Quotes of note
“One of the most cowardly things ordinary people do is to shut their eyes to facts.” – C. S. Lewis
“The most improper job of any man, even saints (who at any rate were at least unwilling to take it on), is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.” – J. R. R. Tolkien
“I’ve learned… That opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones you miss.” – Andy Rooney
On Our Desks
Good policy wins: In his weekly column, Kyle Wingfield analyzes the results of Georgia’s primary gubernatorial election.
Trouble brewing: Georgia craft brewers are running a 21st-century industry under Prohibition-era laws. In his first investigative report for the Foundation, Christopher Butler dives into the beer laws that are brewing trouble for this booming industry.
Chained: Supply chain issues in Cobb County involving vehicle manufacturers and parts suppliers have left CobbLinc’s Paratransit system depleted, according to The Georgia Sun. Most of the fleet is past its useful life and parts can’t be found to fix what’s in the garage. To address the problem, CobbLince purchased 22 replacement vehicles that were due last December, but they have now been delayed another 18 to 24 months.
Incentive: Morgan County officials will allow electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian to rent the land and future factory buildings on a nearly 2,000-acre site without paying typical property taxes, according to The Atlanta Journal Constitution. The rental agreement is one of several components of Rivian’s incentive package — and by far the largest — providing some $700 million in property tax savings over the 25-year term. Rivian will pay more than $300 million over 25 years to local governments and school systems under a payment in lieu of taxes agreement or PILOT.
Energy and Environment
Weekend getaway? The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge and its non-profit partner Okefenokee Swamp Park have created The Okefenokee Experience, an initiative aiming to draw attention to the area through tourism, recreation, education, and research. They plan a new interpretive center, a cultural history museum, and a dark sky observatory in the three-county area.
Outages ahead: Americans west of the Mississippi River, and some in the Midwest, face a “high” or “elevated” risk of electricity shortages this summer, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation warned. There are a variety of reasons, including drought in areas that rely heavily on hydropower. But as the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board notes, the situation is worse than during past dry periods because of “the loss of baseload generators that can provide reliable power 24/7. Solar and wind are rapidly increasing, but they’re as erratic as the weather and can’t be commanded to ramp up when electricity demand surges.”
Look both ways! Pedestrian traffic deaths are on the increase throughout the country, but Georgia’s rate of increase is higher than the national average, reports the Center Square. Georgia’s 2021 rate was up by 45.6% over 2019, and by 23.8% from 2020, while nationally the 2021 rate increased by 16.7% from 2019, and by 11.5% from 2020. An analysis from the Governors Highway Safety Association found that dangerous driving behaviors like speeding and impaired or distracted driving were the primary causes.
Denied: The Georgia Composite Medical Board regularly dismisses most of the complaints it receives, according to the Center Square. That echoes a November 2020 state audit that found the Board “lacks controls to ensure that reported complaints are sufficiently investigated.” Only three of the five investigator positions are currently filled. and the investigators who are there do not always interview the filer of a complaint. Investigators instead rely on medical records to determine the facts.
Have a great weekend.
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