The Newton Citizen Poll is a compilation of opinions submitted by readers. This week's poll was an open line:
"I read recently about the new Family Dollar store going up in Porterdale near the intersection of Highway 81 and Crowell Road. It seems to me that instead of opening a store that yes, will attract business to the area, it will also eventually attract more crime. As one who drives through this very busy intersection daily, I think a traffic light there would be a much more appropriate and appreciated use of money for the citizens of Newton County."
"This is to the person talking about me only having one shirt to wear, meaning my Georgia Bulldog jersey. To begin with, I am not a he; I am all woman. And I have a huge walk-in closet with lots of clothes. It just so happens my Bulldog jersey is one of my favorites. And to all those filling up their gas cans, how about leaving some gas for somebody else so we don't have to drive around on empty looking for gas."
"I am a 37-year native of Covington, Ga. I graduated at NCHS. I used to be a proud citizen and have never been a prejudiced person ... I have two biracial children. Who you are on the inside is what counts! But, over the last 10-20 years a lot has changed. I do not know if it is all for the good. It seems the more you give someone something, the more they take. For example, I can remember when our one high school alternated from year to year on the race of the homecoming queen; now it's like we owe it every year. Why? I think if we truly step back and look, we see who wants to be 'equal' and who simply wants it all! Come on people, there is a difference. When white people say anything about situations like this 'we' are the ones being racial. But if it was left up to most of the A.A. race they would not be 'equal,' they would take it all! I didn't live 100 years ago and neither did you .... lighten up. I do not owe you and you do not owe me. Can we not be truly treated as equals from both sides!"
"I am commenting on the reader who was complaining about the school articles. Thank you, editor, for explaining to this apparent slightly ignorant person the procedure to keep everyone informed with review and updates. It is not so easy to report school or education news without some repetition. It is like all news - sometimes it is good and sometimes bad. When it is good, it is easy to grin like a cat caught with a canary in its mouth. When it is not such good news to report, then guess what, just keep grinning!"
"I am an educator who is very concerned about the school calendar. Several districts in the area are currently on the balanced calendar. There are people who think that everyone approves of this calendar when that is simply not the case. There is very little open discussion of the pros and cons of the various types of calendars. I propose that the selection of the school calendar be brought out of the back room and into the public so that interested parties could have an opportunity to express an opinion on the matter. If you have an opinion on this, please contact your Board of Education representative immediately as decisions are currently being made for the next school term. I would like to see a return to a more traditional calendar. My reasoning is based on three main areas: academics, finances and environmental/health issues. Briefly, on the current calendar students are always being disrupted by a holiday. School systems are currently purchasing gas and electrical power during the peak months when costs are higher. School traffic increases smog and congestion during late July and August when we need fewer vehicles on the road. Summer-oriented businesses are suffering as well. In our current financial crisis, we must be considering ways to boost the economy rather than using resources unwisely. Many American children are simply too out of shape to participative in sports during the very hot month of August. Also, riding on the crowded buses in extreme heat is unhealthy. If the bus is air conditioned there are increased costs when the door of the bus is opened and closed repeatedly. I have made this as brief as possible. If I see an interest in more dialogue I will respond in greater detail."
"Several items come to mind after reading comments in the comments section. First, parking at the county annex and even worse, for the planned hotel and civic center is a disaster. The present annex violates federal law which states, 'The nearest parking to the facility will be used for handicapped parking.' Simply make Pace Street two lanes like it used to be and there is a wide lane on the west side for handicapped parking. Greeley Ellis has hit the nail on the head. If we don't have it now with one building, we sure won't have it with two more. Second, someone who can actually count, Jerry Bouchillon, is another person recognizing the monetary disaster in the civic center 'financial plan.' Evidently no one on the commission nor the council has that amazing ability to be able to 'count' and therefore allowed the citizens to fall further into debt. Yeah, they say 'we' won't have to pay but 'we' sure are guaranteeing the bond. And most counties spend SPLOST money on basic services, roads, water, etc. to reduce property taxes ... but nooo, not our geniuses. Third, all those people who use the most dangerous piece of asphalt in Newton County, the U.S. Post Office parking lot, and wait in long lines for service ... I got a letter from the U.S. Postmaster under the Freedom of Information Act signed by people who have a financial interest in the downtown area (Look who is pushing the hotel/civic center) saying please don't put customer windows in the new Post Office on the Bypass Road because it will just destroy our downtown business. (This letter is public record). It's all corporate welfare to enhance the pockets of the elitists and make life miserable for the rest of us."
"I sent in the previous comment about never seeing Porterdale police patrol anymore. This weekend I saw a patrol car making regular rounds again on my street. Thank you Porterdale police! Please keep it up!"
"I have family buried in the Porterdale Cemetery across from Sellars Motors. It is a shame of how this cemetery is being kept up. The grass looks like it has not been cut in months, and there are flowers everywhere. I always heard the younger generation is nothing like it used to be, but now I am saying the same thing, but it is not about the younger generation - it is the elders. The elders who is running the church does not have the same priority as the generations before them did. When my grandparents were alive and members of their church, they would not drop their duties like some are doing today, and they would surely not forget their loved ones and the members of their church who has passed away. I know it would break their hearts to see how their church is taking care of them, because I know it breaks mine. But one thing for sure, my family will take care of our own since the church will not."
"Please allow me to clear up a few points being addressed in the recent polls. Yes, the Covington mayor is just having a Princess Party with your money. Yes, the convention/civic center is a tax money-eating creature. If this paper had the guts to really investigate those who control it, they would most likely find political connections to the contractors. What draw does Newton County have to bring trade shows and meetings in anyway? Junkyards? Stinking livestock farms? Too many dollar stores? Tall weeds beside the roads? Yes, bus drivers have hard jobs, because kids are raised to be hateful and rude nowadays. Yes, Wal-Mart sells more Bulldog stuff than Jacket because that's what the bubbas want. Supply and demand! Yes, the vehicle take-home thing is for big shots. And finally, yes, the editor's notes are obviously biased towards defending the money-hungry county politicians. Who do you think the boss is anyway?"
Editor's note: Thanks for clearing all that up.
"As a Republican and 'long ago' former Democrat, I find myself having to reply to the 66-year-old reader who stated 'Jimmy Carter looked like a political genius compared to what we have seen for the past eight years.' Knowing it is unwise to assume anything, I, however, do assume this reader is mostly referring to the financial situation that we find our country in today. It behooves that reader to check the facts! It was the 'genius' of Mr. Carter who actually started the ball rolling which has gathered other Democratic dust to bring us to this debacle. Have you ever heard of the Community Reinvestment Act - the CRA? Have you heard of subprime loans? That was the beginning around 1977. All of this came about with Carter and a Democratic-controlled Congress. Next, we have Clinton around 1995 making everything worse in response to community organizers - even larger loans to those with less income in areas sure to decline instead of increase in value. Now, to President Bush - he warned in 2001 and 2002 that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were out of control and going to cause calamity, and in 2003 proposed that a change be made to put controls on both Fannie and Freddie. On Sept. 11, 2003, even the New York Times (no friend to Republicans) published a favorable article concerning President Bush's attempt to place regulations on the housing situation. This attempt was voted down by Congress. Bush has continued his warnings about Fannie and Freddie's being out of control, but in every instance has been rebuffed mostly by Democrats and the Financial Services Committee led by Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts. President Bush is far from perfect, but he is not to blame for this financial mortgage fiasco. This can be placed mostly at the feet of Democrats. I am a Republican, and I approve this message!"
"I'm behind in my newspaper reading so I didn't realize that Covington's Harvest Festival was held this past weekend. How sad it is. Why were there no banners or flyers? When it was held at Salem Campground, anybody could drive by and see that the festival was going on. Then people stopped and spent money and time. And the tired old events. I love dogs and have several, but that's no reason to come to the Square. Admit you made a huge mistake and relocate it back to the campground and get the vendors back. The entire thing is just a sad commentary on what happens when elitist outsiders are allowed to call the shots. As it is now, the festival is just not appropriate for the rural county I was thrilled to move to."
"I was calling about the car show on the Square in Covington Sunday. My son is a Newton County citizen, he has worked in Newton County, has paid taxes all of his life. He goes over there about 5:30 in the morning where he could get him a good place to park. He has a car he likes to show, but it is not an old car, it was in the paper it was an open car show. He goes over there and the man in charge comes out and tells him he is going to have to move. He moved and they came out and told him he was going to have to move again. They were going to call the law after him. They called the law after him, a Newton County citizen who has paid Newton County tax, just think how many people over there who don't pay a penny of Newton County tax. I think it is pathetic. The law should have been called all right, but the law should have been called to the man doing the smart talking."
"I was calling about O.J. Simpson. It took them 13 years too long, but they finally nabbed him. I'm sure he is going to appreciate that because when they lock him up that will give him time to relax some from looking for Nicole's murderer so hard."
"I was calling about all the comments in the Oct. 4th paper about the Georgia football team. I enjoyed reading them; I thought they was real good. Way to go team."
"I was just reading the article in the Newton Citizen about this handicapped person having trouble finding a parking place. They wouldn't have one if the police would check some of these places out. I see so many ladies, 'fat' ladies jump out of their van, throw the handicap sign up, run into the restaurant or shopping center. It makes me so mad. They would realize what it is like trying to find a handicap parking space if the situation was reversed."
"I would like to talk about the election coming up; Oct. 6th (was) the last day to register. It is time Americans got off of it and voted. ... Also Newton County people need to get out and vote this time because there are a lot of top offices opened up and they need to get out and express their opinion and vote for the candidate of their choice. This is a serious thing."
"People, there is one upside to this election: whoever wins will be an improvement over Bush. One more thing, if you don't vote then don't complain if your candidate doesn't win.
"There were so many events in Covington this past weekend ... and all we get is five or six photos? What about reporting, fellows? There were so many volunteers giving their time (OK, myself included) to make this county a better place to live and be proud of. Please allow your reporters to be 'out there' and give credit where credit is due for the events of this great town!"
Editor's note: Like many community newspapers the Citizen does not have the staff to work five days a week and then a full schedule on the weekends. We understand that volunteers deserve credit for what they do for the community. However, we feel it is more important to the success of community events to provide coverage in advance of the events in order to make sure that attendance is as great as possible, rather than publish photos of what readers may have missed. Organizations that would like to recognize the volunteers who helped at these events are encouraged to write letters to the editor naming their volunteers and expressing their appreciation.
"Did we really need Pace Street repaved? What about using that tax money to give our teens a place to hang out and be safe? What about more police and fire protection? What about filling up the Square on weekends with something to do for our families with good quality entertainment or activities? I'm sure that money could be spent more wisely than on repaving one road, depriving the local businesses of customers and causing a major traffic jam on an already congested Hwy. 278?"
"I just wanted to let you know and your readers know I had my yard vandalized. I had a McCain-Palin yard sign stolen. It looked like the sign was pulled very hard. The force bent the sign frame. It must have been stolen during the night Friday. It was there Friday morning."
"With the economy and overall condition of this country in an alarming downward spiral, I find it very disturbing that some of you have nothing better to worry about than what college football merchandise Wal-Mart is carrying. I can only hope that you aren't a registered voter and that you have chosen not to reproduce. This country already has enough problems!"
"In response to the 'missing Obama sign' ... There has been many McCain-Palin signs stolen or overturned and I am sure that this was done intentionally by someone who does not understand that this is called 'defacing property' or it could be by someone who just does not care about other peoples' property. If we could count the occurrences of this happening I am sure that the McCain signs are the most stolen and vandalized."
"Whoever called in a Citizen Poll about several articles in the paper about No Child Left Behind and school choice needs to get a life. Who keeps up all those dates, and more importantly, who cares if the paper wrote a few articles about it? Probably somebody from the school system who should be busy worrying about the students instead of what the newspaper is writing. If it wasn't for the newspaper, parents and other people wouldn't know much about the schools because they are so tight-lipped and painting rainbows."
"I'm writing in reference to the person who wrote about Michael Vick in the 9/28/08 opinion poll. You wrote 'but my question to him his: Michael who?' Evidently he is on your mind since you did write in about him. Do you think he is really going to see your post? Michael Vick is doing his time (peacefully, I might add) for his crime. You don't hear about him whining and crying about being in prison unlike other celebrities. We have more important things to worry about, like the state of our economy and our upcoming election than whether or not Michael Vick still considers the Falcons as his team."
"I see where a couple of ex-Georgia Tech students are on the space shuttle. I know the reason why they don't get nobody from Georgia to do that 'cause they probably would have to check them for drunk driving."
"When I visited Turner Lake Park on Monday with my two grandchildren I was surprised to see iron bars on the windows and doors of the concession stand. It is a sad day for Newton County when you need bars to protect your workers. We are now no different than Clayton and Fulton county."
"I am calling in regard to the guy who called in about the Bulldog Nation being all bark and no bite. Well, history shows in the past seven years Georgia has taken a bite out of the Yellow Jackets every year, and come November we will make it eight years straight. Georgia will go on to a BCS bowl and Georgia Tech will go on to the toilet bowl."