Editorial Roundup: Georgia

Dalton Daily Citizen. June 11, 2024.

Editorial: Take heat seriously

It’s hot.

And temperatures are expected to get even hotter this week.

Forecasts for Dalton show temperatures rising into the low 90s for several days later this week.

And summer doesn’t officially start until June 20.

It’s been hotter than this before — up to and beyond 100 — but the 90s are potentially dangerous too.

Take precautions to protect yourself from the heat.

– Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water.

– Eat light. Heavy meals can be harder to digest in the heat.

– Take frequent rest breaks in shade or air conditioning.

– Look before you lock your vehicles. Never leave a baby, senior or pet locked in a car, even for a few minutes.

– Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose clothing.

– Bring pets indoors or provide shade and plenty of water.

Watch out for heat-related conditions.

Heat exhaustion: Faint or dizzy. Excessive sweating. Cool, pale, clammy skin. Nausea or vomiting. Rapid, weak pulse. Muscle cramps.

If someone is experiencing heat exhaustion, get them to a cooler, air-conditioned place, have them drink water if fully conscious and get them to take a cool shower or use cold compresses.

Heat Stroke: Throbbing headache, confusion. No sweating. Body temperature above 103 with red, hot, dry skin. Nausea or vomiting. Rapid, strong pulse. May lose consciousness.

If someone is experiencing a heat stroke, call 911 immediately and move the person to a cooler place, cool them using cool cloths or a bath but do not give them anything to drink.

We urge people to take the heat concerns seriously.


Valdosta Daily Times. June 7, 2024.

Editorial: Open government is the law

Open government is the law in Georgia.

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, in the forward to Sunshine Laws: A Guide to Open Government in Georgia, wrote, “Openness and transparency are vital to upholding the public trust and maintaining an efficient, well-functioning government and bureaucracy. As your Attorney General, I am pleased to continue a long tradition at the Georgia Department of Law of ensuring our Sunshine Laws are understood and observed.”

In fact, open government is the strong public policy of the state of Georgia and under Carr’s watch the state has launched its first criminal investigation and eventual conviction for a violation of the state’s Sunshine Laws.

The state’s Open Records Act says, flatly, “All public records shall be open for personal inspection and copying, except those which by order of a court of this state or by law are specifically exempted from disclosure.”

The state’s Open Meetings Act says, “The public at all times shall be afforded access to meetings declared open to the public.”

The exceptions to both the Open Records Act and the Open Meetings Act are narrow and limited.

The vast majority of records held by local government agencies are public records and nearly all government meetings must be held out in the open.

Officials must not abuse the law by trying to stretch the application of the few exceptions. The law is very specific about what records can be withheld from public inspection, and when a local government withholds a record from the public, it must give the specific legal exemption that allows it to withhold that record.

In a similar way, the law only allows executive sessions, or closed door meetings, for very specific reasons and those exceptions to the meetings act must be interpreted narrowly.

Government transparency is not a partisan, Republican or Democrat, issue. Open government benefits all the people of Georgia, regardless of political ideology or party affiliation.

All local elected and appointed officials, along with agency records custodians, must take Sunshine Laws seriously. Those who violate either the Open Records Act or Open Meetings Act can face hefty fines and even criminal prosecution for denying, or attempting to thwart, the public’s right to know.

This week is Sunshine Week and the week-long designation shines the light on the public’s right to know.

We remind the public that open government laws are not just for the benefit of government officials or the media. These are your laws.

The records government holds are your records, and the business government deliberates in its meetings is your business.


Brunswick News. June 7, 2024.

Editorial: Cryptocurrency mining stirs debate across Georgia

Attracting different forms of industry is important for any area. It’s important, however, to make sure that industry has a positive influence and isn’t just a drain on an area’s resources. According to Capitol Beat News Service, one industry has recently been stirring up this kind of debate around the state — cryptocurrency mining.

For the uninitiated, cryptocurrency mining uses giant server farms to create digital currency like Bitcoin. Georgia is responsible for mining the second-most cryptocurrency in the U.S., behind the leader Texas.

Recently, though, communities in Georgia have pushed back on having cryptocurrency mining operations in their community. A proposed rezoning that would have allowed for a server farm in Gilmer County failed to pass while Fannin County has outright banned crypto mining, according to Capitol Beat.

The General Assembly, however, seems to be going in the opposite direction. During their session this year, lawmakers considered a bill to give the industry a sales tax exemption on equipment purchased and prohibit local governments from targeting crypto mining operations with noise ordinances.

Noise pollution is often one of the biggest complaints tied to these operations. Other complaints include the drain on an area’s power and water resources due to the high demand of such resources for these farms.

Crypto mining does have its supporters who tout the industry for its job creation and its technological innovation. It also has it detractors like Rep. Penny Houston, R-Nashville, who said to Capitol Beat that the people she represents have had a “terrible experience” with a crypto mining operation in Adel.

Glynn County has yet to see any such large-scale crypto mining operations looking to come to the Golden Isles, but it’s certainly could happen at some point in the future. City and county leaders should be thinking about what they might do if such an operation should want to set up shop here.

One place city and county leaders could look is the Southern Georgia Regional Commission, which has a model ordinance on regulating crypto mining operations. According to Capitol Beat, that ordinance sets noise level and appearance standards for server farms.

As for the General Assembly, they would be better off letting communities decide for themselves if they want this kind of industry in their backyard. There is nothing wrong with setting guidelines for an industry to operate, especially if it produces the kind of noise that these server farms can generate.