Recent editorials from Georgia newspapers:
Savannah Morning News on green energy grant:
Chatham County's plans for a $300,000 energy grant fell through after savings goals were not met and a materials purchase violated regulations that support the "Buy American" campaign.
But in spite of its shortcomings and mixed results, the initiative still represents a noble effort by the county.
Plans to reduce energy use were abandoned after about 2,000 energy-efficient and environmentally friendly lights purchased for the project did not meet the grant's Made In America provision.
The foul-up seemed to be avoidable.
Assistant County Manager Pat Monahan said one of the suppliers, Pace Lighting, made the purchase, despite a Buy American requirement in the county's bid request. ...
Wright said he did not see the one-line note of non-compliance that was included along with Pace's quote and estimate. Staff opted to pay the $20,000 for the lights with county funds, which is the price for not paying closer attention to the details.
Also contributing to the decreased savings was the decision not to install an energy-efficient hot water system, at an engineer's recommendation. The water system was expected to cut annual energy costs by $42,000.
In spite of the lost savings, the green energy grant, which came from federal stimulus funds, still had its share of positive impacts. ...
An additional $130,000 went toward acrylic window inserts to better insulate the Old County Courthouse.
The remaining $75,000 paid for a countywide greenhouse emissions study that was recently completed. The study is meant to help the county meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the community 20 percent by 2020.
While it did not have as large an impact as was initially hoped, the green initiative was ultimately a move forward. Future work toward energy-efficiency, which saves money for taxpayers, should be encouraged.
The Augusta Chronicle on name change for new university:
It's official. Sort of.
"Augusta" is back in the name of the city's new consolidated university.
University officials, along with the head of the community-based "Save the A" campaign, announced with some fanfare Thursday that the merged schools of Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University will heretofore be known as "Georgia Regents University Augusta."
At least publicly. That will apparently be the name on the letterhead and on merchandise, and perhaps on tongues.
Officially, however, the name will still be Georgia Regents University - which is still the name that will be put forth to the entity that accredits colleges.
It does sound as if Save the A folks still hope to get the official name changed. But for now, we're told that the Board of Regents won't revisit the issue.
So, to summarize: It appears as if the official name will remain Georgia Regents University, but that, according to the press release, "Georgia Regents University Augusta will be the brand name used in the official logo and in marketing efforts of Augusta's new consolidated university." ...
For now, we heartily commend Gov. Nathan Deal for encouraging a compromise in the bitter months-long battle over the name, and perhaps influencing the university system to listen to Augusta. The brouhaha technically doesn't involve the governor. But he recently met with the Save the A campaign folks, and speaking Tuesday night in Augusta the governor encouraged the community and the Board of Regents to arrive at an amicable solution.
Even the governor's mild intervention might have been a dam-breaker, and we appreciate his willingness to help broker a compromise. It also marked an important - and desperately needed - message to Augusta that our pleas were heard in Atlanta.
Augustans have felt saddled with "Georgia Regents University," as a name that essentially says nothing and has no brand recognition or relevance to Augusta. ...
You do have to wonder: If this is going to be what everyone calls the university, why won't the Board of Regents be asked to make it official?
If we're supposed to buy the brand, why can't they?
The Telegraph, Macon, Ga., on STEM education:
As the first report cards are handed out for the 2012-13 school year, parents should pay attention. It's not just about the grades, it's about what courses the grades are in. And while we want our children to grow up to be productive, taxpaying citizens, to reach that goal begins very early.
Christopher Campellone, writing for a New York Times supplement dealing with education and the best companies to work for, began his article, titled "Declaration of Career Independence: Why STEM Students have an Advantage" with "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all undergraduate degrees are not created equal, that students endowed by their university with certain credentials, that among these, none guarantees the pursuit of a challenging and fruitful career."
But there is an interesting correlation between employment and students who graduate in one of the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects. According to an Associated Press study, students in STEM subjects "are most likely to find a job after graduation."
You may think that your child is in elementary or middle school, maybe even high school and it's too early to start thinking about STEM, employment and all of that. Really? School systems all over the state are being encouraged to start certified STEM programs. There are grants available for STEM teachers and competitions among programs. There is also the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy camp, where teachers go off for a week to learn ways to make science and math fun. The camp is free, but teachers have to apply and the deadline is Oct. 31. Apply online at www.sendmyteacher.com/?
The world of tomorrow is being set today and it's time to start thinking about the future. Here's a little factoid that should be a bit scary. There are 3.6 million unemployed for every vacant job in the United States, but according to the Times' article, in STEM areas there are "two unfilled jobs for every unemployed STEM graduate." It's great to have choices, but preparing for those choices begins today.