Tue, 02/21/2006 - 4:35pm
By: The Citizen

Anyone see the article in Monday’s AJC about the week-long winter break holiday we’re in the midst of? If you missed it, Melinda Berry-Dreisbach, spokeswoman for Fayette County schools, was quoted as saying, “Our parents seem to like it. This time of year, a lot of our parents like to take ski trips, and this way they can bring their children with them.” How out of touch can you be, Melinda? It’s 40 degrees out and raining. Sure, it’s a great time to go skiing, if parents can afford it, and get the time off from work. But for the other 95 percent, the kids are not skiing this week; they’re sitting around the house playing video games or watching TV. By the way, spring break starts exactly six weeks from today. In fact, it’s only been six and a half weeks since Christmas vacation ended. If you were really listening to parents, Ms. Berry-Dreisbach, here’s what you’d hear the vast majority of us say: “We want to trade you the week off in February for a week later start in August.” Why is this so difficult for the school bureaucrats to understand? Stop defending this calendar. Instead of starting school Aug. 7, start the 14th and let the kids stay in school in February.

Regarding Barb Kelley’s lack of things to do for teenagers. Is it the cities’ responsibility to entertain our children? She seems to think so. Why didn’t she offer some suggestions? Check into the local churches. A teen center in Fayetteville was tried and failed. How about some ideas from the teenagers?

I’m glad I read these informed comments. I have learned that my time worrying about my kids, making sure they are involved in church, sports, good friends, etc., really isn’t my problem after all. It’s the government’s. I wasn’t totally convinced, though, so I double-checked and there it was, the 43rd Amendment. It’s better known as “Separation of Youth and Boredom.” It’s the government’s job to make sure our kids are entertained. Whew, there’s one less thing to waste my time on.

A teen center has about as much chance of being built in PTC as a prison. At least one worthwhile that may cost as much as $6-8 million to start, but would include paved parking and books. Why do we think that people spend $3-400 per square foot for courthouses, libraries, and other buildings for tax-paid people to work? Because these people will work there for the ability to appreciate the quality, and a pension. Teens are no different. Don’t throw them into a piece of existing, small junk pile; make it something they will appreciate and take care of permanently. It is no longer a problem of discipline with the correct electronic surveillance and design, bathrooms in the front with detectors and frequent inspections and cleaning, and having programs worth going there to see and do.

Let’s just put it all on the line. The Board of Education is either unconcerned or unprepared to handle the out-of-county attendees. I have followed several cars from Rivers Edge subdivision (off County Line Road and in Clayton County) to East Fayette Elementary where they have dropped off their kids. I have also reported the vehicles and their tag numbers to the B of E for enforcement. But day after day, there they are. I do know that this area of Clayton County actually has a Fayetteville address and a 30215 zip code. If that is all these people had to show then it’s no wonder that we have this problem. Until the B of E gets serious about really investigating and not just giving these folks a cursory glance, it won’t get better. That’s assuming they actually looked into my reports. I can guarantee you that the interest level was not there when I called the board.

C. W. Campbell, it is no wonder you have been bad-mouthed in the newspapers lately. Your communication skills leave a lot to be desired; not a good thing when having to answer to the public and parents of this county. On more than one occasion my family has voiced legitimate concerns to you regarding school events and each time your responses were rude and vague. You have a real art for avoiding the issue. That was clear in your quotes in the recent articles regarding illegal students and we’ve also seen it first-hand in your responses to us. Please get someone with a little class and tact to answer your mail for you. Better yet, why don’t we get someone who can actually do your job instead of skating around the issues brought to your attention.

The article starts by saying, “With no fanfare and almost no public notice, the Fayette County School System is undergoing a demographic sea change.” Do I need to report this “demographic change” to the authorities; have you? Did I miss the “fanfare” or was there a town hall meeting about this life-threatening “change” that I missed? What should we do when people of other cultures and beliefs move into our neighborhoods and schools? It will happen. Should we move? That’s why we’re in Fayette County; that doesn’t work. Just look at downtown Atlanta: people got tired of moving farther and farther away. So what are they doing now? Taking over the areas they left in the first place. So, what should we do? Stay informed, stay involved and continue to be the open-minded upstanding citizens we’ve been before this pointless article came about.

The demographic shift underway in Fayette County may turn today’s majority into tomorrow’s minority. The new minority will then rue the day when, as the majority, it opposed district voting. They’ll feel worse when the new majority throws up the pork-barrel argument in their face. But, hey, what goes around comes around.

A few people seem upset about a black history display at the PTC library using dolls, quilt patterns, and of all things, a Mammy. Using this word alone, which is tied deeply to the 1800s prototypes, must be offensive? So-called Mammies did exist, so did slave owners, but I wouldn’t want to be called either one. Sometimes we give ourselves away unknowingly. Anyone want to see the next display: “Atlanta burning,” complete with drunken white soldiers and the Atlanta gentile subjects.

The headline reads, ”schools have majority minorities.” How can you be in the majority but still be a minority? I know what was trying to be said, but it makes about as much sense as “friendly war” and “even unevenness.”

In the fall I attended several meetings held by the Fayette County School Board on the subject of redistricting due to overcrowding. With the pleas of mother and fathers still ringing in my head, it was with amazement I read an article in the Feb. 15 edition of The Citizen. The article detailed John Wieland’s annexation request to build an additional 377 single family homes in the West Village area of Peachtree City. It brings to mind many questions such as where will an additional 600-700 possible students attend school? How many more trailers can we fit in the schoolyards? How will it impact the quality of education? Does any one in city or county government talk to the school board about the impact when a plan like this hits their desk? Should builders literally blitzing an area such as the West Village be required to include community-based schools in their master plan? Can that area handle another 600 cars? The current round of road improvements on Ga. Highway 54 will be obsolete before completed with the continuation of unchecked growth. Where the heck is the master plan, people?

I just wanted to tell the kid who very unsuccessfully tried to smoke a blunt outside of my house to stay in her own neighborhood and smoke pot. And to her parents, why is your teenage daughter out at 12 a.m. on a school night?

I would much rather have our city’s reputation ruined by the PTC police than have child molesters prey on our children. Let it be known to those predators that our children are not free game. I am proud of the work and the risks the PTC police department is taking to keep our children safe. They, unlike others who prefer to worry about PTC’s spotless reputation, choose do what is right, not what is politically correct. We will not be known as the child molestation capital of Georgia; we will be known as the safest city from child molesters in Georgia.

If you think that Greg Dunn and Linda Wells are the answer for a better life in Fayette, then you have never worked for them. I have never had to deal with the level of arrogance and distain for others than with these two individuals. To say that Greg Dunn treats all individuals the same is dead wrong (I don’t want to call anyone a liar). I have seen them publicly admonish (and bordering on ridicule) their department heads in front of the public and other employees. Is that a good management tactic? The further down the salary schedule you are at the county the less value you have to them. They won’t even acknowledge the existence of many entry-level workers in their midst unless it is to criticize. I have personally witnessed them making fun of lower level employees or making inappropriate jokes or comments about low-paid county employees. All the while taking away or freezing benefits while making comments that there is nothing wrong with double-digit turnover rates. What’s wrong with someone wanting to retire from the county? They have made comments that long-time employees leaving and being replaced by new lower salaried individuals helps the bottom line. As a taxpayer, I want to run an efficient organization and keep costs down, but not by making people so unhappy with their job that they leave after many years of good service. That is not the right way to save money, and it puts some aspects of our county services at risk. Just understand, when you aren’t happy with county employees, give them a break. They probably have not been on the job very long, and what time they’ve spent there hasn’t been very rewarding. And if you want to know what it’s like working for your commissioners, just ask a county employee. But do it discreetly; they’ve been told the walls have ears.

Parapros are like the energizer bunny. They cover classes at a moment’s notice. They cover lunch duty and outdoor recess in all kinds of weather. They are expected to attend faculty meetings and many other school functions. They have to take classes to keep up their certificates. The most important thing is they have responsibility for your children on a daily basis. Their pay scale is way below the poverty level. Some of these hard-working professionals are single parents. They should be making twice as much as they are paid.

I have read both arguments on [litter] and I have concluded the following: We do have a litter problem in this town as anyone with two eyes can see. It is PTC’s sole responsibility not the taxpayers’ to deal with this problem. If citizens want to volunteer to help out, then that is great. The question is, “What if anything is the city actually doing to combat this problem?” The reality is that if there are no consequences for the act of littering then the act will continue. It is sort of like cleaning up after your child until he or she is 20 years old and pretending that everything is hunky-dory. At some point people need to become responsible adults who are accountable for their actions. I think we have passed that point.

Last weekend we were having dinner in PTC and watched as the waitresses tossed tons of beer bottles in with the regular trash. Since they have such a large volume of cans and bottles, shouldn’t bars and restaurants be required to keep them out of the landfill?

I was overcome by sadness today while reading the Free Speech section regarding the woman who decided to terminate her pregnancy. Is it possible to encourage this woman to keep a future pregnancy or to just say no to sex while berating and condemning her for what has already been done? In my eyes, this person who has shared her story with us has given all of us an opportunity, an invitation to teach our kids about something we may find difficult to even bring up. Instead of judging her actions and telling her what she has done wrong, it should be our intention to teach this girl and other young adults what is appropriate. By being hateful and angry towards this person, all of her insecurities and low self-esteem which may have led up to her choice to say “yes” to sex while disregarding the possible consequences, has only been marred and re-affirmed. She will only feel worse about herself and it will only drive her to repeat her mistakes. I would like to thank Ms. Name Withheld for giving me an opportunity to teach. I would like to let her know that what is done is done and that she now has a very important choice to make. She can own and recognize her guilt, pain and anger, forgive herself and reach out to someone to help her learn ways she can more easily make positive choices OR she can succumb to her emotions and throw herself into the vicious cycle of looking for negative things (drugs, alcohol, etc.) to help cover up her emotions. We all have a right to feel whatever we feel, even if others don’t agree. Instead of telling this girl she is evil and wrong while sitting behind a computer, we should accept what has been done and teach this girl how to make decisions that reflects love and encouragement so that next time she is in the situation to say “yes” or “no” to sex she will have the self-esteem and skills to make the positive choice.

Would the free speech author who offered, “I would be glad to take as many babies as I could through adoption if these women didn’t want them,” please re-submit in the editorial section and include your name so we can take you up on it?

Left-wing academia has taken control of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Their latest salvo in the PC wars is to prohibit the University of Illinois from using an Indian chief as its symbol at NCAA-sponsored tournaments. The team’s nickname is Fighting Illini. The name is based on the Indian tribe that inhabited that area of the country. Their symbol is not a Walt Disney-type caricature but is an individual proudly wearing traditional buckskins and an Indian chief headdress. It’s time to curb the NCAA’s power and reduce its authority to make decisions based on political correctness. College presidents, athletic directors, regents and state legislators should cut funding for this organization by 50 percent so the NCAA can reduce its extraneous staff and reconcentrate its efforts on its primary mission of ensuring fairness in college athletics. Having said that, I doubt legislators and regents in Blue States will do anything to stop the liberal bent of the NCAA.

Cheney hunting accident: I rank this story right up there with the local apartment fire in terms of importance. The 24-hour news cycle is going to be our downfall. If Cheney were on the receiving end of that buckshot, then we probably need to know about it, but only if his wounds were life-threatening or impaired his ability to work.

It absolutely made my blood boil to see Coach Steve Kidd trying to go out in some sort of blaze of glory after his 30 years of coaching at McIntosh. Be assured, he did not go out voluntarily, but the new powers that be at McIntosh finally, after years of complaining about Coach Kidd by both parents and players, put a much-needed end to his unsuccessful reign as the head varsity girls basketball coach. Hallelujah that he won’t be there any more to help his team find ways to lose games that they could easily win, that he won’t be there to always blame every loss on the players, on their stupidity or lack of maturity, and that he won’t be there next year to teach them the same ONE play that he has been running for years and that every opponent that McIntosh faces knows by heart before the game even starts. He took good players and turned them into bad players, year after year. He drove girls away from the basketball program in such numbers that by this last season, he could only field a team of 11 players.

Someone go ahead and turn out the lights at Delta. We’re sick of hearing about your troubles. Georgia and the Atlanta area have handled businesses closing down before. The closing of Delta certainly will not be the end of the healthy state of the economy in this area.

This is in response to the writer upset with pilots and unions. I fly for Delta and before that the USAF for a combined service of 23 years. My father and older brother both spent 30 years flying for the military. My brother once told me, “You will never win the public’s understanding of your pay or job. You need to learn to accept that.” I must admit I have a hard time accepting opinions given out of ignorance or envy. I have tried to teach my children the two most important early decisions they will make are whom they marry and how they will support themselves. I didn’t choose this poor unhappy soul’s job. Management has their hands full pleasing Wall Street and have taken their eye off the ball. The pilots choose to speak with one voice through their union. The union is me, a local pilot, not some group in Washington. My union allows my voice to be heard. I don’t want management’s compensation increases coming out of my paycheck. The union is a partial check to the balance of the board of directors. As management seems to come and go with the seasons, the corporate memory remains with our membership. If other employees feel liberated by not voicing their opinions via an association or having an employment contract, then that is their right. My job is to make sure you get to your final destination 100 percent of the time. I love this profession and feel very blessed to be apart of it. No one group is indispensable at Delta or any company, it is simply a question of how each group elects to voice their concerns and negotiate their compensation. That truly is part of the free market economy that made our country great.

Union pilots are professionals, not spoiled children. They have respect for themselves and their positions and their company. They get what they deserve by being professionals. They do not leave their companies and then run off and hide as the executive management retirees do, then have the nerve to request their company for first class seat passes after leaving with their millions. Much less have the nerve to put their picture in the news saying they are relocating to another area to help people that are less fortunate than they are with the millions their company paid them (real dedication). At least the pilots are still working trying to save their companies and are professional enough to pursue answers in the right manner and not tuck their tails and run. I am not a pilot or airline employee, only a passenger and I will certainly check on future trips to be sure I am not flying with a “bus driver with cool technology.” I shudder to think what would happen if they should forget they are in the air and think they are driving a bus on the ground.

To Mr. “Belly Full of Union Pilots”: I’m glad that you have been able to enlighten Fayette County about us spoiled children airline pilots that don’t work half the time. I’m one of those spoiled brats that throws hissy-fits all the time and I thought that I could throw one right now to help you enlighten Fayette County further. I guess according to you it’s just not worth it to fight for what little you have left. Yes, I guess we are acting like the bus drivers of New York City; you do mean the ones up north, many of whom make more than lots of airline pilots? Or are you referring to the MARTA drivers, many of whom make more than us? Oh, that’s right, maybe if I actually worked I’d make more money. Let’s see: this month shows that I will be gone away from my base for about 260 hours. Do you work that much per month? All we’re going to do is demand-demand-demand and bring this company down. Are you sure that you’re not talking about management? The same management that led us straight to bankruptcy? All I am is a bus driver with cool technology: next time you’re passing the cockpit why don’t you step in and give it a try and show us how it’s done? You said you’re a pilot, right? We’re using technology, you might say, bought by management, but financed with massive pay and benefit cuts from the employees? Technology maintained by the employees of the company, or outsourced to Mexico and Canada? Technology prepared by employees of the company, or wasn’t that outsourced to a wonderful company called DGS? The customers were obtained by employees of the company, or were they obtained by employees in India? The baggage is still loaded by employees of the company, if you’re in a large hub that is. All I do is show up and fly the plane, while all of the employees do all the real work. Hmmmm, last time I checked, flying the plane was a pretty important part of an airline operation. But I never have to help the old lady with her bags, or get the stroller for the mother of three, or help the passengers find their next flight, or push the elderly man in a wheelchair to his connecting flight. Thanks again for enlightening us, I forgot just how little I did.

How low will the Delta pilots go? If their union would allow them, probably to as low as about $65,000 per year. What else can a former Delta pilot do where they could make $65,000 per year? More concessions, Delta pilots, or no job.

Look on any roof or home being built; look in any yard being mowed; look at any shrub being planted; look at any vegetables and fruits being picked; look into the kitchens of any restaurant; look on the street corners for crowds gathered at 6 a.m. each day and you will see how illegal aliens can be stopped here in Fayette County, if we just really wanted to do so. But we don’t. Politicians rant and rave about it verbally, but do NOTHING about it. Sheriffs do the same. Police Chiefs do the same. And the federal government does even less. Each group blames the other. All retailers, and others, are required to fill out a form that says anyone you hire is legal and have proof of that. To my knowledge, no one has ever bothered to check that; the local officers say it is state or federal and the federals says it is the opposite. When questioned in depth, our local officers say they don’t have enough jail space and can’t transport them to the border. A similar excuse is given by the feds. So, shut up about it then.

Ponder this scenario: A category four hurricane is skimming up the east coast one August, and is forecasted to possibly hit either Norfolk, Philadelphia, or New York in about 7-10 days, and could possibly be a category five hurricane when it hits land. The situation room of the White House, the Pentagon planning room, and Homeland Security offices of course know about the creature, but just keep looking at it since they don’t know what to do about it, or hope it will miss. We got no orange or red color change and no one was put on alert. About a week later, we lose two aircraft carriers, three cruisers, two nuclear submarines, and a host of smaller ships, along with over 20,000 soldiers, sailors and marines. The civilians are still showing up in the shipping channel. The 35-foot tidal wave went all the way up the James River, spreading flood and wind damage to Richmond. FEMA still didn’t have their plan typed for that area (only New Orleans, which might be hit again sometime.) The White house said they didn’t know the tidal wave was coming. Yeah, right. I’m sure the admirals and congressmen, and the Army, would have done nothing. Change the name of the city to New Orleans and the above scenario would be similar to what happened, but to Norfolk, Philadelphia, or New York, never. No, it isn’t racial, it is commitment to what we like as opposed to what we don’t like.

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H. Hamster's picture
Submitted by H. Hamster on Tue, 02/21/2006 - 7:34pm.

The way these blogs work best is if you put up one thought and let readers comment. When you write a book, no one reads it and it takes up space. Stop it! Or at least consider serializing it.

To address one of your many points (watch how this works, lady - I stay on one point, then I sign off) ---

C. W. Campbell is clearly out of touch with the illegal student issue. Go over his head to his boss. Don't put up with the wussy liberal (and inneffective) management of a real problem. AWAWD (Ask What Arnold Would Do).

Submitted by Reality Bytes on Wed, 02/22/2006 - 6:57am.

Um.....I know it's been a while, but please remember that the "free speech" section is actually SEVERAL comments mushed together, but separated by paragraphs.

So, sorry to correct you, my dear Hamster, but this is how the Citizen posted it, not any one individual person.

H. Hamster's picture
Submitted by H. Hamster on Wed, 02/22/2006 - 7:09am.

Got to read more carefully

Submitted by hofflerb on Tue, 02/21/2006 - 5:51pm.

On the pesron who said something about the 43rd amendment and not having to take responsibility for their kid's entertainment and such:

I sure hope that person was being sarcastic, or they have some serious parenting issues. Also, what the heck is the 43rd amendment, or is that something they made up because they were being sarcastic?

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