State Sen. Eric Johnson (R-Savannah) was re-elected Senate President Pro Tempore last week by his peers in the upper chamber of the Georgia General Assembly on the first day of the 2005 session.
This is a part time job with full time responsibilities. said Johnson to fellow senators. Dont let it consume you. Be honest. Your word is the only currency you have here.
Despite the fact that Republicans now have a majority in both houses of the Georgia legislature for the first time since Reconstruction, Johnson still counseled patience.
There are no easy answers to higher test scores, better health, or traffic relief. The issues are complex.
Johnson also made a stab at bipartisanship.
Be civil. We are not enemies. Make friends across the aisle. We will have two to three partisan issues, but also five to six emotional ones.
But from Savannahs perspective, Johnsons most influential role will be on numerous committees. Johnson was named to the Appropriations Committee, the Ethics and Finance committees, the powerful Rules committee, and will be an ex-officio member of the Natural Resources and the Environment Committee.
My voice on the Natural Resources and the Environment Committee will be heard as we ensure the protection of our forests and our beautiful swamp land. Coastal Georgia can only benefit by having a representative on these influential committees, he said.
Sea Turtle group meets
Nearly 1,000 researchers from more than 70 countries are traveling to Savannah, the birthplace of sea turtle conservation, for the 25th Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation, Jan. 16-21 at the Hyatt downtown.
It will be the worlds largest gathering of sea turtle researchers.
Topics presented at the symposium will include population biology, pathology and disease, nesting beaches, genetics, technology, public education and policy, social and cultural issues, fisheries, and management.
Sea turtles are the best barometers of the health of our seas, said Dr. Thane Wibbles, president of the International Sea Turtle Society, which is presenting the symposium.
The many issues concerning sea turtles globally include the numerous hurricanes that impacted the Caribbean and Southeastern United States in the summer and fall of 2004 and the tsunami in Southeast Asia in December, he said.
Wibbles said that as many as 25 to 30 percent of the loggerhead nests in Florida were wiped out by the hurricanes and an even greater percentage of the green turtle nests in Florida.
The public is invited to learn more about sea turtle conservation at the Hyatt from 1-6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20.
You can see a live Loggerhead sea turtle, a full-size turtle excluder device used by shrimp boats to prevent incidental capture of sea turtles, and more than 20 vendors and exhibitors at Sea Turtle Square.
Memorial one of the best
For the second year in a row, Memorial Health University Medical Center has been named one of the countrys 100 Best Companies to Work For by Fortune magazine, ranking number 48 for 2005.
Companies are scored in four areas: credibility (communication to employees), respect (opportunities and benefits), fairness (compensation, diversity), and pride/camaraderie (philanthropy, celebrations).
This is an honor not only for Memorial Health, but also for our city, county, and region. says Memorial President and CEO Robert A. Colvin.
Memorial Health is the only healthcare system in the country to be named to the Fortune list.
Painting lost, then found
A valuable painting stolen from Candler Hospital was found last weekend in an Effingham County dump.
Joe Bowlers painting of Mary Hoyt Paschal went missing from the Special Care Nursery of the Mary Telfair Womens Hospital on Derenne and Reynolds around New Years..
The painting, a childhood portrait of Mary Paschal, was part of a significant gift to the hospital by the family of the late Claudia Mathilde Paschall.
An anonymous caller in Effingham County tipped the hospital off as to its location. No arrests have been made so far in the case.