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01/01/08 12:00 AM

Dear Editor:
My interest changed to disgust as I read the Progress article regarding the not guilty decision by Judge Galligan in the barking dog case. My disgust was not because I believe in the guilt or innocence of the dogs, but I am disgusted with Mayor Weaver. It was obvious that he was unhappy about the judge?s decision.
He does not care about the starving stray animals in the City of Jasper and Pickens County. He wants people to think he cares but his actions speak otherwise. He does not in any way, shape, manner or form support the all-volunteer, donation-supported Pickens Animal Rescue (PAR) organization. Jasper (through Mayor Weaver) has chosen to appropriate no funds for the rescue of any stray animals caught in the City of Jasper. As if this were not enough, the City of Jasper has billed Pickens Animal Rescue $800 for capturing stray dogs. They have the audacity to demand payment from an all-volunteer, donation-supported rescue organization providing the citizens of Pickens with a humanitarian service. Who would Jasper bill the $800 to if PAR was not around. Indeed, where would all the strays (about 600 or so a year) in Pickens go if it were not for PAR?
The article also mentions that the city has an allotment of $1,500 for animal rescue. What is this? Does this mean they might pay it? Is it just on the budget but they are not going to spend it or what? The city is also demanding proof that PAR is worthy of receiving this allotment. The $1,500 is a drop in the bucket when you consider that PAR has an annual budget of $250,000 that is entirely supported by donations and a staff of volunteers that work tirelessly to save these animals with no pay and little thanks.
Most other counties have rescue facilities that they have had to purchase, had paid employees and provide food and veterinary care at the expense of the taxpayers. Pickens relies on PAR for this service and then complains about their efforts. I am certain that any other county would be delighted with and welcome an organization such as PAR.
Mayor Weaver should put his personal feelings aside regarding PAR and their volunteers and consider the animals and the residents of Pickens County. How about making a real effort and supporting PAR with some real taxpayer money that will benefit the City of Jasper and Pickens County?

Pat Lowry

Dear Editor:
On behalf of the Marine Corps League North Georgia Mountains Detachment #1280, we wish to thank the great citizens of Pickens County who donated toys, time and their places of business to the 2008 Toys for Tots program this Christmas.
In a difficult economic climate, your generosity has been truly amazing and we thank you for your support. Your kindness has helped approximately 450 families to have a happier Christmas this year.
Once again, thanks for your care, generosity and love. Best wishes to all for the coming New Year.

Thomas J. Connolly
Toys for Tots Coordinator

Richard Wilson
Asst. Toys for Tots Coordinator

Dear Editor:
Re: Resolutions
As I reflect on the past year, I revel in my accomplishments and failures - for I am human!
With that being said, I take quill in hand for it is mightier than the sword (one of our founding fathers said that, I do not recall which one).
In ?Mudville? aka Jasper, Ga. ?the barn? is burning. There is no joy there because that is where Ebenezer Scrooge lives with all his merry henchmen; with the exception of some kind and good hearted ladies and gentlemen; who I salute for you all are the reason I continue to go to ?the barn.? To you all and you know who you are - I miss you and wish you all a healthy and prosperous New Year with fulfillment of some of your dreams and desires.

With love & liberty,
Miss Edie Prezemieniecki

PS: I have been recognized by the National Association of Professional Women in the last quarter of this year, appointed by the Cambridge Society to represent ?Mudville? aka Jasper. They thought I would make an interesting rep. I will let my readers be the judge of that.

Mr. Jim Milton, Chair
Hope House
Jasper, GA? 30143

Dear Jim:
The Hope House in Pickens County provides a service of tremendous benefit. By serving as a foster home agency for children, it gives young children a chance to live a wholesome life and to realize their full individual potential.
Pickens County Government supports the Hope House and encourages all of our citizens to give consideration to also supporting the Hope House.?Through the efforts of this institution children are often rescued from the brink of despair and hopelessness.
As Sole Commissioner, I commend everyone associated with the Hope House for their efforts and urge the continuation of this service.
Robert P. Jones
Sole Commissioner
Pickens County

Dear Editor:
Subject number one:
The urging for citizens to conserve the use of water this last year seemed to work but it became a double edged sword as we neared the end of 2008. It seems that our dutifully conservation has come home to erode our pocket books with higher rates for those of us served by The City of Jasper Water Department. What a poor choice of timing with our economy in the toilet and folks loosing there jobs and homes. I personally find it to be an insult. Over the last two years and two months of their water service I have personally witnessed numerous instances of the waste of man hours (I have pictures to prove this point) and material and seen poor workmanship in the repair of water line leaks on the road that I live on. I am sure that I am not alone in these observations. The sub-standard repair and back-fill of repaired leaks have resulted in additional repairs at the same place over and over. The faulty back-fill has contributed to additional leaks as gravel was dumped directly onto the repair in place of dirt and then poorly compacted with the scoop of a small backhoe and then covered over with asphalt sometimes as thick as two feet. Underground water lines move as pressure and temperature changes in the line therefore rubbing against the gravel which will surely cause another leak at some point in time. If that is not enough and a waste of material there is the fact that after a while and vehicle traffic the repair sinks causing more stress on the line below which then causes another waste of money in that the county road department has to be called to repair the faulty repair the city water department caused in the first place. Someone with the city needs to monitor these repairs and fix them properly or reimburse the county for its cost to re-repair the city?s mistakes.
Subject number two:
Did you know that AEMC will stop requiring you to pay your bill by their due date if you can prove that you are on a fixed income such as Social Security because the pay dates with SS change every month. Thank you AEMC. Mine does, it?s the third Wednesday of each month, just try to meet those due dates with limited income and changing paydays. When I asked the City of Jasper Water Department if they had a program like AEMC they said NO. But they do offer reduced rates to those with limited income below $9,000 a year. That figures out to $750 per month. Well I?m out of luck as my SS is just a little more than a thousand more than that. With the new raised water rates and no small concession for us retired folks we will suffer another decline in our limited income by the city water department. It high time for only ONE water and sewer entity in Pickens County. Oh, what about you, ETC, what little known programs do you offer folks on limited income?
I urge that us retired folks raise our voices, write letters and do whatever we can to get more respect, after all we once served our country and communities and now we get cast aside or are unappreciated.

Thomas Jared Irwin, Jr.