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Roses and thorns: 8/26/12




A rose to the Oak Hill Academy high school football team, which is 2-0. While there are any number of teams who are undefeated after the first two weeks of the season, the Raiders' unblemished status to date is worth noting in context. 


Oak Hill did not win a game during the entire 2011 season and won only seven games total during the previous five seasons. But a new coach, Daniel Merchant, arrived at the West Point school, and with him a new attitude. Friday's win over a traditionally strong Winston Academy team should be a real boost to the team's morale as it emerges from its many seasons of discontent. 




A thorn to Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors Board Executive Director Nancy Carpenter for mischaracterizing how the city of Columbus handles revenue from the two-percent hotel tax.  


The Board passed a resolution Tuesday for the city to stop putting the revenue into the city's general fund, implying that the city was using the funds for purposes other than those for which the funds were intended. Carpenter said the city should use the money "to promote tourism by expanding the Trotter Convention Center."  


In fact, the general fund is the correct place for the funds, which are used only for the Trotter. Beyond that, those funds were never earmarked for the CVB. In the simplest of terms, it is none of the CVB's business. To suggest that the city is not using the funds for their intended purposes is an unsupported, reckless charge. To suggest that somehow those funds should instead wind up in the CVB's hands is simply a money-grab. 




A rose to Heritage Academy's "gifted program," which recognizes that all students have unique talents and potential. The school's "Gifted and Talented Education" class (GATE) exposes all students in grades one through six to teaching methods and materials that might have been previously offered only to those students who were identified as "gifted." We encourage this sort of thinking because not all gifts are easily discerned, and other gifts emerge only in the right atmosphere. By exposing all children to the program, the gifts and talents of all children, whether they are obvious or latent, are recognized and promoted. 




A thorn to Junior Eads, pastor at Eastview Baptist Church, for his lack of action in the aftermath of allegations that one of his Sunday school teachers and volunteers had sexually assaulted a minor during a church summer camp in 2008. 


Those allegations resulted in the conviction Thursday of Benny Shelton on one charge of sexual assault of a minor.  


According to testimony, the victim approached the pastor the morning after the attack and told him what had happened. Eads did not contact law enforcement. In fact, he didn't even speak with the victim's family. The only step he appears to have taken was to speak with Shelton, encouraging him to talk to the victim's family, a bizarre piece of advice.  


It is critical that when a child reports a sexual assault, that incident should be immediately reported to law enforcement. When that doesn't happen? The Jerry Sandusky/Penn State tragedy should be all the reminder that is necessary.  


If this testimony is accurate, Eads failed the victim, failed his congregation and failed his community.  












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