More Jackson County Opinions...

JULY 3, 2002


Column
By: Kerri Graffius
The Jackson Herald
July 3, 2002

Don’t call the bypass a ‘bypass’
A “bypass” is supposed to get you from point A to point B in the fastest time possible. But you wouldn’t figure that by just listening to some of the people around Jackson County.
In just a few months, both sections of the Highway 129 bypass connecting Athens and Gainesville will officially open.
Come September, the section extending through Pendergrass past Talmo will open. The section from Arcade to Jefferson is slated to open sometime in early 2003, weather permitting.
So, come this time next year, you’ll be able to zoom through the four cities, without the constant stops and speed changes we currently encounter.
Yes, there will be some traffic lights, but it won’t be as horrendous as is it now for making turns at Lee Street in Jefferson (in front of The Jackson Herald building).
Luckily, the bypass will divert us from that mess—but not for long, I fear.
At numerous occasions recently, officials throughout the county have mentioned how “good” the bypass will be for the municipalities.
In other words, how much money it’ll bring to the cities and county.
Officials are beginning to envision the national-chain restaurants, the grocery stores and the heaps of subdivisions that will spurn from the bypass.
Within a few years, the bypass is expected to have a number of commercial developments along its path. Kroger just might be the first commercial development at Old Pendergrass Road—others will surely follow.
Yet, larger commercial and residential developments are generally near such major roadways. It helps streamline traffic, water lines and other services into several centralized locations, instead of running amuck throughout the community.
But I have a problem with calling this roadway a “bypass.”
Isn’t the point of a “bypass” to get you around that stuff? Should you be distracted by merging traffic from commercial developments when traveling on a “bypass”?
Most likely, commercial and residential development in the future will merge from the cities the “bypass” is supposed to “bypass,” making it seem pointless.
Take at look at the Athens Bypass.
It certainly helps get you from point A to point B, and it has no distractions in doing so. There’s no restaurants, no hotels, no grocery stores and no billboards to divert your attention from the road.
The Athens Bypass is a “bypass.”
If we build along our bypass, it won’t be a bypass. Sorry folks, but we just can’t call it that.
Instead, we should consider naming our “bypass” something else. Perhaps something along the lines of “connector,” since it will better serve as a “connector” between the cities than “bypassing” them—in the long-term future.
Who knows, given time, the Hwy. 129 “bypass” just might need a “bypass” of its own to get us around more commercial and residential development?
Kerri Graffius is a reporter for MainStreet Newspapers. Her e-mail address is kerri@mainstreetnews.com.

Jackson County Opinion Index

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Column
By: Virgil Adams
The Jackson Herald
July 3, 2002

Didn’t get the message
Woe is me.
I blew it, friends. I just blew a chance at health, wealth, happiness and a long, abundant life. Not to mention good luck.
I didn’t follow the instructions. Heck, I didn’t even understand the instructions. So I didn’t answer the letter. I opened the “spiritual revelations of good luck” before I answered the letter, which, as I already said, I didn’t answer. And I didn’t wait 24 hours before opening the spiritual revelations.
There are a lot of other things I didn’t do. The main thing I didn’t do was “sow a sacrificial seed,” which, interpreted, means “send money.” I think.
Confused? Me, too. There’s a lot I don’t understand. I guess I just didn’t get the message.
There was a lot of stuff (look up stuff) on the outside of the envelope before I opened it and got to the meat of the message, which, as I already indicated, is “send money.”
“Write this letter...Revelation 3:1 (TLB, NLT)” was in the upper left hand corner where the return address usually appears.
So I looked up Revelation 3:1 in The Living Bible and discovered that “The the leader of the church in Sardis” comes before “write this letter.”
Now, I don’t know this church leader. And I don’t know exactly where Sardis is, but I suspect it is a long way from Jefferson, Georgia.
Just above the window through which my name and address appear, in bold type, are these words, also part of Revelation 3:1: “This message is sent to you by the one who has the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars.”
Not having attended seminary or divinity school, I don’t exactly know who that is. I have heard renowned theologians, pastors, preachers, ministers and TV evangelists say it is Jesus.
If that is true, Jesus mailed the message from zip code 78284, and the envelope in which I am supposed to “sow a sacrificial seed,” He wants sent to zip code 74121.
By the way, whoever or whatever spirit sent this message to me left out the last sentence of Revelation 3:1: “I know your reputation as a live and active church, but you are dead.”
Just below the window through which my name and address appear, in even larger bold type, is this question: “Are you ready for your luck to change?”
If I am dead, like the church at Sardis, I’m going to need more than luck. Grace, maybe?
Nevertheless, on the back of the envelope, again in bold type, is this optimistic prophecy, “We can’t go wrong. This is our lucky year!” and this motivational admonition, “Reach for the stars – your lucky stars.”
And we haven’t even got inside yet.
Now we are ready to get inside.
There we find a smaller envelope containing the “7 spiritual revelations of good luck,” which I opened before I was supposed to. That is, according to the instructions.
Also inside is a four-page letter dated “Wednesday, 2002,” that begins, “We feel that fate laid it upon our spirits to mail this letter to this address...” (I thought it was sent “by the one who has the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars.”)
The first sentence continues, “...as your spiritual sign that between today and the 27th of next month something good can happen for you.”
Wednesday, 2002 (any Wednesday?), and between today and the 27th of next month (any month?) covers a lot of time and territory.
I’ve got news for the messenger. Every morning when I wake up, something good happens for me, and I am not talking about good luck. I realize I’m awake!
Now, about that four-page letter. I’m always a little suspicious of anyone who underlines, capitalizes, enlarges, italicizes (whatever) for emphasis. Why can’t we just use the words that say what we mean? Just let the words speak for themselves – and us.
The letter in question has 48 individual words and 38 phrases and sentences underlined in red. Some of the words, phrases and sentences are underlined two times, I suppose to double the emphasis.
On the last page are seven blank lines for “seven blessings I need most in my life.” After blessing/need No. 7 is this: “( ) I am sowing my biblical luck seed offering of $_______ to release my blessing harvest.”
At the bottom of the page are the last eight words of Matthew 9:29: “According to your faith be it unto you.”
Check out the first five words of verse 29. I believe Jesus was restoring the sight of two blind men, not trying to get money out of them.
Virgil Adams is a former owner and editor of The Jackson Herald.


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