Several interesting things have crossed the desk today and yesterday I thought I would take a moment to share:
--Unemployment: Lotta publicity and talk going on about high rates of unemployment. Check out this interactive chart that the New York Times has put together. The secret to having a job -- a college education. Not a huge surprise, but this really throws it into relief, as does research by one of my company's clients, the Atlanta Regional Council for Higher Education. Of course, the chart doesn't account for "underemployment," which is a common problem in Athens, where your barista might have more degrees (but less ambition) than you.
--City Biz: Had a great city council meeting last night. One of the highlights was approving a new single family home on a vacant lot on South Main Street. An historic home on that lot was demolished several years ago without council approval, and the lot, while pretty, had sat vacant since. It was exciting to see a new family make a big investment on one of downtown Watkinsville's most historic corridors. We also approved several new business licenses for small businesses, approved one alcohol license, and tabled another. A work day is also planned by the Daughters of the American Revolution at the Watkinsville Cemetery. The DAR is also planning to begin the application process to get the cemetery on the National Register of Historic Places.
--Bulldawg Illustrated has produced a great video about Oconee County resident Brook Whitmire, the voice of the Bulldogs in Sanford Stadium.
--Oconee County has a proud tradition in distance running. One of the bedrocks of that tradition, Coach Gwen Peck, will attend her last cross country team banquet tonight at OCHS. Coach Peck has coached two state championship teams and done a wonderful job at Oconee through the years, nurturing runners great, good and average alike and teaching them lessons of character and compassion. One of her best athletes is featured in this week's Oconee Enterprise. A coach's legacy is often measured by much more than what happens on the field, and Coach Peck's will continue for many years to come with the successful student athletes she inspired, cajoled, and convinced to shine for Oconee.
--This weekend looks to be beautiful. If you're into landscaping (like I am), fall is the time for planting, especially for trees and shrubs. Water has been plentiful, and the soil is soft. Great plants are to be had at any number of our locally owned retail nurseries. Check them out -- some of my favorites are Land Arts (Monroe), Goodness Grows (Lexington), Outdoor Specialty (Watkinsville), Thyme after Thyme (Winterville), Thomas Orchard (Watkinsville), and Cofer's (Athens)!
--The Athens Symphony will perform its Winter Concert this Sunday at 4 p.m. The Symphony is one of the region's gems. Tickets are free and still available at the Classic Center. Information here and here. Full disclosure: my company does pro-bono work promoting the Symphony.
--Big congrats to Dr. Debra Harden and Mrs. Jean Bell for being inducted into the Oconee County school system hall of fame. I didn't know Mrs. Bell as an educator, but Dr. Harden was certainly a transformative presence for our schools in the early to late 1990s, and really helped establish Oconee's reputation for educational excellence.