Recent editorials from Georgia newspapers:
Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle on allegations show how bullying can occur at any level:
Plenty can be said about the alleged locker room harassment that prompted a Miami Dolphins offensive lineman to pick up and leave the team in mid-season.
But nothing that can be said about it is more important than this:
If a 300-pound lineman can be bullied so badly that he gives up, then no one should be ashamed of being a victim.
The case of Dolphins lineman Jonathan Martin, the alleged victim, also presents us with an important lesson: that bullying must be taken seriously by others in power, no matter the age of the people involved, or how big the recipient of the abuse. ...
The culture of the NFL, and sports in general, has come into question in the past week because of this incident. The unpleasant truth is that hazing, harassment and bullying can occur at every level, from elementary school to professional teams.
While horseplay will ever be with us, and having to pay one's dues as a rookie or new recruit is a time-honored rite of passage — usually done in a most lighthearted manner — there's a difference between testing a man's moxie and outright abuse.
We hope the NFL and its players association continue to take this matter seriously. There's horsing around and then there's thuggish torment.
If these allegations are true, then you have to wonder why any team would employ Incognito again.
On the bright side, the episode could be a godsend to abuse victims of all sizes and ages. It's a reminder that persecution is persecution, and that no one has a right to do it to anyone else.
It also should serve as a ray of hope to anyone else going through it. Again, if an NFL player can be bullied to the point of desperation, there's utterly no shame for any other victim.
Brunswick (Ga.) News on new clinic is waste of taxpayers' money:
If the White House, Congress and their bureaucracies are adept at anything, it's wasting our hard earned dollars without remorse. Elected officials give us plenty of lip service when running for office, but that is the extent of it. Any promise to do better stops there — always.
Just in the past few days, for example, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that it was awarding a nonprofit organization almost $775,000 via Affordable Care Act funds. The clinic, to be located somewhere in Glynn County, will offer health care to individuals who are uninsured or under insured.
Coastal Community Health Services, the nonprofit organization receiving the grant, says it hopes to pinpoint a site for the clinic within the month. It should open within four months after that, it says.
No matter what officials say, it will be duplication of a clinic and health care service already offered to low-income individuals and families who are uninsured or under-insured. It's called the Coastal Medical Access Project, or CMAP, a fully established clinic on the corner of Parkwood Drive and Shrine Road. It is supported by Southeast Georgia Health System.
A main difference between these two programs, as officials might attempt to explain to the community, is that CMAP asks for nothing in return for services rendered. The new clinic would charge recipients for services, though only based on their ability to pay.
The other difference that officials might point out is that one is supported by tax-dollars and income-based payments; the other, CMAP, is supported by the health system, which also benefits from state and federal tax-dollars. It also should be noted that the health system's charges for hospital and emergency room care to paying customers is higher than it might otherwise be because of all the nonpaying indigent patients it handles. That's like a tax on everyone else. ...
Health care should be available to everyone, whether a person can pay for it or not. Few would argue against that. A civilization that turns its back on the sick and poor is not much of a civilization at all.
This doesn't mean the federal government should open up clinics like convenience stores — practically one on every corner. Working individuals and families, the ones paying taxes or higher fees for hospital care to underwrite the costs of others, can afford only so much.
Savannah (Ga.) Morning News on JetBlue effect:
JetBlue won't be serving passengers out of the Savannah airport until February. Yet the "JetBlue effect" is already having an impact here — and that's reason for the flying public to rejoice.
What's the JetBlue effect?
Put simply, it's the effect that this low-cost carrier has on competing airlines, which tend to improve service and lower prices to attract passengers and avoid losing market share to JetBlue.
That's good for the flying public. It means more choices and competitive ticket prices.
For five years, air travelers here have been held as virtual hostages to higher prices because of the lack of a low-cost carrier.
In a recent survey, Savannah's airport tied for fourth place (with Washington D.C.'s Dulles) in a national list of highest average ticket prices, at $493. The national average for an airline ticket is $379.
But things could improve, which is reason to rejoice.
JetBlue recently announced that it will begin service early next year to and from New York and Boston out of Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport. That's reason to cheer. Not surprisingly, Delta, United Airlines and US Airways, which also offer service here, made counter-moves. Those are reasons to cheer, too.
According to a Department of Transportation report, Delta will be adding five more weekly flights between Savannah and its hub in Atlanta. It also is expanding its existing service to New York's LaGuardia by more than 250 seats a week and is beginning service in February to New York's JFK International.
United is beefing up its Northern run as well. It's projected to add five weekly flights to Newark, as well as one flight a week to Washington's Dulles. US Airways will add more than 600 seats weekly to Charlotte and one weekly flight each to Washington's Reagan National and Philadelphia International.
Until recently, Southwest Airlines was considered the great pricing disciplinarian. But JetBlue is taking over that title. ...
Lower fares should also reduce "leakage" of area residents who will drive to Jacksonville or Charleston, South Carolina, to get cheaper flights. (Example: On Monday, the cost of a roundtrip ticket from Savannah to New York on the weekend of Dec. 20 was $684; on JetBlue out of Jacksonville, it was $485.)
But fresh competition only works when consumers support the new competitors. The local playing field is littered with carcasses of airlines that tried to compete here and lost.
For the economy's sake, it helps to sweeten the pot to convince low-cost carriers to serve this area. The Savannah Economic Development Authority, the Hilton Head/Bluffton Chamber of Commerce, the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce and Visit Savannah have collectively contributed more than $500,000 to the airport's air service development fund.
High ticket prices have other negative ripple effects. In Savannah's case, they prevent public-supported facilities like the trade and convention center from reaching their potential.
Let's hope the JetBlue effect is a ticket to better days — for the airport and the community.