Pink blossoms decorate a room of the Marietta Educational Garden Center.
Pink blossoms decorate a room of the Marietta Educational Garden Center.
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From left, Dawn McEachern, Lucia Poole, Ann Gronewald, Leigh Ann Rapp, Melissa Worley, Mary Ansley Southerland and Dorothy Woodruff of the Marietta Educational Garden Center stand in front of the center. The Marietta Educational Garden Center will have its annual Glory in the Garden event April 25 at 7 p.m. with proceeds going to the continuation of the center. / Staff-Kathryn Ingall
From left, Dawn McEachern, Lucia Poole, Ann Gronewald, Leigh Ann Rapp, Melissa Worley, Mary Ansley Southerland and Dorothy Woodruff of the Marietta Educational Garden Center stand in front of the center. The Marietta Educational Garden Center will have its annual Glory in the Garden event April 25 at 7 p.m. with proceeds going to the continuation of the center. / Staff-Kathryn Ingall
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Cobb seniors have earned their exemptions
April 18, 2015 10:58 PM | 9 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DEAR EDITOR: The continuing discussion about the Cobb school tax exemption for seniors offers an opportunity to recount a bit of history on the exemption and a comment about government in general. When the senior tax exemption was enacted, property values by the Cobb Tax Assessor’s office were skyrocketing. Even when tax rates were kept flat, the taxes were going up quickly due to the increases in valuations. There was an adverse impact on seniors with fixed incomes. The Legislature chose to enact an across-the-board exemption based on age, but not based on income or total assets. Since the cost of public education did not decrease, the only way to pay for the exemption was to increase the proportional tax burden on everyone who did not claim or who was not eligible for the exemption. Consequently, many people, literally for decades, have paid higher education taxes than they would have paid if the exemption had not been enacted. Thus, it can reasonably be argued, that these people have paid more than their fair share over many years and should fairly have the right to claim the exemption. Even with the exemption it would take many years for them to recoup the extra taxes they had to pay if there had never been an exemption in the first place. I think it would be unfair to these longtime extra taxpayers to take away their opportunity for some mitigation of the extra taxes they have paid. One can debate the wisdom or fairness of the exemption law, but its consequences are undeniable, for better or worse. This leads to my comment on government in general. Government at all levels is rife with benefits for this group, penalties for that group, incentives for business, disincentives for something else. Wall Street gets hedge fund cronyism and countless other tax breaks or other goodies. People on the other end of the spectrum are given tax credits and other things. The middle class, whatever that now means after years of economic stagnation and excessive taxation (for all the government programs), is increasingly dependent on whatever goodies it can get (back) from government. The truth is, just about all of us, regardless of our circumstances, are receiving something from government and expect it. The mere talk of reform or taking away what is “ours” sends us into a righteous lather. This is ultimately the result of politicians over many years having taken advantage of our own selfishness and concern for self-preservation. The next two things I will say are insanely easy to write and probably impossible to achieve: 1) With some exceptions for the truly needy and those with problems/disabilities beyond their control, we need to rid government at all levels of any advantage or detriment applied to any person, group, or entity. Everyone should be treated exactly the same. Everyone should pay their fair share of taxes, nobody should get any breaks or goodies because of their status or because of who they know, or because they are “too big to fail.” 2) We should all be personally more concerned about our fellow human beings and do something about that concern. If we personally helped out each other we would not expect that government needed to do it. We compassionately expect others to act out our compassion. But there are many past examples of disasters successfully met by citizens and the private sector without needing government: the aftermaths of the Johnstown Flood of 1889, the 1900 Galveston Hurricane, and the 1913 Dayton, Ohio Flood, to name a few. While there may be some disasters or situations so large that some initial government help is needed, in general, on an everyday basis, we have fallen into a belief our government is the solution to all ills, instead of looking at ourselves. When George H.W. Bush spoke of a “kinder, gentler nation” and lauded “a thousand points of light,” he was talking about this concept. A pipe dream perhaps. But with the storms of senseless violence sweeping our planet and the divisive hatreds spreading across our nation, we must grasp onto brotherly love, not government, in order to save ourselves. Allen Hirons Marietta
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Saving Susan Ministry Gala a success
by Sally Litchfield
April 18, 2015 10:58 PM | 38 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Inaugural Saving Susan Ministry Gala was a great success on March 28 at American Sprit Works in Atlanta. The ministry exceeded its fundraising goal and will establish a foundation for Orphan College Education in countries where adoptions are closed because of human trafficking. The Journal’s Life & Style reported on Saving Susan Ministry, started by Tracy and Jay Arntzen of Acworth, on March 1. The Christ centered ministry seeks to reverse the effects of orphan abandonment in Cambodia by connecting children with loving parent partners that provide parental support by developing relationships through use of technology such as Skype as well as financial support. Visit savingsusanministry.org for more information. One hundred sixty-seven people attended the sold out event including guests from Marietta and Kennesaw Robyn and Wes Askren, Kristy and Pastor Craig Bowler, Shirley and Jack Baskin, Melanie and John Cain, Tricia and David Delk, Claire and Bill Leisy, Cheryl and Bill Musial, Melissa and Dr. Harold McLendon, Marty and Wesley Wetherington along with out of town guests Connie and Al Seeba of Oakridge North Carolina, Scott Hutter of Davenport, Iowa, and Rich and Drew Allen of Prosper, Texas. ♦ ♦ ♦ Today, Mellow Mushroom in Acworth will host a fundraising event benefitting shooting victim, Christopher Sparkman who was shot in the abdomen last year while working as a security guard for FedEx facility in Kennesaw. Sparkman grew up in Acworth, attended North Cobb High School, and served in the Army. Since the shooting, he has had more than two dozen surgeries. During the daylong event, 10 percent of sales, along with the server’s tips and 100 percent of profits from a select group of beers will be donated to Sparkman to assist him on his road to recovery. A silent auction will also be held in his honor as well with the proceeds to be added to his benefit. Mellow Mushroom is at 6121 Cedarcrest Road, Acworth. Visit www.mellowmushroom.com/store/acworth or their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mellowmushroomacworth?fref=ts. ♦ ♦ ♦ It’s time! The Cobb County Master Gardeners annual Plant Sale and Garden Fair will be April 24 and April 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. The rain or shine event takes place at Jim Miller Park, 2225 Callaway Road SW, Marietta, in the covered Equestrian Center. Hundreds of plants from the gardens of the Master Gardeners including iris, lilies, annuals, hellebores, ferns, hostas, perennials, native plants, shrubs, trees, as well as specialty offerings from the many vendors will be on site. Items such as yard art, sculptures, planters, birdhouses, crafts, and much more will be available. Admission is free. Visit www.cobbmastergardeners.com for more information and to buy tickets for the Garden Tour on May 9. Sally Litchfield is a longtime Marietta resident. She formerly practiced law in Marietta and now stays home to raise her two children. Send Sally news at sallylit@bellsouth.net.
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What’s next for illegals in ‘Georgiafornia’
by D.A. King
April 18, 2015 10:54 PM | 33 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
D. A. King
D. A. King
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For readers who may have been confused by an editing error last Sunday, the conclusion of the education offered in this space then was essentially that from the Cobb County delegation to the state senate, only Senator Hunter Hill supported a recorded vote on an amendment aimed at ending the current practice of rewarding illegal aliens with Georgia driver’s licenses. The updated version of that column is available on the MDJ website. A respectful reminder: While there was an effort in the state Senate, no member of the Republican-controlled Georgia House introduced any bill to halt the driver’s licenses reward for illegals in “conservative” Georgia. That illegal alien reward system here in Georgia, pushed by President Barack Obama, the ACLU, corporate-funded, anti-borders groups, the agriculture lobby and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce on many weak but willing politicians, was described as “California-like.” Whether my loyal Republican friends want to admit it or not, on capitulating to the crime of illegal immigration and selling out American workers, we are clearly on the road to becoming the California of the east — “Georgiafornia.” While it will be kept as quiet as possible on “the news,” here is a partial list of what to expect in the not-too-distant future of Republican Georgiafornia: ♦ In-state tuition for illegals in public universities — and we mean all illegals, deferred action on deportation or not — thereby allowing these “victims of borders” to attend University System of Georgia schools at less tuition cost than legal immigrants and less cost than Americans who live in other states. This is already happening all over Obama’s America. There is already a bill pending in the Georgia Senate aimed at giving in-state tuition to deferred-action illegals in public schools. And it, unlike the original Senate bill to halt driver’s licenses for illegals, has actually had a (Republican-chaired) committee hearing under the Gold Dome. ♦ HOPE Scholarships for illegal aliens. Management at Emory University, a private school and not part of the University System of Georgia, recently demonstrated its enlightenment with an announcement of a scholarship program that puts Americans behind illegal aliens with jackpot DACA (deferred-action) status. It is only a matter of time before the Chamber of Commerce orders the Republicans to slip a bill through the Legislature ordering taxpayer-funded public schools to match the moral superiority of the private colleges. It will “make good business sense.” Maybe it would see a recorded vote in the state Senate — or maybe not. ♦ Expanding taxpayer-funded health care for illegal aliens to include Medicaid. All illegals already get no-cost “emergency” care in any U.S. hospital. But a recent proposal in California would offer enrollment in Medi-Cal to illegal aliens. Medi-Cal is that trend-setting state’s health care program for the poor. ♦ Luring more illegals. Like GOP Georgia, Democrat-majority California — the illegal immigration capital of the world — is encouraging even more illegal alien, future Democrat voters to migrate there. We think it must be because they have such a bountiful supply of water and a surplus in their state budget. ♦ Legally present non-citizens — and then illegal aliens — voting in state and local elections. The push for this has been on for years and is now at a tipping point in New York and other oh-so-advanced states. Just behind the grand prize and ultimate objective of officially open borders, this is the trophy that makes the illegal alien lobby swoon. ♦ Illegal alien police officers. Yep, that is happening right now in these United States. Obama’s deferred deportation illegals are being hired in Chicago as law enforcement officers. Remember, “fundamental transformation” is what we were promised. ♦ llegal alien teachers. Another transformation already happening right now in Colorado. The stated reason for hiring illegal alien teachers is the need for foreign language-speaking teachers to deal with the exploding number of non-English speaking students. Most of who came here illegally. Colorado officials say the illegal alien teachers offer outlooks and knowledge “similar to the experiences of many of our students.” ♦ Illegal alien lawyers. Illegal aliens can and do already apply for and receive professional licenses in the Peach State. Coming soon to anything-for-a-buck Georgia, just like in today’s California, you will eventually see illegal aliens practicing law. When put in place, these are laws that would be enforced. It is easy to imagine loyal GOP readers shaking their heads in denial and murmuring “this cannot happen here.” Really? Think back 10 years and try to imagine a majority Republican state government allowing illegal aliens to embed here with the de facto national ID — a driver’s license. D.A. King of Marietta heads The Dustin Inman Society.
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