I was honored to serve eight years as a mayor of a township in western New York. With its location between Lakes Erie and Ontario, I would boast of the available water supply when promoting quality growth in the area.
After moving my family to North Georgia 12 years ago, I soon realized that the quality of life factor was more competitive than a plentiful water supply. Recent events give me reason to rethink my position.
While attending meetings at Riverside Military Academy in Gainesville, I was impressed with the knowlegeability of the many featured incumbent elected officials who reported Lake Lanier's condition. However, I feel the slow moving committees and lawsuit processes now in motion only postpone urgently needed solutions.
My propositions for the lake's conditions include:
Local government: 1. Continue construction of water storage reservoirs. 2. Don't allow smaller lot sizing adjacent to major lakes. 3. Place an immediate moratorium on any new wells. The only exception would be for human and agricultural uses.
State government: 1. Contact all effected Southern governors, and working in conjunction with the national news networks, call for a debate with our presidential candidates who should be interested in drought conditions that affect one quarter of our country.
2. Place an immediate moratorium on any new permits for discharges into lakes Lanier and Allatoona until lake levels reach a height of 8 feet below full pool.
3. Don't approve any new major developments that will not return water into our system that isn't properly treated before discharge.
4. Future establishment of water committees would be equally divided between pro-growth groups and environmentalists.
5. Establish a low interest loan program for car washes and laundromats to recycle water.
6. Direct our universities to compile a list of drought resistant plants and require all commercial landscape designs to contain seventy percent of these types of plantings.
Federal government: 1. Reallocate any funds that are appropriated for new federal highways through mountains into a fund locating a new federal reservoir that will ensure a plentiful water supply for our future.
2. Insist that any completed water studies of our system mandate no further water discharges occur after a level of 10 feet below full pool has occurred during a level four drought condition.
3. Mandate that any governmental entity that receives beneficial use of the waters from Lakes Lanier and Allatoona during a level four drought state adheres to the same restrictions.
4. Federal monies should be allocated to establish desalinization plants on our coast lines. The federal government could then consider shipping the salt by-product generated by this process to the northeastern states by way of the Great Lakes for use on the highways during the winter months.
It's my sincere thought that some of these views may be valuable in our ongoing water crisis.
Terry W. Kuehn
Photo ID requirement for voters makes sense
I feel uplifted after having read a story on photo IDs for voters in the Atlanta newspapers.
The judge did not deny voters the right to vote; he just told them to bring a photo ID for voting. I think it is only fair that all voters be required to show some reputable form of picture identification. People who drive cars are already complying if they have legal driving licenses.
The American people are generous enough to help those who are not able to pay for legal identification, as may be the case for many. I don't think the voting public that has voter identification, by way of driver licenses or some other legitimate means, will be pleased or served well if all aren't treated likewise, especially if age or disability isn't a major cause for one not being able to purchase one.
We feel that people, whether they be in majority or minority, ought to have the right to do for themselves providing they are able to do so. It is not good policy for anyone to voluntarily take away a person's right just because he or she thinks the person doesn't have resources. People become crippled permanently if another continues to carry them instead of helping them to do things for themselves.
I don't want to sound unpatriotic, but it is only fair for all people to expect to do what is expected; what they can do first, for themselves, unless age, sickness or some other thing would warrant their not being able to pay for voter identification. I believe that America is made up of enough good-thinking people who would want to help those persons do what should be done to uphold the law.
The judge, in his decision, was carrying out the law as it should be in this day and time. I am almost sure that, at one time, there were people who did not need a driver's license to drive on our roadways.
But as time progressed, it became necessary. America is what it is because we are blessed to have had people with the wisdom, knowledge and understanding (with the help of God) to put in place laws and restrictions to encourage people not to do certain things. And if some decide disobey and get caught, there is a law for that, too.
I talk to many from other countries who tell me the reason they are here is because our form of government is something to be thankful for. Some don't use those exact terms, but in essence that is what they are saying. Many say that lawlessness have taken over in their countries. Many praise America for being what it is. All aren't gang-infested illegal immigrants. Many immigrants I know are law-abiding people wanting the same things that most Americans want.
Many foreign countries aren't blessed to have the kind of government at the federal level to keep states in check. Voter identification is another good step in the right direction for America.
Acronym for Speaker's tax plan is misleading
While I am not a resident of Gainesville, I routinely see articles and editorials your fine paper writes on statewide political issues. Very often I agree with your stated position and I appreciate your dedication and candor.
One matter of concern I have, however, centers around discussion of HR 900, which has been misleadingly named by its principle backer, Speaker Glenn Richardson, as the "GREAT" plan. This is a contrived acronym which, despite clearly being a wolf in sheep's clothing, gives a positive nudge to the plan every time anyone refers to it by this deceptive moniker.
I think the resolution should be more fairly referred to as simply HR 900. Richardson's tax reallocation plan is anything but great, which your fine paper has on numerous occasions pointed out. We should not unwittingly be contributing to the deception by calling the legislation by a name he has conjured. He is obfuscating the issue and calling it HR 900 whenever it is reported on by the media might help the truth shine through.