Eighty-eight MHS freshmen in its International Baccalaureate program, plus faculty and chaperones, are heading by bus to Washington on Monday.
THE HIGHLIGHT OF THEIR TRIP — or one of them, anyway — was supposed to be a tour on Tuesday of The White House, which was set up long in advance.
Unfortunately, after the sequester went into effect all tours of the White House were canceled as a cost-saving measure. Obama claims the cancellations were the Secret Service’s decision, not his. But they and his sequester strategy have blown up in his face, politically speaking. As critics have noted, the cost savings ($70,000 per week) from the cancellations are barely enough to keep Air Force One flying for two hours.
Fortunately, however, MHS faculty in charge of the tour, government/citizenship instructor Kelly Herrero and economics teacher Barbara Manwell, were able to go to “Plan B,” which will be a visit to the gallery of the U.S. Senate.
Sixth-graders in Waverly, Iowa, posted a video that went viral after their White House tour became a sequester victim. No word on whether Marietta’s students plan to do the same thing.
ALSO WHILE in Washington, the MHS contingent will visit Arlington National Cemetery, where several of them will take part in a solemn wreath-laying ceremony at The Tomb of the Unknowns on Tuesday morning. Those chosen to take part — students Lucas Deibert, Anna Fenton and Kailen Gore and chaperone Chris Cannon, a sniper for the Marietta Police Department Swat Team — were selected based on essays written about their families’ military service.
The wreath the group will lay was designed in class last week by MHS students Josh McMahon, Chloe Mui, Turner Eckford, Jessica Berthelot, Joseph Mills and Georgia Southerland. It includes a Marietta ornament donated by the Marietta Welcome Center and the school crest.
THE SEQUESTER is having other local impacts as well. It was already reported that funding for air-traffic controllers at McCollum Field will be cut off next month. Local leaders are considering how to address that and a special meeting of the airport advisory board is 10:30 a.m. Monday at the South FBO Terminal Conference Room, reports airport manager Karl Von Hagel.
And Around Town has also learned that the concert planned for April 27 at Lassiter High by the Washington-based U.S. Army Field Band and Soldiers Chorus has been canceled due to the sequester.
FORMER Marietta Councilman Van Pearlberg, a fixture in the Cobb District Attorney’s office for nearly a quarter century, is leaving to go to work for Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens of east Cobb. Pearlberg will be senior assistant attorney general and will direct the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, supervising six attorneys and 45 other employees.
“Van was chosen due to his extensive management and prosecutorial experience,” Olens told Around Town. “We look forward to his arrival.”
Brooklyn native Pearlberg interned in the Cobb D.A.’s office under then-D.A. Buddy Darden in 1974 while attending John Marshall School of Law in Atlanta. He was hired by D.A. Tom Charron in 1983 as an assistant D.A., left in 1985 to go into private practice, then rejoined the D.A.’s office in 1990, where he has been ever since, working under successive D.A.s Ben Smith, Pat Head and Vic Reynolds. Pearlberg, 62, is one of three deputy chief D.A.s under Reynolds. He also served on the Council from 2006-12.
Pearlberg’s last day will be March 22. A farewell party is set for 3 to 5 p.m. in the Grand Jury Assembly room.
MEMBERS OF COBB’S legislative delegation — even the Republicans — voted in favor of a bill that passed 174-2 late last month and now is before the Senate that would allow the state’s commissioner of driver services to negotiate agreements with foreign countries to exempt their citizens from having to pass the Georgia driving test, as long as they have a license from their home country.
“The Democrats are now laughing themselves silly,” Marietta immigration reformer D.A. King told Around Town on Friday. “The result if passed? Foreign nations will have the ability to regulate who drives on I-285, regardless of the driver’s ability to read road signs in English or have any knowledge of Georgia driving and road laws.”
THE MILITARY CHAPEL at Dobbins Air Reserve Base will be on the move this Sunday. The chapel, which was first erected at a base in Goldsboro, N.C., then later disassembled and “deployed” to Europe during World War II before being brought to Dobbins in 1950, was on the verge of being demolished to make way for a base access road. And because Dobbins is no longer authorized to have a chapel because it is a Reserve base, no government money could be used to move it. The Dobbins Chapel Foundation, however, spent seven years raising funds for the move, which will finally take place at 8 a.m. Sunday when the chapel will be “taxied” across the runway to its new home at the Camp Clay National Guard facility on Atlanta Road. The move is not open to the public.
RUMORS OF HIS DEATH … : “I’m still alive, or at least most of me is,” reports retired Marietta Parks & Rec director Ron Ransom. The well-known wooden Santa Claus carver got a flurry of worried calls Friday morning after the Atlanta newspaper ran an obit for a distant cousin with the same name.
AROUND TOWN debuts two new contributors today: MDJ Publisher Otis Brumby III and General Manager Lee Brumby Garrett. Both are natives of Marietta and graduates of Marietta High School and both are graduates of the University of Georgia School of Law.
Around Town had its origins in the early 1960s and was written and edited for a half-century by legendary Associate Editor Bill Kinney, 88, who retired last month due to declining health. Then-publisher Otis A. Brumby Jr. and longtime Editorial Page Editor Joe Kirby joined the Around Town team in mid-2007 and wrote most items from then until Brumby’s untimely passing last September.
The departures of Brumby and Kinney have cost the MDJ a cumulative 125 years in Cobb journalistic experience. But our new additions look forward to doing their part to ensure Around Town remains Cobb’s go-to source for the latest in political news and informed speculation.
They take inspiration as well from their grandfather, the first Otis A. Brumby, who in 1916 founded the Cobb County Times, which later purchased the MDJ. In the inaugural edition of the CCT the first Otis Brumby set out goals for his newspaper:
To the Public —
In entering the newspaper field in Marietta, I feel that it is due the citizens of Cobb County, to whom I shall look for support and co-operation, that I sketch as briefly as possible the policy that will be followed by the paper. I am a native of Marietta and have spent the most of my life in Cobb County. I am not a beginner in the newspaper business, having had several years’ experience, and have with me thoroughly experienced newspaper men. …
Politically, this paper is independent of any influences or factions, and I will endeavor to run the paper along the line that any citizen of Cobb County who is morally clean has the right to aspire and offer himself for any office within the gift of the people; and after election to office, this paper will take the position that every office holder is a servant of the people and every act of his office is subject to criticism. That there is no room for privacy in the people’s business, and that all dealings that pertain to the office any man holds that is within the gift of the people should be open and above board is my position, and I will at all times criticize any office holder who fails to do his duty.
First, last and always, we intend to boost our county and our towns and we desire our friends and readers to feel free at all times to criticize the paper.
Otis A. Brumby
Those goals continue to guide this newspaper and this column in 2013. — The Editors