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FreeSpeech for 02-24-10

The last three health inspection grades for the Fayette County Jail are 99, 97 and 100. I can’t find another eating establishment in Fayette County with an average this high. What are my options if I want an extra clean place to eat out and don’t want to go to jail?

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Fayetteville and Fayette County, please return the traffic signals to “on demand” instead of how they have been set now. The reasoning of timing for the crosswalks is a load of fertilizer. No one uses those “crosswalks to nowhere.” Let them be set to “on demand” instead of tying up traffic, even at 4 in the morning.

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For everyone who is tired of sitting in traffic at the light on Ga. Highway 85 and Summit Point (south of Fayetteville), contact the DOT at www.dot.state.ga.us. Follow the “contact us” in the top right corner and it will take you to an email webpage. Let’s get together and get this traffic light timing changed.

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Loved Thomas R. Henry’s observations (Opinion page, Jan. 27) on the unnecessary crosswalks that have sprung up all over Georgia, not just in Fayette County. Also, has anyone addressed Jerry Elder’s timely question for “someone to explain why we have crosswalks with electronic crossing guides at several locations in Fayette County?” Again, I have observed these “crosswalks to nowhere” in a lot of small towns that I have visited already in Georgia, and I suspect just about ALL towns in Georgia have them, or will get them. If they were intended to help pedestrians get across busy intersections, then I challenge anyone even in good physical condition to get across Ga. Highway 74 at Tyrone Road in the electronic time allotted of 60 seconds. Further, the narrow concrete lanes for pedestrians will not allow a golf cart to maneuver through them as I have already seen, and hampers large trucks from making turns easily. Waste is waste, but hopefully some Georgia people were employed installing these things — the only redeeming feature I can see. An explanation by one of our politicians or commissioner would seem to be in order.

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For years, I have received portions of individuals’ personal medical records from our local hospital and area doctors on my fax machine. Sometimes, I get several records at once. Each time, I notify the sender and destroy the confidential reports. Yet, they keep coming. I can’t even leave my fax machine loaded because they exhaust both paper and ink. And with every incident, I’m issued warnings that I’ll be hung, shot at sunrise or burned at the stake if I reveal any of these private documents. Here’s my question: Would I be sentenced to perform 12 months of hard housekeeping at Jordan Sales and Salvage if I forwarded these medical records to whom they belong, the patient? Not that I’d do that, but it is a good question.

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Freedom of Speech — Yes. Feb 2, 2010, McIntosh/Starr’s Mill basketball game. We might consider “a time and place for everything.” I’m sure the kids were just playing around in the name of school spirit. But, my heart and chest just didn’t have a good feeling after the National Anthem. Was it patriotism and spirit in the wrong “time and place.” Maybe I’m “too sensitive,” in regards to disrespect and rudeness. Just because “Johnny has done it” doesn’t make something right. Why not sing the school’s fight song or give a rousing cheer after the National Anthem is completed instead of changing “Brave” to a school’s mascot? Both our country and a school can be given proper respect and spirit. Free speech is what we are hearing since Carol’s article. It would be interesting to hear comments of the troops and Frances Scott Key in the 1800s. We should all be “passionate,” sensitive,” patriotic,” and have a “spirit” in this “crazy world.” I appreciate Carol’s article. The National Anthem is a challenging song to sing. I get choked up each time I sing it. I’m proud of the girl who volunteered to sing, and, yes, an apology is due. It’s hard for me to understand why the McIntosh PTSO president thinks she doesn’t deserve one. Isn’t it wonderful God made us all different? We are blessed to be in America, the land of the free. God bless us all.

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When will high schools wake up and start banning water bottles brought from home? Kids are filling water bottles with vodka and getting loaded at school, getting drunk and getting hurt. They bring them to sports events, as well as school. I am not sure if this is leading to the annual ticker of high school pregnancies or not, but someone needs to get with the program.

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Shaun White: Olympic Snowboarder by day and Carrot Top Las Vegas comedian by night.

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Here I am in Connecticut reading Free Speech online. A habit from my past PTC life: like a good train wreck in words, I have to look. Quintessential Southern charm at its best. I’m truly disappointed they have no such thing here. You’d think with the rocket scientists they’re churning out at Yale within blocks (OK, shyster lawyers, maybe), somebody would have thought of it.

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Has it ever occurred to anyone that perhaps a county, including Clayton and Fayette, by the way, doesn’t need both a sheriff’s department AND a police department? I’ve lived in PTC for 25 years, moving here from Maine where we lived for 12 years, New Hampshire for a year and 5 years in Texas before that. In none of those places did the counties require both a police force AND a sheriff’s department. Historically, the police have been responsible for public safety in organized areas like cities and towns, while sheriff’s departments were responsible for unincorporated areas of the county, mostly rural areas. If we eliminated the county police departments, we would be eliminating a lot of redundancy, since all the cities and towns within these counties already have their own police departments. I realize this is somewhat of a paradigm shift for the law enforcement culture in Georgia. That said, we could probably realize some synergy by beefing up the sheriff’s departments with redundant police officers but the biggest savings would seem to be in administrative overhead.

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Could anyone find out the name, address and phone number of the company that owns the shopping center where Barnes & Noble is located? All of us that wish to keep our Barnes & Noble store should let these [people] know that some rent is better than no rent and that if they cannot come to a lease agreement with them we will not support any other use of this shopping center. Greed has to stop somewhere.

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Any direct correlation between our now “more-diverse” racial makeup in Fayette and surrounding counties, and the incredible increase in robberies and other violent crimes? Just askin’ ...

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President Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen want to change the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for homosexuals in the military so gays can serve openly. The Democrats indicated they will slip this new policy into the military appropriation bill to make it hard to vote down. This is a mush-headed idea. Why would we fix something that’s not broken? Changing this policy will make the armed forces weaker, not stronger. It will adversely affect good order and discipline, cohesion and troop morale. Add gay officers and non-commissioned officers, who won’t be respected, to the mix and the problem is compounded with a dramatically weakened leadership corps. If the skills of a homosexual person are needed by the military, then they should be hired as an independent contractor. But openly gay people should not be forced down the military’s throat. Can you imagine the graffiti that will appear on latrine walls if Obama’s homosexual policy goes into effect: “Call Captain Gates if you want a good time, anytime”? This is crude and not good and we need to stop it before it starts by preventing the change in policy the Democrats want. Congress should give Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen a vote of no-confidence and ask for their resignation.

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I am thoroughly disgusted with veterinarians. How dare they be so uncaring when it comes to the lives of your beloved pets? They give you an “estimate” to treat your animal and if you can’t pay it up-front, they tell you then maybe you’ll need to put your animal down. That’s their thinking. Who, when people are working so hard just to keep their homes and vehicles, and even jobs, in these horrific economic times, has the money to ante up $400 or more? How dare they? If anyone wants to go into the medical profession, I’d go with being a veterinarian. They don’t have to deal with filing claims with an insurance company and they can legally tell you to put your family member down if you can’t pay up-front. How many doctors can do that?

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I thought that when Eric Imker stood up in front of the City Council and asked them to start to look at the reductions that need to be made to the city budget, the reactions from the council and city management staff that were present all seemed to be thinking, “What next?” Here is a councilman who takes the side of the taxpayer, and because we don’t know how to manage, we use tax increases to solve our poor managing skills. Keep on the people’s side, Eric; we will support you.

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Rep. Lynn Westmoreland should be booted out, but he won’t. The Tea Party guy has no chance. The Tea Party folks are sincere and patriotic but they’ll just end up getting co-opted and used by the trough-feeding Republicans. Look at spending and the size of government, and there is really no difference between the Democrats and the Republicans over the past 30 years.

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To the person who was upset at the “geese eradication event” at Whitewater Creek Country Club, where’s your humanity, sensitivity, and compassion when you buy your beef, chicken, and fish in the grocery store? Why don’t you research what happens in a slaughter house and maybe you will no longer frequent the grocery store; however, I doubt that will happen.

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Never have I been so disappointed in an article on the front page of The Citizen as I was when I read Mr. Nelms’ article on the school budget increases relative to student enrollment. I thought the objective of journalistic reports was to report the facts and allow the reader to draw their own conclusions. At best, this article belonged on the editorial page, particularly in light of how poorly the analysis was done. First, in Mr. Nelms’ analysis of the “feast of funding” we enjoyed, Mr. Nelms failed to account for the inflationary impact on the budgets over this period of time. And although he did include the comptroller’s comments in the article he failed to take any of the non-instructional mandates that the board has faced out of his calculations to even attempt to give the reader a fair picture of what the true increases might have been that may be attributed to student population change. In addition, the basis of his comparison is also in question. Who’s to say that the 2000 budget was a proper basis for comparison? How does Georgia compare in expenditures as a function of student numbers compared to other states with much better achievement results? Have we not been playing catch up in student achievement and haven’t we made strides in Fayette County achievement results over the past 10 years? I, for one, relocated to Fayette County three years ago, bringing my business and my family here to this county, primarily on the reputation of its public school system. I won’t say I agree with every decision made by the school board over that period of time, but I can certainly support them in their attempts to make the best decisions they can in this very difficult economic time. Perhaps Mr. Nelms can claim he foresaw the future better than anyone else did three to five years ago when plans and budgets were put in place, but I think it’s time we put the past behind us and focus on what needs to be done at this time and for these kids.

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