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OPINION PAGE - SEPTEMBER 15, 1999 - HOMER, GEORGIA

Guest Column
Jo Evelyn Dean
The Banks County News- September 15, 1999

The beginning of school
By Jo Evelyn Dean

The beginning of school each year usually means the end of the slower pace of summer. Area schools are starting at different times this year. School's beginning turns our minds toward our children. God bless our children - theirs is not an easy time. The increase in juvenile delinquency and random violence nationwide is alarming. Our community is so blessed with wonderful young people. We as adults must continue to nurture them. I recently read a sign that said "Children are 25 percent of our population and 100 percent of our future."
Recently, the Children's Miracle Network Telethon gave a list of suggestions for setting the example by caring and offering words of encouragement to the youth. I want to share this list with you this week:
·Children have the right to grow up in a world free from violence. They should feel safe wherever they are.
·Society is measured by how the children are treated. The children become a reflection of society.
·The community needs to be involved. When there is a problem with the children, it is everybody's problem.
·Since most children will be parents someday, they should be taught how to be good parents. One of the ways they learn is by example of their parents.
·Children's time should be supervised and occupied constructively. This includes some special time each day with their parents.
·We have a responsibility to teach our children to value the family. Each generation passes on the family values to the next generation.
·Children need to know whatever the situation, there is help. Adults need to talk with the children. Then really listen to find out what their interests are and what is troubling them.
·All children deserve love, love from the heart. They need praise, encouragement and unconditional love.
·Conflict resolution should be included in the curriculum so that children learn how to deal with anger and conflict in an acceptable, constructive way.
·Adults should set the example to solve problems within themselves and work together as a group to make some changes.
·If an adult sees a youth doing something wrong, they have the responsibility to speak up. Adults should pull together to make a difference. This lets the youth know the adults in the community do care about the behavior of the youth.
Whether you are a parent, an educator, or concerned adult, you may be the adult that makes a difference this year in some child's life. Be an encourager.
Jo Evelyn Dean is the Banks County extension agent.

Editorial
The Banks County News
September 15, 1999


Register to vote by Oct. 4 deadline
Several important city council seats are up for grabs in the Nov. 2 election. While these elections are usually canceled due to only one candidate qualifying for each post, we hope that won't be the case this year. Citizens need a choice when they go to the polls.
Everyone also needs to make sure they are registered to vote in the Nov. 2 election. The deadline for registering to vote in this election is Oct. 4. We encourage everyone to get out and get registered. We also encourage anyone interested in their community and local government to run for office.


Column
Sherry Lewis
The Banks County News- September 15, 1999

Y-2 krazy
A few months ago I was in a line at the grocery store behind a woman asking for a case of some canned food item that was on sale. While the cashier sent someone to get that for her she proceeded to tell us how she was going to be prepared for Y2K.
She said if we did not start stockpiling food it was going to be too bad for us. We would probably die of starvation in a matter of weeks. Of course, when she walked away the cashier and I had a good laugh.
Today, you might call me a hypocrite. Guess what I've been doing for the last few weeks. No, I haven't been buying food by the case. Although mentally I have been considering what would happen if we were left without electricity and other items we generally take for granted.
My husband Chris has talked about buying a generator just in case the power goes out. That would keep us from losing all of the fresh vegetables we put in the freezer this summer. Also, without electricity I will have to look for another way to cook. I guess that is when the gas grill or propane cook stove will come in handy. It would be like camping out without leaving the confines of home.
I have also been thinking about the items that we use every day and what would happen if we could not get them from grocery stores or from the faucet in the sink.
We need water for drinking as well as food preparation. It has been recommended that people store a gallon of water per person per day. While I like drinking water I generally jump start my day with a soft drink. I guess I'd better store up some of those as well as extra coffee, bottled juice and canned milk as well.
I also need to think about food. If I asked my children what they would want to store up, they would say chips and candy. But I am talking about the meats and vegetables to put a good meal on the table. I'm not big on canned meats but in a crunch I'm sure I would not complain. I might even get to the point that I would eat that deer meat in our freezer, but I doubt it.
What about prescription and non-prescription drugs? I think I will buy an extra bottle or two of my favorite headache reliever, just in case. I want to be sure I have Band-Aids, antibiotic ointment and other items in a first aid kit.
While these sound like good ideas, I sometimes wonder it I'm overreacting. I guess in 15 weeks we will all know for sure.
Sherry Lewis is news editor of The Banks County News.


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