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Your Views: Green Street flooding could have been fixed
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I read the article today and had to chuckle some with the issues of flooding. Back in 2001, after I was elected to the Gainesville City Council, I lead an effort to see what options we had on traffic issues on Green Street.

If you remember back to that time, it was the discussion of the inter loop. I asked to look at options with the DOT and others on what could possibly be done. At a work session, we had some of the guys from the local DOT office come and we talked about some options like widening the road as well as the sidewalks, underground utilities, extending the downtown streetscape with the bricks and street lights down to the Civic Center.

Also, we talked about what it would take to make the brick sidewalks stroll through the front yards of the property owners with their permission. Of course, this would have to be with the consent of the property owners, not taking of their property rights. This would also take care of the flooding issues and the crumbling of the old curbs and sidewalks.

I took the information and asked the city to set up a public meeting. I was the only council member who attended the meeting that night. Again, I was looking for ideas and suggestions, but what did I get? I looked like the Chinese guy who stood in front of the tank about 20 years.

Judge Norton (who filed lawsuits against the DOT and everyone back around 1978 to fight these issues) and others came out at that meeting to slay me as evil and not wanting to help Green Street. In my opinion, these ideas and other suggestions could have helped and stopped a lot of trouble today because people still complain about these same problems.

This is part of the reason that DOT stays away from doing anything they do not have to do on Green Street. This is why the street floods and this is why people want to stop left-hand turns.

Green Street is a beautiful street with the old homes, but the street floods, the curbs are gone and the sidewalks are crumbling. How safe is it with no curbs to walk on the street?

Mark Musselwhite
Former Gainesville mayor, City Council member

America is ready for a new color
There's no room for prejudice in these United States.

A historical event is taking place in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, a day after Martin Luther King's birthday.

Only 24 percent of voters voted for Barack Obama in Hall County. In South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi, the Southern states' majority voted against Obama.

It's ironic that when you hear Obama's name come out of the mouths of many; it's full of negativity. Like "he's not going to make it" or "someone is going to assassinate him." This is the year 2009, there is no room in our society for the so-called good ol' boys network.

Obama couldn't have won the election with black votes alone. It was people of all colors who voted him in because they wanted to see a change. And if you didn't vote for Obama, at least you should support him in the decisions he makes, for he will be president of the United States. Let's underline united, which means coming together as one.

For those of you who are so ignorant as to not let go of the prejudices, of years gone by, "get over it." And for those of you who want to see a fight, turn your television to the Spike Channel and watch ultimate fighting, because there's not going to be another assassination like Lincoln, Martin and the Kennedys.

This is the young America; it's not about color anymore. It's what can you do for your country, and "yes" you're going to magnify every little mistake while Obama is in office. That's just the way life goes.
I wish crayola would invent a color called "president." Then there wouldn't be a red, yellow black or white president, it would just be president.

One day in the future, if man doesn't destroy himself with diseases or nuclear war, America will eventually become one color. So sit back and relax. You just may be surprised about the young America's decision in electing my and your president, Barack Obama.

Michael Jackson Sr.

New hospital needed for patients, staff, jobs
I think that we need the new hospital. There is so much traffic in Gainesville now that I hate going there. I'm sure a lot of other people feel the same way that I do.

There are never enough hospitals around to serve as many people as there are now. I hope that the judge or the state Court Of Appeals changes the decision.

There are a lot of overworked and underpaid nurses and staff, with too many patients to care for. There would also be more jobs available for the area. That should be a plus.

Karon Gibbs
Flowery Branch

Local officials push for tax hike called SPLOST
The political drama unfolding before our eyes would be comical if the implications were not so tragic. At a time of record foreclosures, our Republican governor has suggested what could amount to the largest property tax increase in Georgia history, meaning higher mortgage payments for thousands of Georgians.

Locally, the city of Gainesville has borrowed millions of dollars against future sales tax collections that are, as yet, unapproved by the voters of Hall County. Local leaders have conspired to place the SPLOST vote on the ballot in a special election in March for the express purpose of suppressing voter turnout.

We had a general election last November and the issue could easily have been on the ballot then, thus saving the taxpayers thousands of dollars. They, of course, know better than the taxpayers what to do with our money, so they don't want to take the chance that we might prefer to keep it in our pockets rather than have it confiscated by the government. Such paternalistic disdain for the will of the people is stunning.

I am still coming to grips with the fact that all of this is being orchestrated by people who identified themselves to the voters as Republicans. I thought that the Republican Party represented fiscal responsibility, lower taxes and less government. What we are seeing instead is various tax increases, and yes, say what you will to the contrary, the proposal to extend the SPLOST is a tax increase.

I challenge all local politicians to go on the record and give the voters a clear indication of their political and economic philosophies so that we may make an informed decision the next time they are up for reelection. Tell us without equivocation where you stand on the governors proposal and the SPLOST.

Kevin Jarrard

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