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Buddy Vaiden challenges county to improve quality of life in New Year

Dear Editor:
My profession as a writer has made me aware of the little things. A misspelled word here, a missing comma there, sometimes a complete re-edit. I have nurtured the obsessive/compulsive side of myself, and it has extended beyond the scope of my work.
This year I will have been a resident of Mountain City/Johnson County, for nine years. I keep reading about, and observing, some small but necessary things, to improve our county’s “quality of life”. So I present a list of wishes, you could call them “New Year’s Resolutions”, that I hope will come true.
First, make the “pitcher’s mounds” at Ralph Stout Park, into pitcher’s mounds. When the ball travels from the pitcher, to home plate, gravity will pull the ball down 3-5 inches, depending on the speed of the pitch.
The Little League pitchers, boys and girls, have to compensate for this, and generally overcompensate. I spent about an hour watching the 12-year-old girls play softball last summer. The two pitchers that I saw threw three balls, or more, for every one that actually got into the strike zone. While it was hilarious to watch, the players in the field were trying to entertain themselves, or just falling asleep on their feet.
The game was a comedy of errors to everyone, but the players. This is very contrary to the purpose of these athletic opportunities. For the pitchers to have to deal with an already built in handicap, is not funny at all, is embarrassing, and deflating their confidence in themselves.
Second, fix the scoreboard! It is a tool by which the players can motivate themselves. They can see if they are winning or losing, and in spite of one being the opposite of another, both will motivate the players, as to what they need to do. Otherwise, it is a worthless piece of junk in the park that is in full view of everyone who comes to visit Johnson County.
Third, I have read numerous complaints about the public restroom facilities. This has got to be a pact between the citizens of this county, and its government. The present bathrooms did not get into the condition they are in because of bad weather. I have not personally inspected them, but read an editorial about the situation about 4-5 month’s ago.
If the situation has been corrected, great! If not, unattended facilities, like bathrooms, are prime targets for those who vandalize public property. Should money be spent to bring the bathrooms up to a minimum standard of privacy, then it is up to the public to work with the police dept., to minimize any opportunity to destroy public property.
In Tampa Bay, FL, the restrooms were unlocked during any publicly scheduled event, then were locked again when it was over. This is more than sufficient for any necessary use.
Everything that is available to the public is a direct reflection on the people of this county. If the bathrooms are again “trashed” after they are restored, then we the public must blame ourselves. Our pride reduced to just being thankful that whatever is left of the facilities are there.
There will be other issues that come up, as they do every year, but let’s try to make the slate clean from last year.

Frank “Buddy” Vaiden
Mountain City, TN 37683