Banks County Opinions...

October 25, 2000


Letter to the Editor
The Banks County News
October 25, 2000

Encourage 'yes' vote for Referendum A
Dear Editor:
On November 7, please vote yes for Referendum A. A vote for Referendum A will eliminate an unfair property tax currently being levied on farm equipment. We believe family farmers in Georgia should be able to compete equally with other southern states, such as Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia, which are exempt from this unfair tax. One in six Georgians are employed in agriculture and agribusiness. Agriculture is the state's largest industry, with a $56 billion economic impact.
In both rural and urban sectors of the state, farm land represents a significant portion of a county land base. If Referendum A is approved, farmers will continue to meet their fair share of the local tax burden through land-assessed property taxes. By exempting farm equipment, we can ensure that Georgia will continue to provide some of the world's safest food and fiber products at the lowest possible price for the consumer.
Sincerely,
Bill Sears
Billy Thomas


Editorial
The Banks County News
October 25, 2000

Have a safe and happy Halloween
Hundreds of Banks County children will be heading out next week in search of treats. Halloween will be observed on Tuesday, Oct. 31, when costumed youngsters visit family and friends to trick or treat.
Everyone is encouraged to have a safe holiday season by observing some guidelines this holiday season, including the following:
·Parents, be sure to accompany children when trick-or-treating.
·Only go to family and friends' houses. Avoid going to strangers' homes.
·Throw out any candy that is not in its original container.
·Parents, check all of the candy before children eat it.
·Go to special Halloween trick-or-treating at area malls or nearby towns.
·Parents, make sure costumes are safe and appropriate.

 

 

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Column
By Shar Porier
The Banks County News
October 25, 2000

Going squirrelly
It seemed so picturesque. A barn converted to a home with a tin roof nestled between two hills and under a blanket made of the spreading branches of a giant oak tree.
Shade in summer. Sun in the winter.
Beautiful fall colors only an arm's length away. The smell of dry leaves on the ground. I can rake the leaves into a big pile. And roll and play with the dogs in them.
Such fun on a wonderful autumn day. The colors of fall against a deep azure sky. The invigorating scent of crushed leaves.
The rain would patter on the tin roof. Such a pleasant, relaxing sound.
In the tree were a squirrel nest and a few bird nests. How special, I thought. I can watch the babies grow.
The upstairs (former loft) was left with its heavy, rough-cut beams exposed.
So nice to have that "openness" of a high ceiling. Insulation and a nice acoustic ceiling was installed.
Well, all was just fine .until just a few weeks ago.
The tree was indeed beautiful this year, as it had been in the past. In spite of the drought, it had managed just fine.
And it was a bumper year for acorns. Yes, acorns... that attract squirrels,chipmunks and flying squirrels. To the big oak. Above the house with the tin roof and the high ceiling.
Early one morning (and I do mean early, like 3 a.m.) not too long ago, I awoke to what sounded like a hailstorm, a very loud hail storm. But, wait.
Sounded like a burst of machine gun fire. Then like someone was hurtling rocks at the roof. What?!?
As the brain-fog lifted and sleepy eyes opened, what the heck?!?
The noise was awful. I went outside. And promptly was the victim of a few stray acorns. Oww!
A flying squirrel came sailing across in front of me. An aerial attack? No, I had just startled him from his feeding roost.
Against the moonlit sky, I could see some scurrying going on in the upper branches. Acorns were falling here and there. The acorns would hit the roof, b-b-bounce a few times, and r-r-o-o-oll on down the slope. Funny didn't sound as loud out here.
Then I heard a branch crack and saw a shadow making a strange "eee-e-e-e" as it plummeted to the roof. Snap, splat, POW-POW-POW-POW! There was my "gunfire" all right.
So these little rascals were the ones making all the racket, huh. Well, it's only for a little while, I told myself. I can handle it. Besides, flying squirrels are so cute. Used to have one that I raised from a baby. Had a baby squirrel, too, that I released to the wild. Have a soft spot for the little critters. I'll just have to put up with it till the season's over. I can do that. After all, they go to bed at dawn. (Sure....)
Back to bed. Grumblin' a bit, but determined not to let it get to me. Around an hour later, things got quiet again. "Ahh", I thought, "back to sleep now for a few hours, anyway.
But, it wasn't long before the barrage started anew. As the sun peeked over the horizon, the squirrels must have awakened and converged on the tree, I thought as I lay there.
Like it's the only oak tree around! There must be 50 on the property. Why this one?!?
Back outside. I look up and the tree was now a dining hall for the nine local squirrels and several of their kin.
But the locals weren't in the mood for sharing. They were chasing the invaders. And as they did, trails of ripe acorns pelted the roof.
I hear this sound - "E-E-eeeeeee", a bit louder than the 3 a.m. shadow. Snap, splat, POW-POW-POW-POW-POW!
So. They were chasing each other through the tree and limbs were breaking off along with several acorns and one of the fur balls!!! (Yes, I had gone beyond the point of cute critter - I had reached a more descriptive state of irritation.)
So, this is the way it's going to be! Ok. Hmmm.....(By the way, that's me
thinkin' to myself.) What to do. Cut down the tree. Cut down the tree?!? Nawww, WON'T do that! Shoot the squirrels! Shoot the squirrels?!? Nawww, DEFINITELY won't do that! Re-roof the house. Re-roof the house?!? Nawww, don't WANT to do THAT!!!!!
Well, I have a year to figure out what to do. Any suggestions???
Shar Porier is a reporter for MainStreet Newspapers.


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