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Your Views: Shedding more light on story of Gainesville High's Rock
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I enjoyed your article on the Gainesville High Rock, and thought you might have interest in just how it all began, the rest of the story as the late, great Paul Harvey would say.

As stated in the article, the rock was exposed during grading for the four-lane, but long after the school was built. An old, abandoned house sat nearby, soon to be demolished.

One night, during the basketball season of 1966-67, two students of the GHS class of '67 found themselves sitting on the wooden back steps of the old house pondering life, or at least their view of it.

While the two considered themselves — along with everyone who knew them, with the possible exception of their mothers — to be antisocial, the pair had a couple of redeeming qualities. Soon the topic of discussion turned to recent vandalism of GHS by students from a rival county school, and what could be done. Although reactionary by nature, they soon realized retaliation was not the answer. As they glazed about them, a large rock came into focus, and a rare moment of inspiration occurred.

What was needed was a type of scapegoat, a high profile symbol of GHS that would draw the focus of potential vandals away from public property. It could not have been clearer: The immovable rock would become a new symbol of GHS. A public statement of the strength and pride of the school, but most importantly a new target for the misspent energy of future vandals.
Knowing they had little clout with the school administrators, they figured if they presented the idea, it would die right there.

Soon, in the dark of the night, the rock took on its first coat of paint, and morphed into the GHS Rock. Cheerleaders were enlisted, pep rallies held, and a star was born. The rest is history.

Fletcher Carter
Dawsonville
Dan Maffett
Reno, Nev., formerly from Gainesville

What is the corps thinking with its ban of boat dock permits?
I have just gotten off the phone with Lisa Coughlin at the Corps of Engineers office in Mobile, Ala. This office makes decisions regarding the boat dock permits at Lake Lanier. I own lakefront property and have not been able to obtain a boat dock permit for the past three years because lake levels have been too low. Like me, I'm sure many others have been patiently waiting for the lake to rise to 1,064 feet, the acceptable level for purchasing boat dock permits. We are now at that level.

When I called the local corps office, I was told that new rules have just been enacted that state when the lake level reaches 1,064, it must sustain this level for 30 days before the corps will allow land owners to make an appointment for a dock permit.

I contacted the corps' main office in Mobile to question the new rules. I was told "to be fair to all" it is better to wait and give everyone a chance to get a dock after 30 days. I see no sense in this and I feel that three years of checking lake levels and waiting is long enough. I don't speak for all, but I bet there are many who have done exactly what I have done and see the end in sight, only to be told that there is a new end and we must wait longer.

The summer lake levels always go down. Why not give us this window to get our docks? It will add much-needed value to our property. This could surely help property tax revenues next year. I don't want to build a dock. I just want to be able to sell my property with the added value of a boat dock. It is next to impossible to sell lake property without the dock permit.

I will also be sending a letter to the Mobile office. If you share these concerns I urge you to write: Colonel Jorns, 109 St. Joseph St., Mobile, AL 36602, or contact your local elected officials.

Karen Varsha
Atlanta

What is the real torture here?
Muslim terrorist whack peoples heads off, tie bombs on themselves and blow up women and children in places of worship. Two American solders were captured some months ago in Iraq and troops found their bodies burned beyond recognition.

These people know no boundaries. They would blow America to kingdom come if they had the opportunity. And some are worried about pouring water in their face. I just don't get it?

Neil Boykin
Clermont

Osprey vs. GDOT: We know who wins that confrontation
Of course there is no contest in Georgia when you are coming up against the Georgia DOT. The fact is that the GDOT said the ospreys' nest on Bolding Bridge "had to go."

Not true. This is the ospreys' nesting season. Ospreys are migratory, the majority wintering south of the U.S. border. In other words, if the bridge was not structurally unsound, why could they not wait until the birds migrated south for the winter? Why did they have to disrupt them now?

Ospreys have suffered great declines in the past century as a result of DDT and other eggshell-thinning pesticides. I doubt the DNR would have approved the Georgia DOT's decision to destroy the nest.

Alice Brock
Gainesville

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