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 emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 770-787-7303 ext. 1101. Please remember that the Citizen Poll is not a forum for comments either for or in opposition to candidates seeking elective office.
"I am an employee of the Newton County School System. I read, with much interest, the comments in your Citizen Poll each week. The strong emotions expressed there by parents, students, and teachers are encouraging to me because they at least show a level of concern that is not always evident to classroom teachers. We teachers are admittedly defensive about the community perception of our job performance. The results of our work will be published with much fanfare on the front page of your paper! What does not make the headlines of your paper, however, are the many cancelled parent conferences we schedule, the excessive unexcused absences of many 'at risk' students, and the apathy of some parents (until their darlings fail the GCRCT). Many of my co-workers remain at school long after the students leave. They prepare meaningful lessons based on the Georgia Performance Standards. They grade papers, post grades on Infinite Campus, and maintain the unbelievable amount of documentation required by our administrators who want assurances that we are doing our jobs. We meet with team members, academic coaches, special education co-teachers, students, and those parents who do show up for conferences. Many of us send home weekly progress reports. We attend 'professional learning' sessions on an almost weekly basis. It would be gratifying to hear some acknowledgment for the many teachers who are doing all of this for the students of Newton County. It would also be nice to hear that parents were held more accountable for their actions or their lack of action. When an 'at risk' student has four or five weeks of unexcused absences from school, that is not a teaching problem; that is a parenting problem that I can't overcome in my classroom. I don't see administrators addressing this issue. I see news reports that neighboring counties are aggressively addressing the issue of 'out-of-zone' and 'out-of-district' students. System administrators ignore this. (Your tax dollars are paying for the education of Walton and Rockdale County students.) I have only worked in one other county during my long career. I never felt as isolated and without a voice as I have in Newton County. For those parents, board members, and administrators who are interested, ask a teacher what's going on in your school. You may be surprised at the answer you get."
"When will our state and federal governments wake up and vote against the obvious? Here is a brief summary of one case in point: Mom has two-plus babies (typically out of wedlock) to increase her benefits for living and food costs. She, often the chief breadwinner, leaves the two-plus children with grandma who has retired on Social Security. Dad, who the two-plus children seldom see, stops by for a few nights to rest up from the job he doesn't have (that's why he 'stays' there and doesn't 'live' there). He showers and slips into new clothing and a pair of $200 sneakers. Often, he chooses not to work because he doesn't see the importance of job training at the taxpayer's expense. Meanwhile, you see the two-plus mom at the grocery store with two carts full of food that she pays about $23 for. She's talking on her ear-held cell phone so loud that she doesn't hear the girl at the checkout say what her total is. You're behind her with the single cart of groceries that you're accustomed to paying about $200 for. Finally, when election time comes to cast a vote for the politician that votes in favor of programs that make it possible to assist those that really need this assistance, you're nowhere to be seen. Ain't that America!"
"To all of you Internet racists, I'm black and am dying for one of you to say any of that nonsense you like to throw out to the world from the safety of sitting behind a keyboard to my face, or any black person for that matter. If the Citizen keeps letting this racist garbage make it to print I will be switching to the Covington News. You old racist geezers are dying off anyway, so you aren't a long-term threat."
"The old man would like to talk about politics and religion today. There isn't too much difference in the two. You have too many politicians who think they are god and you have too many religious that forgot that there is a God. As you look around the country you will see all signs of God but you have a small minority saying there is no God and anything that talks or thinks there is should be done away with. Now you have the politicians saying that, OK, if that is it then we will take His place and we will think for you, do what the non-believers want us to do and all will be well with the world. We will not follow the rules that we dictate to the people, we will retire with big pensions and we will tell the people what they want to hear. Dictate; now that is a word that goes back a long way. I believe we have had a few people who have used that word and are still using it. There is Cuba, Iran, etc. Now many of the general public thinks that maybe we don't have to follow any rules. Look at the politicians. You shall not kill, you shall not covet, you shall not commit adultery and on and on. Seems like a life isn't worth much anymore. Many of the problems people have they try to solve them by stealing and killing. They figure even if they get the death penalty some lawyer will keep appealing and I guess the public pays them or do they do this for 10 years pro bono? If an appeal is lost then the bleeding hearts take over. Politicians don't use a gun. They go to church, they bow their heads and then they come out of church and have a tendency to mock the general public and in essence tell them that they are stupid. They seem to feel that they know what we want and what we need. All I see the wannabees doing is spending a lot of PAC money and that will go into special favors for the rich I would presume. I guess I have ranted enough and I would presume it will have no real effect upon the politicians, the public or the foreign nations but it sure makes me feel good to do my ranting. Next time I want to talk about education."
"I was shocked that the editor allowed such racist trash in the Citizen Poll such as the person complaining about an African American Museum. The comments were blatantly racist and offensive, and I think at the least the editor owes an apology for posting the comment."
Editor's note: Upon reviewing the comment you reference, we agree that it was over the top and should have been edited. While it is true that many different people have been enslaved in different ways over the centuries, this comment went too far in making that point. We apologize for its offensive content.
"Well, again a car pulled out of the side street beside Ginn Motors in the wrong direction. A gold Cadillac with I believe an older person driving made a left turn off this side street just as my husband was pulling over into the left lane to pass another car. He saw the car making the illegal left turn and reacted quick enough to stay in the right lane. Can't something be done about this street before someone gets hurt or worse?"
"This weekend, while shopping at Walmart, I saw that the Veterans Support Organization (VSO) was back in town collecting donations. This is an out-of-town organization that has been under investigation in Tennessee and several other states. I suggest anyone deciding to contribute to this organization do a Google search of the name 'Veterans Support Organization' and include the word 'investigation.' You'll be shocked at what you discover. As a retired U.S. Army officer, it bothers me a lot that good folks blindly contribute to a 501 C-3 organization that only gives a very, very small portion of their contribution to a serviceman or women and keeps the rest for operating and administrative costs. I know that we have a lot of kind-hearted folks in Newton County that like to feel like they are helping the veterans when they make their contribution. I admire anyone willing to contribute to help a veteran. However, I would suggest that you only contribute to local veteran's organization so that you can see where your contribution is being spent. Better yet, when you see a serviceman or women in uniform at Walmart, slip a dollar directly into their pocket! That way, you'll know for sure that you are helping a veteran."
"You cannot change anyone but yourself. When people don't live up to your expectations, it's not unusual to feel responsible for changing their behavior, especially if they are close to you. You may try and try -- but when you don't succeed, you end up feeling depressed and like a failure. Changing another person can be a frustrating, impossible goal. Realize that people only change when they want to. Changing someone else is not your job! When you put yourself in the position of controlling the uncontrollable you place a heavy burden on yourself. Not only do you feel weighted down, but you use up tremendous amounts of energy in this pursuit. Instead, channel your focus toward things that you can control, such as yourself. It's a much more peaceful and productive way to live."
"To all those Obama supporters who are complaining about the high gasoline prices ($3.65 /gal today and projected to be more than $4 by Memorial Day). Here's what his Energy Secretary Stephen Chu said in 2008: 'Somehow we need to figure out a way to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.' Gas prices in Europe at that time ranged from $8 to $9 per gallon. In an interview with Chris Wallace in March 2011, 'What I have done since I became Energy Secretary has been quite clear. What I have been doing is developing methods to take the pain out of high gas prices.' Really? Obviously, he, as Obama's representative for energy, has done nothing to reduce the price of gasoline. Since Imam Obama's elevation to 'Ruler' (A term used by his communications spokesperson) gasoline prices have doubled."
"I am really tired of the way things are going in our two-county community. The police care more about revenue generation than our protection, county bureaucrats are playing political favorites and/or having childish arguments over race or protecting juvenile thugs that are encouraged by administrators to take over the schools, racism is on the increase, crime is on the increase, our sheriffs are merely junior politicians trying to act like the big dogs and no longer care about things like honor or integrity. I wish I could move far away, but the big government and their big banker friends took that option away. Heck, even all the restaurants around Conyers and Covington don't care any more. Save your money to go out to eat and you just get rewarded with lousy food and crappy service!"
"I have come to the conclusion that Gingrich is on Obama's payroll. Because all the president has to do to guarantee a second term is not to spend a dime on any TV or radio ads is to just run the ones that Newt has created. A win is a sure thing no matter who the GOP candidate is. The two top GOP'ers have savaged each other so bad that the only way I could not hold my nose and vote DEM is for the ballot could finally have a choice of 'None of the Above.' Then I could change my name to 'None of the Above' and win 85 percent of elections in the country."