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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
"So the Barnes family is now wanting to keep the circus alive by playing the 'race card.' Odd how that wasn't played by anyone when he laughed while killing that little girl."
"Ref. Lanny Barnes family seeking an investigation. Two wrongs do not make anyone right! Sad that it's gotten to this, just my observation: Some well-meaning people will be castigated because outsiders have gotten involved and already this thing is escalating. Mr Wynne, I as a black man from Newton County do not believe that color has anything to do with your decision in this matter but with the intense scrutiny that is about to come, this case can bring about more collateral damage to well-meaning people. Apply the law or take it before a grand jury. This is truly unfortunate for the families and the community."
"How many lives must be lost before someone in the statehouse realizes that talking on cell phones and anything else that can distract a driver should be banned by law. In my drivers ed class 38 years ago you couldn't even turn on the radio. I am on the highway a lot and have been nearly forced out of my lane on a couple occasions by inattentive drivers on their cell. Also have traveled 15 miles on interstate behind others unable to pass for the same reason (cell usage) When we drive that should be our main focus. I see law enforcement talking as they patrol, I bet they miss a lot."
"I'm really disappointed in the NAACP. I don't blame the family for protesting the Barnes' funeral! What would you have done if your 2-year-old little baby was killed by this criminal? I would've done the exact same, but maybe even worse! The NAACP needs to grow a heart and realize that it wasn't a black/white thing ... it was a victim/criminal thing. In fact, maybe Mr. Barnes had a thing against whites! Maybe the white families need to group together a new group NAAWP."
"To the person who commented in the Citizen Poll 9-12-09 about the large black truck: ironically, I too, experienced a very threatening encounter with a large black truck on 09-02-09 morning (the day before your incident). I'm not sure of the school zone you were at when you had your experience; however, I was riding through Oxford, Highway 81 going north towards Loganville when me and my 18-year-old son (who was driving) noticed a large black truck was quickly approaching us and veering over into our lane. We only had a couple of seconds to decide what to do about it before impact. However, there was a steep ditch to our right and I knew driving into it could possibly be worse. So, my son just drove over the farthest possible side of the road he could without crashing into anything. As the truck got closer, we could tell the driver was a very young white male and he was leaning over his steering wheel (driving with his wrists) texting! He quickly swerved back over into his lane just before he got to us. The only other details to mention would be that I am positive this truck was an American-made truck (Ford or Chevy) and that the front bumper was orange. I am begging anyone who reads this and knows of anyone with this description (truck and driver) to please warn his parents and others of the danger he is causing others. My son is not allowed to use his phone while driving unless it is an emergency in which he is to pull over to use his phone. I believe he understands the dangers, and this incident just reinforced our point. Go to www.youtube.com and type in the search words - teenager driving texting - to see for yourself."
"The way I understood the buy local campaign is IF the product or service cannot be found in Newton County, then by all means go elsewhere. However, we really need to make the effort to buy here first if possible. ... Please make a small effort in finding these places to shop before assuming we do not have it and helping the surrounding counties' tax base. No wonder they have more retail stores we all want, we support them first! I am definitely changing my spending habits after learning how money is circulated when and where I spend it. I think we all need to spend here first before any new retailers will even consider making Newton County their next location. Big chains want to see money being spent here at the current time they are considering our area. If the next counties over are getting our revenues too, then guess where they will build? It will take some time and effort on all of us before we see a difference. Just change your spending habits where you can, that's all."
"ACORN - a criminal origination robbing the nation."
"I was befuddled and bewildered by the Fairview Estates residents' opposition to having Newton County put a park in their neighborhood. What could they possibly be objecting to? The county spending $1.74 million to make an attractive place for their kids of all ages to play and neighbors to meet? Please Newton County, put it in my subdivision; my neighbors and I would love it."
" ... Newton County and the state of Georgia as a whole has one of the highest dropout rates in the nation. The nitpicking of students (at Eastside) on mundane incidents that are blown out of proportion will inevitably add to this rate. It is my opinion these are not the characteristics an effective principal should possess. I believe I speak for the majority of parents and students when I say we miss Dr. Daria."
"Burn Ban ends Oct. 1. Thanks. We clip this article every year so we have the phone number to call for a burn permit handy. I really like the Forestry Commmission's stance to reward citizens who obtain the proper permit! I never knew, until this article, that they charged to suppress a fire if you did not obtain a permit, but it was free if you had followed the law and called for your permit! Great idea!"
"I can certainly understand the comments regarding the 'outfit' Mrs. Oglesby purchased to illustrate how one can shop in Covington. I suspect her objective was to show that Covington has the bit more quality products that one does not typically see at some of the other retailers. I might have suggested that she approach each retailer to see if they would like to demonstrate how a family could be outfitted at their respective businesses such as Wal-Mart, Kmart, Cato, Brendells, Flaunt, Cititrends, etc. I suspect that anyone who can purchase a Brighton handbag knows exactly where they can do so. I might suggest giving this another try ... "
"RE: Chamber president resigns. I am curious as to why you did not report his age. It seems almost every article (and TV story) first mentions the person's age and race. Actually, I found it refreshing and wonder if more people refuse to give their age when interviewed, will this absurd practice stop? Yes, it is sometimes relevant to the article, but most times it is not. by the way several years ago I called Newton Sheriff's non-emergency phone to report I found a motorcycle in the corner of our yard. They sent a deputy to retrieve and he said my age was required for his report, in addition to my lifelong details! What? Here I am doing my civic duty and I get treated by the Sheriff's Department like I'm the crook. Nothing like discouraging a citizen from acting in good faith!"
"Perhaps if the schools would stop pushing for and rewarding children for 'perfect attendance,' parents would stop sending their children to school sick."
"Your child being sent to school sick, so that they can earn perfect attendance, means my child's education is interrupted. If you are sick - please stay home and don't infect everyone else."
"I was calling about Lil Wayne, the rapper. He was sitting on TV the other day smoking marijuana and to my understanding that is still against the law. Where was the law at?"
"I read in your wonderful paper about the school needing more cuts. Well ever who put the two signs up at Eastside and Alcovy, you can't read them and it tells the time of day and Go Tigers or Go Eagles. You can't read them unless you pull over on the side of the road. Every one has a clock in their car or on their cell phone. Who needs the time of day. That is wasting electricity. The school system needs to think about saving money. This is a stupid idea to have these signs on and the electricity on 24 hours a day."
"I pay for the Newton Citizen and enjoy the poll on Saturday. Why is it that the Internet is free and there are more phone poll comments on the Internet that are in the paper."
Editor's note: There is unlimited space on the Web site.
"I was calling about Newton Citizen discriminating against Georgia Tech. Now I know last Saturday Georgia lost and there was two big pictures on the sport page Sunday with a big writeup on the front page and Tech won Thursday night and I have seen nothing about it in the Newton Citizen at all. This was a conference game it was a big game, Tech won, but I have seen nothing about it in the paper whatsoever. Come on give me a break."
"If Obama and his administration pass the Obamacare health plan, it will be unconstitutional. This proves to me that they care less whether they are breaking the law or not. All they want is to shove their ideas down our throats whether we want their health care or not. Last Saturday, 9-12-09, thousands upon thousands of people met in Washington, D.C., to show their disapproval of the direction our nation is heading with the health plan, irrational spending and all around lapse of judgment by Obama and congress. He, conveniently was out of town. Since little to no coverage was given this event by the 'left-wing media,' a lot of Americans were unaware of just how many true patriots, of all colors and nationalities, were there to show how unhappy they are with the way our freedoms are slowly being taken away by the current administration. Wake up Americans! We must stand up and make our voices heard now - before it is too late. We cannot allow our democracy to be taken from us. ... "
"Maybe the government is pushing the H1N1 vaccine on everyone to justify the hysteria and resulting expense that they caused by overreacting to a strain of the flu. People need to educate themselves about how little testing was completed on this vaccine and how most people with H1N1 have milder symptoms than the seasonal flu. Yes, there are severe cases, but there are also severe cases of a cold, stomach virus, etc."
"What have we done? We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery. We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare. We have killed our unborn and called it choice. We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable. We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem. We have abused power and called it politics. We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition. We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression. We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. We have removed God and prayer from our schools. What a mess we have made. May God have mercy on our souls."
"If Georgia loses Saturday, Hibbits and Wal-Mart should be having a clearance sale. ... and to all my bosses at work - it's not my fault Georgia lost its first game. Don't take it out on me. I hope they don't win another game. Go Jackets."
"I personally do not see how President Obama could possibly order the USPS to print and make available this stamp. It goes far beyond the real. Shows exactly what sort of temporary president we have. Vote him out the next time around, if it isn't too late. Here is something to chew on ... Muslims don't even believe in Christ, and they're getting their own Christmas stamp! But, don't dare to dream of posting the Ten Commandments on federal property! This is truly unbelievable!"
"Where is any good news these days. Reported crime in Newton County during 2008 was over 7.8 per day. Covington crime down slightly in 2008. So we thank them for shifting it to the county. NCSS short over $6 million causing reductions in all areas. However, we can spend over $900,000 on a turnaround that will not solve any traffic problems, plus an underground tunnel designed perfectly for more crime going to a center that is also is facing financial problems. Now looks like another community center takeover that is not in any reported budgets and total cost unknown. Does reducing our school personnel make any sense while we are on the low end of Georgia educational levels? Lack of education and instilling self-pride contributes directly to the first two items mentioned above. We simply cannot afford to waste funds during our present economical situation."
"I am so sick and tired of the articles about the new theme schools. I am a parent of a middle school student and was thrilled that there was going to be another school option for him. However, the more information that surfaced about this school, the more suspicious I became. A parent involvement theme school. Whatever does that mean? A parent should be involved in their child's education at whatever school that child attends. Every school in the nation should be a parental involvement school. You cannot, and should not depend on the teachers, or a school system, to teach your child everything they need to learn. If you want your child to have a more rigorous lesson plan than what is being taught in the class, speak to your child's teacher. I can assure you most teachers are willing to give your child more advanced course work. If you are not satisfied with that, you as a parent have the responsibility to offer your child more advanced work. I think this school has become in less than nine weeks exactly what I thought it would become. A school where parents want to run the school, that is tell the administrators and teachers how to operate the school. It is unfortunate that this is happening. This school could have been something great had it been offered as a magnet school or charter school, and not a parent involvement school. My son is a straight A student, is well behaved, and well spoken. He will succeed at any school that he attends, because we, his parents, are extremely involved in his education."
"To the person who wrote ...' Recession is when your neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours. And Recovery is when Obama loses his.' Please don't forget he was not the one who put us in the recession nor depression .... "
"This is in response to the gentleman who wrote in the poll of 9/19 about Obama's Wednesday night speech and the comment saying that he lied. I am a Republican and I agree that it was classless. First of all it wasn't a lie, it was either a non-truth or a deceiving statement. The way that HR 3200 is written I would have to go with a deceiving statement. If people would take time to read what the bill says you would come to realize to put it bluntly, the American public, wealthy, middle class, the poor and the elderly are going to get the shaft. The other reason that the statement that was made was classless, the gentleman should have said, 'Mr. President' afterwards. No matter how bad he is trying to stick it to us he still deserves the respect that comes with the position. Y'all have a good day now."
"To the person asking about why there are no caution signs, speed limit signs, etc. on Salem Road for South Salem Elementary: This is an issue that everyone involved with South Salem is concerned about. Salem Road is a state road, so the Georgia Department of Transportation is responsible for putting the signs and caution lights up. They have been contacted numerous times about this issue. A couple of weeks ago I heard that the DOT would be putting the signs and lights up within the next couple of months."
"I read the Citizen Poll often and am often amazed at what I read. People move here and complain about the way Covington does things. They want schools to start later and Hollywood to stay out of town. I appreciate the community I live in and although sometimes things do need to change, I could not imagine myself moving to a community where I was not happy. If you don't like the area or the way the schools operate or even appreciate that people still recognize Covington as a historical town, you can leave anytime you are ready. For the record, I often see people taking pictures of the courthouse, also."
"You should be ashamed of yourselves for printing that particular picture of the Alcovy High School homecoming queen. This was a wonderful moment for this beautiful young lady and you chose a very unflattering photograph to present her to the public. I saw a lovely picture of the moment in your rival newspaper. Do you have any feelings at all? I do not even know the young lady, but I am a teacher in the Newton county School System and know how the students feel. I am very angry at your newspaper right now."
Editor's note: We believe that the photo we used clearly showed what an attractive girl the homecoming queen is. Our photographer's job is to capture the moment of excitement when her name was called, and that is what she did.
"I enjoy reading the Citizen Poll on Saturday mornings, you never know what you will read. Sometimes real gems show up. Everybody thinks that all our congressmen are no count, good for nothing, low lifes that should be ... (fill in your favorite punishment), except for my representative. That is why they get reelected over and over. We have people in office that have been there way longer than I have been alive, and I'm a grandfather! If your rep has been in office more than two terms, get rid of them, they are the problem not the solution. Next year is as good a time as any, fire them all. Let's start over, the best job in Washington next year ought to be map salesman for all the new people who don't know where their office is."
"I saw that two of our local politicians, John Lewis and David Scott, voted against defunding ACORN after ACORN's employees were exposed illegally advising undercover reporters how to bring underage girls into this country for prostitution and how to defraud the IRS. How can these politicians support this criminal activity of ACORN? How would they feel if it were there daughters or granddaughters being prostituted for monetary gain. I know who not to vote for during the next election."
"No more homestead exemptions on Georgia Property Tax - 'House Bill 143 which is the largest property tax increase in Georgia's history during a time when our economy is in peril and people are losing their jobs and homes. ... means homeowners could pay an additional $200 to $300 in property taxes, beginning with the 2009 tax bills. Signed into law by Governor Purdue.' I looked up my representatives via www.votesmart.org guess what - they are all Republicans except for two! OK .... I want to have a tea party - it's time to dump tea in the Chattahoochee - Yellow River - wherever ... isn't that what we're supposed to dump tea over - increased taxes! I've been reading about all these tea parties ... Read more! And I'm so sick of this Democrat-Republican crap! I want to deal with my bottom line pocket and the Republicans in current office - just took some of my money! Whew - now that's off my chest."
"Why is there no coverage on the results of Georgia Tech's Clemson and Miami games?"
Editor's note: Because Tech played those games on Thursday nights the results were not available at press time for our Friday editions. The first time we could publish them would be on Saturday, when we generally reserve all the sports space for local high school football coverage.
"Hello - female driver - black Tahoe, ... If you want to contaminate your body with cigarette smoke, that's your choice. I, however, do not want to see your cigarette butt flying out the window of your vehicle. Have some respect for others, please!"
"The Chamber of Commerce says we have to shop locally before retail will come here. They obviously have never compared Newton to nearby counties that were experiencing the same situation. Henry County is a perfect example. They had a booming population but no retail to serve it. They were doing all of their shopping in Clayton County. Now if you ride through Henry on I-75 there is major retail on every exit. The same applies for Barrow County. We recently lost our Belks store and they recently opened a new Belks. The chamber likes to talk numbers, but Newton has a larger population and a higher median income than Barrow, yet they have a larger retail base. I personally believe the chamber isn't trying to hard to attract national retail. The majority of our residents are new to the county, so why would they care about the good ol' days of Newton where everyone knew everyone's name. We only need one major retail center to jump start retail recruitment. Find that one developer and offer them tax breaks to build here. If tax breaks are good enough for industrial, then they should be good enough for retail, especially for a county that is as undeserved as Newton is."
"Obama recently approved a 2 percent salary increase for all federal employees effective Jan. 1, 2010. Members of the executive, legislative and judicial branch are due for an automatic pay increase in January as well. All this on the backs of seniors who will not incur any COLA increases for several years. For the first time in history, the Congress will not allow ... an increase in the Social Security COLA (cost of living adjustment). ... In fact, The Henry J.. Kaiser Family Foundation predicts there may not be any COLA for the next three years. However, the per person monthly Medicare insurance premium will be increased from the 2009 premium of $96.40 to $104.20 in 2010 and to $120.20 for the year 2011."
"Although I do not condone what Lanny Barnes did, I think it was totally inappropriate for the victims' family to protest his funeral and to desecrate his grave. The family of Lanny Barnes cannot and should not be held responsible or accountable for his actions. No matter how horrible the crime or person, I don't think anyone should be denied the opportunity to grieve the loss of a loved one. Although most of us only know Lanny Barnes for the horrible crime he committed, his family may have known him as a loving husband, father, brother, uncle or friend. They were merely grieving his loss. They had every right to grieve his loss without interference from anyone, not even the family of his victims. We all need to realize that something made him commit such a horrible act. ... One has to wonder what type of mind-altering medication or drug led Lanny Barnes to commit such a horrible malicious crime. I do agree with the Barnes family that for law enforcement officers to merely stand by and watch someone disrupt a funeral is unacceptable and extremely unprofessional. Just yesterday, I saw city and county law enforcement officers escorting a funeral procession through town. I know that if had I disrupted the funeral procession, I would have been arrested. However, nothing was done when Lanny Barnes' funeral was disrupted. Why? I hope that it was not a racial issue as is being alluded to by the Barnes family. It does sort of make you wonder what would have happened if the protesters would have been black and Lanny Barnes would have been white? Would the Law Enforcement Officers reacted differently? While I have the utmost respect for our Police Department, I cannot understand how anyone in law enforcement could stand by and watch someone protest a funeral and not do anything about it. I do believe that the lack of involvement by the police officers present at the funeral sent the wrong message to the protesters that what they were doing was OK. ... "
"When I first heard about the protest at Lanny Barnes' funeral, I thought the victims' family shouldn't have done it, that it wasn't his family's fault, and it would make it harder for the victims to heal themselves. I do not feel this way any longer. How dare Lanny Barnes' family call for an investigation! He was the lowest form of murderer, he laughingly murdered a child! He obviously would have murdered the entire group if he could have! Now I hope we all make a concerted effort to remind his family what he did! ... NAACP, don't be fools and involve yourself in this. I didn't see you here protesting when he ran down a white family - if it had been the other way around it would have been just as horrible and just as wrong, but you'd have been screaming for blood and leading the protest at the murderer's funeral!"
"As a citizen, I would like to know every time the NAACP and the Lanny Barnes family have a hearing or meeting with authorities in this county. I'd like to be sure to attend and make sure our community stands behind the families that endured such tragedies! We don't need any race cards pulled on this one! This was pure out evil in this man - whether he was black or white!"
"Did you show up Saturday to voice your opinions about the National Health care ... at Alcovy High School? If you fail to voice your opinions to our legislators .... then don't complain! Get involved and make your opinions known!"
"I find it disgusting that our local politicians in Congress, John Lewis, Hank Johnson, and David Scott, have voted to continue funding for the corrupt group known as ACORN. Congress and the Senate voted to stop all funding to this group, the IRS has also discontinued their association with them as well as the Census Bureau. Employees of this organization were caught on video giving information and advice on how to bring underage girls into the U.S. for prostitution. The employees were also giving advice on how to avoid paying taxes. This is disgusting behavior. How can these politicians live with themselves after voting to continue funding for ACORN? We need to let them know how we feel by calling their office and then vote them out of office during the next election!
"Last Saturday I went to Turner Lake Park as I do each day to walk. There was a large group of families with children in sports uniforms, probably an awards day for the children. There were groups of children and parents on the lawn, camera lights were going off as proud parents took pictures of their children. A very exciting morning. In full view of these adults and children was one boy, dressed in his team uniform, that was in full pursuit of a group of terrified little ducks. He was bludgeoning them and throwing rocks at them, obviously very animated with what he was doing. One little duck was already down and couldn't get away, several were running with difficulty due to the cruelty of this boy. Not one adult took the slightest notice of the actions of this child. I started shouting at him to stop. Another family that was walking started shouting and running towards him in an attempt to stop him. As we all got closer he saw us and ran across the lawn through the people into the recreation center. No one stopped him or said anything. A complaint was lodged with the recreation center. On Sunday when I arrived at the park one of the injured ducks was unable to walk, he was stranded, on his own. A young man was attempting to help him, I told him what had happened and how this poor little creature was the victim of an out-of-control child. Animal control says if you can catch the little ducks they will take care of the injured animals and that helps of course. Why would we have to rescue these little animals from this type of cruelty? How can parents stand by and do nothing? Is cruelty such an accepted part of life now that seeing small defenseless little animals being bludgeoned to death by a child is acceptable? Don't be so fast to pat yourselves on the back and say what good parents you are. If one child is acting this way you have failed as parents. ... "
"I am calling again to request a ballot incentive to allow beer, wine and spirits to be sold outside the city limits of Covington. Current laws only benefit the city of Covington and surrounding counties. Why should the city of Covington be the sole beneficiary of alcohol sales? When the additional sales and property taxes levied on legal booze will lessen our current and future deficits. We need more money for the county. The Board of Commissioners needs to be less timid and more conscious of new revenue streams without increasing personal taxes. Legalized booze in the county is a way to succeed. Yes people will say 'It is a bad thing,' or 'more people will be hurt in accidents.' Presently people have to drive across the county to get the booze from the city of Covington. It is a monopoly and it makes the roads far more dangerous because people are drinking and driving further distances. Open up, let's have legal booze in the county; therefore, we can have more revenue."
"Can you guys work on getting the Citizen Poll up to date? You never can tell when you are going to have it updated!"