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Newton Phone Poll - 05-07-11

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.

"Let's have a poll right here, right now. Let's have a vote on the new name of the new SPLOST Newton County Agricultural Center? What are some of the name choices? How about the Mort Ewing 'P-P-P-Porky Pig Center.' Politicians love to see their name forever associated with a project. How about 'Mort's Pork-a-Rama' or you've been 'Porked By Mort' or 'Mort's Pork Palace.'"

"I want to thank your paper for printing citizens' comments concerning the high rate of crime in Covington. My wife and I bought a house on the south side of Covington 19 years ago, and we planned to raise our family there and retire in the house. When I go to work in the morning I now double check the doors to be sure they are locked, and I leave my wife and teenage children a loaded gun. We can't sell the house and move now because of the bad real estate market. A recent expert business consultant told the city of Covington that one of the elements needed to attract industry was to improve on public safety. A 14-year-old boy recently tried to rob a man after midnight with a sawed-off shotgun. These types of crimes seem to be symptoms of an overall drug problem in the city. Instead of buying five new fancy police cars, it would seem more practical to use this money and hire more police officers and put them walking in pairs on the city streets."

"In the paper it read a controlled burn for the Newton County firefighters at the flooded home on Brown Bridge. Actually this is for volunteers only; the career fire fighters will not be able to conduct these exercises. Earlier in the week the career fire fighters tried to conduct training in this particular home but were disciplined for doing so, that this house was for volunteers, not for paid guys. Here again the training needs of the paid fire fighters are not met. Maybe they are trying to tell the paid guys something by allowing the volunteers more training than the paid guys. Just wanted to correct the deputy chief."

Editor's Note: According to Fire Chief Mike Satterfield, a full-time shift of firefighters asked to use the house for training during the week. The request was declined as it would prevent other shifts from getting the benefit of training and disrupt schools in the area, he said. Full-time firefighters are able to attend the training on Saturday but the department does not have funds to pay overtime, Satterfield said, noting that several firefighters have volunteered to attend without pay. There was no disciplinary action taken against the firefighters who requested the weekday training, he said.

"I know it's legal but somehow it just don't seem right. I have done someone's income taxes using a free online package. For the last several years they have paid in between $600 and $700 annually. With two children the EIC has returned over $5,000 each year. It is usually used up in a month's time. This is what is called redistribution of the wealth. How many real taxpayers does it take to accomplish this. If EIC is going to give this money away, it seems to me that to spread it out over a year to better aid someone instead of having it in one big amount would be more advantageous. Where am I wrong?"

"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." -Ronald Reagan

"Where is the money from the Porterdale Fire Department fund raisers going? The fire chief continues to have fund raisers ... while they have not been keeping books for their nonprofit for years. The treasurer ... could not produce any books for the last four years during a recent open records request, which is a misdemeanor. How can they keep track of all the cash the public is giving them without a required paper trail?"

"President Obama cannot be 'distracted by the sideshow' involving the debate of his birth certificate. Yet, instead of just showing it during the White House briefing, he and Mrs. Obama take Air Force One and all of the Secret Service to the 'Oprah Winfrey' show? What? Isn't he supposed to be running our country, dealing with unemployment, unrest around the world, the falling dollar, and rising gas prices?"

"Has Charter taken your channels and your channel guide and then wanted $50 installation and $5 more a month for a digital box? That's what they did to me. I'm not paying."

"Apparently getting a promotion at the Covington Police Department doesn't happen through hard work. Getting a promotion only happens if you're buddies with the chief. Your degree or hard work mean nothing!"

"If you missed Jim Wooten's opinion column in Friday's AJC, here's one of his thoughts about the (North Carolina) school superintendent who DeKalb County wanted to hire but dropped out. She wanted $275,000 salary plus about five or six perks from the taxpayers of DeKalb. Wooten's thought is to hire competence and pay a salary close to the governor's $140,000 and a bonus after five years. Sounds valid and the right way to run a school district. Now, let us look at Newton County's superintendent hire, plus paying twice as much for land in today's economy. Newton County's tax payers sure aren't getting their money's worth. Never have/never will!"

"Will someone please start a belt donation program in Newton County for all the poor boys who can't afford one? It doesn't represent the county too well with all these boys walking around with one hand holding up their pants."

"Hey Chop, I'm on your side in regards to your response to the sophomore student at Eastside High School post of 4/23/11. Should his or her family or the Hope scholarship program be able to afford to pay college tuition in three-plus years from now, he or she can just skip their sophomore year in college as they got that 'I know it all' attitude right here at EHS."

"The chief never, and I repeat, never said you have to have a degree, or even an advanced degree to get a promotion. Actually, hard work is the right answer."

"This is in response to the tornado sirens. I have lived in Newton County for five years. I live in the subdivision called Double Gate. I have never heard a tornado siren go off. What I think should be done is 1) Test all sirens in Newton County. 2) Post a list of where all the tornado sirens are located in the county. If you say they are working, then you need to do something and make them louder so people can hear them."

"How many times are we blind to the good in front of us because we're looking past it for something better? It's like watching the railroad track your entire life, waiting for a train to come in and never realizing that you're sitting smack in the middle of the splendid Grand Central Station. Take a second look at your goals. Are they building on the good already in your life? Are you taking full advantage of the strengths you already have? Is it worth giving up what you have for what you might have? In many cases, the answer is yes. To that we say 'Go for it!' with all the enthusiasm we can muster. Those are the meaningful goals. If the answer is no, try reworking your goals to include ones that complement your present life rather than substitute for it. Whatever the answer is for you, we could all use a little more appreciation for the pieces of silver in our lives."

"It came as a big surprise to me to find out that Newton County has 19 emergency sirens scattered around the county. I have lived here for over 10 years and never heard or read one word about this. As for the statement made by Mr. Smith, 911 director, 'The problem is, when we push the button, we don't know if they've gone off. We have to assume they're going off.' Here's an idea. In another area of the country where I lived, every Tuesday at 10:30 a.m., the tornado sirens were tested throughout the entire state in all counties. In this state, many cities and suburban areas also have their own siren systems, along with their county system, and those are also tested at 10:30 a.m. There is no assuming if the siren has gone off or not with this arrangement in place. The siren idea does work remarkably well but there will be times when tornadoes happen so quickly that a siren can't alert us fast enough. We do have a weather radio and use it whenever there are tornado watches or warnings. We are fortunate to have a basement and I would not hesitate to run down there -- and have done so a few times in my life. Also, in this article, it was mentioned that the Conyers-Rockdale Emergency Management Agency acquired an emergency notification system called Code RED that can warn citizens and businesses of emergency situations by phone, cell phone, email or text message. It is also sophisticated enough to direct warnings countywide or even to a single street. Citizens can register their phones, emails or text addresses by calling or emailing the Rockdale Sheriff's Office. The Rockdale residents are so fortunate to have an Emergency Management Agency in the first place and to be able to fund this system entirely through a grant from the Georgia Emergency Management Administration for $25,000 a year. My questions to Newton County are: do you know of this agency, has Newton created its own Newton Emergency Management Agency and, if so, do you know how to apply for the $25,000 yearly grant? If Newton County hasn't created their own Newton Emergency Management Agency, when do you plan to? I would like to see the Newton Citizen put on the front page of a future issue a map of the county showing where these sirens are located. Thank you."

Editor's Note: Newton County has an Emergency Management Agency. Weather sirens are tested each Wednesday at noon.

"Why are we paying the Main Street Covington director ... to promote downtown? Events to get people to come to the Square are being done and done very well by one downtown merchant! Maybe we should just pay him because he knows how to get the job done!"

"In light of recent events, why would the United States send one more dime of aid to Pakistan? Surely our leaders don't believe for one minute that Pakistani leaders were not aware that Bin Laden was and has been living right under their noses for almost six years. The billion dollars that we sent to them last year could have been put to good use right here in our own country. Maybe I'm ignorant as to how politics works when it comes to providing aid to other countries; a moron wouldn't give their money to someone that treated them badly. I do know this much; if sending money to other countries is supposed to promote trust and goodwill, our foreign aid policies are failing miserably!"

"In response to the letter last week that berated a sophomore at Eastside: I hope you are not angry at a young and thoughtful American who is an excellent student, Boy Scout, volunteer for his church, and community, along with being a lifeguard in the summer. I forgive you for improperly judging this young American patriot. Maybe your true anger is caused by the election of a president that is so unlike yourself. The current president is black, Hawaiian, and sometimes liberal. I dare say you may have none of these qualities. The president's name is not Kennedy, or Adams, or Johnson, but Obama. America is not doomed because Hannity, Beck, Boortz, and Limbaugh say that the Bogey man is in the White House. Let us all quit our jobs and hide under our beds. The sky is certainly falling. Well, hear the good news. Americans will not stop working, volunteering, and serving others every day. I love America and her diversity, because with diversity there is creativity, growth, and, yes, change. American citizens are all immigrants, except the American Indian. Our country will continue to be great because of this future generation of educated conservative, moderate, and, yes, liberal thinkers. Just like this Eastside sophomore. So, Mr. Chop, stop vomiting, you may become dehydrated. Drink some water and walk on over to Newborn so you can help chop up some wood. Your anger will hopefully dissipate as you volunteer for your community. I am sure that you will see that our great country is truly blessed, even with a so-called liberal in the White House. God bless America, and our conservative, moderate, and liberal leaders."

"Hey all you Newton County road commandos out there. Just because I drive a police vehicle from another jurisdiction to work on I-20 does not give you the right just to blow past me at Mach 2 because you think I can't do anything about it. What about me calling ahead to the jurisdiction I am in and have them stop you. I make a pretty good witness, especially when the camera is running. Blatantly ignoring the law in front of law enforcement is no excuse, regardless where that law enforcement person is from."

"To the persons complaining about the warning sirens in Newton County ... let me give you some facts that you might not be aware of. First, this system is an outdoor warning system. It was never intended or designed to be anything else. With the construction of homes, and the noise in there, you would never hear it anyway. Second, the government does what it can to keep people informed, however, it is your responsibility to take action to protect yourselves during situations like this. You make it sound like the government can control the storms ... Third, buy a weather radio. Kroger has them all day for $34. Fourth, this was on the news, radio and TV for at least two days prior. Use what common sense you have and listen to what is being broadcast for your safety. Yes, there are a couple of things that Newton County could consider if they could get some grant money, but the current shape of the budget and the economy will not allow them to do more than they are doing. It is your responsibility to look out for yourself, not the government's!"

"I would like to make a comment about something you haven't heard of lately. It is the tax thing on DUI. How many times have you heard of a cigarette causing problems, causing a wreck to get someone hurt and they keep raising taxes on that to try to cut out smoking. Why don't they try to cut out some of the drinking all the time. There are so many DUI charges it ain't even funny. Do something about the alcoholic beverages. I mean cigarettes is not that big a problem. Look at the alcohol; that is the problem."

"Hey, Chop, way to go. You told it all. Way to go. High five and all that."

"If we want our children and grandchildren to have a job we must start buying USA. If we are to start bringing back jobs to the USA we have to start buying USA products made in USA. This is a proven fact. Georgia has lost tens of thousands of jobs to foreign automobiles alone, although a few of these cars are made in the USA and have brought a few hundred jobs to Georgia. Most foreign cars are made in foreign countries. This helps their economy, not ours. Foreign cars such as Honda, Kia, VW, Toyota, Nissan and others may cost a little less but buying these brands is very bad for our economy. So wake up America, and bring back jobs here and not over there. See the USA in your Chevrolet or your Ford truck or whatever is made here."

"So, If I am driving 55 mph on an on ramp merging in to the interstate where the speed limit is 55 and you're doing 70 or 75, who's the safe driver? And even if the speed limit is 70 take your foot off the gas and let me in and then you will become the safe driver. Hmmmm, amazing."