Wednesday, I was in Atlanta and spoke with some of the people that were protesting outside of the Atlanta Federal Court of Appeals building. Their signs stated "Hands Off My Health Care."
On Camp Wahsega Road, about a mile before it ends at Camp Merrill, is a tiny cemetery called Shady Grove, a place that time has forgotten. It was attached to a small Methodist church that was razed about 80 years ago on land given to the Methodist Church by our several-times-great grandpa Jacob Saine in the mid-1800s.
I had the distinct honor to watch PBS' Memorial Day presentations honoring our service members. One segment, an "Honor Flight" from Pensacola to Washington as veterans visited the various war memorials, was outstanding.
As a retired professional librarian with 25 years of experience at public, school, college and university libraries in three states, I am appalled at the suggestion that four of the six public libraries in Hall County be closed to save money.
With all the talk of budget talks vs. increasing tax rates, being a 64-year-old independent truck driver, I have some comments and questions.
The damage that the Hall County Board of Commissioners is about to do to this county will not only hurt the quality of life in this county, but will cause irreparable damage to our local economy. How in the world could anyone with a rational brain possibly think that eliminating 77 county jobs or so, eliminating public parks and libraries and cutting two ambulances will help local business?
In dire economic times like now, something has to give in order bring budgets more in line with reality. As regards to the proposed closing of four library locations out of six in total, I would like to make the following remarks and suggestions.
Yes, Chairman Tom Oliver has proposed raising the millage rate to make up for revenue losses due to property values dropping drastically in the last few years. The county commission and school board probably read all of the evaluations during the housing bubble as they cut that same millage rate year after year.
Let me start off by saying that I would like to think the tax increase would not pass, but unfortunately, it's already too late. It's already passed.
I agree with Mr. Black's letter about the Chicopee Woods Ag Center. We were just there for JAKE's Day. It was wall to wall kids. All those families left there, bought gas and food elsewhere in the community.
Hall County officials are correct to propose deep cuts to fiscal year 2012 budgets and no tax increase should be considered. Hall County is no longer a boom town and the local government and its employees need to recognize this. The days of elite public sector employees riding piggyback on the peon taxpayers and insulated from the contractions in the economy are over.
In attending the North Hall budget meeting in Clermont, I came away with some good points that were made in the meeting and some views that were made in a state of emotion.
Why do so many politicians resort to sob stories and scare tactics when they are forced to get the government's financial house in order? Tom Oliver's antics are no different from the big government apologists in Congress; he simply raises the specter of slower emergency response and shuttered libraries instead of threatening Medicare cuts and the loss of cowboy poetry festivals.
As a Hall County resident and employee, I have tried to educate myself on the pending budget crisis as best as possible, but I can only speak from personal experience. I have to wonder how much longer residents and county officials can expect the budget to be balanced solely off the backs of the employees.
Why is it every time the budget needs to be cut, we look to public safety, parks and usually education? Surely there are other areas where efficiency can be instilled?
The flak over folks praying at Chestatee High School is one of those good news/bad news situations.
Was Bruce Vandiver's letter last week in The Times a scare tactic? I don't know. I do know that environmentalists often employ such tactics.
To Monica Miller of the American Humanist Association: As a resident of Hall County let me say that I am deeply offended by your organization's threat of legal action against Chestatee High School.
When I was a boy in my lower grades at Candler Elementary School on Candler Road, we said our blessing before leaving our classroom going to lunch. Every so often, these people would come to the school in the lunchroom, and Bible verses we learned we would be able to say and be rewarded with a book marker or sometimes a little Bible testament.
What do we do about nuclear waste? Actually the answer is quite simple. The problem we most often run into with the high-grade questions, is political.
I read in your paper about the crisis on our border with Mexico. It is clear Mexico looks the other way when immigrants cross its southern border and enter the United States. I lived in south Texas for 20 years and their security is a joke. They are the most corrupt in the world.
Well, what do you know. It appears we have some more Madalyn Murray O'Hair wannabes. The American Humanist Organization of Washington, D.C., has threatened legal action against Chestatee High School to prevent high school coaches from leading and participating in prayer with the players.
My annual visit to the VA facility in Lawrenceville prompted me to write this note about my treatment. This visit was the most professionally handled than I have ever received at a medical facility. My appointment time was right on the mark.
In response to Rick Frommer's letter blaming South Carolina Democrats for failure of a private nuclear waste recycling venture at the U.S. Department of Energy's Savannah River site, I don't think it matters which party controlled the state.
To add some background to the letter published Wednesday from Bobby R. Stone in Alto: About 1969, three of the biggest energy companies in the world, Allied Chemical Co., Gulf Oil Co., Royal Dutch (Oil Co.) and Shell Oil Co. formed a partnership called Allied Gulf Royal Dutch Shell. The purpose of this company was to build a nuclear recycling plant on private land near the Savannah River Site in Barnwell County, as mentioned by Mr. Stone.
I have read some interesting discussions recently, pros and cons of nuclear energy. I leaned "pro" all my working life, but after retiring and thinking it through, I am not sure anymore. I am going to introduce an aspect that I have not seen in other discussions. I speak from the position of a trained radiation worker with more than 30 years of experience. I am writing about "nuclear waste," a sanitized term the industry uses to refer to radioactive poisons and toxins.
Page 1 of 1