Editorial

We’ve been encouraged to see a recent push to clean up the Martha Berry corridor of pervasive drug activity, but for those continuing to battle addiction we’d like to offer some encouragement.

The circumstances which you find yourself in right now do not have the be the way you spend the rest of your life.

Every person has highs and lows in their lives and some are more fortunate than others to have a support system. For those of you whose choices have led to a bad place in life, this is not the end. This is not where you are “stuck” forever.

You may find yourself in a place where it’s extremely hard to find the will to fight. You may be in a position where the hope of finding a place in the world where you can hold your head up seems too far away.

But the path through addiction is there, and it’s attainable. It’s a rocky path through hell but it’s there. We know because we’ve seen it countless times. There are many stories of addiction. But there are also stories of recovery.

Watching as graduates of a recent drug court program celebrated regaining their lives held an astounding amount of energy. We hope those watching who are currently in the program were paying attention.

There was a level of self-honesty that many who have not faced difficult times or addiction may not be able to attain. All the people there knew where they had been and what they continued to face. But they’d also seen some success, and their enjoyment in regaining facets of their lives they’d lost was infectious.

Through their actions they’d lost a lot, but through their actions they had also regained much of what they’d lost. This lesson is a valuable lesson; it’s one of self-reliance and self-realization.

Despite the fact that there have been numerous drug arrests over the past few weeks, those people aren’t lost. They more than likely have hard times ahead but they can, through hard work, regain much of what’s been lost.

“Lock them up” mentalities and “tough on crime” initiatives have led to a lack of faith in our justice system, but watching people work through accountability courts in our county is enough to restore much of that faith.

We’d like to thank those judges who oversee our local accountability courts as well as those in the district attorney’s office, public defender’s office, police, counselors and volunteers.

Seeing those in the programs fail can certainly be discouraging but we hope all involved are buoyed by the successes.

We’d also like to thank the law enforcement officers who are putting in long hours to keep our streets safe. It’s noted and appreciated.

Sports tourism, it’s a thing

Partnerships between our city, county and local school systems and colleges have led to Rome making its mark.

The USATF National Youth Championships in town this weekend illustrate that point, but let’s not forget ACC Tennis Championships and others. We’ve already been put back on the list for the tennis event in April 2022 and expect that others will follow.

We’ve done a lot of work downtown and it shows. It’s not uncommon for those visiting our area to give a five-star review to the charming downtown area and we imagine that will be compounded when the River District plans are up and running.

Partnerships with local schools — Berry College and Rome City Schools being the standouts — brought in the Corky Kell Classic and numerous events to the much maligned Rome Tennis Center at Berry College. Let’s not forget the Rome Braves hosting state high school baseball playoffs, either.

All of those events add up to significant revenue for local hotels and restaurants and, of course, cash flowing into local government coffers through a variety of tax revenues.

We should continue to support and encourage entities working together for our mutual benefit.

Thank you for reading.

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