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Newton Phone Poll - 07/25/09

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. This week's poll was an open line.

"Every time I go to our Newton County Library I'm impressed. The newest books are always available. There are interesting CDs and videos. The computers are working overtime with people seeking jobs, etc. The staff is always helpful; the displays attractive. The proof is in the pudding. The parking lot is usually full. This is one county-supported service that is efficient, attractive and runs like silk."

"I think putting protest signs on someone's grave is disgusting. I mean really? Do you really think Lanny Barnes is aware of it? Time to move on and stop letting this bitterness and hatred consume you. It's very ugly."

"Mercy! I wonder when the geniuses with the Newton County School System are going to figure it out! When students are out of school for a week every eight weeks, it takes forever to get their minds back on school work. We are not meeting the Adequate Yearly Progress for the second year in a row. Whatever happened to the old school system schedule of starting school the day after Labor Day and not all this 'progressive' baloney some desk jockey dreamed up trying to justify the existence of their job. It it ain't broke, don't fix it! It's obvious the progressive schedule is not working. How much more money, how many more wasted hours of deliberation will it take to get it right? Mercy! It ain't rocket science, y'all!"

"What is the great one of 'change' trying to pull now? Government takeover of health care is a power grab. Obama's proposed health plan means unions will be exempt from the health benefit tax until 2013. Does anyone think of the word 'pay-back,' since the unions had a lot to do with Obama getting elected. Obama is saying the money needed to pay for his health care plan will come from the wealthy. When has that ever happened? It is usually the middle class that gets hit the hardest with increased taxes. A lot of the administration would be considered wealthy and some of them already have trouble paying their taxes as it is. When is this insanity going to end? We are living in a time where action is required. We need to rally the good people of America to stand up and be counted. Patriots, the time is now to let our voices be heard. It is now or never. If we don't let Washington know we are unhappy with their decisions, we have no one to blame but ourselves. It will then be too late to act."

"I am calling about the Lanny Barnes funeral protest that was in the Citizen Poll on Saturday. I agree that it is not proper to protest this gentlemen passing, and I certainly understand both sides, especially the families that had a loss, but I am disturbed though when the paper gives so much time to these types of comments when we had a Vietnam veteran Medal of Honor winner pass away and had it not been for a citizen writing an article, the paper I am sure wouldn't have even covered it. And then on the Fourth of July we lost an Army lieutenant and all the coverage dedicated to both to Michael Jackson was either the paper and or the news media. I think it is a sad, sad state when our veterans are out here passing, true heroes and all we get are these snide comments concerning these individuals who don't really deserve the amount of ink it takes to write these articles. I think it is really sad. If you recall last December the Citizen as well as some of the other local papers didn't even remember Pearl Harbor. It is really sad."

"I am calling in regards to a comment in July 11th paper from the city of Covington employee about the health insurance and the raises and all. I, too, am a city of Covington employee and our raises every year are took from the insurance. The insurance goes up every year and we don't actually get no money. So, I go along with this person 100 percent. It is senseless for us to keep having our insurance raised once we get a 25-cent raise ... "

"The big old city of Covington couldn't spend $30,000 for fireworks, but the little old city of Porterdale spent almost $9,000 from private donors and put on an amazing Fourth of July fireworks celebration. Thank you, Porterdale. Seven thousand people came from the county to enjoy it; next year it should be even better."

Editor's Note: The cost of fireworks usually sponsored by the county and city was $7,580. The county and city would have split that for a total cost of $3,790 each. However, county commissioners opted not to fund the fireworks this year due to a budget shortfall, and the Covington City Council, which made its participation contingent upon the county's, backed out as well.

"Who does Newton Counter Water and Sewerage answer to? They are behind the times in billing! Most banks now offer online Bill Pay and the money is transferred electronically. Except for Newton County Water who still receives checks which must be mailed by the bank and the delivery is often off by several days due to the Postal Service. Newton County Water does now offer "online bill pay" but there is a $3.50 FEE. That works out to 17.1 percent interest on a $20.50 water bill. They also offer a bank draft, but it takes up to two months and the money is zapped on the 15th of the month. My bill is due at the end of the month. Please somebody visit Newton County Water and explain to them how to receive customer payments electronically!"

"Twice in the last month the members of the House of Representatives have voted to pass bills that no one has had time to read. Two bills that subject the American taxpayers to give up the fruits of their labors to a government that consistently wastes money on pet projects and payback to fund raisers. We were told the stimulus was needed to effect immediate 'change' in our economy and now we are told we need another trillion-dollar stimulus package because the first one didn't do enough. We have been told that we have to give money to businesses that are 'too big to fail,' yet the only people who seem to benefit are those who receive multi-million dollar bonuses. The way I see it folks, if a business is 'too big to fail,' it won't ... no matter if money is given to it or not. How about some honesty out of our representatives in Congress? We need to call our representatives in Washington and demand that Mr. Obama, the House and Congress follow through on their campaign promises. For starters, I would like the transparency in government Mr. Obama promised. I would also like to see the minimum of three days he promised the American people to read bills before they are presented for a vote. I would also like to see honesty in an eviction of lobbyists from the White House. These are simply promises made by the man, not unrealistic expectations. These are promises he made to convince us he was the man for the job. I don't know about you, but I want the people who lead our country to live up to their word, for them to do less makes them liars."

"Well, to the person that moved to South Carolina with restaurants with high ratings, do you honestly think that all of Covington is nasty and all of South Carolina is clean. Maybe we need to send our inspector up there to investigate. I'm sure he could find something. You only help our cause by pointing that out. Thanks for your help. I'm sure South Carolina is glad to have you. Covington is clean and safe. Please don't insult our town or businesses. It must have been good enough for you since you stayed for 13 years."

"To the person complaining about the Citizen calling Michael Jackson the 'King,' well, to a lot of us he is the 'King.' I was born in the '70s and I grew up listening to Michael Jackson. Elvis may have been 'King' to you, but his style of music had played out when my generation came along. I don't listen to Elvis, other than one of his songs that I may hear in a movie background and if you want to remember Elvis you can always play one of his LPs, if you have them. But don't take your frustration out on us for considering Mike as the 'King' because he really is. Elvis didn't sell anywhere near the number of albums as Michael Jackson did."

"To the person who was so quick to blame AYP issues on the school calendar, I'm happy to let you know education is not rocket science - it is actually harder. Before you start to act like a know it all again, stop and appreciate just how challenging it is to be responsible for enlightening the next generation. Kids have many more moving parts than a plane and everyone is unique. Research supports the balanced calendar so perhaps you should put your time where your mouth is and actually volunteer at schools to see how you can help instead of harp."

"Isn't the Square really the same as a circle?"

"To the person whose mother fell on the Square. She wasn't the first. Just as the Christmas parade was ending last year I stumbled on the uneven blocks. Fell flat on my face and had three abrasions. The police following the parade picked me up and called for an ambulance. I refused to go. Maybe if I had and tried to submit to the city, your mother would have had a better chance. You better believe that if I have to walk there again I really watch my step!"

"Past couple of months a few things with our government has bugged me. We have lost all our statesmen - Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Lincoln, TR, FDR Truman and JFK. Whatever happened to 'We the people.' When did it turn into 'We the politicians.' When and where are 'We the people' going to take our country back. When is the government, federal, state and local, going to stop spending our children's, grandchildren's and great-grandchild's future. When will we have a balanced budget and start paying down the debt. The generation that lived though the Depression and won WWII were the Greatest Generation. Then we must be the worst generation; shame on all of us for not demanding more from Washington, Atlanta and in our city halls and courthouses. Call and write your U.S. senators, congressman, state senators and representatives, city councilmen and county commissioners and tell them you want your country back now."

"Someone was out in a large field shooting a rifle. A bullet hit the corner of a barn at a nearby house and ricocheted off. There were people sitting on their sun deck next door. They became concerned and called Newton County Sheriff's Office. Two deputies went to the location to talk to the person doing the shooting and asked them not to do it anymore. The deputies explained that Newton County law says it is not illegal to shoot a weapon as long as there are no houses within 500 feet. But - there were houses within 500 feet - just not the one where the bullet hit. The law is outdated and needs to be changed. A person can be just as dead from a bullet that ricocheted 510 feet as one that is shot point blank."

"Just because everyone's already doing it, you make it legal to shoot at rodents within city limits? Is there not some other, less dangerous way to control squirrels than spilling lead?

"Only in America ... can a pizza get to your house faster than an ambulance ... Only In America ... are there handicap parking places in front of a skating rink ... Only in America .... do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions. Only in America ... do people order double cheese burgers, a large fry, and a Diet Coke. Only in America ... do banks leave both doors open and then chain the pens to the counters. Only in America ... do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and leave useless junk in the garage ... Only in America ... do we use answering machines to screen calls and then have call waiting so we won't miss a call from someone we didn't want to talk to in the first place ... Only in America ... do they drive-up ATM machines with Braille lettering!"

"In every formal political election across the nation comes the right of passage founded upon conventional political wisdom. The successfully elected officials acquire the right and authority to replace standing appointed officials. Elections throughout Georgia are no exception. Time has confirmed that delay in exercising the authority will have negative repercussions. Any standing appointed official who gambles on continuing serving in a position without an immediate invitation is playing political roulette. Any successful elected official who delays replacement gambles with extreme complications of conflict of interest overtly or covertly created throughout the elected term. Rockdale County is no exception."

"Wake up Americans! Stand up for your freedom while you still can! This health plan that Obama is trying to push down our throats (maybe under the cover of darkness), will be disastrous especially for the elderly. It is hard to believe a bill of over 1,000 pages (obviously unread by the whole administration) will be passed if we don't do something about it. If this goes through, in time, there won't be any elderly left alive to use Medicare because the government will have made it impossible for people 65 and over (of which I am one) to get proper medical care. This reminds me of a story I read in school about a certain Eskimo tribe who would take their elderly when they reached a certain age, out in the tundra, and leave them there to die. Geriatrics will be a thing of the past. There will be no need for research to lengthen a person's life expectancy. This will certainly alleviate overcrowding in America and save a lot of money. I lost my medical, prescription, dental, vision and extended care insurances as of 1/1/09. This was the result of being a retiree from GMAC and having turned 65. GMAC even though a GM company was never unionized, not that they didn't try to get us under their power. Regular GM retirees are still getting all of the aforementioned coverage subsidized by their unions. Please don't try and tell me that the unions don't run this country. My GM retiree e-mail broke down the stock split when the company filed bankruptcy. The breakdown was: U.S. Department of The Treasury, 60.8 percent, UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, 17.5 percent , Canada and Ontario governments, 11.7 percent and Motors Liquidation Co., 10 percent. This country is on the road to socialism so fast it is unfathomable. If this is allowed to continue because we Americans don't act and now, we have no one but ourselves to blame."

"I recently read an article where a citizen was complaining about a sheriff undercover car speeding on the interstate, and seeing them at Wal-Mart. Id like to say to whoever wrote that: Mind your on business! These people protect and serve us every day, and do so for little pay. You first of all have no idea where they were going or to what kind of emergency they may have been responding to. Furthermore, even if they were not going to an emergency and just headed to work that's fine as well. As far as being at Wal-Mart goes those guys are on call all the time to protect us (all citizens) so yes they drive a government vehicle but only so they can leave in the middle of the night leaving their family to protect yours at any moment. So if on their way home they need to stop at Wal-Mart to pick up something they need then by all means go ahead. Instead of your constant complaining you should have went into Wal-Mart, found the deputy, and paid for their purchase as a thank you since they certainly give a lot of their family time to us, and for such little pay. If you would spend more time doing nice things for folks rather than complaining and being part of the problem you would most likely be more happy. If it were you in need, you would want them speeding to you. All the public service employees make very little for what they do. Then have to listen to (people) complain about everything they do, and trying to get them in trouble at their job with the boss. Get a life!"

"I was calling about Michael Vick being released from prison and searching for a job in the NFL. I don't think he deserved a job in the NFL. How he conducted hisself when he was with the Falcons. I think he deserves to dig ditches. I know I feel like the best move the Falcons ever made was getting rid of that zero and getting them a hero."

"A few weeks ago there was an article in the Citizen Poll about the Cracker Barrel was not considering anymore to come out to 142 across from Wal-Mart. Well, somebody set on their hands because that would have been one of the biggest tax relief for Newton County because of the great access from the expressway. I don't know what happened but Cracker Barrel could have really made some money and taxes could have been paid for through Newton County and it wouldn't be so hard on the homeowners."

"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."

"I hope the City Council officials talk with their constituencies that are struggling to survive and ask them if they will vote for them again after the council and mayor vote in a new pay raise, higher utility rates and duplicate high-paying 'directors' positions."