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Everybody is talking about
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Of course, everyone talks about the weather, although we can't control it.

Records substantiate our complaints about the heat: It really hadn't been that hot on any other Independence Day - all over the country.

Scientists warn us to expect more summers like this, and even if you don't believe that human actions are causing global warming, perhaps we humans should hedge our bets and do whatever we can to restrict the actions that could, just maybe, be doing the damage. And hope it is not too late.

Not everybody is aware, but some of us senior citizens are combining being cool with staying mobile by taking advantage of the Silver Sneakers water exercise program at the county pool.

Yes, I (the most senior of them all) am doing it, but admit that I need a boost getting out of the pool. It is just another good thing coming out of the Dawson County Senior Center.

Individuals, news commentators, entertainers, politicians (well, everybody) expressed gratitude for our American freedoms as we celebrated that hot Independence Day. And well we should.

We should not, however, take our way of life for granted. We can analyze what defines that way of life and work together to maintain the policies that undergird it. Hopefully, "together" is a possibility.

It is not only the weather that is hot - so are politics.

Locallly, we have an important special election/primary on July 31, with early voting already beginning.

Important positions are at stake, requiring voters to do real soul-searching and perhaps research.

I'm still scratching my head about the T-SPLOST, but there's one question on the ballot that I've firmly decided: Should the Georgia State Constitution be amended to allow the state to decide, even overrule local school board's decisions, to approve charter schools in a county.

This could open a real Pandora's box, especially when some charter schools are or could be privately, for-profit owned.

Most of us do not understand exactly how a charter school differs from a regular public school, and we should.

Actually, the Dawson County School System is a charter system, duly approved by local and state boards. But it is still a public school system. And it is still locally controlled. We should be careful about amending constitutions.

Sorrowfully, just as the fact of Charles and Kathy Finley's accident spread rapidly, so did the news of Charles's death - friend to friend, phone to phone, computer to computer.

And all those who know him talk about how he will be missed on many fronts.

Helen Taylor's cloumn appears periodically in the Dawson Community News.