Commentary: Allen Buckley candidate for US Senate

Macon Community News invites all candidates and officer holders who represent any part of Macon to submit columns for publication in order to get their message directly to the voters without editorializing by the media. We ask that the articles stay focused on issues as much as possible and only mention opponents occasionally. Our first candidate op-ed was submitted by Allen Buckley, a Libertarian candidate for US Senate in Georgia.

I’m a fiscally conservative attorney/CPA who has studied the financial problems of our nation for more than 12 years. On our nation’s current path, I believe the entire financial system will collapse within the next 20 years. In 2007, the GAO said it foresees our nation’s debts spiraling out of control. Since then, federal debt has more than doubled.

Allen Buckley
Allen Buckley, Libertarian candidate for US Senate in Georgia. Photo courtesy Allen Buckley for US Senate.

In his 2014 book titled “Dead Men Ruling,” former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, Eugene Steuerle, foresaw a global depression unless the U.S. gets its financial house in order. Reasonably smaller government and less regulation must be part of the solution. Neither major party has an interest in such things.  Rather, they are merely interested in getting into power or staying in power.

The materials on my website ( show I have thoroughly analyzed all or virtually all of the major problems our nation faces.  None of them are more significant than the financial problems.  Nothing but tremendous growth of debt is anticipated going forward.

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I’ve got a court date…now what? (Part 2)

Lauren Deal, who practices as a criminal defense attorney, divorce attorney and adoption attorney explains how you should prepare yourself in case you are called into court.

In my previous article, I talked about the importance of having a lawyer to represent you if you are going to court.

Today, I’ve got suggestions for you, the client, that can better prepare you for your interactions with the judge and jury who will be deciding your case.

1. Be on time for court.

The most important thing for you to do is to show up, on your court date, on time. Early is better, but late is terrible. Judges are busy,Taking an oath in court and even judges who are late to court themselves get angry at parties to a case (and their family members) when they arrive late. Check out your car the night before: fill your gas tank, check out your tire pressure, be sure your fluids are topped off if you’ve got a leaky engine. If you’re riding with a friend or family member, ask them to do this for you. If you’re using public transportation, check the route times. Get your clothes ready, get your alarm clock set, and make sure everything you need is ready to go.

In criminal matters, a late arrival can mean a bench warrant. In civil matters, it can mean that you lose your case.

What if you have an emergency? Be prepared for the unexpected by programming your phone with the numbers for your lawyer, the clerk of court, the district attorney or solicitor (in criminal cases), and the other side’s lawyer (in civil cases). Call them all if there is an emergency and you will be late or you won’t be in court. Shouldn’t your lawyer call everyone else for you? Yes, in a perfect world, he should. Do it yourself, too.

2. Always dress your best.

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I’ve got a court date…now what?

Lauren Deal, who practices as a criminal defense attorney, divorce attorney and adoption attorney explains how you should prepare yourself in case you are called into court.

Lauren Deal, attorney-at-law
Lauren Deal is a former teacher and prosecutor who is now in private practice with the Deal Law Firm in Macon. Her areas of practice include Family Law and Criminal Defense.

Part One: Your Attorney

Whether you’ve been arrested and charged with a crime, or if you are going through a divorce, a child custody or child support hearing, or a lawsuit, you will very likely spend a day in court.

As a former prosecutor, I’ve spent a lot of my time in courtrooms. Whether you are going to Magistrate Court on a small claims case, or if you are going before a Superior Court judge to argue where your children will live, you can never treat a day in court like it’s just any other day.

Absolutely the most important thing you can do to help your case — regardless of what it is — is to hire a lawyer. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive, the best-known, or the most attractive lawyer in town. For almost all cases, two things matter more than anything else: Does your lawyer have the TIME to devote to your case, including the TIME to come to court? Does your lawyer have jury trial experience?

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Quik Shop is a nice place to fill up your tank

One of the goals of Macon Community News is to do profiles of ordinary businesses to highlight the services they provide so that people needing those services can find them.

Eating out isn’t always about a gourmet meal in a downtown restaurant. Sometimes it is about convenience, location and friendly service.

Quickshop Pizza - Hunt Brothers
Hunt Brothers Pizza is available at Quik Shop. We got a half cheese, half sausage and pepperoni for our picnic lunch and it was made in front of us in 6 minutes. Photo by Doug Deal.

If you travel between Warner Robins and Macon, you might take GA-247 / US 129 going either north and south. If you need gas, a drink, a snack or even a meal, there are not many options. If you frequent the area for work and travel it daily, you might want to stop by the Quik Shop at 7285 Hawkinsville Road in South Macon for a fast breakfast sandwich, hearty lunch or even a dinner to take home.

My family and I were traveling that route on our way to the Museum of Aviation, just south of Robins Air Force Base. It was around lunch time, so while on route, we decided to get some food and make it a picnic lunch at the museum. Unfortunately, the places to eat are scarce on that stretch of road and we were far from the restaurants you might find closer to the main highways.

Quickshop Cold Food and Sandwiches
Quik Shop offers a selection of deli sandwiches made daily in their kitchen. They also have cut fruit and salads. Photo by Doug Deal.

Lucky, we pulled into Quik Shop and found what we were looking for. Now, a gas station isn’t gourmet food by any means, but they have an electric impingement oven, deep fryer and a small clean prep area that allows them to make food on site. They partner with Hunt Brothers Pizza, which is a fast service pizza operation. Honestly, I was surprised by the quality and in a hurry, it’s pretty good and can easily feed the family in a pinch, or serve as a nice lunch if you work at some of the industrial places near the shop.

They also have sandwiches that they make on site daily, filled with anything from deli meat to hamburgers to chicken salad. Their cookies are also made on site and we grabbed a couple large ones to split. Both the peanut butter and the red velvet were extremely good.

Quickshop owner Sam Patel
Sam Patel is the friendly proprietor of Quik Shop. Here, he poses in front of their cold prepared foods. Photo by Doug Deal.

The owner, Sam Patel, and his family run the convenience store. He was extremely welcoming and told us that during weekdays they make chicken livers, which happens to be a favorite comfort food of mine, as I mentioned in my review of Grey Goose a while back. I did not try them, as they don’t run their lunch counter on Sundays, but I might have to stop by and try them the next time I am passing through during the week.

Drink options were plentiful as well. They had the usual coffee, fountain and bottled drinks, but there was also a selection of Cappuccino, hot chocolate, and a variety of slushes. Again, it is a quick food stop in a gas station, but the strawberry slush that my daughter ordered was good. They also offer peach-mango, sour-watermelon, and sour green apple.

Quickshop Coffee
Fresh ground coffee for as little over as buck in whatever size suits your needs. Photo by Doug Deal.

Quik Shop is not where you would spend Friday night out or celebrate a birthday party, but if you want a decent meal for lunch, a quick weekday meal for the family, a carton of milk or eggs, or a picnic like us, it has a good variety of options to please different appetites. You can also fill up your other tank, your fuel tank, at the pumps out front.

You can visit their Facebook page for more information and daily specials.

Quickshop Slushes
Quik Shop has four varieties of slushes in two sizes. Photo by Doug Deal.
Quickshop Cookies
The cookies at Quik Shop are made in house and are delicious. The red velvet cookies, pictured in the second row to the left are incredible.
Quickshop Hot Sandwiches
Quik Shop has hot sandwiches made on site, including large and small hamburgers and breakfast sandwiches. Photo by Doug Deal.

The road to great tacos leads to El Camino

Craving a new place for tacos? Then you should know the way to El Camino! El Camino Taqueria and Cantina in downtown Macon is the latest entry in the Moonhanger Group’s series of eateries and stands as their first foray into the Latino side of life.

El Camino Front
El Camino means “the road” in Spanish and can be found on 2nd Street in downtown Macon. Photo by Doug Deal.

El Camino is located at 382 2nd Street and you’ll know you’re there when you see the outdoor seating and a sandwich board with daily specials on it. Oh, and it also says “El Camino” in giant lettering, so you shouldn’t have any problems finding it.

When you first walk inside El Camino, you’ll be greeted by a car hood which has been painted to permanently celebrate Dia de los Muertos as well as a bar that runs down the left hand side of the restaurant. Although the interior of the restaurant is narrow, you don’t feel cramped because El Camino makes use of clever table arrangement to make the best of the space they have. The clientele is an eclectic mix of casual diners, young professionals, hipsters, and middle aged guests. I think I even saw a nun. So basically, anyone that’s hungry is welcome here.

El Camino Mask
Mexican inspired artwork decorates the entry to El Camino, such as this car hood decorated to honor the Day of the Dead. Photo by Doug Deal.

The atmosphere at El Camino is more trendy than traditional. This is a sentiment echoed by the menu. However, this is definitely not a bad thing. Macon, and indeed the entire Middle Georgia area, is already blessed with many fine traditional Mexican restaurants. One of the first clues that El Camino is different is that you are not given complimentary chips and salsa. With that, let’s get to the food.

If you do want chips and salsa, it is $2.25 and comes with three types of sauce. In order of spice level, first up is the chunky pico de gallo. Next, you’re met with an earthy, red salsa, which would be the closest to what most people picture when they think of salsa. Finally, there is the salsa verde, the flavors of which will dance across your tongue to a tune which can only be inspired by the high notes of cilantro.

El Camino Chips and Salsa
Chips and salsa are not free, but they are worth the small charge. Photo by Doug Deal.

Besides appetizers and desserts, the menu also sports salads, wings, tortas and tacos. Tortas is fancy Spanish talk for sandwiches, and El Camino’s certainly do not disappoint. However, where El Camino really shines is their tacos.

The tacos run from $3.00 to $3.50 each and come with your choice of corn or flour tortillas. I chose three for a nice sampling. The Ranchero is a steak taco with cheese, pico de gallo, and a tasty cilantro chimichurri. The Laredo has pork, cheese, a delicious radish jalapeno slaw, and smoked tomato pasilla negro crema. That last topping was pulled straight from the menu and basically boils down to a semi-spicy sauce on the top.

El Camino Tacos
A three act play of tacos, but the special of the day, the Philly, was the star of the show. Photo by Doug Deal.

The real star of the show was the Philly Taco – a Mexican/American fusion that is El Camino’s play on a Philly cheese steak and it was their daily special. El Camino combines grilled onions, shitake mushrooms, and poblano peppers rather than the green bell peppers normally found on a Philly. It is topped with your choice of pepper jack or Swiss cheese. The delicate corn tortillas had an incredibly satisfying texture, the steak itself was perfectly seasoned and seemed to melt in my mouth and the onions were grilled to a golden perfection. This is an item that you definitely don’t want to miss.

El Camino Hot Sauces
Sauces run the gamut from mild to spicy. Photo by Doug Deal.

Another aspect of El Camino that is worth mentioning is the service. Our server was friendly and helpful. She struck the perfect balance between making sure we had everything we needed, yet not interfering too much. Her delightful attitude added to our enjoyment.

To sum up, El Camino is a unique spin on Mexican cuisine, delivering high quality ingredients and excellent flavor combinations that will be sure to satisfy. Their full menu can be viewed on their website.

El Camino Decor
The dining room is narrow but has plenty of room for a lunch rush. Photo by Doug Deal.
El Camino Sandwich
El Camino has additional items, such as this Amarillo which is pork, lettuce, tomato, pickled radish, pickled jalapeño, guacamole, and sheep’s milk cheese. Photo by Doug Deal.