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Your views: Heroes are plentiful if we know where to look
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There are extraordinary people who you meet daily in ordinary places. We hear on the news and read in the paper of people who are seemingly inapproachable such as presidents, governors, and leaders of state who are out doing things which make news. However, I have had an opportunity to meet individuals who have done extremely extraordinary things and I have met them in the most ordinary places.

I get my hair cut about every four to six weeks at a barber shop off the square in Gainesville which has been there for 32 years. Larry McClure has an unassuming store front which may very well may be one of the last true barber shops in Hall County. The barber pole is still outside. There had been three chairs in his shop but now there is only one. Perhaps, it is indicative of the times or of the people. At that barber shop, I had an opportunity to meet Jimmy B. Gibbs who lives here in Gainesville. Unfortunately, in his older years, Jimmy has had a stroke but as a young man was a United States Marine. During Jimmy's time in the corps, he was at the battle of Chosin Reservoir where 30,000 troops faced 150,000 Chinese troops in a brutal battle in freezing weather. Many years later, Jimmy was contacted by the Pentagon and sent maps of the location of where he had been in combat. The Pentagon was asking for his assistance in trying to locate the bodies of our United States Marines. These Marines had been buried in makeshift graves in ground so cold that bulldozers had to be used to break it.

Yesterday, I got another haircut at Larry McClure's Baber Shop. During the course of my time there, a conversation was struck up between me and the gentlemen on my right and left. The gentleman on my left had been a gunner in a B-17 during World War II.

He had survived saturation bombing over Germany during daylight raids. On my right sat Col. Guy Gardner, a distinguished fighter pilot from Vietnam, test pilot and shuttle astronaut. All three of these men are heroes, men of valor, purpose and honor. All three of these men were found sitting in a barber shop in Gainesville.

None of them had been on American Idol, none of them had been in People magazine but each one is real and extraordinary. These are the types of people we should be emulating. These folks represent the best of America. There is a slogan which says "buy local", well, you can also look locally for heroes. They are in the chair next to you at the barber shop.

B. E. "Gene" Roberts III

Motorpark will bring growth to Dawson
Many thanks to all of you who are proponents of the Atlanta Motorsports Park. With your support and the vision of the developer our community will thrive with new opportunities and growth.

I truly am a resident of and for Dawsonville. I would like to say that I welcome this proposed new addition to our city. Who out there isn't monitoring the reports of our floundering economy? Why would you ask that this project be kicked to the curb or sent packing?

Does everyone you know have employment? If you are observant, you'll see that Dawsonville could use a boost in prosperity. Were it not for the outlet mall and the prosperous corridor of businesses that it spawned, our tiny town would scarcely exist.

I expect this business to inject renewed fervor and enthusiasm into our sputtering climate. I am proud AMP has chosen Dawsonville because it has a genuine love of the automobile and a history that proves it. This project will bring jobs to our town and the promise of ancillary businesses that will augment his creation. The taxes generated by this project alone will pay for much needed improvements and additions to our infrastructure. All of this is a positive to me. While nothing is truly recession proof, this business is a step toward a financial upswing for our community.

Ideally, people often refuse change but, change is essential and this is positive change. It promotes growth and prosperity not avarice and carelessness. We will be recognized as a city with keen imagination, supporting "green" projects (The only green project to date in Dawson County) and thoughtful insight not just the hospitality for which we are already known. We need to extend the olive branch to this business and the team and bring his vision to fruition!

I love my family too and I have made new friends as well. Some of these new friends are not just locals. They are neighbors from all around who have disposable incomes and want to spend their money in our town!

Although I may never become a member of this proposed club, that doesn't mean I need to oppose it. This is not science, its math. The developer's dollars plus our citizens equals economic growth!

Stephen Caldwell

Motorpark will bring noise, pollution, traffic
I would respectfully like to bring this to your attention concerning the rezoning for the Atlanta Motorsports Park.
This "park" will have more of a widespread effect than we think. It will also have a ripple effect and touch the lives of those that may live outside of the noise radius.

I do not live in Dawson County. However, I frequently work in this area. The constant noise, pollution and extra traffic will greatly affect my being able to work and therefore, have a negative effect on my life and economy. I am sure that "Jeremy Porter's Job Opportunity" list will not have a position that I could fill to replace my work. There are many people that have a similar situation.

We also help support Dawson County by bringing our hard earned dollars into Dawson County in the form of purchases and supporting local business when we are working there.

The motor track might bring in more jobs, but what about the jobs and lifestyle that already exist and that it will have a negative impact on? Like it or not, a moral issue is connected to this rezoning.

Someone should exchange their pocketbook for conscience.

Mary Haarer

Obama using science, not dogma to lead
This letter is in further response after the excellent rebuttal by Lorraine Watkins on April 3 of Trevor Thomas' column of March 30 in The Times. I shall start by stating, as Mr. Thomas did that first and foremost I am a humanistic scientist.

Since mankind has the ability for self-fulfillment, ethical conduct, etc., without recourse to supernaturalism, which happens to be one definition of humans, there is little need to continue blind faith in the mythological religious creations of ancient, primitive societies.

A person can believe in, live by an promote his moral convictions and concern for humanity without religion and which would alleviate the need to attack scientific facts which contradict many religious teachings, as Mr. Thomas does so often so poorly, but relentlessly.

As we are now experiencing the catastrophic aftermath of Bush's leadership (driven by dogma, ideology and politics) instead of intelligence, science and facts. It should now be clear that if every one throughout history has been staunchly religious and tyrannical as was the Catholic Church, we would still be experiencing the Dark Ages, that is if humanity had survived at all.

So, now we have Mr. Obama, who though admittedly inexperienced, is using, yes science, but also intelligence and facts as best he can determine them in lieu of "dogma, ideology and politics" to guide his decision making. Go for it Pres!

Jim Scharnagel