Valdosta Daily Times

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What We Think

July 12, 2014

Valdosta: Time for a hard look

VALDOSTA — Last week was a tough one for Valdosta. A national survey named Valdosta as the nation’s fastest-shrinking city. A report listed Valdosta State Prison in a three-way tie for the state’s second most violent prison.

A tough week, but really, it’s been a tough couple of years for Valdosta. Sewage issues. Uncertainty regarding Moody Air Force Base’s mission and future. Concern regarding a lack of new industry. Millage rates rising. ...

In such times, it’s easy to blame others. It’s easy for leaders to bicker with one another. It’s too easy because we, as a community, have been bickering and pointing fingers at one another far too long.

While we’ve dithered in personal differences and political wrangling, others have identified our problems for us. And while some wonder why these issues should be publicized locally, we must remember that the rest of the state and the nation see these reports and surveys whether we like it or not. They see these reports and make judgments on our town and region.

To not recognize these issues in our town does nothing to change the negative perceptions by individuals and industries looking at Valdosta. Ignoring them will lead to more trouble, not less.

So instead of seeing these reports as the problem, leaders and citizens should look at them as wake-up calls to addressing the problems causing the reports.

But first, Valdosta leaders and individuals from both public and private sectors must put aside territorial disputes and personal disagreements for the greater good.

If we spent time on solving issues rather than debating why the shrinking-city report does or does not have merits, the perception or reality of a shrinking population would be moot.

We need to invest our community’s talents, energies, and resources into building a better place to live rather than tearing one another down.

It’s time for petty bickering to become serious debate. It’s time for fingerpointing to become outreached hands of opportunity and support. It’s time for a hard look in the mirror then it’s time to get to work. It’s time for ideas and sacrifice.

It’s past time, but we can do it. We must, or there will be tougher weeks ahead for Valdosta.

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What We Think
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    In Sunday’s paper, readers found an extensive list of shows, exhibits, concerts and more for the upcoming arts seasons in Valdosta-Lowndes County.

    July 27, 2014

  • The power of One

    Christine Batson wondered the same thing that many people wonder.

    July 26, 2014

  • Thumbs Up

    THUMBS UP: To Air Force Lt. Col. David Rayman. The 75th Fighter Squadron commander recently logged 3,000 flight hours in the A-10C Thunderbolt II. A rare feat. In presenting a Moody Air Force Base story on his accomplishment in The Times, it’s good to see the face and know the name of one of the many pilots who cross our South Georgia skies. Congratulations on 3,000 and thank you for your service.

    July 26, 2014

  • Closing another summer chapter

    The South Georgia Regional Library brings its 2014 summer reading program to a close this weekend with an event that celebrates readers and writers.

    July 24, 2014

  • Countdown for voter apathy

    If you don’t think your vote counts, talk to Ellis Black and John Page today.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vote to remove signs

    Congratulations to the winners in the primary runoff election Tuesday.

    July 23, 2014

  • Runoff election counts today

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    July 21, 2014

  • PSST! Only one week left

    Peach State Summer Theatre enters its final week of performances for the 2014 season. This means there are only a few more opportunities left to see “Mary Poppins,” “Smokey Joe’s Cafe,” and “42nd Street.”

    July 20, 2014

  • The wisdom of animals

    Animals may be smarter than us. If you don’t think so take a look at how we humans deal with the oppressive heat of summer. Compare our activities with those of animals.

    July 19, 2014

  • Welcoming home the ‘Unseen Project’

    Two months ago, they embarked on an ambitious endeavor: Two friends, riding on motorcycles criss-crossing the United States, followed by a film crew, on a faith-based tour to find America the Unseen.

    July 17, 2014

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