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Newton Phone Poll - 09/05/09

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.

"After reading the article in the Citizen Poll from 8/22 by the individual who spoke of 'liberal bashing,' I felt it was only proper to thank you for answering a lifelong question, 'What exactly is a liberal?' It is someone who feels that they have the only right answer and is narrow-minded enough to think that other opinions, that don't lean to the far left, aren't worth anything. There are people living in this country that have opinions that actually make sense and might even correct some of the problems that we are having. The only problem with their opinion is that no one that's in a position of control wants to listen, and according to the upper management of this fine country, those of us that speak out against the leftist ideas are nothing but ignorant troublemakers. There are people all around the country voicing their opinion and are all but being told to shut up. Oh, almost forgot, our fine commander in chief covered that one too. The time has come that there are apologies due to the people of the United States. The comments that have been made about people speaking their opinion are unacceptable. We still have freedom of speech, at least for now, and we need to not be afraid to use it."

"To the person whose daughter is a teacher at Live Oak Elementary, first I think it is wonderful that she and other teachers provide supplies for the children that cannot afford them, but I would be willing to bet that if you went to these children's homes you would find that the parents have money for beer, lottery tickets, junk food, cable TV, cell phones and cigarettes."

"OK, I am a mom of three children, one of them in Newton County public high school. My child is an honor student and did kinda get upset for the change in grading system. My child feels why change a system that works for the children that are trying to make the grades and stand out. In my day you did the work, passed, or you were not allowed to do sports, clubs, etc. ... where is the adjustments for students who do try and not to encourage the ones who don't is OK."

"On Aug. 24, I attended the Republican Party Rally in Newton County. I was not impressed. As I looked around the room, I saw a lot of career politicians. I don't think our Founding Fathers ever intended for someone to become a career politician. I believe that politics is and should be a service for the people to the local, state, or federal government. I believe those who select citizens, who have the talent, drive and ambition to serve the public, should detour from their chosen career, serve the public as a politician, and then return to their chosen careers. I have the utmost respect for folks that do just that, like Sen. Sam Nunn. I believe that a politician should only serve his/her county, state, or federal government for no more than two terms. I believe that anyone who has been in office for more than two terms should be voted out of office! I've noticed that longevity in politics seems to be breed corruption. It is career politicians that have put us in the situation our county, state and federal government is facing today. In 2010 and 2012, if someone has been in their political seat for more than two terms, let's do the right thing and vote them out of office! Within the Republican Party, we need new political leadership at the county, state and federal levels, not the same old politicians with a new spin!"

"Ran out early this a.m. for milk, baking soda, dog food and laundry detergent.. All the local stores were out of unscented Arm and Hammer detergent. So I have decided to send a letter to all the manufacturers of such detergents which will state something like this: Haven't any of you rocket scientists there thought of the possibility that 48 percent of the population of planet earth is men! None of us want to smell like 'Spring Rain' or 'Summer Flowers' or 'Autumn Mist' or any of the rest of that crap you put in your detergents. What a bunch of goofs! That is why Arm and Hammer probably is outselling all the rest of you and also is the reason those shelves are empty (which shelve their unscented brand) most of the time when I go to the store. DOH! If you men who work at those manufacturers want to smell like some silly named scent, fine, but you can leave it out of my detergent. OK, one person can make a difference. I sent Hershey's a handful of their chocolate when it was still in the paper wrappers and asked them to open them and smell the insecticides that permeate the paper wrappers. It took them several months but if you notice they have changed to a plastic wrapper. ... "

"To respond to the person in the 8-22-09 Citizen Poll, I would like to advise him or her I am neither 'inherently divisive, clinically insane nor illogical.' Just because you don't happen to agree with my comments, does not make me such. You obviously idolize Pelosi with your common rabble comment. I turned 65 last year, thus going on Medicare, which by the way, I pay a premium based on my income. I am a GM retiree and they advised me at that time I would go on Medicare if I wanted to continue my other insurance coverages, which I also was paying monthly for. As of 1-01-09, all my coverages with GM were dropped. This was because GMAC, where I retired from, was never unionized. Retirees of GM still have their insurance (if under 65), subsidized by the unions. Due to Medicare paying so little and denying so much, my physician has been forced to no longer 'accept assignment.' More and more doctors will be forced to take this stand in order to make a living. If Obamacare is passed, it will even be worse. Do not say I am 'sucking from the collective teat of a liberal program.' I was part of the collective subsidizing other people's health care prior to last year. I don't have my hand out for freebies and never have. I don't want the government telling me I have to pay for everyone else's insurance, including illegals. I have to manage the money I have wisely in order to pay for my supplemental, prescription and extended care premiums. If I had to count on Medicare only, I would be in big trouble."

"We need immediate health care reform. My husband is self-employed and suffers from the same bad job market that everyone else does. He has high blood pressure, is 60-plus and is otherwise perfectly healthy. He was unable to get coverage with Blue Cross or Kaiser. Finally, he secured coverage through a trade organization. Around $400 a month (just for him) with a $5,000 annual deductible (again, just for him). Nobody likes these policies but the insurance companies, and they love 'em. Easy to see why. We need health care reform. No one should have to battle illness and worry about the cost at the same time. No one should go bankrupt trying to pay medical bills. No one should have their premiums jacked through the roof. No one should have to worry about losing coverage because and just when they have been found to have a need. Government's gonna kill your grandma! If they had any real arguments, would they spew idiocies like that? We must have reform. Now!"

"To the Indian Creek parent trying to get the dress code changed for singling out one ethnic group and one brand of clothing ..... Thank you! It should be across the board, and I commend you for taking a stand!"

"Kudos! to whomever wrote the one about parents taking responsibility for their children. And before you parents complain there is too much paperwork to be done, remember if you and your ancestors took ownership instead of blaming everyone for your problems, our country might not be in this mess! Instead we are a litigious nation and the lawyers love it!"

"I hope the Covington Police Department can get donations for bullet proof vests as well so we can keep all of these brave people as safe as possible! Please donate - Thank you."

Editor's Note: It is our understanding Covington Police officers are already equipped with Level III vests.

"I am so tired of hearing people complain about paying school taxes when they have no kids in school. Hey, someone paid them when you went to school. Besides, don't you want our kids to get good educations and good jobs? Don't you want them to be able to pay into the Social Security fund that sends you a check every month? (The same fund from which they will likely never see a dime.)"

"To all the (drivers) in Covington: They put turn signals on your car for a reason. Use them."

"You can't wear your Barrack Obama T-shirt if I can't wear my Confederate flag T-shirt. Oh my goodness. Are you going to wear your Christian T-shirt today? Then I should be able to wear my T-shirt that says anything I want it to say. Sounds like a bunch of kids fighting in a school yard doesn't it? The answer is simple as having a uniform policy. I don't mean uniforms, I mean a consistent policy where everyone is treated equally. You can dress neatly and appropriately, you can wear a T-shirt as long as it is plain, a polo shirt is very nice, jeans, shorts that come to your knees and please enforce this for everyone."

"I would like to comment on your paper as a whole - it is great. I have been getting the Newton Citizen for as long as it has been mailed in my area. The first thing I do every morning after reading my Bible is read the newspaper. I especially enjoy the religious section on Saturdays. I missed Alice Queen today; however, I completely agree with Rev. Tony Elder - we who have God are never alone. I have been alone for several years now, and yet I have never felt totally alone. I have my family and my church family, but first and foremost I have God. Please folks, don't be ugly to Darrell Huckaby. He may be a linthead, but he is far from being a hillbilly."

"To the people driving the white automobile ... I saw you rake your garbage out of your car onto the parking lot at Aldi's and think what you did is deplorable! Are you too ... lazy to go to the Dumpster 20 feet away and do you not care about your environment any more than to pollute it! You need to be horsewhipped!"

"I was calling about students wearing shirts with Confederate flags on it. I think if they are going to stop students wearing shirts with Confederate flag on them, they ought to ban everything on the shirt and not allow them to wear nothing but just solid shirts - nothing on it whatsoever. I don't know why people are so ashamed of the Confederate war. I mean like it or lump it, these people fought and died for what they believed in. You have to admire anybody that does that."

"Parents of the theme schooled children, if you don't want to get out of your bed in the morning to take your child to school don't call the Citizen Poll complaining about that. That was your decision and you chose to enroll them in that school. Do not overcrowd the Citizen Poll with your little pity comments. As far as Allene Burton goes, yes, she was a wonderful woman and a great poet laureate for the Newton County area, but she did what she did and she was a lovely lady. I apologize for saying that, but it is the truth and I have known Ms. Burton for years and years, and I loved her very much. Also the health care reform bill yes, senators do not read things like that. They have other people reading it for them. Contact your Congressman Jim Marshall, contact the Georgia House of Representatives, contact the United States Senate and anybody you have to including the president of the United States and tell them you do not want this health care. Do not call the Newton Citizen Poll."

"I find it hard to believe that the people that worked on the Newton County budget are now finding over $900,000 that was not accounted for. I am an accountant and if I worked on a budget and later a surplus like that was found, I would not have a job. I question the people that worked on that budget. It doesn't seem like they were qualified to do that. Something is fishy in Newton County."

"I just wanted to say thank you to whoever filled the pot holes on Stadium Drive going towards Ficquett school. They were getting quite bad and I really appreciate whoever filled them."

"I just want to thank the sweet young lady that was standing in line behind me at the Post Office today - it is Tuesday afternoon. I had to mail a bill and the envelope did not stick and after looking for Scotch tape and there was none, she offered to present it to the front desk of the Post Office and make sure it got taped and mail it for me so I could get on back to work. She works for the Newton County Commissioners Office. I did not catch her name. She was very, very sweet. I also want to compliment the lady in the tag and tax office. I went and paid my taxes. She, too, was very nice and helpful. I just wanted to extend these compliments to some of our workers in our county government. I don't believe they are appreciated as often as they should be. I do believe they do us proud and do a good job."

"I was calling about the difference the Newton Citizen makes in coverage of Georgia football compared to Georgia Tech. It is something like a 5-1 ratio, you get five write ups for Georgia to one for Tech. You know it ain't like Georgia is that much better than Tech. Do you remember last year's game? I just like to see it equal out some. It's kinda pathetic to me to read in the paper day after day about the Georgia football program and then four or five times a year you see an article in there about Tech."

"There are so many questions to be answered in these trying times, and I would just like to put them out before the public. The minds of the common people are able to solve many issues. The questions troubling me are: 1) When the chicken crossed the road was it in a fowl mood? 2) When you have a solid yellow line in the middle of the road and it goes to double, which side forfeits the space? 3) When your hair grows, does it get longer from the outside or the inside? 4) Are the majority of the people on the road coming from someplace or going somewhere? 5) When ice melts, the water is still there but where did the cold go to? 6) When you get to where you are going, are you really there or do you just think you are? If food for the belly was free like food for thought, we would all be overweight."

"Would you be able to publish the local noise ordinance? Our rundown neighborhood in western Newton County has had many foreclosures. Houses sit empty and then they need a lot of work. Are carpenters, yard maintenance, roofers, and pressure washer crews allowed to start whenever they feel like it? Some of us do not work 9-5. Also, what about neighbors who insist on mowing and leaf blowing at the crack of dawn every weekend we get to sleep in? Several narcissistic neighbors crank up the loud mowers, blowers whenever they please. Woke up our sick child last week with a pressure washer early one weekday morning. If there are noise guidelines and someone is not following them, who do we call to complain. Suppose we do not have the exact address? Would I be able to call with a general location? If I have to get up and go find the exact house then calling to report would be as pointless as trying to get some rest. Thanks for any help or tips you can offer. How about a manners column? Although I doubt the nuts who need to read it would, I could buy extra copies, highlight and give to the offenders! This would be especially helpful if the sheriff or local ordinance mentioned a fine for violating said ordinance. Thanks!"

Editor's note: The Newton County noise ordinance, which took effect in September 2007, is too lengthy to reproduce here. The section that addresses the prohibition of loud or unnecessary noises includes the following: "(6) Blowers and motors. The operation of any noise-creating blower or power fan or any internal combustion engine, the operation of which causes noises due to the explosion of operation gases or fluids, unless the noise from this blower or fan is muffled and the engine is equipped with a muffler device reasonably sufficient to deaden the noise. The operation of such nonmuffled equipment shall be allowed during the hours of 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. notwithstanding the amount or level of noise created thereby." You can read the entire ordinance online at http://co.newton.ga.us/content/view/52/31/.

"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have." Thomas Jefferson

"Wednesday, I was at the doctor whom I have been going to since we moved down here (he is the one who discovered my cancer). I have to get a very expensive shot every three months ($3,000) that is designed to keep the PSI down and help to prevent a recurrence of the cancer. Has some uncomfortable side effects, and I was questioning the need to continue with it, which he assured me was necessary. He then asked how old I was, and when I replied 70, he said that if this legislation goes through as intended by the powers that be, that I probably would not be able to get it next year, as that would be money better spent on someone else with greater longevity. I would be referred to someone to 'counsel' me. I asked him why the AMA had recently endorsed the plan. He replied that only about 15 percent of the nation's doctors were members of AMA, and most of them were not really on the front lines of doctorhood but in some other areas of medicine. He said he was a member, but would not be after this membership year. This man got part of his training in London, and practiced in Canada for 16 years before coming to the U.S., and he has no use for socialized medicine, regardless of how you wrap it, or what kind of bow to put on it. He said that we have a shortfall of around 400,000 doctors at the present time, and many of today's doctors are of the baby boomer generation who are nearing retirement and/or will decide to hang it up rather than deal with the results this is sure to bring. Scary, my friends. The picture for our age group is not pretty. All the more reason to put your faith in God, not government."

"We have a lot of local problems; however, everyone should re-do their thinking and consider our national problems and the track record of the present administration. The population voted for 'change' and they are really getting it by both barrels and big time. You have to only open your eyes, read, listen and you'll realize who is running our government and the direction they are going towards and exactly why. The present administration, senators and Justice Department no longer have the ability to use good common sense. For all those of voting age who wanted change, (they) cannot be too concerned about what the future holds for their children or their grandchildren. We need all new leadership now and not three years down the road."

"For the ones loving this 'movie town' theme that seems to be a trend for Covington. Maybe you are the ones that need to do your research. My concern is the lack of respect they have for the citizens of this town. If they are filming, do they take into consideration the fact that we as residents work and live here? No! Does it make our driving conditions worse? Yes! As well, I have overheard several concerns on the way they talk and mock openly, about us. How rude. Honestly, though, how much 'improvement' from the past movies have we seen, enough to compensate for the struggle and humiliation that we go through while they are here? I guess the native citizens of Covington who were satisfied with the way things were before Hollywood first came to town will just keep sitting on our hands and let the new folks keep running us out! I miss my hometown and all the spirit and pride that came along with it. No, I am not living in the past but look at other small towns and the way they are able to keep the 'Main Street' atmosphere. I love it, and I say we take it back!"

"Just read the article about the Chamber of Commerce starting their buy local campaign. I'm glad to see that they are getting their heads out of the sand. I have a piece of advice to offer to any county leader that happens to read this: Don't try to treat both sides of the county the same. West Newton is more suburban and younger and more likely not to shop the mom and pop stores, whereas east Newton is rural and has a much older population. These older patrons are the ones who were raised shopping in mom and pop stores. If necessary the county needs to offer tax breaks for retail just like they do for industrial. Considering the amount of tax dollars we are losing, I think tax breaks are what would jump start retail recruitment. Nothing permanent; just something to get the developers' attention."

"Thanks to the residents of Floyd Street in Covington. I drive down this road daily to take my child to school and it is such a beautiful drive. Adds a smile to my face."

"In regard to the recent article about shopping locally, I would dearly love to shop in Covington, but contrary to what the article says there is not enough affordable retail stores in which to shop. While I am happy Ms. Oglesby was able to buy her complete outfit in Covington for $368, I cannot afford to spend that much for an outfit to wear to work, nor do I wish to. If they want the citizens of Newton County to stay here and shop, then the Chamber of Commerce needs to make it their No. 1 priority to attract some big retail business, so that we do have a choice of where to spend our money. Until then, I will continue to be one of those who makes the trip to surrounding counties for my purchases."

"If Covington and Newton County are asking us to buy local, they should get stores we need in the county. There is not one place to buy zippers, buttons or fabric and other craft items at a reasonable price. ... Some of the locally owned businesses should provide their services when promised and they would keep local customers. People have to shop and eat at places they can get their wants and needs met."

"Please, $368 for one outfit. My whole wardrobe didn't cost much more than that. This just proves that the city and county leaders have no idea what the 'common' people of this county want or need. It certainly isn't a handbag that cost $125. I've never paid more than $20 for a handbag in my life. What we would like to see is a craft store that carries yarn, cloth for dressmaking, beads for crafting and things of that nature. Some of us would like to be able to buy these things without going to Athens. No I do not shop in Conyers. Too much traffic for me. Please take these things into consideration before granting another permit for a store on the Square."

"Folks, (especially the large black truck that was on my car's bumper on the morning of 9-3-2009), please refrain from driving within a few inches of my car's bumper, when I elect to go the speed limit in a school zone. During peak hours when the speed limit is reduced, revving your engine, swerving, or repeatedly throwing your hands in the air will not magically force me to speed through that zone, though such actions do provide me with some entertainment. Thanks for your cooperation!"

"In regards to stormwater fees, the answer is no, the city of Covington isn't paying a stormwater fee, they are however collecting a stormwater tax! The American Heritage Dictionary defines a fee as - 1. 'a charge or payment for professional services: a doctor's fee.' 2. 'a sum paid or charged for a privilege.' Likewise it defines a tax as; 1. 'a burdensome charge, obligation, duty, or demand.' 2. - 'To make difficult or excessive demands upon.' While 'fees' are voluntary in the respect you pick and choose where and how you will spend your money, taxes are not. Taxes are a burdensome, excessive demand that is out of control. If you aren't already paying this tax, be patient, you will be in the very near future. After all, the bureaucrats (a fancy word for those that can't earn a living in the private sector) must justify their jobs somehow."

"I do not appreciate the fact a county commissioner is obligating taxpayer funds for a pet project located within the city boundaries in his district without the approval of the entire board beforehand. Furthermore, we were told (as reported) during the conception stages of this community center, it would be available on a 'rental basis' and it was never intended to be a full-time county facility. This amounts to nothing but another government-funded jobs program we cannot afford. Hopefully the board as a whole will charge a rental fee for any organization that operates there and at least recoup some of our tax funds."