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Your Views: History tour for visitor makes him a lover of Gainesville
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I spent two days last week in Gainesville for a meeting at the Georgia Mountains Center. This was my second trip to Gainesville in the past six months and I had a chance to really take in the community more on this trip.

After the first day of my meeting, I ventured out to Alta Vista Cemetery to pay my respects to a favorite son of South Carolina, the great general, James Longstreet. After a few minutes visiting the general's grave, a truck pulled up and a man got out and walked toward me. I thought for sure I had done something wrong, but he pulled a brochure out, handed it to me, and began to tell me a brief history of Gainesville. Ignoring the fact that it was closing in on dinner time, he personally took me on a tour of several points of interest around Gainesville.

The man's name is Vince Evans, a longtime employee of the city and in my opinion, a tremendous asset to the people and government of Gainesville.

Being a son of the South and growing up in a smaller city, much like Gainesville, but in South Carolina, I cannot tell you how refreshing it was to have someone like Vince come up to me and show that kind of hospitality to a total stranger.

As a result of this last visit, I am joining the Longstreet Society and will be getting involved in the effort to make Lake Lanier a cleaner, litter-free body of water through my nonprofit organization.

If you get a chance to see Vince, give him a pat on the back. He is a tribute to what makes Gainesville a wonderful city and a large part of my inspiration to make an effort to do my part as an outsider to assist in a community that I have almost instantly fallen in love with!

Victor Webster
Florence, S.C.

‘Annie' was a first-rate theater production
I recently had the pleasure of attending the opening night performance of the Gainesville Parks and Recreation's production of "Annie" at the high school theatre. My husband and I were absolutely astounded at the excellent quality of the production. The sets and costumes were impressive, the choreography and musicians accomplished, and the onstage participants extremely well-trained.
Your community is most fortunate to have someone of the caliber of Pam Ware to produce such a remarkably high level of entertainment.

The performance was one of the most entertaining we have attended in recent times. We have frequently paid many times the price for tickets to professional productions which were not any better, if as good, as the delightful evening of enjoyment presented by Ms. Ware and Gainesville Parks and Recreation. Bravo!

Martha H. Whitehead Jones
Highlands, N.C., and Orlando, Fla.

State leaders should fight to save Lanier
Thank you to Jane Browder for her excellent assessment of the colossal mismanagement of Lake Lanier.

As an international business consultant, I've seen my share of poor decision making, but nothing more frighteningly stupid than allowing the water supply of a major city to be drained and lying to the public by blaming the drought. If this was a company it would be broke and someone would be going to jail.

Gov. Perdue's answer was to hold a prayer session on the courthouse steps. Nothing against the Almighty, but is this the best management solution from the leader of our state? Here's one: Stop releasing the water!

And stop relying on tropical storms, hurricanes and God to refill the lake. Try competent management. Stop blaming the drought and take responsibility for ravaging this vital resource. Start holding daily press conferences that pressure Congress to stop the releases before it's too late.

Legislators have large egos and can be embarrassed into action if enough heat is applied in the media. Note to Perdue, Sens. Isakson and Chambliss and Rep. Deal: You're ‘whistling past the graveyard' on this crisis. Stop engaging in polite discussions and start fighting for Lake Lanier like you actually care about it.

Steve Siebold