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Your Views: Restaurants shouldnt hide health reports
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If you are interested in knowing the sanitary rating of a restaurant where you are considering dining, here is a tip. As you enter a restaurant, look for the Health Department sanitary rating report. It has been my experience, the rating is not on display or hidden if the rating is a B or worse. A ratings of course are always well-displayed.

Poor ratings are often not displayed or hidden from view, as no owner is proud of a poor rating and is going against the rules if they do not display sanitation ratings below an A.

The health inspectors visit all restaurants and inspect for possible health hazards. They prepare a detailed report for the proprietor and instructions on how to correct any problems found. This notice is to be posed in a conspicuous place for the benefit of those who enter. These timely reports are helpfully published by The Times on a regular basis.

Inspectors rate deficiencies with a number. Under the new system, these numbers are added together to determine the overall rating such 90 to 100 being an A, and on through B, etc.

These ratings are to be prominently displayed in the restaurant. Originally the Health Department's plans were to put the notice on the entrance of the establishment, but the Restaurant Association disapproved of this placement. The Health Department modified this requirement, but still requires specific prominent placement.

I suggest the health inspectors take an active roll in having the reports properly displayed as required at all times so a diner will see them before being seated. This visibility will mean more A ratings because the owners will feel pressure from an informed public to score an A.

Lee S. Bowers

Times series opens eyes to drug problem
Thanks to The Times for its stories on the growing abuse of prescription drugs by young people. These pills are a plague.

Even as more people become aware of this new plague, we need to remember this: The basic problem is that of mood-altering substances. Once a youngster is hooked on a mood altering substance, be it pot, pills, alcohol or something else; once they find they can feel good by taking a pill, at least temporarily; or once they find they can forget their problems with their parents and other young people, then it becomes much easier for them to move to try another mood-altering substance. When they're high, they've vulnerable.

Far too many will become addicts or alcoholics; mood-altering substances will wreck their lives.
All of us who work in recovery see people every day who have moved from a teenager getting an enjoyable high, one they thought was absolutely harmless, to an adult living in absolute hell, many of them wanting to quit, but unable to do so without help.

This is why we have recovery in the first place. People finally say, "I need help." The good news here in Hall County is that there are lots of choices in recovery, including, importantly, the traditional 12-step programs. These have long years of success in enabling alcoholics and addicts to stay clean and sober one day at a time.

The need for recovery is vast here in Hall County. We're fortunate that Gainesville is noted around Georgia for having a great recovery community. Thanks to the Times for opening the eyes of readers to the abuse of prescription drugs by the young.

Donna Keener
Flowery Branch