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.
"I am ready for the people of Newton County to become outraged at the things that are happening in our school system. Teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators, many are on their last leg, trying to keep their own families afloat, have now been forced to dig into their own pockets to provide what the county cannot. EIP, special ed teachers, kindergarten paraprofessionals are being pulled out of their classes to fill in when other teachers are out sick. That means children that need the extra help (that the state and federal government pay for) are not receiving this due to no substitutes. Special ed students are not being given all that the state says they are to receive by law. Kindergartners are being taught by stressed out teachers (can you imagine trying to teach 22 5-year-olds to read and write alone?) Why is it that the school system can afford to purchase new land for a new school, yet our children sometimes do not have paper towels for weeks in their bathrooms at school? When will we wake up and realize that the children that are being affected by the changes every day are the same people that will be running the county in 20 years. Do we really want our state and county to be run by people that received a lacking education. The people of Newton County need to stand up for the rights of your children, demand that the school system meets all the rights for our children. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, you have a right to know what happens in your child's school. Find out what happens in your child's class when a teacher is out sick. Find out what happens when the funds are not available to purchase, paper, pencils, textbooks, ink, paper towels. Find out who pays for the extra things that your child brings home. It is not the county, state or federal government. It is a teacher! Who buys paper when none is available, who buys the pencils, ink, or paper towels? These children need someone to stand up for them and demand a good education! They need someone to find out why the counties surrounding us are not having the same cuts that we are. We will soon begin to lose students and teachers to private schools and surrounding counties because Newton School System is failing our children!"
"I will be so glad when they (police) start giving tickets to slow drivers in the fast lane. If you can't run with the fast dogs, move to the right lane where you belong. You're not the speed patrol! This will put an end to road rage. Just move."
"To the (person) that was spouting the garbage about spiked Kool-aid ... don't even compare the current economic situation/government to the Jim Jones spiked Kool-aid. Do you realize how many people died and the horror involved. If you read further down the column last week -- you'll read a very good response from someone with a logical debate with facts and figures. A debate that is thought-provoking and spins a different thought about the deficits, etc. ... To the other opinion referenced above ... thanks I appreciate the info. I'll take a look at the history of your info."
"Can I please ask why is it that the black race thinks that they are 'picked on' and everything is always a 'racial issue.' Yet they are singling their own race out by drawing unnecessary attention to themselves. I mean, you form your own Ms. Black America pageant, your own 'clubs' (NAACP), your own TV and radio stations ... do I need to go on? And what really makes it look way out of the norm is that now you guys have your own 'National Anthem.' That is just plain disrespectful to the USA in general. If we are one nation under God and you all 'just want to be equal.' then why do you try so hard to set yourself apart? Try just being American. Or go form your own country and stop trying so hard to destroy ours!"
"Please allow me to comment further on a very good opinion that was printed in your Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010 paper. The writer could not understand why a large sum of tax dollars was given to a local chamber of commerce while the needs of children in foster care were not being met. It also appears to me that elected officials from both Newton County and the city of Covington only recognize the affluent when it comes time to giving away taxpayers money. A front page story in the Citizen, Wed. Feb. 3, 2010, edition stated that Covington may lower the utility rate for the commercial sector while raising the rate for the residential customers. Don't these council people realize that a business can and does pass the cost of their utilities as an expense on to their customers. I would like to ask these council people who do they think the poor and elderly living in residences can pass their cost or increase in cost to? ... The homeless shelter keeps probably over 95 percent of the homeless off the streets in Newton County. This alone does far more for the image of Newton County than any Chamber, Main Street, or any other entity receiving taxpayer dollars. Newton County is taking tax dollars and spending mega bucks on parks and trails that will never be used, that practically no one asked for and will probably only breed crime. 'Rob not the poor, because he is poor.' (Proverbs 22:22)"
"I continually see the governments trying to justify spending money. The 'round about' and tunnel will be a bottle neck, and for less than $500 turn Turner Lake into a 'no left' turn onto Clark Street. And the 'death trap' at Oak Hill and State Route 212, widen Oak Hill approximately 7 feet, and direct all traffic to turn left. Both are only short-term fixes, but will help until times are better."
"The Newton Citizen published an article on Jan. 4th about the county's school calendar for next year and possible changes. More than a month later and still no word from the BOE about the calendar."
"The illustrious president is at it again. Obama has his paybacks. He is trying to get his AFLCIO people in his allegiance, but hopefully the smart people in Congress know what he is trying to do and they are trying to block him. If this person were to get in he would make it impossible for the union people to have a private vote. Does that tell Americans what our president is like? He wants to pay back all the unions that helped him get elected. When is this insanity going to stop? True patriots! We must make sure that November 2010 shows 'Obama and his Congress' that we are not happy and will put in different people to reflect our views. America we must be heard. Our votes can make a difference!"
"Well done, county commissioners -- maybe you should talk with the city of Covington on how to plan a retreat."
"The Winter Olympics are here -- that will be cold and exciting. I hope USA takes a lot of gold."
"Before you are so quick to judge inmates, men and women, you should walk a mile in their shoes. I did. During the divorce of my parents, I was sent to a relative's house and was locked in a closet for two weeks because as young as 4 years I would run away. Can you imagine just for 10 seconds what a 4-year-old would be running from. Abuse is present in 99 percent of American homes and especially the mothers turn their head the other way. This is America where children should be protected. That is the biggest joke I've ever heard. If you did a survey on men, women, girls and boys, I am willing to say that at least 80 to 90 percent of them would say someone had touched them when they were young and most of them had worse than touching done. Come on America, wake up. We do not have children for our own pleasure or our relatives' or friends' pleasure. May God have mercy on the little ones yet to come and the ones who are still suffering and will always suffer from sexual, physical, mental, and emotional abuse. DFCS where are you?"
"I want to comment on the lengthy diatribe coming from the person commenting about the children placed in 'DFCS care.' First, let me say these children are in DFCS custody and were taken and put there through the 'police powers of the state.' They are legally characterized as 'wards of the state.' Many times after they become wards of the state, their family, all relatives, friends and anyone else in their lives are forbidden to see them. These children are minors and after being placed in state custody, it is the legal responsibility of the state to supply their basic needs. Here the system seems to be broken. The person went on about good people helping foster children with their basic needs. They missed the entire point raised by the person who questioned the manner in which a government allocates funds. It is not required, expected or the duty of private citizens to step in and supply basic needs for someone in state custody. Every state has laws protecting the welfare of minor children. A judge normally approves legal transactions where minors are concerned. If the needs of minors in state custody are not met, then it is the judge who must order they be met. If DFCS is not meeting these needs, then a judge should immediately see they are met. I agree with the original caller that elected governments should allocate adequate funds to see that foster children's needs are met, and also buy safety vests for our sheriff's officers. When they dole out large sums of taxpayer dollars to a wealthy business club and do not pay for services they are legally obligated to pay, then something is 'rotten in Denmark.' This has nothing to do with apples, oranges, turnip greens, poke salad or anything else. It sometimes appears to me that many people run to DFCS with a few school supplies and toys just to get their names in the paper."