Originally created 11/29/03

Judicial center site will be problematic



Personally, I think the location chosen by our illustrious Augusta commissioners is a wonderful site for the new judicial center.

When it's completed, we'll be the talk of the nation. The backlog of cases will grow and grow - not because of increased crime, but because the judges will have to take a recess every half hour or so to allow time for the freight trains to pass through the front yard.

There's already talk of getting CSX to move their tracks. Why should they? We're encroaching on their territory. I know those tracks have been there for two generations, and maybe even since the great war of Northern aggression. Doesn't the law of eminent domain apply here?

Just think of it: Key witnesses in high-profile cases don't show up for their appearances in court. The judge demands to know where they are, or he'll issue bench warrants for their arrests.

District Attorney Danny Craig and his staff will have to come to the defense of the witnesses. "They're in the parking lot, your honor. They just can't get across the tracks to get in the front door." It could take days to try a four-hour case.

Think of the view! Docents can point out the back of the post office and talk about how efficient they are. (Don't get me started on that.)

Then there's the issue of the canal. I mean it's not just every day you get to lock horns with the Canal Authority and Historic Augusta and the railroad. That takes ingenuity, folks...

Actually, I think we should build this center in the middle of Bush Field. At least somebody will be able to get some use of the land. We surely don't have enough airlines to take up the space. The two flights a day that come in and out of there won't disturb the court nearly as much, and visitors will get a view of the swamp.

Betty Maxwell Draughon, Augusta