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Newton Citizen Poll 7/12/2008

I keep hearing in the news about people complaining in reference to the sale of scratch-off lottery tickets after the largest prizes have been won. The reason that the tickets continue to be sold is that 1) there are still other prizes to be won. 2) the prizes are funded by the sale of the tickets. 3) If it was required that tickets stop being sold after the top prizes are gone, then the Hope Scholarship would get a lot less money because the prizes would not be funded since if the top prize was sold early in the game, taxpayers would have to fund the prize.

Newton County is under siege with real estate brokers, developers, and other professionals that work for companies with the real estate links. It is not a coincidence that all these real estate people want to be in a position of making decisions. Zoning decisions, impact fees, and other business decisions that affect our finances and homes are up for grabs by people who could benefit financially at our expense. Get out to vote and vote as if your wallet depended on it. It does.

Bless our teachers. "Let me see if I've got this right. You want me to go into that room with all those kids, and fill their every waking moment with a love for learning. And I'm supposed to instill a sense of pride in their ethnicity, modify their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse and even censor their T-shirt messages and dress habits. You want me to wage a war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, check their backpacks for weapons of mass destruction, and raise their self esteem. You want me to teach them patriotism, good citizenship, sportsmanship, fair play, how to register to vote, how to balance a checkbook, and how to apply for a job. I am to check their heads for lice, maintain a safe environment, recognize signs of anti-social behavior, make sure all students pass the mandatory state exams, even those who don't come to school regularly or complete any of their assignments. Plus, I am to make sure that all of the students with handicaps get an equal education regardless of the extent of their mental or physical handicap. And I am to communicate regularly with the parents by letter, telephone, newsletter and report card. All of this I am to do with just a piece of chalk, a computer, a few books, a bulletin board, a big smile AND on a starting salary that qualifies my family for food stamps! You want me to do all of this and yet you expect me not to pray?"

"What do you folks think of the unbelievable amount of trash deposited every day in all your roads and streets, and in front of your homes? Do you have to pick it up every single day like we do? Are you all getting the same amount of daily fast-food wrappers and boxes, beer cans, whiskey bottles, lottery tickets, plastic water bottles, soft drink cans, cigarette butts, disposable diapers, full black plastic trash bags, chicken bones, twist-off bottle tops, and aluminum pop-tops, as we are? Does it seem to all of you that our tax-paid city police, county sheriffs, state highway patrols, district attorneys, and judges are enforcing our anti-litter laws with about the same lack of dedication as they are enforcing our drunk-driving, reckless driving, anti-loud-noise, anti-loud-muffler, and home burglary laws? Other than move to New Zealand, is there anything at all we can do about it? What if all of us decided to start throwing all the litter back into the roads and streets from whence it all came? Would that soon get the attention of the responsible law-breakers and 'public servants?'"

"I really appreciate the Newton Citizen's headline news report in the July 8 edition, concerning state Sen. John Douglas. Your reporter cited the State Ethics Commission as saying that the complaints filed against Douglas' actions were criminal in nature and not within their mandate to investigate. This explanation from the Ethics Commission is the most blatant use of political double-talk bovine manure we have had shoveled the taxpayers' way in quite awhile. As one example, if an elected state office holder was observed giving a cash bribe to another appointed state Parole Board member to grant a parole to a state convict, this would certainly be an obvious double criminal act, but an equally obvious double ethics violation. My little old dictionary defines ethics as "rules governing the conduct of a person or member of a profession." The Citizen would do all of us taxpayers a great favor by publishing the names of the members of the State Ethics Commission and the details of who appointed all these public servants to their jobs."

RE: The history lesson on July 5. Real history, not Republican Party history, shows that communism in the Soviet Union is what overturned communism, NOT Reagan. It also shows that Arnold is one on the worst governors in California's history. He is all for exporting jobs and inviting in illegal aliens.

I've always tried to be a conscientious voter who researches the candidates and issues before casting my ballot. However, this is hard to do when information on the candidates is so hard to find! For example, I've spent considerable time looking online for information about the County Commission candidates and have been unable to find anything on Mark Patrick. The forums that were held were beneficial for those who could attend and for those who are on Charter Cable and therefore able to view them. Those of us on Comcast or Dish/DirecTV remain in the dark. It would be wonderful if the Citizen would take on the task of publishing these candidates platforms and stances on the issues in a side-by-side format BEFORE the election--preferably before the week of early voting begins. As citizens, we are encouraged to do our civic duty, but it's no wonder that Newton County can't turn out the vote! People CAN'T care about the issues if they don't know what they are and how the candidates propose addressing them.

Editor's Note: The Citizen published a profile of Mark Patrick in its May 30 edition. You may find that article in the Citizen's online archives by clicking on the "Archive" link on the left side of the home page. Search for "Mark Patrick," and make sure to specify a time range dating back to May, since by default the archive only searches articles within the last month. Do this by changing the Month, Day and Year boxes in the "Search From:" and "Search To:" fields.

I was present at the Oxford Lions July 4th Parade and was very disappointed at the majority of folks who remained sitting on their butts as the Colors leading the parade were presented. I felt proud as the American flag approached, but, as it and others marched by, I watched as several on-lookers arose, some saluted, some crossed their hearts, but some, the majority, ignored it totally. Of all days, July 4th, our day of Independence. Maybe next time they will be a bit more respectful. I congratulate the Oxford Lions Club for their work and efforts annually to have a great parade. It is always fun to see the many that join in. Keep up the good work.

"This seemingly endless and seemingly more ridiculous season of political endorsements has set me pondering. It seems to me that, if I were running for any political office, the last thing in the world I would want to happen to my campaign is to become endorsed by someone like Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, George Bush the One or the Other, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Cynthia McKinney, Sonny Perdue, or - come to think of it, almost any politician, political hanger-on, hack, or public trough parasite. Or have I just set my personal standards too high for American politics? Maybe so."

It is that time of year again. The July 15 primary will be after this opinion poll runs. So, get out do not send the same people back into office.

This call is in reference to a letter to the editor written by Mr. Harry Long in your July 2 edition. I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Long's letter. I have voted in elections for 16 years, and politicians running for office promise you one thing and then you never hear from them until the next election. They then campaign and advertise what they do for special interest groups. The everyday working people seem to be left out of our political system. I agree with Mr. Long, we should take a long, hard look at everyone running for office.

About two weeks ago I cut through Bryant Road off of Highway 81 North out of Oxford. I saw city of Covington tree trimmers of the electrical department trimming limbs off power lines like I have been seeing for years. When I come back about two hours later they had cut one tree down inside a chainlink fence and stacked up the wood for the owner, all limbs were gone and it was about one foot thick at the base of the tree. The owner owns a car and towing company in Covington and I think this is a little out of the ordinary. I have a couple of trees close to power lines that I really would like for them to take down too but I don't think they would do it. The next day the neighbor had one taken down to, he must have complained about it.

"Our national political campaign has lately broken out into a discussion about all Americans learning a second language in order to be successful in their future lives. This inherent presumption - that everybody in America already speaks their first language of English - puts me in mind of my dear old Grandmama. She had a favorite expression that she always used whenever pointing out what she felt was a particularly irritating falsehood: 'Now ain't that sweet as syrup and cute as pie!'"

"I've been thinking about a local preacher I keep hearing of who kicked a long-time old member out of the church for criticizing him. You know, that minister would not even have a church if the founding father of all protestant churches, Martin Luther, hadn't been originally excommunicated from his church. I wonder if those church members have thought about becoming independent from the governing organization that put that preacher in charge of their church? It seems to me that the trend toward independent and non-denominational churches has been gaining a great deal of adherents for the past 30 or so years in America."

I can't believe taking down the gazebo in Porterdale is even an option. There are some of us that enjoy seeing that dead area being beautified. What is law enforcement all about? I feel like this is similar to the situation of a child crying until they get their way. Why do we have to give into these people that can't find anything better to do with their lives than set an example by doing all the wrong things and getting away with it. Why not heavily fine them or throw them in jail if they get unruly instead of taking something away from the residents that would otherwise enjoy sitting and visiting in this gazebo? It's actions like this that has made this world what it is today. We have laws, enforce them. We all pay taxes but the ones that benefit from it are the ones that get away with doing the things that are done in that gazebo. I, for one, would like my tax dollars to work in a positive way, by enforcing the laws and rewarding the law abiding citizens with the privilege of visiting that gazebo without having to worry about what kind of trash they will encounter while they're in there. Thank you for listening and hopefully I will be thanking you in the future for the stand that has been taken against non-law abiding citizens.

I am writing in response to the City of Covington raising our utility bills. Unfortunately, my last two residences have been serviced by one or more of the city utilities and my bill has always been ridiculously high. I have often inquired, with the city, as to why our bills are so high, and they haven't offered an answer. Instead, on one occasion, I was told to leave City Hall or else they would have the police escort me from the premises! Is this what happens when we question our utility bill? Recently I read, in the Citizen, where our new Mayor (Kim Carter) has renovated her office with elaborate furnishings, and I can't help but wonder if this (huge spending) is the reason for our utility woes. I used to be employed by the Covington Police Department and have seen, first hand, how the city abuses their budget by buying "fancy" equipment that isn't really necessary for the job but it sure does look good! The city is more concerned with their image than with the residents' interests. I just want to say, 'Good job Mayor! Keep up the good work and let's see how long you last in office! Remember, the residents voted you in there with the belief that you would actually work for them and not yourself.'"

There has been a rumor floating around Newton County that the old Wal-mart is going to have a Cracker Barrell or a restaurant there, which we much need closer to home. If the people here in Newton County would eat here at our restaurants instead of going to Rockdale County, most of the property taxes or taxes would go to Newton County instead of Rockdale. Hopefully, people will wise up and get us more cafeterias or restaurants here so people won't have to go to Rockdale county.

Editors Note: The City of Covington confirmed in 2007 that Cracker Barrel representatives were considering locating a restaurant on Ga. Highway 142, across from the new Wal-Mart Supercenter. Property owner Andy Ewing with Ewing Southeast Realty LLC said he cannot comment on any deals that have not been closed.