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The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
April 3, 2019     The Monroe County Reporter
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April 3, 2019

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& EDITORIALS "Declare among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish, and conceal not." - Jeremiah 50:2 A 2018, 2017, 2016 winner:. Editorial Page e ceJbnce 2018 wlnne~ E~sf Headline Wnfing [0'~'~i~,~ 20111, 2017 wimller: Best News ?hobgraphy I~l~ ~i 2o,8 w,neo,ous o, Oo*e o h 2018, 2017 winner:. Best Humorous Column - On the ?orch -~'~ ~~ ON THE PORCH by Witl Davis OO0 Ahhh, it's Spring Break in Monroe County. It's the week when many parents spend lots of quality time with their children, perhaps with a trip to the beach or ountains, and by Friday we are asking: Can I send them back to school yet?!" I think a lot about parenting, but I'm afraid after spending the past 17 years trying to raise children, I dofft have as many answers as I had hoped I would by this point. My dad recently asked me to dig up the obituary for his great grandfather, Thomas Joel Davis, who lived over in Washington County, Ga. In fact he was superintendent of schools there before dying in 1927. Now Thomas Joel knew howto raise kids. He had eight of them, six boys and two girls, raised on a self-contained farm near Tennflle, Ga. Money was fight. Yet almost all of them went to college. We have letters he wrote to his children where he talked about how the children took turns working so they could help pay for the others to attend college. Everybody helped everybody else in that loving fame. It appeared to pay off. One became a federal judge. Another was a doctor. Another was an ambassador. Another, Margaret Davis Holmes, became the matri- arch ofthe Margaret Holmes Canner (You can still buy Margaret Holmes vegetables in the store). After he was dected superinten- dent, Tnomas lod admitted in a letter that his defeated foe had never liked him, he suspected, because he was jealous that he had raised such successful children. I know what you're asking: What happened to me? Seriously, though, family history can prompt us to wonder about what makes a parent successful. And many people are willing to tell their opinions. When we lived in Clevdand, my wife and I were part of a supper dub with several other families with young children from our church. One of our fiiends in the group was a stay-at-home dad who frequently challenged me to be tougher on my kids if they, for instance, dichCt eat the food we gave them. It was annoying real . I mean when you're in a social setting at someone else's home, your disdpline options are limited. It's hard to take unsolidted parenting advice, especially from people your age. After we moved away I learned sadly that he and his wife had gotten divorced, ripping apart the nest that had produced four children. It was sad, but it made me resolve to be careful how much unsolicited advice I give about familial relationships. My wife and I have two teenagers now and they seem fairly well-adiusted. We allowed our oldest daughter, 17, to go on her first partially unsupervised spring break trip this week because she's earned our trust. Ask me next week if that's still the case. But)ust when we thought we had mastered this parenting thing, along came our littlest one (name withheld to protect the guilty), now age 5. He started pre-K this year and his sainted, long-suffering teacher, who's a friend (last time we checked), has written no small number of notes home. There was the time he put his cereal on the floor and stomped on it. And then there was the time he wrapped himself in his mat during nap time and declared he was a taco. "We NEVER got notes home on the first two" my wife sighed. But recently the littlest Davis, who is smart and very charming, has graduated from misdemeanor to felony charges. It was too much to explain in a note, Hence, we got a phone call. Apparently our predous, little one and a buddy derided to, ahem, let their anatomy come out for fresh air during nap time. After 17 years of parenting, I never dreamed that "keep it in your pants" was a necessary instruction. The teacher marched them down to the prindpal's office, and he sternly warned our youngest that this was a serious offense. If it happened again, he growled, he would be sent home as a punish- ment. "I get to go home?!" our boy declared exaltedly. Sigh. "Not in a good way,' he warned. "You'll be in big trouble." I've read lots of parenling books and listened to lots of parenting shows on Christian radio over the years. I've leamed a lot, I have a lot ofideas about the need sometimes to spank a child, and also the need to give them lots of hugs and affection. I think they should be read to, prayed with and taught the Bible. And of course I think the parent's example, his personal life and relationships, are the bigger influence on kids. But some days, even after 17 years, all ofthe theories and prindples just seem exhausting. On those days, the best parenting advice I can muster for myself is: Survive the day, and tell him to keep it in his pants. the Mor~e Oaunty www. is published every week by The Monroe County Reporter Inc. Will Davis, President Robe~ M. Williams Jr Vice President Che~/I $. Williams, Secretary-Treasurer A Will Davis ~ Trellis Grant Publisher/Editor~ Business Manager Richard Dumas ~ Diane Glidewell News Editor~ Community Editor Carolyn Martel ~ Brandon Park Advertising Manager ~ Creative Director Official Organ of Monroe County and the City of Fors~th 50 N. Jackson St PC) Box 795 - Forsyth, GA 31029 Periodicals Postage Paid at Forsyth, GA 31029 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: THE MONROE COUNTY REPORTER - 478-99z~2358 SUBSCRIPTION RATE: In County:. $40 Out of County:. $40 Single Copy." $1 Deadlines noon on Friday prior to issue. Comments featured on opinion pages are the ~eation of the w~ters, the do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Reporter management Publication No. USPS 997-840 PEACH STATE POLITICS by Kyle Wingfield As the 2019 legislative ses- right? True, but well over half of sion comes to a dose, one those cuts - about $4.3 billion - truth rings most clearly: came in a four-year period, the We can stop talking about 2011-2014 budget years. Next year, how much Georgia isn't spending on education. Legislators are fully funding the Quality Basic Education for- mula for the second straight year, giving a $3,000-per-year salary bump to teachers and other school personnel, spending $69 million on school-security grants, and pouring an- other $1.9 billion into the Teachers Retire- ment System. Despite these changes, we still hear about the "austerity cuts" that lawmakers implement- ed during a decade of recession and slow recovery. "Ihe mantra about $9.2 bil- lion in cumulative cuts since 2003 is startin to wear thin. For starters, it's not even accurate: Anyone using that number is ignor- ing about $900 million in offsets that came from the federal govern- ment in the 2009-2011 budget years. So we're down to $8.3 billion. Now consider that legislators just passed the budget that will carry through the high-school careers of next year's graduating seniors. The class of 2020 was not yet in kinder- garten for the 2003-2007 budget years, much less any of the younger students coming behind them. Subtract the $1.3 billion in cuts from those years, and we're down to about $7 billion. Still, $7 billion is a lot of money, Georgia's elementary schools will be filled with pupils who weren't yet in a dassroom during those years. Even more context is needed: That $7 billion in cuts compares to almost $96 billion the state did spend via the QBE funding formula dur- ing those years, plus another $11 billion on k- 12 education outside the formula. Overall, the cuts amount to a cumulative 6 percent of what the state should have spent. /fi/f- And that's only the state's portion: In any given year, state funding amounts to about half of total k-12 spending, once federal and local revenues are counted. So, we're talking about a 3 percent cut that falls at the state's feet. But wait - we're still not done. The figures the state reports for total spending routinely ohait several categories of expenses, most notably capital costs and debt servicing. The upshot is that actual spending by school districts statewide is between $3 billion and $4 billlon higher than the numbers mgst commonly reported. " / To be conservative, let's go with $3 billion per year. (Complete figures are not available for the entire period we re looking 2008-2020.) That brings the state' cut down to about 2.6 percent of eumulative spending during those years. So, why do people still toss around that $9.2 billion number? Let's be charitable and assume they believe the effects of past cuts linger for years and years. Maybe, maybe not. But that's the kindest way to look at it. It's also safe to assume, however, they are using that exaggerated, out-of-context number to advance unrelated goals. After all, the people who repeat that number use it to explain why Georgia can't afford to expand school-choice options. They use it to explain why fully funding the QBE formula isn't good enough, even if that was the goal right up until the minute it was achieved and they moved the goalposts. They also use it to explain why Georgia's teachers are underpaid, even though they rank in the middle of the pack nationally on a nominal basis and in the top 10 when cost of living is considered - and are paid thousands more than their peers in our neighboring states. No one is arguing for spending less on education, or for cutting teachers' salaries, or any such thing. Even in the depths of the Great Recession, Georgia prioritized k- 12 education. It held steady at about 44 percent of the state budget, easily the largest single expenditure. But absent an explanation of just how lawmakers can atone once and for all for their $9.2 billion sin, it's time to move on. The president and CEO of the Geor- gia Public Policy Foundation, Kyle Wingfield's column runs in papers around the state of Georgia. TAKING A LIKENS TO YOU by Dale Likens The sun was shin- ing brightly down on Ebbets baseball field in Brooklyn, New York. The young batter stepped back into the batter's box holding a 2-2 count. He gripped the bat tightly, took a strong swat at the next pitch and grounded to the third basemen who quickly scooped the ball into his glove, reared back and fired the ball to first base. "Out!" qhe umpire signaled with his right hand. That was the first time at bat for the Dodgers' new first baseman. It was also a historical moment in the world of American baseball. ]ackie Robinson suddenly became the first black man ever to play baseball in the National Baseball League of Amer- ica. April 15, 1947 was not an exciting time for Jackie Robinson. Every time Jack- ie came to bat the sounds of 'boos' filled the stadium. "Go back where you came from! We don't want your type here!" echoed throughout the stadium and on the field. Although Jackie was once a 4-letter athlete for U.C.L.A. he was not accepted on the Ebbets baseball field During hiS career Jackle was booed, harassed and threatened as no player ever has nor ever will be. Some threatening notes said he would be killed if he ever dared to step onto their baseball fields. He was deliberately stepped on with steel spikes that drove through his leather shoes and dug deeply and painful into his feet as op- posing players crossed first base. "You don't belong here you, ---!" Some of them called as he passed by on the field. But he never fought back. He never argued. Jackie simply turned his face as though he nev- er heard them. Fans swore at him. Sounds of boos flooded every baseball field he stood on. Still the began his career With the Brooklyn Dodg- ers atthe age of 28 and played until he was 37. In eyes of many fans he s growing too old and s attractive on the field. However, during those years Jackie's batting aver- axe was .311, a remarkable lifetime batting average for most great baseball players. In 1949 Jackie became the national league MVP. His batting average that year s a mere .342. He led National League in en bases with a total of 37, many of which were stolen from third base to crowds grew hgme. His highest sal- l-. < and broke was $42,000 while records game Ted Williams' salary was after game in$85,000 the same year. attendance like (Please remember that Ted never before. Williams played for Boston But suddenly, Jackie arid Ted Williams was one Robinson began to emerge o(the greatest baseball as one of the shining stars players of all time. While for the Brooklyn Dodg- ers. Fans began to accept his heroic feats. He began to hit the baseball with timely hits. Singles turned into doubles. And hom- ers began to drive in runs his salary was much higher than Jackie Robinson's, g eatSalary was also much er than many other baseball players of those years.) In 1962 Jackie Robinson rapidly. Fans began to seek inducted into the his autograph, often reach- B seball Hall of Fame. ing into the dugout with O her black players soon pencil and paper or hats, followed Jackie to the or anything he could sign his name to By the end of the year 1947 Jackie Robinson had become the MVP of the Brooklyn Dodgers. His batting average rose to .297 while he led in stolen bases; after he often did the most difficult steals of baseball--stealing home from third base. Jackie Robinson played in six World Series in his career; all against the Dodgers' worst enemy, the New York Yankees. Finally, in 1955 Jackie proudly walked off the field with his first World Series championship. National and American L tm bue teams. Larry Doby, n Howard, Roy Cam- a and Don New- co e to mention a few. But Jackie Robinson was the first black player ever to play major league base- b ll. k was he who led the way. it was he who broke the racial barrier. It was he who braved the boos, the threatening letters and the n.fl ge calling without bat- back. closing I must admit, as a young boy growing up in Ohio I was a Cleveland Indian fan. I remember well when Larry Doby joined the Cleveland Indians three months after Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers. Larry Doby then became the first black baseball player for the American League. At the time, I knew very little of the racial tensions in America. My brothers and I fished with blacks on the banks of a small creek that ran by our house. We talked baseball and fish- ing. We knew they were a different color. We knew they were God's people just like we were. We simply loved baseball and fishing together. This is what makes America great today. We recognize the greatness in each other. We understand the intestinal fortitude of each of these players as they stepped onto the baseball field and were booed and harassed. All I remember is that Larry Doby quickly became one of my favorite baseball players. I remember Larry Doby and Luke Easter, the first baseman for the Cleveland Indians, well. As a young boy the color of a player's skin meant noth- ing to me. It still doesn't today. Today I simply say, "Thank you Jackie Rob- inson and Larry Doby for being brave enough to break that radal barrier. Thank you for being strong enough to listen to the boos and receive those horrible letters of hate." What amazing memories of years gone by! life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives!" Jackie Robinson. *On Jan. 31, 2019 ]ackie Robinson would have been 100 years old! God bless! Dale Likens is an au- thor who lives in Monroe County.