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Newton Phone Poll - 04/18/09

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

"Mr. Foxworth, I am reading on the front page of the Newton Citizen where you were spearheading on getting a new speeding sign up in Porterdale on Main Street. If I recall, and please correct me if I am wrong, but didn't Rebecca Roseberry at first time bring that to the attention of the city council while she was on the city council? And also are you in the political business just to have your picture on the front page or are you actually working for the city of Porterdale? Please let the citizens of Porterdale know we do have an election coming up in November, and I hope you are on the ballot."

"I want to say kudos to Veterans Memorial Middle School. I was there on Friday afternoon for a six-star general ceremony, which children who made straight As received a six-star general medallions. I was very impressed by the way the ceremony was held, most of all when the principal went down the line and shook the hand of each child that received a medallion. He is such a top-notch principal; he has such a top-notch school. I have two children going there with special needs. They have received the best education that anyone could receive at Veterans. All the teachers are respectful, hard-working, cooperative."

"I would like to know why the Newton County school board paid to send a delegation to India to recruit teachers when in fact in Newton County we are laying off people. I would really like to have an explanation for this."

Editor's note: The Citizen education reporter has queried the school system about this trip several times, but so far has not received a response.

"My comment is about the stimulus money to redo the roads, bridges, highways, build schools and gymnasium, redo houses and all this other building to get Americans back to work. My concern is that the state will probably bid these contracts out to contractors and the lowest bidder, then he would hire a bunch of illegals to do the work like it has been done before. That is what got us where we are now. Half the money they make they send it back to their homeland. So how does this help the USA workers?"

"To the student who is concerned about the Newton Library being closed on Saturday, I am confused. You stated that you go to school in Rockdale County ... hmmmm. Does this mean that you are there illegally? While I commend your efforts to study, if you are there illegally, it's time to fess up! Rockdale County has far too many students who attend the schools that do not legally reside in the district."

"If I don't pay my income taxes, will President Obama offer me a job?"

"History is extremely interesting, but not nearly as fascinating as what's happening today. For example, on Jan. 8, 1835, the total public debt of the USA government was zero - that is, $0. As of the moment I am writing this, the USA government total public debt is over $11 trillion - that is, $11,155,581,696,097.49. Since that kind of thing is hard for me to imagine, let's put it in common everyday household budget terms. Each person in America as of this moment owes a debt of $36,460.61, or about enough debt for a really nice new car for every one of us including your little folks who cannot yet drive. (We'd need to build new garages!) In even more personal terms, that is probably about $100,000 of debt for each working person in the country (hard to figure exactly because of the present layoff situation). Ready for some more fascinating present news? The USA's government public debt is increasing by almost $4 billion every single day that we all live - that is, almost $4,000,000,000 per day in your tax preparer's terms. Wonder what would happen to me if I spent that much more than I make every day of my life? I'd probably be elected to some political office in Washington, right? I know all of y'all would vote for me, wouldn't you? The really fascinating thought that got me thinking about all this might interest you, too. What does the USA government's creditors repossess from us when we cannot pay our share of our debt?"

"It is time to think about Covington City Council positions. One candidate has already spoken up. We as citizens need to look at each candidate, his or her qualifications, connections to the city and hopefully their character. Now is the time to make a change in city government. If we don't elect the right people, we are going to have the same old stuff. Let's get busy and have a better city government. Please get out and vote. Economically, we cannot afford for the wrong persons to be in office."

"On March 11, President Obama signed into law the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009, which provides funding this year for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office. This funding is in addition to the $1 billion that was recently appropriated for the COPS Hiring Recovery Program (CHRP) under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. In total, COPS received $550 million for FY 2009. This includes funding for Community Policing Development, Indian Country, Methamphetamine, Law Enforcement Technology, Secure Our Schools and Child Sexual Predator Elimination. I know that our county and city governments are struggling with their budgets. Question - Have our elected and appointed law enforcement leaders sought federal law enforcement grants? If not, why? I know for a fact that a lot of the surrounding counties and cities have already started collecting federal grant money for their agencies. The commissioners and mayors need to make sure that their elected and appointed law enforcement officers are aggressively seeking federal grants. Otherwise, we the citizens of Newton County will be making up for the revenue losses when the grants could help alleviate a lot of the financial struggles."

"Please note the difference between "yield' and "stop.' If you're in the Square and driving around in the circle, you have a yield sign, which means that you slow down and check to see if there's anyone coming your way from outside the Square. Stop only if you need to in order to give the other driver the right of way. Those of you entering the Square have a stop sign ... which means you stop! Why is it that so many people stop for a yield and keep rolling through a stop sign? Geez. Pay attention. It's not that difficult!"

"Maybe I'm missing something here, but the new Liberal Arts Academy doesn't seem to have much to do with liberal arts. I see the inclusion of parental involvement and community service - both important - but nothing about the curriculum. I hope students are getting more information than the Citizen's readers are before deciding to attend the academy. As a writer and teacher, I hope there's a focus on language, philosophy, history, literature and abstract science (which is what the name "liberal arts' implies). While it's true that our country's leaders are worried about students' learning in math and science and, thus, throw money and resources at those areas, it is the liberal arts that are indeed responsible for fostering each new generation of writers, thinkers and communicators. Where would we, as a civilized nation, be without historians, authors, linguists or philosophers? Newton County School System, please make sure you're calling this new academy by the right name."

"So, our president told a reporter that he did not know how to say a phrase in Austrian. For those of you who voted for him, Austrian is not a language, they speak German. He also visited a mosque but not the Normandy beaches where so many of our greatest generation died to liberate Europe, and said that the United States was arrogant just before bowing to the Saudi King. Oh well, at least our great state was wise enough to not vote for him. The majority of Georgians see through his shameless promotion of wealth envy, which is eaten up by the dumb masses that voted for him and then claim to not be ignorant. I have one question for those who rail against the rich, where do you think the revenues that give you government services come from?"

"Bailout for irresponsible banks, auto makers, and soon insurance companies, and then take control of those companies. Limit salaries of CEOs of those companies. What follows then will be control of salaries of private companies. End the global war on terror by changing the name to "Overseas Contingency Operations.' Remember when Atlanta changed the name of Stewart Avenue to Metropolitan Boulevard to rid itself of crime, drugs and prostitution? Today, Metropolitan Boulevard still has crime, drugs and prostitution. Go to a foreign country and tell the world that America has been too aggressive, too divisive and derisive. Tell the world that America will never be at war with Islam. Tell a Muslim country, while in that country, that America is not a Christian country. Bow down and cower to the king of a Muslim country. Comment in a book that if things get tough, "I will stand with the Muslims.' This president is on the path of destroying in 230 days (or less) what took Americans 230 years to build. Welcome to socialism, comrade!"

"To the person that said that we should move to Rockdale or DeKalb if we want more development maybe you should move if you want less development because like it or not it is coming and sooner than later I hope. I could care less about people moving here for rural character. I was born and raised here so the native's opinions are more important. I've been in rural character all my life and want a change around here. I would rather live in a thriving community that is growing instead of one that is dying with everyone moving away, and you say we're asking for North Fulton and Forsyth type developments. Now we know that's not going to happen, our average household income numbers are too low for that. It's not like we're asking for a Neiman Marcus or a Tiffany's. What we would like to have is more casual sit-down restaurants, a T.G.I Friday's would be nice and something like a Kohl's or Ross to shop at and a Best Buy and don't say we can go to Conyers because that doesn't help Newton County or Covington's sales tax base. It helps Rockdale's tax base. So Jasper and Putnam County have rolled out the red carpet and put up the welcome home banners for you when you feel like leaving. We'll be waving as you look in the rearview mirror."

"Like some of you Citizen Poll subscribers we have decided that the poll is not being managed by editors but by censors. That is why we are canceling our subscription. Best of luck to the rest of you pollsters."

Editor's note: The Citizen edits all Citizen Poll comments for punctuation, spelling and content. All Citizen Poll comments are published at the discretion of the editors. Comments that are deemed to be inappropriate or potentially libelous are deleted. Redundant comments are sometimes deleted in the interest of airing as many different views as possible, and sometimes comments are deleted due to a lack of space.

"Did you subscribers notice the editorial page political cartoon in last Sunday's paper? If no one listens to Alice Queen, will she go away?"

"There have been many comments about businesses "leaving' Newton County and how the powers that be have done nothing to "keep' them. We are in the grip of a serious recession, which means people are not working and therefore not spending and the businesses are suffering. The whole Goody's organization closed and much of Wolf Camera, they didn't up and leave on a whim. A company comes into a community where a study says there will be enough revenue for that business to profit. Many efforts have been made to bring new businesses in and studies have shown them that there is not enough revenue here for them to survive."

"It is Tax Day at 11:40 a.m. and a Newton County public works truck with two men are down the street - Summer Lane. They have been there for over an hour and haven't done much other than chat with each other and talk on cell phones. One did have a shovel and appeared to stab at the ground periodically. How pathetic that on tax day with so many unemployed these two men are wasting our tax dollars!"

"For those of you who are apparently "appalled' that President Obama would "bow down and cower to the king of a Muslim country" and visit a mosque, you are one of the "arrogant' Americans of which Obama speaks! You're ignorant if you think all Muslims are evil, and all "Christians' are good. There are evil, radical, fundamentalist believers of Christianity (ex. abortion clinic bombers), just as there are in Islam. Neither religion should be hated because of the actions of its radical members. You think we should be distinguished as a "Christian nation' when that's exactly what we should not be considered! The United States should be distinguished as the country that supports the freedom to believe whatever you want, no matter what those religious beliefs might be, not just "Christian' beliefs! This attitude of "my (Christian) way or the highway' is absurd! I find it very ironic that some of the most judgmental people I know happen to be Christians. President Obama is trying to promote peace, not "wealth and envy' (unlike you, who wants to promote hatred). Your arrogant, "we are better than you ...' attitude is exactly why so many other countries hate us and try to hurt us. Obama is trying to heal those images of us and build a new one that hopefully reduces the threat to us and tells the world that, though we may not agree with each other when it comes to religion, we should be able to respect and get along with each other. Now if that isn't "Christian,' I don't know what is!"

"Like a lot of folks in this state, I have a job. I work, they pay me. I pay my taxes and the government distributes my taxes as it sees fit. In order to get that paycheck, I am required to pass a random urine test with which I have no problem. What I do have a problem with is the distribution of my taxes to people who don't have to pass a urine test. Shouldn't one have to pass a urine test to get a welfare check, or live in public housing, because I have to pass one to earn it for them? Please understand, I have no problem with helping people get back on their feet. I do, on the other hand, have a problem with helping someone sitting on their butt, doing drugs, while I work ... Can you imagine how much money the state would save if people had to pass a urine test to get a public assistance check? Something has to change in this country - and soon!"

"Is anyone else annoyed at the thought to do away with the yield to the right coming from Turner Lake Road on to Washington Street. Really? What were they thinking? There are times that the traffic backs up all the way to Kmart. I know they are putting in a light, but to do away with the yield to the right was not smart. I do see the drain put in, but could no one in the city come up with a better idea? Good luck on getting home quickly for those who live south of 81."

"Me thinks a certain Yankee or Democrat (maybe both in one) doesn't have much of a sense of humor when it comes to Darrell Huckaby's columns. I haven't seen any "rants' or "ill feelings' in his columns, but last week's Poll comment looked like it qualified on both those points. A question about the comics in the Citizen: Why are they printed a day late? This is particularly noticeable, and somewhat irritating, when comics such as those referring to St. Patrick's Day or even April Fools Day (for example) are a day late. Since we get the Monday comics in Sunday's paper, that doesn't explain the delay. What gives?"

Editor's note: Because the Citizen does not publish a Monday paper, the black and white comics you see in your Sunday paper are actually delayed a day. This change was necessary in order to keep story lines in sequence. Comics syndicates will not allow us to publish comics a day ahead of schedule.