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Rockdale Citizen Poll 12-01-07

This week's Citizen Poll was an open line ...

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"It is discouraging and disappointing to me that Aimee Jones and the Rockdale Citizen would print a headline that identifies the 'victim' in a fatal police shooting (Nov. 29). It seems to me that the deputy who, while serving our community, was dragged by an automobile for 800 feet better deserves the title of victim in this case. There has been no evidence reported to indicate that the deputy sheriff was in any way negligent, abusive or unlawful in his use of force but it appears that our local media has already judged him suspect and the criminal who tried to harm him as victim of the deputy's actions."

Editor's note: The Citizen has made no attempt to assign guilt or innocence to any of the parties involved in the death of Lavonda Franklin Jr. It seems that your own misunderstanding of the word "victim" is the real culprit. According to my dictionary, a victim is defined as "a person who suffers from a destructive or injurious action or agency: i.e., a victim of an automobile accident." Regardless of the context of a particular situation, a person who is shot is always referred to as the victim in the shooting.

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"The article in Thursday's paper about the police shooting disturbed me. You referred to Lavonda Franklin Jr. as the victim in the shooting and a standout athlete. He tried to kill a sheriff's deputy. I don't see Mr. Franklin as the victim. You used the word allegedly like the event did not happen. The truth is it did happen. The real victim here is the sheriff's deputy. He was dragged down the road and had to take a man's life in order to save his own. Now he will have to live with what happened the rest of his life. And, maybe, the sheriff's deputy was a standout athlete in high school, too."

Editor's Note: Until the investigations into the matter are complete, we do not know what occurred. We used the word "allegedly" to convey the fact that the information provided was what our sources had told us of the incident. We have not included any information about the deputy involved in the shooting because the Sheriff's Office has not responded to our requests for his identity.

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"I recently contacted the Conyers Police Department (Major Freeman) and Rockdale County Sheriff's Department (Capt. Traylor) and asked for extra patrols in the apartment complex where I live. Maj. Freeman would not return my call and Capt. Traylor said he did not have enough deputies to perform extra patrols. If you can't ask the Police Department or Sheriff's Department for assistance in making sure your neighborhood is safe, then what good are they?"

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"In response to the parking problem on (Ga. Highway) 138 at Heritage, I say this; I know what you mean, but let's not stop there; I want to bring up the carelessness of the drivers every morning ignoring the 30 mph speed limit during the set hours posted. Even though there are flashing lights, hardly anyone slows down unless they see RCSO patrolling. I would like to see even more officers out there due to the fact that there are young people who cross there every morning. The only time it is really safe for them to cross is when one of our bus drivers puts on the lights and stops traffic. I tried stopping once and was almost hit by someone who got up too late and was in a hurry to get to work, or something. Even more than that, it would seem that no one cares what a yield sign means or for that matter a stop sign. So much disregard for the law."

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"I have noticed that Phoenix, Ariz., treats their prisoners as they should be, no frills, no coffee, no exercise equipment, chain gangs, limited TV, pink outfits and, from what I understand, a very low percentage of prisoners coming back. In Cobb County, illegals are being dealt with according to the law, being deported after being arrested for traffic violations and their true nature being found out. Why is Rockdale County and Conyers so backwards in making efforts to take care of our problems when there are some means available to correct prisoner overpopulation and illegals?"

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"To the person in the 11/24 poll who referred to Pike's on Salem Road as an eyesore: have you taken a good look at the rest of the county? It's just a strip mall with a city hall."

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"People, if a movie is at the theaters, then it is not at your local video store."

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"This comment is to the people who broke into a house and stole a couple's Yorkies. My heart hurts for these folks because those were their babies you stole, and they can never be replaced. I have two little guys myself; and, if someone broke into my home, I would pray that they leave me without a crumb but don't take my loves from me. If you have any compassion at all, put them in their crate and return them. Ring the doorbell and run if you have to, but return those babies to them. To the victims: Check every local paper, Craigslist and petfinder. Put ads in yourself, particularly Craigslist. God bless you through your sorrow.

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"Congratulations to Target for handling the crowd early Friday morning after Thanksgiving. They did their best to let those who had been standing in line for hours in first despite the yelling and abusiveness of a very rude man who thought he should not have to wait his turn. Next year, I would recommend having an officer on site so that your employees do not have to take such abuse. As far as the man screaming about them letting people in the side door: They had no intentions of not opening the front door ... there was not a safety issue. They were simply trying to control the crowd, and just because you are a big, unruly guy doesn't mean you get your way. I was glad to see the Target employee walk away from this abusive man."

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"Let's talk football. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31, Bryan Leftwich and Bobby Petrino absolutely zero, and no clue as to what is going on?"

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"I just have a comment about the section of road between Oakland Avenue and Green Street. I travel that road three or four times a week, back and forth. I think it is very nice that the crosswalks have been fixed up down in town with the red brick, but something definitely needs to be done about that road - Oakland Avenue to Green Street. It just about jars you to death in your car. I feel as a citizen of Rockdale County, if we can afford to pay to have the pretty brick inlay made for people to walk across, which is an unnecessary thing in my opinion, even though it looks great, something can be done about Oakland Avenue."

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"To those people who have been criticizing Mr. Harry Downs about his concerns over the Rockdale County Hospital - let me say that when Mr. Downs was on the board of directors, the hospital was operating on a cash-positive basis. It was under the current administration of Ethel Boyle that the huge expenditures were made that could not be justified. There is no income for the hospital from the huge expensive atrium that was added by Mrs. Boyle and her associates. Now that she has Rockdale County Hospital so far in debt, Mrs. Boyle and her associates want to give our hospital away to a private company so they can pay off the debt. Current directors should be held liable for their actions, and we should have a grand jury investigation."

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"The public hearing on the proposed transactions for the sale of assets of Rockdale Medical Center held on Nov. 14, which was called for by the attorney general as required by law to ensure the public's interests are protected, was a meeting that was of interest and was of sadness. It was quoted that serious problems started in 2005 and got continually worse. The former authority chairman said many hours had been spent weighing the options. But, there is no need to look at the past, folks, it is time to move forward. Well, it is fine maybe for him to look forward and not look at the past. But, we are looking at an $84 million debt to be paid, and we as the public would like to know how that came about. There was a lack of public input while hospital authority officials negotiated the sale agreement. Also, before the sale, the doctors were not asked their opinion on the new addition. Nor were the nurses or other medical people concerning the hospital. I hope the attorney general will see that this proposed sale was done in a way that the people of Rockdale had no voice. What these boards have done while being caretakers of our hospital is inexcusable. Millions of dollars have been spent finding a buyer. How much better could this money have been spent?"

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"Today, I received a publication from Rockdale Medical Center, the fall 2007-winter 2008 edition. In it, it has Signature's commitment concerning our hospital. It is written by Charles Miller, president and CEO of Signature Corporation. Our hearing was just last week, but, I suppose it is a done deal on the sale of the hospital. They are really pushing the limits with how they feel about this sale. It is disgusting to know there are people in our county who choose to do this."

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"Whoever has the two dogs missing from the Covington couple, they are not yours. They belong to the lady and man in Covington. They want their dogs back. The couple is sick and need to see their dogs again. I hope you will take them back. Also, good luck to Georgia Tech today."

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"I have called a similar poll in before, and you chose not to print it. This is not nearly as bad as some you have printed. Regarding the people on Northside Drive, who are griping about the bus in front of the day care center. What if you lived in a neighborhood that had mobile homes, stretch limos, boats and 49 other vehicles parked in and around their house all of the time - plus, if you are not irritated by the traffic and not being able to get through, we have a neighborhood of barking dogs."

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"If anyone has been to the Covington Kmart during this holiday season, you will know now why Wal-Mart has taken over the world."

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"To the people of Rockdale County and the state of Georgia, I am concerned about education in Georgia. The last rating nationally is 49 out of 50. A few years ago, my sister moved from Wichita with her three children to Georgia. Her children were moved up two grades. There is a difference in the level of teaching between the two states. When she chose to move back, they were moved down two grades. This does not sound like quality education in Georgia to me. And, to the people who like to keep the separation of church and state - when I was in school it was not that I could not pray or where I could not pray, but the state or federal government could simply not dictate to the people the way they had to worship. This issue of separation of church and state over every minute thing has gotten out of hand, as many things have."

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"The today in history column in the Citizen must be taken from the Associated Press for the New York Times, because the bias is definitely apparent. For example, on 11-29-07 in the five years ago column, it states the White House 'quietly' announced that federal workers would get a smaller pay raise the following month, because President Bush was freezing part of the increase, citing the fight against terrorism. So, this column implies that something sneaky was done about it, and it also indicates that the writer is against the war. Numerous other examples are apparent. So if a Citizen reporter is writing this column, I will save them and cite them later, but it is about time this column became fair and balanced."