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Things we’d like to see in 2014

    newyear

    •At least one business to open  in the outparcel section near Walmart. It’s been flat and barren long enough. A few days ago one of our employees thought they saw Sam Elliott riding bareback out there as two lonely tumbleweeds drifted across his path.

    •More support of local art and a more cohesive art scene. Right now Pickens’ art community is like an archipelago – a string of islands clustered together but not strongly intertwined with each other or with the community. We’d like to see stronger working relationships among art galleries, art non-profits and individual artists, and more support of local visual and performance arts by the public to keep these groups strong and viable.

    •A satirical take on Pickens County similar to The Colbert Report, The Onion or The Daily Show. Sample headline, “Pickens woman says ‘Well, bless your heart,’ a record-breaking 50 times in one day.”

    •A few unique shops on Main Street. With two new restaurants opening in downtown Jasper in early 2014, we’d like to see a couple of quirky, independent shops open up too. The restaurants will bring more foot traffic to support businesses in downtown.

    • Take off at the airport tech park. For at least a decade, there has been a belief that if we built it, businesses would come seeking sites near a runway. While there has been some success with the individual hangars, as far as we know, nothing has located here because of our airport.
    • Completion and heavy use of the city’s Hood Road park walking trails. We applaud the idea of connecting various points around Jasper to a large wooded parcel owned by the city with trails suitable for foot traffic or golf carts. It looks like the wooded trails are nearly complete. Now all we need is a public excited to get out and enjoy them.

    • Spaying and neutering. And lots of it. There are way too many dogs and cats and puppies and kittens at our animal shelter. So many that go in never come out and there’s only one real solution to this devastating problem – spaying and neutering. Between 3 and 4 million adoptable animals are euthanized in animal shelters each year and these high numbers are the result of unplanned litters that could have been prevented.

    • Another movie shoot. It doesn’t have to be Clint Eastwood; heck, the movie he made here wasn’t any Fistful of Dollars by a long stretch. But the movie production right in town livened things up for a few days.

• The 13 in 2013 was all too apropos for our Georgia sports teams – Dawgs, Tech, Falcons, Braves and Hawks ranged from miserable to unlucky. None produced anything worth celebrating. Somebody make a serious run in the post-season this year, please.

• Some normal weather. No floods, no freak winter tornadoes, no unusually heavy snowfalls or droughts or heat waves.

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