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OPINION PAGE - FEBRUARY 2, 2000 - HOMER, GA

Editorial
The Banks County News
February 2, 2000

Thanks to those who worked during storm
When snow and sleet blanket an area, most folks stay indoors where it's warm and safe. After getting several days worth of groceries, many Banks Countians spent the past two weekends indoors.
There is one group of people who have to do the opposite when winter weather arrives. These dedicated people have to go outdoors into the snow and sleet to make it safe for those in the county who do have to travel on the roads.
Emergency medical personnel and volunteer firemen and public safety workers have been putting in long hours in Banks County over the past two weeks. County employees who work in public safety and road maintenance, along with utility company staff members, have also put in some long hours.
The winter storm, with its sleet and snow, has caused these hard-working men and women to go out in dangerous conditions to clear the roadways and get the power back on. We are thankful for them to endangering their lives to make the county safer for all of us.


Letters
The Banks County News
February 2, 2000

Senate bill is 'threat' to environment
Dear Editor:
Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott has indicated that he may bring S. 1287, "The Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2000," to the Senate floor this week. This is dangerous legislation that is a threat to the health and environment of all citizens.
This bill launches the largest nuclear waste transportation plan in human history, sending thousands of tons of dangerous waste through our towns and communities. Who would respond to an inevitable accident? Our local emergency response teams who are not properly trained to handle such a disaster, that's who. Should we endanger their health as well as our own?
S. 1287 also mandates that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) set the radiation standard for the Yucca Mountain depository, which is like letting the fox guard the hen house. Should we really let the darling of the nuclear industry serve as its watchdog?
Lott is downplaying the dangers that this legislation would impose on Americans to satisfy the nuclear industry. For too long, America has been in denial about our nuclear waste problem. Now lawmakers are faced with a problem with implications too immense to imagine, and they are bowing to the nuclear industry's demands, rather than protecting public health and the environment. This bill should not be brought to the Senate floor for consideration, but if it is, it should be voted down with a resounding "Nay" from those who claim to represent the people of America.
Sincerely,
Adele Kushner
Alto

Column
By Sherry Lewis
The Banks County News
February 2, 2000

Discovering a love of animals
I was sitting at lunch with my two aunts, Jean Dykes and Rita Chambers, last week when it suddenly dawned on me how much we have in common. That may be a strange statement coming from a niece, but Jean lives in Alabama and Rita lives in Gainesville.
As we dined, it seemed the conversation centered around children and pets. While my great love for pets has been short-lived, my aunts have always been "animal crazy."
My early memories of Jean include a black poodle that traveled with her almost everywhere. That was probably 30 years ago, but I quickly found out she still loves animals. Presently, she has five cats at home and six in a local park that she feeds every day. These are not all ordinary cats, you know; one is actually "Miss September." Just like a proud Mama, she pulled out a photograph of "Flame," who made the Humane Society's calendar of cats in 2000.
As for Rita, I always remember her sending me cards when I was a child that said "Love, Rita and Heidi," who happened to be her dog at the time.
Now let me tell you about my reservations concerning pets. It all started with "Don Juan," the chihuahua, a friend's dog, who tried to eat my ankles off every time I saw him. My dog experiences got worse after that. I was playing at a neighbor's house, when their German Shepherd got out of a fence and nailed me in the behind. So, however animal crazy my relatives are, I didn't expect it to happen to me but it did.
I gave my children two cocker spaniels four years ago. Last year Beau got killed and that left Pepper outside and all alone. After a lot of persuasion from my family, I started letting her stay in the house sometimes. I guess we women stick together, because when I'm home and she's inside, when you find me, you will find her. My children now want a new dog because of this new-found friendship between me and Pepper.
I guess I've learned being animal crazy is not so bad after all.
Sherry Lewis is news editor of The Banks County News.


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