White Picket Fences

As of this Memorial Day Weekend, "White Picket Fences" has become a fledgling literary journal. Still with the rough edges, but not just one man's effort any more.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Please come show your support for a


What: Public Hearing

When: March 29, 3PM

Where: 124 Bull Street

Old County Courthouse, 2nd Floor


Please attend the meeting and speak for:

An independently appointed Board of Ethics for Chatham County

Open, honest, and accountable government.

Protection against improper influence in government.

A forum where citizens can voice concerns.

The public’s right to know.

This is literally YOUR BACK YARD. The fight for open, accountable government does not get any closer than this.

If you cannot attend the meeting, send written comments to Steve Scheer, Chairman of the ethics study committee, at Scheer & Exley, P. O. Box 11047, Savannah, GA 31412. Or, call your county commissioner.

Background: Chatham County adopted a Code of Ethics on October 19, 1990 (that is no typo!!). The Code sets out rules against using improper influence and rules about doing business with the county, soliciting favors and accepting gifts. The Code prescribed an independently appointed five member Board of Ethics but the Board was never seated. When the Code came to light in late 2004, the newly seated Chatham County Commission Chairman appointed a five member study committee.

For more information, call Judy Jennings at 912-352-0122
I'm still looking for work, for opportunities in my career as a writer, an educator, and an activist for progressive political, social, and economic change. I post this with the hope that some of you who are reading may take the opportunity to begin a dialogue with me, possibly to establish a network which will help ourselves and others to find good work opportunities.

And now, if you or some one you know are looking for work, thinking of changing jobs, consider this portal on Yahoo Hot Jobs, which offers suggestions for finding work.

I wish you blessings on your journey.
From www.congress.org, we have this up-date.

Recent Senate Votes
Budget Resolution, FY2006 - Vote Agreed to (51-49)

The Senate approved this resolution outlining $2.6 trillion in spending for the upcoming 2006 fiscal year.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss voted YES
Sen. Johnny Isakson voted YES

Recent House Votes
Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act - Vote Passed (388-43, 3 Not Voting)

The House approved this $81.4 billion supplemental spending measure funding military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and tsunami disaster relief.

Rep. Jack Kingston voted YES

Budget Resolution, FY2006 - Vote Passed (218-214, 3 Not Voting)

The House passed $2.6 trillion resolution outlining spending priorities for the upcoming 2006 fiscal year.

Rep. Jack Kingston voted YES

You can also see that Rep. Jack Kinston voted yes on the Schiavo bill this last week-end.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

What time? you say? March Madness? Yes, but I'm talking about something else too --time for the fundraiser for Georgia Public Broadcasting. Of course, if you live somewhere else, you may be more inclined to support your state or province's public broadcasting entity, but since I live here I'll write or talk about GPB and you may mentally fill in your own community broadcasting or public communications service.

Those of you, who have read this blog, may have found mention of NPR or GPB programming. In our household, we have NPR tuned in and we're listening to it the way many American households have their television sets on. Oh, and we watch GPB too, every morning and some evenings. Our children watch the children's programming in the morning, usually from 06:00 till 10:00 at least.

We also watch NOVA or National Geographic, or some other program on history, sociology, arts, or literature. I've even found myself watching the sports and cheerleading from schools right here in Georgia. Mind you, I'm not what most people would call a sports fan. But GPB and NPR encourage the spirit of inquiry. I find myself having fun learning, and learning to have fun.

One other great thing about this public broadcasting is that it is practically non-commercial. Really, there are NO commercials, not like you have with other advertisement-based television. Other than a few discrete and short messages giving credit to sponsors, you are not presented with the crass marketing and other high-powered advertising that interrupts other channels' programming. So you can watch a story, or concentrate on a history, science program, or other educational or artistic presentation. And THAT is a wonderful thing in this day and age.

So give what you can to your public radio and television. Keep in mind now that there is a generous amount of web content too that corresponds to these other two more traditional media. If you are not familiar with NPR, GPB, or any of the other state or province public communications services, you may start by checking out GPB and NPR. I'll be revisiting these and other related services in the future, as a way of encouraging you all to learn, support learning and the arts, and these valuable services.
Two queries for today is what I'm putting on the table this afternoon. First, today the Senate in Washington is voting on a provision, which I understand is part of the budget, to forbid drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve. I don't have C-SPAN, but I wonder if there would be live feed on this discussion and vote. So what is going on? I contacted my Senators both directly and through the Sierra. No to drilling there for now.

Secondly, is it true that you can't get GPB if you've got DISH satellite? My neighbors and students are not finding it. As we have neither cable nor satellite of any sort, I don't know yet. Leave your answer in the comments section below if you have any definite knowledge of either issue.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

We learn this morning that the U.S. Senate voted down both versions of the bankruptcy bill, S. 256, which would have also had a provider, whatever you call it, that increases the minimum wage. There were Democrat and Republican plans, but you can learn the details here. Note: the Senate has increased their salaries numerous times in the last couple decades, but minimum wage, what the "regular folk" earn by the sweat of their brow, remains the same.
Introduction to Judaism: Are you curious?

Such is the title of a little notice, inviting us to "come and explore" Jewish spirituality, values, and people. Congregation Mickve Israel, on Monterey Square in Savannah is inviting folk to a "Sabbath experience," a course directed by Rabbi Arnold Mark Belzer. This will include two meals, Sabbath worship, a Havdallah, which is the service which ends the Sabbath, discussion, a lecture, and question periods.

This is, assures Rabbi Belzer, a "completely interactive experience," which is open to the entire community, including Jews, Christians, and others who wish to know more about Judaism.

I regret to say that I won't be able to attend, as I intend to go to the Tara Fesh festival at Robert Emmet Park in Savannah, for Irish song, dance, and what I hope will be opportunities to meet others who share an interest in Irish culture and language.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Hey, if the job listings at your local Georgia Department of Employment didn't have you feeling jazzed when you walked back out that door, check out the jobs sites at sites such as Yahoo, Lycos, The New York Times. At the very least, you feel that you're still trying. And the Resume' section of Hot Jobs at Yahoo is pretty useful. Helpful even.

Go ahead. If you haven't tried it, take a look.
Good day, Tattnall County and you all who may be in the rest of Georgia. At one minute past nine, I listen to news of a planned pull-out in Syria as in the kitchen the theme song of Sesame Street plays on the TV. Here on the upper half of the monitor I've got open Senator Chambliss' weekly update from D.C.
On the top of the list the Senator's intelligence reform proposal. In his role as member of the Senate Armed Services Committe, he's gathering information from commanders who have been in combat, to support the C-130J program. The big bird is buildt by Lockheed Martin workers in Marietta, Georgia. He's got funding from the FAA which will help Hartfield in Atlanta do a number of improvements, including finishing a runway, extending another, and reducing noise.
Now for you fire fighters and those concerned with the public safety in your communities, take note: Department of Homeland Security is accepting 2005 grant applications from today through the 8th of April, for the Assistance to Firefighter Grant Program. The purpose of this is to help local f.d.'s and non-affiliated ems providers to get equipment, vehicles, and training. Newton Baker Fire and Rescue, and Monroe County EMS have already got funding from this program.
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