28 June 2017

[TPC] - Newton GOP meeting with David Shafer, declared candidate for Lt. Governor

Monday night at the private meeting room of the downstairs of Irish Bred Pub, approximately four dozen folks attended the regular monthly meeting of the Newton Co. Republican Party. The meeting was convened by its Chair Scott Jay. The prayer was given by John Southerland. 

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Chairman Jay started the proceedings by discussing old and new party business and then introduced the assembled body to the program's first featured speaker, Ms. Takosha Swan, who is a possible candidate for state senate. Ms. Swan gave a very good speech which was enthusiastically received by the audience. 

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Then Mr. David Shafer, GA state Senator and declared candidate for Lt. Governor, gave a most impressive and impassioned speech in which he discussed his familial history, his raising and upbringing, and what it truly meant, in his mind's eye, to be a conservative. He actually talked about the true meaning of the word, which, literally, translates to: "to be safe with one another." He also gave a quick political history lesson on the many differences between the American and French revolutions, which this writer greatly enjoyed. 

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The meeting came to a close and most of the attendees stuck around the pub and ordered food being sure to tell the servers and staff that they were there to "feed the arts" and support the Arts Association of Newton Co., which was doing a fundraiser in conjunction with Irish Bred Pub to raise funds for the association. Many also had a chance to speak with State Senator Josh McKoon who was also in attendance. This writer had the chance for a quick interview to ask him about the "word on the street" about him possibly running for a statewide office himself. He said that he'd be having press conference at the Gold Dome at some point after Independence Day. 

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You can learn more about the Newton GOP, David Shafer or Josh McKoon by searching them on Facebook or Google.

Thanks for reading, friends. Until we meet again.

- MBM -

[TPC] - Wednesday Quick Bite: Chris Smith, why?

Howdy, folks.

Another week in the book of C-town and Newton. Per usual, it had its highs; it had its lows, but it was our week, and that makes it, as always, a great week.

So, the semi-esteemed councilman, Chris Smith, did what he always seems to do - make a complete mess of things. After the shooting at Newton Plaza Saturday morning, within maybe a half hour and before any real information was available or gathered, that fella put out a FB post saying, in essence, this:

...I've been trying to warn you. I called it. If you'd just listened to me - none of this would have ever happened, friends. Let's take it one day at a time, friends. If you listen to me, Covington will never have another bad thing ever happen to it again. It's all contingent on me. Listen to me, friends. Me, me, me... I. I. I...

It was almost nauseating. Within minutes, several, Yours Truly included, had called him out on it. Naturally, his post was removed quickly. There were several screen shots taken, however.

What I'm about to say - I do not do lightly. And, for the record, I kind of like Chris. I always have.

I'm publicly calling on Chris Smith to resign from the City of Covington council. He just doesn't have it in him. He seems to maybe be missing a core attribute of some sort to be able to properly do this, in my estimation. That day - Saturday June 24th - to me, was the last straw. It's gotten beyond ridiculous. The pandering. The politicizing. Everything... 

He just can't seem to get out of his own way.

There is, in my opinion, some type of deficiency there.

That's just my 2 cents.

His sphere of influence, though, just like some others we've seen the last few years in and around the home city and county, just continues to dwindle. Even some of his public supporters will tell you, privately, that their patience is wearing thin, that he keeps taking a beating over and over again - and it's nobody's fault but his own.

I think the big, bold move would be for him to walk away. Just concentrate on his business and perhaps become a private citizen/public advocate of sorts.

It'll never happen, though.

We'll see what we see.

Thanks for reading & we'll see you next time.

- MBM  

19 June 2017

[TPC] - The C-town Beat

...another big week in the home county... 

big week of music this past saturday evening 

My group, Sweet Harmony, put on a show that, by all accounts, was pretty epic & many thought it was one of our best ones ever! Karl the Soundman dialed us in a killer sound, we were all in the zone, and it was just a fantastic show.

Over at the Mystic, local fave Leighlynn Shine did their thing, and I have no doubt that they were fantastic, like they almost always are.

And to top of the trifecta, Newton native and now Nashville fella, Drew Parker, was playing down in Porterdale.

There were several other big shows all throughout Covington & Newton. Man, what a scene we've got here. Very cool.

lots of moving parts 

It seems as if the Newton BOC could not handle prosperity and decided to grab some defeat from the mouth of victory. Wow, they've really stepped into it with the ambulance thing, haven't they? Do away with that particular millage only to roll into the general fund. "Sofa King, We Todd Did!" Apparently, they're now going to "revisit" things...

The city of Covington seemed to be kind of quiet this past week, but that'll be changing as they have their second meeting of the month tonight. Per usual, a constant desiring of some for just more of that good ole government. So many folks pray to the altar of "There Should Be a Law!" And for the record, those stupid signs on the north and south side of the Square with the code about bicycles & skateboards being prohibited from city sidewalks? Well, friends, they're ugly, unsightly & are messing up the aesthetics of our town square, in my estimation. And this all became a big deal because, what, one person, and maybe a second, almost got knocked down by a kid on a skateboard. In the words of Al Pacino from the movie "Heat," bad things can happen almost all the time, even when you're just "walkin' your doggie."

It's called life.

But, that's just the ole .02.

In closing, I'd like to mention something I saw the other day. I ran into a good Doctor the other day. Him and the Missus were eating at Amici. Right before they left, it started to rain pretty bad. Fortunately, they had an umbrella. So I watched them walk out to their car up on the northwest corner of College Ave. and saw something that...kindly kind of gave me the vapors a bit...The Good Doctor made sure to hold out the umbrella completely over her and therefore got the entire back of his very nice dress shirt and slacks completely drenched while his bride of...maybe getting close to 50 years...stayed completely dry. It was very sweet. That's certainly a couple in love, I'd think.

More to come this week. Hope it's all good out there. Until next time.

Your Pal,

MB McCart 

[TPC] - A Write-up by Guest Columnist, Samuel Hay

*ed. note: Sam Hay, III is a multi-generational Newtonian who has been a writer and pressman for almost his entire life - well over 50 years. Truly one of the Living Legends of the home county, we're always proud to have his contributions. Thanks, as always, for reading. - MBM 


- A write-up by Samuel Hay, Guest Columnist 

My personal choice for dinner tonight. Living in New Orleans, food was just remarkable. Fortunately I learned how to cook a lot of it. We have holiday meals that usually are Cajun and Creole or with a big steel and mortar smoker in the back yard, ribs and BBQ. 

But one of the most memorable things about my days in New Orleans was a guy who sold tamales on the street corner out of a little push cart like an ice cream cart. His name was Manuel. While I was there he expanded to supplying some local restaurants not the least of which was Augies Delago. (Meaning on the water) Augies was a three story building on the lakefront which served appetizers and booze. There was always live music. There were always sailboats from around the world that would sail into Lake Pontchartrain and tie up just to get some New Orleans time and Augies was the place.I met people there from all over the world.Unfortunately years later Augies burned down and the City Marina off West Esplanade is located there now. 

Cindy was going to bring catfish today but she had to leave town for Nashville so we are looking forward to that next Sunday. 

In the meantime we whipped up some Manuel style tamales. And sauce. Always using ground beef instead of chicken or pork. AND you gotta know we steam them in real corn husks! So it was a good day!

The end of the story, back in New Orleans visiting friends and attending our 12th Mardi Gras, we are on the interstate and get passed by this tractor trailer truck which has painted on the side of it, "MANUELS TAMALES"! I would have to say our old pal made it big.

12 June 2017

[TPC] - A Conversation with 3rd District Commissioner Nancy Schultz about Confederate Memorials, Race Relations, Life, etc.

I reached out to Nancy Schultz, Commissioner of the 3rd district of Newton Co., earlier today to ask her a few questions about a few different things.

The first thing I asked her about was the budget situation. It's looking for sure that there will be no millage increase, though, as she admitted, there would still be a de facto tax increase based on the increased valuations. She also mentioned something that would make my Dad very happy - it's looking as if, finally, the ambulance millage will be removed from the Newton Co. budget. There's actually a hearing about that tomorrow. So, I guess that's good.

Our conversation then turned to something that's been on the mind of many, and also has been quite the item of discussion of the "word on the street." The Confederate Memorial that is the centerpiece of the Covington Square.

As many now know, a gentleman came before the Newton Co. Board last Tuesday mentioning a desiring to see that monument removed from the Newton County Square. And yes, it's really the Newton Co. Square. The city of Covington is the town seat and while that municipality currently has use and oversight of that piece of real estate, it is that primary political subdivision of Georgia that is Newton Co. that actually owns it. 

I didn't beat around the bush. I told her that the word was that there may be three votes on the Board to remove that memorial that the Daughters of the Confederacy had established approx. 100 years ago. The same organization that fought the state of Georgia legislature's attempt to change the state flag to the "battle emblem" back in the 1950s when everybody was upset over voting rights and integration. 

She said, referring to any possible imminent vote on this issue, that that was not the case at all - mo vote will be had on this issue for a very long time, if ever.

She did say that she'd had some conversations about it with a few folks. Not really very many, though. Just a handful.

We talked about New Orleans, and of "The Atlantic" piece. And also Richmond, VA., and a few other things.

Then we got into the heart of the matter.

Apparently it's part of the verbiage on the monument that's got at least a few folks worked up.

I stopped her & asked her this:

"What? The inscription on the north side of the monument specifically talks about the need to 'furl the flag' and for the CSA to rejoin the USA - for America to become whole again. What's the issue?"

"No, something about a description of those who took up arms being 'Holy Men.'"

I vaguely remember something about that but I can't specifically recall (I'm definitely going to go to the Square tomorrow morning).

So, apparently, that's the "why," as it were. And removal may not be necessary to correct this, supposedly, but maybe a change to the monument? Or perhaps another marker?

I just think about folks like my Great-Great Grandfather, William M. McCart, who came to Covington right around 1850, and who was a dirt farmer & carpenter, and a man who never owned a slave but because he answered his state's call - the overseeing governmental entity at the time -  could, apparently, never be considered a "holy man."

Is that's what's being stated? 

And for the record, I didn't go into any of this with Nancy - I was just mainly listening and asking questions...

But she does maybe raise a few points, though.

One thing she mentioned a few times, and this is something that I, in general principle, agree with, is that you've got to be able to walk a mile in someone else's shoes.

I so get that. And I've always strived to do just that very thing.

But what about my shoes? What of I, being a 6th-generation Newtonian? Do my shoes not count? Is there no say for me because of...I don't know...white, male, Southern privilege?

I just don't know.

Nancy also mentioned that labeling is never a good thing and that it is vital for everyone to understand all perspectives.

I'm totally in agreement with both of those sentiments.

She did go on to say that nothing will be decided anytime soon. She wants to reach out to everybody, and not just folks in the 3rd district. We discussed bringing in the Historical Society, and the African-American Historical Society. Possibly talking to the Mayors of the five municipalities, talking to all of the Board members of Newton Co. and its Staff. Possibly holding a couple of public forums.

It all sounds very prudent to me.

And it was, as it usually is, a pleasure talking to the esteemed Gentlewoman who represents the 3rd district of Newton Co.

That's all for now. 'Til next time.

- M.B. McCart  

10 June 2017

[TPC] - A write-up from contributing writer Ellis Millsaps: "Observations of a Deranged Mind."

* Ed. note: Ellis, AKA, "Da," actually gave me this write-up about three months ago. The first installment actually talks about New Year's. So...you can kind of get an idea of both Ellis's & mine's attention to time detail. FTR - Ellis is about to start writing a regular piece once again, and starting tomorrow, you can also read a piece from the 2nd ever contributor to The Chronicles - Mr. Donnie Hamlin. We always appreciate your readership, friends. Till we meet again. - MBM 

Greetings from your erstwhile Porterdale Correspondent, this week reporting of the second annual New Year's Eve ball drop at The Speakeasy, downtown.

The place, when you're alone and life is making you lonely, you can always go...and everybody does know your name!

In the interest of full disclosure, I didn't actually attend the ball drop - it was pouring rain - but I did read an account of it...somewhere, so I'm confidant what follows is at least alternative fact.

At 11:35PM New Year's Eve, Speakeasy owner Tim Savage got out his ladder and climbed to the roof of the establishment's two story building. The crowd, which included at least a dozen people under the balcony, and maybe a dog, as well as five intrepid souls who'd stood in the rain beneath the ball drop, began the countdown at ten seconds till midnight and then watched as, at the stroke of midnight, Savage proceeded to drop the traditional baseball. 

06 June 2017

[TPC] - The coming battle in Newton Co. - Bernard vs. Zon

As we've reported multiple times, there is a battle on for the heart and soul of Newton Co. Lots of compelling storylines. FEDS, and the DEA; concerns about violations of the Constitution & of civil rights, etc.

And to top it all off - two magnificent, brilliant & beautiful ladies will most likely be the ones to duke it all out.

Catherine Bernard, champion of Freedom & Liberty. An encapsulation of all that is right with the world. 
Madam DA

We'll see you soon.

- MBM -

04 June 2017

[TPC] - Sunday Morning Comin' Down - News of Gregg Allman, GA GOP & Miscellany

    North Covington, Newton Co., GA, USA

Howdy, folks, hope it's good out there. Well, at least in North Covington, it's rainy & dreary - it's a perfect type of weather for the current & prevailing mood.

We went down to Macon, GA yesterday. Me and one of the Chiefs, and also the Artist/Teacher & the Carpenter. We ate at The Rookery, staked out a great spot at the hill at the front of Rose Hill Cemetery, and then I, along with upwards of a thousand other folks, got to witness Gregg Allman being laid to rest.

Look for an online piece at CovNews.com tomorrow early afternoon on this event, and then look for a very expansive piece here at TPC, probably on Tuesday evening.

It was a momentous and somber, but very beautiful and uplifting experience.

The Death Rattle of the GA GOP? 

Widespread and multiple reports of hijinks & shenanigans with any number of things: tabulation concerns, duly elected delegates being locked out, the changing and suspending of rules. Hey, it's the GAGOP - their pride and egos and a possible and alleged desiring to keep their dirty deeds from being exposed is, according to at least one source, apparently more important to them than trying to save our country and state. If that's the case, then that's just sad and pathetic. It also needs to be dealt with.

Look for an expansive, kind of stream-of-consciousness piece drawing from multiple collaborators & correspondents here at TPC at around mid-morning tomorrow.

Odds & Ends

Look for my weekly column, "The Alcovy Telegraph," in today's Covington News. Living section, page 5B. After Hours, Arts & Culture, Food & Dining, and Local Happenings. We discuss the ongoing situation with the hospitality drinks & brown-bagging situation. 

Did you know there's a fair number of folks - many who get paid by the Government - who think that if a certain thing is not expressly mentioned in the codes, then that means it's automatically & always prohibited. And that apparently also includes the city Atty. Well...they're wrong. Did you also know that municipalities are basically just corporations? 

Things are starting to reach a breaking point for the city of Covington. It's a time for choosing. One side will lose - hell, they already are. It's time they get the memo; patience is wearing very thin.

Well alright, gang, we'll be back in touch w/ y'all again very soon. Have a great Sunday.

Your friend & semi-esteemed Editor,

MB McCart 

02 June 2017

[TPC] - Can the GA GOP save itself? Alex Johnson, for the win?

[State of GA]

[Newton Co.]

(North C-town; 2 June '17) -

It is, as always, so good to be with you again, dear readers.

Augusta, GA is the where; the GA GOP State Convention is the what; Alex Johnson is most assuredly the who.

For those in the Georgia Liberty movement, and for some - e.g. me -  that goes all the way back to 2007 when Dr. Ron Paul declared and started a movement that none of the "experts" could have ever imagined, the fact that Attorney Alex Johnson is the odds on favorite to capture the coveted seat of Chairman of the Georgia Republican Party is quite the thing.

I first met Alex...I think, actually, in 2011. By that time I was a seasoned Ron Paul Republican. I was quite impressed with this young fella. He was obviously brilliant. But moreover, you could tell he was truly passionate of things like Freedom, Liberty, Justice, Equity, etc & et al

Fast forward a year, and against all odds, and this young, upstart Liberty/TEA darling wowed everybody in Columbus, GA - including, per the word, the "smooth operator" & the ultimate convention chair, himself, Mr. Randy Evans, Esq.

It was closer than anybody could have ever imagined.

So, fast forward three years from then - to May of 2015 - in the Classic City, Athens, GA.

Multiple compelling story lines that year. Alex, as even the lion's share of Padgett supporters would have told you, was by and far the best candidate, but it wasn't quite yet his time. Whereas Columbus saw a split in the 60/40 range, Athens gave us more of a 55/45 type deal.

Now, we find ourselves in the first week of June of '17, and Alex Johnson is peaking, as he has been for the last six months. McNeely could never get traction against him. Watson, the closet democrat and political operative, who most interlopers are pulling for, could never really do a thing because he supports democrats and is more interested in making money with his consulting work, allegedly; and also supporter of gun grabbers. He seemingly would just be a continuation of the current regime - being financially reckless and handing out money to all of the inside consultants. 

Unfortunately - and grave apologies to Ryan Maloney - I will not be able to collect my credentials in good ole Augusta, GA, tomorrow morn'. A new assignment presented itself - covering the Gregg Allman funeral procession in Macon, GA. Duty calls, and I'm here to serve. Hope that everyone gets that.

I have, however, at least four correspondents signed up who will be on the delegation floor tomorrow. Expect multiple reports.

Your pleasure is our pleasure, good people, and we aim to please.

Until we meet again.

Your friend,

MB McCart 

01 June 2017

[TPC] - An idea that may help the Newton Co. BOC from raising the millage rate

[State of GA] 
[Newton Co.] 

(North Covington * 1 June '17) - Greetings, readers. So...at least a few of our esteemed Board members here in Newton Co. are ready to just throw up their hands and basically say, "Hey! Let's take the easy way out and just bump that millage rate up a couple mills."

How 'bout no. We're already seeing a rather large de facto tax increase with these soaring property valuations. For them to increase the rate...well, if just doesn't seem right.

So. Here's a thought:

A couple of years back Keith Ellis, BOC Chair at the time, in his "infinite wisdom," decided that we needed to have metal detectors at both the county administration building and the historic courthouse and that they needed to be staffed by county deputies. It was a bad idea at the time, and a bad one now.

Retail stores and shops don't have metal detectors. The city of Covington doesn't have them. Why should Newton Co.?

Sell those things and quit having to pay for those deputies.

That's at least about a $100,000 saved per annum. Hell, it's a start...

Thanks for reading.

Your pal,

MB McCart