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Our choice must be peace

Today's choices shape my future because the way we handle foreign affairs affects us domestically, which unfortunately most people, including politicians, don't seem to realize.

By making enemies around the world with our pushy, power-hungry policies, we alienate ourselves as a nation, making us vulnerable. We should seek alliances and build channels of communication, otherwise we may be losing innocent lives that we would never even imagine would be put in harm's way.

April 13, 2008 | By Nichole Kayne First Place, Gainesville Evening Optimist Club | Viewpoint

Life is a hallway

In my dream, my life was a hallway. It stretched ahead with doors on either side. Some doors were wide open with bright lights that beckoned me to enter. Some were barely ajar and some were firmly shut and locked.

It did not take much poking around to realize that the locked doors were options for my life that I would never dream of exploring, such as the door with "Petty Thief" scratched across the stained wood. Next to it was "Valedictorian" printed in cursive script. I happily observed that it was wide open and welcoming.

April 13, 2008 | By Rachel Glazer First place, Middle School Essay Contest | Viewpoint

Downtown Upswing?

The future of downtown Gainesville is looking a little less square.

Last week, the Gainesville City Council unanimously approved a zoning request for a $35 million development in midtown that will feature a 13-story hotel and two 11-story office buildings on Jesse Jewell Parkway. Gainesville's Wendell Starke, owner of City View LLC, has joined forces with Atlanta-based P.C. Management Co. to form Gainesville City Center LLC, which will oversee the 5.5 acre project.

April 06, 2008 | Jessica Jordan | Viewpoint

Break the law. Get sent home.

Hall County Sheriff Steve Cronic says it's simply about enforcing the law. Latino advocates call it a misguided step that could lead to a exodus of workers and damage an already tenuous relationship between Hispanics and authorities.

However one views the provisions of the local-federal immigration enforcement partnership known as 287(g), it seems certain to have a noticeable impact in Gainesville and Hall County.

March 30, 2008 | Stephen Gurr | Viewpoint

On the trail of a killer

Gary Michael Hilton put a lot of miles on his Chevrolet Astro van in the days following Meredith Emerson's New Years Day disappearance, authorities believe.

Between the afternoon of Jan. 1 and the evening of Jan. 4, Hilton, who authorities charged with abducting and killing Emerson, was placed in at least six counties and seen by or talked to numerous people. During much of that time, Emerson remained alive, according to officials.

March 09, 2008 | Stephen Gurr | Viewpoint

Take it off, keep it off: Getting in shape for the new year

It's a January phenomenon as predictable as cold weather: Fitness centers are flooded with new members, as people seek to make good on their New Year's resolutions to get in shape.

March 02, 2008 | Debbie Gilbert | Viewpoint

'All I want for Christmas is ... '

The Times staff asked local officials about their Christmas wishes for the community: "What would you ask for if you could have any Christmas wish come true?" Here are their responses.

February 24, 2008 | | Viewpoint

Celebrating 'Our Lady'

The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe ended on Wednesday, but the implications of the rare rites performed by priests of the Archdiocese of Atlanta during the celebration may continue to effect the area's immigration controversy.

During the celebrations, the priests in Archdiocese of Atlanta performed a coronation ceremony for the first time in the over 50-year history of the Archdiocese.

February 10, 2008 | Ashley Fielding | Viewpoint

Hall GOP: My president will remind us government can’t do it all

The president I am looking for will expect us to be engaged citizens -- active, informed, responsible citizens -- and not mere supplicants, demanding ever more services and benefits.

February 07, 2008 | By Paul Stanley Hall County Republican Party Chairman | Viewpoint

Hall Democrats: Time for a change that reflects America’s diversity

Whether you consider the Bush presidency a success or a failure, one thing is certain: We will have a new president in 2009.

February 07, 2008 | By Abb Hayes Hall County Democratic Committee Chairman | Viewpoint

A place to call home

When Eddie Staub was 27 years old, he came to Gainesville with little else but a dream. He had visions of creating a home for children who were struggling in their family lives, in school and with themselves.

After acquiring some land in Chestnut Mountain in South Hall County with the help of Georgia coach Vince Dooley and Georgia Tech coach Bill Curry, Staub sat down in a rickety old barn on the property, the only structure on site, and saw a glimpse of Eagle Ranch's future.

February 03, 2008 | Jessica Jordan | Viewpoint

Is club stranded without a paddle?

GAINESVILLE -- The departure of Connie Hagler from the Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club has some people wondering if the Lake Lanier Olympic Venue is now without its paddle.

February 02, 2008 | Ashley Fielding | Viewpoint

The power of a penny

GAINESVILLE - Ten years ago, Hall County began receiving $1 million checks each month from a 1-cent sales tax.

That has mushroomed to $2 million-plus. And, if the economy holds and retail continues to grow, the promise of higher amounts lies ahead over the next five years with area school systems' sales tax programs.

February 02, 2008 | Jeff Gill | Viewpoint

‘Eagle Ranch saved me from myself’

I have heard many times since coming here that Eagle Ranch is hope and a new beginning. I never really believed that two years ago when I came here. I thought Eagle Ranch would just be another place that said they cared and wanted to help but never took the time to take me out of my shell and get to know me.

Boy was I wrong. From the moment I walked into the doors of the Praise Home, I knew there was something different about Eagle Ranch.

February 02, 2008 | | Viewpoint

Getting water from the incredible shrinking lake

As the drought continues to draw down Lake Lanier and other reservoirs in Georgia, some municipal water intakes have been left high and dry.

February 02, 2008 | Debbie Gilbert | Viewpoint

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