This week's Newton Citizen Poll was an open line:
"'Tornado Causes Cookie Crisis for Atlanta Girl Scouts.' Are you serious? ... That's a crisis? People were injured, at least two were killed, thousands more could have been injured or killed. People lost their homes and in some cases all their possessions ... some that cannot be replaced! Debris littered the streets of Atlanta! Cookies being destroyed is so far from some people's minds right now! Some people are concentrating on rebuilding their homes, lives and replacing the everyday necessities they lost in these storms! That's a crisis! While I understand how frustrating it is for the Girl Scouts to have something like this happen, I can't help but ask ... Are cookies a real concern right now?"
"Child support. This is to the woman who wrote in about her ex living in a nice home and not paying his child support while she was car-less, has no way to get back and fourth to work and has no cable. You won't like what I have to say. My son's dad is behind seven years in the Florida system. My girl's dad is behind three years in the Georgia system. The system doesn't work to protect the moms or make the dads do their part. You don't need to get used to it. You need to focus on you and your children. You need to work on your education and cut back where you can. We will live without cable. Keep your mind, body and spirit in focus. Forget about what he isn't doing and focus on what you can do to help yourself and your children. Perhaps work towards making a change in our child support system by using your voice in a positive way to make those changes. Our system is in desperate need of an overhaul. I have to ask myself when did women and children become dispensable. Not only in our world of child support enforcement but all aspects of life. Be strong."
"Reference the comments in the 3-22-08 poll about the changes in Social Security. You need to remember that if not for Democrats there would be NO Social Security. Leave it up to the Republicans and there will NOT be any Social Security."
"Fathers are not the only 'deadbeats' who fail to pay child support. Unfortunately, there are many mothers who don't pay child support and they are not subjected to the same rules that apply to the fathers. There is a double standard for men and women who have to pay child support. The mother of my stepchildren was ordered to pay only $25 a week and she refused to do that. We reported it to Child Support Recovery and they still have failed to make her pay. Child Support Recovery was able to obtain a warrant for her arrest, but the Sheriff's Office could not locate her even though we provided the address of where she was living. Sometime after that she was arrested on other charges (public drunk) and the Sheriff's Office released her; even though the warrant was still in effect. I think it is a shame that men are required to pay so much when the women are never forced to do their part."
"To all the citizens of Newton County, are you tired of burning high-priced gas at the four-way stop at 212 and Brown Bridge Road and at the Porterdale four-way stop. Then maybe we should start a red light fund, because it seems like that is the only way we are going to get red lights at these intersections. Our county commissioners do not seem to care. Maybe we need to put new commissioners in that have the county taxpayers interest at heart and not big business, special interest and over-priced housing developments."
"Huckaby states that he wouldn't want to be in a foxhole with Obama or Clinton. Well, I guess he'd rather be in a foxhole with Bush or Cheney or McCain. I guess he forgot that Bush didn't even show up for his National Guard training so he wouldn't even show up at the proverbial foxhole in the first place. His daddy would get him out of that situation. And Cheney just might shoot him in the back. I think Huckaby is treading on thin ice as an educator by taking sides politically and trying to influence students and citizens who believe if they see something in print then it must be correct. Unless Darrell Huckaby starts getting his act together and sticks to what he's good at (talking about the good ole days) and silly stuff like that, then I'll not be reading his articles any more."
Editor's note: Opinion columns by Darrell Huckaby and other columnists present a variety of viewpoints. Readers are free to agree with those viewpoints or not. Columnists cannot be held responsible for readers who believe that anything they see in print is correct.
"This is from the 'brain surgeon,' which clearly you could never be ... For your information, I rarely drink, and when I do, I certainly don't drive. So contrary to your brilliant assertion, I will never have to worry about telling a mother or father that I 'killed their child because I drank too much.' The fact that you would assume otherwise from my comment shows 1) your ignorance, and 2) your desire to control the rest of us and force your beliefs on us! Again, if you choose not to drink, or not to drink on Sunday, then 'God bless you.' If you want to spend Sunday with your family or go to church, go ahead. You have that freedom. How about giving everyone else the same courtesy!"
"In response to the person who wrote last week about wanting a Wendy's at the Hub Junction - I think I speak for most of us out here: We don't want a Wendy's there! If you want to eat at Wendy's you can drive the extra 6-8 minutes to the new one on Hwy. 278. If you are too lazy to do that, then move to the other side of the county near the McDonald's on Salem Road. I'm sure someone over there would love to trade places with you. I don't want a bunch of drive-through restaurants cluttering up the county. I sure hope you're not on the Planning Commission!"
"To the religious zealot that felt compelled to comment on people consuming their 'poison,' there is this little thing that we as Americans are constitutionally guaranteed, separation of church and state. But you zealots see it fit to use the politicians to tell others how to live. It will all work out in the end though, as we see the trend of immigrants from south of the border they will transfer power to politicians of their liking and religious beliefs and then the Sunday liquor law will be abolished. Then in 30-40 years as the immigrants from the Middle East start becoming more of a majority as they have in Europe, they can transfer their ideologies to their politicians, then we can all live under Shari'a law, how you like them apples?"
"I see where along with Newton not getting a second Home Depot location we are losing two more hardware stores. Why won't you guys at the Citizen get in touch with the Chamber of Commerce and do a story about what they are doing to actually get business to the county, and I am not talking about some big industrial plant, I am talking about commercial businesses and things of that nature 'cause from what I see they are not doing much of anything at all."
Editor's note: According to information provided by the Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce, large retailers traditionally work with national brokers for site selection of stores, so oftentimes there is little availability for the recruitment of these businesses. Additionally, large retailers across the board have slowed new store development due to the current economic conditions. Factors that can affect these decisions are generally based on demographic components such as population, median household income, number of rooftops, traffic counts, traffic patterns, location of like stores and the general economic climate of the area. As a new member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, the Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce is working to network with those brokers that do affect location decisions.
"Taxes are already too high and Newton County is deeply in debt. Are county commissioners allowed to steer businesses like the new Home Depot and Wal-Mart to their own private property? Can we afford to waste millions of tax dollars on unneeded pet projects like the Bear Creek Reservoir and Stanton Springs Park? What is the cost to taxpayers and how much public money has already been wasted? Where are the public records? Why won't the county commissioners answer these questions?"
"I am calling about the article about the variance. It is obvious to me after reading the Newton Citizen over the years that the Planning and Development Department apparently doesn't realize how many mistakes they are making or at least don't care. I've read numerous situations where they have made faux pas, and then it is up to the property owner to shell out their money to correct the county's problem. I think this is an outrage. I don't understand why the county commissioners don't do something with these people and put their feet to the fire. If they don't know what they are doing in there they need to be out of there."