Banks County Opinions...

November 28, 2001


Column

Letters to the Editor
The Banks County News
November 28, 2001

Reader proud of Maysville
Dear Editor:
Mr. Fouche's recent column in your paper is clearly misdirected. The citizens of Maysville have no desire to abolish the government of our town; however, we often wish we could have some influence on the people who try to run it.
A 100 percent tax increase (120 percent for Banks County residents) without some effort to trim expenses is not acceptable to many of us who reside here.
Mr. Fouche suggests we could do without our police department, water system, fire department and library. We do not want to give up any of them. We only want and expect better management in some of these departments, especially the police. We do not need five police cars to maintain, insure and keep parked. Until recently, we had one policeman with one car to keep us safe. If our population has doubled since then, which it hasn't, then common sense would tell us we should have two policemen and maybe two cars, not five cars and four policemen.
We are very proud of our excellent library and its dedicated staff. Ms. Mealor, our director, is an asset to the citizens and especially the children of our town. There is no increase in the library's budget for the coming year. How does she do it?
The new budget calls for $144,000 for salaries next year. This year $70,000 was budgeted. This is double the millage rate.
There's other examples that Mr. Fouche should look into before concluding we need to abolish our government. A doubling of taxes probably does not mean very much sacrifice to young employed people, but to retired senior citizens on fixed incomes in a time of sagging economy it means a lot.
A large number of "new" people have come to Maysville, purchased old homes and restored them, thus increasing the tax base. Our citizens are interested in improving and sprucing up the town. They also take an interest in the city government and its operation. We are proud of Maysville.
Sincerely,
H.A. (Bud) Dyer

Reader expresses feelings for terrorists
Dear Editor:
An open letter to Arabs of the world:
I despise your terroristic acts against innocent people of the world and I deplore your hatred of America and its citizens.
But I love you and God loves you with an everlasting love. Jesus died for your sins the same as mine. He is the only way to heaven. All the "good works" you can do for a lifetime will never give you peace or a home in heaven.
I am praying for you that you will see the Light, that Light from heaven that shines into a dark and sinful world unto a perfect day.
May you find the Peace that can only come from the Prince of Peace-Jesus, who gives the "peace that passes all understanding."
Sincerely,
Lola Daniel
Homer

 

Column

By Shar Porier
The Banks County News
November 28, 2001

'Buy Nothing Day'
While surfing the channels recently, I stopped on one of my favorite stations, the Free Speech Network, which, by the way, gives a darn good newscast as to what is really happening in Afghanistan and the world.
Reporter Linda Goodman was talking about "Buy Nothing Day," an international effort that started six years ago to bring attention to the effects of over-consuming.
Hmm interesting. A "buy nothing day." A day to think about all the things we purchase that are throwaway items, nonsensical, or stuff we could really do without. I like the idea.
Here in America our whole economy is consumer driven. We are tempted, cajoled and challenged by advertisements to purchase things we really don't need. Yes, Americans are big-time consumers. We pretty much support the world's economy when you stop and think about it. Look at the tags where the items we buy come from. They'll be Japan, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, China, Korea, etc., etc. Even that flag you bought to show your patriotism more than likely came from China - one of the worst offenders of civil rights.
Personally, I don't buy anything from China. I don't want to be a contributor to the treasury that provides the government with bullets or tank shells to kill students and scholars because leaders want to keep freedom as far from the mental excursions of their populace as possible.
That tag on those name-brand articles of clothing should say: "This comes from a sweatshop in a starving country where we can do whatever we want. We can screw up the environment, poison the people and force children to work for next to nothing or prisoners for even less than nothing in dangerous conditions. And we even got a tax break to come here and build."
I say, let's be real and have truth in advertising.
And all that "stuff" takes up valuable, finite natural resources, like oil, natural gas and water. In the process, we end up with polluted land, air and water; landfills laden with toxins; damage to the ozone; and the greenhouse effect.
Americans are not careful with resources in general. We drive huge gas-guzzling four-wheel drive vehicles and for what? To go to the grocery store? To pick up the kids from school?
Most don't even think about the water they use senselessly. The tap that leaks, the washer with half of a load, the commode that runs. And, heaven forbid you drive around in a dusty car. I've seen cars in line at the car washes that don't need a wash job. There are gallons of water going down the drain.
We need to re-think our priorities. Think about what we're doing to our land, our water, our air, ourselves.
"Buy Nothing Day" offers a person the opportunity to stop and ask, "Do I really need this?" It offers a chance to stop being controlled by the billions-of-dollars industries - the advertising firms. Make up our own minds as to what we need or don't need. Why should we listen to some actor spouting rehearsed lines about the benefits of having "x" in our lives? Allow ourselves to be so manipulated, so controlled that we run right out and buy what they say we "just have to have"?
If we gave just one thought to the length of time it's going to take to deteriorate in the land fill or what toxins are going to leach out as it decomposes, we may be more careful of purchases made with our hard- earned money.
Do we really understand the detrimental impact we have on the world through our consumerism? How does it feel to know we are the major user of 80 percent of the world's natural resources?
Yes, "Buy Nothing Day" can put us on the road to self-awareness. Why, if we stopped and thought, we might even begin to get serious about recycling.
Maybe we'll pass by the name brands. Let them know that we aren't buying until they offer humane working conditions and workers' rights.
Bypass the chemicals and fertilizers for lawns and gardens that produce toxins and pollutants through their manufacturing processes that pass freely to the environment. Go organic.
I may have missed the international "Buy Nothing Day," November 23 and 24, but I can have my own. And I can sure start making more environmentally and humanly friendly purchases when I do buy. It won't be my dollar that keeps that 8-year-old locked in a hot, humid workroom, or causes more damage to the environment. There's nothing I need that much. What about you?
Shar Porier is a staff member for MainStreet Newspapers.


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