Banks County Opinions...

May 24, 2000


Editorial
The Banks County News
May 24, 2000

Special people serving
children of our comunity

The crime pages are filled each week with violent stories of domestic disputes and other incidents involving children. These altercations often occur in the middle of the night and the children need a place to stay.
It takes a very special person to take a child they don't know into their home in the middle of the night. It also takes a special person to take these children into their homes and lives for as long as it takes for their parents to get their lives back on track.
These special people are called foster parents, and they serve our communities by caring for children in need. Hillary Clinton has often been quoted as saying "it takes a village" to raise a child. Nowhere is this more true than in the foster parent program, where selfless volunteers take children into their homes, often under tragic circumstances.
There are many children in need in Banks County, but only seven trained families who serve as foster parents. So many more are needed to help these children. Volunteers must go through detailed training and pass a thorough background check before they are approved. It's not easy and it is something they do for the love of their community and its children. They don't do it for the money or the recognition. They do it because they want to make a difference in someone's life.
May is National Foster Parent Month, which is a way to bring recognition to this program and the many volunteers needed to make it a success. Those interested should search their hearts, and if they are certain they want to be a part of foster parenting, call the local department of family and children services to begin the process.
For more information, call 677-2272.


Column
By Drew Brantley
The Banks County News
May 24, 2000

Solving 'People' problems
People often confuse me. The frustration comes because there are so many different kinds of people. Now I am not talking about certain personalities, nationalities, big-nosed people or those who talk with a lisp. When I say people, I mean the "Big P" people.
The most important group of people is The People.
The People ordained and established the Constitution of the United States. The People have a weekly magazine. The People have a right to know. There are men of The People and women of The People.
The People have choices, candidates, mandates, wills, won'ts, wonts, wants and desires. The People say many things that shape the culture.
But The People cannot be confused with Ordinary People. Ordinary People have specific interests. Most of the time, Ordinary People tout having common sense.
Ordinary People are often in line with The People, but Ordinary People can have beliefs that are contrary to The People when "The People just aren't like they used to be."
Most People are seldom heard from, though they are spoken for all the time. Ordinary People will tell you that Most People agree with them a lot.
But Most People and Ordinary People are very different from Some People.
Some People have people who call other people's people to set up lunches. Some People just don't get it sometimes.
Sometimes people are Just People
But The People are always more than Just People.
Some People do things that Ordinary People would never do. And though Some People are occasionally willing to do more, you can never know what Some People will do.
Most People can go either way on anything. That just depends on whether Some People or Ordinary People are speaking for Most People.
In the list of people, there's also My People, Your People, Their People and the certain Some People who just aren't Our People.
Some People can do despicable things. Ordinary People can do bad things, but they cannot sink to levels that Some People will.
And The People are always right even when they are wrong.
Ordinary People believe Most People agree Some People are always bringing down The People.
See my confusion?
I never know exactly where I fit all the time with regard to people. I frequently feel like Some People.
Sometimes I feel like Ordinary People. But I am never sure when I am with The People because they seem to confuse the bigger issues.
The People elected Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton to two terms each in the White House. I don't understand how both two-terms could happen.
One or the other could make sense, but both of them should make Most People wonder about The People.
I have thought many times that Ordinary People need to wake up and see what is really going on.
For instance, if Ordinary People had been paying attention, the whole Reagan-Clinton thing would not have happened.
While The People and Ordinary People can cause big problems, Some People frequently cause little nuisances.
Some People kept "Full House" on TV for more than the two weeks Most People would have given it. Some People like The Backstreet Boys.
Some People enjoy eating mushrooms cooked in that brown sauce that looks like something in a cow pasture after a thunderstorm.
But I am just one single person.
In the whole people debate, I am a lone voice. And while The People will say that I have a message that should be heard, Most People know that one person does not have that much strength. So, there's just no alternative. You've got to latch on with one of the peoples.
I guess the answer is that people will be People.
And Some People, Most People and The People should agree with that.
Drew Brantley is the sports editor for The Commerce News and The Banks County News.

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Column
By Angela Gary
The Banks County News
May 24, 2000

Savannah: A strong
southern town filled with lots of history
The fragrant aroma of honeysuckle as we walk along the river front. Pigeons flying overhead and huge fish occasionally making an appearance as they splash across the water. Speedboats with laughing children and adults racing by in the background.
The southern accent of a tour guide as she cracks, "If you have a cell phone and you're not waiting for an organ for a transplant, turn it off." Smiling as the trolley passes by the "functional follies" created by those carefree students at the local college of art. One piece of "artwork" is an upright tree house, while another is a tree house that is falling down.
Heading out to a spot far removed from the touristy downtown area to find a small restaurant where the "locals" eat. Waiting for almost an hour before sitting down to a huge plate of fresh broiled oysters, shrimp, scallops and fish.
A late lunch at an elegant tea room with shrimp-stuffed tomatoes, breadsticks, moist, creamy cake and hot tea. The intimate atmosphere surrounded by antique shelves and tea pots.
Every time I return to Savannah, I like it a little better. The summer I lived there 12 years ago, I didn't like it that much. It was my first time living away from my family and I was homesick. I didn't know how to cook and I was too shy to venture out and try all the cool restaurants.
Looking back, I realize how much I missed out on during the three months I lived in Savannah while I had an internship at the newspaper there. I was young and shy and didn't have many adventures. It would certainly be different now. I try to make up for all that I missed by visiting at least once a year and trying new things.
The first weekend in May, I went to the annual seafood festival on the river. The experiences I listed above are just a few that stand out in my memory from the three-day visit. The weather was wonderful and everyone had a great time.
Savannah has been through a lot over the years, with hurricane damage, vandalism of the historic markers in town and the destruction of one of the quaint squares among the tragedies it has weathered. A look back at the history of the southern town and the seven women who saved the historic district and made it what it is today shows that the town will always survive and prosper. As for that square it lost, those seven ladies won a court battle, with the judge ruling that the parking deck would be torn down in 50 years and returned to a square formation. That 50 years runs out in only four more years and the descendants of those women plan to be on hand when the parking deck comes down. I think I'd like to be there too. It would be great to see a part of the town be returned to its former glory. Savannah is a strong southern town filled with people who don't back down and who fight for what is right. I'm proud to call it my "second home."
Angela Gary is editor of The Banks County News and associate editor of The Jackson Herald.


Letter To The Editor
The Banks County News
May 24, 2000

Urges that Green Party be
included on ballot

Dear Editor:
For Banks County registered voters who. like me, are disillusioned with both major parties, there is a choice. We can vote for the Green Party-if we can get it on the ballot. In order to do this, the Georgia Green Party needs to collect over 39,000 signatures of registered voters, statewide, by noon July 11. Signing a petition does not commit a signer to vote Green. It simply requests that the Green Party, along with the two major parties, be included on the ballot.
Some people will ask, "Why vote for third-party candidates, or even include them on the ballot, when we know they won't win?" The answer is that over the years third parties have had a tremendous influence on the major political parties, forcing them to adopt much-needed reforms, like child labor laws. Also, third party candidates often win state or local elections. About a hundred years ago, the Populist Party was quite successful in winning elections in some parts of the country.
Ralph Nader, the well-known consumer activist, is running for nomination as the Green Party's candidate for president. In a speech announcing his candidacy, he described the two major parties as "two heads of one political duopoly, the DemRep Party." Mr. Nader and the Green Party advocate campaign finance reform to cut down on the influence that wealthy contributors (both individuals and corporations) have on candidates and elected officials. One major goal of the Green Party is to preserve and protect the earth's environment. Another is to reverse the current trend of the rich getting richer and the poor poorer while the middle class shrinks.
Among Mr. Nader's priorities are helping small farmers and small businesses to survive, eliminating corporate welfare-the tax breaks and subsidies now enjoyed by big corporations-providing more affordable housing for low-income citizens, changing the tax structure so that wealth will be distributed more evenly, raising the minimum wage and curbing the power of multi-national corporations that ignore workers' rights and damage the environment.
The Green Party acquired its name because of its concern with keeping the planet livable, a concern that Ralph Nader shares. He advocates requiring auto companies to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles to reduce our dependence on oil and cut down on air pollution. In addition, he wants the government to subsidize research and development of renewable energy instead of providing subsidies to the nuclear and petroleum industries. Another priority is strict enforcement of anti-pollution laws, to clean up the air, water and soil.
I am collecting signatures of Banks County voters requesting that the Green Party be included on the ballot, but I need lots of help. If you would like to help with the petition drive, call me at (706) 776-6931 and ask me to send you one or more copies of the petition. Each petition has room for twelve signatures. If I'm not at home, leave a message on my answering machine with your name, address and phone number.

Sincerely, Emily B. Calhoun, Alto


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