The Banks County News
April 12, 2000
to make sure their children don't miss too much school
It's good that the Banks County Board
of Education is targeting the high absenteeism rate among students.
These students need to learn how important it is to attend school
every day-unless illness or death in the family prevents them
from doing so.
A student who learns these values will grow up to be a good worker.
Unfortunately, work ethic is one of the main problems employers
deal with. They have employees who are late or absent on a regular
basis. These employees probably got into these bad habits as
If we start early in teaching the importance of attending school
and being on time, we will have young adults who will grow up
with the right work ethic. The kind of work ethic that is needed
in order for our county to prosper and grow.
Parents are the ones who should be providing the proper role
model for their children. Their work habits should be good and
they should make sure their child is at school every day. Absences
for non-emergencies shouldn't be tolerated today because they
won't be tolerated when these teenagers turn into adults.
Banks County News
April 12, 2000
Responds to letter on nuclear weapons
In response to last week's letter calling for the abolition of
nuclear weapons, I feel compelled to write. I have had the privilege
of serving in the Air Force as a nuclear weapons technician and
feel qualified to clarify a few misconceptions.
Nuclear weapons were developed by the United States in the 1940s
in order to end World War II as quickly as possible. Their long-term
stockpiling by the United States has permitted this country to
avoid being directly attacked by one or more of its many enemies
for over 50 years. Nuclear weapons are the most horrendous thing
mankind has ever developed. It is their absolute certainty that
we will use them to defend ourselves, if necessary, that scares
our enemies into accepting peace. We must continually work toward
peace, but we must remain militarily strong to discourage those
who would do us harm.
As far as the hair trigger goes, it just does not exist. There
are numerous safety mechanisms in place to prevent any accidental
launches. Hollywood would have you believe anything to get you
to buy a movie ticket. It is pure fantasy. It would be a far
better use of time to write the president encouraging more efforts
to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, biological
and other military technology to rogue states. That is the biggest
The Banks County News
April 12, 2000
Change is good?
Change is good, right? That's what people
like to say and prefer to think. But in reality, change can be
very stressful, even if it is "good" change.
And, typically, one person's change does not only affect him
or her but, rather, has a ripple effect, touching those in the
We've had some changes around here lately, with a couple of people
leaving. It's a stressful thing. Not only does the workload shift,
the personality "pool" shifts. When people you've worked
with for years leave, not only is there a big gap in the scheme
of "who gets what work done," there is also, and really
more importantly, suddenly a hole in the overall "feel"
of the workplace.
Mary Ann Robinson has worked with us for about four years, doing
just about everything from front office duties to covering meetings,
writing columns, typing immense stacks of copy, "dummying"
and laying out many, many pages.
She started a new job this week, and it seems clearly to be a
good change for her and for her family. I think all of us in
the news department are happy for her but, selfishly, I guess,
sad for us.
The list of things she did on a weekly basis at work for the
four newspapers is frighteningly long, but that aside, the absence
of her friendly smile, generally upbeat and positive attitude
and typically calm presence is the greater loss. (She may laugh
at all of that, but the rest of us have frequently marveled at
how peaceful and in control she seems.)
Walking in the door and smelling freshly brewing coffee was a
daily reminder each morning of Mary Ann's thoughtfulness. Certainly
we will continue to see her - we are already planning lunch outings
- and possibly our mournful attitudes are becoming tiresome for
her. I hope she can take it as a compliment and know that we
think her new co-workers are lucky.
We'll miss you, Mary Ann! Let's have lunch soon.
Sherry Lewis, long-time news editor for The Banks County News,
is also saying good-bye. Many of you may have read her column
to that effect and, like us, said, "Oh, no!"
Sherry is another co-worker who has the ability to wear many
hats well, from typing and editing to covering meetings to taking
photographs to writing columns to filling in on front office
duties. Her list is a long one, too. In fact, just about every
Banks County News page I lay out has "By Sherry Lewis"
somewhere on it.
Since I spend my time in Jefferson and Sherry is in Banks County
- except for a brief weekly visit to the Herald office to drop
off photos and meet with Angie - I haven't actually worked "with"
Sherry very often. But it's always nice to see her and say hello
in passing on Mondays.
Sherry, I'll miss you on our news staff beach trips! Who else
will brave the waves with me?
Well, change is here. And there are some good ways to look at
it - our co-worker friends have some good opportunities ahead
of them, and summer is on its way and we'll be seeing more of
Adam, the news staff intern, and enjoy his wacky sense of humor.
Words from a Sheryl Crow song - "I think a change (a change)
will do you good..." -keep going through my head. Good luck,
Mary Ann and Sherry.
Jana Adams is features editor of The Jackson Herald.