Pike County Times
The Pike County Times, PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295. Click here to donate through PayPal. Becky Watts: Phone # 770-468-7583 editor@pikecountytimes.com
Welcome to the Pike County Times.com Letters to the Editor Page.

These editorials reflect the opinions of their authors and don't necessarily reflect my personal opinions. Feel free to express your opinion with a letter to the editor to: editor@pikecountytimes.com.

Letter writing guidelines are as follows: I do not have a word limit. However, all editorials must be respectful even when hard points are made about any topic including local, state, or national politics.

If I have a problem with an editorial, I will let you know by email and it can either be resolved or not printed because I will proof your letter for grammatical errors, but I do not edit letters based on content. And last but not least, your editorial must be accompanied by your name and a county or city of residence.

Thought for the Week

"Maybe you can afford to wait. Maybe for you there's a tomorrow. Maybe for you there's one thousand tomorrows, or three thousand, or ten, so much time you can bathe in it, roll around it, let it slide like coins through you fingers. So much time you can waste it. But for some of us there's only today. And the truth is, you never really know.” ― Lauren Oliver, Before I Fall
Graves Statement On Conference Committee And Democrat Opening Offer


Dear Editor,

“One week ago today, we reached a deal to open the government and begin border security negotiations. I was optimistic about our ability to strike a deal and restore confidence in the legislative process.

“In one week’s time, the committee has met once for routine opening remarks. In that meeting, all parties expressed an intent to engage with open minds and in good faith. However, it came to light afterward that Democrats had already written a bill with zero funding for the wall. A bill summary was finally released yesterday, but the 70+ pages of legislative text are still being kept secret from the public.

“We are two weeks away from the next government shutdown. The House adjourned until Tuesday. There are no meetings scheduled. Yesterday, Speaker Pelosi drew a hard line on wall funding, effectively ending negotiations. Democrats have fallen in line and reduced their wall funding position from $1.6 billion to zero. Is that negotiating in good faith?

“The country was led to believe this would be a real negotiation. It’s not too late to turn this around and get back on track. I urge Democrats to put forward a legitimate offer that includes wall funding. President Trump and Republicans put forward offers that attempted to meet in the middle. It’s time for Democrats to negotiate in good faith.”

Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14)
Member of the bipartisan Conference Committee to secure the border

Rural Georgia Poised for Postive Change Churing 2019 Legislative Session


Dear Editor,

Aside from my parents, the single greatest influence on who I am and what I’ve been able to accomplish is this: I am from rural Georgia.

I realize that I am fortunate to have been brought up where and how I was brought up, and my roots are still firmly planted in the red dirt of Terrell County, just as they have been for the past six decades. That is why I consider it a tremendous honor and responsibility to lead the Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation, or as our team calls it, Georgia’s Rural Center. It is also the reason why I am reaching out to all rural Georgians to join the Center, rural legislators and me in making this a historic year for rural people and the places they call home.

Hard work by Speaker Ralston, the Rural Development Council, the Georgia House of Representatives, the Georgia Senate and Governor Deal led to passage of HB951 during the last session. In addition to re-creating the Rural Development Council, the bill established Georgia’s Rural Center and tasked it with facilitating innovation and economic development in rural Georgia. The Center exists to reconnect rural and urban Georgia and reinvigorate once-vibrant places by re-creating proven, innovative business models and investing our state’s most valuable resource—human capital—where it’s needed most.

As the 2019 legislative session begins this week in Atlanta, Governor Kemp and rural legislators have pledged to work on behalf of rural Georgians. The staff of Georgia’s Rural Center and I are ready to tackle the challenges that face the people of Georgia’s small towns and rural communities. I urge you to join our team.

If you’ve spent a lifetime in rural Georgia like me, you have undoubtedly noticed how the place you call home has changed over the past few decades. While I hope all Georgians share my pride in and appreciation of the economic upsurge our urban areas have enjoyed during this time, we are wise to recognize the geographical extent of that success. Outside the state’s largest cities, the scene is a stark contrast.

Georgia's rural areas are faced with challenges distinct from other regions of this state: population loss, inadequate access to health care, disintegrating infrastructure, diminished opportunity for quality education, scarcity of employment opportunities, overall absence of economic growth, and sometimes, lack of cultural amenities.

Rural Center staff participated in all of the House Rural Development Council listening sessions across the state. We joined other rural leaders in sharing—not just about the challenges we see facing rural Georgia, but also potential solutions to those challenges.

As a result of these gatherings, the HRDC drafted a set of recommendations that will guide their efforts during the 2019 legislative session. Released in mid-December, the recommendations focus primarily on economic development, rural infrastructure and health care needs and reflect some of the most pressing obstacles to rural prosperity and innovation.

We anticipate that elected officials will work swiftly and precisely on the recommendations. Never in my recollection has there been such widely held support for rural people and places as there is in Georgia’s Capitol right now—from both political parties and a broad range of public officials. The time to make specific, meaningful and positive change for rural Georgia is now.

I encourage you to play your part by reading the HRDC’s legislative recommendations on our blog at www.ruralga.org/blog and keeping up with what is happening throughout the session on our Facebook page and blog. I urge you to contact your state representatives, Lt. Gov. Duncan and Gov. Kemp and share with them your thoughts on rural issues and the efforts being made by our elected officials.

As a proud product of rural Georgia, I am certain that with the right approach, we will not only rediscover the power and potential of the state’s less populated areas, but also redefine what it means to be rural in this state. It is time to reinvest in small towns and rural communities, and there’s no better opportunity than while lawmakers are in Atlanta over the next few months. I hope you will join us in this vital work today.

David Bridges Interim Director
Georgia’s Rural Center President
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College

Join the Pine Mountain Trail Association


Dear Editor,

On Saturday night the PMTA had its annual pigout. It was only lightly attended, and I decided I'd start up a little one-man ( and all his friends) social media campaign to nudge up our membership. I have been a member since it started back in 1976; Ruth and I are very proud of it and our children always enjoyed hiking on it.

As most of you know, the Pine Mountain Trail is one of Middle Georgia's greatest assets. If you haven't been out on it lately, you should give it a try. It's great and provides a way for "flatland" scout troops and hikers form here and points south to get that Appalachian Trail experience without having to drive for hours to get up farther north.

Please consider joining, and, of course, forward this to any and all of your friends you think might enjoy and appreciate it. And post on Facebook.

Pine Mountain Trail Association - GA. "Service is the rent we pay for our space on Earth" www.pinemountaintrail.org/

Walker Chandler
Peachtree City

The Midterm Elections in Perspective


Dear Editor,

Many including the President said before the midterm elections that they were a referendum on President Trump. Let’s see what happened.

The elections involved all 435 US House of Representatives seats, 35 US Senate seats and several thousand state and local elections. Some say that the Democrats winning control of the House with a gain of 38 seats was a loss for President Trump and it was. However the Republicans netted at least one additional Senate seat with one still undecided.

If you compare this with President Clinton’s first midterm the Democrats lost 52 seats in the House and 8 Senate seats. In President Obama’s first midterm the Democrats lost 63 House seats and 6 Senate seats. Therefore Trump did much better.

Despite the above Clinton and Obama won re-election.

Note that the Republicans maintain control of the House until January 3, 2019 so we may still see some Republican accomplishments.

Maintaining control of the Senate is exceedingly consequential since the Senate decides on the President’s appointments of judges and cabinet members and foreign treaties.

With the death of Republican Senator John McCain and Republican Senators Flake and Corker not seeking reelection, all of whom were part of the Never Trump movement, along with the above Republican Senate gain should result in a more supportive Senate for the Trump agenda.

Both parties can point to extenuating circumstances. For starters 39 incumbent Republican House members did not seek re-election to the House versus 18 Democrats. Given that incumbents win re-elections 90+% of the time the Republicans started out the 2018 elections with a distinct disadvantage. On the Democrat side they had 26 Senators up for reelection while the Republicans only had 9.

The Democrat Senators who lost voted against Justice Kavanaugh. It is my opinion that if the House Democrats do not follow former Democrat Governor Ed Rendell’s advice to “legislate versus investigate” they will suffer in 2020 as Senate Democrats just did.

I am surprised that with 9M more voting for Democrat House seats than for Republicans House seats there hasn’t been more discussion on this.

Unfortunately this midterm will be remembered for some possible vote count fraud; think Broward County Florida. Also there are charges of voter suppression with Georgia being the most public. Add to this 2.4M provisional ballots, which can be more easily manipulated, were cast with 79% allowed to be counted. I adamantly oppose vote count fraud, voter suppression and anyone not qualified being allowed to vote and so should you since such is a foundational premise of our democracy.

Also there were more tight races than I can recall which makes the aforementioned voting problems even more consequential.

Additionally these midterm elections had a record number of voters, unconscionable amounts of money spent, significant number of female candidates winning, the first Somalian, first Palestinian who is Muslim, first native American who is also a lesbian, and a homosexual being elected governor; proofs of us becoming a more diverse country.

A significant problem Republicans had was that the #1 issue of voters was health care. In reality the Republicans have not had a healthcare plan that has become a reality. Meanwhile the Democrats can still point to Obamacare.

The second most important issue for voters was immigration. This included the “caravans,” wall, sanctuary cities and ICE. Here the Republican candidates did far better than Democrat candidates. Also most of the pro-amnesty Republican candidates lost.

Obama like Trump spent a fair amount of time on the campaign trail. On 11/5/18 he labelled Trump’s response to the caravan a “political stunt.” Since about 6,000 are already in Tijuana and thousands more on their way thank goodness for this “stunt.”

Well there you have the midterm results along with my commentary. Now what will really count is what happens going forward not the least of which could be Mueller’s Special Counsel report.

Rep Jeff Brown (Ret)
LaGrange, GA

Local Ministry Has a Need and It Is You


Dear Editor, [Note from the Editor: I have chosen to leave this letter online for a while more.]

The Pike Outreach Transportation Ministry needs drivers. No CDL is required. No medical degree necessary.

If you can drive one day a week or one day every two weeks you will do. Most important is faithfulness because a dialysis patient can't wait. The van has a chair lift and instruction will be provided. The head of the program passed this need on and I am passing it on to you. Dedicated drivers are needed. Jesus will have your paycheck when you get home.

For more information, call Ann at 678-642-9800 and leave message with your name and phone number.

Steve Hicks