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Georgia editorial roundup

June 26, 2019

Recent editorials from Georgia newspapers:

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June 25

The Augusta Chronicle on a cybersecurity camp for teens, and the growing importance of cybersecurity:

Just about everyone we know who’s left for a summer camp has come back better for the experience.

GenCyber Summer Camp is no different. It might even be one of the most relevant and useful experiences your child can undergo.

Credit Augusta University for that. AU’s Cyber Institute is playing host to the camp, now in its sixth year. From now through June 29, three-dozen rising juniors and seniors in high school will be diving head-first into the world of cybersecurity — one of the fastest-growing fields of computer science, and one whose influence touches how people engage with the world every day.

That’s no exaggeration. Simply put: If you use any computer for a routine task — and that includes your smartphone — odds are you rely on cybersecurity to ensure that the data you share is safe. You can shop online and you can pay your bills. Your doctor can protect your medical records. The money in your bank account stays in your bank account. All of those circumstances we often take for granted are protected by crucial levels of cybersecurity.

GenCyber campers in Augusta are learning the nuts and bolts of cybersecurity, merging practical knowledge of coding, programming and computer hardware with frequent fun. The hope is that campers will come away with a kindled spark to pursue cyber as a career. And hundreds of thousands of cyber professionals are required to fill a need. Right now.

The knowledge being shared right now at GenCyber could not be more consequential in the 21st century. It’s irresponsible for rising generations of children not to know something practically applicable about cybersecurity, given society’s increasing reliance on it. And outside of a school classroom, what better place to pass on that knowledge than at a summer camp?

America’s first summer camps dated to the 1870s and 1880s, according to a paper we came across in the scholarly journal Environmental History. Teachers, doctors and clergymen back then started gatherings for children in urban areas to build their health and their character in rural settings.

The concept caught on so well because their mission succeeded so splendidly - physical and cultural development in safe, nurturing environments.

Now it’s not just hiking and canoeing. Summer camps today are far more focused, into such areas as performing arts, language, math and even weight loss.

And in 1977, the first computer camp - started by a group called National Computer Camps Inc. Its camps are still thriving, not least because they’re so practical.

And now cyber. Augusta’s is not the first cyber camp, but it has the potential to be the best.

We don’t tire of bragging about the Augusta area’s growing cyber relevance, and its potential to be the epicenter of possibly the biggest high-tech ever to hit Georgia - thanks in huge part to the relocation of the U.S. Army Cyber Command to Fort Gordon.

Online: https://www.augustachronicle.com

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June 21

The Brunswick News on the unintended consequences of south Georgia’s low-unemployment rate:

A familiar refrain has popped up around the Golden Isles in various forms. Whether it is a development authority meeting or the joint county and city commission meeting, the low unemployment rate in the area right now has some worried that there aren’t enough qualified workers to fill the employment needs of the Golden Isles.

That problem has also been on the mind of Pete Snell, vice president of economic development with Coastal Pines Technical College. Speaking at the Southeast Georgia Joint Development Authority meeting Wednesday in Brunswick, he said the college has created short training programs for people working toward a GED diploma to help them find jobs after they earn their diplomas.

These are not the only students Coastal Pines are focusing on helping. The college is also seeking high school graduates who want to enter the workplace. The program will teach the graduates financial literacy including things like managing a checking account and paying bills on time.

We applaud Coastal Pines’ programs to help get more people into the workforce. High school graduates who don’t plan to go to a college of any kind, whether it is a four-year institution or a two-year technical school, can still be productive members of the workforce.

The unemployment rate in the three-county metro Brunswick area dropped to the lowest rate ever in April at 3 percent. While that is a great achievement, we can’t forget about the people in our area that still needs jobs.

There is also still a need for such workers. The double-edge sword of a low unemployment rate is that sometimes, there are not enough workers to fill new openings. With the census set to kick off next year, more workers will be needed locally to help with the census bureau’s efforts to count every person in Glynn County.

Programs like Coastal Pines will help put more people in a better position to land a job. If you are looking for employment, we encourage you to take advantage of the resources available to help you find the right spot for you. Employ Georgia has listings for local offerings at employgeorgia.com while The Goodwill Job Connection Center, 249 Village at Glynn Place, also has resources that can help including a job placement program, GED classes and helping with résumés and interview skills.

We know there are people ready to work in the Golden Isles. The more we can do to help them find employment, the better it is for our entire community.

Online: https://thebrunswicknews.com

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June 20

Savannah Morning News on elections officials setting a Georgia primary date:

Georgia is increasingly projected as a battleground state in the 2020 election cycle.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger just set up an epic opening clash.

The elections chief on Wednesday announced the date for the Georgia primaries as March 24. We’ll cast ballots three weeks later than in recent presidential election years and no longer on Super Tuesday, so called because it marks the date voters in more than a dozen states go to the polls.

Georgia currently has March 24 to itself on the elections calendar. Combined with other states’ moves, particularly California and Texas pushing their primaries forward to Super Tuesday, the new date boosts Georgia’s political significance.

By voting day here, 30-some states will have held their primaries and, in the case of the presidential races, awarded their delegates. Instead of diminishing Georgia’s influence, however, the later date promises to turn the state into a campaign epicenter.

Winning a share of Georgia’s 120 delegates will be of vital importance for the Democratic presidential candidates. The early primaries will thin the horde. The survivors will take up residence in Georgia and our neighbor, Florida, for much of the month. Florida’s primary is March 17.

To clinch the nomination, a candidate needs 2,026 delegates. By voting day in Georgia, approximately 2,500 will already have been decided. Every remaining delegate will hold significance, and in a state that awards representatives proportionally, every new or flipped vote matters.

Those annoyed by 2018′s political advertising barrage would do well to plan their media blackout now. You’ll be “feeling the Bern” to the point of yearning for the days when personal injury attorneys dominated the local airwaves. ...

Beyond the top-of-the-ticket ramifications, Georgia’s primary date change should also impact races for seats on Capitol Hill.

Like President Donald Trump, Sen. David Perdue is unlikely to face a challenge for the Republican party’s nomination for his post. Yet Perdue’s challenger will be decided on March 24. With Stacey Abrams not vying for the nomination, candidates will need every day available to boost their profiles and engage with voters.

On the House side, Rep. Buddy Carter faces a Republican primary challenger in Daniel Merritt. The Carter-Merritt race will be the highest-profile contest on the Republican primary ballot.

An extra three weeks means three more weeks of intriguing debate between the two candidates.

The late-March date is also important to four elected officials who won’t be on the primary ballot: the members of the Chatham County Board of Elections. The March 24 primary will mark the debut of Georgia’s new voting system, specifically the use of new touch-screen computers and optical scanners to record votes.

The system change represents a drastic overhaul in terms of technology, logistics and poll management. The board will benefit from each extra day — each extra hour — available to prepare for our first election with the new machines.

Put election day, March 24, on your calendar now.

Online: https://www.savannahnow.com

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