The Newton Citizen Poll is a compilation of opinions submitted by readers. This week's poll was an open line.
"Why they running on cable TV those stupid commercials for 25th Annual Covington Police Fuzz Run?! It was more than a month ago! Who's paying for that?"
"My husband and I were traveling down 81 and saw the banner announcing the Yellow River Jam. As we returned from running our errands, we stopped to check it out. The diversity of the music impressed us as did the number of vendors/booths. After having an Italian ice and purchasing a yard ornament, we were well pleased with the festival. Lovely entertainment accessible for the entire family. Keep up the good work Porterdale."
"Readers, have you noticed the correlation between the drop in the stock market and the recent presidential polls? Hmm ... guess who is selling - those business owners who do not want to be taxed anymore. Guess what- there go the jobs they would have offered you ... and guess what else - they still have money! Oh - I'm sorry, I forgot - the 'government' is going to take care of you any ways, right - with what?"
"I have been doing much thinking about this crazy election and have finally come to a conclusion - it really is about what matters most to each of us. For me, it is the safety and security of our great country. What will the economy, energy or anything else matter if we are not safe. Who do you trust to keep us safe? That is my ultimate question and I challenge everyone to give this some thought."
"I wanted to thank the good people at Henderson's Grocery & Gas Station for not gouging on their gas prices during this difficult time. Starting with the day back in September when almost every gas station in Covington went up due to the damage from the hurricane. Henderson's stayed at $3.89 while the gas stations at the Bypass and Hwy. 36 were around $4.59. It seems like over the last couple of weeks that Henderson's has been lower than (other stations). I hope that people that are stopping in to take advantage of their lower gas prices are also going inside to purchase other things like milk, eggs, meat, etc. Again, thanks for not taking advantage of a bad situation like most stations in and around Covington did."
"To the confused reader who complained about the past Harvest Weekend Festival on the Square and how it used to be held at Salem Campground where 'everybody' could see it and know about it. Uh, I'm pretty sure you are describing two completely different events. I've lived here over three decades and the Salem Campground event I believe you are mixed up about what once was an annual arts & craft event put on by the Southern Heartland organization. They have not had that event in several years due to the amount of effort and energy it takes to put one on for the people to stop by and enjoy it. It is a non-profit organization who depend on volunteers in the community. Maybe you could stop by their gallery (sorry, but it's on the Square) and sign up for volunteering at local events they have. You could support and encourage them to maybe start it back up for the community. Or at least find out for yourself why they don't, I'm sure they have very valid reasons. The Harvest Weekend is a three-day community event put on by the Main Street Program that consists of several diversified events all weekend long. I don't think there was any vendors there selling anything, just free public events for pure family enjoyment. Admit you made a huge mistake by confusing two wonderful organizations who dedicate their time to enrich our lives where we live. If this rural county is not good enough for you now like you stated it once was, then maybe you should spend your time looking elsewhere to live that meets your standards. I hear you could probably find a great deal in the housing industry."
"For the person who rambled on Oct. 11 about Pace Street repaving and other issues ... you sound like a whiny consumer and as if you live in a hole somewhere. Open your eyes to all the positive that is right here in Newton County. Make a little effort to research before complaining about something you know little about. The Pace Street repave is in the beginning stages of a project called the Hwy. 278 LCI Project: www.thecenter-newton.org/LCI. Believe me, local businesses are not complaining about beautifying the main entrance into the Square - it should attract more business! Yes, it has minor congestion during the process, but I'd take that kind of congestion any day over Atlanta traffic! On the issue about our city government running a teen hangout ... I've never heard of such. That is typically the role that a private company, church or independent would take on. Maybe you don't recall a student center that was located in our old Wal-Mart building not too long ago? Do you know why it's not there anymore? Because citizens like you overlooked it and probably drove to our neighboring county to support those businesses and feed their tax base! We have had (positive and safe) teen hangouts, movie theaters, bowling centers etc. in the past. But the habit for most is to go to neighboring towns or Stonecrest Mall, instead of checking here where you live first! You want, want, want, but you don't want to support it when it is here available. How about you opening up a teen center for Newton County teens to hang out?! More police and fire protection? I don't really get this complaint ... I feel perfectly safe where I live and I take responsibility to do everything in my power to make sure my house doesn't burn down (preventative is key). About activities on the Square ... you just missed a three-day, huge fun family filled weekend at the Square during Harvest Weekend. The businesses there promoted it with sales, had a mutt show competition, an antique fair, and one of the biggest car show I've ever seen! There were so many visitors from many different states - Covington should be proud! We just had a huge BBQ, arts and craft festival with a 'Covington Idol' competition, beauty pageant, carnival and pony rides, etc. for two days that the Covington Lion's Club puts on annually, a Senior Citizens beauty pageant, the chamber is having a 'Chastain style' concert and having a bridal expo along with a huge fundraiser and live entertainment to support our troops the following weekend (on the Square)! To keep up with events and shopping, I would recommend these Web sites to visit on a regular basis: www.downtowncovington.org; www.newtonchamber.com; for projects and volunteering your time: www.thecenter-newton.org. Quote from their Web site 'A better educated citizenry and leadership make better decisions. Educating yourself on current issues and policies can help you make better decisions.' I hope you find the perfect place to live ... just don't move there."
"I am calling in regards to my mail. I live off of the Smith Store, Mills Drive area in Covington. I come home every day to an open mailbox along with several of my other neighbors. When it rains my mail is soaked. I would love for the postmaster of Newton county to possibly maybe looking after his employees that just throw mail in a box and not properly shut the box. This isn't the first time this has happened."
"All the politicians running for president are promising change to the American people. We send them billions and billions of tax dollars and they send us the change. Funny? There is too much truth in it to be funny. They all promise change. How about if they run on a promise of restoration rather than change. A restoration that would take us back in time to a place where things ran better, smoother and life was more enjoyable. Change? That, in truth, is what they have been giving us all along.
We used to have a strong dollar ... Politicians changed that.
Life used to be sacred ... Politicians changed that.
Marriage used to be sacred ... Politicians are changing that.
We used to be respected around the world ... Politicians changed that.
We used to have a strong manufacturing economy ... Politicians changed that.
We used to have lower tax structures ... Politicians changed that.
We used to enjoy more freedoms ... Politicians changed that.
We used to be a large exporter of American-made goods ... Politicians changed that.
We used to be an openly Christian nation ... Politicians changed that.
We used to teach patriotism in schools ... Politicians changed that.
We used to educate children in schools ... Politicians changed that.
We used to enjoy freedom of speech ... Politicians changed that.
We used to enforce LEGAL citizenship ... Politicians changed that.
We used to have affordable food and gas prices ... Politicians changed that, too. ... and one could go on and on with this list.
What hasn't been changed, politicians are promising to change that as well if you will elect them. When, oh when, is America going to sit back with open eyes and look at what we once were and where we have come and say, enough is enough? The trouble is, America's youthful voters today don't know of the great America that existed 40 and 50 years ago. They see the world as if it has always existed, as it is now. When will we wake up? Tomorrow may be too late. When will America realize ... Politicians are what is wrong with America?"
"This is in response to the person that wrote about alternating homecoming queen in our schools based on race. First and foremost, we need to clarify the fact that simply because you have two biracial children does not by any stretch of the imaginary mean that you are not a racist. Racism like alcoholism is usually deep rooted and almost always denied. Secondly, change is inevitable, nothing stays the same forever. He who refuses to embrace and change with the times will most surely be left behind. Maybe you should heed your own words; 'Who you are on the inside is what counts.' Just maybe the schools along with the student body are heeding your own words and choosing the homecoming queen based on that fact instead of race. And last but not least, based on the wording and overtone of your article in last week's poll, one would have to wonder what kind of environment your two biracial kids are exposed to, and what values are being instilled in them, not about the white race or the black race, but about the human race. I would hope that you are teaching them that nobody owes them anything, they have to earn and work for what they want or get in life, but at the same time they should have the courage to stand up to anybody or any system that would deny them the things they deserve."
"I will be 71 and my wife will be 66 our next birthdays, God willing. We, like all old folks our age, are trying to plan for our inevitable future. We have heard 'Next President Obama' say that he and his Democrats will double my wife's and my 15 percent Capital Gains Tax Rate and double my wife's and my 15 percent Dividend Tax Rate. However, we have not heard how much 'Next President Obama' and his Democrats (1) will raise my wife's and my 'Death Tax,' or (2) whether he will abolish my wife's and my $500,000 Tax Exclusion when my wife's and my home is sold. My wife and I would really appreciate it if anyone could answer these two questions for us. Thank you."
"'Henderson wants test of landfill.' I am furious! Robin Hood as a politician, spending our tax money for what? I hope he is voted out of office!"
"C'mon Citizen, twice now within the past couple of weeks you have taken the continuation of a story from the front page of the Rockdale Citizen and put in where the continuation from the cover story for the Newton Citizen in my newspaper! Once I could understand but c'mon get it together!"
Editor's note: We agree with you that the two errors in production are unacceptable. Each one was traced to a different department in our production process, and we have taken steps to ensure that this does not reoccur.
"District 4 County Commissioner J.C. Henderson is calling for testing and possible clean-up of an abandoned landfill in the city of Covington. Commissioner Henderson is wrong and the advisors are correct. The appropriate monitoring is in place. Who is John Galt? I propose we, the taxpayers, buy Mr. Henderson a copy of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged."
"How many more accidents must happen on Christian Circle before the authorities in Rockdale and Newton County do something? I returned to this area in 2001 and in the last seven years I have seen four serious accidents in the exact same spot where Mr. White lost his life this past Tuesday! When I lived in another county, they had great success by putting stop signs at each intersection in residential areas. I think this would greatly help the problem on Christian Circle. Even the people that wouldn't stop would at least slow down to a crawl at the signs. Is it somewhat annoying? Yes. Does it help save lives? Absolutely!"
"It was good to see a legal protest regarding Covington's proposed civic center and luxury hotel. The present Porter Auditorium with excellent acoustics and seating capacity of 700 has not been filled to my knowledge sine the Arts founder, Dave Young, was its director. How will a 1200 seat capacity be necessary for a very long time? The location is also a poor choice especially for the handicapped and older citizens (as is the new Executive Building). Parking in a tiered lot and a second floor auditorium shows very little forethought from the proponents of this costly endeavor. Either of the old Wal-Mart sites would be suitable (and a great use of these sites). This is a poor time financially to even consider this effort. The argument that SPLOST would be paying, not the taxpayer, is also weak - who pays, for the most part, the "SPLOST" tax, but Newton county citizens? To the Newton County Board of Commissioners, please revoke your support to this well-meaning, but poorly planned design and wait for better timing, a better plan and location."
"I was disappointed to see that Newton Citizen Poll was repetitious of last week's. I look forward to reading this every Saturday. If I wanted a repeat performance I would subscribe to the other newspaper."
Editor's note: The Newton Citizen Poll we published last Saturday was not a repeat of the prior week's, unless you mean that some callers commented on the same subjects as the week before.
"In response to the 37-year-old in the paper the other day: I too am 37 years old (and a) native of Covington and I graduated from SCHS. Apparently the other person who had wrote in never went to the homecoming games. If she did she would have noticed that for three of the four years she would have been in high school with me three of the homecoming queens were black. Matter of fact, they were back to back three years in a row, but the thing is, no we don't owe anyone shouldn't owe anyone. But her selective memory is one of the reasons people are always up in arms. Maybe if she would look back and actually see situations for what they are, maybe she wouldn't be considered racial sometimes. As far as the Family Dollar store, I agree with the writer ... I too live in an area and I am really tired of every day sitting in traffic for 15 to 20 minutes when a traffic light would alleviate the problem."
"I think it is a shame and a disgrace when hungry people are brought to the food bank for food and they are turned away, papers or no papers. Oh yeah, we are getting a tennis court though it is ridiculous with the economy like it is, but there is hungry people needing and can't even get any food in Rockdale."
"My condolences to the Crossley family in the death of their daughter. She was a beautiful girl. May God bless you and keep you."
"'Grant could fund cleanup of city landfill.' Commissioner J.C. Henderson is looking for 'free' money to take on his socialist agenda? Get real! I hope he is voted out of office like the rest of the (people) who pick our pockets for the public good! There are no free lunches and if Henderson thinks 'free' grant money will make it right I've got a bridge to sell him! Landfills are an expensive proposition and I assure Commissioner Henderson the costs outlined will only be the tip of the iceberg. Fellow commissioners, please nip this absurd use of taxpayer dollars in the bud!"
"I was recently at a county commissioners meeting and watched as a man had his request for a variance to build a storage building built next to Butler Bridge Road denied. He was also denied by the zoning committee. I have watched over the last several weeks this man continue to build his storage building even after his denial. Do the county commissioners have any power or do they not care? This person is just laughing in the face of the county and doing whatever he pleases. Should he not be fined and required to remove his building or are we just paying the commissioners to sit in their meeting and draw a paycheck with no real power? I thought these people were supposed to govern by the rule of all the people in the county and not let one man just run rough shod over them. What do you think?"
Editor's Note: According to Scott Sirotkin, senior planner with the Newton County Planning and Development Department, "Newton County is currently addressing this situation by following the procedures laid out in the zoning ordinance and the permit administrative procedures ordinance. The homeowner has been issued citations for building an accessory structure without a permit, working through a stop work order (unlawful continuance), a commercial vehicle violation and erecting an accessory structure between the principal structure and the street. All of these citations will be brought to Magistrate Court for resolution. He is due for arraignment on Nov. 14th."