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. Please remember that the Citizen Poll is not a forum for comments either for or in opposition to candidates seeking elective office.
"Thank you Newton Citizen! I appreciate you posting the latest news online, not making me have a print subscription to view the online version of the paper, or asking me all kinds of personal questions to 'register.'"
"To the person who wrote in against Sunday liquor sales, let me start by saying that I am also against Sunday sales. I think there are some things that need to be left alone, and the Sabbath is one of those things. That being said, what gives you the right to call anyone in favor of Sunday liquor sales an alcoholic? You're quick to condemn those people, and all I have to say is read your Bible. Judge not lest ye be judged."
"We all know that our country's electoral college can outweigh the popular public vote in a presidential election (Bush/Gore). How does this differ from the popular public vote 'trumping' a jury's vote in our beloved court system?"
"I do not understand the concept that we need illegal aliens to do the jobs that Americans refuse to do. As long as we have able-bodied people in prisons, on welfare and collecting long-term unemployment benefits, there should be no shortage of workers. 'Too hot' is just a liberal ploy to justify handouts. Just look at the people who work in the heat every day -- roofers, road workers and farmers just to name a few. When this country was founded, if you didn't work you didn't eat -- we need to revert to that philosophy. The other concept I don't understand is that Social Security and Medicare are entitlements. We worked for our Social Security benefits and we will not get back all we paid in unless we live to be 110. We also paid into Medicare and we currently pay almost $700 a month to have that insurance -- this is not entitlement! What's breaking the back of Medicare is Medicaid and that's what needs to be scaled back. Even illegal, once they have a baby in this country, are entitled to all the freebies our citizens get. One of these days the welfare bubble will burst!"
"To the lady who likes the idea of a trail behind her house. Some updates for you that have been in one or other or both of the two newspapers serving Newton County in printed or on line form. 1. There was no public vote or formal poll taken. The only vote was within the Board of Commissioners -- they voted 'thumbs down.' 2. Also, in my humble opinion -- no one has a good handle as to what the 'real and total for today and tomorrow costs' will be, including projections of future repair and maintenance costs (like mowing the grass/weeds and the impact it will have on at least 33 roads where the current rails cross roads -- like traffic slow-down warning signs there might be bikes crossing or additional liability insurance coverage, etc. Someone might have a good idea how much time and fuel it takes to mow the tracks as it appears Newton County/Covington is doing it now for 'free' for the current owners. See the BOC has a good track record of not being very thorough. Down the road someone will sound a bit like Paul Harvey and Gomer Pyle to the taxpayers of Newton County by saying 'Now for the rest of the story,' followed by 'Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!' We need more of your money. My apologies to the respected late Paul Harvey and Jim Nabors. Just two of the latest 'should be embarrassing' examples, a.) the major issue with Airport Road and the opening in less than a month away of the new Flint Hill school -- someone forgot to see that the road needed to be modified to handle the increased traffic with cars and school buses -- Whoops, it is 'finger pointing time' faster than the beat of that 1960 oldies song 'Finger Popping Time' -- Hank Ballard and The Midnighters or the recreation department not budgeting for employees to staff the redo of the Cousins gym etc."
Editor's note: Both the Board of Commissioners and Covington City Council have voted not to pursue purchase of the rail line.
"Well, OK, so in the poll 7/9/2011, it seems there are some out there who dislike the Chop. Oh the hatred that was directed toward the Chop, can someone please make the pain stop. Some said I never learned anything from Chop. My favorite one was why are we wasting space printing what the Chop has to say. I will have you know I slipped into a deep depression for a few seconds after reading the hateful rhetoric toward the Chop. I firmly believe that such hatred and bitterness comes from not being hugged enough as a child. Some of the most renowned psychiatrists have said children not hugged enough will develop severe psychological problems. Maybe the select few that wrote in the paper suffer from this? Well, Chop to the rescue; from 1 to 4 on Saturday the 16th, the Chop will give out free hugs to all. I will especially like those who wrote such nasty things to feel free stop by. There will also be door prizes, petting zoo and fun for the whole family."
"Every time City Councilman Chris Smith opens his mouth in a meeting the Silver Spoon falls out. I am just not sure he knows to insert it back in his mouth."
"To the person who wrote, 'I don't remember a vote or poll' on the rails to trails, you don't know much do you? The City Council voted twice on the subject and it was defeated twice. The Commission chair won't bring it to a vote because it won't pass. If you want crime, violence, burglaries and robberies invited to your back yard, since you live on the tracks, why don't you just go ahead and put a sign in your yard that says, 'My door is unlocked, my stuff is insured, and I'm not at home,' and see what happens. It's about the same thing as having a walking trail through your back yard."
"To the guy who commented about working in the above-93-degree heat but the bad guys/girls can't. I know what you mean, my son is a commercial electrician and has worked in the attics of buildings with no moving air and temps well above 115F. I worked in an UAW auto assembly plant 67 hours a week in the summer to pay for college and the temperature was only 96 -- 98F (this was the coolest part of the plant) -- no AC. Only hot air movers and salt tablets. Obviously, it didn't kill me or my son. Let's just blame it on that bleeding heart, progressive liberal group called the ACLU that cares for the working person that pays taxes for the jails/prison with A/C and three squares and free medical attention and much more for the 'bad' guys and girls. No wonder there is an overcrowding problem. And I loved the movie 'Cool Hand Luke.' Without a doubt the ACLU gets some funds from the feds who got the money from the working people and they don't do too much for those people. As the cliche' goes, 'What's wrong with this picture?'"
"Just recently the letter to the editor read that the Newton County fire employee was disgruntled. I have run into several of the county firefighters, and I hear the same story. Most have said that morale was very low across the department. The few I have come across said that the pay is inadequate, their retirement is no better and that there is no chance for promotion anytime in the near future. This is very unfortunate and the county needs to fix the problem before they all leave and protect other counties. I live and pay taxes in the county, I sure would hate for this to affect services that are provided to me."
"One more time for all you who just don't seem to be able to put two and two together: the county cannot afford to have inmates out cleaning up everyone's trash/clearing brush, etc because it can barely afford to pay for the deputies who are on patrol, let alone having to pay overtime for those who would have to guard the prisoners who are out on trash detail. Honestly people, think before you speak next time."
"Does anyone else think it is insane that we have children receiving all 'A's in high school yet who cannot receive a high school diploma because they cannot pass the graduation test? Now, they are saying the graduation test is going away, yet students from this past school year won't receive their diplomas unless they pass a test which will no longer be given. Our educational system is absolutely crazy."
"It's me again ... Talking about beer on Sunday. Your response to me was Jesus did not drink wine ... Yeah and I make money at work; I just don't spend it!. Ha, ha, ha. And by the way, you called me an alcoholic. I don't even drink. So I would not gain anything from having beer sold on Sunday. You must be a Yankee who thinks you're better than everyone else or you ... invaded our great county from Atlanta. Do us both a favor and shut up!"
"Hey y'all can you work your magic or maybe do a story. Why are these yard-cutting companies allowed to blow all the grass debris in the streets, though it makes our street look bad. Does the debris end up in our creeks and treatment plants? Thanks."
"Why hasn't the Newton Citizen written an article about Christopher Waller, ex-Cousins Middle School assistant principal, who is one of the key figures in the APS cheating scandal? Waller was with Newton County schools for quite a while. Should we request an investigation into our test scores?"
Editor's note: We have acquired a copy of Waller's personnel file through an Open Records request. It shows no disciplinary actions taken. Standardized test scores from the time period that Waller worked at Cousins Middle School do not indicate any improper activity took place.
"Just a quick travel tip for those of you on a budget. If you find yourself longing for a getaway to a simple place where the people are stuck in a weird cross between the uneducated rural 1950s and the inbred drug-addicted 21st century, try the mountains of West Virginia or Kentucky. If you cannot afford to drive that far, I suggest Porterdale, Ga. Their slogan is: 'Porterdale. We may not be educated, but over one-third of our policemen is.'
"I think I must be getting old. I remember when in public school the music choir would stroll down the halls singing Christmas carols and would stop at the Christmas tree and sing for about an hour. All classroom doors were open. I remember when the Boy Scouts would raise the flag every morning while the students in the classroom would say the pledge to the flag. I remember when kids played outside a lot. Sandlot baseball was a favorite. No parents to bug them, no umpires to call the game. They built a lot of their own toys to play with; balsa wood airplanes, scooters out of orange crates, rubber band shooters out of a couple boards, sling shots, etc. I remember when people married and stayed that way until death do them part. I remember not seeing too many obese people and especially not too many kids unless they had a thyroid problem. In winter I remember families building snowmen, sledding down the nearest hill and ice skating on the nearest pond. Yep, I've got to admit, I am growing old but I found it to be more fun than texting, playing games on the TV, and becoming a couch potato. Then there are the lawyers, TV, music, but I'll leave them for another day. Yep! I guess I am getting old."