So this morning started off about 60, with drizzle, mist and short periods of rain. The weather station down at Mercier Orchards shows about 3/4″ inch in the last 24 hours, but I doubt we’ve had that here, about two miles southeast of Mineral Bluff, given that it’s a drier area.
We’ve heard the peepers for the last two nights, down at the pond in the meadow below. I always try to note that as the first sign of spring. (The ecologists call that “phenology.” That’s what happens when, as opposed to “phrenology,” the discredited “detailed study of the shape and size of the cranium as a supposed indication of character and mental abilities.”) Anyway, I’ve been doing it before I knew what it was called.
There’s been a pretty big flap – for Fannin County – over the plans to move most of the county offices to the old Whitepath factory, over by the license branch and the Blue Ridge Community Theatre on the old highway. Some of it is about the costs of renovating the building, some of it about whether the library belongs there. (The News Observer, which doesn’t like the current administration, has cast itself in the unlikely role of the defender of the library.) The county bought it a while back. I may be mistaken, but I believe this all started a few years ago when Bubba Johnson, one of our county commissioners, started to complain about how far he had to walk to get to the courthouse for the monthly commissioner’s meeting.
Anyway, the county has since bought the old factory – which dates to the 1930s – and has appropriated a pretty good sum of money for an initial study of the conversion costs, which include moving the library there. David Ralston, the Speaker of the House, has promised a substantial grant for the library, but my understanding is that the money has not been officially appropriated yet. Both local newspapers have been critical of the move, and a lot of people are wondering what’s going to be left in the new courthouse, which I believe we’re still paying for, after they move the commissioner’s office, the election office, and all of the other things they are planning to move there.
There’s been another flap – this one not in the papers yet – about an advertisement in the News Observer, the “newspaper of record” – advertising a Republican Party fundraiser starring Doug Collins, our House Representative, Kelly Loeffler, and David Ralston – sponsored, among others, by the Fannin County Commission. Comment on the street has been along the lines of “how can they do that, legally?”
In statewide election news, Doug Collins has announced his candidacy for in the special election being held for Johnny Isakson’s seat – Isakson resigned, citing his health – against Kelly Loeffler, who was selected by the Governor, Brian Kemp, to fill the seat. If that isn’t interesting enough, the pastor of the famous Ebenezer Baptist Church, Raphael G. Warnock, has thrown his hat in the ring, along with two other Democrats. Warnock has the potent endorsement of Stacey Abrams, who ran a tough race for governor not long ago and either won or lost, depending on who you ask.
Obviously, with five candidates, there’s a good chance of a runoff. I’m not sure exactly what the election law says, but I suppose it will be between the top two vote getters for each party. There is a move in the Georgia House to add it to the Presidential Preference Primary in May, instead of just having a “special election” – as it stands, there’s no primary, just a vote on the General Election date for all five candidates. A so-called “jungle election.” Apparently, the Georgia House Republicans believe that would be advantageous to have it added to the Primary, which would mean only one candidate from each party in the election. I suppose that means that they believe Trump’s coattails might ensure a Senate victory.