Send by e-mail to email@example.com; by fax to 770-532-0457; or mail to The Times, P.O. Box 838, Gainesville, GA 30503. Include full name, hometown and phone number. Letters must be confirmed before being considered for publication. They should be limited to one topic on issues of public interest and may be edited for content and length. Letters forwarded from other sources or those involving personal matters, business disputes, poetry, expressions of faith or memorial tributes may be rejected. You may be limited to one letter every two weeks (one per month beginning April 1). Submitted items may be published in print, electronic or other forms. Letters, columns and cartoons express the opinions of the authors and not The Times.
On March 17, Hall County voters will have the opportunity to continue making our county one of the livable, healthy and green communities in the state. By voting "yes" to renew the 1-cent special option sales tax, Hall County will be able to undertake public projects that will greatly improve the quality of our lives.
SPLOST will, as in the past, help with highway and building projects, such as enhancements to Chicopee Woods Park, widening Spout Springs Road and extending sewer service in North Hall, all worthy and needed projects. But in addition, this SPLOST will help projects that will keep our county green and its residents healthy.
Cyclists, walkers and rollerskaters will welcome the addition of green space. SPLOST supports the extension of the Hall Multi-Use Trail that the county will begin this year. The initial phase of the trail will connect Gainesville State College to the Chicopee Wooks Park and beyond to the wide sidewalk on Palmour Drive.
This connection will link nearly 30 miles of off-road cycling as a safe, traffic-free corridor between the college and Chicopee Woods mountain bike trails system. The addition of the multi-use trial, much like the Silver Comet Trail in Cobb and Paulding counties, creates a recreation and transportation attraction for cyclists at all skill levels.
A "yes" vote on March 17 will create the funding to extend this 12 foot-wide paved trail beyond Gainesville State College to McEver Road, giving potential for future connection to greenway projects in Flowery Branch and Oakwood. Maps illustrating the multi-use trail are on display at Bike Town U.S.A. in Gainesville and at Adventure Cycles in Flowery Branch.
A "yes" vote for SPLOST is a vote for a healthier Hall County. Given the increasing illness and health care concerns in the U.S., the multi-use trail is good news for Hall County. Too many children are hooked on TV and video games and few just get outside to play the way children did 30 years ago. This fact is directly linked to childhood obesity and diabetes.
Cycling is the No. 1 activity that gets children into the outdoors and away form video monitors. Furthermore, we all know that it's not only children who will benefit from the multi-use trail, but adults, too.
Whether you would like to see improvements to health care in South Hall, a new post office or improvements to our parks and recreational facilities, there is something in this SPLOST that will appeal to you. While this new SPLOST affords us many improvements, we can take comfort in the fact that this is not a tax increase; it is merely a continuation of a voluntary tax.
Additionally, statistics show that 40 percent of the SPLOST is paid by visitors to Hall County. There are many important and worthy projects in this SPLOST and I urge everyone to take the time to vote on March 17.
Executive Director, Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association, Gainesville
Digital TV signal comes in better with boxes, antenna
I've enjoyed good TV reception on an antenna for years. I got two digital boxes early on. I love them. I get a total of 39 channels clearly now. This is great.
I bought a new digital TV and hooked it to the same antenna connection, programmed channels in, and only could receive half the channels because some would go in and out.
Next, I bought a DVD/VCR digital tuner, all together, with the same results as with the digital TV: Poor reception.
Going back to the digital box, I get 39 clear channels. If you live more than 50 miles from the signal, you might not get good reception.
Also, digital signals are all UHF. So if you don't have a good combination VHF-UHF antenna, you could have a problem. I say get your box and try it before you purchase anything else. Good luck.