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Roses and thorns 6/5/11




Roses to all of the volunteers who keep us occupied during the summer months. 


Who says there''s nothing to do here in the summer? Just in Columbus on Thursday, you could have attended an art gallery opening, and finished off the evening with a free Sounds of Summer outdoor concert at the Riverwalk. The day before you could have gone to a lunchtime talk on Southern food. 


Starkville, West Point and Columbus has a dedicated group who organize artistic events, concerts, farmers'' markets, seminars and readings. They''re involved with each city''s Main Street associations, arts councils, libraries and schools. 


Thank them by attending a summer seminar or concert. Shop at a farmers'' market. You''ll be glad you did. 


(See today''s Lifestyles section for a calendar of upcoming events.) 




A thorn to Keith Kimmerle, Lowndes County''s "bird man," who once again has let his home on North Chestnut Drive in Oakdale Park grow into an eyesore. 


Kimmerle''s dilapidated property has been a bane of the neighborhood for a decade. Each year or so, his property comes up before the Board of Supervisors, which has to prod, cajole and eventually threaten him to mow his lawn and clean up his property. 


We''re doing this dance again. Last week, supervisors were again talking about how to get the property cleaned up. 


Kimmerle is a poster child of why the county needs zoning laws. If the house were in the Columbus city limits, it probably would have been demolished long ago. 


We urge supervisors to do Kimmerle''s neighbors a favor, and take permanent action to resolve the situation. 




A rose to the Columbus Municipal School District board, which voted last week to hire a national consultant firm to find a new superintendent to lead the district. 


Ray and Associates -- ironically, the same firm that lured CMSD''s Dr. Del Phillips to the Sumner County, Tenn., school district -- will conduct a search for the departing superintendent''s replacement. 


The board expects to pay the firm around $15,000 for the search. We think that doing a comprehensive, nationwide search is money well spent. Our children deserve the best leader out there. 




A rose to Becky Thomas, who is stepping down after a decade at the helm of the Lowndes County Red Cross chapter. 


Thomas, her own home damaged by straight-line winds 10 years ago in Columbus, resolved to volunteer for the agency after it helped her in her own situation. She ended up becoming director. 


We thank her for her volunteer spirit and her years of dedication to the community. 




A rose to Rosemary Lamar, the owner and instructor of Children''s House Montessori School, who by her own estimation has helped educate somewhere around 1,000 children during her career with the home-run school since 1976. 


Lamar is retiring and closing the school, which taught children from ages 3 to 9. 


The closing of the school is the end of the Montessori education in Columbus, a method that encourages experimentation and hands-on learning. 


Thanks to her and to the area''s other retiring teachers, who sacrifice so much to do such an important job -- shaping the minds of our children. 








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