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 OPINION PAGE - AUGUST 18, 1999 - COMMERCE, GEORGIA



Editorial
The Commerce News
August 18, 1999

Poor Showing By Cities At Important Meeting
The open meeting held last Thursday so city officials could express their interest in and need for a special purpose local option tax shows how hard it is going to be to convince voters to support the tax.
Only representatives of two city governments, Commerce and Hoschton, bothered to show up, in spite of the fact that all local governments will share in the tax proceeds and all reportedly have needs that would be funded by the tax.
If the city officials are not interested enough in a sales tax to attend a meeting, why should we expect the voters to care enough to impose a one-cent tax?
There was no shortage of complaining in the summer of 1998 when the SPLOST failed by 66 votes, but the reason it failed was that none of the potential recipients showed enough initiative to try to sell voters on the idea. So far, in a pair of meetings held to get public input and in the meeting designed to get the input from local elected officials, that resounding lack of interest appears to remain.
It was good to see Mayor Charles L. Hardy Jr. there to speak about the many needs Commerce has for water and sewer work. Hoschton also had a representative. But the elected officials of Arcade, Braselton, Jefferson, Maysville, Nicholson, Pendergrass and Talmo all apparently slept through another opportunity to do something for their constituents.



Letters to the Editor
The Commerce News
August 18, 1999

It's A Shame What They're Doing To The Nursing Home
Editor:
It is a shame what they are trying to do to BJC Nursing Home. The patients who are complaining should know they will have no place to go.
My aunt Clara Cole spent ten years at BJC and she had nothing to complain about. She always said the nurses and aides were so good to her. She liked the food, playing Bingo and attending the services from different churches.
I pray they won't close the home. The people won't have anyone to care for them.
Sincerely,
Mary Lou Hix Commerce



Nursing Home Needs More Help
Editor:
My mother, Clara Cole, was on B Floor (at BJC Nursing Home), with more than 40 patients, for 10 years. There were so many weekends that there would be only two aides on duty. It is not possible to do what they have to do with only two, to do all the work.
They were kind and good to Mama and, therefore, to me.
Commerce needs this nursing home. I am grateful that I live close and could visit often. They need more aides badly.
Sincerely, Marguerite Chandler Commerce



Column
Mark Beardsley
The Commerce News
August 18, 1999

Paris, France, And Paris, TN, All In One Year!
I may be the only person in Jackson County who has been to Paris twice this year. Well, to Paris, France, and Paris, TN. It was in the latter that my money and credit card were not stolen.
It was the greatest disappointment of the summer, however, that in Paris, TN, I was unable to locate its version of the Eiffel Tower. I had hoped to have a photo of myself taken in front of it to go along with the one I had made in France. I found out later that the Tennessee Eiffel Tower is actually only about 30 feet tall and is in a city park, not on the square. Shame.
I did not drive to Paris, TN, to see its version of the Eiffel Tower. I was in the neighborhood, nearby Dover to be exact, to meet a cousin from St. Louis for a few days of fishing in Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. Paris was just too good not to visit while there and, in retrospect, was one of the highlights of our trip, which tells a lot about the quality of the fishing.
We found the fish had migrated elsewhere to escape the heat, our having selected the hottest five days of the year for our annual jaunt. But we got to see the "Surrender House" in Dover, where Ulysses S. Grant accepted the surrender of Confederate troops guarding the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. The Confederates, out-numbered, out-trained and out-equipped, didn't put up much of a fight, and two of their generals fled to leave a third to surrender. It was a battle that helped pave the way to Vicksburg and to cut the Confederacy in two, though I am reluctant to reopen the great Civil War of Northern Aggression Between the States issue from last April.
It was my first time stopping in the Land Between the Lakes. I'd been through at least once before, but never thought to slow down. I'll go back, at a more reasonable time of year, because lakes Barkley and Kentucky offer promising fishing and are somewhat mid-point between my cousin and me.
If you don't fish or hunt, there's not much reason to live there, but if either is your passion, it's akin to paradise. I almost got my first deer one night, missing by about an inch as it plodded across The Trace as though my aging Chevy S-10 was invisible. Deer hunting is a tremendous business in that part of the woods. If you go up The Trace 30 or 40 miles, you can see a herd of buffalo and perhaps catch sight of an elk.
We caught sight of few fish, though we caught largemouth, smallmouth, white and yellow bass, crappie and bluegill.
We also helped relieve the drought. As it has for every one of the five other times we've met in Tennessee to fish, it rained while we were there. Judging from the various crops, their drought is not as severe as ours, but I can vouch for their dusty roads.
I enjoyed my first tow truck ride in years, the result of a battery with a dead cell that manifested itself at 9:00 one night on the edge of Kentucky Lake well into LBL. I consumed a little too much beer, way too much caffeine and got little sleep. But my cousin and I caught up on what's been happening to each other, relived old family stories and plotted a return to the two lakes, if not to Paris.
Tennessee, that is. The fishing is lousy in that other Paris all of the time.






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