Tuesday, December 21, 2010

As End of the Year Nears, Economic Uncertainty Persists

The economy began began recovering in 2010 from the deepest recession since the 1930s, but that recovery seemed to go in fits and spurts with no clear trajectory.
As for 2011, expect more growth but with a continued pattern of uncertainty, said Bill Schaniel, an economist with the University of West Georgia.
"This year will be a year that will be remembered as being both not as good as some hoped -- there was no significant reduction in the unemployment rate -- but not as bad as many feared, as there was no double dip in the recession," Schaniel said. "This year did see the technical end of the recession, but for most people the recession will end when there is significant job growth," he said.
In 2010, the economy grew at a steady rate in the January-March quarter. But, those gains were achieved largely from businesses replenishing stockpiles that they had allowed to become depleted during the recession. That first-quarter pace of growth couldn't be sustained.
The effects of the $814 billion government stimulus program subsided. Consumer spending was tepid, as was hiring by businesses. City and state governments were forced to cut payrolls. All of those factors contributed to slower growth in the third and fourth quarters of the year.
Joblessness remained chronically high, with more than 15 million Americans still unemployed. The Federal Reserve unveiled a plan to purchase $600 billion in Treasury bonds to try to reduce interest rates, boost stocks and spur consumer spending.
At year's end, manufacturing is up, consumer spending is rising and Congress has passed $858 billion in tax cuts and unemployment insurance extensions.
All of this leaves an economic picture that remains murky but offers some hope.
"Most economists are optimistic about 2011," Schaniel said. "The forecasts for slow but steady job growth in 2011 will provide some relief for the falling home prices and the federal deficit. As long as there is positive job creation, 2011 will be a much better year than 2010. The rate of job growth will define whether it is a decent year, a good year or a great year for the economy."

Thursday, December 16, 2010

UWG Joins Prestigious Research Cooperative

The University of West Georgia has been accepted into a prestigious cooperative that provides research, technical assistance and education to environmental and natural resource projects conducted by the government.

Known as the Piedmont-South Atlantic Coast Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (PSAC-CESU), the cooperative is hosted by the University of Georgia and is made up of federal agencies, universities and non-governmental organizations.

The research work supported by the cooperative includes projects in biological, physical, social and cultural sciences, with topics ranging from anthropology to zoology.

Dr. Ann McCleary, UWG professor of history and the director of the Center for Public History, said membership in the research cooperative will give faculty and students greater access to federally funded environmental and cultural resource-management research projects.

The consortium provides a marketplace for university and NGO members to bid on projects funded and supported by federal agencies, McCleary said.

The majority of the projects focus on the sciences. McCleary said UWG faculty in the geosciences, biology and environmental studies “will find many opportunities for research in their respective fields.”

Other departments, among them sociology, anthropology and the Antonio J. Waring Jr. Archaeological Laboratory, could also find projects on which to bid. Faculty in departments across the university can participate in projects, McCleary said.

The addition of UWG strengthens the cooperative and “enriches the opportunities for collaboration and support of our 10 member federal resource agencies," said James M. Sweeney, associate dean for research and service at UGA’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. Sweeney is also director of the studies unit.

Among the 17 institutions in the consortium are Auburn, Duke, the University of Florida and the University of North Carolina.

The National Park Service, Department of Energy, Bureau of Land Management and the Department of Defense are among the federal agencies in the cooperative.

Recent projects funded through the cooperative include: conservation and recovery of rare, threatened and endangered plant species in Georgia; a natural resource condition assessment for six Southeastern national parks; and a study to determine the long-term flood history of the Congaree River in South Carolina.

Students Set to Respond to Proposed HOPE Changes

This is the time of year when Georgia's college students should focus on finals. Instead, some are taking a study break to plan how they will fight changes to the HOPE scholarship they depend on to attend college.

Acting in response to comments state officials made last week about potential changes to salvage a financially troubled program that covers tuition and some other costs for about 200,000 students a year, some students have planned protests.

Others are throwing out their own ideas to bolster the merit-based program, such as changing how students earn the scholarship and using tax revenue from Sunday liquor sales.

Legislative recommendations aren't expected for a few of weeks, but suggestions include decreasing the amount of the award and raising the minimum grade-point average to qualify for HOPE from a 3.0 to a 3.2, said Rep. Len Walker, R-Loganville, chairman of the House Higher Education Committee.

Both possibilities make students nervous. Some could lose the award. Others could have to delay graduation because they would have to work more hours to afford school, they said.




The University of West Georgia will open at 10 am on Thursday, Dec. 16 as a result of weather conditions.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Maintenance Project at UWG Could Get a Little Stinky

On Saturday, Dec. 18, the Z-6 Food Service building's grease trap will be excavated and opened for grease removal. This activity is quite likely to generate very strong offensive odors that may be discernible in areas surrounding the building. Weather conditions such as wind and temperature may affect how the odors are spread, but be advised that the odors will last only temporarily. The contractor will take all steps to mitigate the smell, including using neutralizers, disinfectants and deodorizers. The sludge removed from the tank will be taken off site the same day.
The following day, Sunday, Dec. 19,
the existing tank will be demolished and hauled away. There may be some residual odor associated with this activity, but the worst of the odor will be diminished by then.
On Wednesday, Dec. 22, Plant Op Drive will be closed for at least part of the day, and possibly all day. The university will be closed for the holidays, so few if any people should be affected. Access to facilities along and beyond Plant Op Drive will be available only via the Arbor View concrete service roads. The work areas will be primarily near the front (north) entrance of the Z-6 building, and Plant Op Drive in front of the building. The contractor will erect barricades near any excavations, but pedestrians and motorists should avoid the work areas from Dec. 18 - Jan. 2.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Comedian Gabriel Iglesias to Perform at UWG

Comedian Gabriel Iglesias, whose high-octane standup act has sold out clubs nationwide and landed him on several TV shows, will perform at the University of West Georgia’s Coliseum on Friday, Jan. 7 at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online at the UWG Coliseum website or at the coliseum box office, which will be open Tuesday, Dec. 14 - Friday, Dec. 17 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

All tickets are general admission and are $20. UWG students and employees can purchase a maximum of two tickets for $15 each with UWG ID.

Iglesias combines impeccable voice abilities with an uncanny knack for storytelling to keep crowds on the edge of their seats, that is, when they aren’t rolling on the floor laughing.

He has appeared on “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno, Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend” and HBO’s “Comedy Minutes,” among many other shows.

For a sample of Iglesias’ comedy performances, visit fluffyguy.com.

New UWG Facebook page

Keep up with the University of West Georgia at our new Facebook page. Come, share your comments, photos and news with us while we keep you up-to-date with West Georgia happenings.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Temple wants foreclosed properties to be kept clean

by Spencer Crawford/The Villa Rican

It was just a few years ago that Temple was on the precipice of exploding growth with a number of new houses being built, but the effects of the poor economy have left many homes standing empty with yards that have gotten out of control.

In an effort to ensure upkeep of these properties, the Temple City Council is working toward adoption of an ordinance regulating the maintenance of vacant and foreclosed residential properties in the city. The ordinance is expected to be approved in January.

“This has been in committee for quite some time,” Mayor Rick Ford said. “We’ve received numerous complaints about unkept properties that have been foreclosed – people who aren’t cutting their grass, maintaining codes violations and so forth, so this is a by-product of that.”

Read more:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Fall Commencement At UWG

The University of West Georgia will host its fall commencement ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 11 at 9:30 a.m. in the Coliseum. Dr. Beheruz N. Sethna, university president, will serve as speaker and Master of Ceremonies.

Approximately 560 undergraduates and graduate students will make the hard-earned walk across the stage to receive their diploma. The ceremony will also be broadcast live by The Wolf — UWG’s Internet radio station — at westga.edu/thewolf.

For more information on the commencement ceremony, call 678-839-6464.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas with the Carrollton Symphony Orchestra

The Carrollton Symphony Orchestra will present its annual holiday show on Thursday, Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the University of West Georgia's Townsend Center for the Performing Arts.

Sure to thrill kids and grown folks alike, the CSO returns with its gift of Christmas favorites ranging from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite No. 1, sacred Christmas hymns and sing-along songs to the world premiere of S. Baltzer’s Holiday Suite for Orchestra. Conductor Terry Lowry will move from the baton to the piano to improvise upon holiday requests taken from the audience. Bring the entire family and make Christmas with the CSO part of your holiday tradition.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors/military and $8 for children and can be purchased by calling 678-839-4722 or visiting Townsendcenter.org.

Comedian Gabriel Iglesias to Perform at UWG

Comedian Gabriel Iglesias, whose high-octane standup act has sold out clubs nationwide and landed him on several TV shows, will perform at the University of West Georgia’s Coliseum on Friday, Jan. 7 at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online at westga.edu/coliseum/index_14691.php.

Iglesias combines impeccable voice abilities with an uncanny knack for storytelling to keep crowds on the edge of their seats, that is, when they aren’t rolling on the floor laughing.

He has appeared on “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno, Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend” and HBO’s “Comedy Minutes,” among many other shows.

For a sample of Iglesias’ comedy performances, visit Fluffyguy.com.

Friday, December 3, 2010

UWG Conducting Toy Drive for Holidays

The annual UWG Toy Drive is here, benefiting children throughout Carroll County, in partnership with the Department of Family and Children Services.

The toy drive continues through Friday, Dec. 10, with a brunch from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Townsend Center's Dangle Theatre.

To make gift collections easier, many departments throughout UWG
keep a decorated drop-off box as a collection point.

To participate bring any unwrapped gift for a child age newborn - 18 to the Toy Drive on Dec. 10. You may select clothing, toys, recreation

items, arts and crafts or school supplies. Winter clothing is a
priority for many this year.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Circo Comedia Coming to UWG

The University of West Georgia's Townsend Center for the Performing Arts proudly presents Montreal’s Circo Comedia on Friday, Dec. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in partnership with the annual Toys for Tots toy drive. Unpredictable thrills, side-splitting comedy and daredevil stunts are the signature style of Circo Comedia. Starring Jean Saucier and Patrick Côté, experience an evening of humor, acrobatic tricks, heroic feats and magical jesters that are great entertainment for the entire family.

Tickets for Circo Comedia are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and military, and $8 for children.

Visit or call the Townsend Center Box Office at 678-839-4722, open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and one hour before show time.

Tickets may also be purchased online at TownsendCenter.org. The TCPA website contains information on the 2010-2011 Season, educational outreach programs, Live Art 2011 and driving directions.

Attendees are also invited to bring a new, unwrapped toy for the holiday Toys For Tots drive. Donations will be accepted at the Townsend Center.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

UWG Professor Weighs in on Pentagon Survey Findings

The Pentagon’s conclusion that repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy will not disrupt military effectiveness comes as no surprise to Daniel Helminiak, professor of psychology at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton.
The shift in attitudes is generational, said Helminiak, who has written extensively on homosexuality.
“It really is no surprise to me that it came out so positively,” Helminiak said.
“I’ve seen, over the years, a shift in the students’ attitudes. The young adults these days have had gay and lesbian friends since their junior high days. They are very comfortable with their sexuality and understand it much better than other generations. They are not afraid of one another. This change is all for the good.”
The survey, released this week by the Pentagon, revealed that two-thirds of the overall force predicted little impact on the military's ability to wage combat if gays were allowed to serve openly.

Furry Friends for Finals

Who says finals can't be fun?
The Carroll County Humane Society and University of West Georgia staff brought puppies to campus Dec. 1, 2010 to help relieve students' test anxiety and stress.
Check out this and other UWG videos on YouTube: