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Some decisions hard to make
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As usual, we continue to revel in the beauty of spring: azaleas, wisteria, dogwood, tulips, pansies and green, green, green everywhere. And as usual, we suffer through the pollen that accompanies all that green — but we understand the importance of pollination, so we go through it.


For the last several days, there has been a tree-removal crew in my neighborhood, so the pollen has been unusually disturbed as branches and huge trunks were felled and the big chipper worked constantly.


Some shrubs and cultivated plants are damaged, of course, because they are in the same area.


All of that (and a pretty penny, too) is the price we pay for ridding ourselves of unwanted elements and making long-range improvements. The clearing out and cleaning up processes are not easy.


We find ourselves in somewhat the same situation when our governments — local, state and national — attempt to deal with economic crises, depleted revenues, budgets that won’t stretch far enough, and needs that really should be met.


I feel almost as helpless when I consider the governmental problems as I do when chain saws scream, or even when my computer refuses to cooperate.


But then I can call in some experts and know that I must pay for their knowledge and experience, and that the problem will probably be solved.


Actually, we hope and would like to believe that the solution is the same with our lawmakers and governmental officials.


Sometimes, however, we suspect that their knowledge and experience may not exceed that of some of us ordinary citizens.


The difference is that they are forced to make decisions. There are very few “experts” to be called in. And we must all live with their decisions.


There will be plenty of debris there, too, and it is not pleasant to contemplate.


Just one tiny example: The Georgia Legislature is considering elimination of funding for a State Arts Council, making us the only state in the nation without one (so I have been told). Exactly what that will mean for our local Bowen Center, I don’t know.


Dawson County has been fortunate to be able to sustain an outstanding arts program of performances, exhibits and classes — even with a limited budget.


Although exposure to and participation in the arts is not as vital as access to good health care or a good education, it is an important part of quality living.


Weathering budget cuts is and will be difficult and will require lots of decision-making.


But many will say, “We have done it before.”


One who says that is local author J.M. Burt, whose recently published novel


“God-Fearing Criminals” details many ways that Dawson Countians in the early 20th century faced and weathered difficult times.


Burt will be talking about that book, those times, and how he chose to write about them when he speaks at the April 27 meeting of the historical society.


Come to the Dawson County Library at 7 p.m. next Tuesday and meet him. Just as I did, you’ll find him an interesting gentleman.


Helen Taylor’s column appears periodically in the Dawson Community News.