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Newton Citizen Poll 11/4/2008

The Newton Citizen Poll is a compilation of opinions submitted by readers. This week's Citizen Poll was an open line.

Note to readers: The Newton Citizen Poll is not a forum for comments either in favor of or in opposition to a candidate in a political race. If you would like to comment on a candidate, please write to: Letters, Newton Citizen, 7121 Turner Lake Road, Covington, GA 30014. All letters must be signed and have a phone number for verification of authorship.

"I think someone at Rockdale Medical Center has the staff's hours all combobulated. They have full-time nursing staff, plus PRNs on call as needed - plus people that work weekends only. They are saying the people that work weekends only get to work before full-time employees do because they only work two days a week. Lately, with the patient load at a low level, many full-time staffers are being canceled - but the weekend staff gets to work anyway. I would think the weekend people would only get to work after the full-time people had put in their 40 hours. To keep from paying full-time people overtime, the hospital uses weekend staff and don't have to pay them benefits. The hospital is deathly afraid a nurses union might try to maneuver it's way into their existence. This is a sure way to attract a union. If a full-time employee has been canceled one or two days, they need to let them work to get their 40 hours in before letting weekend workers get on the clock. Some of the weekend workers are employed full-time at other hospitals five days a week and only work at Rockdale Medical Center on weekends to supplement their income."

"I was calling about the Bulldog Nation. It seems to me like that even with the black jerseys they were all bark and no bite. I am sure Bear Bryant is still laughing about it."

"My comment today is as a former Republican I am sorry to say I helped put Bush in for another four years. I am going on 66 years old and have never seen this country in such a mess. Jimmy Carter looked like a political genius compared to what we have seen for the past eight years."

"I would like to respond to the people who did not like my comments I made a couple of weeks ago about Wal-Mart and the Newton Citizen. To the person who told me not to go to Wal-Mart, I don't, I go to Big Lots. To the person who said he was going to wear his shirt proudly. Good for you, that is probably all you got to wear. To the so called Tech fan who said there is more important things to worry about. Maybe so, but if you were a real Tech fan you would be worried about it. Last but not least to the editor it is plainly clear you are a UGA fan. You ain't no different than the rest of them. You don't know what you are talking about. If you were a professional sports editor you wouldn't be so prejudiced towards Tech. You are no different from all the other TV and newspaper sportscasters. Just jumping on that Georgia bandwagon. Maybe after the season is over Wal-Mart will put all that crap on clearance. That way UGA can have more fans that don't know the difference between a football and a ping-pong ball."

"Bail Out - Boot Out. The failure of the 'bail out' is an absolute win for you and I. What is needed now is an absolute house cleaning, starting with every incumbent at every level of every government where empirical accountability is not documented. Then without stopping and where none exist, institute limits; three consecutive terms selected by districts with possible succession after a break of one term."

"I am a Newton County bus driver and I would also like to thank Mr. Rickie Corley. When I have a concern, he all ways takes the time to listen to my concerns. He is one of the best Board of Education members we have. Once again, thank you so much Mr. Corley."

"I see a lot of young people wearing these Obama shirts. Have any of you registered to vote? When you go to polls don't wear any Obama shirts, hats or pins. They consider that a form of campaigning and you will have problems trying to vote. Just giving you guys a head up on that."

"What are they going to do with the old Wal-Mart? It is such an eyesore. It would be really nice if they'd use that site to build the new civic center. It would also bring new interest in that area which seems to be going down some since Wal-Mart moved."

"While Ms. Cox's visit was certainly welcome to Newton High School, it is to the credit of Mr. Charles Boyum, the teacher of those AP government students in the ninth grade, that they were so well-prepared for her visit. Mr. Boyum has taught American government and civics at Newton High for 22 years and his contributions to the school and community must be praised. It is teachers like Mr. Boyum, quietly educating and rendering students into productive citizens, that must be acknowledged."

"How dare she. I opened up my utility bill and here's a letter from her Mayorness wanting me to round up my bill for those who are having problems paying theirs. Why not just take the money for her redecorating her office and put it into this fund she wants? You know what she is - just one of the good ol' boys in disguise - in other words a wolf in sheep's clothing. I voted for her because I mistakenly thought she would be a sane and stabilizing factor in the midst of chaos, confusion and corruption. My bad."

"Hooray for Greely Ellis for having the courage to speak out about the civic center and the off-site parking being adequate. The administration building is already a problem. The parking deck has the only handicapped spaces and is a block away and not even a rear entrance to the building. Also a county truck is always parked in one of those spaces, all and every day. It is clear the people planning these things have never had to use canes, walkers or wheelchairs."

"I thought it was fitting the University of Georgia Bulldogs wore black last Saturday night since they got spanked around all over town on national television by a little old Alabama Crimson Tide. Maybe the Wal-Mart will remove some of the Georgia Bulldog crap out of their store now. I am still waiting on Mr. Darrell Huckaby to write an article about the last beating."

"I want to give comment to the city official's remark about people with disabilities. I have lived in Newton County for most of my 75 years, and have had to use a wheelchair for the past 40 years. What I would like to propose to my city official is - I will lend him my wheelchair and 19-year-old handicapped equipped van and have him/her conduct their daily business as I have been doing for these many years. Covington and Newton County is looking like my mother once said - 'A mule in a show harness.'"

"I would like to make a comment on the article in the Tuesday Citizen concerning the civic center proposal. We do not need any more buildings in and around the city of Covington. I agree it is very difficult to find anywhere to park when you need to go to the Newton County administration building or find parking for any of the other city and county offices on those streets. I agree that the old Wal-Mart is the perfect place for something like this, and also why do we need another hotel? Don't we have enough of them already? It has gotten so crowded in Covington and Conyers. It gets old when you sit in traffic for 10 to 20 minutes to go through a light and a line of cars. With the economy being what it is and gas where it's not, why spend more money in town and block up some more of old town's ambience? Isn't that what they were trying to do? Go to the old Wal-Mart location and use that, lots of parking for both handicap and regular parking, and easy to get to! I know there are some others out there that would agree with me. I am handicapped and it is already hard to find a parking space, due to the fact that there are just a few in most of stores' parking. Well, I have voiced my opinion. I am sure others would like to have their say-so in this matter!"

"As I opened my Newton Citizen on Sept. 16, I saw a front-page article regarding student transfers in Newton County schools. I read the article to see what new information was being presented regarding No Child Left Behind and school choice as it related to the students of Newton County. Instead, all I found was a regurgitation of the same facts presented in your front page articles dated Aug. 15th, Aug. 1st, July 18th and July 17th each highlighting the fact that Clements Middle School and Middle Ridge Elementary School did not make AYP again. Four of the five articles were written by the same reporter. Is your paper so lacking for good news that you have to continuously rehash this information? Have there been problems in these schools? Yes. Are they being addressed? Yes. However, the way in which you continue to report the same information as news leads one to believe that there can't possibly be any good in either of these schools. When is the last time you visited either of these schools to find out the good that goes on there? In none of these articles do I see a reference to the fact that a small sub-group can make or break the AYP formula. Many parents who transfer their children from these schools don't bother to see if their own child fell into the category of needs improvement, but instead fall prey to the media coverage of negativity. Good things do happen in these schools. It's just a shame that we don't see more news coverage of it. Maybe more of us need to rethink our commitment to purchasing this paper that is quick to report negative items but slow to report the good that goes on in all of our schools."

Editor's note: Several articles regarding the Newton County School System and Adequate Yearly Progress were published in the Newton Citizen because the school system issued updates on the number of students who transferred from schools not making AYP. Each article contained new information on the transfers; some information was repeated in the articles so readers could understand the history and facts regarding AYP and the schools. We know that not everyone reads the paper every day, so it's necessary to give background when a story is updated. Furthermore, the school system has not released any detailed plans for the schools that did not meet AYP, so we have not been able to provide an update on how the problems are being addressed. A Citizen request for interviews with administrators at schools not meeting AYP has not been granted. Anyone is welcome to submit information to our education reporter, Michelle Floyd, about events and happenings at the schools, and we would love to hear more from parents, teachers and administrators. E-mail information to michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.

"'Resident alleges civic center violates ADA' -maybe it's just me, but how can something that doesn't exist violate a law or infringe on someone's rights? I agree with Mr. Ellis on the critical importance of ensuring all public facilities accommodate all citizens. But, to file a frivolous complaint now, when the civic center is still far from a reality, is just being petty. There is ample time to work out practical solutions to accessibility problems. It is also a serious case of tunnel-vision to insist the civic center must be moved to allow more parking. Just as Mr. Ellis wants a site with plenty of parking, I want a site that is within easy walking distance of the Square and our in-town neighborhoods. In the end, we need to be open-minded to solutions balancing everyone's needs. Why assume parking at the front door is the only answer? We could brainstorm all kinds of solutions ... A golf cart or other shuttle during events, etc. People need to open their minds and stop getting hung up in petty issues. As a community, we are better than this! We can and will make it together!"

"I had the distinct pleasure of visiting the Newton County Annex building on Sept. 19 to make my annual contribution to the county's tax commissioner. In other words, to pay my property tax. As it turns out, many other citizens ascended upon the building, along with multitudes of others who were handling affairs related to early voting or voter registration. I approached the facility on Pace Street from Hwy. 278. Needless to say, there was no available parking. A quick trip through the parking deck was useless. The old Planning and Zoning office lot was full and the Square, well being the Square as usual was fruitless and the end result, after 30 minutes of wasted time, was parking in the courthouse parking lot next to the Post Office, literally, and hiking to the Tax Office. I had a brief conservation with a gentleman that stated he parked at the old Wal-Mart building. Now the plan is to locate a 100-room hotel/conference center and a 1,200-seat civic center on that site, which at any given time would generate another possible 700-800 vehicles to the area. The question then becomes, where are they going to park those cars?"

"I just want to the thank the downtown Covington businesses for working together to put on some great events on and around the Square. The Pictures of Hope are inspiring, Harvest Day should be fun, and as a mother of the bride I am really looking forward to their bridal show in November and hope my daughter wins the free dress. Keep up the good work!"