Letters to the Editor


No need to fear the needle

To the editor:

It appears the availability of COVID-19 vaccines is improving. On Feb. 4, the County Health Department called to find out if they could move up my appointment.

That day, I received my first of two Moderna COVID-19 shots. Getting the vaccine gave me an insight to our society, I have never seen so many elderly people in one place in Northeast Georgia. We were lined up into the parking lot.

The morning after getting the shot, I had a slight feeling in my right shoulder that was nowhere near a pain. It was not even a discomfort. By Sunday, my right arm once again felt normal.

I want to point something out. Since September, I have had five injections. They were flu, pneumonia, two shingles shots and now one COVID-19 shot. Growing up, I developed a strong dislike for injections. Today’s needles are so much better than the ones used when I was growing up. Because I’m a

little chicken, I look away when they inject me and the lady giving me the shot had to tell me she was done.

There I was waiting for a shot and it was over. 

Why go over this? I believe some people avoid getting vaccinations because they fear the injection. For those who have this fear, I want to assure them that injection technology has come a long way.  To quote Franklin D. Roosevelt, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.”

Please get on the COVID-19 vaccine waiting list and when your time comes, get the shot. You will be helping to protect society and yourself.

Jimmy O’Neill



Remember Washington

To the editor:

Since 1929, President George Washington has been honored with his picture on the $1 bill. 

The Joseph Habersham Chapter, Georgia Society of the Sons of the American Revolution encourage all to pause Monday, Feb. 15, to reflect on the man – George Washington – upon his birth in 1732. 

Washington did not seek to be General Washington, nor did he seek to become President Washington. A modest, humble person, he chose to serve his country in many ways. 

Did you know he was responsible for our current military chaplains Corps, having first appointed a chaplain to every Continental Army Regiment? Since the inception chaplains have served in every American war.

He attended school irregularly. He was trained in practical mathematics a useful skill for a surveyor. He studied geography, possibly a little Latin and some English classics. His best training was not by books. 

At age 20, Washington inherited one of the best Virginia estates, Mount Vernon. When he married Martha Curtis, a wealthy widow with a 60,000-acre estate, he successfully managed two large estates – overseeing livestock, timber and other farm enterprises. 

George was a survivor. At 19, he overcame smallpox; he grew up to be 6 feet, 2 inches tall. As a well-known surveyor, he survived a tumble from a raft into the icy Alleghany River. As a British Captain in the French Indian war, Indians shot at him twice point blank. Both times their muskets misfired. He was captured by the Indians but released. 

During the Revolutionary War, two or more horses were shot from under him at different times; British officer Ferguson rode past him one night paying him no attention. During three planned crossings of the Delaware, only Washington was successful. 

The Sons of the American Revolution promote patriotism, preservation of American history, and education of future generations. Membership requires proof of lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution. The Joseph Habersham Chapter serves and most members reside in the Georgia counties of Habersham, White, Rabun, Stephens, Banks, and Franklin Counties.

For details, contact William H. Raper, whraper@gmail.com or call 706-754-4413 ext 0007.

Ron Hill



My thoughts on vaccine distrubtion

To the editor:

I have no plans to try to jump ahead of anyone more deserving than me. However, I’m tired of hearing to inject as many arms as possible to get the count up. Follow the scientists’ advice and keep us all safe.

Remember that all of the older folks are not in nursing homes and many live alone or with relatives. Many don’t have computers so they are the forgotten people.  I suggest that a number be established where the elderly can call to receive an appointment. Start with 85 year olds, next 75-84 year olds and finally 65 to 74 year olds. Determine a location where these forgotten folks can get their vaccine. If some cannot go to a location picked, provide their vehicle and a driver, and once I get my shots, I will go with the driver and give the shots myself to anyone who needs it.

From 1951 to 1955, I gave four years of my life to my country as a physician’s assistant in the U.S. Navy. I worked for two years in medical research and two on foreign soil. At one point I gave double shots to 300 Marines and some Navy corpsmen. I also set up an x-ray department and gave medical attention to American ambassadors in Haiti and Cuba. During the next 20 years I worked in a related field in New York.

I picked up again after moving to Florida. My wife was badly injured in 1975 and spent two years in local hospitals with many operations. She was declared paraplegic and transferred to Orlando. She was given five years to live. At 55, I went back to college and completed registered nurse training and convinced the insurance company to take care of her at home. I gave her all the care including medicine and injections and she survived until three years ago. I also took care of my own mother and gave injections received from the VA to others as well.

I was born in 1931 and have diabetes, among other things. I am on a list at Habersham Medical Center but have been placed below all the policemen, firemen and whomever else. I don’t mind being in the general population list  as long as guidelines are followed. I also checked my pharmacy at Ingles. They had 100 doses on hand but could not give me a break. Their policy is to go online and sign up. The next request was to fill out an application online. They would process an application and send it to the pharmacy . Once received they will determine the order to call and get the shot. If you don’t have a computer available, you are not wanted?

We need to locate the elderly who are not in a nursing home and give them the same opportunity as those who are. I have given injections more than 1,000 times and hope that some attention will be given to our forgotten population.

Kenneth Gorr



Hendrix, Davis should resign immediately

To the editor:

During the Demorest City Council meeting on Feb. 2, it was discussed that a letter was sent to several Demorest citizens concerning their participation in the recall efforts of 2020 against Councilmen John Hendrix and Nathan Davis. The letter was from Hendrix’s attorney, accusing them of defamation, libel, ordering them to cease and desist and finally demanding a retraction.

The letter was read during public comments and stated that Hendrix has been ridiculed and the object of public hatred and contempt. I feel the majority of citizens share my opinion that no one owes Mr. Hendrix an apology. Rather, it is Hendrix who owes an apology to the citizens. The allegations made in the recall applications have been substantiated and well documented and include malfeasance, violations of financial responsibility and violating the city charter. You cannot recant actions that are true. These actions have been occurring since they both took office in January 2020.

The audacity of Hendrix to threaten, attempt to intimidate, and bully his own constituents is unacceptable and unbecoming of a councilman. Both Councilman John Hendrix and Nathan Davis showed a complete disregard for our public safety with their unwillingness to begin the process of purchasing the fire truck, which was voted on by our citizens. From what has been explained during meetings, it could take up to a year to build the fire truck, with no payments required during that time. With the status of current fire trucks, time is of the essence in making sure our fire department has what it needs to protect the residents and businesses.

Councilman Jim Welborn was an embarrassment as he just sat there and couldn’t bring himself to vote. Many citizens feel the same way that I do in that Mr. Hendrix and Mr. Davis should resign immediately. Demorest cannot take another year with these rogue councilmen. Demorest deserves a council that holds the interest of the citizens they are elected to serve at heart.

Steve Tench



Demorest City Council disappointment

To the editor:

I would like to express my utmost disappointment in the current actions of the Demorest City Council. For years, the need for a new fire truck has been discussed during council meetings. This need was wisely recognized and put forth on the list of projects for the most recent SPLOST. Demorest residents overwhelmingly support the purchase of a fire truck and made their voices known when over 70% of us voted for SPLOST. At that point, it was no longer up to council. The city residents voted for the fire truck.

The efforts that Chief Ranalli has put forth to research and bring information to the council (including every demand made by councilmen) have been thorough and commendable. His level of detail in examining the precise needs of the city of Demorest have shown his sincere desire to best serve the residents and businesses of the city. Time and again, he has given up or offered to give up his salary for the benefit of the department and the citizens. Shame on the current council for not adhering to the wishes of the people they were elected to serve.

It is detestable that Hendrix and Davis appear to be putting a wall and/or its “aesthetics” (which is in the state right-of-way and DOT has already agreed to repair it) above the safety needs of the citizens. Further, Welborn’s refusal to vote at all needs one to question why he even ran for office in the first place. It appears that the council fails to understand that money designated in SPLOST must be spent on the council projects that were voted on by the citizens. As a reminder, the job of the council is to serve their constituents – something they have failed to do since taking their oath of office. It is time for them to set aside their personal agenda(s), and do right by the citizens they were elected to serve. Purchase the fire truck!

Matt Mason