Recent editorials from Alabama newspapers:
Anniston (Alabama) Star on warning for probate judges in the state:
In response to the Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriages, many Alabama probate judges decided to get out of the marriage license business completely. These judges so object to gay marriage that they would deny licenses to opposite-sex couples, and they say state law gives them the option to issue licenses or not issue licenses.
Pure applesauce, to quote a famously cranky Supreme Court justice.
Our warning to those judges is to beware mothers of the bride or the groom. Weddings are often stressful times for mothers. There is so much to do, what with the food, the flowers, the out-of-town guests and a million other details that can't be put off. Their babies are getting hitched, and everything should be just-so.
And now in some Alabama counties, getting the marriage license is more difficult because some local judges are having a problem following a directive from the U.S. Supreme Court. Something that should be relatively easy — driving to the courthouse and purchasing a marriage license — became more difficult in some counties.
"I expect, in those counties, voters will get tired of having to drive to other counties to get marriage licenses," Susan Watson, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, said Monday. "That's just ridiculous. It's a hassle for everyone."
Watson is correct. It is a hassle, especially for those who already have a giant to-do list.
Foot-dragging probate judges, you have been warned.
Decatur (Alabama) Daily on Google and renewable energy:
Google is coming to Alabama, and not just as a search engine on mobile devices.
The Internet giant, known for its search engine, is opening a data processing center in northeast Alabama at the site of a former Tennessee Valley Authority coal-burning power plant. The new data center will give the company the additional computing capacity needed to process Internet search requests, show digital video, give directions, deliver email and store photographs.
About 100 new jobs are expected to be created with the center's completion. Google is investing $600 million in the new facility and its technology.
What sets this job creation project apart from most is the way the giant operation will be powered. Google announced it will be powered solely by renewable energy.
Google has two other data centers — one in Oklahoma, the other in Iowa — powered exclusively by wind. To power hundreds of computer servers that operate around the clock with clean energy is a remarkable feat.
Google has been committed to using renewable energy in its operations wherever possible. The company invests in renewable energy technology, according to company officials, because they see it as a new source of revenue in the future.
The message in this for Alabama is that Google, as well as other technology companies, have seen the future. The push for cleaner, renewable energy sources will only continue to grow as concerns about global warming and water scarcity grow, too.
Policymakers and lawmakers in Alabama would be well advised to get in front of this trend and begin offering incentives to companies working to create renewable energy technology.
These are job-growth sectors that will only get stronger in time.
TVA is slowly scaling back the use of coal in its power plants. It is exploring ways to bring more renewable sources into its energy generation mix. It's likely coal will remain the workhorse of power generation for the foreseeable future, but renewable and greener sources of energy will rise as coal declines.
Wouldn't it be nice if Alabama were the leader in the Southeastern states in something other than football?
Dothan (Alabama) Eagle on education being a plus, military wise:
Area officials and a coalition called Friends of Fort Rucker watch diligently for any movement that might threaten the installation and its mission in the Wiregrass area. It's not an futile cause; through several base realignment initiatives, an active strategy to underscore the importance of the installation to the surrounding area has gone a long way toward keeping Fort Rucker's presence secure.
A recent report suggests that's not the only thing our area has in its favor. The Henry L. Stimson Center released its "The Army Goes to School: The Connection between K-12 Education Standards and the Military-Base Economy," which cites military leaders' growing consideration of the strength of local school systems when making decisions about base retention.
Most school systems in the area enjoy good reputations with regard to academic success, and Enterprise City Schools, the largest public school system serving Fort Rucker, is ranked 12th among 170 systems in the state; Dale County schools and systems in Ozark and Dothan are ranked in the 30s, according to niche.com.
With four area school systems ranked in the top 23 percent in the state, it's not likely that educational opportunities would work to our disadvantage. However, the continued work of Fort Rucker advocates and supporters is vital to the cause of protecting the local military installation in the stormy sea of changes in the nation's network of defense bases.