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October 16, 2019     The Monroe County Reporter
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October 16, 2019
 

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October 16, 2019 Page 5A iRL l orter ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN by Don Daniel Acouple of weekends ago, actually on a Saturday, a group of white supremacist acfi,vists,chose owntown Dahlonega to hold a rally to spouse their beliefs in white supremacy and as one observer stated, "what they really want is to make America white again': Dahlonega, besides being home to the University of North Georgia formerly North Georgia College, has be- come quite a tourist attraction, capitalizing on the discovery of gold back in the early 1800's. As a matter of information, the dome of our capitol in Atlanta is covered in gold from the streams and mines in and around Dahlonega. Dahlonega's downtown is similar to our downtown square with the courthouse, which has now become a gold museum, as the centerpiece. Of course, many of the stores cover the typical tourist klatch, but again the city is capitalizing on Ga. Hwy. 400 almost dead-ending in down- town and the history of a real historical district. Going back to the "rally", which was anticipate y going to bring an element of risk of danger with emotions over- taking sensibility. Prior to the gathering, news coverage blanketed the area with television from Atlanta, news- papers all over the area, and of course the Atlanta media going "live" as the details and eventual demonstration unfolded. A long story short, the Dahlonega city council began "planning" long before the 40-50 "self-described patriots" showed up to walk around the square. Realizing the poten- tial and hazards of such a demonstration, the mayor and council involved law-enforcement from around the area and state-wide in the planning stages of what could happen if this turned into a major disaster. Well, there were more peaceful anti-demonstrators than white supremacists and according to my source, more law enforcement than citizens of Dahlonega. The planning and involvement was necessary and the fears of local officials and law enforcement never materialized. Being indirectly involved in Dahlonega's planning stages, I began to wonder how would Forsyth handle such an event. With our professional local law enforcement 0f- ricers, the home of The Georgia Public Safety Training center, the public safety resources available, I wouldn't hold a homecoming or Christmas parade without ensuring all concemed that peacefulness arid cooperation was the absolute objective. WOW, A lot of responses to last week's The Question and Ann Haines was the first identifying Santas Workshop down in Bolingbroke needing the repairs. The County Commissioners have given some shekels and repairs are supposedly underway with Christmas just a couple of months away, just in time for Santa Claus. Here's The Question for this week: A "new" columnist has joined us here on the Opinions pages. What is his name? First correct answer receives a certificate for Whistle Stop fried green tomato appetizer, slice of Shoney's straw- berry pie, Dairy Queen Blizzard, single scoop of ice cream at Scoops, slice of Jonah's Pizza and a Forsyth Main Street t-shirt. NO MORE envelopes in our water bills to pay our water bills but we paid Pitney Bowes $7,500. Guess that was postage to send out the water bills and we paid $1,383.49 to Sphinx Forms and Systems for finance window envelopes. OVER AT the county commission office, a lot of tax- payer money was paid out, including a $29,939.45 check to Butts County Water and Sewer Authority obviously for water not sewage, and Macon Water Authority got a $111,666.13 check for us using their water. Along those same lines, we paid $117.48 for water cooler water to CCN Distributing. Our new building supply company, Grif- fin Lumber and Hardware, sold us $1,110.77 for supplies. The second largest taxpayer check, $25,046.38, was paid for Hanson Aggregates, Inc for road matter. Of course the new fire station had to have toilets and Hughes Sup- ply received $1,036.45 for the toilets. Don't know what we purchased from Nationwide Mining Inc. but they got a $120,000 for "equipment". Yes, we paid $14.90 for jelly beans from the Penworthy Company. That same company gota check for $1,398.19, selling us books and periodicals. $26,008.80 was paid to Watkins & Associates for water improvement. All told, 57 checks in the amount of $440,344.63 were written. IF YOU want to get involved and be aware of the plan- ning for our Bicentennial you need to show up at the Bicentennial Commission meeting this Thursday at 1:30 p.m. at the Conley Building next to the depot. One of the topics for discussion will be the development of a "drama" for the celebration. Already, an essay and logo contest are underway. DON'T KNOW more than I am going to write about. But first, riding over Monroe County there are very few more disgusting sights than seeing a dog chained to a tree, a car tire or stake and no dog house. Where is the animal control officer? Surely within their jurisdiction they have the power to issue a cruelty to animal citation to the person and then chain the person to the tree, car tire or stake as punishment. Monroe County obviously has a "Unchain Monroe" group with 223 members and is a non-profit group depending on donations or gifts such as dog houses, dog pens. So, here I am going to donate a dog house and dog pen. Come and get Don Danid is the founder and former publisher of The Monroe County Report Email him at mediadr@bellsouth. net. GUEST COLUMN by Eddie Rowland I 1 scar Wilde said "experi- is the one thing you get for nothing". I recentlylearned a costly lesson and wanted to share my expe- rience in order to hopefully help you learn from it. As you probably know, I have been working pretty diligently as your commissioner to lead the service of county water to at least a break-even financial venture. Most munici- palities actually make a profit on water. We have not been so fortunate. The enormous invest- ment to produce water has forced us to rely on three different partners to supply water to our lines and then we pay for expansion, maintenance and collections. These three are Macon Water Authority, Butts County, and City of Forsyth. As beneficial as these partnerships are, the cost of buying the water leads to very little play in amount we pay vs. the amount that is charged to the end user. Therefore, we have to be very diligent in capturing water usage and collecting payments. I have dealt with numerous cus- tomers regarding their water bills and I have helped many of them find the cause of high water usage. We've come up with solutions and payment plans to reduce usage or ensure payment. Some have sworn to me that there is no way they used that much water. Now, here is where my personal experience comes in. I will share with you how quickly a single mistake can end up costing a lot of money. So I am fixing up a house for resale in the county. On Tuesday, the plumber cuts the water offto make a repair. The painter goes outside to dean out a brush and turns the spigot on. But there's no water as it is offat the meter. He forgets to turn the spigot back offand about an hour later the plumber turns the water back on, checking for his leak but not checking outside. Hindsight says check the dial at the meter to make sure it quits turning before walking away. The water ran from Tuesday at around 11:30 a.m. until about 8 a.m. Sunday when I happened to look in the backyard and noticed the new creek that had formed. I called the water department the next day and requested a data log to see what time the water started and what time it was turned off. That's how I solved the mystery of what happened. Then the fun part. I calculated the cost of this simple five-day mistake. (8.34 gallons per minute x 60 minutes per hour x 24 hours per day x 5 days = 60,048 gal- lons.) At $4.44 per thousand gallons, my mistake cost me $266.61 in wa- ter. I am sure that when I add in the normal usage for the month that my bill will approach $300. Of course I'U pay it and the world will keep turn- ing. But the shining light in this pool of bad news is that maybe I can help you not make the same mistake. Here are a few takeaways for you: Ifyou turn offyour water at the meter to make a repair, watch for the red dial to stop at the meter after you turn it back on. If it still spins after a few seconds of refilling the line then you probably still have a leak. Check your meter periodically when everything in the house is sup- posed to be off to make sure the red dial is not moving at all. A toilet flush is costing you about an ounce per second until it fills the tank. Worst case is if the flapper never seats which will cost about $90/month to fail to repair it. Keep your sprinkler heads in good condition and monitor dosdy the run time. If you get a high bill, check the meter immediately and watch regu- larly to find the problem. A good wayto find if you have an intermit- tent problem or slow leak is to run nothing for about 8 hours and see if the meter registered any usage. Our water dept is interested in helping you keep your bill manage- able and can help with data logs to find the problem. We are currently changing all meters to the style that can give a usage report. Yours may already have one and, if not, it should be changed out soon. Some reports are free while extensive re- ports may require a charge to cover the cost of running and printing the report. Finally, if you just had that busted pipe or completely forgot about that hose being on and have .run up an extensive bill, call the water depart- ment at 992:5089 and we can make some short-term payment arrange- ments to keep your service while you catch your bill up. I hope that by sharing my experience of my costly mistake that you can avoid the same fate. Good luck and thank you for letting me serve you. Eddie Rowland is the Monroe County District 2 Commissioner. JUST THE WAY IT IS by Sloan Oliver ,adimir Lenin said, I "Capitalists will sell us the V rope with w, ch we will hang them. That quote is SO true if money is the only thing important. Unfortunately, money is the only thing important to National Basketball Association (NBA) players, owners, and the league; and the NBA is in the process of hanging itself. Last week, Daryl Morey, Houston Rock- ets General Manager, tweeted the following, "FIGHT FOR FREE- DOM, STAND WITH HONG KONG" For his comment supporting the Hong Kong freedom fighters, for supporting freedom of speech, and for supporting the right to assemble, Morey is being lambasted by Chinese communists and by many liber- Ks and leftists here in America who side with the communists. qhe back StOlT on Morey's Hong Kong tweet: Hong Kong (HK) was a British colony for 156 years. Under British rule, HK became an economic powerhouse. In 1997, it was trans- ferred to Communist China with stipulations. One of the stipulations was that HK would be ruled and administered separately than the rest of China. Specifically, Hong Kong's citizens fell under different judicial administration procedures than did people on mainland China. Not content with some Chinese citizens having any freedoms, Chinas com- munist regime decided to change HK'S legal/judicial system - basically, the communist wanted to end HK's special treatment and started to extra- dite dtizens to the mainland for trials. Beginning in June and continuing today, citizens ofHong Kong took to the streets in protest. Unlike our ig- norant, fawning liberals in the United States, the citizens of ilK know the evils of communism and don't want any part of it. Communism and its evil twin, socialism, are one in the same; they are the most evil, despotic forms of government ever devised by man. Proof of communism's evil lies in the 100+ million people killed by terror, torture, famine, and massacres in the past century by countries that include Russia (the old Soviet Union), China, Cuba, North Korea, and Nazi Ger- many (socialism and communism are identical - both have 100% control of the populace and the economy). The hallmark of communism and social- ism is complete oppression of and control over the entire population. There is no freedom of speech, there is no freedom of the press, there is no fight to assemble, there is no right to protest, there is no freedom of reli- gion, there is no right to bear arms, and there are no free markets. Under communism, all aspects of society are controlled; you are a slave to the state. Disagreement is forbidden. Any protest is illegal, Period. If some- one decides to protest or demonstrate against governmental policies, they are tortured and re-educated in some sort ofgulag. f In year 2019, the most k repressive governments on Earth are North Korea and China. Today, the Chinese are starving millions of its own citizens in concentration camps that would make the Nazis proud. The communists control all aspects of Chinese society. Nobody is allowed to disagree, the intemet is controlled by the communists, the populace is spied upon by the government, and people are routinely rounded up and sent to "re-educa- tion" camps as a waming to others. Getting back to Morey's Hong Kong tweet, the Chinese disagreed vehemently. The reason they dis- agreed is because communists and leftists (which indudes Democrats and liberals) hate the truth when it applies to them. The Chinese de- manded an apology from the NBA and the NBA quickly caved and sided with the communists. NBA coaches such as Steve Kerr and Gregg Popovich happily criticize President Trump but remain cowardly quiet about communist oppression. Just as disgusting has been the number of NBA players, and U.S. corporations, who have either sided with the com- munists or remained silent knowing that silence is agreement. Why would the NBA side with communists over freedom of speech? Answer, the NBA would lose hundreds of millions in merchandise revenue if the Chinese kick NBA merchandise out of the country. The NBA and the players sided with the communists solely because they chose the almighty dol- lar over freedom. These pampered, 4' arrogant millionaire players and bil- lionaire owners have sold their souls to Satan in exchange for fame and fortune. It is this "attitude of silence" that allowed dictators like Hitler, Cas- tro, and Hugo Chavez to succeed. So, here we have a small, insignifi- cant comment about supporting the Hong Kong freedom fighters that been turned into a polarizing global issue. The control the Chinese are trying to exert over the NBA reminds me of the Left here in America, the way the Left enforces speech codes on college campuses. The same intoler- ance displayed by the Chinese is the same intolerance shown by Demo- crats; Chinese cannot disagree with their government, and you cannot disagree with Dems. Examples: In N.Y. City it's illegal to use the term "illegal alien;" or when Joe Biden's campaign demanded that TV execs stop interviewing Rudy Giuliani about Biden-Ukraine corruption. Chinese police chase down and beat ! protestors; here in America, the Left chases down and beats Trump sup- porters. (Libs and Dems, get out of your CNN and MSNBC bubble and learn the truth.) The citizens of Hong Kong have finally said "Enough" and are protest- ing against the tyranny and oppres- sion of the communists. HK protes- tors are seen carrying the American flag, not burning it like the Bernie Sanders, wannabe communists do here in America, Hong Kong protestors are doing what we should be doing here in the United States - pushing back against the tyranny, intolerance and hatred by the Dems; pushing back against the intoler- ance on college campuses, against intolerance by the liberal media, and against the intolerance and hatred of those who threaten Tromp support- ers at his rallies, lust like the Chinese communists, the left in America is at- tacking capitalism, attacking freedom of speech, attacking religion (particu- larly Christianity), and attacking the right to bear arms. Reminder, I'm speaking at the Monroe County GOP meeting, Thursday, Oct. 17, Minori's Restau- rant, 6:30 p.m. WEEKLY Quote: "Fight for free- dom, Stand with Hong Kong" Sloan Oliver is a retired Army officer who writes a weekly column for the Report Email him at sloanolive earthlink.net.