Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Watkinsville Happenings and More

Watkinsville has been in the news a lot lately. In case you missed it:

--We're getting a neat new antiques store on Main Street.
--New Mayor Joe Walter is getting his feet wet -- literally.
--Good story on the retirement of Watkinsville Council member Mike Link from the ACC Fire Department. Mike is our longest tenured city council member, and always remembers details that the rest of us don't in meetings, especially on new construction and development projects.

Many thanks to the Athens Banner-Herald's Joe Van Hoose for his great recent coverage of all things Oconee. He, along with the Oconee Enterprise and Oconee Leader, do a nice job of keeping up with the goings on.

In non-Watkinsville political news, a few items of note:

--I think David Brooks has the Obama administration about right in this piece. I like Obama, I just think he has overreached in terms of policy, and think most moderates would agree. And the election of Scott Brown would seem to validate Brooks' position.
--Terry Dickson is convinced Hwy 15 -- the route most Oconee citizens use to get to the coast -- is a dangerous road. I don't really agree. I find it a much more pastoral route than the others to head south. I think the problem is actually probably tired and sleepy drivers on the narrow road, or the fact that people drive way too fast for the conditions of the road.
--Good editorial a few days back from the AJC.
--The AJC points out that the Massachussets election may also be good news for Sen. Johnny Isakson. Hadn't thought about all the implications, but I think Jim is right -- the Democrats will have a really tough time fielding a decent candidate.
--John Oxendine is an absolute train wreck.
--Is anyone locally paying any attention to the Governor's new transportation proposal? Athens-Clarke and Oconee would be grouped with Barrow, Jackson, Jasper, Elbert, Oglethorpe, Madison, Morgan, Greene, Walton and Newton counties in a 2012 vote for a 1 cent sales tax for transportation. Are there enough votes in Walton, Oconee, Athens-Clarke and Barrow to get needed transportation improvements? I'm not sure this is a natural region for transportation unity. The needs in Barrow, Jackson, Athens-Clarke, Oconee, and Walton are very different than the needs in our more rural counties. That said, those five counties also have most of the sales tax dollars as well. CORRECTION: Jim Thompson at the ABH discussed the proposal here.
--The Georgia Chamber of Commerce has its first female chair. Good for them.
--A good perspective on how economic development is changing and how American communities are being impacted.

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