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Your Views: The Next Generation
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We must conserve water
It seems like everyone is talking about the same thing: water. With no rain and the draining of the lake, the problem arises that there isn't enough water to go around.

Water shortage affects homes, businesses, schools and many day to day activities of our lives. The only way to help this problem is for everyone to do their part in conserving water. Water shortages also affect our economy affecting local businesses that depend on water supply to produce or manufacture their product. There are businesses that require a large amount of water to keep them running and their business' profitable.

There are many ways we can conserve water, and one is by obeying the water bans. Even though this is hard for outdoor businesses, we should all do our part to help save water. Other ways to conserve water in our homes are by taking shorter showers, washing less clothing per week, and not letting water run unused.

Even homes with well water are having to take the same precautions as those using city water. There have been problems with wells going dry and new wells having to be drilled.

We do not realize until we have a water problem, how many people and places depend on our water source. It will take everyone practicing these ways to conserve water to help with the water problem.

Drew Cain
Chestatee High School

Corps should put people first
Lake Lanier water levels are at an all-time low, but at least the mussels in Florida are benefiting. The Corps of Engineers probably didn't realize that we were experiencing a drought when it drained millions of gallons of water from the lake and then told us to conserve more.

Maybe if the corps had controlled the flow more efficiently, we wouldn't be struggling to save what's left of our water supply. I'm all for saving an endangered species, but I think there should have been a more realistic solution.

Candace Bennison
Chestatee High School

State needs water education
Lake Lanier is low. So what are we going to do about it? Usually there is plenty of water in Georgia when it is raining about 50 inches each year. But we were not prepared for the drought.

I was researching the tri-state water war. It sounds like a lot of people saying, "What about me?" Florida and Alabama need the water as bad as we do. Atlanta's population has doubled in the last 20 years and it is expected that an estimated 2.3 million new people and 1.7 million new jobs will be added in the next 25 years.

The problem is not getting smaller. It is getting bigger. The question should not be who gets the water, but how can we get more water. Conservation is the answer. I don't think the general public fully understands the urgency of the problem. Education is the first step.

Texas provides educational materials to its communities. Major Rivers is a fourth- and fifth-grade curriculum focusing on Texas water resources and water conservation that was developed by the Lower Colorado River Authority. They have also developed an award-winning sixth-grade level curriculum with animated Web-based visualizations and hands-on, Internet-based activities. We need to be educated, too. I had no idea our water situation was this bad.

The state of Georgia should put together a task force. Educate the public. Make recommendations to businesses and residents very politely for a year then set strict laws and impose fines with the possibility of having your water cut off for a day if you get too many citations. It is time to take our water situation serious.

Ensley Alyse Martin

Fair Tax is a positive step
Those with jobs work long, hard hours and look forward to a hefty paycheck at the end of the month. In reality, a chunk is taken out due to the income tax for Uncle Sam.

The proposed Fair Tax plan would abolish all federal and corporate income taxes and would be replaced strictly with one simple retail sales tax. Instead of a general income tax (determined on salary), there would be just a 23 percent tax on goods or services. For a benefit, the Fair Tax plan would abolish the IRS and would also allow American products to compete fairly.

While some are skeptical of the idea, many believe the tax plan has a chance of being passed. Cars replaced the horse and buggy, the telephone replaced the telegraph, and the Fair Tax may someday replace the income tax. The income tax is holding us back and making it difficult for a better standard of living.

Tyler Esson
Chestatee High School

Pick up dead animals faster
As I was driving down Thompson Bridge Road last week, I almost hit a dead deer lying in the middle of my lane. When I drove back past that spot an hour later, the deer was still there.

If Gainesville employs people to clean up road kill, then why are they not doing their jobs? That deer could have possibly caused a wreck. Either Gainesville needs to hire more workers, or the workers who already have jobs need to respond faster.

Lindsey Sapp
Chestatee High School

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