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Community Forum: Out-of-city students costly to Gainesville
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According to the Gainesville school system, the cost to educate a student is approximately $9,000 per year, of which $4,000 is funded with local property taxes. Yet, the out of city tuition rate is only $450 per student per year. That means the system loses $3,550 ($4,000 minus $450) for each of the 408 students allowed into the city system per year.

That is a loss of $1,448,400 ($3500 times 408) per year. The reality is that local property owners are subsidizing out of city students by approximately $1.5 million each year.

There is no reason for this policy to continue. It is not fair to ask city taxpayers to work longer or harder than they normally do to subsidize out of city students.

Buford City Schools charge $2,000 for out-of-district tuition and Decatur charges $6,430. Programs like this one that lose money yearly should either be dropped or changed to become at least revenue neutral. (That means the city schools should charge $4,000 per student per year for out-of-city students.)

Programs like these that lose $1.5 million per year are one of the reasons we are in a $6 million deficit and property taxes recently rose 12 percent.

Bill Morrison

Humane Society needs pet-loving volunteers
The Humane Society of Hall County is in desperate need of new volunteers to interact with the animals, especially the big dogs. These animals need to know that they are loved and be taught socialization so they are easier to get adopted. The big dogs need to be walked every day and exercised in the runs. They also could use some quality time being petted and hugged.

The current volunteers do what we can and even work on holidays, such as Thanksgiving, to give the animals what they need. However, more people are needed as more and more dogs are waiting to be adopted.

We know there are lots of animal lovers out there. Couldn't you spare a couple of hours during your week to walk a dog or play with the cats, kittens and puppies? It is very gratifying to know that you are giving your time and love to animals that have not asked and don't understand why they now have to spend all of their time in cages.

We know there are people who say, "I can't bear to see those animals locked up, that's why I can't volunteer." You have to look past that and give the animals something to look forward to each day besides standing in a kennel or laying in a cage.

Please consider giving your time to the animals as your New Year's Resolution. High school groups, scouts, church youth groups, sororities, fraternities and other outreach groups are all encouraged to help. Groups from Riverside Military Academy and Flowery Branch High School are both regulars and a tremendous help.

Be a volunteer today. Please contact Kelley Uber at the Humane Society of Hall County, 845 West Ridge Road, Gainesville, GA 30501 or at 770-532-6617 for more details.

Karen Walker

What's in a name such as Martin Luther King?
After reading last Sunday's newspaper about the crazy names of some of the children today, "What's in a Name?" (Sunday Life section), I thought what a fitting topic about one of our great leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King.

Let's take the time to examine it. The name was given in the order of Martin Luther King, but have you ever thought of the possibility that this name was given in reverse for humanly purposes? Have you ever thought for one second that the name was meant to be King Martin Luther?

Let me explain to you the way that I arrived at this notion. For starters, let's think back about a man that was put on this earth to change the thinking of mankind. This man was not an ordinary human, but portrayed one. This man went through hell, so to speak, for the well-being of mankind. And after his death, the world was never the same.

So now comes this other man who went through similar torment, though not as extreme, for the same reason, for the betterment of people. Personally, I don't think an ordinary being could have withstood what these two went through. And we all know the first was not ordinary.

So from this, I think this man's name originated as being King Martin Luther, but was rearranged to better fit the human race. Yes, I think he was more than a mere man. What's in a name such as Martin Luther King?

Jay Huff

We seldom hear news on guns for defense
The news media seldom report occurrences of citizens using a personal handgun to ward off an attack. An amusing tableau I witnessed in a gun store aroused this question in my mind.

A sales person was glowingly detailing the fine points of a handgun he had just handed to a customer for his perusal. The customer hefted the chrome-plated beauty. He admired the weapon then assumed a shooting stance and thrust the empty gun at an imaginary attacker. He mouthed "pow! pow" and blew away the attacker.

He bought the gun. No one dare attack him while he has this chrome-plated beauty handy.

On my way home, I mentally reviewed this tableau and concluded handguns have become imbedded in our society. They are owned by thousands for self protection. With all this killing power being toted and all the crime, there must be thousands of attackers shot by persons defending themselves from attack.

The news media rarely carry stories of innocent citizens protecting themselves with their personal handguns. Is there a reason we seldom hear of these?

Lee Bowers

Go hunting for meat, not just for sport
I grew up in Mississippi. I understand hunting. I used to hunt. When someone in my family killed something, we ate the meat. On the outside chance that no one in my family needed meat, we gave it to someone who did.

When I see pictures of people in this paper with a "trophy" deer or bear, it turns my stomach. Not only is it unpleasant to think that there are people around here who enjoy killing for the sake of bragging rights, it is an embarrassment that this paper publishes the pictures.

I understand culling the deer herd. I have no problem with that, but people who think it is OK to kill so they can have a trophy rack on the wall have some serious issues.

Why don't you go bear hunting with a baseball bat next time? That's fair. If you are going to disrespect the animal by killing it for your amusement, do it with your bare hands, big man.

Ken Hale

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