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Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor:
    The specter of a Dollar General store being built in a neighborhood that is nearly 100% residential is raising its ugly head again. The residents of the area near the intersection of Cove and Grandview roads have learned that a developer is again pursuing building a Dollar General. They have now chosen the site across the street from the site where they previously sought a zoning change to commercial which was unanimously rejected by the Pickens County Planning Board and our Board of Commissioners.
    The issues are the same. Cove Road is still one of the most dangerous roads in Pickens County supported by the extremely high accident rate as tracked by the DOT. The “S” curves as the road crosses Long Swamp Creek have not changed. Traffic entry and egress from that site would be dangerous. We also are concerned for the historic site that they are currently planning on using for the store. Tearing down that building would cause us to lose another piece of Pickens County history.
    We also have environmental concerns that deal with rain water runoff from our local neighborhoods as well as light pollution caused by parking lot lights associated with stores of this type. And to be honest, we are concerned with property values going down as a result of poor zoning of this site.
    The bottom line here is that Dollar General’s developer knows all of these issues and does not care that their possible new neighbors do not want them to develop at this site. There are plenty of available plots that are available in Commercial zones in Pickens County. They also do not care that our Board of Commissioners have previously rejected their plans.
    We are asking for two things. We ask that our neighbors stop by Deb’s bakery on Burnt Mountain Road next to the Jasper City Hall and sign yet another petition asking Dollar General to cease and desist. We are also asking our County Commissioners to join our fight and contact Dollar General as representatives of the people and ask them to stop. We have already done so.
    Thanks for giving us another forum to plead our case.
    Jeff Squires and the neighborhood property owners

Dear Editor:
    Yesterday, I watched in awe as people of great courage staged a sit-in about gun control on the floor of the US House of Representatives.  In the middle of John Lewis's fervent speech about common sense background checks and terror watch lists, it occurred to me that It had been a long time since I had communicated with any representative in Congress on any issue,  so I decided to make my voice heard on gun control to Rep. Doug Collins, Congressman Lewis, and Rep. Paul Ryan.
    Did you know that the official websites of all these people (who supposedly represent US) demand that you supply your zip code before you are allowed to comment? Which is really okay with me, never having been afraid to be public in my opinions.  BUT, if your zip is not in a particular representative's  district, tough luck sending an email. That means that you cannot express your opinion by email to the Speaker or anyone else in Congress unless you reside in that representative's district. Who put THAT in effect?  I haven't looked, but I suspect that the majority control of the House slipped in that little block in the road in the name of efficiency, or some such nonsense. (I did manage to get an email through to Mr. Collins.)
    I am tired of being quiet about the lack of leadership from people who supposedly represent us in government, most pointedly on sensible firearms policies. We have elected people to lead, not stand around talking about slippery slopes and the government taking our guns.
    I am a gun owner. I own more than one, and am a fairly decent shot.I understand the Second Amendment, and as long as I am able I will be right there when this country needs to raise an armed militia. But it is just plain ludicrous to do nothing to implement background checks for all firearm purchases. It is inconceivable that people on the terror watch list will somehow continue to be allowed to legally purchase guns. The people who object the most to this sort of action are the gun manufacturers, retailers and gun show vendors who stand to lose some sales, or "our" representatives whose coffers stand to lose contributions from the NRA.
    I have friends who are members of hunting clubs, shooting ranges, law enforcement, who are veterans, business people, teachers, etc., both liberal and conservative, and I have yet to hear any of them say that the sort of initiative Rep. Lewis is talking about is illogical or in any way damaging to our rights under the Second Amendment.  Oh, and Rick Jasperse, it should in no way impinge on the concealed or open-carry legislation you sponsored, which made every church around and the local library post a "No Guns Allowed" sign on their property.
    Start making some noise about common sense with our legislators, people,  and maybe, just maybe, we can dig ourselves out of this mess.
Jane Waller

Dear Editor:
    Just a reminder to all Pickens County residents; don’t forget to vote for Mike Cowart in the run-off school board election.
    Early voting starts July 5 - July 22 at the voter registrar’s office at 83 Pioneer Rd. in Jasper. Their phone number is 706-253-8781. Tuesday, July 26th is your last day to vote.
    You may vote in this run-off election even if you didn’t vote in the first election held May 24th.
    Please keep Mike Cowart on the school board as he does try keeping school taxes from rising out of control on wasteful spending.
    His opponent, Katherine White, taught in Fulton County and moved here where she much prefers our schools for their smaller enrollments and class sizes. She said she would like to see two new middle schools built here rather than just one.
    Mike Cowart knows we do not have the tax base here in Pickens County to support building more schools than we need.
    Kathleen Kelly

Dear Editor: 
School System Budget Vote

    I am writing in response to the article in last weeks’ edition which dealt with the vote on the school system’s budget.  For those that do not know, the budgeting process for a school system is quite lengthy. The process usually starts right after the first of the year....


 Editor's Note: All old comments will be deleted after new letters are posted on Wednesday.


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