of Representatives 113th district suddenly wide open due to the unexpected decision by Bob Smith to stay in Oconee County instead and sell his real estate with his family, it will take someone with deep pockets or resources to be able to foot the bill and run for this position.  In this economy, that rules out most developers, leaving the lawyers and insurance agents and perhaps upper level medical practitioners to battle the extremely lucky or wealthy to get their act together to run for this office.

Could Chairman G. Melvin Davis decide he is tired of dealing with the supposed erosion of his Board of Commissioners and opt for the 40 days and nights of road trips to Atlanta? Does not seem too likely since he does not like to drive to Athens, yet alone do what it takes to make a deal to work together in the economic best interests of both counties.

Exactly whom would toss their hat in the ring at this r…

FW: Mills for Secretary of State is Hiring

The Mills Campaign is HiringJob Posting: General Campaign Aide Mills for a New Way Forward is hiring a General Campaign Aide for the remainder of the 2010 Election. Information: Mills for a New Way Forward is the statewide Democratic campaign of Michael Millswho is running for Georgia Secretary of State Job Responsibilities
The Campaign Aide will work three days a week (minimum 15 to 20 hours) and attend campaign events as appropriate, while filling a range of roles, including, but not limited to the following: Scheduler: managing Michael's schedule, including securing speaking opportunities and managing details and execution of campaign events Media relations: assisting the campaign in securing positive coverage of Michael, including scheduling desk side briefings, editorial board visits and media pitching for events and news Volunteer/intern management: responsibility for managing campaign interns and volunteers, ensuring their timely participation and completion of activities a…