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Newton Poll - 03/13/2010

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.

"A big heartfelt thank you to the Newton High Rams and Coach Rasmussen for giving our community such an exciting basketball season. Even though I know they would have loved to win State, making it to the Final Four and ending with a 30-2 season is something to be extremely proud of. The team played as gentlemen, with extreme poise and discipline. Newton County should make it a point to let them know how much this season meant to all of us. Thank you again ... GO RAMS!"

"To all our senior citizens on Medicare and others on Medicaid -- do you realize that when it is said that the health care bill reduces the deficit that the way it will be reduced is by reducing Medicare and Medicaid benefits -- did your local Dem tell you that? Did he tell you that doctors will stop accepting Medicare and Medicaid because of the premium cuts? Did he tell you that the only way for these cuts not be made is by the state picking up the cost? Do you need to be reminded that the state is already having to cut everywhere? Who is going to suffer here? Think about it -- is this the change you signed on for? Just wondering!"

"To the person who asked about the legality of businesses offering discounts to people who show their church bulletins -- are you kidding me? If those businesses are privately owned they can offer any kind of discount they want, any time they want. It is their own business. You need to take some time to do a little history study about our country. Or, maybe go to church and you can get the discount, too!"

"To the person who quoted the saying on the Statue of Liberty -- are you a Native American Indian? If not, I'll bet your ancestors were immigrants. This mess we're in did not start with immigration gone crazy. It started with greed, pure and simple. The 'me' generation has grown up and is running things. They are all out for themselves. It used to be the head of a company only made 'X' percent above what the lowest paid employee made. Now it's 'XXXXX' percent. They are all on each others' boards of directors and so vote on each others' raises. So don't blame immigrants. Oh and I was born and raised in Illinois, and my ancestors came from Scotland and England and Germany prior to Ellis Island existing."

"This is in response to the person wanting to know why they got turned down for food stamps while the other guy continued his assistance. I think you already know the answer to that question. I mean think about it. You have worked hard and you own your home and your vehicle. This person probably does not, I assure you. He is either not reporting honestly about his living situation or he is in debt and owns nothing to show for it except the clothes he wears. As for the vehicle, just because he pulled up in it, doesn't mean it's his. Maybe we are both wrong, this person may have been representing an elderly parent or other family member. Either way, the government is looking at your assets, which is just like having money in their eyes."

"I would like to comment on Dr. John Pearrell's March 6 column, 'Answering the recurring question 'Can you prove there is a God?' The things that bothered and, quite frankly, insulted me were the perceived attacks towards the end of the column. To say that one who believes in the validity of evolution simply 'desperately desire[s] a world in which there is no ultimate accountability' is extremely bothersome and suggests that the entire theory of evolution is merely an excuse to be immoral. I cannot stress how insulting this is. Dr. Pearrell took what was a legitimate argument and ruined it by saying that his opponents are simply immoral and, later, illogical. I also consider the grossly out-of-context quote from Richard Dawkins an attack on Dr. Dawkins' logic and reasoning. Dawkins did not say the quote as it appears in the film from which Dr. Pearrell quotes him. In fact, he has an entire lecture series regarding quotes taken out of context and quite rigorously addresses this one. It is on the Internet if anyone wants to see it."

"Mayor Carter wants the City Council to 'protect our greenspace'? She's watching the 278 corridor go collectively bankrupt and she wants a bike path built with taxpayer money so she and her friend ... can ride their bikes? Hey Kim, why don't you save the tax dollars and ask your buddy to donate a few acres of land to build your bike path. That way you can escape from having to watch your kingdom crumble around you."

"Dear 'homeowner along the railroad': You and all of your friends are very short-sighted. Areas that invest in viable bike- or pedestrian-friendly trails will be the ones to blossom once the economic hard times have passed, and properties near these trails will have the highest increase in value."

"I don't understand people who think the Democrats are going to create jobs or better the health care system through the current proposals. Can you name one government program that actually works? That isn't rife with claims of corruption, inefficiency or fiscal and operational irresponsibility? Do you ever ask yourselves why they don't try a simpler and better approach, like interstate options, which would rely on state oversight, rather than federal? And tell me how you 'make' jobs for people without lowering the tax burdens of corporations or investors, or otherwise creating an inviting environment for businesses to stay based in our country (vs. moving to other industrialized, lower-tax countries)? People who believe the Democrats (or Republicans, for that matter) can create a better environment for competitive business or industry growth through more regulation, more tax and more paperwork are the same people who scream that ideas like Fairtax are 'unfair.' Please start taking responsibility for your own lives; stop looking for the government to hand you everything."

"After six years of being out of the public school system, our children attended Newton County schools this year. It has taken less than nine months for the teachers and administrators to end our children's love of learning and thirst for knowledge. Instead of waking up ready to head to class and see what they can learn, they now beg me to keep them home from school or pick them up early. Amazing."

"My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Audrey Atkinson whose life was taken by her child's father prior to his taking his own life. Based on media coverage, it seems as though Audrey did what she was expected to do in order to protect herself against this person. She took out a Protective Order against him and contacted the authorities after he called threatening her ... sadly he got to her before those who could protect her did. It just goes to show, a Protective Order is a piece of paper, not a bulletproof vest There needs to be more to the process of getting a Protective Order than just filling out and filing paperwork. There needs to be a system in place that protects those petitioning the courts for help. Giving them the tools to have a fighting chance! There are benefits to a Protective Order, but the priority should be safety. After all, when someone petitions the court for a Protective Order, they are asking the court to protect them, to keep someone away from them because they have been harmed and fear further harm from that person. Safety planning is very important when dealing with abusive partners, it could mean the difference between life and death. Each county in Georgia has a domestic violence program that serves it, they operate 24 hour crisis lines, they can safety plan with caller, provide shelter, and support the caller. To contact the closest domestic violence program from anywhere in Ga. call 1-800-33-HAVEN. The specific program that serves Rockdale, Newton and Walton counties is Project ReNeWal -- 770-860-1666. We need to get this information out there and work together as a community to save lives and keep this from happening to yet another family."

"In regard to the negative comments regarding Clements Theme School: It is amazing that some so quickly judge what they know nothing about. How many parents saw the interdisciplinary unit that the fourth-graders just completed? These students completed a character analysis and dressed in their character from another planet to give a speech. These same students built a planetarium that they crawled inside to view the constellations that can currently be seen. How many know that a seventh-grade teacher plans on each student making their own aquarium to supplement their study on ecosystems? How about the Saturday sessions that administrators and teachers are giving up for the eighth- and fifth-grade students. Not all of the teachers helping are even fifth- or eighth-grade teachers. Why is it that none of these people talk about the positive aspects of CTS? It is this reader's belief that they did not get what they wanted (a free private education). They talk about discipline being an issue, yet my wife tells me that she has not seen one fight within the walls of this school. This is a first in her time of teaching that this has not occurred. Are there problems? Of course there are. You cannot open any new school without some issues. Perhaps, instead of being a part of the problem, you might have decided to be a part of the solution. I guess some people just are not happy unless they make everyone else around them miserable and that is what this reader believes is partially the case. I will no longer read the Newton Citizen and am ashamed to belong to the town of Covington with its racial (I am white) attitudes. Again, that is an issue with many that left and many of those that are still running their mouths. Deny it all you want but you are being heard in your churches and local stores."

"New intersection and rules of the road. The new intersection and traffic light at Ga. 20, Ga. 212 and Brown Bridge Road is wonderful! However, it is a bit tight with the church, cemetery, home and business on each corner. Daily, I witness a vehicle pull too far into the turn lane and then a large truck is unable to make the turn until they back up. Hard to do when several cars have pulled in behind. That big, wide white stripe is there for a reason. You are supposed to stop behind it, thereby allowing enough room for a big truck or your neighbor towing a trailer, to make the turn. We recently took the National Defensive Driving course online. By completing with a passing grade each driving member of our family was given a 10 percent discount on our auto insurance. The discount is good for three years! It was a good course and nice refresher. Maybe the Citizen will do an article on rules of the road. Obviously, too many drivers at this intersection have no clue why the white stripe is there."

bak

"It seems the mayor of Covington has $200,000-plus she would like to spend on a dilapidated railroad but she cannot convince the City Council to agree with her. Perhaps she could spare just a few thousand of those taxpayer dollars to correct the drainage problem and the huge pot holes (created for the most part by the city garbage trucks) at the Covington Mill Cemetery. For those of you who have family members buried there: Have you buried a loved one there following a rainfall and cringe as the pallbearers slip and slide while trying to get to the grave site? Have you had to dodge the pot holes, and the trash, tree limbs and tree trunks thrown across the fence by some residents of Haynes Court subdivision? Have you noticed the tire tracks where vehicles, while trying to dodge the trash and pot holes, have driven nearly onto graves? Calls to the city manager and engineer's offices have gotten no results. Perhaps the mayor can take charge, spare a few (tax) bucks, and get the problem corrected. That would be a useful, not wasteful, expenditure for the good citizens of the city of Covington."

"In regard to the anti-tethering, euphemism for 'chained up dogs,' discussion by the BOC, all they have to do is look to Athens-Clarke, Cherokee, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett and Rockdale counties, along with Gainesville, who have enacted some type of anti-chaining ordinance. This information appeared in the April 5, 2009, edition of the AJC. I take issue with Mr. Ewing's and Ms. Schulz's beliefs about tethering dogs. I suggest they, and the rest of the board, go to unchainyourdog.org or dogsdeservebetter.org for further information and enlightenment. After looking at those sites, I can't imagine the board disagreeing that chaining is not animal abuse. In my opinion, it shouldn't have to take too long or too many discussions for them to do the right thing to save dogs from this treatment. It appears too many people do not seem to understand the ramifications of chaining and need educating on how cruel and inhumane this is for the dogs. If this 'educating' includes some type of fine to the owners, then so be it. It breaks my heart to see plenty of this practice on a daily basis here in Newton."

"This is in response to your article in the Feb. 24 issue regarding the recent Board of Commissioners' retreat, specifically the discussion about the use of SPLOST funds. There was talk about the need to keep the faith of the voters, not only because it was the right thing to do, but also to get other SPLOST proposals approved in the future. So, let's see where this approach leads us. (1) The voters approved the use of $5,000,000 of SPLOST funds for the construction of a civic center, expected to cost $10,000,000, with the Arts Association to raise the additional funds needed from private donations. After this proposal was approved by the voters, the Arts Association prevailed upon the commissioners to commit public funds and credit, added to the $5,000,000, to build a civic center complex, including a hotel and conference center, which never has been approved by the voters. That would have had the taxpayers on the hook for about $28,000,000, which they never approved. Fortunately, this 'deal' never got off the ground, no thanks to our commissioners. (2) The voters approved the use of $10,000,000 of SPLOST funds to build the new county executive office building, which would be built on the parking lot of the old executive building, and after it was built, the old building would be razed and that space would then be used for parking for the new building. Again, the Arts Association prevailed upon the commissioners to abandon this plan and use the proposed parking area for the new civic center, leaving the new executive office building without any on-site parking. So, the commissioners have not kept the faith of the voters on either of these issues, but it is not too late. If they wish to do so, it will be very simple: (A) Keep the $5,000,000 raised for the civic center on deposit for that purpose until such time as the Arts Association has raised the additional funds needed to build the civic center; and (B) Use the space behind the county executive office building for much needed on-site parking."

"I was calling about the poll comment about racism. I think that was one of the best comments I have ever read in here. I couldn't agree with them more."

"Let's face it, this county will always be an embarrassment because of small-minded county and city leaders. Yes, the trails to rails program is being welcomed elsewhere and being shunned here .... "

"I was calling about the protest in Atlanta over the alleged incident regarding the policeman shooting the boy who was trying to run over him. I can see how you could protest that decision, I have heard nothing that would indicate that ain't what happened. That he tried to run over him and he shot him. My question what would you do if somebody tried to run over you? I cannot understand how anybody could protest the court's decision on that and the OJ Simpson case and a lot of other cases I have seen no protest about. Is that fair? My suggestion to the people up there protesting is pathetic they are wasting their time, they shouldn't be up there."

"I noticed items about changes on local channels on Charter Cable in a couple of recent polls. I would like to give a little background and provide some info on 3 of the channels. When the city of Covington sold the cable TV system to Charter, the contract provided that up to 3 channels would be made available to the city to use for local programming for public, educational and government purposes. At the time the sale closed, the city had not had time to acquire equipment and put together its plans. In early 2009, the city began operation of channels 8 and 20, adding channel 22 later in the year. Charter has been very cooperative in establishing these local channels. Channel 8 operates as a public information channel, providing announcements of local events, local news headlines as well as local advertising. It also airs birthday, graduation and funeral announcements for a nominal fee to cover some of the cost in doing so. Channels 20 and 22 air locally and regionally produced programs as well as community announcements. Each day at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., channel 20 airs 'Job TV,' produced by the state Department of Labor. It features metro area job listings as well as around the state. Several local producers are now providing programs on these channels. Doug Holt, our local state representative, produces a periodic report when the Legislature is in session. The city has itself produced local programs, including the council meetings, photo presentations and news and endeavors to find additional sources of programs. We hope that readers will check out these channels. -- Bill Meecham, City of Covington