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Newton Phone Poll - 08/01/09

The Newton Citizen Poll is a compilation of opinions submitted by readers. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Citizen newspapers. If you agree or disagree with something you read here, you may respond by e-mailing poll@newtoncitizen.com.

"I am calling about the comment about the Newton County Sheriff's Department vehicle speeding up and down I-20 from the Madison area. There is a thing in Georgia called citizens arrest, so if you see a police officer doing anything, don't call it in to the Citizen Poll. Arrest the officer. Follow him to his next location, and place him under citizen's arrest and pick up the radio and call a Newton County deputy to come arrest the officer. That is all you have to do. Also, a comment about the Lanny Barnes funeral protest: I think it is disgusting that a preacher's wife would do this even though her niece was killed by this man. ... "

"To the mother who knows best ... Happy people like to go out and eat at restaurants. I can see restaurants in this area appear to be very clean and very safe. What you need to consider when customers see scores that are consistently low like they apparently are right now and you are in a clean restaurant you begin to look around and go, boy, maybe there is a problem with the health inspector, and what will happen is people will begin to ignore the scores and the direct result of that will be what you are so afraid of that somebody might get sick and, who knows, die because the faith that people have in those scores are shaken and a restaurant that is truly unsafe can slip right under the radar. I invite you to the meetings that are held at Debi's Deli and Cafe Monday night at 7 p.m. so that you can get your facts straight about some of these health scores. If you take the time to learn and listen you might be surprised about some of the things that are going on in your community restaurants."

"Mayor Carters 'conceptualized new positions' that need a subcommittee to define their unknown function and objective - community economic director at $78,000-plus and planning and zoning coordinator at $50,000 plus - might as well add Czar in front of the title so they won't sound like a duplication of services and departments that we already have. I wonder if the positions will be filled with anyone that she owes loyalty to."

"There was a nice little hollow with a creek running through it. Beautiful pecan trees, lush green grass most people would die for to have in their yards. A place for birds, squirrels and other wildlife to co-exist in a commercial city environment. The trees were ripped out, the grass was torn up and it was replaced with mud holes, surge stone, weeds and mosquitoes. It's an eyesore now. Anyone been by City Hall lately? It's amazing how government can destroy a perfectly working ecosystem."

"I see the city of Covington is placing liens on private property for failure to pay the storm water utility fee? Storm water utility? Why isn't it called what it is? A rain tax. Burdens are constantly being placed upon the citizens in the form of more taxation. All in justifying bureaucratic controls and creating government jobs that are not needed. My question is, how long are people going to put up with it? Does anyone remember why this country was founded? And aren't we long overdue for a revolt? If your excuse is, 'But I live in the county and we aren't taxed.' Don't get all overly happy yet folks, it's coming'. You'll pay a rain tax soon, too."

"Senior citizens are constantly being criticized for every conceivable deficiency of the modern world, real or imaginary. We take responsibility for all we have done and do not blame others. However, upon reflection, we would like to point out that it was not the senior citizens who took: The melody out of music, the pride out of appearance, the courtesy out of driving, the romance out of love, the commitment out of marriage, the responsibility out of parenthood, the togetherness out of the family, the learning out of education, the service out of patriotism, the Golden Rule from rulers, the nativity scene out of cities, the civility out of behavior, the refinement out of language, the dedication out of employment, the prudence out of spending, the ambition out of achievement, or, God out of government and school. And we certainly are not the ones who eliminate patience and tolerance from personal relationships and interactions with others! And, we do understand the meaning of patriotism, and remember those who have fought and died for our country."

"Like most folks in this country, 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, in my case, 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. So, here is my question: Shouldn't one have to pass a urine test to get a welfare check 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 behinds - doing drugs, while I work ... Can you imagine how much money each state would save if people had to pass a urine test to get a public assistance check? I guess we could title that program, 'Urine or You're Out.'"

"To the person who commented in the last poll about how much he dislikes Harry Potter: ... Firstly, it's all fiction. The books are great and in my opinion, since I'm a big Harry Potter fan, the movies are fantastic. And by the way, I'm an older woman, and I enjoy Harry Potter. Grow up, these books and movies help to keep kids off the streets and out of trouble!"

"Although today's up-and-coming generation has no regard or concern for others and very little respect, I would hope that I find someone who can help me to understand why it is impossible to go to (a) movie theater and follow the rules out of respect for other paying moviegoers that actually come to the movie to see it! On the flip side, if we do not make them abide by the rules by hiring functional employees, how can we expect anything more? (There are) few cinemas that you can still see the movie without cell phones or texting, loud vulgar language. I experienced all of this in two hours and 1 minute this past Friday .... "

"Regarding this 19-year-old violent offender arrested (on charges for) armed robberies, etc. I'd like to know if he was raised in Newton County or moved here from another area? It takes a village to raise a child ... and I'd like to know if our village is creating these violent offenders? Or where he came from and what village is failing?"

"Much to my surprise I have discovered that there is no running hot water in student restrooms in Newton County schools. However, there is hot water in certain restrooms restricted to students. I have long learned the best way to combat the spread of germs is to wash hands for at least 30 seconds with soap and hot water. Recently the CDC in Atlanta published a report that the Swine Flu could infect 40 percent of the U.S. population between this year and next. In this same report they referred to the school class rooms as 'germ factories.' Now I know one good reason why. Can someone logically explain why is hot water good for staff but not so good for students? As an old and proven saying goes, 'An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure,' (and usually costs less) still applies in 2009 and beyond."

"The lady that made the comment about the Newton County sheriff's investigator speeding on the interstate from Madison, is completely right. I see this ... investigator doing 90 or more going to work each morning. She is not going to a crime scene. She is going to work. Most of the time, she is also on her computer as she flies by me. This is a horrible example of what a public official should be doing. I support our law enforcement, fire personnel and ambulance personnel 100 percent. They certainly don't get paid enough or have the praise they deserve, but this investigator deserves the attention of doing wrong. If I ever see her cause an accident, I will be there to remind everyone of the attention that was brought to her speed and nothing done to correct her. It's just not her, though. Most law enforcement officials drive very fast on the interstates. If they are going to a crime scene or accident, they should at least have their lights on."

"I have been reading some of the Citizen Polls. I normally don't, but I have for the past week or so. Id like to say this to about every person who has been posting comments. If you really want to make a difference in your world, you should really try being part of the solution rather than simply part of the problem. Continuous complaining has never solved a thing - only compounds the already overwhelming problems. Nothing done by anyone will please everyone - you must have enough common sense to look at the overall big picture, and if you don't nobody wants to hear your comments. I do agree with the letter defending the police officer. Yes, they do serve and protect, and, yes, they do sometimes drive over the speed limit. No, I don't know if they were going to an emergency or not. Whoever is complaining doesn't either. That's why I said you need the whole picture before you can make a legitimate issue or complaint. I know they drive government vehicles home because they have to respond at night from their home to God knows where in an emergency, and I don't see why it's a problem for an officer to stop at a store to pick up something on the way home. I can assure you they are not just using their assigned vehicle or personal use on a regular basis. What would be crazy and uncalled for is requiring the officer to pass the store after working all day and go home change vehicles to come back to town and get what they needed from the store. As far as whoever made the ... statement of following the officer in an attempt to make a citizens arrest, well that's about the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. You would probably end up getting yourself arrested for harassment or obstructing an officer and should be arrested if you're that crazy. How many citizens have you seen arrested for speeding (none), so what makes you think you can arrest an officer for speeding? Officers have to abide by more laws than the average citizen in the first place. That's why criminals run the show in this world now, as far as the judicial system is concerned."

"OK, Newton County, Aug. 3rd is the first day of school and, yes, those big yellow buses will be out there again. Many of you complain that they get in your way, but please be aware that someone's child is on that same street waiting for the bus and in some cases chasing it. Let's all be patient so we don't read about a child being struck in the Newton Citizen. If you realize that your time is the same as a bus, just leave 5 minutes earlier, and save a parent and a bus driver some heartache."

"Wouldn't it be nice to see Congress start working together and not worrying about raising money for their reelection? Wouldn't it be nice to see Congress spend more time in Washington doing their job instead of flying back home all the time to raise money for their reelection? Wouldn't it be nice to see Congress working for the American people and less for the lobbyists and big business? Wouldn't it be nice to see the hate-mongers like Limbaugh and others try to say something nice about people for a change? Wouldn't it be nice to have newspaper reporters print the news the way it really is and not the way they want it to be? If some of these things don't change soon, democracy is going to be sold down the river and we will all be sitting back and asking what happened!"

"For those who voted for a change - look what you are getting. It's better than you think. Most who voted had to be in the 30s, 40s, and maybe early 50s. If it goes through as is, then these above will be able to escort their loved ones who are on Social Security, mandated, once every five years for professional counseling on how to legally terminate their lives. Also those with incurable health problems must do the same, no matter their age. If the government can tell everyone how to commit legal suicide, then we do not have to worry about our multi-trillion dollar national debt. Spend more - who cares. The administration will fix everything. So the change is giving us free government run and controlled health care for those who do not need now to think for themselves but rather go for the free hand out. Control the people. Keep them confused and relying on welfare and you have them right where you want them."

"About the Recycle Centers closing additional days. Maybe they will have time to sweep the broken glass from in front of the glass recycle area. We pulled in and waited in queue, then moved forward to unload glass. Noticed after we got out that we rolled over broken glass. Naturally the next day one tire was flat. Tire shop could not repair and we had to replace. I don't know 100 percent it was the recycle center's fault, but it appears most likely. The attendants are usually sitting in a vehicle or on a chair. Can't the county find a real worker? Someone willing to keep the place clean and do something other than 'sit' and get paid at taxpayer expense."

"The city of Covington's stormwater utility ordinance states 'bills for storm water utility services shall be mailed to property owners and shall be due and payable within 30 days after such mailing and shall be delinquent thereafter.' Now four years later, city officials have finally decided to do something about the 1,800 delinquent accounts of almost $700,000. They are going to waive any penalties and interest due. What a Cracker Jack bunch of people running the city! Well at least the good people who did pay their bills can hold their heads up. Every time they pass by city hall they can see the wonderful mud hole, uh, wetlands project they help pay ($130,000) for out of the city's stormwater fund. You can even walk out on the raised boardwalk to view the beauty. Seems that the stormwater utility collections would only be used to maintain the city's stormwater system. Oh well, you know what happens when the government officials start spending your money. At least I see where fees are being reduced and new credits established. Has anyone received, seen a notice or credit? Well, maybe just the delinquent accounts. Last but not least - for the public education professional the city hired to meet stormwater program objectives, you forgot to educate people how to pay their fair share!"

"It is interesting to me that so many people say that the Barnes family had nothing to do with the death of Avery King. Who, if not the family, had the influence to stop Mr. Barnes from the actions he took? Who did he learn his values from? Who taught him to hate on the basis of color. Yes, racism does go both ways. So, why wasn't this charged as a hate crime? My sympathies go to the King family. ... "

"Really, not wanting to get a continuous comment started. But this response was so ridiculous due to the fact that officers of the law are supposed to be examples. As far as respect, I happen to have a family member who is a police officer in the area and consulted them prior to the article that was written. The reason I wrote in the first place was in hope that maybe this would be a wake up call for this detective taking advantage of Newton County. But appreciation cannot be expressed more than it is in our everyday lives now. But the law is the law and it isn't good for our community and is far from fair to the taxpayers. My family does this because they believe that they were called to this profession and it had not one thing to do with the pay, otherwise they would not be putting their lives out there daily. But neither would they speed or do personal errands in their car or on the clock. Shame on you for having the nerve to respond in such a childlike manner to a very serious situation."

"Thank you! Thank you! Covington City Council for not voting you an increase in salary at this time. Everyone knows you are doing extra work. Most everybody has doubled their workload. We appreciate the job you do even though we don't always agree with you."

"My comment today is if Spanish people can watch English TV and hit the SP button and hear it in Spanish. If I have to pay for four stations shouldn't I be able to have an ENG button to hear them in English? I mean, I am having to pay for it. They are sort of invading our country. Why don't they just learn English?"

"My comment today is for the restaurant owners. These health inspections and everything are really not for you, they are for the consumers who eat in your restaurants. My suggestion is if you can't keep your restaurants clean or healthy for people, then what you need to do is get into another business, maybe selling shoes, and close your restaurants. Most people from Newton eat in Conyers anyway."

"I was calling about the Lanny Barnes funeral protest. I ain't saying I would do that, but then I haven't had my family go through the turmoil that he caused these people to go through. The sad part about it, he was laughing when he done it. His family supported him in court, so I don't know if I would do that or not, but I hadn't walked a mile in their shoes either."

"I would like to comment on Obama's handling of the situation up in Massachusetts calling the policeman stupid for doing his job. If that is the best he can do with the problems we have in this country I would like for the people who voted for him to stand up and take a bow."

"Where are the criticisms of Obama's constant absence from the White House? For eight years, President Bush was vilified, even if it was a weekend at his ranch in Texas. Obama has been on the road - here and overseas - constantly since he was sworn in just six months ago. Now, the Obama family will soon be on vacation at the $20 million, 28-acre property known as Blue Heron Farm in Hyannis Port. Just like most Americans, he wants the best value for his (our) dollar. Weekly rate at this 'farm'? Just $35,000 to $50,000."