Sylvia Cooper

City Ink columnist and correspondent for The Augusta Chronicle.

City Ink: Group wants to shoo the GRU

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On Sunday, Augusta leaders who want to keep “Augusta” in the name of the city’s consolidated university go public with a campaign to “Save the A” – and shoo the GRU.

Campaign Chairman Nick Evans said Save the A is gaining tremendous support in Richmond, Columbia, McDuffie and Aiken counties from community leaders, alumni of Geor­gia Health Sciences and Augusta State universities, doctors, lawyers, dentists, nurses, teachers, car dealers, butchers, bakers and candlestick makers.

He didn’t really say the last three.

The campaign is the result of outrage over the Geor­gia Board of Regents naming the school after themselves – Georgia Regents University – with no mention of “Augusta,” a name with worldwide recognition.

Adding insult to injury was the deceitful way it all came about, with GHSU President Ricardo Azziz launching a naming campaign and seeking public input. He formed a Branding Team to screen proposed names and come up with a list of finalists. He also spent $45,000 on state and national surveys that showed names with “Augusta” ranked the highest. All the while, he was lobbying the regents behind the scenes with the name he wanted, which magically appeared on the final list.

Despite the tide of negative reaction to GRU, Azziz and the regents have refused to reconsider, so those who love Augusta, Augusta State University and the Medical College of Georgia, which sadly has been subsumed by GHSU, are looking to Gov. Nathan Deal for help because he appoints the regents.

Evans said he supports the governor and just wants his support “to give direction to the board of regents.”

“If the chancellor and Board of Regents would agree to make the new university the University of Augusta, it would be the most single unifying happening in our history,” he said.

Evans said if you talk to any business person outside Georgia and tell them the Board of Regents omitted Augusta in the name, their response is unanimous.

“They all say, ‘Why would they abandon a worldwide and globally recognized brand that is known for quality and prestige?’ ”

Another question Evans asked concerns Regent University of Virginia’s trademark lawsuit against the Board of Regents and the state to stop them from using Georgia Regents University: “Why would we want to carry on with the lawsuit and spend taxpayers’ money?”

BE CAREFUL, YOU MIGHT FALL OFF THAT FENCE: Mayor Deke Copenhaver said he thinks it’s a “very good thing for people to come together to address an issue,” but he hasn’t signed on to the Save the A campaign.

“Throughout the process, I expressed my opinion I wanted the name to be University of Augusta,” he said. “I have expressed a willingness with members of Save the A campaign to meet with the governor so their voices can be heard in Atlanta.”

(Excuse me, but if they haven’t heard voices from Augusta in Atlanta by now, they must be deaf.)

Meanwhile, the mayor took the opportunity to make a point.

“I would hope that in the future we could coalesce the same energy into addressing our city’s 22 percent poverty rate and the educational outcomes of the youth of our community,” he said.

(Excuse me again, but aren’t you talking apples and oranges?)

OPEN WIDE. SAY AAAHHHH! Augusta Commissioner Grady Smith, an Augusta State University Foundation Board member, gladly signed on to Save the A.

“My uncle was a dean at Augusta College,” he said. “I went there in the late ’60s when there were Quonset huts. In 1991, Dr. Bill Bloodworth came and brought it to a new level with great teachers. To watch that college grow and develop from what they called the 13th grade to Augusta State University has been a wonderful thing. Nick Evans, Duncan Johnson and I went there, and if it hadn’t been there we probably wouldn’t have gone to college.”

Smith said he feels the same way about the name MCG being overshadowed as he does about GRU.

“A lot of us feel like we’ve had something crammed down our throats,” he said.

GETTING RUSTY: Iron Man Deke is frustrated over being sidelined with tendinitis and unable to participate in the ESi Ironman 70.3 Augusta. But there is some consolation thinking about his past glory.

“I’m still the only mayor in the Americas to have finished an Ironman-sanctioned event twice, so I’m two up on every other mayor,” he said.

Mayor Pro Tem Joe Bowles is representing the city this year and expects to beat the mayor’s time, just like he did three years ago.

Copenhaver said the rumor that Honey Boo Boo would be at the finish line to meet the participants is false.

I told Ernie the only people left you can get away with making fun of are stupid Southerners. I guess that’s because nobody wants to admit to being one.

WHAT IS THAT SMELL? U.S. House candidate Lee Anderson’s handlers continue to keep the media at bay, so they can’t ask the Republican anything he can’t answer. The strategy seems to be to have him make brief remarks at certain events, such as last week’s grand opening of Steak ’n Shake. If a reporter happens to be present, that counts as an interview.

Last week, spokesman Ryan Mahoney declined an Augusta Chronicle request to interview Anderson. Meanwhile, the campaign keeps calling Democratic incumbent John Barrow a liar and insinuating he used Government Services Administration cars in his TV ad, which he didn’t.

Next week, Anderson will begin his Tractor Tour of the 12th Congressional District. After the election, I expect he’ll begin his Retraction Tour because of the false information he disseminated about opponent Rick Allen during the Republican primary.

Anderson accused Allen, a well-respected Augusta businessman, of donating to political candidates in return for millions in government contracts. That was such a blatant lie that Anderson was forced to pull the ad. But he has not apologized or retracted it, and Allen said sooner or later the damage to his reputation must be rectified.

He could sue and end up owning Anderson’s tractor and manure spreader.

DUCK! Julian Smith Casino was jam-packed for Democratic Richmond County sheriff candidate Richard Roundtree’s fundraiser Thursday. Democratic candidates who spoke were Probate Court judge candidate Harry James, State Court solicitor candidate Kelly McIntyre; Augusta Judicial Circuit District Attorney candidate Evita Paschal; Augusta Commission District 9 candidates Marion Williams and Harold Jones; and District 1 candidate Bill Fennoy.

Roundtree, the final speaker, gave an inspirational speech using the biblical tale of David and Goliath to bring his message home.

He said Goliath was a bully and the leader of the good ol’ boys.

“Goliath said whoever wanted to challenge him should meet in the middle of town. The Lord told David to go to the center of town. The Lord said he had given him what he needed.

“Augusta, our time has come,” Roundtree said. “We must not stop with winning the sheriff’s race. We should strive to win every race.”

He talked about how David took a slingshot and used the rocks around him to slay Goliath, then told the audience that they should start using the rocks around them to make a difference in the community.

I can’t remember everything he said, but he made some good points about getting youths off the streets and making them get their pants off the ground. That drew big applause.

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rmwardsr
525
Points
rmwardsr 09/29/12 - 09:17 pm
5
5
"then told the audience that

"then told the audience that they should start using the rocks around them to make a difference in the community."

I don't quite make the correlation here. He's talking apples and oranges.
But given the intelligence of the Democrats Roundtree was addressing, they will do just that. So don't be surprised when the rocks start flying.

whatmistake
100
Points
whatmistake 09/29/12 - 10:05 pm
6
2
What a coup for Augusta. Her

What a coup for Augusta. Her mayor's as spineless as they come but, by golly, he sure knows how to navigate those triathlons (to say nothing of keeping up with how other mayors may or may not have performed). Meanwhile, Rome is burning. God help us all.

Willow Bailey
20580
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Willow Bailey 09/29/12 - 10:13 pm
6
4
Is it just me, or does this sound divisive?

“Augusta, our time has come,” Roundtree said. “We must not stop with winning the sheriff’s race. We should strive to win every race.”

willie7
955
Points
willie7 09/29/12 - 10:53 pm
5
5
Thanks Mayor Copenhaver for
Unpublished

Thanks Mayor Copenhaver for your remarks about our poverty rate and
the RC School System. I admire your compassion for poor people and wanting to improve the RC schools.
Many people, especially some who live in Columbia County, berate Augusta daily. and moved away. Yet, they are fighting for the new university to be named, Augusta University or University of Augusta.
As the mayor has said, put all that energy to work improving Augusta and the disadvantaged people.,

janderson1945
1843
Points
janderson1945 09/29/12 - 11:06 pm
4
6
The businessmen & many

The businessmen & many politicians are more concerned about a name than actually improving the city and being thankful for all that is coming to our area from the regnents and the state. Instead of showing any appreciation or concentrating on real issues, they focus on the name. The Mayor is dead on with his comments and his stance is appropriate. We need to improve the looks of the area, our schools, our infrastructure, crime and our county government.

janderson1945
1843
Points
janderson1945 09/29/12 - 11:18 pm
4
5
Having now been to a

Having now been to a Roundtree event and a Sanders event, the choice is pretty easy. Sanders from the start has said lock up all who break the law no matter what, even first offense misdemeanor possession of marijuana (and, yes I attended many forums and personally heard him say this more than once) At two of the forums, the chief jailer for Richmond County explained that most of the time offenders are out of jail before paperwork is even completed for crimes such as this and it is a waste of time, energy and money to incarcerate minor non-violent criminal offenses when the jail doesn't even have room for them. Sanders is pretty basic, lock them up, that will solve the problem - well, it doesn't and the jail is already full. His negative comments towards communtiy policing, accreditation, community advisory boards, etc. all show his time has long come and gone since he has not been in law enforcement for 30 years now and he will not make the Sheriff's Office better or move it forward. Roundtree on the other hand is currently in law enforcement and offers many new policing solutions in an effort to reduce crime and work with the communtiy. He has made it very clear that criminals will be arrested and that viloent criminals need to stay behind bars but he goes further in trying to solve issues before they become major problems since most who go to jail come out worse than when they went in. As for his views on getting all of the democrats elected, well I don't agree there but as for him being the best for the office of Sheriff, that is now very clear in my mind. We need to move forward and Roundtree is the only choice in order to do so.

Fiat_Lux
15122
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Fiat_Lux 09/29/12 - 11:52 pm
8
2
This may come as a shock to many, but

the disadvantaged of Augusta are not in the forefront of everyone's mind, nor should they be. We don't live and breath to take care of the disadvantaged, but to take care of our own families and to be productive citizens ourselves.

Even Jesus said the poor would always be with us, and that we could do good for them as we are able; however, they are not the most important feature of American life, despite what some people would try to guilt everyone into believing. All other issues and concerns do not, in fact, pale in importance by comparison.

Willow Bailey
20580
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Willow Bailey 09/29/12 - 11:53 pm
4
1
Association, character, and

Association, character, and behavior over words.

rebellious
20630
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rebellious 09/30/12 - 12:23 am
8
2
Who is "WE"?

“Augusta, our time has come,” Roundtree said. “We must not stop with winning the sheriff’s race. We should strive to win every race.” Just exactly who is WE? Augustan's should win every race? That doesn't make sense. Democrats should win every race? But what if the best candidate is a Republican. Or what about the non-partisan offices upfor election? Just who does Richard Roundtree mean by WE? Sylvia, you were there. Who do you think he meant?

rebellious
20630
Points
rebellious 09/30/12 - 12:32 am
6
1
On second look

And after reviewing the speakers, I realize there is a common denominator. They all are Democrats. But I still think I am missing something.

Democratic candidates who spoke were Probate Court judge candidate Harry James, State Court solicitor candidate Kelly McIntyre; Augusta Judicial Circuit District Attorney candidate Evita Paschal; Augusta Commission District 9 candidates Marion Williams and Harold Jones; and District 1 candidate Bill Fennoy.

Someone help me figure out what I am missing......

Tullie
2930
Points
Tullie 09/30/12 - 06:03 am
7
1
Rebel

Goliath and David..maybe?

I was confused with that part as well. It was rather rambling and disconnected or something.

I just hope people don't start throwing rocks at each other...

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 09/30/12 - 08:18 am
5
1
i think the organizers should

i think the organizers should have a concert called "save our A**" modeled after the "save our butt" archibald butt memorial bridge concert.

except hold this one at the presidential estate on Milledge Road.

:)

this whole name change consolidation (asu takeover) debacle has given me more school spirit and pride than my first 3 years in college

soapy_725
43676
Points
soapy_725 09/30/12 - 08:31 am
2
0
Goliath was the enemy of God's People!!!!
Unpublished

The wealthy Goliath Philistine peeps were the oppressors of David's poor, underfeed, ill housed Hebrew peeps. It is classic fascist-social warfare used in all civics studies. He is the Tree and you are the branches. Maybe he is prophesying another May 1970.

irishfarmer
24
Points
irishfarmer 09/30/12 - 08:31 am
3
3
Alos when it comes to the

Alos when it comes to the name GRU. Staying a heavy democratic county has not helped us get a member on the board of regents and it will not as long as we continue to vote heavily against republicans and continue to send democrats who have no wait in Atlanta power or guts for that matter as well. So get over it the name is changed do i like it? No i dont! But it is the new name so instead of the complaining and cry baby actions lets move forward with the more pressing issues of Augusta/Richmond County. I do agree with many that the new name will be bad for the school and our area in the future like many others believe as well.

seenitB4
85726
Points
seenitB4 09/30/12 - 08:55 am
5
1
Rebellious

WE ain't me & you...:)

Riverman1
82428
Points
Riverman1 09/30/12 - 09:38 am
5
1
Deke's Apples and Oranges

“I would hope that in the future we could coalesce the same energy into addressing our city’s 22 percent poverty rate and the educational outcomes of the youth of our community,” he said.

Does that mean if he city had less poverty and better results with schools, that the school would not have been named GRU?

It's time again for my classic observation about Deke. At the first sign of trouble, his automatic car starter gets it going and is half way to the beach before he can catch up.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 09/30/12 - 09:58 am
3
1
Switch the subject. A tool

Switch the subject. A tool of all who practice deceit, manipulation and avoidance.

F4therTime
4656
Points
F4therTime 09/30/12 - 10:40 am
4
1
Really?
Unpublished

If a white candidate would have said what Roundtree said he would have been called a racist and asked to resign from the race....what a double standard. As far as Deke the spineless? I wish he cared as much for poverty and poor education as he does for Cal and baseball stadiums.

HenryWalker3rd
2393
Points
HenryWalker3rd 09/30/12 - 10:48 am
2
6
Apples and Oranges
Unpublished

Have white people been subjected to the same conditions black Americans have? Then how can you compare their plights?

HenryWalker3rd
2393
Points
HenryWalker3rd 09/30/12 - 10:53 am
2
7
Fiat, please don't mix your
Unpublished

Fiat, please don't mix your beliefs with the Word.....Jesus had a love affair with the poor and less fortunate.

The mayor is actually right, the GRU energy should be placed elsewhere....there are more important community issues.

I heard from a birdie that there were well over 1,000 people at Roundtree's event.....wow.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 09/30/12 - 11:12 am
4
2
Henry, Jesus does not have

Henry, Jesus does not have love affairs. Jesus IS love.
He Loves All of the world. That includes those who take responsibility for their own families and selves. Most people tout the poor only as a method of personal gain and power. Here is the test. Measure your stance by what YOU are doing, not by what OTHERS are doing.
What have I given? How have I served? When did I pray?... for others.

Tullie
2930
Points
Tullie 09/30/12 - 11:56 am
5
3
HenryWalker3rd said:

Have white people been subjected to the same conditions black Americans have? Then how can you compare their plights?

Just what are these conditions and plights that the black Americans being subjected?

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 09/30/12 - 01:21 pm
3
8
tullie=white denial is alive
Unpublished

tullie=white denial is alive and well.

Gage Creed
16773
Points
Gage Creed 09/30/12 - 02:02 pm
4
1
As is white guilt...isn't

As is white guilt...isn't that right palmetto?

F4therTime
4656
Points
F4therTime 09/30/12 - 02:46 pm
6
2
Black plight?
Unpublished

What a cop out. Which black plight are you referring to? Affirmative action? Constant playing of the race card when things don't go your way? The NAACP wastes their resources protesting
some scum that got the death penalty rather than working on generational welfare, black on black crime and unwed teen pregnancies. Then posters come on here and tell us what causes we should or shouldn't take on....pathetic.

rebellious
20630
Points
rebellious 09/30/12 - 03:01 pm
3
1
Irish Farmer

Yoo git the price, Ireshmun. And frum a Scot az wull.(Spoken like William Wallace from Braveheart).

Sometimes I think Sylvia hides things for us to find in her City Ink, you know, like where's Waldo. Maybe the name of this weeks game is "Where's the Racist"

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 09/30/12 - 03:24 pm
4
2
Roundtree's comments did not

Roundtree's comments did not cause me to feel the LOVE that he espoused in his previous speech.

So, is he going to love some and throw rocks at others, and what qualifies one to receive the stoning?

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 09/30/12 - 03:40 pm
2
5
I'm sorry you feel guilty,
Unpublished

I'm sorry you feel guilty, Gage.
F4thertime: There are more white people on welfare, more white on white crimes, and more white teenage pregancies compared any other racial/ethnic group. Why doesn't the Klan and other white supremacist groups take that on??

F4therTime
4656
Points
F4therTime 09/30/12 - 04:26 pm
4
2
Oh please...
Unpublished

Show me where they live in crime infested public housing? Furthermore, blacks make up 14% of the population of course more white people are on welfare. Funny I don't see white people living in public housing and gunning each other down on a daily basis over drugs and alcohol. Look at the percentage of blacks in prison and don't give me they are innocent and only in jail because they are poor. BTW...I am not a fan of the Klan but at least they don't hide their racism like other groups...

InChristLove
22468
Points
InChristLove 09/30/12 - 04:57 pm
2
0
palmetto1008, I believe you

palmetto1008, I believe you have the figures incorrectly. "more white teenage pregancies " Wrong. According to statiscs 24 out of every 1000 live births is contributed to a white female between the ages of 15-19. Of black females, they contribute 52 out of every 1000 live births. You said "There are more white people on welfare" Wrong. According to statics, Blacks make up 39.8%, Whites make up 38.8%, Hispanics make up 15.7%, 3.3 are Other (whatever that is), and Asians make up 2.4%.

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