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OPINION PAGE - DECEMBER 1, 1999 - HOMER, GA

Editorial
The Banks County News
December 1, 1999

Shop at home during this holiday season
The day after Thanksgiving signals that the shopping season is in full swing. Banks Countians are fortunate in that they do not have to travel very far to find all of their shopping needs.
The outlet stores at Banks Crossing provide a wide selection of merchandise. Other stores in Homer and throughout our county also have gift items.
The stores that are in Banks County provide many valuable things to our citizens. In addition to providing jobs for our residents, the stores also send plenty of sales tax revenue our way­both for county government and county schools.
This shopping season, do your shopping in Banks County. In addition to those stores located throughout the county, also check out the outlet stores that are in Banks County, those located next to the new Wal-Mart store that is under construction. Shopping locally will help our county continue to grow.


Letter
The Banks County News
December 1, 1999

Air quality still an issue
Dear Editor:
In case you thought you heard all the bad news on air quality, think again. We learned about smog from cars and the big utilities, but nobody mentioned our local EMCs.
EPD is about to issue permits for diesel-powered generators to take care of the summer load when rates are at their highest - as a money-saver for the EMCs. The trouble is, these little rental generators have no controls to take care of the nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, the very thing that makes smog so deadly.
The head of EPD's Stationary Source Division said that no emission controls would be required until the spring of 2003, to match what Atlanta is doing for its smog control.
Permit applications have come from many nearby locations: Forsyth County (Sawnee EMC - many sites in Cumming), Hall (Flowery Branch), Gwinnett (Buford), Jackson (Jackson EMC) and Union (Blairsville). Each unit is small, but there are so many of them, and other EMCs could still apply.
The public does have an opportunity to learn more and to make comments, by writing a specific request for a hearing. Address Jimmy Johnston, program manager, Stationary Source Permitting Program, Air Protection Branch EPD, 4244 International Parkway, Suite 120, Atlanta, Ga. 30354. Letters must be received by December 10. It takes a certain number of letters to get a hearing, but EPD never says what that number is.
For more information, call Mr. Johnston at (404) 363-7000. Good air is getting hard to find.

Sincerely,
Adele Kushner, President
Action for a Clean Environment
Alto

Column
By Angela Gary
The Banks County News
December 1, 1999

'No, we're not twins'
or 'Do I look 52?'
An annual holiday shopping trip on Friday led to more of the usual "Are you twins?" questions. My mother and I get these questions at the grocery store, at the mall, at the post office and on the sidewalk.
It didn't help matters on Friday that Mom and I had on matching red turtle neck shirts and denim shirts with Frosty the snowman on them. We like to wear Christmas clothing for our annual day-after-Thanksgiving shopping excursion and we found the denim shirts at a good price.
The only reason that the "Are you twins?" comment annoys me is that I'm afraid that it means I look 52 years old, which is how old my mother is. I don't care if we look alike or not, but I don't want to look any older than my 32 years. Everyone assures me that I don't look old. It is just that my mother looks so much younger than she is. The comments still lead me to mutter things such as, "Yeah, we're twins. I was just born 20 years after her" or "She's 52 and I'm 32. Did you really think we are the same age?"
Actually, I wouldn't mind if we did look alike. I think my mother is beautiful, but I don't think we look alike. It's just that we both have black fuzzy hair, which is the first thing most people notice. I keep telling her that it is an insult for both of us to be mistaken for twins. She is two decades older than me and I'm 20 pounds heavier than her. Either way, someone is insulting one of us when they think we are identical twins.
What's even more strange is that some people see my mother and tell her, "Oh, you're that woman that writes for the paper" or "I love your column in the newspaper." I can accept the fact that we might look like twins (because of the hair thing), but how could people think we are the same person?
Other than the usual "twin" comments, we had fun shopping Friday. I don't know if it was curiosity, boredom or insanity that led two of Amanda's friends to agree to accompany us on our annual day-after-Thanksgiving shopping excursion at dawn. I always enjoy this holiday tradition with my mother and sister. We have plenty of time to sleep off the Thanksgiving turkey on Thursday afternoon, so we are able to get up early the Friday after to head out shopping.
We always try to get to the malls when the stores open, which is sometimes as early as 6 or 7 a.m., in order to beat the crowds. Some people aren't able to get up at 5 a.m. to go shopping, so it isn't as crowded early in the morning as it is in the afternoon. Some people may think this is crazy (columnist Mary Ann Robinson), but others know the fun of heading out with loved ones in the wee hours of the morning hunting for bargains.
Anyway, Amanda's two teaching buddies, Amoreena Hart and Christy Hardy, joined us for this year's excursion. They are great friends and wonderful teachers, a combination that leads some people to extreme jealousy.
I had five envelopes with our names on them filled with coupons I had spent an hour clipping out the previous day. Needless to say, Amanda's friends found out just what she means when she says her sister is organized.
It was a pleasant day and we were ready for lunch by 11 a.m., which is when all of the sleepy-heads were coming into the malls to shop. Of course, I finished my Christmas shopping back in the summer, but I still enjoyed looking for those early morning bargains. One thing about shopping early is that you can shop for yourself on the day after Thanksgiving.
We caught a bit of attention due to our outfits for the day. Amanda, Christy and Amoreena all had on matching gray shirts. We thought it would be easier to spot each other in the crowd. And Mom and I had on the matching holiday outfits.
Angela Gary is editor of The Banks County News and associate editor of The Jackson Herald.


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