Pike County Times
PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295. Click here to donate through PayPal. Becky Watts: Phone # 770-468-7583 editor@pikecountytimes.com
 
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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. [Remove the () after you cut and paste.]

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 Day

“We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.” – Thomas Jefferson

 
Thoughts on Redistricting

9.9.21

Now that the census figures have been released, it is time for the process known as redistricting to be implemented. Whatever method of redistricting Is used by our state will have a profound effect on the outcome of elections, the balance of power in our local, state, and federal governments, and will determine how much your vote counts for years to come. We want to make sure we get it done right. Districts all need to have the same number of voters, but the process of drawing the districts can be unfair, a process known as gerrymandering, the practice of drawing oddly-shaped districts that divide cities and communities for the purpose of reducing competition in elections. While both parties have been guilty of stacking the deck in this manner, the people of Georgia who have spoken out in joint hearings across the state this year want a redistricting process that is fair, transparent, and preserves communities. Anyone who values their right to vote also values fair play in elections, or their right to vote becomes meaningless. Please contact your state legislator and ask:

What's the time line ? Redistricting committees need to publicly release a time line NOW for the redistricting process through the special session that shows what their process will be, and

When will we see the maps? The timeline should include when we can expect to see maps for review in enough time to have a meaningful review prior to their adoption.

Martha A. Saunders, President
League of Women Voters of Carrollton-Carroll County

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A Call for Fair and Transparent Redistricting

8.7.21

Who wants the Georgia state legislature to take away your rights? Well, our state legislators are getting ready to do just that. After every census, Congressional and state districts get redrawn. If the political party in control wants to change those district boundaries to guarantee they stay in power, each Georgia voter will have no control over whether they have fair representation.

When elected politicians redraw district lines and select their voters, we call this “gerrymandering.” It cheats certain groups out of their right to choose their representatives. Both the Dems and the GOP have abused this power in the past. It’s time to end it.

When voters of different parties are surgically and deliberately segregated into separate districts, politicians no longer have to listen to citizens with different political viewpoints. Instead of citizens choosing their representatives, the representatives choose their citizens. This encourages politicians to focus only on the political extremes. And this is one reason Congress has become such a “swamp.”

In Georgia, redrawing voting districts is done largely in secret by the state legislature. This is simply wrong! Contact Redistricting Committee Chair John Kennedy, (john.kennedy@senate.ga.gov) and Vice Chair Bill Cowsert, (bill.cowsert@senate.ga.gov) to insist they conduct open, honest, fair deliberations and draw new electoral maps that give every Georgian a voice.

They and our local state legislators need to hear from us that we expect and deserve fair and transparent redistricting that serves the people, not the politicians or political parties!

Micah Wedemeyer
Atlanta, GA 30312

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Let’s Close the Gateways to Human Trafficking One Gate at a Time!

7.21.21

Today, children can hold in one hand a device, known as a cell phone, and have access to the world-wide web. That access can educate a child on anything and everything: the good, the bad, and the ugly. For many years our great state has had laws that protect those who cannot protect themselves, but today, at least one law in Georgia does not protect the precious children of Georgia.

As a college professor, I was shocked when my students told me that the popular way for young girls and boys to make money today is to sell sexually-explicit photos and videos of themselves over the internet. This “money-making” activity is practiced by children of all ages (even as young as elementary school), and is found among all social and economic sectors. When a minor is involved in selling these images to adults over the internet, it is an illegal act that falls under Commercial Sex Exploitation of Children.

The more I researched, I learned that Internet-based Commercial Child Exploitation is a crime that often goes undetected, and our young girls and boys are making thousands of dollars right under our “unprotective” noses. The word “commercial” means that there is money involved in paying for some form of sex. Most often, it is the transmission of images and/or videos or paying for a live sexually-explicit performance by the child via Facetime or other apps. These communications often turn into the adults setting up times and places to meet the children. I believe that Internet-based Commercial Child Exploitation is one of the gateways to Human Trafficking and it must be stopped.

The law in the State of Georgia gives adults a legal defense in court if the child states to the adult that they are age 18 or older. The adults know the law, so they typically ask the age of the child, “up front” for their age. The children know the routine and untruthfully state an age of 18 or older. The money and images are exchanged. BINGO! If caught, the adult is not prosecuted, because the District Attorneys in Georgia know they will lose the case, if the adult produces evidence that the child stated he/she was age 18 or older. The adult will use this as their legal defense, and Georgia ALLOWS it!!! How sad that Georgia has a law that protects these adults, simply because the adult got an untrue statement from a child, and our children are lying to “rake in the dough” from internet-based commercial sex transactions.

Wake Up, Georgia! We need to contact our senators and representatives and ask them to change the law in 2022. The law needs to be changed so that no matter what age the child states, the adult cannot use the stated age as a legal defense in court, if the child is actually under age 18. Georgia is “asleep at the wheel.” WAKE UP, Georgia! Go to www.stopitin2022.com for more details about asking the 2022 Georgia General Assembly to change the current law. Let’s close the gateways to Human Trafficking one gate at a time!

Dr. Rhonda R. Morgan
Concord

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Some Thoughts on COVID-19

6.25.21

It has been common knowledge for years that all major developing countries have possessed the ability to conduct germ warfare. The Wuhan crisis is no exception. A virus was created in the lab and deliberately leaked into the local wet markets for experimentation on the people of Wuhan. This is totally consistent with China's poor record on civil rights and it's complete lack of concern for all of the Chinese people. The virus created in Wuhan is by no means a poor reflection on all Asians especially Asia-Americans. It is simply a reaffirmation of the Communist Chinese Government's inhuman disdain for human life. They are the ones to blame.

Now we the American people are required by our government to get the vaccine without being told what are the short/long term side effects. This is inherently a violation of our civil rights.

The one benefactor from the spread of the virus is the environment. Consider how working from home reduces the amount of carbon emissions caused by the automobile.

Joe Bialek
Cleveland, Ohio

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Numerical Placards Help In Emergency Situations

11.16.20

Pike County Residents,

I am an emergency medical services worker whose service includes all of Pike County. I am concerned about our ambulances and the rescue vehicles struggling to locate residences that are not clearly marked by a numerical address.

When a resident is having a heart attack, stroke, or serious bleeding issue, seconds may mean the difference in a resident’s survival or demise. If our vehicles lose cell and radio signals in a rural area, we could arrive at the scene much later than desired. A simple numerical placard near the roadway would be the perfect solution to aid the police, fire, and emergency services in completing their roles successfully.

This has been done in many rural counties for the same reasons and has been a success for the first responders and delivery vehicles, mail carriers, and passers-by. A second suggestion would be to keep the trees and bushes surrounding street signs that are already in place to ensure that their visibility is 100% from the roadway.

Tonie P. Biles
Pike County

[Note from the Editor: The Pike County Emergency Service Auxillary is selling reflective address signs to Pike County citizens. Proceeds benefit all emergency services personnel with disaster assistance in the form of gatorade, water, and other necessary items. Green signs are 6 inches by 18 inches with 4 inch reflective numbers on each side. To order, call 770-468-8633 for more information. All orders for reflective address signs must be made in writing.]

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