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A long week and commission confusion

Fat men aren't supposed to walk as much as I did last week.

I spent Thursday trouncing around Atlanta. Dad, Miriam and I checked out Zoo Atlanta, the Georgia Aquarium and Atlantic Station.


  • Zoo Atlanta: Someone should really think about cutting the grass and cutting the bushes around that place.

  • Atlantic Station: Still a great place to visit, and you probably wouldn't mind living there (if you were cursed and had to live in Atlanta).

  • Georgia Aquarium: A true treasure for Georgia. Only problem is it's being discovered by everyone else in America, and they are all there at the same time. Maybe the aquarium folks can use that as a marketing tool: "Experience life as a sardine! Visit the Georgia Aquarium!"

    But Thursday's trek was nothing compared to the rest of my weekend. I was a runner for The Augusta Chronicle, which meant I worked 10 or so hours a day and spent a lot of that time walking around the Augusta National Golf Club.

    Sure I was (and still am) exhausted, but it was absolutely worth it. Not only did I get to watch a great golf tournament at one of my favorite places in the world, I also got to see some old friends and some local faces.

    And for the record, I called Phil Mickelson as champ. Maybe that fantasy sports thing is about to turn around.

    I'm continually amazed by the total ignorance that emanates from the chamber of the Augusta Commission.

    Of course, there's Marion Williams, who is always good for a laughable quote or two.

    And late last month, Betty Beard stepped up to the plate. The issue: She's selling the store she and her late husband ran for 25 years, and the new owner asked commissioners for a liquor license.

    The problems: First, Mrs. Beard turned a cash-stuffed ear to residents' concerns that liquor sales would be too close to schools and a planned day care. Second, when it came time to vote, Mrs. Beard couldn't understand - to the point of publicly questioning the county attorney - why she shouldn't vote on the request.

    Now, for those of you playing along at home, here's where the "conflict of interest" card comes into the game.

    You see - just like a journalist shouldn't cover an event, board or group they are actively involved in - a politician should not vote on something that benefits them.

    In this case, Mrs. Beard should have abstained from the vote (the correct use of an abstention, I might add).

    But that would be too simple. And would have probably shifted her away from the center of attention - something no commissioner in Augusta can stand.

    Web posted on Thursday, April 13, 2006

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