Rome News-Tribune. Jun 12, 2021.
Editorial: It’s time to give the open container experiment a try
It’s been put up for a vote twice and failed to pass twice, but it’s really time for the City Commission to give a limited open container ordinance a fair chance to succeed or to fail on its own merits.
A recent Downtown Development Authority poll showed a majority of business owners and residents approve of giving the ordinance a chance in a 90-day trial.
It looks like the DDA is going to pitch the measure to the Alcohol Control Commission on June 21 and present their argument to city commissioners on June 28.
They’ve done their homework and there is a lot of evidence from similar sized communities such as Dalton, Woodstock, Gainesville, Carrollton and others showing no increase in significant issues such as public drunkenness or crimes related to alcohol abuse.
There’s going to be opposition, but the limited ordinance as currently proposed would only be active Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. While even that may change, it’s still not a big ask.
It’s worth giving it a chance.
For those who disagree, you’d then be put in the best position to sit back and say “I told you so” if it falls flat.
Back to politics
Speaking of the City Commission.
City Commissioner Wendy Davis announced this week that she’s running for Congress. Davis has always been an outspoken voice while on the commission and occasionally rubbed people the wrong way, but for the right reasons.
She’s popular in Rome and very well-known in Rome but we’re not sure how well she’ll fare in the outlying counties in the 14th District. We’ll leave that topic to her campaign strategist and the voters on Election Day.
It’ll be interesting to see what the wake caused by that decision brings to the surface.
Rome City Schools board member Elaina Beeman has already said she’s going to run for the Ward Two post. Others appear to be flirting with the idea but haven’t committed yet.
We also have to remember that currently Commissioners Jamie Doss and Randy Quick haven’t committed to running to keep their seats either. One new member can stir up a commission, three...well three could really change things.
We’ll just have to see what shakes out in the coming weeks.
No prison for the orchestrators of the opioid epidemic?
In the middle of a pandemic it was easy to forget we’re already in the midst of another epidemic, one caused by the overmarketing and over prescription of opioids.
The number of deaths, lives ruined, and the amount of tax money spent combating this greed-fueled plague almost pale in comparison to the fact that the people and entities who got astoundingly rich off this scam are going to walk away without a day in prison.
A proposed settlement is offering the OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma, its wealthy owners and associates essentially a free pass. The Sackler family, which owns Purdue Pharma, will forfeit over $4 billion to fund opioid treatment and mitigation programs, but will receive immunity for family members and members of the company.
Those billions won’t put them in the poor house either, they’re keeping more than they’re giving up.
Unfortunately for those who’ve become addicted, been imprisoned or died as a result of their predatory business practices — they’re still out in the cold.
While we’re only privy to a small portion of this lawsuit, we need to be vocal in the rejection of any deal that allows those who caused this much damage to walk off without a day in jail.
Thank you for reading.
Dalton Daily Citizen. June 15, 2021.
Editorial: Juneteenth Community Celebration an opportunity to ‘rise together’
Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, is the holiday commemorating the day in 1865 when the final enslaved Black people learned they had been freed.
On June 19, 1865, Gen. Gordon Granger read General Order No. 3 from the balcony of a building in Galveston, Texas, freeing more than 250,000 slaves who had remained in bondage there. The next year, former slaves in Texas began celebrating June 19 in what would become known as Juneteenth.
The Dalton-Whitfield NAACP is presenting the third annual Juneteenth Community Celebration this week with several events including a gala on Saturday with the theme “Perfecting Unity -- Rising Together.” The speaker will be state Rep. Jasmine Clark of House District 108.
Windell L. Smith, pastor at Hopewell Baptist Church, spoke about the meaning of Juneteenth during last year’s local Juneteenth celebration, noting how important it is to have such gatherings “because there was a time when we couldn’t assemble like we assemble today.”
Fortunately, things have changed in this country and that is usually no longer a concern.
And to that end, and to celebrate Juneteenth this year, organizers have come up with a variety of ways that area residents of all ages can assemble to enjoy each other’s company and remember the importance of the holiday. Those events include:
• The first Miss Juneteenth pageant on Friday at 7 p.m. at Rock Bridge Community Church, Stage 123. Nine young women will compete for a scholarship. Tickets are $5 and may be purchased at the Mack Gaston Community Center.
• The annual parade in downtown Dalton at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The parade lineup will begin at First Baptist Church at 9:15 a.m. The parade will travel Waugh Street to Hamilton Street, turning south on Hamilton and continuing to Emery Street. The parade will end at the Emery Center, where there will be brief remarks. Automobiles participating in the parade will assemble for a car show in the Emery Center parking lot.
• The Juneteenth Jubilee Gala in The Weaving Room at The Mill on Saturday at 6 p.m. Entertainment will be provided by saxophonist Frank B. Tickets are $25 and may be purchased at the Mack Gaston Community Center or text (706) 483-6190 for more information. Dress is African attire or formal. The Mill is at 825 Chattanooga Ave.
• Family Fun Day on Sunday at the Mack Gaston Community Center beginning at 1 p.m. There will be bouncy houses, music and vendors and food will be available.
We thank the organizers of these many events for their dedication and hard work in putting the events together, and we encourage you if you can to take advantage of these wonderful opportunities for celebration, remembrance, “rising together” and “perfecting unity.”
Valdosta Daily Times. June 15, 2021.
Editorial: Juneteenth remembers liberation
On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, announcing all persons held as slaves within the rebellious areas are and henceforth shall be free.
A political move by Lincoln, the proclamation did not end slavery immediately or in all states, but it served as a rallying cry for Union troops and for Blacks to fight on the side of the Union to win their freedom.
The Civil War did not officially end until June 2, 1865, and word of the Emancipation Proclamation did not reach the last stronghold of slavery, in Galveston, Texas, until June 19, 1865, more than two and a half years after it was issued.
“The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer.”
So began General Order Number 3, as read by Major Gen. Gordon Granger on June 19, 1865.
It was on this date that Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas, with news the Civil War had ended and the enslaved were now free — again, two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which became official Jan. 1, 1863.
The annual celebration of the events of June 19, 1865, is most commonly known as Juneteenth. It’s the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.
Southside Library Boosters will present the 29th annual local observance of Juneteenth, June 15, 18, 19.
Scheduled events include:
– June 15, Black Tuesday: “Support Black-owned businesses – shop, eat, support,” organizers said in a statement. Check out Southside Boosters’ Facebook page for listings.
– 9 p.m. Friday, June 18: Movie Night, 1708 W. Gordon St.: Free Admission. “Bring chairs and blankets (food vendor available). 8:30 p.m.: “Model your ‘best’ African attire,” organizers said.
– 12-8 p.m. Saturday, June 19: Juneteenth Festival, 1708 W. Gordon St.: 10 a.m., booth set-up. “There will be music, entertainment, vendors and information, booths, food trucks, raffles and giveaways. Come learn, have Fun. Freedom Fest, 8 p.m., live music. Fireworks 9 p.m.
“Juneteenth is a day of reflection, a day of renewal, a pride-filled day,” according to www.juneteenth.com. “It is a moment in time taken to appreciate the African-American experience. It is inclusive of all races, ethnicities and nationalities — as nothing is more comforting than the hand of a friend.
“On Juneteenth, we come together, young and old, to listen, to learn and to refresh the drive to achieve. It is a day where we all take one step closer together to better utilize the energy wasted on racism. Juneteenth is a day that we pray for peace and liberty for all.”
Juneteenth has become a day of freedom — a day marking the liberation from American slavery, and now a day symbolically marking the liberation from racism and prejudice.