Sylvia Cooper

City Ink columnist and correspondent for The Augusta Chronicle.

City Ink: The name game never stops

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A year and a half after becoming president of the Med­ical College of Georgia (MCG), Dr. Ricardo Azziz got the name of MCG changed to Georgia Health Sciences Uni­ver­sity (GHSU).

A few months later, the names of Medical College of Geor­gia Hospital and MCG Chil­dren’s Medical Center were changed to Georgia Health Sciences Medical Center (GHSMC) and Geor­gia Health Sciences Chil­dren’s Medical Center (GHSCMC) to align with the identity of GHSU.

Then Azziz got GHSU and Augusta State Univer­sity (ASU) changed to Geor­gia Regents University (GRU). The Georgia Board of Regents approved the name GRU for the merged campuses after Azziz lobbied for it behind the scenes while the survey he authorized to find the most popular names was under way.

Now, the MCG Health system’s boards have approved a resolution to change the hospital’s name to Georgia Regents Medical Center (GRMC) and the Chil­dren’s Medical Center to Chil­dren’s Hospital of Georgia (CHOG). So now we have GRU, aka GRUsome; GRMC aka Grimace; CHOG; but no ASU.

“This is getting real crazy,” Augusta Chronicle commenter “Riverman1” wrote on Chronicle Staff Writer Tom Corwin’s article about the latest name changes in Thursday’s newspaper.

Even better was commenter “noxiousfumes”: “Some­body please make it stop!!! Make it stop.”

Commenter “triscuit” asked a question many others have asked: “And now all new signs on buildings, stationery, etc. How many more dollars will this take?”

CORWIN HAS THE ANSWER: Many people in Augusta grumbled about a waste of taxpayer money with the name changes. But the transition from the Med­i­cal College of Georgia (which now stands for the School of Medicine and not the whole university) to GHSU involved only temporary signs and cost around $200,000, officials have said.

The bulk of the $3 million or so for changing the signs around has yet to be planned for or spent, so the new names should not add to that. And where the money is coming from is increasingly not from state taxes.

Over the past four fiscal years, GHSU and its clinical systems have been cut by more than $53 million, and the percentage of state support at the whole system has dropped to 16 percent of funding overall, Azziz said last week during a clinical system board meeting.

The university, he said, is “becoming state-assisted but certainly not state-supported.”

STICKS AND STONES: Spea­king of naming things, the Au­gusta Commission will discuss proposed guidelines for naming public buildings, bridges, parks and other city-owned property at a committee meeting Monday.

There are four main guidelines, the most significant being that you have to be dead to get something named for you unless you’re rich and donate a “significant” amount of money to the development of a public building or have contributed land for it – “or except for other extraordinary circumstances,” the meaning of which God only knows.

HAIL TO THE CHIEF: Augusta was well represented at President Obama’s inauguration last weekend.

Marlene and Dr. William Johnson checked off one more item from their “bucket list” by attending the inauguration and inaugural ball. They were guests of their daughter Linda Johnson and her husband, Steve Florence.

Marlene and Linda were getting ready for the ball when the presidential motorcade passed by on their street. Marlene had just put on a mink coat her mother passed down to her from a deceased elderly cousin.

“We were the only people on Sixth Street when the motorcade came by,” she said. “We waved, and somebody in the front seat waved back, but I don’t think the president would have been sitting in the front.”

“The inauguration was a wonderful experience,” she said. “A million people were there, but it was so peaceful and well organized. And I was happy that no one sprayed paint on me at the ball that Bill and I attended.”

Richmond County Sher­iff Richard Roundtree also attended the inauguration, as did Terrence Dicks.

“It was an electric weekend,” state Sen. Hardie Davis said. “People had said the attendance would be down from the first inauguration, but there were at least a million-plus people there. The weather was wonderful, as opposed to 2009. It was a wonderful opportunity for Benjamin to be a part of history.”

Davis said everybody was amazed with the dresses Michelle Obama wore to the inaugural balls and the inauguration.

Paine College held a reception last Saturday night attended by Davis, his wife, Yvette, and their 11-year-old son, Benjamin; U.S. Attorney Ed Tarver, his wife, Beverly, and their daughter Elizabeth; Minnesota Fatz and Cher Best of WKSP-FM’s Fatz and Cher Morning Show; Augusta attorney Randy Frails and his wife, Marian; Charles Lamback and his wife, Judith; Mildred Kendrick and Danielle Mackie, according to Davis.

The Davises, Tarvers, Frailses, Azziz and his wife, Cindy; U.S. Rep. John Barrow and Lynthia Ross, Barrow’s district director, attended a black-tie gala Sunday night, Davis said.

NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED: Augusta Ports Authority Chairman Wayne Hawkins said he’s disgusted by the lack of support he received from city officials, particularly City Administrator Fred Russell, after marina operator Mike Stacy accused him and authority member Paul Muckenfuss of burglary.

Stacy, who runs the marina under leases approved by the authority, made the accusation during an authority meeting 10 days ago. He presented an incident report showing deputies responded to reports of a burglary in progress Dec. 31.

When they arrived, Hawkins and Muckenfuss were there, and Hawkins told them the alarm was sounding in the marina store and that a back door was open when he arrived. He and Muckenfuss had agreed to meet there and then go to lunch, he said.

“We called 911 and waited for the police to come,” he said. “A burglar doesn’t break into a building, then call the police and sit there and wait for them to come.”

Stacy, however, told deputies that the door was locked when he arrived and that the only means of entry was a special key that he and Hawkins had. The report listed a “key” as the manner of entry and said there was no evidence of damage.

Hawkins said Russell called a meeting about a month ago with Deputy Ad­min­is­trator Bill Shana­han, acting recreation department Director Ron Houck, assistant city attorney Ken­neth Bray, Hawkins and Mucken­fuss and said he’d received a lot of complaints about Stacy and the marina and asked Bray to look into the status of Stacy’s lease. Later, Hawkins received a message from the attorney stating that the corporation the lease was signed under no longer existed.

When Russell was asked about the lease after Stacy made his accusations, he said it was under review for performance-related issues but that Mobile Marine had not been evicted. When Hawkins asked the city attorney whether he would defend him in a legal dispute, he was told no because the Ports Authority is its own entity, Hawkins said.

“When it’s to their advantage, you’re part of the city,” Hawkins said. “When it’s not, you’re on your own.

Hawkins said the authority meets six times a year, but he, as chairman, has spent hundreds of hours working on authority business throughout the year.

“And you get nothing for it but ridiculed and lied to,” he said.

His term expires in March. He was asked to remain on the board, but refused.

“You get tired of not knowing where you stand or who to go to,” he said. “The politics in Augusta are so crooked, my wife wants to sell our house and move.”

Comments (19) Add comment
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Little Lamb
49038
Points
Little Lamb 01/26/13 - 09:16 pm
2
1
Boo

There is only one way to write it and say it:

Grooo

Riverman1
93682
Points
Riverman1 01/27/13 - 05:38 am
3
1
Summerville and Frog Hollow

Well, yeah, I was confused trying to keep up with the historical record of the name changes. I was feeling sorry for the Chronicle trying to keep up with it all. It appeared the name Georgia Health Sciences Medical Center had never been noticed, heh. Anyway, we are now Georgia Regents Medical Center.

This column explains the official changes well as did Tom Corwin the other day. I wonder if the lawsuit of Regent University is successful how will we go about changing names back? Will we have to retrace all the steps back like a base runner having to touch all the bases on the way back when a fly ball is caught?

All that Sylvia has left out is the decision by Azziz to now refer to the old ASU campus as Summerville. If our university will now be referred to by only the name of the area where it is located, why not refer to the medical side by the area where it was built….Frog Hollow?

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
11036
Points
ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 01/27/13 - 07:28 am
3
2
I understand they are

I understand they are considering electronic signs so that they don't have to wait for a sign shop to make new signs each time Mr. Azziz changes his mind. Then an admin assistant can update the sign each day with the new name!!!

seenitB4
97539
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seenitB4 01/27/13 - 08:38 am
2
2
Stupid & foolish expense

The bulk of the $3 million or so for changing the signs around has yet to be planned for or spent,

Welll now....let us stop naming things til we have the dang dollars...

seenitB4
97539
Points
seenitB4 01/27/13 - 08:40 am
2
2
coldbeer has a good point

Electronic signs could be changed daily.....flashing with color....why not do that.....makes as much sense..really.

crkgrdn
2287
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crkgrdn 01/27/13 - 09:07 am
1
1
And, it's not over

A federal court has yet to rule on Virginia Regents University's challenge.
VRU has previously fended off three assaults on her brand.

Has anyone at the AC checked on VRU's challenge?

Riverman1
93682
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Riverman1 01/27/13 - 11:34 am
0
1
Regent University v. GRU

The last news I can find on the lawsuit of Regent University v. Georgia Regents University was from a TV news story on Dec. 11, 2012. Here is a quote from the story by a noted trademark attorney.

"The confusion results is what causes the damage,” explained trademark attorney Tim Moses. “When people go looking for a University they know to be Regent University, if they stumble upon Georgia Regents University, they may be confused into thinking there's some association, some affiliation."

Austin Rhodes
2989
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Austin Rhodes 01/27/13 - 12:20 pm
1
1
I am told...

...the heat is about to be applied to attys who appear to be dragging their feet in this matter. If you want to see a preview of what could very well happen IF the Virginia folks' concerns are upheld...look at the mess that has been created with this week's Federal court ruling over President Obama's recess appointments that were illegal. (there was NO recess)

And there is a real good chance that is gonna happen...

LillyfromtheMills
14307
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LillyfromtheMills 01/27/13 - 12:49 pm
1
0
Sean

How much will it cost me to change my name to:
LillyfromFrogHollow ?

Sweet son
11634
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Sweet son 01/27/13 - 01:04 pm
1
2
One more name change is in order!!!

The best name change would be for Azzix. That name would be "Gone!"

Wonder if he has any friends besides himself??

Incredible that he could come all the way from South America (I think) via California and tear down the history of our two great universities in a year and a half.

Wonder what surprises he will come up with in another year and a half?

And don't worry he will still be here! He's got Nathan Deal and the Board of Regents in his pocket somehow!

Finally do the rest of you regulars think Riverman's chest is puffed out since Margaret mentioned him in this article. LOL! But you know what; he usually has good comments and positive advice!

LillyfromtheMills
14307
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LillyfromtheMills 01/27/13 - 02:07 pm
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RM

Depends on who you're talking to :)

seenitB4
97539
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seenitB4 01/27/13 - 03:24 pm
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sweetson asked this

Finally do the rest of you regulars think Riverman's chest is puffed out since Margaret mentioned him in this article

Nothing new there...RM stays puffed out--I didn't say buffed ---puffed out..lol

Riverman1
93682
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Riverman1 01/27/13 - 05:33 pm
2
0
Ahhhhh, you guys know how to

Ahhhhh, you guys know how to hurt a guy. I’m contrite, ashamed, humiliated, annihilated, frustrated, tearful, bloodied, eviscerated, burned and wore out.

SemperParatus
3225
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SemperParatus 01/27/13 - 06:34 pm
2
2
Hardie Davis

Looks like Hardie Davis knows how to have a good time. I'm wondering if state taxpayers picked up any part of his tab. And what about the other politicians? Did Roundtree pay his own way?

Willow Bailey
20605
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Willow Bailey 01/27/13 - 09:16 pm
2
1
Completely narcassistic!

I find continuing with the expense of changing the name without waiting for the outcome of the lawsuit to be extremely narcassistic (a combination of narcissistic and asinine).

Willow Bailey
20605
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Willow Bailey 01/27/13 - 08:17 pm
0
0
Oh, Yes,

but, how many copies did you make of the article, River?

And change it to "worn out". You are "worn out", not "wore out."
I mean, that's what you said.

Little Lamb
49038
Points
Little Lamb 01/27/13 - 08:50 pm
1
0
Good coinage

I like your idea, Willow. How about a slightly different approach — merge narcissistic and asinine - - - -

Narcinine

Pronunciation: nar - si - nine

Willow Bailey
20605
Points
Willow Bailey 01/27/13 - 09:17 pm
0
1
Hey, LL. You are brilliant.

Hey, LL. You are brilliant. Be careful or Azziz will try to snag you away from your day job. Why don't we assign values to them to further describe the behaviors? Narcinine goes to more asinine than narcisssitic and Narcassistic gives more weight to the narcissistic traits.

concercitizen
733
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concercitizen 01/27/13 - 09:31 pm
0
1
Azziz went to the same school

Azziz went to the same school as Obama. Look what they both have done in a short period of time, and against the majorities wishes. And word on the street is that Azziz has all GRU employees standing at attention and saluting as he walks by. He's like Obama, We don't know where he really came from, but let's hope he goes back.

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