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Rockdale Citizen Poll 3-22-08

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

"I have noticed lately that a particularly popular fast food restaurant has been giving out the wrong change. For example, on the last visit I was to receive $6 back, but received $3. I bring it to the cashier's attention, and without hesitation, they give me the correct change. At first, I thought it was an honest mistake. However, it keeps happening. Additionally, I was talking with some neighbors and they have noticed the same thing happening at the same restaurant. This is happening too much to be just an oversight. Don't be naïve. Please be aware."

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"I am a long-time citizen of Rockdale and continue to be disheartened by the comments our citizens make. How educated are the citizens of Rockdale when it comes to being an informed citizen when it comes to making decisions and attempting to make value judgments? In response to the comment posted in last week's Poll: 'If we don't act now, Rockdale will turn out like the mess he left in Clayton County.' First of all, Dr. (Sam) King was not the superintendent in Clayton County, but you keep alluding to the fact that he put Clayton County in the position it's in. Secondly, the board members in Clayton County were elected by the people just like they are in Rockdale, which means we voted the board as it is. So how can you conclude that Dr. King can bring Clayton County board members to serve on Rockdale's board? As an informed citizen, that means do your research. It's quite evident that the comments you make are full of racial undertones. Have you ever looked at the positive results RCPS has accomplished since Dr. King has been superintendent? For example, for two years in a row we have achieved systemwide AYP, which only a few systems in the metropolitan area have accomplished. One was Fayette County, whose demographics are quite different from that of Rockdale. Fayette County is only 14 percent economically disadvantaged, while Rockdale is 44 percent. Must be a great place to have pilots living in the community. We continue to remain above the state average on all testing. I challenge you to leave your comfort zone and come into the schools and work for a week .... if you can survive it."

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"I will let God do the judging (on illegals) as long as its not in my county. Seize all of their properties and get them out!"

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"While I commend RCHS and authorities for securing the situation, I wonder how they were able to evade reporting what actually happened Thursday morning? Even the Rockdale Citizen's report excluded many facts regarding the situation. This is not the first time this has happened. My child reported S.W.A.T. visibility on campus. Students with guns being arrested. This was a gang-related incident. Rockdale (the county) cannot continue to cover up such things. Students, you need to stop living up to the music you're listening to. Many of your music idols are sending you the wrong message. Look at their police records. Think on your own. Don't be swayed by the negative messages you're receiving in music, film, etc. You are our future. Help make it better, not worse."

Editor's Note: According to Conyers Police Chief David Cathcart, no arrests were made for possession of guns during the stepped-up patrol at Rockdale County High School on Thursday, March 13, and no members of the S.W.A.T. were on campus. The DeKalb County Police Department used their K-9 units to assist the Conyers Police Department officers search for weapons.

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"It is truly sad about what happened to the young college students at Auburn and UNC. Someone really dropped the ball to allow these thugs to remain on the street and to kill and rob again. This same thing happens every day. Even in Conyers, we have young ... males that are able to rob, steal and terrorize hard-working people. They can do this because their mother works for a certain government entity and the DA looks the other way. This thug has gone into Salem Road QT and told the night manager that he was going to come back and kill everybody in the store, because she ordered him out of the store for previously passing counterfeit money. He has also gone into a daycare center in that same area and threatened to stab and kill a daycare worker for her refusal to allow him to pick up his brother. He has vandalized my neighbor's car and also terrorized an entire community. Sad to say, if he keeps getting away with this behavior, he will eventually kill some innocent hard-working college student. I sure hope the DA and the legal system can deal with the blood on their hand, all for their refusal to prosecute this thug for all of his crimes. If the DA and the legal system had worked in N.C. and Alabama, maybe Eve Carson and Lauren Burke would still be alive."

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"After years of poor management, bad decisions, cost overruns, terrible planning, employee layoffs, little or no raises for those dedicated employees who hung in through the hard times, RMC recently announced that all employees would receive a whopping 3 percent raise. This was followed (secretly, of course) by the payment of ... bonuses to RMC's VPs ... . Great job! How's that factor into the Signature buyout?"

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"I am writing in response to the letter in last week's Citizen Poll regarding Wales Barksdale and his so-called 'Service above Self.' First let me say that I don't know Mr. Barksdale, nor have I even met him. I want to expand on the thoughts of the individual who commented so eloquently on what would, on the surface, have seemed like such an innocuous article about the Rotary Club. How can we as comrades, uh I mean, common folk allow a rich fat cat ... to actually own property and charge all of the rent for it that he can get. We should have some law that says if you are allowed to own property, you can only charge as much as the person renting it can afford. If they come up short one month, they should only have to pay what they can. And another thing, how do we allow (a) rich guy to be on the school board representing the interest of 'our' government schools. Anyone knows that someone selfish enough to be rich is only going to look out for the rich kids. Even if he is actually only being altruistic, which as a rich person we know he's not, what kind of example is he setting for our fine young working party of the future. I know that some would say that all of these gentlemen on the Rotary Club board are volunteering their time to help better our community, but we all know the truth. Worst case scenario, they are only lining their rich pockets; best case, they are only trying to make themselves feel better for being so fortunate to be rich. Come on comrades, uh, I mean fellow citizens, can we really continue to let people like (this) get away with this? We should begin with voting in Clinton or Obama in November and then let our local politicians know that we won't stand for these outrages any longer. Maybe one day we can live in a world where (other) people... don't have any more than we do. If rich people don't want to do what's right, we can use the police power of government to make them. Maybe one day we can live in a world where rich people ... won't be able to volunteer their time and money to us because we will have it all ourselves! Beware. Common folks like us are actively being led by the nose by those who would resurrect the ideas of the past. Just because it is always doomed for failure doesn't mean that it is ever hard to start. All we have to do is want what you have, and vote for someone who promises to take it from you and give it to us. Excellent, fellow comrade, uh, I mean fellow Citizen Poll responder. Maybe no one else could understand your meaningless ramble in last week's Citizen Poll, but I understood it loud and clear."

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"A big kudos to Nicholas Weese at the ice rink. The dedication he has for his job should be modeled by everyone. To have what it takes to put up with some people up there, I don't know how they do it, but keep up the good work. I sure hope to see them there next year."

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"As a student at Rockdale County High School, I am not too happy with the new 'security measures' that the school is taking. I know that all this is used to ensure our safety and make sure that each and every student is safe, but it's ridiculous. The whole closing the vocational parking lot at 7:45 in the morning is not right. School starts at 8:05 and how can you close the parking lot 20 minutes before school begins? And the bell to let kids into the hallway rings at 7:50 a.m. Not every student that parks in the vocational lot lives in the RCHS district. Many of the students that park (there) live in SHS and HHS districts and sometimes takes 30 minutes to commute from home to school, which means that Magnet students have to leave their houses around 7? That is beyond crazy. It's not like the gates are opened up after 8:05, they stay locked til 3. How can one student that has a doctor's appointment or an internship/off period get off? Also isn't this a big fire hazard? Which means that a student who gets to school late or has to leave early because they have something off campus, means they have to park on the gravel lot. We did not pay $50 and submit an application early enough to park in the gravel lot. I have a nice parking space on vocational lot and I do not like the idea of walking a mile to my car to a random spot that I wasn't assigned to. Because people think that closing any entrances to the school will keep us safe? I don't think so. As long as we can park, we will find a way out, when we have to get out. These new security measures are getting a little bit out of hand and making coming to school much harder because you have no idea what is going to be up the next day. Rockdale County High School administrators please rethink everything, because these new security measures are making your students mad and making school a place where even the school loving students do not want to come.

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"Regarding a comment in the March 15 Poll: I think it is fair, in this day and age, to assume that an individual with a Hispanic last name who is charged with driving without a license is, in fact, illegal. Such a conclusion is not racist nor prejudiced; it is common sense, given the large undocumented population in the area. Unless, of course, you are suggesting that driving while unlicensed is an inherent part of the Latino cultural identity ... which is incredibly insulting to those of us who are Latino and legal."

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"If you were at the (RCHS soccer) game on Tuesday, you saw that the coach sat on the bench during half time and did not even join the girls. Where is the athletic director? Take notice. This is someone that is molding our children. Will they walk away from their children if they do something that disappoints them? Is this what the girls deserve? Does the Board of Education think this is the appropriate way for a paid employee to act? Cry baby comes to my mind; what about yours?"

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"There have been a couple of comments the last two weeks about seizing the automobiles of the illegals. Both agreed that it should be done. But the one who called the other one a racist? Puh-lease! That seems to be the buzz word when race issues come up. I don't know where you were educated but apparently you didn't have a Webster's dictionary. The definition of racist is 'a person with a prejudiced belief that one race is superior to others.' The first comment was not by a 'racist.' It might have been exhibiting 'racism,' which are two totally different things. So before you start calling names, make sure you know what you are talking about and realize that we do have a problem in this county with illegals. No one can say that all of the 'Hispanic-looking' names in the police blotter are legal or illegal, but just look back a few years and see the increase in those Hispanic names. It takes longer than that to become 'legal.' Also, learning English is one requirement for citizenship. Just ask the police officer who arrested them if an interpreter was needed."

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"Why has the Citizen stopped doing the police blotter the way it did in years past, where an actual synopsis of the police calls were printed? I found it helpful and interesting to see exactly what was happening as well as where the criminal activity was occurring. I've wondered if it's done differently now because there's too much to write about or if it's being kept quiet for some reason? There needs to be more info on the county's crimes."

Editor's Note: We don't recall publishing the police blotter in the way you describe. We agree that it would be interesting to provide more information about the scene of the alleged crimes. Unfortunately, space constraints restrict our ability to do this for every entry in the jail log, but we strive to write stories that more fully explain some of the more interesting arrests.