Posts Tagged ‘Savannah’

The Top Dick’s World Posts in 2010

January 3, 2011

What is interesting to me about writing for a blog is the fact that posts keep getting read over time. WordPress sent me a list of the top posts of 2010 and the top five were first posted in 2009. The number one article about William Calley’s apology for the My Lai Massacre in the Vietnamese War got even more visits in 2010 than when it ran the first time in 2009, when it also topped the list.  WordPress said that illustrates that my writing has “staying power.” That’s nice to know.

Here are the top 5:

2 Savannah Revisited  #2 – June 2009

3 Behind the Scenes at IMAX at Patriot Park, Home of the New National Infantry Museum –  March 2009

4 Go to the National Infantry Museum at Least Once by Yourself – August 2009

5 Romance of the Rails – July 2009

Why Everyone in Georgia Should Care About the Port of Savannah Deepening Project

September 7, 2010


 Ships continue to be the main source of transoceanic cargo delivery.   That’s why the Port of Savannah is so important to the state, and even the Southeast region.  I read that it is the second busiest port on the East Coast, the fourth busiest and fastest growing one in the country,  but it has a big problem.  Namely, the foot-dragging bureaucracy of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  

The Savannah port just isn’t quite deep enough to handle the really big ships.  Sometimes they use it anyway, but they can’t load them to capacity.  In  2014 this will be a bigger problem. That’s when the Panama Canal’s expanded canal is expected to open. It will allow huge container ships in the Pacific to call on East Coast ports.  

The Savannah River is only 42 feet deep.  The Georgia Ports Authority wants to deepen it by at least another 6 six to allow the larger ships to come calling.   

The big problem is the Corps of Engineers seemingly never-ending environmental study that, according to an editorial in the Savannah Morning News, has been going on for 14 years at a cost of more that 36-million dollars.  This getting beyond absurd.  

The study was supposed to ne finished by 2007, but wasn’t.  Now the corps is saying it will not be finished until 2011, if by then.  It will take three years to deepen the channel.  That means it is critical that the study is completed no later than 2011 because not to deepen the channel will mean the really big container ships will use East Cost ports that can serve them.  That will be an huge economic  loss to Savannah and Georgia.   

In my view, no thinking person would want to deepen the channel if it causes irreparable environmental damage. It is known that it will cause more salt water to flow upstream, which could have negative impact on the delicate estuary system. An estuary is where salt water and fresh water meet and mix. It is critically important to sea life. Channel deepening could also send salt water into the freshwater aquifer beneath the Savannah River.  The study should answer those questions.  Why, though, has it taken 14 years and 36 million dollars to come up with those answers?  

Massive container ship starting its 15-mile trip down the Savannah River from the Savannah Port to the Atlantic Ocean. This shot was taken from the balcony of the VU Lounge and Restaurant at the Hyatt in downtown Savannah.

Meeting the Monday Deadline

September 7, 2010

Even though, like a lot of bloggers, I am blogging less, I am still trying to make sure I provide a new post each Monday.  However, today – and I’m just getting this in under the wire before it’s Tuesday – I am going to have to tell you that I can only tell you about a post that will be forthcoming.

I just got back from spending Labor Day weekend in Savannah, Georgia’s most unusual city.  We had fun, among other things,  celebrating a friend’s granddaughter’s 15th birthday, but I also learned something about the Savannah port that’s pretty important. I’ll tell you about that  in a future post.

There! I got something in before Tuesday.

Oh no! I just checked the post online, and the date shown is September 7th. It’s not Septermber 7th in Columbus because this was posted at 8:13 p.m., September 6th, Labor Day.  I guess WordPress, the blogging service I use, is on a different time.

President Obama’s Savannah Visit

March 2, 2010

In case you are interested in the President’s visit to Savannah today and its political implications, has a good comprehensive story.  The story gets into all of the political aspects of the visit, including the fact that Republican Governor Perdue was at Hunter Army Airfield at Fort Stewart to welcome the President to Georgia, and Republican Congressman Jack Kingston was at Savannah Technical College, where the President promoted his “Homestar” program that would reward homeowners who make their homes energy efficient.  He wants the program included in the jobs package being drafted by Congress.

Homeowners could be eligible for up to $3,000 in rebates through the “Homestar” program, an initiative he mentioned in his State of the Union address in January. Obama wants the program included in a jobs package being drafted by Congress.  The President said the program would create tens of thousands of jobs, including jobs for some of the Savannah area contractors that were in the audience.

Why Did President Obama Pick Savannah?

February 27, 2010


I don’t know why President Obama picked Savannah for his “Main Street” visit to Georgia Tuesday, but he will certainly be in probably Georgia’s most charming city.  I was there recently and really enjoyed the visit.  It’s a beautiful place, and, as you know, the most historic city in Georgia.  It’s where Georgia started in 1733. 

River Street in downtown Savannah, Georgia

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution story by Bill  Torpy and    Jeremy Redmon,  the White House will only say that ” its residents ‘have been hit hard and know well the challenges that Americans are facing right now’ — a criteria that could fit Anytown, USA.”  

The president will be conducting a town hall type meeting at Savannah Technical College.  The Savannah Morning News reports that only invited guest will be in attendance because the school’s auditorium will only seat 200 people.  After he finishes there, he is scheduled to make some more stops during his four hour visit,  but the White House won’t say where they will be. 

Port of Savannah on the Savannah River. It exports more than it imports.

According to the AJC  story, Robert Eisinger, dean of liberal arts at the Savannah College of Arts and Design,  says, ” Savannah provides racial, ideological and geographical diversity,” he said, and “It’s a president’s job to go out and listen. There’s an export story he can tell here, a manufacturing story and an education story.”  He pointed out the photographic settings, which include “historic architecture, an expansive river view,  and a busy port that all can help bring home whatever message Obama wants to make.”

There are some high profile Republicans in the Savannah area, such as Congressman Jack Kingston who is opposed to the $787 billion stimulus program – though Georgia Republican Governor Perdue’s administration had no problem in accepting Georgia’s share of the money- but,  the president will not be in hostile territory.  He pulled 57 percent of the vote in Chatham County.

Railroading in Georgia Started in Savannah

July 13, 2009

When we think of Savannah, we think of its port.  But there is another form of transportation that has played a huge role in development of the city. Savannah is home of the Central of Georgia Railroad.  The Roundhouse Railroad Museum, a National Historic Landmark,  really brings that home for us. 

Turntable at the Roundhouse Railroad Museum, Savannah, GA

Turntable at the Roundhouse Railroad Museum, Savannah, GA

This National Historic Landmark site is the oldest and largest existing nineteenth-century railroad operations complex in the nation. Construction began in 1850. Thirteen of the original structures remain today.  The turntable was restored and it still works.  

I was there recently and, except for the fact that I almost passed out from the heat and humidity, enjoyed it a lot.  The heat was relieved when I went inside the air conditioned Central of Georgia Office Car.

Central of Georgia office car,  Roundhouse Railroad Museum, Savannah, GA

Central of Georgia office car, Roundhouse Railroad Museum, Savannah, GA

The office car started out as a Pullman parlor car in 1925.  It morphed into a passenger car during World War Two when there was a dire shortage of passenger cars, and eventually became an office car, which was used by the railroad’s top executives. 

Lounge, Central of Georgia office car, Roundhouse Railroad Museum, Savannah, GA

Lounge, Central of Georgia office car, Roundhouse Railroad Museum, Savannah, GA

 Oh, I remember telling you in an earlier post that I would explain this picture.


It’s the office car’s bathroom.

Savannah Revisited #2

June 30, 2009

On my recent visit to  Savannah,  I had to reflect on the way that while the city has grown with new, impressive high-rise hotels and a spectacular new bridge across the Savannah River, it maintains its connection with the past, with history.

Georgia Queen, Savannah, Georgia

Georgia Queen, Savannah, Georgia

The contrast of then with now was pronounced as a paddle wheel river boat pulled away from its dock loaded with school children on a day cruise and headed toward the very modern Talmadege Memorial Bridge that crosses the Savannah River.

Georgia Queen cruises Savannah River, Savannah, Georgia

Georgia Queen cruises the Savannah River, Savannah, Georgia

Savannah has been a port since it was founded in 1733, and that port is still busy.  But, Savannah was also Georgia’s first railroad town,  and the Savannah History Museum, which occupies the old Central of Georgia office and warehouse building,  sports a late 1800’s locomotive,  along with a lot of other interesting exhibits that depict Georgia’s past. 

Historic Locomotive, Savannah History Museum,  old Central of Georgia depot, Savannah, Georgia

Historic Steam Locomotive, Savannah History Museum, Savannah, Georgia

Coming up,  a real Oscar.

Savannah Revisited #1

June 28, 2009
Riverfront, Savannah, Georgia

Riverfront, Savannah, Georgia

I was in Georgia’s “first city”  recently and was impressed with the impact that  a book and two movies made on Savannah.  Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, by John Berendt, was a record breaking  New York Times Best Seller for 216 weeks.  It was written in 1994, and three years later, the movie was made. 

Savannah now boasts almost 7-million tourists a year, twice as many as before   Midnight was published.  As a comparison, Columbus, Georgia, which has a population about the size of Savannah’s, had 1.1 million last year.

The movie Forest Gump, which was nominated for six Oscars in 1994  did not have the impact of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, but it did help.  The bench, on which Forest, played by Tom Hanks,  sat in one of the famous historic squares in downtown Savannah, is in the Savannah History Museum, which is housed in the old Central of Georgia depot’s warehouse and offices.

Paramaount pictures donated ths is park bench to the Savannah History Museum.  It was the one on which Tom Hanks sat at a bus stop. telling his story to different people waiting for a bus.  The bench appeard to be made of concrete and wood, like the ones in Savannah's 24 historic squares, but, it's not.  Paramount had one made of fiberglass so that it could easily be moved around.  There is a picture of Hanks from the movie placed on the bench.

Paramount Pictures donated this park bench to the Savannah History Museum. It was the one on which Tom Hanks sat at a bus stop. telling his character Forest Gump's story to different people waiting for a bus. The bench appears to be made of concrete and wood, like the ones in Savannah's 24 historic squares, but, it's not. Paramount had one made of fiberglass so that it could easily be moved around. There is a picture of Hanks and the suitcase he carried in the movie placed on the bench.

More on today’s Savannah,  tomorrow.