Banks County Opinions...

JULY 2, 2003


Column

By: Angie Gary
The Banks County News
July 2, 2003

Welcome to the family, baby BowenYour nursery is filled with cowboys and other western decorations. It already has plenty of toys and little blue outfits.
Big brother Judd and Mom and Dad have already welcomed you to the family with kisses and hugs. The rest of the family has gathered to admire your cute little face and tiny feet and hands.
Our good friend Robin Roberts, formerly Robin Fields of Nicholson, gave birth to her second son, Bowen, a few months ago. The arrival was met with joy from both sides of the family.
Bowen has a head full of dark brown hair like his big brother. He looks like his dad, Keith, although you can see his mom too when he smiles.
Robin has been a part of “our” family since she and my sister became good friends in school. We have plenty of fond memories from our school days and now from adulthood.
Robin was the first to have a baby and now there are three little boys for us to treasure. My sister, Amanda, has little Jake, while Robin has Judd and Bowen.
I never thought I would know what to do with a little boy. We had only had girls in our family so I didn’t know a thing. I actually didn’t know much about babies at all, but I’ve quickly learned to change a diaper and handle a bottle with ease (or without being nervous).
Bowen will have plenty of love in his extended family. From Robin and Keith’s families, to other friends who consider themselves to be family, you will be loved and cherished. My mother, will be your “Mama Sarah,” just as she is to Judd. Amanda and I will be two more “aunts” for you.
For some reason, Aunt Angie comes out of a child’s mouth as “Gee Gee” so I’m sure you will be another little one who calls me by this sweet name.
Welcome to our world, Bowen. I look forward to watching you grow up.
Angela Gary is editor of The Banks County News. She can be reached at AngieEditor@aol.com.
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Column

By: Adam Fouche
The Banks County News
July 2, 2003

Growth not the biggest threat to rural areas
Make no mistake about it. The Banks-Jackson-Madison area is one of the fastest growing in the state of Georgia.
I’m not that old, but land that was once forests and fields when I was a kid has been replaced with new homes, subdivisions and industries. Even parts of my old neighborhood in Commerce look vastly different.
And the rural landscape continues to change as expanding four-lane highways reach farther and farther into the countryside.
But the biggest threat to the rural serenity of northeast Georgia doesn’t come from development moving out of Athens or Gwinnett County. It comes from those who live here now and have, primarily, since birth.
I spent one morning last week riding with a Georgia Department of Natural Resources Ranger around just a small fraction of rural Banks County.
Too many of the remaining dirt roads have become make-shift dumps for old appliances and used tires.
Creeks are littered with hunks of metal and discarded automobile parts. And more than a few times a week someone will dump household garbage alongside the county’s pristine dirt roads.
DNR Ranger Winford Popphan arrested six for trash-related violations in Banks County in June.
The problems aren’t limited to Banks County either, with the same mess strewn across Madison and Jackson counties as well.
Madison County code enforcement officer Jack Huff said he may work anywhere between 40-50 trash-related cases per month there.
The major problem, he said, comes from car littering, most of which is hard to prosecute. Inmates usually pick up a large portion of that mess.
Large dump sites aren’t as much of a problem in Madison County, where the local transfer station takes junk metal, including old appliances, for free.
In Banks County, those who are caught dumping trash are usually forced to clean up the mess they have made and often times the trash that others have left behind.
But many of the offenders are never found. So the evidence of their laziness remains an eyesore to an area where nature becomes harder to find.
And those who enjoy the outdoors are really left to suffer. Human trash pollutes the land and water that sustains our wildlife population—the same population we hunt and fish for and often times end up eating.
I’m not too content with eating deer that have been feeding off another person’s garbage or cooking fish that make their home in discarded refrigerators leaking all sorts of toxic coolants.
Fortunately, we all can help the problem caused by other people. In Banks County, littering and illegal dumping violators can be reported to the planning office at 706-677-4272 or Ranger Popphan at 770-869-7705.
Banks County Clean and Beautiful also offers many trash clean-up initiatives by calling 706-677-2344.
Northeast Georgia may be losing a lot of its countryside to development, but it’s already lost much more to the laziness of a few inconsiderate citizens.
Adam Fouche is a reporter for MainStreet Newspapers. His email address is fouche@nbank.net.


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Homer, Georgia
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