More Jackson County Opinions...

 July 26, 2000

By Tim Thomas
The Jackson Herald
July 26, 2000

A week of refreshment
Ever have one of those refreshing moments?
There were several of them this week, beginning Saturday, when big-time track stars Michael Johnson and Maurice Green both pulled up lame coming out of turn four ­ wait, that's NASCAR lingo ­ coming out of the final turn in the Olympic trials' 200-meter dash.
Why was that refreshing? Because it saved us from seeing one (or both) of these guys plastered all over our television sets for the next year, advertising everything under the sun. Johnson's cell phone commercial is bad enough of itself.
And then there was Georgia Games wrestling at JCCHS. Wrestling in July, now there's a good idea. Wrestlers smell bad enough after one match in January; try taking a whiff after two or three matches in triple-degree heat. At least the concept was refreshing, even if the aroma wasn't.
Also Saturday, the Jefferson City Council was joined by members of several other organizations Saturday in beginning renovations at the park on Gordon Street. Just think, politicians getting their hands dirty in a legitimate endeavor, and a police officer with no donuts or coffee. What a refreshing scene. (Personal note to Chief Glenn: IT'S A JOKE!)
Obviously, Monday's heavy rains were a welcome change of pace.
And then came the season's first football practices. Even the Saints (the ones upstairs, not the ones in New Orleans, or wherever they are now) must be smiling at the thought of pigskin season revving up. Very refreshing.
The most refreshing event of the week had to be the prank pulled on Jackson County coach Steve Collins Tuesday evening at the Banks Crossing Ryan's. Ever see a big guy get embarrassed? Now that was refreshing. I'm concerned, though, that repercussions from the incident may not be quite so refreshing. Stay tuned for more on this one, and someone please let me know when I need to duck.
Listen! Hear that? It's the sound of the phone not ringing, because Adam Fouche is not around to push someone's buttons in a column this week. Refreshing, indeed.
* * *
Apologies this week to local politicians Scott "The Weed" Tolbert and Emil "Not Email" Beshara, both of whom used one form of media or another to harass me (not really) about not including them in the column 'Jackson County's political WWF' a few weeks back. Interestingly enough, Emil's medium of choice actually was email.
Tolbert didn't really need the publicity, since he already holds the Jackson County political equivalent of the World Heavyweight Championship. As for Beshara, he's well on his way to having as much name recognition as Tolbert anyway. Check out the phone book. You won't find Beshara's name, but if you did, it would be mixed in with the likes of Bennett, Benson, Bentley, Benton, Berry and Berryman. Pretty easy to remember, particularly if you see it in big letters on a sign in someone's yard.
Tim Thomas is a reporter for The Jackson Herald.

Letter To The Editor
The Jackson Herald
July 26, 2000

Mother responds to letter
Dear Editor:
I am writing this to the lady that wrote about my son, Jeff Stinchcomb. I want you to know that you are like the law-you don't know what happened on New Cut Road on March 31, 1980. You have just heard from one of the family members.
You were not in the courtroom in September 1980 when one family member would not let him be tried by the jury. I can get proof of this if you want it by his lawyer and friends that were there. My son is no bad person, he has a drinking problem but people like you don't help. He started after 1980. My son never gave me any trouble until that happened. I had no problems with him at school. His teachers had no problems with him. He loved all his friends. He went through the 12th grade. He started to Walnut Fork Baptist Church when he was a baby. He dropped out after 1980, which was wrong and sad, but if you had someone talking about you like you are talking about him, you might do the same thing.
Do you pray? You need to pray for my son and yourself too. I would like for you to read James Chapter 3, Verse 8; Matthew 7, Verse 1-3; Mark 11, Verse 25 and 26; John 8, Verse 7; Romans 14, Verse 10-13.
My name is Ruth Stinchcomb. I live on 85 Cedar Rock Road, Hoschton. My phone number is (706) 654-2603. Feel free to call me.
Sincerely, Ruth Stinchcomb, Hoschton

By Rochelle Beckstine
The Jackson Herald
July 26, 2000

Dirt Road Epidemic
I thought I would address a serious issue this week. I could go so far as to call it an epidemic that seems to have swept from one corner of the county to the other. What's more, I've been told that the incidents have been occurring with alarming regularity for some time now. Someone even suggested to me that it's been going on since before I was born. If this is the case, as I must conclude it is after receiving so much expert testimony, I would like to know why someone hasn't done something about it sooner.
After considering the issue, I decided that it was too serious to be neglected any longer, so I felt that I must figure out a solution. First, I tried to identify the source of the problem, but I could never quite catch anyone in the act. Or, if I could, they drove away too fast. Not a single one of them stopped for me to interview them, though I did try to flag them down. So, I did the only thing I could, I identified the locations where the worst affronts occur. After doing so, I determined a logical course of action. I believe all of the roads need to be paved for the safety and well-being of all people. It seems that dirty gravel roads cause normally intelligent people to abandon their garbage and other miscellaneous junk on the roadside.
I'm aware of the drive-by, 50-mile-an-hour, chuck-it-out-the-window-before-you-get-caught-with-an-open-container jobs, but those aren't the ones I'm talking about. I'm talking about the people who feel garbage dumps are not cool places so they visit country roads in their vehicles (usually trucks­though I have nothing against people who drive trucks, every male member of my family drives a truck or has driven one­but I think we can all agree they have the most cargo room for hauling the broken sofa and the four bags of garbage), they stop, look both ways and, I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't seen it, they actually dump their garbage on some unsuspecting road side. Then, they climb into their trucks and unceremoniously drive off. A few wipe their hands on their pants, but most don't bother.
We all know that to solve a problem, we have to start somewhere. When I decided to tackle this problem, I thought long and hard about motives and I believe that no one acts without a motive. Some have suggested that people who dump their garbage lack morals, that they have no care for the environment which must be preserved for our children, or that garbage dumpers have no pride in their city, in their county, in their state, or in their country. But I don't believe these things. I haven't met an American who didn't feel pride in our military supremacy or a Georgian who didn't get sentimental when the "Georgia On My Mind" tune blasts over the loud speakers at Georgia's Stone Mountain Park. Instead, I believe that people who dump their garbage believe that they have found a very lonely road that may be in need of some livening up and they believe their garbage is just the thing for the job. Since most gravel roads end up being the victims of dumping, I believe that gravel roads in particular foster the mistaken "lonely" impression in people. For these reasons, my call for paved roads is absolutely logical. (If that doesn't fix the problem, then I'll be forced to acknowledge that maybe the other motives are right.) Paving will lead people to realize that families live off of those roads and they can't possibly need any further adornment. Landfills, on the other hand, welcome unwanted garbage. If the county can't bear the expense of paving every road, maybe the people who live on dirt roads can form a Citizens Who Live on Dirt Roads Council and they can start an education program. I'll cover the meetings.
Rochelle Beckstine is a reporter for MainStreet Newspapers.




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