Archive for the ‘Community Events’ Category

Happy St Patrick’s Day

Monday, March 17th, 2014

The Legend of St. Patrick

So he set out for Ireland with the Pope’s blessings. There he converted the Gaelic Irish, who were then mostly Pagans, to Christianity. He was confident in the Lord, he journeyed far and wide, baptizing and confirming with untiring zeal. And, in a diplomatic fashion he brought gifts to a kinglet here and a lawgiver there, but accepted none from any. Indeed, Patrick was quite successful at winning converts. Through active preaching, he made important converts even among the royal families. And this fact upset the Celtic Druids. Patrick was arrested several times, but escaped each time. For 20 years he had traveled throughout Ireland, establishing monasteries across the country. He also set up schools and churches which would aid him in his conversion. He developed a native clergy, fostered the growth of monasticism, established dioceses, and held church councils. Patrick’s doctrine is considered orthodox and has been interpreted as anti-Pelagian. Although he is not particularly noted as a man of learning, a few of his writings remain extant: his Confession, a reply to his detractors, and several letters. The Lorica (“Breastplate”), a famous hymn attributed to Patrick, may date to a later period.

By the end of the 7th century Patrick had become a legendary figure, and the legends have continued to grow since then. There are many legends associated with St Patrick. It is said that he used the three-leaf shamrock to explain the concept of the Trinity; which refers to the combination of Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Hence its strong association with his day and name. Legend also has that, Saint Patrick had put the curse of God on venomous snakes in Ireland. And he drove all the snakes into the sea where they drowned.

True, these are mostly legends. But, after some 1500 years, these legends have been inseparably combined with the facts. And together they have helped us know much about the Saint and the spirit behind celebration of the day.

Patrick’s mission in Ireland lasted for over 20 years. He died on March 17, AD 461. That day has been commemorated as St. Patrick’s Day ever since. The day’s spirit is to celebrate the universal baptization of Ireland. Though originally a Catholic holy day, St. Patrick’s Day has evolved into more of a secular holiday. Or, rather, ‘be an Irish Day.’ And the Irish has borne it as part of their national tradition in everywhere they populated and prospered.

The Catholic feast day for this most loved of Irish saints has become a holiday in celebration of the Irish and Irish culture. The leprechaun, a Celtic fairy, has become entrenched as a chief symbol for this holiday, as is the shamrock, an ancient symbol for the triple goddess Brigit. It is fitting that this holiday should fall at the time of the year when the return of spring begins to seem at hand.

Get to know Augusta Georgia

Monday, March 10th, 2014

US Army’s Cyber Command to Fort Gordon

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

    The Army announced the Cyber Command will consolidate it’s network operations. Fort Gordon will be the new headquarters of the US Army’s cyber command. Fort Gordon and Fort Meade in Maryland were in the running for this honor. Fort Gordon will also have a Three Star General leading Fort Gordon.

 Augusta should be proud of the hard work that went into making sure the cyber command came to Fort Gordon.

Full details

We Remember 9/11

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

  We pause today to remember what happen to our great country on September 11 2001. We praise and pray for the men and women who lost their lives in this senseless tragedy. The families of these brave souls have endured pain and suffering that we cannot imagine. We can only hope they have found peace in their hearts and minds today.

 Today is a day to remember, Today and future days is a time to speak to our youth. Talk to them about how our country changed in one day. We have an obligation to teach our young people about this horrific day. How it always will be in our hearts and mind. Tell them about the heros of that day.  Discuss how our country came together after this event. I have already talked with my kids and I hope you will do the same.

God Bless America

Project Jackson North Augusta SC

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Since my decision to return to the CSRA in 1998 and move to North Augusta, I think I have earned a reputation as an above-average civic-minded individual with a proven and sincere interest in, and proven dedication toward, the betterment of our community. I get involved. I volunteer. I try to offer my opinion, my time and my sweat toward initiatives that promote a better future for our children here.

As a matter of fact, it is because of this precise instinct (drive, intuition, inclination, whatever it is) that I volunteered to become involved with Hammond’s Ferry and the city of North Augusta’s goal to connect its downtown with the Savannah River. After two years of volunteering my time, I was honored to be asked to work for the North Augusta River Front Co. in the actual planning and creation of this great vision. Today, I call Hammond’s Ferry home, both for my family and for two businesses.

My decision was made in large part because of Project Jackson and the promise that this plan holds for establishing a responsible and practical method for finally allowing the public/private partnership (that is the North Augusta Riverfront model) to realize the goals established with the public planning charrettes in the late 1990s. This promise is for a riverfront not only accessible to anyone, but equipped with all of the critical components of a city that allow businesses to thrive, and inspires families of all incomes to both live and visit. This latter promise is achieved through certain public and civic uses that will allow this riverfront to become a true national destination.

I desperately want people to clearly understand that there are very dedicated and trustworthy people working on all levels on behalf of this vision. There are of course people who have spoken out against Hammond’s Ferry, its density and its mixed uses from the very beginning. Unfortunately, the current Tax Increment Financing proposal (which is an amendment of an existing TIF) has allowed the same naysayers to re-emerge and say almost anything to disable the public/civic-minded focus of this plan, vying for exclusivity over inclusivity.

What I am afraid people do not understand is that everything that Hammond’s Ferry is today is because of joint public/private investment. Brick Pond Park, Center Street, the Riverfront Greeneway path, Boeckh Park and the docks – all public/private funding.

The private developer seeking to invest in North Augusta also was faced with naysayers in Fort Wayne, Ind. Upon the successful realization of that city’s public/private partnership for an almost identical mixed-use facility, that city’s News-Sentinel newspaper wrote in an Aug. 7 editorial:

“If we can find an idea as good as the stadium for the riverfront, that will become a success, too. … Studies can’t really get anything done. The best they can do is pave the way for people with good ideas willing to take risks. The best the rest of us can do is encourage those people and try to recognize the worthiness of a good idea when we see one.

“There was a lot of skepticism, expressed by this editorial page and elsewhere, of the idea of a new baseball facility when there was an adequate one already in use. The downtown boosters have proved the skeptics wrong the best way possible: by succeeding spectacularly.”

Any success at Hammond’s Ferry is because of responsible public input and investment as proposed in the TIF, which is triggered only when the private investors commit to funding all of the proposed entertainment facilities, hotel, apartments and housing – none of which is to be paid for with TIF dollars. Only the public-related parking and convention facilities will be funded with TIF.

To quote from the original city charrette: “The project is designed as a collection of walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods which extend the historic town of North Augusta, reconnecting the town with its riverfront. The project will contain more than 1,000 new homes, condominiums and apartments, as well as business and civic uses, and excellent new parks and public spaces fronting the river.”

So far we have kept to task. All the city asks is to maintain what it has started. All that families like mine want – and now countless others who are volunteering their time – is a new and better future for North Augusta and the CSRA.

Article written by Turner Simkins in The Augusta Chronicle August 20 2013