How to make a sand dune on the Georgia coast disappear

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“Lawrence of Arabia”/Columbia Pictures, 1962

State protections for sand dunes along the Georgia coast can be inconvenient, particularly for developers who might want to squeeze a few more condos or apartments just a tad closer to the waves.

Climate change and rising sea levels? Just a trick of insurance companies, designed to justify higher premiums.logo-GB

Last week, state Rep. Jesse Petrea, R-Savannah, introduced House Bill 271, which tackles the issue of development along the Georgia coast. It’s moving at a terrific pace. On Thursday, the House Natural Resources and Environment Committee gave it a green thumbs up.

But the people at the Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island are pointing to this phraseology in the bill, which gets around that whole sand dune protection thing, simply by declaring that most of them don’t really exist:

“Mounds of sand covered with a planted and maintained lawn or landscaping shall not be considered sand dunes. Mounds of sand that are stabilized by indigenous vegetative cover shall also not be considered sand dunes.”

The bill is imperfect, of course. Because while it tells us what a sand dune is not, it fails to adequately define what a sand dune is. We suspect the missing definition goes something like this: “Mounds of sands sprouting or stabilized by white-robed figures who answer to the name of Lawrence of Arabia and/or Peter O’Toole shall be considered sand dunes.”

What the heck. It’s almost Oscar weekend.

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Former state Rep. LaDawn Jones worries the Democratic National Committee gathering in Atlanta today is missing a caucus for an important constituency: Middle-aged white guys.

Writing at GeorgiaPol.com, Jones said the DNC packed agenda of labor councils and minority workshops ignores the moderate white voters who backed Donald Trump. From her piece:

If it makes you feel more warm and fuzzy give the white male caucus a cute name like the “historic caucus,” “majorities within minorities caucus,” or simply, “white dudes caucus.” The only other thing we can do to put the final nail in the coffin is to select a DNC chair that does not strike the proper tone and ingenuity to this issue exposed by the Trump campaign. Trump is the Gorilla Glue holding the Democratic Party together for now. It would be the definition of insanity to think doing the exact same thing again will get you a different result.

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Here’s some food for your morning thoughts. Politico.com reports that two top White House officials in the Obama administration, Heather Higginbottom and Macon Phillips, have been hired by Atlanta-based CARE. That’s the worldwide relief agency headed up by Michelle Nunn. Reports Politico:

Higginbottom, who was deputy secretary of State for management and resources, will be chief operating officer. Phillips — who founded the White House office of digital strategy before revamping the International Information Program — will be chief digital officer.

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In an interview with Lisa Rayam that aired on GPB’s “The Lawmakers” last night, state Sen. Josh McKoon, R-Columbus, took a small step toward letting us know what’s behind his decision not to seek re-election to the Senate next year.

“What’s important to me is that, in 2018, we elect conservative, independent thinkers who will move this state on issues that matter to me,” McKoon said. “When I talk about running for higher office, there are a lot of things on the table. The only thing for certain right now is that Governor Deal is term-limited. So we’ve got to wait and see what some other people decide to do. But I’m definitely considering a run for higher office.”

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You’re about to see a lot more of former congressman Jack Kingston. The Georgia Republican has signed on to be a part-time CNN contributor. It means a lot more exposure for Kingston, who is still considered a possible candidate for governor next year.


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