Emergency crews thanked for bringing back normalcy

I just wanted to say a special thank you to those emergency crews who worked endless hours Monday to restore power on Alden Ave.

Thank you to the ones who removed the trees across the road and to the GA Power personnel who worked into the early hours of Tuesday morning to get the power back on. You all put your own homes and families aside in order to restore our lives back to normal. Thank you.

We should all be praising God that He brought us safely through another storm. Thank you again to all those who are helping and have already helped to restore Valdosta residents back to a normal life.

Terri Jones


Parents urged to attend BOE meeting

On October the 11th at 7 p.m. the Valdosta Board of Education will hold an open forum meeting in the cafeteria at West Gordon Elementary School. This unique opportunity allows citizens a chance to ask questions, address concerns and participate in discussion with their elected school leaders.

As parents, we are the stockholders of the institution known as the Valdosta City Schools. Their product is our children. If we do not express our wishes, our goals and our priorities to the board, who will? Come listen to the dialogue at this meeting or come prepared with your questions. Your presence alone will relay a message of interest in our board's decisions, policies and direction.

A quality school system is the basis for a thriving community. We must be involved in the issues that face our school system or our priorities will never be known. I challenge the citizens of our wonderful city to participate in the decision making process that directs our schools. Apathy leads to mediocrity and there should be nothing mediocre about our schools!

Kelly C. Wilson


Group makes strangers birthday joyful ocassion

Last Saturday evening there was a group of Valdosta residents having dinner at a seafood restaurant in Nashville, Ga., celebrating the birthday of one of the men in the group.

After several of the restaurant servers sang "Happy Birthday" to him, my daughter turned and told them that we were celebrating my birthday also (83rd). In a few minutes, the servers came to our table and sang "Happy Birthday" and handed me a pretty red T-shirt with an embroidered logo on it, and told us that the nice group at the other table had sent it to me. I pulled on the T-shirt and went over to thank them.

We laughed and talked and were having so much fun, I failed to get their names. They were a delightful group. Not only did they make another bright spot in my day, they reminded me that there are so many good folks around us. I am sending this "Rave" in hopes that they will see it and know how much joy they spread last Saturday night.

Lou C. Vickers


An Environmental Perspective

It has been 32 years since the clean air and water act was legislated. Few would argue that these regulations are not absolutely necessary. Having grown up in the Detroit area in the 1960's and the '70's, I witnessed environmental devastation at its worst. I vividly remember the summer of 1968, when the Rouge river, which flows through the industrial heart of Detroit, caught fire. The Cuyohoga River in Ohio caught fire in July of the following year. These rivers and many other tributaries of the Great Lakes were nothing more than waste disposal systems for big industry. Mercury, PCB's and literally hundreds of chemical compounds flowed freely into them. Since the clean air and water act was put into law, there has been a slow but steady improvement of our nations fresh water supply.

We must all become aware of a most alarming trend that has taken shape in the last four years. For the first time in 32 years, our fresh water quality is declining. Through a series of deals, the nations largest polluters are being given exception from liability. Under a proposal by the E.P.A. in Sept. 2003, even the giant factory hog farms wouldn't be accountable for the pollution they create. Prosecutions for violations of the clean air and water act have decreased by 50% in the last four years. The Bush administration is no friend of the environment. Progress made in restoring and maintaining a healthy environment has been the result of bi-partisan cooperation over many years. The conduct of this administration does not conform to either democratic or republican norms. We have the opportunity on Nov. 2nd to send the message that our environment is not for sale.

Frank S. Bibin


Who's accountable for subdivision's water woes?

In regard to the problem in Chadwyck Subdivision -- why was this subdivision allowed to be built? Who fumbled the ball? Was it the RDC (Regional Development Center) by not doing a proper study and then making a recommendation to allow that type of development, or was it the city by not heeding their advice?

The area around Jaycee Shack Road had been a flooding and drainage problem for years. Even now, new subdivisions are being built in the same area.

Our city and county leaders must take the initiative and learn to say NO to developers when the area is not suited for the type of development being proposed.

John Wilkinson


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