Editor's Note: Several comments were edited from this week's Citizen Poll concerning a political candidate or candidates. It is the policy of this newspaper to not include specific comments about political candidates up for election. If there is a particular issue that a reader feels should be addressed concerning a candidate, he or she is encouraged to submit a signed Letter to the Editor.
"I would just like to make a comment regarding the death of B.J. Franklin. He was a good kid who made a bad decision and should not be judged - he was an outstanding athlete and a kind-hearted friend and those are facts. And he most certainly should not be judged because the true facts of the evening have not been released to the public and we may never know the actual truth that happened that night. Please remember - innocent until proven guilty, you would want the public to do the same for your loved one. And while you're praying for that officer that killed someone, remember B.J.'s mother and father and family - for they won't ever get the chance to hold them in their arms ever again - regardless of how wrong his actions might have been, there is still a family who is forever more missing a piece of them. 'Life is not about waiting out the storm, it's about getting out there in rain and dancing!"
"This week, the Treasury Department issues a proposal for the bailout the mortgage market. I'm not really in favor of the bailout. I find it difficult to accept that folks that received mortgages based upon their less than stellar credit ratings are really 'worthy' of being bailed out. I simply cannot see a person or family that accepted a sub-prime loan and moved into a $200,000-plus home really had no idea that their rates would increase and they'd be faced with higher payments. These are people that had difficulty paying apartment rent, never mind mortgage payments, ad-valorem tax, or home upkeep. What's wrong with this picture? I do not believe for a second that these folks were duped. I do believe that they believe that they could purchase the property, wait for an increase in market value, and then resell at a profit, while still paying low mortgage payments based on those 0 percent down, interest-only loans. The fact is that they gambled and lost, and so did the companies that financed them. Inevitably, all bailout plans come at the expense of the taxpayer. I, for one, have no intention of supporting a bill that rewards gambling, stupidity, and greed at my expense. Zero percent down, interest-only loans do NOT anchor people to cities to build and grow responsible community. They're focused on profitability, not strength in community. We'll all pay as our tax base is eroded and our community structure continues to disintegrate. It is a self-inflicted wound. You can see that right now in Rockdale County."
"At a recent meeting a Porterdale council member said: 'Porterdale has been the laughingstock of this county for 20 years.' Is it any wonder why? Looks like the city of Porterdale has created a mess amongst members of the council with its finances. According to published reports, they are in the hole $2,489 for the Patriotic Day and The Yellow RiverJam and now they have fallen $3,800 short of the funds needed to hold a lighting festivity. After a councilman suggested canceling some of the festivities, the mayor replied; 'Let's just cancel the whole thing ... let's just be the Scrooge of this county.' With all due respect to the mayor, that could be the admirable thing to do, since taxpayer money would be better spent on improving the infrastructure in Porterdale. Instead of reindeer down Main Street, bring Santa in a car, and why have ballet dancers you can't afford? It would take a bigger person to cancel now, than to go ahead as planned without funding. Sure, you may have a little egg on your face, but in the end taxpayer funds would not be involved in personal agendas and such. At least ONE Porterdale councilman understands being an elected official doesn't give you the right to waste taxpayer funds on items that aren't government responsibility. If it's that important to the mayor, maybe he could just write a check from his personal account to cover the expenses. Or better yet, since it's kind of late, just flip the switch, turn the lights on and use the $1,200 to help pay the utility bill."
"Hope to see everyone at the Christmas parade in downtown Conyers this Saturday evening Dec. 8. Rockdale County Fraternal Order of Firefighters will be selling Johnny's Pizza and warm drinks. Proceeds will help fund buying toys for the children sponsored through DFACS. This is an every year sponsorship that the Fraternal Order of Firefighters participate in. These firefighters give of their time and talents to make over 50 underprivileged children learn what giving is all about. The toys just help brighten their Christmas season and help them learn that it is really better to give than receive. Special recognition should go to Keith Dunn, Ken Miller, Ray Prewitt, Chuck Lett, Juli Moncreif, Dan Morgan, and the list goes on, for the time they have spent to make this happen every year. The men and women firefighters that are involved in this organization are great people that never ask for recognition. They stand in the gap for their fellow firefighters and truly care about the people in the community in which they serve."
"The other day, I passed by that beautiful 'scorched earth' housing development north of Boar Tusk Road on Ga. Hwy 138. Apparently, they are taking the idea of 'gated communities' to a new level. My wife says to me 'What's that out front?' I said, 'It looks like a machine gun nest! Must be to keep the 'undesirables' out.' No doubt they will also be 'landscaping' with chain link and concertina wire. Simple, yet elegant, don't you think? I hope the current slowdown in sub-prime lending, and ongoing water crisis won't impede the progress of such a valuable asset to our community."
"I want to comment on the mess that our governor and our state has gotten our children into. Gov. Sonny Perdue has completely messed up Medicaid for those who need it. There are children that are in disadvantaged families and children who have mild to severe disability who are in desperate need of Medicaid and it is completely messed up. It has been divided up in to CMOs and very few doctors and therapists are taking it now. It is very hard to find someone to provide care for your children. He took away Newton Mental Health from the children who need therapy desperately. We are now having to go to Rockdale county or find a private therapist. Private psychologist are not allowed to work with our children if they are on Medicaid State of Georgia will not pay them. Now, I don't know if it is the superintendent of education who this is coming down from but I am told by my school the state of Georgia is phasing out Resource as it is known in our educational system for our special needs students. They will be taught by co-teaching or collaborative in the mainstream classroom. This might work fine for some students but not for all. Everyone is an individual with individual needs. My child has many disabilities does not function well in the co-teaching situation. This is a child who excelled last year and is failing this year because of being put in a co-teaching situation. Parents open your eyes and ears. Protest this."
"It is pitiful that the athletes of Eastside High School had a banquet Thursday night, made a big deal about it and then didn't even have enough bars and letters to give out to the athletes. They worked hard all year long for what? Nothing.'
"I was calling about firing Chan Gailey. I don't have no problem with them firing him. I would have fired him last year or the year before that, but I hope it wasn't just based on the fact that they lost to Georgia. The way that game was called, as far as I am concerned, that was an awful shallow victory for Georgia."
'How can the Georgia Lottery officials give themselves a $3 million bonus when they have failed to meet state requirements concerning educational funds from the lottery because, according to a report from this paper and other news sources, lottery officials claimed the amount they have given is more important than the percentage state law requires. Hey, did they know the percentage is a share in relationships to the whole? The law requires responsibility as a whole. It may be time for an audit, because somebody is scheming a scratch-off from the top.'
In regard to the two dogs missing from Covington, I apologize ahead of time as I'm sure my comments won't be taken kindly by the persons who lost their dogs or their supporters. However, while it is sad that the dogs were stolen, (and I hope the perpetrators are caught and prosecuted) please ... It's not the end of the world. There are so many more dogs out there that can provide the same level of comfort to you. I chose to have real children and raise them to be a productive part of society, rather than raise animals that do nothing but eat, poop, pee and give one comfort when you scratch their heads. I suppose I'm a little bias as I have watched my mother convert from a caring mother of 4 children to "sitting" for four dogs which consumes all her time and makes her home smell like a kennel. Also, she would sooner see one of her real children or grandchildren be taken away before one of her dogs. I feel that to be just wrong in so many ways! The really sad part of that is, the real children know it as well, and it hurts them deeply. Dogs are "neat" and "fun" and "warm" and "cuddly", but they do not LOVE. They are purely instinctual and know the hand that feeds them. Save some money, time and self inflicted grief, and go get you some new 'babies". Sheeeesh!
Surely the Rockdale county and the Conyers city governments must be eligible for the "Bah Humbug" award from the Christmas Holiday Decorating Society (if there is one) and the "Good Citizen Compliance Award" from the ACLU (if they offer one) for the absence of Christmas decorations on Ga. Highway 138/20. As it is, one would never even suspect this special season is upon us! (And the retail establishments have done very little to create any spirit. Give them "Honorable Mention" awards.) "Dull and boring - basic drab - some o', same o'" seems to be the order of the day. What gives?
The Conyers Police Explorers putting the big bright yellow tags on cars for having valuables in sight just makes it easier for theives to target cars. Bright yellow? Somebody didn't think that one through!