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Church lacks compelling case for road closure

The First Baptist Church of Glen St. Mary is making its case for closing George Taber Boulevard in the west town on the basis of: a.) through traffic is a hazard during church activities and b.) the church needs the road closed to expand parking lots to the west of the main building.

The church has a case. But it doesn’t have a compelling case — one that justifies by circumstances and precedent the closing of a through road by the county or Town of Glen St. Mary.

Here’s why.

• A traffic count in May recorded 10,500 vehicle trips along Taber during a seven-day period. The church claims 2000 of those, 20 percent, were vehicles coming or going to its services and events.

It’s an arbitrary number, it seems, for an estimate by the entity whose agenda is to close the road. For purposes of discussion, however, let’s say it’s close enough to be accurate.

That still leaves 8500 vehicle trips a week by people using Taber as a thoroughfare — to and from Interstate 10 and fed from neighborhoods north and west of Glen St. Mary. That’s a significant number.

Those trips will have to be routed elsewhere, most likely to CR 125 where the DOT recently narrowed the eastbound approach on US 90 from two lanes to one. Added congestion — most notably on school mornings — is a certainty.

The same is true of northbound traffic on CR 125 as it then would have to turn west on US 90, or even less desirable, use narrow roads on either side of the CSX tracks to arrive back at Taber. 

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Melon madness: You can’t fool Mother Nature

An article in last week’s Baker County Press highlighted local kids growing some humongous cabbages for a classroom project sponsored by Bonnie Plants nursery in Alabama.

They can compete for growing a prize winning cabbage and maybe get their photo on the nursery’s website.

And they haven’t been the only ones out there striving for mega-sized items from the garden.

Twenty farmers in Japan recently got an unexpected surprise by trying to rush melons to maturity to reap the profits. Seems the farmers got a little overzealous in dousing their crops with an accelerated growth hormone. What they ended up harvesting were not super-sized fruits but a super-sized mess.

The melons turned into organic land mines and literally started exploding on the vines.

The incident underscores a basic and fundamentally important component of plant biotechnology: It’s a good idea to read the instructions on the label.

The farmers used a tongue-twisting chemical spray known as forchlorfenuron (say that rapidly 10 times in a row). This plant growth accelerator is typically used in the United States on grapes and kiwi fruit (bet you didn’t know that, did you?) and is not meant for larger fruits like melons.

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Local business first

Dear Editor:

I feel compelled to write in response to the Reader Sparked column in last week’s edition.

I am the mother who wrote the question as to why the high school continues to use Cady & Cady Studios for [Baker High] yearbook photos. Myself and others have used them in the past because we thought we had to. I found this company to be unprofessional and very expensive when my son graduated in 2009.

We all want local business to support our athletes, FFA programs, band and other school functions. It makes you feel like a hypocrite to ask local merchants to support these endeavors when we as parents won’t stand up and say, when possible, keep our spending local to help support the local economy that we depend on to support our youth programs. That makes a lot more sense than sending it to other counties for a shoddy job.

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Couldn’t pick up the cat

Dear Editor:

Why is it that politicians can spend into the millions of dollars to get my vote, but will not appropriate funding for a state program? Last time I checked we citizens are the employers of public officials. We vote them in and pay their ridiculous salaries.

Case in point: I had a few stray cats in my neighborhood, and yes, they were a nuisance and a pain. But do they not have any rights?

One of these stray cats landed at my front door seriously injured. I called Baker County animal control, and was not surprised when told that  limited funding would not allow these fine woman and men to come to my home and assist the injured cat.


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