Originally created 11/16/02

Rants and raves

Because we receive a number of comments and questions about The Augusta Chronicle, we use Saturday's Rants & Raves column to set the record straight.

THIS IS A RANT for giving up Garfield. Is he now in the hands of animal control? That lovable, sarcastic feline has given me many a chuckle to start off my day on the right paw. If you must make a change, lose Snuffy Smith. What is that all about, anyway? Just fighting for Garfield's animal rights is all. Hopefully I am in time to save him from his eternal sleep!

WHY ISN'T Rex Morgan in the paper today?

Features Editor Tharon Giddens replies: "No, Garfield hasn't been picked up by animal control. He's just taking a cat nap for November while we try out a new comic strip, Jump Start.

"Each month, The Augusta Chronicle gives readers a chance to 'test drive' a new comic strip. We take out an older strip and let readers have their say on the visiting comic and the strip it replaces. We then use the comments to determine whether to bring the old strip back or to add the new strip to our comics page. Everybody's favorite hillbilly, Snuffy Smith, was dropped in October to make way for a test strip, but he returned to the comics lineup after receiving broad reader support.

"As for Rex Morgan, we gave readers a chance in October to pick between Morgan or another serial strip, Judge Parker. Morgan was cut based on readers who made a choice. We heard from readers who wanted to keep both, but The Chronicle has just one page available for its daily comics. Most of the current strips appeal to middle-age and older readers, and dropping one of two similar serial strips with limited appeal opens a slot for a comic that brings new readers to the newspaper.

"If you want to comment on our comics lineup or have suggestions for strips you want to see, send e-mail to feature@augustachronicle.com or call Infoline at 442-4444 and press 4927 to leave comments. To make an online forum posting on comics, go to www.augustachronicle.com/forums."

YOU WONDER why you have gun problems. In a recent paper, you had pictures of a 5-year-old and a 9-year-old holding deer they had killed. Those who hunt should be required to own a hunting license that has the same prerequisites for ownership as a driver's license. Why would we put a kid in the woods with gun?

Outdoors Editor Rob Pavey responds: "The youngsters were accompanied by their dads, who are experienced and licensed hunters themselves. It is well-documented that children exposed to gun safety, sportsmanship and proper respect for the outdoors at an early age grow into the adults who are the safest and most responsible gun owners.

"Obtaining a hunting license, by the way, is far more difficult and time-consuming than getting a driver's license. Georgians must take two days of classroom studies, followed by a two-hour homework assignment, and must complete a final exam before purchasing a hunting license. The course also is available on CD-ROM. Children younger than 12 can hunt with a licensed parent or guardian before passing the safety class."


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