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Opinion

  • For years I have cringed when I see people driving down the street with children, often babies,  in the front seat sitting in someone's lap. Or children in the back, kneeling in the seat, waving to other motorists with their little faces pressed to the window. These children are obviously not in a child restraint device.

  • I haven’t editorialized the proposed biomass plant in Gretna because I’ve been writing about it, and didn’t feel it was fair to state my opinion on the matter while I am covering it.

    But there are some things that have been drawn to my attention that I feel I need to address in this format.

    First of all, ADAGE has said one of the best things about having its facility in Gadsden County would be the contributions it will make to the tax base. Is this before or after the estimated 80 percent tax abatement ADAGE plans to ask the county for?

  • I don't know how many young lives former Quincy Police Officer Theotis Moore touched. If anyone could count them it would, I'm sure, number in the thousands. Moore, before he retired 2 years ago, was the Drug Abuse Resistance Education officer. He travelled throughout the county from school to school and gathering to gathering in his white van with the big red DARE letters on the side. The message he carried was don't use drugs, stay away from gangs and stay in school.

  • Last week’s biomass summit was a true disappointment for me...for a lot of reasons.

    First of all, chaos reigned, and not much was accomplished. The moderator was, bless his heart, trying to moderate, but did too much preaching and not enough moderating in my humble opinion. A firmer hand was definitely needed.

    The panel was disappointing. It was stacked with people in support of the Gretna biomass plant, including an ADAGE official. The only exception was a member of the Gadsden County Concerned Citizens group. It should have been more balanced.

  • About a year ago, I volunteered to become a mentor in what is not your everday program – this one is special. It's called "Children With Promise" and it pairs women and men with children who have at least one parent incarcerated.  It's more social mentoring than academic.

  • I had the privilege of attending the Special Olympics event at East Gadsden High School last week. It was cold and it was super windy, but it was awesome.

    It’s been a while since I attended a Special Olympics event, and I had forgotten just how inspiring it is.

    I was particularly captivated by this one young man who looked to be between 8 and 10 years old, who was using a walker to compete in a foot race. He didn’t have far to run/walk, but he was working as hard as he could, teeth gritted together, to make his way to the finish line.

  • I go to Sunnyvale Cemetery at the end of South Stewart Street fairly often. My parents and my oldest brother are there, side by side. It may sound morbid to some people but it gives me great pleasure to "visit" them. I feel a sense of relief when I walk away.

    Sunday was a beautiful day and while I was doing much needed housework, I decided to go to the cemetery. I needed to tell them all of the good things that have been going on in my life. I also needed to say out loud some of the things I am reluctant to talk about to anyone.

  • What’s wrong with this picture?

    What's going on with Gadsden County when commissioners Doug Croley and Gene Morgan think they can scare employees into thinking they are politically right? Who ever heard of writing employees up for doing their jobs?

    We do live in America where we have the right to speak, vote the way we want and not be punished for doing so. Maybe we need to have a tea party for the county.

  • How many jobs are we up to now, 1,100?  That’s almost three times the initial claim of 400 new jobs created by the proposed Gretna power plant, which is three times what they say is the real figure of 124 of which there is really only 24 at the plant.  Wow.  How did we get here?  Let’s pile lie upon lie. 

  • • I don’t think it’s fair that Sam Hawkins is having to pay for someone else’s horse dying. He should maybe be fined, because he was supposed to take care of it, but he should not have to go to jail.

    • Finally! Justice for Hope the horse.

    • I don’t understand. Just how many jobs will there be at this ADAGE plant? When you look at the facts, and sift through all of the spin, you will find only 24 jobs. Is it really worth it? I don’t think so.

  • Anyone driving at night on West Jefferson Street in Quincy should use extra care. For the past few months I have noticed an increase in the number of pedestrians who want to cross the street in places that are not well lit. Just this past week I was approaching the light at the Pat Thomas Parkway intersection when a man wearing dark clothing crossed the street near the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant parking lot.

  • Have you heard of biomass incineration as a significant source of air pollution?  Burning large quantities of wood (much more than in your fireplace), like burning many other substances, releases numerous toxic chemicals and deadly particles, which can negatively affect both the environment and respiratory health.

  • The Gadsden County Coalition for Change (of which I am a member) is a no budget public service group of local citizens whose work supports the county's food banks, library system and Shanks Middle School. Our belief is that one is not likely to learn if hungry or if there are inadequate reading materials, or if there is a lack of support for the student.

    Every healthy student in Gadsden County is capable of learning deeply – learning that happens at home and is reinforced in the classroom. It's through reinforcement and repetition that the brain learns.

  • • I attended the meeting Saturday in Gretna, and was not surprised to find no one from ADAGE was present. They claim to want to be open and honest, but yet we don't see them at meetings like this, when it's a perfect opportunity to answer our questions and concerns.

    • I don't see anything wrong with the biomass plant. I think it'll be fine. I grew up with a wood-burning stove for heat, and I'm just fine. No one in my family has any problems from it.

  • Beware of

    carpetbaggers

    The carpetbaggers are here in the name ADAGE, Duke Power and Areva. ADAGE is probably a contraction of the word advantage. They came here to take advantage of us for their own benefit, their huge profits. They came here because they think we are poor, lazy (apathetic) and ignorant. Now I am insulted.

    They think we are too poor to fight them but I am not poor alongside other citizens who oppose this dangerous plant in our county.

  • Citizens of Gadsden County should be thankful for the efforts of the Concerned Citizens of Gadsden County to raise awareness about the proposed ADAGE biomass facility in Gretna. I attended the county commission meeting and the meeting in Gretna where citizens indicated their concerns about he health and sewer capacity issues of such a plant. Just as troubling was the manner in which the elected leaders proceeded to give either active or tacit approval and, apparently, promised tax abatements, for an enterprise about which there are still many questions.

  • • I don't understand what all the fuss is about with the biomass place in Gretna. It means jobs. And we need jobs in this county.

    • I've been reading about the biomass plant and I don't understand why the county or the city (of Gretna) didn't hold public meetings before so the public would be better informed. Didn't they think we'd care? I don't want to breathe all that stuff and I don't want my kids breathing it either.

  • Our office is mostly populated with women, therefore we are prone to some subject matter during our “hen parties” that you might not find in more diverse offices.

    The other day, we were discussing our mothers, and the funny things they say and do, and I recounted the story of how I once (only once) told my mother that I could tell her eyesight wasn’t what it once was because I could see dust in her house. She quickly told me to get up off my “duff” and grab a dust rag and have at it.

  • My niece, Monica, sent me a photo of her son going up for a rebound during a recent basketball game. I looked at the picture and memories of him  as a little boy came flooding back. I remember anxiously sitting by the telephone waiting for his birth and driving down to Fort Lauderdale to see him a few weeks after his arrival.

  • Hospital boondoggle

    Am I the only one in the county  that sees where this hospital boondoggle is heading?

    • At least $150,000 a year for the first 5 years in losses.

    • Plus more than $1 million a year – every year – in projected losses.

    In addition, the commissioners want to rob the half-cent sales tax trust fund to buy furniture. I have no idea what the operating costs are going to be.

    If there are no funds to buy furniture, how are they (we) going to find more than $1 million a year to throw down that rat-hole