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Newton Poll - 01-15-11

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. Please remember that the Citizen Poll is not a forum for comments either for or in opposition to candidates seeking elective office.

"It seems that Commissioner Ewing is getting a lot of undeserved credit/blame re. the SPLOST. If the news reports are correct, he was the only one who had a list at the time set for the commissioners to have lists to consider; even the chairman did not have one at that time. The AG center was not his idea but one requested by a group that asked him to include it on his list. Someone is in error if they think the airport is in his district (which is the only place news has reported proposed center might be located). There has been much misinformation re the SPLOST but Bob Furnard is correct when he says that if it is not passed taxes will increase, so we need to think at least twice when deciding how to vote."

"This is for all you good pharmacists out there who became pharmacists to help people. Last Tuesday I tried to get a refill on my diabetes test strips only to find out it would be Thursday before they could fill it because the insurance won't pay 'early.' I only had two test strips left! On Thursday a little after noon I went to pick up my prescription only to be told it wasn't ready and it would be an hour and 10 minutes wait. These come in a box that they only have to put a label on -- not count out. Holy Toledo! What has happened here? And ... when you go to (a local discount store) it is routine you must wait at least an hour. Is all of this 'waiting' simply a ruse to get you to shop or are they simply that slow? It could not be lack of help, there is an excess of that at both places, they fall all over each other except to check you out. Please ... can someone help me? I am concerned about the mentality of this thing because I have a grandchild studying to be a pharmacist and don't want them to end up like this."

"For the record, I, for one, will not vote for the new SPLOST tax being proposed for Newton County. While some of these projects may seem beneficial, county and city government officials have yet to demonstrate fiscal responsibility in tough economic times when revenues are low for governments and the people of Newton County -- 12 percent unemployment is a major problem for the taxpayers who may be part of that number. Add to that the 'underemployed' people that lost their good paying jobs when companies closed or moved to another county or state (Komatsu for one). But yet in Newton County we saw several projects that have questionable benefit to this county to cite a few -- 1. The infamous Turner Lake traffic circle and tunnel (to nowhere). What issues were resolved? Or was it a monument for someone or some group? The traffic light seemed to work just fine. 2. Now I am a fan of the Recreation Department, but opening a new center with added staff at the Cousins school seems to be a bit extravagant for now when the Turner Lake facility is approximately 2 miles away. (CVS drug stores are located further apart.) 3. Proposing the 'rails to trails' program seeming to be proposing expenditures that would benefit a very few, another monument in my opinion. What the people of Newton County need, in my humble but practical opinion, is more support for our Sheriff's Department. As others have commented crime is on a rapid upswing in our county and traffic enforcement is badly needed in all four corners of Newton County. ... I for one am a fan of Sheriff Ezell Brown. He is a man of his word and actions, responsive, certainly not an excuse maker and will return calls. But with budget cutting directives 'bullets have been taken out of his belt.' The citizens of this county need to let the 'monument builders' spend our money more wisely and put the bucks to work where it benefits all the people of Newton County. I am now off my soap box. Thanks for reading, if you concur, do your part towards this end. Remember 'Silence is Not Always Golden.'"

"I am writing in response to the person wondering if Newton County teachers are cheating in order to make students eligible for HOPE. I work at an elementary school in Newton County that was just recognized by the Governor's Office of Student Achievement for being in the top percent of schools in the state with the greatest improvement on the Criterion Reference Competency Tests (CRCT). Our school has met AYP for six consecutive years, and it has been through the hard work and dedication from each and every teacher, paraprofessional and administrator, along with our office staff, custodians and cafeteria workers who all serve as mentors to our students, that we have achieved such great success. Although HOPE is based on high school grades, the educational foundation begins on the elementary level, and I can assure you that the students who walk through the doors at a little elementary school in rural Newton County are earning every high score they receive on the CRCT. Even when faced with furlough days, possible job cuts, higher expectations and lack of parent involvement, our staff rises to the challenge each and every day, and not only am I proud to be a co-worker with such wonderful people, I am so very thankful that these same people are educating my child. Have you thanked a teacher today?"

"The only SPLOST I would vote for -- and it shouldn't be necessary -- is one which would furnish money for the Covington library so that it would again be open six days a week instead of four and a half, and be able to replace all of the 'someday we'll get to the moon' books in the non-fiction section with current ones. I had complained to the city commissioner last year, and she told me to 'take it up with the library manager,' as if he controlled the money they are given. Apparently she does not use the library services!"

"Bring segregation back to raise education test scores. What a forward-looking idea! When I was young, I remember reading the want ads for my mama under the headings of white and colored. When I graduated from college in the '70s, I was so optimistic and encouraged only to be disappointed. It is so, so sad that this thinking seems to be so prevalent even today in 2011 when it's been proven that education is more about how the children are treated. Will these archaic ideas never die?"

"What is it about waiting until the day before a snow event to do your shopping; are you ignorant or do you just want to appear that way. Most people have enough groceries in their house to make it through without trying to empty the stores. I am sure, however, that the store managers enjoy it."

"A hearty 'attaboy' for my Citizen delivery person who came out Tuesday morning and delivered our paper by 9 a.m. despite the incredibly icy roads. Not even the post office, which used to pride itself on not being deterred by wind, snow, etc., will do that."

"Pork Chop, get a life. You are boring. When I moved to Newton about 30 years ago it was a nice, small country town. It has now become a town full of personal agendas, a town that has become a Section 8 stronghold, and a town run by the good ol boys. Wake up before it's like Rockdale County -- full of street thugs and gangs. Our school system is a joke. The teachers I know send their kids to private schools to get educated. Ms. Carter is just a puppet for (the) good ol' boys and she needs to go one term and out. Rails to trails, please we need this about like the civic center, but ... we will have it crammed down our throats until we are up to our eyeballs in debt because of it. I don't have the time to rant about our restaurant scene because that would take all day. If you want a good meal get out of this county and have one. You will not find it here. ... If you have not noticed this county is not Mayberry, N.C., so get over it."

"Who was to blame for last Saturday's tragedy? It was a mentally-ill man named Jared Loughner. Left-wing loons are using this horrific incident to try and blame Sarah Palin and the Tea Party. That is ludicrous! Next thing you know they will say it was Bush's fault. Loughner is a mental case and politics obviously had nothing to do with it. Items found in his back yard indicate he was involved in the occult. Is a member of the occult making a political statement by murdering innocent people? What we do know is the call to pray for Gabrielle Giffords; her family, and the families of those who died and those fighting for their lives in the hospital now. May God bless them and may God bless America."

"Rep. Doug Holt is really a good guy. I believe he was just being set up by Chairman Morgan to make it easier for her to go to him down the road for legislative favors when she sent public works equipment to clear his driveway. She is the one responsible for spending taxpayer money to improve private property. Don't blame this event on Rep. Holt."

Hello there, this is Chop! Apparently a select few have taken advantage of Chop and the other tax-paying citizens in the county. Yes, I'm talking to you Mr. Holt, at least next time kiss me first and a movie. Mr. Holt's driveway was cleared, salted and sand distributed for him to leave his house. Well, what about my driveway, what about the drives of all the other constituents? I will tell you we are not important enough, I guess. I have a solution next time everyone show up at Mr. Holt's house and his buddy Chairman Morgan will take care of our needs being we are at his house. ... I'm tired of it I tell you!

Are you kidding me sending a county employees to clean a politician's driveway. The Grand Jury needs to look in to this. This is an outright abuse of power on the Chairwoman and the Rep. By the way, we cleared our own driveway and the neighbors got together and clean our own street and did not need the government. Oh, by the way, there was one lady -- she was 75 -- she was out there with her shovel, too. I guess some folks have forgot what it like to be part of the working class community.

My opinion today is does Doug Holt and Kathy Morgan actually think that the people of Newton County are dumb enough to believe the story they fabricated? No way.

I am calling in regards to the local recycling center I use. I called a couple of weeks ago about the boxes always being full on Sundays when I take my materials to dispose of and asked for someone to check on this and now I have not seen any improvement in the situation. It is still going on when I take my stuff to dispose of. So now, I ask the commissioners to please check in to this matter and see if anything can be done to correct this problem.

I agree with Tina McElroy Ansa and Kathleen Parker that "as Huck might have said, don't go messing around with a writer's words" and "writers selected each word painstakingly to create a world they envisioned as necessary to their purpose.: This is a work of art and shouldn't be tampered with for any reason.

I am one of the retirees who routinely read the periodicals and newspapers at the Newton County Library. A recent comment in your Opinion Poll reminded me of a past article that I should have commented on. The article was a long article where several City of Covington police detectives were warning citizens the penalties that they might face if they reported false information to the police. I thought this article was ill conceived and also was a determent to solving crimes. Most minorities and low income people already harbor a mistrust of the police, and that area is where most of the crimes occur. These detectives should know that this segment of the population is already reluctant to "snitch" on their peers, and then threaten them with prosecution if their information is wrong is ludicrous and just plain juvenile. These (apparently unsupervised) detectives should also know that the far majority of their crime cases are solved by "tips" and not by good police work. The mayor of Covington should retract this article and issue an apology. This type of behavior will only lead to more crime.

All of these people complaining about the police who can't "do their job" or "solve crimes," why don't you come do it? If you have no idea about the volume of crime and the little manpower there is to work with, ask your local chief or sheriff if you can ride along with a cop for one night just to catch a glimpse at the process of fighting crime. You hear the police tell you to contact them with further information because there's nothing else to tell you. What? Do you want them to go on and on about how crime is unacceptable and they will catch the idiots out here doing it? You know this already. The article about report false crimes is so major because people do it all the time which, in turn, takes time away from the few overworked individuals who are trying to solve real crimes. Did you think of that? The crimes that start from scratch. The ones that a cop can have 20 years of experience and be dumbfounded by. Police are normal people working for a little of nothing to put their life in harms way for the average Joe who hates their guts because of what they do. They are not super heroes, psychics, or messiahs. How about a little action on your part. Cut out that cable bill to pay for an alarm system or something. How about before anyone passes judgment on these people, you do a little investigating first. It's unfair to scream that you hate cops because you got a seat belt ticket, but as soon as your keys are locked in your car, who are you calling? A little less attitude and a little more gratitude would be nice.