More Jackson County Opinions...

 June 28, 2000

Column
By Shar Porier
The Jackson Herald
June 28, 2000

Adventures in motoring
Many years ago, when I first moved to Atlanta, the traffic didn't bother me much. Coming from a large city, I was used to traffic jams and idiot drivers. I could cruise the expressways and streets and not be concerned with careless drivers. "Drive Defensively" was the motto of the times.
But, as the years passed, and the city grew and grew, it became harder and harder to get around town. A new generation of "devil-may-care" drivers had evidently gotten their pilot wings instead of driver's licenses. The roadways became a do-or-die situation. And as the city swelled with new cultures bringing with them their motoring habits, which seemed to be "anything goes," I realized that the old motto had been replaced with a new one - "Drive Offensively." And believe me, there were plenty of offensive drivers on the highways.
Now programmed with the new attitude of the road, I found myself becoming one of those maniacal, "lane-hopping," "get-out-of-my-way" drivers. Then I happened to see an old Donald Duck cartoon, where he starts out so happy to be out on the open road and loses it when he finds himself stuck in a traffic jam. And you know Donald­when that guy loses it, he really loses it. Hmmm, yep, that was me. Getting upset when someone cut me off. Using various expletives. Aaarrgh! I had turned into a Donald Duck.
Well, that thought came as a revelation to me. A repulsive one, at that. So, I had to change gears and get back my nice, polite, patient personality and leave Donald behind. Not an easy task, but I was able to rid myself of the Atlanta/Donald temperament.
When I moved up here 10 years ago, it was wonderful to be free of the tie-ups, wrecks and three million people trying to get around. I got used to the quiet of the county roads. I-985 and Hwy. 365 were smooth sailing. It was great! Ahh, tranquility behind the wheel. Who could ask for more?
That lasted about five years. With the tremendous growth in the Northeast Georgia area, I began to see the wicked trend of offensive driving spreading up here like a bad epidemic.
The left lane of the expressways had transformed into the "zoom" lane when the speed limit was changed. Don't get in that lane unless you're ready to hit 75-80 mph or even faster! (A DJ in Atlanta had referred to it as the "LS lane" - the Ludicrous Speed lane.) It doesn't matter that you're one of three cars passing a slower car or semi, they'll still ride your bumper, like there's something you can do about it!!
And, for sure, don't trust the person ahead of you to turn on the signal indicator when the driver's going to make a turn. Has that now become an option on cars? And some people figure, "Well, I'd rather have these cool hubcaps instead."
If the driver does turn it on, don't trust that that's the direction the car will be heading! Then there are the drivers who leave the signal indicator on and you have no idea where, when, or if, they're going to turn.
Having already learned one must adapt to varying conditions, I decided I needed a new slogan. Now, my motto is "Be prepared." I think the scouts have something there.
Shar Porier is a reporter for MainStreet Newspapers who resides in Alto.



Letter To The Editor
The Jackson Herald
June 28, 2000

Why no beautification
efforts in Jefferson?

Dear Editor:
As a property owner in the village of Jefferson for 12 years, I have yet to see the administration of the town do one single solitary act of beautification. Not even the planting of a tree.
The present city coffers are full. If not now, in prosperous times, then when would it occur?
I would love to hear an answer.
Thank you.

Sincerely, Gary Hudson



Letter To The Editor
The Jackson Herald
June 28, 2000

Thanks to Hammerhead coaches
Dear Editor:
I want to congratulate Coach Pat Blenke and his assistant, Thomas Durrence, and thank them for leading the Jefferson 11- and 12-year-old boys' baseball team, the Hammerheads, to the championship of their division.
I am the grandmother of a player, Joshua Ryan, and I went to all the games. I noticed the kind, easy-going conduct of their super coaches. There were never any put-downs, scoldings or unpleasant actions - only praise, support and encouragement. This gave the players confidence in themselves and a determination to do their very best.
I feel sure that the families of all the players appreciate, as I do, the leadership and teamwork that made winning possible.

Sincerely, Kay Garrison

Jackson County Opinion Index

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Column
By Adam Fouche
The Commerce News
June 28, 2000

A Future Candidate For Mayor
In just a few short years now, I'll be officially announcing my intentions to run for mayor of Commerce.
But I thought it would be a good idea for me to approach you voters now and let you know how qualified my qualifications make me. I urge you to check my qualifications, but only if you are qualified to check qualifications.
I've put a lot into this campaign, though it is three or four years early. I had my people conduct a poll last week, and 73 percent of you said you would support me, even if there was another candidate. I assure you the poll was conducted scientifically, and none of the questions were loaded or biased. Also, I didn't just call people I know.
Here is my stance on some of the issues facing Commerce today:
·Banks Crossing. I would support a full hostile takeover of Banks Crossing. First, I propose the city send troops to the city's water treatment plant at the watershed lake. The troops will move across the water and initiate a beach invasion at the dam. From there, they will move through the woods near the dragway to the north side of Banks Crossing and cut off the supply line on U.S. 441. There should be very little opposition for the first wave of the invasion. Then, I would favor sending another wave of troops through the woods behind the Pottery, and another wave straight up U.S. 441, where they will plant the city flag on the hill at Wal-Mart. By then I, I mean the city, will have complete control of Banks Crossing. I would also set up a toll booth on I-85 to bring in extra revenue to the city.
·Land-use plan. I have devised a completely new and radical idea for land-use planning. First, you, the landowner, come to me and ask about the comprehensive land-use plan. Then, I go to your property and I tell you how you can use your land. It simplifies the whole process and eliminates needless bureaucratic red tape.
·Impact fees. I would support setting up impact fees in the city of Commerce. Under my plan, anyone not willing to pay the fees would be negatively impacted by a group of my people, who will all wear pinstripe suits and drive black Mercedes.
·Animal control. To alleviate the animal control problem, I would simply declare animals illegal. I fear my action could hurt local vets, so the city would have an animal farm where we would raise animals and pay the vets to treat them. Everyone wins.
·Zoning. I realize the tough task our planning commission has with rezoning requests. For this reason, I plan to dismiss every member of the planning commission and give sole power to the mayor. I believe my plan will allow more fair and consistent decisions. My philosophy is this: You don't own the land or the rights to it, the mayor does.
·City hall. One of my first actions as the new mayor of Commerce would be to rename the city hall as Tammany Hall. I feel this will give it a more democratic atmosphere and will adequately portray my political ideology.
I thank each and every one of you for taking the time to listen to me. I know I would be a fair and honest mayor and I would work hard for the good of every citizen of Commerce. Honesty is the most important part of my campaign and I guarantee, if elected, everyone will get everything they want.
And in a couple of years when you see I am running for mayor, get off the couch and vote for Fouche.
Adam Fouche is a reporter for MainStreet Newspapers.


Column
Tim Thomas
The Jackson Herald
June 28, 2000

In memory of Jedidiah Luke
My watch stopped. The time was 10:50 Sunday morning, but the worn old watch read 10:25.
I thought it fitting. After perhaps the three most difficult days of my life, the watch finally got the message.
Three days earlier, my wife and I were filled with the joy of being expectant parents for the third time. We'd seen the baby on an ultrasound at eight weeks, complete with a healthy, beating heart. We were quite excited about the possibility of being able to hear that heart beat at our 12-week visit.
We sat in the examination room for some time, waiting our turn. Our 4-year-old sat in the floor playing with some blocks. She'd come along just to hear the heartbeat.
The doctor finally came and prepared the heartbeat monitor after greeting us. As I sat there waiting expectantly, the silence of the monitor was deafening. We were assured that we shouldn't worry; sometimes it was difficult to hear at 12 weeks. Minutes later, however, an ultrasound confirmed what we feared; the little heart we saw beating a month earlier now lay silent.
The doctor's warm consolation did nothing to ease the chill in my own heart. He gave statistics about the huge number of others who've gone through the same thing, but I didn't care about anyone else. What about us? What about our child?
The next day, in a hospital waiting room, I opened a Bible to the story of David and Bathsheeba. The child of their infamous indiscretion had died, but God provided another ­ one whose name will never be forgotten.
"And David called his name Solomon, and the Lord loved him. And David sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and Nathan called his name Jedidiah, because of the Lord." A note in the margin said Jedidiah meant "beloved of the Lord."
We never knew the gender of our little one, but Leigh Ann says it was a boy. We had already decided on Luke (bringer of light) for a boy. Over the weekend, we altered it just a bit, to Jedidiah Luke. For a few short weeks, he brought light into our lives. He was beloved of the Lord, and of us.
I don't ask why this happened; God is sovereign, His will is higher than mine. But this I do wonder: given the pain of this death by a natural cause, how could anyone purposely cause the death of an unborn child?
For the rest of the world, time moves on. Jeff Gordon wins at Sonoma. Chipper Jones picks up the game-winning RBI with a bases-loaded walk. Mike Tyson makes sickening threats against a future opponent.
But for us, time stands still. So long as it does, our world is one step closer to being the way it was. We don't want life to go on; we want it to go back ­ back to the time when we saw an eight-week-old new life, complete with a healthy, beating heart.
But time can't go back. It must go forward.
I need to get a new watch.
Tim Thomas is a reporter for The Jackson Herald.


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