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Your Views: Local emergency workers show how to treat people
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Truly, I get tired, as many people do, of hearing all the "anti-this" and "anti-that" commentaries. Granted, we definitely have some very deep-seeded concerns that will affect us long into our golden years if not checked or given serious thought before actions are taken.

However, I have a couple incidents to which I would like to express some long overdue credit where credit is due.

A few weeks ago I was eating lunch with friends at a local eatery on the square when a lady at the table next to us began having symptoms of what appeared to be a heart attack. A cell phone was used to call the emergency medical technicians and they were prompt to respond.

The young men were professional in every sense of the word. They were courteous and concerned, putting the lady at ease as they assessed the situation and prepared to take her to the hospital. There were eight or nine of us at our table and the consensus was that we were all very proud of our emergency medical technicians.

The second incident was in the local office of a well-known vascular surgeon. A lady was brought into the office on a gurney by two Hall County emergency medical technicians working for a local medical transport service. In the course of waiting to see the surgeon we began a conversation.

I can honestly say the two young emergency medical technicians from the fire station at Gillsville are an asset to the system and, again, professional is the word I have to use. They were most caring of their charge and without question attentive to her comfort.

I know we have a large number of exceptional fire service and medical service personnel in the city and in the county and I feel fortunate to have had an opportunity to see these young men in action from both our two departments.

Thank you, Gainesville and Hall County emergency medical and fire services.

Connie Howard Propes

Time for Golden Rule when it comes to health care plan
Apparently, we have reached a stage where we health care reform advocates have no remaining option but to plead with our opponents to simply put themselves in the shoes of those in dire need of a new system.

If you or a loved one were suffering or dying solely because you could not pay for the right treatment, or are at least vulnerable to that kind of predicament, I naturally doubt you would want stingy Republican voters screeching at you in town halls as you tried to explain your plight or to have frank Republican politicians — whose honesty hurts worse than their lies — telling you to suck it up.

I acknowledge that invoking the Golden Rule here is likely to be deemed childish, but I would just prefer not to waste my ink through unproductive anger. Instead, let me just ask you this: When is America going to swallow an altogether trivial amount of its pride, admit to having a malignant lump in its health care format, and go get it treated even if it means borrowing some effective ideas from our Canadian and European friends?

Some degree of uniqueness is important when it comes to a country’s identity, but not when it hurts a plurality of its citizens.

Remember, even if you yourself are well off now, there’s no guarantee that will last a lifetime. Therefore, we all need this.

Al Daniel

Corps’ policies did nothing to ease flooding problems
It’s great that the Lake Lanier water level is rising, but at what cost to our state? The flood damage is going to be devastating for property owners since most don’t have flood insurance. Most weren’t in a flood plain to even be eligible for federal flood insurance. Now they’ll have to suffer during these poor economic times to dry out and repair the damage and lost furnishings.

What I would like to address with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is that again they have mismanaged the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basin. Years ago, it was barge traffic that more water was pulled out of Lanier for. The next fight was when the endangered species act for the mussels and sturgeons was passed. Then the power plant in Alabama and yada-yada, as it changes with the hot air breeze of the tri-state water war.

Now with the stupidity of a new federal judge, this summer’s ruling that Lanier is not for water use for Atlanta (Gwinnett) gives us three years to find alternative resources. Oh, and by the way, the ACF system was design originally for "flood control." Well, that seems to be bogus now, too, since it can’t even do that. We can go back as early as 1995, 1998 and 2004-05 tropical systems that flooded very similarly to what has occurred this week.

At this point, it seems that the manuals to operate the ACF basin are a joke and the people of North Georgia are paying a high price for their mistakes.

Water was still being released from Buford Dam during this rain event. Granted the releases over the weekend and this past Monday were less, but it still flooded the Chattahoochee with unnecessary water instead of dropping it a few feet to handle the massive runoff. Just think what a 3-foot drop in the river level would have done to help flush the run off through the system; maybe the flooding wouldn’t have been as extensive.

I’m not a scientist or a political guru, but just watching the missed opportunities to operate a functional water way of a major basin is laughable. Or you just want to scream.

Jane Browder