The Newton Citizen Poll is a compilation of opinions contributed by readers. This week's poll is an open line.
"I was just wondering if anyone has noticed the differences made in high schools in Newton County? How can the school board justify trailers at the new Alcovy High School? Newton High School has had trailers for years. And then there is the apple of everyone important's eye, Eastside. Please explain how two schools can keep growing and Eastside goes down in size to AAA. Has anyone ever looked at the way the districts were drawn out? With all the zig-zagging on the district map, it took some serious planning to get only certain neighborhoods included in the district.
Editor's note: Alcovy was designed to be the largest high school in the county and is already being considered for an addition of 50 classrooms. Alcovy's core facilities allow for expansion, while the core facilities at Eastside do not.
"OK, well we may be short on bus drivers, but there is this one driver and for two years we have complained that she flies through the neighborhood! She does at least 45 if not faster. She has middle school and high school kids on her bus, so which means the younger kids are already home and outside playing ... If she ever hits a child, I hope the parents sue the you-no-what out of the school transportation, because she has been reported many times! I have even seen her pull out in front of people on busy 278 ... On another note, my daughter's bus driver for elementary school is awesome. We need more like Mrs. Thompson. We love you and you are the best and most loving bus driver ever!"
"This is in response to the Newton County citizen that made the statement about a Newton County deputy on a cell phone during a funeral procession. The deputy involved is one of my best friends and I know firsthand that he would not disrespect anyone ... especially the family of a deceased person. This deputy gives his all every day when he puts on the badge/gun, and I am sure he was communicating with other deputies letting them know the location of the funeral so they too could block a different intersection. You are the individual that owes the apology to the Sheriff's Office for degrading one of their deputies as well as the deputy for writing in prior to having all of the facts. Maybe you should have contacted the deputy personally and notified him that it offended you, if it was such an issue ... instead of writing into a newspaper ... anonymously! Hmm ... I wonder why you are no longer a deputy!"
"Times have changed over the past six years, crime has gone up and there are more and more citizens moving into the county. All of the Newton County Sheriff's Office deputies give the citizens 110 percent every time they put on their badge and the gun. Sometimes we as deputies are judged unfairly because of what is seen on TV and heard on the news. You talk about a deputy on the phone while blocking traffic for a funeral, but do you know who the deputy was talking to? Did you ever stop to think that the deputy was letting other deputies know the location of the funeral, or it could have been a deputy putting his life on the line or protecting the lives of one of the citizens of this county. Try looking at the big picture next time before you judge one of the Newton County deputies, or better yet why don't you put back on the uniform and try to perform this job with the utmost professionalism and concern for the citizens of this county."
"I would like to address the repaving of Salem Road, and we were wondering exactly what was the reason for that now that the primary is over. I wonder which candidate will address the traffic problem at Highway 212, Brown Bridge Road and Highway 20. In 2005 we voted for SPLOST for traffic correction, but we have seen no movement on that. I talked with one of the candidates and he said we would see something the first of August, but nothing has been done at that intersection or the traffic light at Salem Road and Smith Store Road. I wonder when the candidates are really going to address this problem."
"I wanted to thank the Dobbs family for their gracious offer for letting us pick their apples. I picked them about a day after they put their sign out and made the apple crisp and have been taking the apples with us to work every day and they are wonderful. That is such a nice change to see people being so generous and just wanted to thank the Dobbs family."
"My complaint concerns the Newton County school system. I noticed new grass on some of the school grounds. Instead of paying big money for new grass, why can't the county spend more money for gas for the school buses to transport the children, especially the special ed children. These kids are on buses a long time going from home to school and from school to back home. Sometimes it is a very long time for them, even in the afternoon when it is so hot for the drivers and the kids with no A/C on the buses. This is sort of ridiculous."
"I would like to make a comment in regards to the person making a comment on Turner Lake. First of all, our kids here are very smart and most of the parents if they don't pass, the parents will turn and pull them out. You didn't know that. As far as our parks being clean, they work on them all the time. As far as a homeless man being here, well you took care of that when you called the police and asked them to have him removed. The point of it is if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. You know nothing about Turner Lake; you come over here, you picked us apart and you say what is bad and what is good. I happen to know. I work at the front desk. Most of these kids that come in here are very smart, most of the kids that come in here have parents that care. They want to keep them out of trouble so they put them on teams so therefore that is my comment to you. I am sorry you are unhappy, but if you are so unhappy, why don't you stay home and quit coming over here."
"I would like to suggest that at the Hub Junction we open a family-style restaurant like the Log Cabin. I noticed that the bank was supposed to build there, but their signs are down and I wonder if someone could buy that property."
I think it is ridiculous that students have to pay $40 for a parking pass at these schools when the taxpayers' money buys the land that goes on. School property belongs to the taxpayers."
"Unbelievable, even in Newton County this is unbelievable. My children's bus driver on a special ed bus got a speeding ticket for speeding in a school zone with kids on his bus. I am informed by transportation that he has been suspended for 30 days and my children will have to ride another bus and be late. The monitor on their bus called me on Saturday afternoon and told me they would ride another bus, which that bus driver would run her route and then come back and pick my kids up and get them to school late every day and they would get them home when they could. I called transportation this morning and I was told the monitor should have never called and told me this. They were working on this and the kids would be late to school some but they were doing the very best they could. There are only three children on this bus, one of which is in a wheelchair and has to have wheelchair access. I think Mickey Mouse could route buses better than they can. They are only going to reprimand this monitor because she called and told me the truth. When she called me she also told me this bus driver had trouble, his bus broke down the first day of school they give him another bus as she put it 'wired together' and he was concerned about the condition of the bus. We have got to do better than this for our children. Talk about special ed kids and disadvantaged kids hurting the AYP in Newton County. Wonder why? They are treated like second-class citizens. They get to school when they can get them there and get home when they can get them there."
"GDOT spokesman Mark McKinnon said, 'there has never been any state money involved in the Salem Road widening, and the department officially designates it as a long-range project.' He said 'when money is available, GDOT will take action to move the project forward.' It's nice to see that knowing this that the Newton County Board of Commissioners continues to allow more growth on this already-congested road. You would think that qualified officials would recognize that their community is a so called "commuter town" and that being able to commute back and forth in a reasonable time is what their citizens want. What they didn't tell you in the Wal-Mart debacle is that the GDOT is not even considering widening Salem Road until 2014. Let me use my fortune-telling abilities to inform you that there will be a SPLOST vote in our near future. Just another reason to vote out the incumbents!"
"My child attends Oak Hill Elementary. This morning while I was trying to get him to school on time I was stopped for 20 minutes due to repaving of the road. I would just like to say that it is ridiculous for my child to have to be late to school and for me to be late to work because road paving couldn't wait an extra hour to begin. There is already a traffic problem in that area due to a four-way that needs to have a red light and another intersection with just a caution light! There is more of a need for traffic lights than repaving of the roads. Also, no one from the Newton County sheriff's department would come direct traffic according to the school this morning! Newton County needs to get a clue!"
"This is to the bus driver who was speeding in the school zone with the precious children: What were you thinking?"