JUNE 13 - 27, 2013 VOL. 03 NO.
www.the-grip.net ::: free Taxpayer Board of Equalization appeals from 2010-2012 may soon move forward TOP STORIES
SHEILA A. MARSHALL :::
housands of SpaldCounty taxpayers who have requested a hearing before the Board of Equalization (BoE) with regard to their property taxes continue to await that procedure.
The process for appeals requires property owners to first appeal to the Tax Assessor’s Office. If no resolution is reached, the appeals are certified and sent to on to the BoE, which is under the authority of Spalding County Clerk of Court Marcia Norris. Although all the outstanding appeals were
previously certified for BoE hearings, due to extensive delays – some dating back to 2010 – an agreement was reached allowing the Tax Assessor’s Office to regain control of the appeals and seek to reach agreements with taxpayers. That process was completed this spring.
“I’m sure some of them were satisfied, but the bulk was recertified to her (Norris),” said former Chief Appraiser Tim Whalen, who retired Tuesday after 37 years of service to Spalding County. “We have been certifying them in bunches.” According to Kathy Hollis, who is a Tax Assessor’s Of-
fice appraiser and secretary to the Board of Assessors, the first batch was certified April 2. “I try to certify 125 to 150 per week, but it just varies,” Hollis said. “I haven’t wanted to overwhelm her (Norris’s) office, so I’ve tried to
cont, tax appeals, P. 2
City and county officials comment upon consolidation of governments and whether it would save taxpayer money p. 2
Upcoming funding will allow Land Bank to resume work on tax sale properties
SHEILA A. MARSHALL :::
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
poised to move forward with efforts that officials say will eventually result in the return of properties to the local tax digest. According to Executive Director John Joiner, the first five years of the Land Bank Authority’s work has primarily involved properties
TCounty Land Bank is
obtained utilizing federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) funds. The future and ongoing focus will be on obtaining tax sale properties, which he said will prove to be much more beneficial to the local community. To date, properties acquired have fallen into two pools, Joiner said, including a total of 25 NSP properties and approximately 175 adcont, land bank, P. 7
A roundup of [cheap] things to do this summer
Why today's young people may not be able to "do better" financially than their parents and what they can do to make strides p. 5
Youth provide input about community
JESSICA W. GREGORY :::
oughly 20 young community members gave their feedback to local officials and members of the Griffin Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee regarding the community as they see it on Thursday,
June 6 at Safehouse Coffee Roasters. Youth ages 13-21 were encouraged to attend to share their favorite place in the community; the worst place in their community and some problems they would fix if they were mayor, among other things.
cont, youth, P. 7
Denise Sierra, the mother of Ivan Matthew Sierra, a February murder victim, on Friday, June 7, thanked volunteers who worked to construct a fire ring at the Kentucky Avenue Community Center that was dedicated to her son. The Kentucky Avenue Community Center is the result of a partnership between Impact Racing Ministry (IRM) and Square Foot Ministry, said David Dodd, of IRM. It is currently run by volunteers who have dedicated themselves to "Doing Life" with the residents of the Fairmont community. The Community Center is the home base of IMR's youth running club, and is open to groups who wish to enrich the lives of local children and adults.
Public Forum several commissioners comment upon whether they're in favor of consolidating the city and county governments p. 7
Game Changer: Hopeville Boys Center
KAY BRUMBELOW ::: Features writer
graduate studies at Emory University. Upon moving to Griffin, however, he noticed that the teens in our community had nowhere to go and nothing to do with their time, other than attending school. He realized that this was a key reason why many teens ended up in trouble on the streets. Feeling their plight, Clyde and his wife started the Hopeville Boys Center, a safe haven for these at risk teens. “Someone needed to be an advocate and a voice for these kids,” states Forbes. “Our community had no mentoring program, and no organized activities for kids other than recreational athletics, which In December 2012, the Hopeville Boys Club most could not afford to participate in.” The Hopeville Boys Center meets twice a visited Zoo Atlanta and had a blast in the month at Griffin City Park and allows the petting zoo area with the goats. boys time for fellowship with each other as
cont, game changer, P. 6
Educators announce plans to create College and Career Academy
SHEILA A. MARSHALL :::
Jessica W. Gregory, Publisher email@example.com Display advertising: firstname.lastname@example.org 770-713-5839
Fto Georgia with hopes of beginning
ive years ago, Clyde Forbes moved
dents may soon have an additional educational option with the development of a College and Career Academy on the horizon. According to Superintendent Dr. Curtis Jones, the School Board has approved the initial step in the process, which is the procurement of a consultant. “We have signed an agreement with a consultant who will work with us in that process,” Jones said. “We are also trying to solic-
PSpalding County stuarents of
it the business community for its support in this College and Career Academy.” Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services Jim King said that support Story ideas/submissions: will be crucial to the email@example.com ect. “We’re looking to engage a variety of community partners from business and industry leaders, government leaders and educational 770-229-3559 leaders to work together to help us design a College PO Box 2251, Griffin GA 30224 and Career Academy to best prepare our students for tomorrow’s jobs, and to draw those jobs to our location,” Smith said. “This is in FACEBOOK.COM/ FOLLOW: cont, academy, P. 2 THEGRIPNEWS THEGRIPNEWS
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2 TOP STORIES
City, county officials: Consolidation is a complicated issue that would not reap immediate benefits
SHEILA A. MARSHALL :::
ver the past two dethe Spalding County government has moved towards providing services that were once reserved for residents of municipalities. According to County Manager William Wilson, that has blurred the lines between the city and county. However, despite some residents questioning if those changes would make consolidation beneficial, Wilson said it is not a simple or clear cut process to undertake. “It’s actually be voted on before – twice – and it was voted down,” Wilson said. “There are a lot of services that even 20 years ago, you had to live in a city to have, but that’s not the case now. We provide many services that we didn’t even as recently as 20 years ago. A lot of counties don’t have animal control; a lot of counties don’t have building inspection; a lot of counties don’t have recreation; a lot of counties don’t have water and sewerage systems. We’re not even required to provide libraries. There’s a big difference between being required to provide a
service and choosing to.” With that, Wilson explained that despite this “blurring of the lines” between some counties and municipalities, consolidation remains a complicated process. “Consolidation has its pros and cons. There are more and more cities and counties that are looking at becoming consolidated, and I think Macon and Bibb County are the latest. But like I said earlier, it has been voted on twice by members of this community.” The process presents many administrative challenges, and the anticipated savings are not realized for a number of years, he said. “The economy as a scale doesn’t come in for years,” Wilson said. “You have to roll through a 10 to 15 year employment cycle before you see a big difference. The studies that I’ve read and been involved with show the savings is not seen both in quantity and in timeliness as anticipated. Due to the many, many administrative policies, it’s not something that’s going to happen overnight. There’s lots to be considered. There’s many, many more behind the scenes things to
SPECIAL ELECTION ::: CONSOLIDATION ::: APRIL 1991
City Precincts YES ::: 52% County Precincts YES ::: 23% Total YES ::: 35% NO ::: 77% NO ::: 65% NO ::: 48%
SPECIAL ELECTION ::: CONSOLIDATION ::: MARCH 1997
City Precincts YES ::: 64% County Precincts YES ::: 25% Total YES ::: 39% NO ::: 36% NO ::: 75% NO ::: 61%
A slim majority of city residents have voted twice in favor of consolidating the city and county governments, while county residents have overwhelmingly voted against it both times. be considered. Implementation is key.” Griffin Commissioner Doug Hollberg said he supports a consolidation of sorts, but perhaps not in the traditional sense. “I’d be more in favor of a backdoor consolidation of services,” he said. “You basically go through the back door by consolidating duplicated services to be more efficient for the taxpayers. That would include, but not be limited to, developmental services, fire service, police service, recreation, public works and public utilities. A lot of this could be accomplished through renegotiation of House Bill 489 – the Service Delivery Strategy –with the county, which has to be renegotiated when the county revises its Comprehensive Plan, I believe in 2017, or sooner if the county deems it time to move forward.” Hollberg went on to say that this could prove beneficial to Griffin and Spalding County residents, but would not be without challenges. “If you could streamline each department, it would hopefully save the taxpay-
er money through better management, which would lead to better costs for taxpayers,” he said. “The challenges would be, for example, in law enforcement. Who would be in charge? Would the sheriff be willing to relinquish his police powers to the city of Griffin chief of police, which would be an appointed position that answered to the Board of Commissioners? The same question would apply to fire service. You have the question of higher levels of police and fire service in the city than in the county, and that would have to be addressed. Cities are created for providing services at a higher level than the county. That’s a city’s purpose. It’s a very sensitive issue. I believe it would have to be worked out one issue at a time.” Griffin City Manager Kenny Smith said he is unaware of any recent discussions regarding consolidation, but that if Griffin commissioners were interested in exploring that option, he would do so. “If the city commissioners wanted to talk about that, I work for them,” he said. “It’s kind of up to them.” Ω
« tax appeals, cont.
certify a number that can be heard weekly, for one board.” Hollis said that as of June 5, 1,654 appeals had been certified and forwarded to Norris for BoE appeals. However, she said that on that same date, the Tax Assessor’s Office had only received notification of 17 appeals being scheduled for BoE hearings, and those were from a batch certified the week of May 28. “To date, that’s all I know that’s been set. I haven’t received notice that anything else has been set. There is also more remaining. We have two more weeks we’ll be certifying, and we have just over 2,900 total, and that’s for tax years 2010, 2011 and 2012,” Hollis said, explaining that many of the remaining certifications will
involve property owners who are disputing multiple years’ tax assessments. Whalen said he also has no additional information regarding the long-awaited taxpayer appeals. “All I know is that the clerk has started scheduling the appointments,” he said. “Once we certify, then we can only hope they’re scheduled. It’s out of our hands. Hopefully she got it done this time.” According to Georgia statute, Norris has 15 days from the date of certification to notify taxpayers when they will appear before the BoE, and that appearance must be scheduled no less than 20 days, but no more than 45 days, from the date of certification. According to that statute, hundreds of appeals are again outside the statutory guidelines for the BoE appeal process. Spalding County Manager
William Wilson said officials are hopeful this longstanding issue will soon be resolved. “Marcia has been encouraged to move forward in an expedient manner in handling these appeals,” Wilson said. In 2012, Norris and Wilson agreed that a miscommunication had resulted in a delay in filling an additional clerk’s position that will be necessary for her office to handle the BoE appeals. That position was funded in the Fiscal Year 2013 budget, which covered July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013. However, the position was filled only two weeks ago. “She (Norris) has hired for the position and I’ll be speaking to her again this week about more (appeals) batches to come,” Wilson said. Editor’s note: Norris could not be reached for comment on this story. Ω
« academy, cont.
the very beginning stages, but we’re excited about the possibilities.” He explained that the proposed Academy would serve local high school students “in terms of what they need as far as college and career readiness skills are concerned.” As it is currently in the very preliminary stages, Smith said no firm decisions regarding curriculum have been made. “It certainly would involve a lot of types of careers from automotive to business to pre-medical careers that high school students can engage in now and go directly on from graduation to employment, or give them skills that will be helpful to them as they move on to secondary education, either at technical colleges, two- or four-year colleges and universities,” he said. “We are actually looking at the possibility of having a physical campus where we could house those programs. That’s still in the very preliminary stage, but we’d love to have something near the Southern Crescent
campus, whether that might be the old Flynt building or someplace else, I don’t know.” The consultant with whom officials have contracted, Russ Moore, has extensive experience in this process, having worked with dozens of other Georgia school systems. “He has a pretty long track record,” Smith said. “He’s helped about 25 other systems across the state, which have either completed or are in the process now.” Jones and Smith both said a number of future public meetings will be held, and officials are optimistic that stakeholders will seek to be very involved in the implementation of the College and Career Academy. “This is one of those things that the more community support and input we can get, the better it will be,” Smith said. “This does not need to be an educational initiative; it is a community initiative.”
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JUNE 13-27 , 2013
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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT 3
Out & About: Summer fun opportunities
ALEXANDER CAIN ::: Editorial Assistant firstname.lastname@example.org
With the summer season fully underway the Griffin community has an opportunity to be entertained and enjoy both indoor and outdoor fun in multiple locations.
The Flint River Regional Library in Griffin officially began its Summer Reading Program for 2013 earlier this month, with multiple programs, presenters and performers scheduled through August, according to Library Youth Services Coordinator Marsha Parham. “Dig Into Reading” is the theme of Summer Reading Club for children through age 11, while “Beneath the Surface” is the theme for the Teen Reading Program for ages 12-17. Both programs provide prizes for every 10 hours read. The library even has an Adult Reading program open to adults 18 and over, “Ground Breaking Reads,” and will feature a weekly drawing for a gift basket to include books and prize items. All programs are free of charge in part due to the efforts of the Friends of the Library organization. This summer the Flint River library has programs focused on both children and teenagers, with programs such as magic shows, reptile education, crafts and Fourth-of-Julythemed events. Many of the events are taking place in part due to fundraising from the recently-formed Friends Of The Library organization.
“We have entertainers that come in and basically level their shows at ages 4 – 5th grade. The parents laugh and have fun and join in,” Parham said. “We have about 500 kids signed up and average around 900 – 1000 each year. Mondays at 6 p.m. through the summer are family nights at the library, and the upcoming family night events are a magic show on June 17 and an “Educational Circus” on June 24. For more summer library events, view The Grip's community calendar at www.the-grip.net/community-calendar.
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Flicks at Sixth
The City of Griffin begins its summer “Flicks at Sixth” program on June 21 at J. Edwards Pavilion in the Park at Sixth on the corner of Sixth & Solomon Streets with a public showing of the movie “Madagascar 3.” Concessions and snacks are free and citizens are encouraged to bring their own blankets or lawn chairs for seating. The events will begin at 7:30 p.m. with the movie beginning at sunset. Future movies include Wreck-It Raph on July 19 and The Lorax on August 16.
$1 Movie Days
For those in Griffin who might have missed a movie release in the past six to 10 months, the Griffin Stadium Cinemas movie theater on North Expressway is offering $1 movie deals Tuesdays and Thursdays in June and July. Admission to movies such as Hotel Transylvania, The Lorax or individual Harry Potter movies is only $1 with concessions as a separate price. Additional information can be found on the theater’s Web site at www.georgiatheatrecompany.com/gtc-promotions.aspx. Ω
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Slow Spokes group encourages recreational cycling
ALEXANDER CAIN :::
Editorial Assistant; email@example.com f you’ve ever become in traffic, you might have wished for something better and a little less stressful than four wheels. That’s where the “Slow Spokes” bicycle rides have been helpful for some local bicycling supporters. The monthly event headquartered out of the Blue Moon Bicycles shop at 116 E. College Street encourages the riding of bicycles in Griffin and supports the idea of bicycling enthusiasm and education, according to Lee Russell with Blue Moon Bicycles. “It’s usually the second Sunday of the month at 3 p.m. It’s just a four mile ride geared more for family and kids,” Russell stated. “It leaves from the bicycle shop and rides through areas such as Terrace, Bieze and Forrest Streets. It’s basically to get the families involved and to encourage cycling, especially for those not used to riding on the road.” City Commissioner Doug Hollberg is among those who support bicycling on a local level. Hollberg will even be hosting a Father’s Day bicycling event behind the National Guard Armory on Hill Street on June 16 at 3p.m. While the Father’s Day event isn’t directly associated with Blue Moon Bicycles or the Slow Spokes rides, Hollberg is familiar with the Slow Spokes rides and even takes a break on two wheels as often as he can. “I’m an elected official and mountain biker who likes to get dirty,” Hollberg joked. “You ride for the natural endorphins and staying physically fit. There’s a runner’s high and a bicycle high. It’s the camaraderie of being with folks and enjoying na-
Halloween HangOut searching for support and volunteers
ALEXANDER CAIN :::
Editorial Assistant; firstname.lastname@example.org
ture.” One organization founded recently in Griffin is the Griffin Bicycling Coalition, which has its own Facebook page and has found support within the local community through persons such as Hollberg and Russell. The Facebook page of the Griffin Bicycling Coalition describes it as a “newly formed quasi-governmental and nonprofit bicycle/ pedestrian committee leading projects, events, and advocacy to achieve a more livable community in City of Griffin/Spalding County, Georgia” which is “working towards designations as a bicycle friendly city.” “A lot of people are afraid to
ride on the streets because they’ve never done it. They find it’s actually a lot easier than you would think,” Russell said. “The Slow Spokes Bicycle rides help to enhance the encouragement and enjoyment of cycling.” For additional information on the Slow Spokes Bicycle Rides, call Blue Moon Bicycles at (678) 692-8175 or visit the business’s Facebook page at https://www. facebook.com/bluemoonbicycles. Helmets are mandatory for Slow Spokes participants under the age of 16 and strongly encouraged for all other riders. Ω
rently searching for volunteers and so-called “Scareactors” to assist with the creation and completion of this year’s Haunted Theatre events in October. “We’re not necessarily looking for all Scareactor positions, we are also looking for people to volunteer in areas such as ticket sales— the behind-the-scenes non-Scareactor positions,” organizer Robert Chauncey said recently. The group is currently limiting its volunteers to age 16 and older, but “any level of experience” is welcomed, according to Chauncey. This will mark the fifth year of The Haunted Theatre on Hill Street. To celebrate the anniversary, Chauncey and his team of creative “Scareactors” who have worked with him in the past are currently working on planning something new and different for those brave enough to venture inside – but everything will be a secret until opening day, Chauncey said. “We’re already starting to get applications. I don’t have a date yet but the first tryouts should be in July, and we will have more than one tryout this year.” This year’s dates for the event will be October 18,19,25,26 and 31st. Being open on Halloween night is “something special,” according to Chauncey. “I think I have the layout down. Just have to get there to make sure there is enough space for everything,” Chauncey said. “It will be a unique experience.” To volunteer as a “Scareactor” visit the Haunted Theatre Web site at http://thehauntedtheatre.blogspot. com/. Ω
TOn Hill Street is curhe Haunted Theatre
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Before we get to the investment component, though, let’s quickly review the nature of the problem. In a nutshell, younger Americans — those in their twenties and thirties — have accrued significantly less wealth than their parents did at the same age, according to a recent study by the Urban Institute. Here’s why: Bursting of housing “bubble” — Many younger people who bought houses shortly before the housing “bubble” began deflating in 2006 now find themselves to be “underwater” on their mortgages — that is, they owe more than their houses are worth. Consequently, they have less opportupayments is money that can’t go toward building wealth for long-term goals. Wage stagnation — For several years, the job market has been pretty bad for younger workers. And even those with jobs aren’t making much headway, because wages, adjusted for inflation, have largely stagnated for over a decade. Less income clearly equates to less opportunities for investing and creating wealth. Still, even given these somewhat grim realities, younger people can help themselves build resources for the future and make progress toward their longterm goals. If you’re in this group, what can you do? For starters, pay yourself first. Set up an automatic payment each month from your checking or savings account into an investment vehicle, such as an IRA. At first, you may only be able to afford small sums — but, over time, you may be pleasantly surprised at the amount you’ve saved. Next, every time your salary goes up, try to increase the amount you put into your 401(k) or other employersponsored retirement plan. Because you typically contribute pretax dollars to your 401(k) or other plan, the more you put in, the lower your taxable income. Plus, your money can grow on a tax-deferred basis. Here’s another suggestion: Don’t be “over-cautious” with your investments. Many younger investors, apparently nervous due to market volatility of recent years, have become quite conservative, putting relatively large amounts of their portfolio into vehicles that offer significant protection of principal but little in the way of growth potential. Of course, the financial markets will always fluctuate, and downturns will occur — but when you’re young, and you have many decades in which to invest, you have time to overcome short-term declines. To achieve your long-term goals, such as a comfortable retirement, you will unquestionably need some growth elements in your portfolio, with the exact amount based on your risk tolerance and specific objectives. These aren’t the easiest times for young people. Nonetheless, with diligence, perseverance and a measure of sacrifice, you can gain some control over your financial fortunes — so look for your opportunities. Ω
This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.
How can younger investors cope with tough times?
Americans, we’re to thinking that we will inevitably do better than our parents’ generation. But, for now at least, this type of progress may be facing some roadblocks — and this inability to gain ground, financially, can have real implications for today’s younger people and their approach to investing.
nity to build home equity — which has been an important means of building wealth for past generations. Student-loan debt — The median balance among all households with student loan debt is now more than $13,000, according to the Pew Research Center — and debt levels are much higher for recent graduates. It can take years to pay off these debts — and the money being used for debt
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Raspberry ketone: Does it burn body fat?
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f you know that you are or obese, you may have been tempted to try one of the many over-the-counter supplements and herbal remedies for weight loss. Information about weight loss and dietary supplements is often confusing and can be hard to know which offer real health benefits or which are just giving false promises. Most of the time the weight-loss market, which is a multibillion-dollar industry, is tempting consumers with claims of fast results with minimal effort. Not to mention, people do not even know if what they are taking is safe or not, because they are exempt from FDA regulation. They do not involve rigorous tests for safety that are required for drugs by prescription, which means there is no guarantee what is stated on the label is actually in the product. The FDA will usually step in when there is evidence that a weight loss supplement is harmful to a person. A perfect example is when the FDA banned the weight loss supplement Ephedra, used for weight loss, increased energy, and enhanced athletic performance, after the herb was linked to serious side effects, such as heart attack, stroke, seizures, even death. It seems as though the
weight-loss industry has paved the way for the introduction of the next, highly flaunted, so-called “miracle weight-loss supplement,” that most have probably heard of thanks to a popular television show. When The Dr. Oz Show aired a segment in February about red raspberry ketone (RK), it caught the attention of many intended dieters. The “idea” behind RK is that it's low in cost, supposedly has no side effects, and helps the body burn fat by tricking your body into thinking your burning fat. How does this happen, I would like to know. I know every day I try to trick myself into “thinking my fat away,” yet it is still there, so I decided to look more into the story of RK because it sounded too good to be true. There are a couple of questions I have and the first is, what is a raspberry ketone (RK)? According to WebMD and other researchers, RK is a natural antioxidant from
red raspberries used as food flavoring agents, cosmetic coloring, and in other manufacturing for a fragrance or flavoring agents. RK supplements have actually been around for years. In fact, they’ve been marketed internationally since the 1960s. But just recently, it has been commonly used for weight loss and obesity here in the U.S. The next question, does RK work? To make it as easy as possible to understand, you might need to have some knowledge of its active ingredients. Just as the name sounds, Raspberry Ketone weight loss supplement has the Raspberry Ketone as its main ingredient, but it is the phenolic compounds (antioxidants) present in the Raspberry Ketone that actually have the high antioxidant properties. Usually when people have questions about supplements via “doctors on TV”, I will look it up on The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (subscription required) to determine if there was evidence to support it. When looking up RK, all that was mentioned was that it supports alopecia (hair loss). There was nothing about weight loss or “fat burning.” Has RK been tested in humans for consumption? As of today, there are no human studies showing RK burns fat or benefits weight loss. But, if you are a rat,
there some studies! In one of the studies, they gave male rats RK, which resulted in an increased secretion of adiponectin, a hormone secreted by fat cells that helps the body break down fat. The result of the study was less fat on the rat. And in another rat study, they were fed a high-fat diet with differing amounts of RK. The rats that received more RK burned more body fat and gained less fat tissue. It sounds great in theory, but if you think about it, people are not rats and two studies on small rodents should not justify a weight loss product ability to work. To be fair, The Dr. Oz Show did tell his viewers to use this product in addition to following to a healthy diet and exercise regimen. But after you talk about a pill that can help you lose weight, most people tune out anything else. I mean, if there was a pill that could really burn fat and help you lose weight, wouldn’t we have learned about it by now and cured obesity? Before buying weight loss supplements, talk to your dietitian and doctor to learn all you can about vitamins and supplements. Remember, just because it says “natural” doesn’t mean it is, or that it will work better. Many supplements contain active ingredients that have strong biological effects and their safety is not guaranteed. Ω
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Humane Society Adoptable Pet of the Week: Ike
ke is a two-year-old black and tan Chihuahua mix. He has huge ears so he may have some Manchester Terrier in him. If you want a snuggle bunny then this is the boy for you. He loves to sit in your lap or just cuddle next to you to watch TV. And at night he is under the covers. He loves to play with other dogs and he doesn't mind cats. He has an extremely sweet personality and wants nothing more than to please you. He is house trained and knows how to use a doggie door. If you want a friend for life - a dog that is totally devoted to you - then Ike is that dog. A fenced yard is required. The adoption fee is $125, which includes all vaccinations, rabies shot, spay/neuter, heartworm checks for dogs, and combo tests for cats. If interested contact: email@example.com. For more adoptable pets, visit griffinhumanesociety.org.
Big Mama Says We Talk Too Much.
esterday afternoon, I found myself in my kitchen singing the words to “You Are Good.” These lyrics rang through my head until nighttime: Your kindness leads me to repentance // Your goodness draws me to Your side // Your mercy calls me to be like You // Your favor is my delight // Every day, I’ll awaken my praise // And pour out a song from my heart. Romans 2:4 says, “Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” It’s His kindness that leads us to repentance. It’s His goodness that draws us. My translation: Stop judging and be so dang intolerant of other people. God uses kindness, sweet words, and forgiveness to transform our own lives into something beautiful. When people disappoint us…. When people don’t live up to our expectations…. Fill in the gap of your expectation of someone and what that someone actually does with kindness and forgiveness. Even with your spouse. Give him or her the benefit of the doubt. When has expressing your disappointment with your spouse EVER worked? There is a definite time and place for healthy communication. Healthy. There is also a time to keep your mouth shut. I remember being aggravated with Kris once for not taking care of something before he left for a trip. I was so stinking mad. I picked up the phone to call him and
EAGLE'S WAY ASSOCIATE PASTOR
tell him exactly how I felt about his oversight. Fortunately for Kris, Big Mama was at my house. “Talk, talk, talk. That’s the trouble with young people. They think they need to talk everything out. Sometimes, you just need to keep your mouth shut. Put the phone down, and just forgive him.” I’m pretty sure filling in the gap with forgiveness and a closed mouth did more for my marriage than that phone call would’ve done. Trying to bring conviction to someone’s life never goes the way we think it will. But kindness will always bring about effectual change. And often times, our kindness towards others changes US. It’s how God functions. And, since we are of God…. created in His image….isn’t it how we should function? I am so thankful for His patience. For His love. For His mercy. And, so thankful that His mercy calls us to be like Him. Because, His ways are truly better. Ω This article was pulled from Dusty's blog, which can be found at www.dustytakle. com.
Is my cholesterol drug safe?
Question: I have heard some things about cholesterol drugs in the news recently. I take one, and so does my husband. Are they safe?
II asked about the use of
hear this question often.
cholesterol buster drugs, also known as statins, in my initial history for new patients. It is always important to know a patient’s drug profile in a health history, but statin drugs have specific impact on what I do because they have musculoskeletal effects. It is possible that because I am a chiropractor, I am predisposed to seeing the musculoskeletal side effects of these drugs because people come to me with aches and pains. It is also true, though, that Zocor and Lipitor, two of the most widely used statin drugs, are associated with muscle cramps, muscle weakness, and tendon conditions as side effects. A new study of nearly 14,000 active-duty and retired soldiers who take these drugs confirmed the association of these drugs with musculoskeletal complications. About three-quarters of the patients in this study were taking Zocor, and about 20 percent were taking Lipitor. The rest of the participants were taking one of the other drugs in this class. Before we paint with too wide a brush, while these drugs do produce musculoskeletal side effects, some are worse than others. Besides muscle aches and tendon problems, some are associated with joint pain as well. The market leader, Zocor (simvastatin), has a
package insert that states it causes less arthralgia (joint pain). It does have an infrequent allergic response in some patients that may include fever, chills, shortness of breath, itching, a skin rash, swelling around the face, tongue, and lips, wheezing, and bruising. Obviously, if you are taking a statin drug and experience musculoskeletal or systemic side effects, call your prescribing physician immediately. Also talk with your pharmacist for advice, as they are the experts on drugs and their interactions with other drugs as well as foods. There are better alternatives to the statin drugs for many people. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil are known to reduce inflammation, which is a common link and heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Numerous studies have shown that the omega-3 fatty acids lower cholesterol and triglycerides. Not all omega-3 supplements are alike, however, and it takes a little bit of label reading to be sure you are getting the right quality product. Generally speaking, the more it is refined and purified, the higher the concentration of the fatty acids you need. Higher doses of omega3s in the range of three or four grams per day have been shown to lower blood pressure in people with untreated hypertension, which would be a very happy additional benefit. The anti-inflammatory effect of omega-3s may be responsible for reduction of morning pain and stiffness in
DR. BOB HAYDEN
DC, PhD, FICC
HEALTH & WELLNESS
patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Another very safe alternative to help you with cholesterol and triglyceride problems is non-flushing niacin. Niacin is vitamin B3. Taken in high doses by itself, it can be dangerous for the liver, but when it is bound to an inert sugar (inositol), you can take it safely on a daily basis without the familiar flushing side effect. It will reduce triglyceride levels significantly, especially when taken with omega-3. It will also increase the good cholesterol (high density) while reducing bad cholesterol (low density). It appears to have this effect even among people with genetically high cholesterol and triglyceride. I could go on and on with the research about the positive effects of omega-3 fatty acids and niacin. The point I want to make, though, is that there are very good alternatives that may be far safer than statin drugs. While I have heard of and seen serious reactions to statin drugs, I have never seen or heard of a negative reaction to ome-
ga-3 or non-flushing niacin. Perhaps something as profound as anything else, I know of some pharmacists who use these more natural and very effective means to maintain health because they are very skeptical of the drugs. I personally take omega-3 daily with non-flushing niacin to control my own cholesterol and triglycerides. Historically, my cholesterol levels have been in the moderate risk range (200 – 230), but I have cut that to a total cholesterol count of about 160 using omega-3. My primary care doctor was quite surprised to see my last triglyceride level at 70 (on the low side for a middle-aged guy), and she asked me what I was doing to make that happen. If the side effect profile of the statin drugs is a concern to you, talk with your pharmacist about it. Ask about the side effects of the drug you are taking, potential interactions with other drugs, including over-the-counter drugs you may be taking, such as ibuprofen, aspirin or Tylenol. Ask about interactions with foods. Ask about long-term effects. Ask your pharmacist to compare the effectiveness of your statin drug to omega-3 and nonflushing niacin. Armed with information, make an appointment with the prescribing physician and explore your alternatives. Ω For this and more of Dr. Bob's health and healthcare columns, visit www.IrisCityChiro.com.
The columnists on these pages are local business owners and church leaders. These columns reflect their opinions, which are not necessarily those of The Grip or Grip staff. We welcome responses to these columns, or any Grip article. Please send responses in writing as a signed letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or post to PO Box 2251, Griffin, GA 30224.
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JUNE 13-27 , 2013
June - July; Georgia Theatre Company presents Summer Movie Series; Tuesdays and Thursdays select movies are $1; these include the entire Harry Potter series and Despicable Me amongst others; Anyone can come; for more information view www.georgiatheatrecompany.com/gtc-promotions. aspx. Friday, June 14; Kiwanis Club of Griffin - Fairgrounds Farmers Market; Open each Friday 1 - 6 p.m.; Potential vendors of fruit and vegetables should contact Wade Hutcheson at hutch@ uga.edu. Saturday, June 15; The New Era Missionary Baptist Convention of Georgia One Day
Youth Conference; 9 a.m - 3:30 p.m. New Era Convention Center.; for more information, send an email to NewEraConvention@ bellsouth.net. Saturday, June 15; Roadside Cleanup Part 2; Safehouse Coffee Roasters; 8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.; for more information like the Grow Better Facebook page. Sunday, June 16; Father’s Day Dirty Spokes Bike Ride sponsored by Griffin Bicycle Coalition; 3 p.m.; Kiwanis Fairgrounds Mountain Bike Path; for more information visit facebook.com/griffinbicyclecoalition/events. Monday, June 17; Composting - Turning yard debris into gold; Learn how nature does it every day; Flint River
Regional Library; 2 - 4 p.m.; admission is free; for more information call 770-4674225 or email uge2255@ uga.edu. Monday, June 17; Griffin-Spalding County Library Family Night; Can You Dig It Magic Show; 6 p.m.; ages 4-12; for more information, call 770412-4770. Thursday, June 20; Library special program for teens; Juggling Workshop with Todd Key; 6 p.m.; for more information call 770-4124770. Wednesday, June 19; Community Work Days at the Healthy Life Community Garden; Located next to the Old Fairmont High; every Wednesday from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Monday, June 22; Summer Splash 5k; Walking event benefitting Campbell family; Crescent Elementary School; One mile trot at 11 a.m.; 5k run or walk at 12 p.m.; for more information view http://www.summersplash5k.com/. Monday, June 24; Griffin-Spalding County Library Family Night; Lew-E’s Educational Circus with Lee Andrews; ages 4-12; 6 p.m.; for more information, call 770-4124770. Tuesday, June 25; Legal will workshop; Spalding County Senior Center; 2 p.m.; free; for more info call 678-3869132. For more events, visit The Grip's calendar at www.the-grip.net/ community-calendar.
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Last week's results:
Do you support the existence of the Griffin-Spalding County Land Bank Authority?
poll of the week
No ::: 64% - Yes ::: 36% - Total Votes ::: 21
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2013 sixth graders share their D.C. experiences
TCounty Junior Deputy
his year's Spalding trip marked the 75th year that local sixth graders made their way via bus to Washington, D.C. For the last two years, The Grip has hosted an essay contest, publishing the most interesting or well-written students' stories about their trip. Here are this year's winners, all of whom will receive $25 gift certificates to 'stache studio and other prizes. Kay Perdue will be calling the parents of the winners to instruct on how to redeem the prizes. Overall winner: Jada Coker – Rehoboth Middle Have you ever visited Washington DC? Maybe you have thought of going there before. The week I spent there was an exciting and very fun experience! Trust me we were so busy all the time! An advantage was that I feel a lot smarter than when I came. What have I learned you to ask? The first day we were actually in DC we went to the post office pavilion for lunch. Next, we went to the American History Museum, and that was a very knowledgeful museum. The actual shoes that Dorothy wore in the wizard of Oz were on exhibit. It said they had to put cloth on the bottom of the shoes so when she walked it wouldn’t make a clicking sound. Then the second day came along very quickly. We went to see the Jefferson memorial first, and on the inside of the walls there were beautiful engravings on the wall. The words on the wall were sayings or quotes. After that was MLK jr memorial. There were 3 parts of a statue shaped like a mountain except the one in the middle with MLK jr’s face on it was breaking free from the mountain. I think it was, because he was trying to be a leader for ending segregation in our country. The Washington memorial was directly in front of the Lincoln memorial so after we got out of there we took lots of pictures! It was a beautiful view! Time a kept flying and it was the third day. We ate lunch in a pavilion at the Reagan building. After that we went straight to Fort McHenry which was used in the war of 1812. There were lots of cannons where they fired at their enemies. My favorite was a little room shaped like a semi-circle that was underground because it was bombproof. There was a room with all the barrels of driver, Bobby, that Lincoln at his memorial, in sign language made his initials. We also learned about Arlington Cemetery and how many soliders are there. Also the “Unknown Soldier” and the guards who only took 21 steps. Finally we saw an IMAX movie that showed us how junk gets in space… Over this week I learned a lot and had fun. With my friends, chaperones, driver, and all the others. But I miss my family, really bad, so… The End. Trinity Griffin – Cowan Road My trip in Washington was awesome, but the best thing was the Lincoln memorial. The reason I like the Lincoln memorial is cause, I learn about Abraham Lincoln birth, home town, his life, career, and that he was the 16th president. He was born 2-12-1809 in a log cabin near Hodgenville, Kentucky. He was the leader on the civil war. Throughout his political career Lincoln strove to maintain. His life was full of personal tragedy and disappointment. Antonio King – Kennedy Road Monday, May 6, 2013: It was a boring day. We loaded up the buses, and it was time to hit the road. And with 12 hours to go. I’m surprised I stayed up so long. No one was sleepy. But afterwhile the bus was quiet and knocked out. Tuesday, May 7, 2013: It’s arriving day. And it was fun. To start off the trip we went to the Jefferson memorial. It was a great and tall statue. Next off we would visit the shopping center which I spent all my money at. I went crazy. Then we would head to the hotel. Once again everybody was sleep. Wednesday, May 8, 2013: First we got up ate breakfast. Then it was off to different memorials. We seen the MLK memorial, which was unique. Then we would see statues and Korean war memorial. Back to the hotel. Thursday, May 9, 2013: It was baseball time. Today would be fun. First we went to the museum and saw lots of things. Animals and diamonds and even gold. Then the games, Orioles VS. Royals. It was fun and I got put on the jumbo-tron. Even though we lost. Last we departed from Baltimore. Friday, May 10, 2013: It was short day. First Arlington cemetery which was a long walk. Next we seen the White house. Last we departed for Griffin. Ω
The 2013 sixth grade class at Fort McHenry. gun powder they used in the war. Another room was where the soldiers slept. Then we went to the Baltimore Orieoles game which to me was my all time favorite thing we did. I sat by Macy, Mary Brook, MaryKate. Madison, Tristan, Michael, and his friend Devin. Sadly it got to the last day and we were really busy! First, we went to the Air and Space museum. We saw an IMAX movie over space junk which was very interesting! Then we saw how airplane engines work which was very cool. You got to pull the triggers, and they would work. I ate dried ice cream or space food, and it was pretty good! Hannah, Rylie and I got a caramel frappe and had to board the bus. Then finally went to the Arlington cemetery, and saw JDK’s grave site. Also went to see the changing of the guards at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This was the best trip ever! When are you booking your next trip to DC? Runners Up: Hunter Mann – Carver Road Over our week-long journey to Washington D.C. I have learned that we traveled through five states to get here. Georgia, North and South Carolina, Virginia, D.C. and Maryland. At a museum we went to I learned about the Hope Diamond. It is blue, 240 carrots, and maybe cursed. We also learned from our
«game changer, cont.
they play basketball for the first hour. After the game, different speakers discuss issues relevant to the teens, such as the importance of education, dating issues, and the dangers of drugs and gang affiliation. The group has grown to include over 50 boys at the bi-monthly meetings. However, with growth come many new challenges. Hopeville Boys Center has been mostly self-funded by Forbes with the exception of
grants received by Spalding Collaborative. With so many boys wanting to participate and rising costs of fuel, funding is scarce. “We strive to get the boys out of their normal home environment as often as possible to expose them to other ways of life and new possibilities,” adds Forbes. Unfortunately, these experiences cost money that the Center just does not have. “Our community must come to understand that we will eventually end of spending money on at risk teens—either by paying for the costs of the boys being “in the system” or by being proactive and spending
money to help change their mindset and stop the cycle of poverty,” states Forbes. Forbes has hopes of opening a physical location for the Center to allow these boys a safe place to go after school and on weekends, where mentors will be available for tutoring and guidance. Forbes adds, “We are actively working to make a home base a reality, but we can’t do it without help from the community.” The Center’s needs are simple: financial assistance, partnerships with area businesses and churches, and male mentors and volunteers to teach life skills of any and all
kinds to the boys. “Right now, we just want to get the word out to the community that the Hopeville Boys Center exists and needs help to make a difference in the lives of these children,” states Forbes. To donate your time, money or resources, please contact Clyde Forbes at 404-5375711 or on Facebook at “Hopeville Boys Center.”
JUNE 13-27 , 2013
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Public Forum: Local officials answer your questions
If you have a question you'd like asked of Griffin/ Spalding officials, please e-mail email@example.com with the subject line, "public forum."
Q: Are you in favor of the city and county governments consolidating?
STATE CERT. 0790 & 0755
City of Griffin District 3 I have no problem looking at concrete data that tells us if consolidation would be worth it financially and work logistically. I don't want to dodge the question, but I do not have a good grasp of all the savings or costs nor fully understand how the additional services that city residents pay for would work under a consolidated government - so to say that I support it at this point would be doing so without all the information. The service delivery agreement between the entities is intended to eliminate much of the duplication of services. The county and city are actively looking now at ways to con-
solidate other services that do not fall under service delivery, that could be more efficiently handled in a different manner.
Spalding County District 3 I am for whatever is best for GriffinSpalding County. H o w e v e r, I question the need as there is no real duplication of services. If we can prove money would be saved and our service not hinder the safety of our taxpayers, then it is something we should consider.
City of Griffin District 5 Yes, I w o u l d as a general statement. Alw a y s , though, the devil can be in the details. Georgia’s county system designed around a day’s horse and wagon trip time to the county seat was a far cry from today’s fast transportation and instantaneous worldwide communication systems. Consolidating our State’s large number of small and/or lightly populated counties should be one priority. Consolidating select cities and their counties should be another. Modern computerized data and management systems make effectively controlling larger organizations easier and more cost effective than ever before. The bottom line, I believe, is that we could keep our local government services and do it more efficiently with less duplication and lower cost.
City of Griffin District 4 I have suppor ted consolidation twice at the ballot box and both times the city passed it and the county citizens voted no. At this time it would cost too much money to pursue it and groundwork would have to laid down - I do not foresee a grand swell of support except in the usual quarters. City Government is running smoothly with a great city manager form of government, that would be an area to protect. Whoever is interested in this - come up with a blueprint then an answer could be given to you. Editor's Note: We sent this question to all city and county commissioners, but due to an oversight we sent it very close to our print deadline. As we receive more responses, we will post to our website, www.the-grip.net.
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« youth, cont.
According to Aronda Smith, the Three Rivers Regional Commission representative compiling the Comprehensive Plan for the city, favorite places in the community included the movie theatre, playground, and police department. One person listed that there were no good places in their community other than his church. The worst places in the community listed were the skating rink, basketball court, apartment complex, Spalding Heights and the streets. Smith said this information confirms some of the community threats already identified by the steering committee, and can be used to hone in on some more specific goals. “That this person listed the basketball court tells me maybe the parks don’t have all the resources they need,” Smith said. “The mention of the apartment complex, the streets, and Spald-
ing Heights being the worst places confirms that we have substandard housing in the city. “They basically wanted to see Griffin be a cleaner community,” Smith said. “They want a community center, more activities and programs for youth including musical opportunities, and more role models. Some talked about peer pressure and bullying.” Smith said that while this information won’t necessarily be directly worked into the comprehensive plan, as the plan is more about land use and paints broader goals, Smith said that the city could use this information to implement a youth involvement plan. The city can choose to continue to have those types of meetings,” Smith said. “The city and committee have to be willing to do that. I would recommend that they have a youth involvement meeting annually as a strategy to get input from the youth.” Smith said the youth involvement meeting came about due to the steer-
ing committee identifying the improvement of youth activities as a goal for the next 20 years, and went on to say that she recommends the city consider creating a youth master plan, which would be completely separate from the comprehensive plan, and more detailed to highlight the problems directly related to youth. City Manager Kenny Smith, who was present at the meeting, said “[the meeting] gave us a different perspective of how the youth perceive the city and what they would like to see happen for not only the future but now… A ‘Youth Master Plan’ is a great idea, but all plans for the future should involve youth as any plan that reaches more than 10 years out – a 13-year-old now will be 23.” Ω
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« Land Bank cont.
ditional properties through traditional Land Bank activities. Of the 175 traditionally-obtained properties, approximately 25 have been redeemed by the original taxpayer, leaving 150 in the Land Bank’s possession. Of the 25 NSP properties, approximately 10 have been sold, leaving 15 with the Land Bank. “Those are, of course, now owner-occupied,” Joiner said. Responding to critics who question if Land Bank operational expenses justify the return of so few houses to the tax digest, Joiner was quite candid. “No, not yet, but remember, we’ve got two separate programs here,” he said. “The NSP homes were kind of thrown at us. The tax sale opportunities have only really been going for about a year and a half. That’s why the Land Bank was formed and that’s its future. The payback for the city and county will come through the tax sales.” Joiner then explained that
the results will not be immediate because the process is a long tedious one, requiring an extended waiting period before the Land Bank can move forward with properties it acquires. For the Land Bank to take possession of a property, it must first be declared delinquent by Spalding County Tax Commissioner Sylvia Hollums, and Joiner said that typically takes two years of unpaid taxes. After the owner has been notified and the tax sale takes place, the Land Bank is not permitted to go on the property for one full year. At that time, an attorney must be retained to perform a title search and notify the owner, as well as all other vested parties, such as those who may hold liens against the property. “They must be notified and given one more opportunity to redeem the property and pay the taxes,” Joiner said. “After all that, that’s when we actually can do something with them, when we have the right to foreclose the redeemed properties.” Joiner is, himself, an attorney, but the Land Bank is
required to contract these services to an uninvolved party, he said to avoid any potential appearance of impropriety or conflict of interest. This process, along with necessary repairs and modifications mandated by the state, are what necessitates city and county funding. Joiner acknowledged that the Griffin-Spalding Land Bank Authority is considered delinquent in financial report filings by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA), which makes it ineligible to receive state funding, but he said that situation is being resolved due to the fact that the reports in question actually do not apply to the local Authority. “I have talked to the DCA; we’ve gone around and around. The financial report they’re talking about is a report that due from all the governments or governmental authorities that have the power to issue bonds to raise money,” he said. “We have no authority to issue bonds; we have no desire to issue bonds; and our director is strongly opposed to issuing bonds.”
Joiner said the DCA has agreed to accept a waiver from the Land Bank Authority that will clear up its improper classification of delinquency, but that does not mean additional state funding will be forthcoming, as there are no funds available. With city and county funding included in each entity’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget, Joiner said he anticipates soon being able to resume efforts to return its current tax sale properties to the tax digest through sales. “Hopefully in the next six months to a year and a half, we’re going to see an impact on tax sale properties,” he said. “It’ll positively impact the city of Griffin because it’ll get rid of blighted properties. Further out than that, the economy will have to improve, and we’ll have properties available for in-fill housing. Some are in commercial areas and may bring in new businesses, but that’s obviously not going to happen until we dispose of the properties and have a tax paying citizen take them from us.” Ω
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