Voices
November 1, 2012 Issue

LETTERS


A lack of ordinances has a health-environmental outcome

Dear Editor:

My question always has been and still is - what is Jefferson County getting by allowing others to dump on us? Why havenít our county commissioners put in place the zoning and ordinances to stop allowing others to use us for this purpose? Who are they marching to or do they still think this is still 1975 and someone will protect us?

This is about the cheapest solution for other peoplesí waste and the money that can be generated. People...do some research on this and the resulting health and environmental issues.

 

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Weíve received sewage sludge from Augustaís Messerly waste treatment plant since the late 1990s. Then Columbia County sees Richmond get away with it after the citizens (not county government) fought it and here they come three years later with more land available for this purpose. Now they have potential for 700 more acres if so chosen. All of this will impact the already impaired waters in our county (labeled by our Georgia EPD and EPA) by E. coli and whatever else over a very large aquifer recharge area.

This is our drinking water, our land, and our air, people! Not to mention the hay and other crops that are grown with this stuff.

Then we spot zone to allow an incinerator with a window of 20 percent tire derived fuel, and by the way, these plants across the country are never starting up or shutting down soon after start up because they are not economical and have all the associated health risks. Again, most county powers and governments fight to stop these atrocities. Other counties do not allow themselves to be the dumping grounds and the result is good growth and people remaining to live healthy in their counties.

Jefferson County has a very high rate of inflammatory diseases. Jefferson County is ranked fourth in nation/per capita of deaths from blood poisoning. Scientists and research have now linked the infective protein prions in sewage sludge to brain wasting diseases like Alzheimerís, to Parkinsonís disease and also potential links to MS. There is a very high infant mortality rate in our county and note the people who have cancer or who have died. Research the stats on all this.

Just last week there was a new report out by our CDC related to a 44 percent increase last year in the number of Americans falling ill or dying from food contamination. Think about it. Look at the people around you that are sick or people who have died. You canít just put anything on our land as fertilizer or burn for some energy and not have negative results.

I work in the environmental field in eight states and have made many contacts. I talk with scientists across these United States and people within the agencies. They know about Jefferson County, Ga. That we are labeled as a dumping ground and have a target is on our back. Some even say a Sacrificial Zone...Why? People, we do not have to be a dumping ground.

If our elected officials do not pass the ordinances and regulations to protect the health and well-being of citizens in Jefferson County, then who does? Federal laws (passed by Congress) under EPA give final say-so and power to local authority to make their laws and regulations to protect citizens.

Why do the large metro areas get the economic growth and some poor areas become their dumping grounds? Think about it.... Again, research this.

I encourage you to go to commission meetings and engage in our county government. They might tell you there is nothing that we can do and this is not the case. Research. There are counties across the U.S. that refuse to be dumping grounds and have the ordinances, zoning and laws in place to do this. I encourage you to get with others in Jefferson County and to work with our county government and tell them we want all these safe guards in place to make our county a healthy place to live...to protect us from being the dumping ground. By sitting back and not helping others who are trying, by being complacent, you are allowing this to happen.

Geary Davis
a very concerned
Jefferson County Citizen




Say no to biomedical waste

The Jefferson County Board of Commissioners has conducted one public hearing already and will conduct two more to take public comment concerning adoption of a 21-page Biomedical Waste Ordinance.

What is biomedical waste?

Biomedical wastes include a wide variety of items that may carry disease-causing germs including those that cause hepatitis and the virus that causes AIDS. It also includes items such as: live vaccines; laboratory samples; cultures; sharp needles; lancets that have been used to puncture, cut, or scrape the body; and human or animal body fluids or waste.

Biomedical waste can be a health and safety hazard due to the nature of the waste. Biomedical waste may contain disease-causing germs.

We already have sewage sludge being applied to land in our county and a tire incinerator proposed for Wadley. Do we want Jefferson County to be known as the dumping ground of the South? We are much better than that.

In lieu of a 21-page ordinance allowing biomedical waste to come into our county, why donít we the citizens tell our commissioners that we object to this proposed ordinance, and that we strongly suggest that they issue instead a one-page ordinance stating unequivocally that Jefferson County will not allow any biomedical waste to be imported into our county.

The final two hearings on the Biomedical Waste Ordinance will be held Monday, Nov. 5 at 9:30 a.m. and Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the J.C. Commissioners Office meeting room located at 217 East Broad Street in Louisville.

Please come and join me in asking our commissioners to do the right thing for the health and safety of our county.

Charles Lewis
Director
Jefferson Environmental Defense Initiative (JEDI)
www.jeffersonedi.com



Jefferson Hospital praised

A large thank you to Jefferson Hospital swing unit in Louisville. I recently completed my second stay there for therapy knee replacement. The doctors, nurses and PT staff are such wonderful people, so kind and thoughtful.

Thank God for placing such good people in my path.

There are improvements taking place at the hospital, the patient rooms are being improved and they are nice and pretty. All the staff is working very hard and they are so proud of the improvements. I found that even though they are extremely busy they are so very thankful to have a job.

I am so thankful to have met and become friends with these folks and my dear Miss Martha!

PT staff Ms. Rhonda, Ms. Ashley, Ms. Cathy and Ms. Ann are without doubt the very best PT department anywhere.

During my stay I was quite sick a few days with a virus and the special care and concern I received from the staff was great and I appreciate them and am so thankful to all these kind people.

Martha Usry
Stapleton



Maya Angelouís words shared

Itís a Sunday evening at this writing in Texas. All of those debates finally over, and early voting has started, and being performed in most states. You just want it all to be over, whereas we that like watching television, can watch without hearing, ďI approve this message.Ē

A friend sent me an e-mail the other day, and she said it was sent to her from Maya Angelou. And yes, I did check to see if Ms. Angelou wrote these words below. I thought I would share them with your readers:

Dear fellow American,

I am not writing to you as a black voter, or a woman voter, or as a voter who is over 70 years old and six feet tall. I am writing to you as a representative of this great country -- as an American.

It is your job to vote. It is your responsibility, your right, and your privilege. You may be pretty or plain, heavy or thin, gay or straight, poor or rich.

But remember this: In an election, every voice is equally powerful -- donít underestimate your vote. Voting is the great equalizer.

Voting has already begun in some states that President Obama needs to win. So please make sure your friends in those key states know where to cast their ballots. You will be doing them a great favor.

As a country, we can scarcely perceive the magnitude of our progress.

My grandmother and my uncle experienced circumstances that would break your heart. When they went to vote, they were asked impossible questions like, ďHow many angels can dance on the head of a pin?Ē When they couldnít answer, they couldnít vote.

I once debated with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. about whether an African American would ever be elected president. He believed it would happen within the next 40 years at the time -- I believed it would never happen within my lifetime.

I have never been happier to have been proven wrong.

And since President Barack Obamaís historic election, weíve moved forward in courageous and beautiful ways. More students can afford college, and more families have access to affordable health insurance. Women have greater opportunities to get equal pay for equal work.

Yet as Rev. King wrote, ďAll progress is precarious.Ē

So donít sit on the sidelines. Donít hesitate. Donít have any regrets. Vote.

Go, rise up, and let your friends and family in early vote states know where they can vote today. We must make our voices heard:

Your vote is not only important. Itís imperative.

Thank you,

Dr. Maya Angelou



With that said, I assure you I couldnít have said it any better. Please everyone, donít waste your chance to be a part of the solution. Vote early if you can, or on Nov. 6th. Make your voices heard, and make them count. Vote.

ďI approve this message.Ē

Clyde DíAntignac




Vote Godís word, Tatum advises

Four years have passed since our last presidential election. Our country has undergone a lot of changes in the last four years and now we have both the privilege and the responsibility to cast our votes once again. If you are happy with the changes then you may choose to leave things as they are, but if you are not happy with the changes now is your opportunity to have your voice heard to change it again.

There is only one choice for me. There is only one platform that adheres to Biblical principles and those principles are my guiding light.

The Bible says not to murder. Every day thousands of unborn children are being murdered in the womb in America. The platform of the Democratic party is very clearly pro-abortion and pro same sex marriage. At the national convention they were also very slow to say they believe in God and that they support Israel.

The Republican party platform gives its support to one man-one woman traditional marriage and is very pro-life. These two issues alone should be the pivotal issues for any born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. Their platform also mentions God and standing for Israel. If we want the blessings of God upon our nation again....we must vote according to what is right according to Godís Word and nothing else.

Judy Tatum
Louisville

 


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