By: Bobby Smith; Morgan County Extension Agent
Are you a forest landowner, hunter, or a wildlife enthusiast? Got this date on your calendar? September 17, 2009. On this date, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., the University of Georgia will hold an Agroforestry and Wildlife Field Day that has something for everyone. The Field Day will be held at Westbrook Farm on West Ellis Road, west of the UGA Griffin Campus off U.S. Highway 19/41.
This program reflects the new and growing trend of landowners using their valuable land to maximize all aspects of the natural environment. This includes growing trees and crops together and allowing wildlife to flourish on the same property.
Forest landowners will benefit from the information on prescribed burning, thinning and forest management, marketing and selling timber, Agroforestry Systems for Georgia, forest roads construction, weed control in planted pines, invasive insects disease and plants, loblolly pine with chemical site preparation, biological control of invasive plants utilizing grazing livestock and annual pine straw harvest.
For hunters, the field day will offer information on wildlife food plots, small game management, dove field preparation, quality management of deer, wild turkey and bobwhite quail. For wildlife enthusiasts, there will be information on the benefits of attracting wildlife, wetland management for waterfowl, creating a backyard habitat, controlling wildlife damage and managing threatened or endangered species.
Those with wetlands on their property will want to attend the sessions on pond construction and renovation, and wetland management for waterfowl.
There are several new sessions on Shiitake mushrooms and other non-timber forest products, beekeeping as a business or sideline, bio-fuels and carbon credits, and making the most of your GPS unit.
By: Celia Murray; Columnist
Reading the newspaper or listening to television talking heads, one would think that the only big battle in Washington right now is over health care. However, another huge fight is brewing. In late June, the Treasury Department sent to Capitol Hill draft legislation that would create a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency. According to the draft legislation, this agency’s objective would be to make sure consumers can make informed decisions about financial products and services, protect consumers from abuse, make sure markets operate fairly and efficiently, and ensure that all consumers have access to financial services. As Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said, “This agency will have only one mission – to protect consumers.”
Given the recent history of the financial industry, the creation of such protections seems only logical. Remember, this is the industry whose greed and extraordinary risks nearly wrecked the economy – the same industry that then had to be bailed out with literally hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars, money that came from the very people who were victimized by the industry’s gross recklessness. Needless to say, the financial industry has vowed to fight this plan with everything they have even though the banks are still heavily dependent on taxpayer supported loans and loan guarantees. “It’s going to be a huge fight,” promised the president of the American Bankers Association.
By: Fred Johnson; Columnist
A White House aide bemoaned internet criticism of health insurance reform and asked that, “If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.''
Wow! A White House snitch site where you can turn in your friends and neighbors who send you something critical of Obama’s health care plan. Back in the old days snitching was not that subtle. Castro organized snitches in neighborhoods and even encouraged school children to turn in their parents who opposed the government. The North Vietnamese opened “re-education” camps where critics were sent, many to never be seen again. But now, in the internet age, all you need to do is to forward e-mails critical of the government to the White House. This, of course, gives the White House the message, who sent it and who else was on the address list.
The chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice says. “This is a very troubling attempt to stifle free speech of Americans who have a constitutional right to express their opinion about the health care plan and, worse, it turns the White House into some sort of self-appointed ‘speech police’.”
The White House has denied that it is playing “Big Brother.” Press Secretary Robert Gibbs says, “Nobody is collecting names. We have seen, and I have discussed from this podium, a lot of misinformation about healthcare reform, a lot of it spread, I think purposely.”
By: Dick Hodgetts; Columnist
A farmer in San Miguel, Mexico a poor town of about 25,000 people lives outside town with eight kids in 1963. He grows corn, and beans, plus he has some cows. The rain or absence of rain controls much of his success. The rainy season is June, July, and August. If the right amount arrives, he feeds his family. If too much or too little hits his farm, times are very tough-his family will not have enough to eat. This particular man is well regarded in the surrounding area, he works hard, his youngsters are being raised right, he pays for his seed and fertilizer when his crops come in. But, it requires that everyone in the family works to make the farm a success. His son, Ricardo, notices as he becomes a teen in the late 1970’s that a few of his neighbors have left the village and gone to the United States. They return in vehicles they own, they send money to assist their families, they are clean and neat, their kids are growing up without disease, and the kids have access to free public education, they are experiencing the American Dream-or their version of it. During the next two decades (1980-2000), twenty five percent of the Mexican population will emigrate to the USA. That is the strongest incentive package any motivated young man will ever face.
By: Rodney J. Andrews; Columnist
AYP statistics indicate where more resources are needed to boost student performanceAYP statistics indicate where more resources are needed to boost student performance
A few weeks ago, the front page of the Morgan County Citizen reported that the Morgan County School System failed to meet the requirements for Adequate Yearly Progress. In particular, the article noted that the entire school system didn’t meet the standard because two sub-groups at the high school, namely the black students and students deemed economically disadvantaged, failed to have a sufficient percentage of each group score above the required threshold. Needless to say, there was some consternation over the article, as some citizens of Morgan County held the opinion that the article was placing blame on the sub-groups. I think that these issues need some clarification, and I intend to use as an analogy a topic that Morgan County holds near and dear: football, or more accurately, the box score and accompanying story that follows any Bulldog football game.
When you grab the paper and check the sports section for the results of the football game, what is the first thing that you read? Well, I read the score because I want to know who won and who loss.
Let’s apply this logic to the story in the Citizen. The Morgan County School System lost this “game”.