November 24, 2012 8:08:15 PM
A rose to all the volunteers who participated in Thursday's annual event that delivered a traditional Thanksgiving meal to the elderly and disabled in town. Organizers estimated more than 800 meals were delivered during Thursday's 17th annual event. In Starkville, Armando de la Cruz, his wife and volunteers fed international students at MSU who would not have otherwise had the opportunity to enjoy one of our great American holidays. Both in Columbus and Starkville, these events would not have been possible without the help of all who volunteered -- those who donated food and money, cooked the meals and made the deliveries. The best evidence of a grateful heart is its desire to share its blessings with others. Certainly, the volunteers demonstrated that quality on Thanksgiving Day.
A thorn to the Columbus City Council for agreeing to permit Lawrence Transit of Lawrence, Ind., to operate a bus service in the city. Council members said they went ahead with the agreement after making sure the city would not have an liability in connection with the service and would not have to put up money to support the venture. The city's participation will consist in helping Lawrence Transit apply for three federal grants. As mentioned before, federal grant money may not come directly out of the pockets of Columbus residents, but it comes out of everyone's pockets. In light of the fact that there have been no studies done to determine if a bus service is viable and, if so, what routes that service should include strongly suggests that the city simply doesn't care whether this service really meets a public need or not. It's a terrible precedent to establish.
A rose to the Columbus Police Department, which had officers on duty on Thanksgiving night to maintain order as crowds of shoppers lined up outside stores in anticipation of Black Friday. The officers not only kept order, they did so in a congenial manner. While there are always instances of bad behavior during Black Friday events, it was relatively quiet in Columbus, thanks to the calming influence of the CPD.
A rose to the Columbus Municipal School District Board for wisely rejecting a $75,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation. It appears the district did not qualify for the grant, so a third-party -- Ginomai Ministries -- applied for the grant, which it planned to donate to the district. While we applaud grants for worthwhile projects, the methods employed in this case were troubling. Ultimately, the school board felt the ambiguity about the legal implications of accepting a third-party grant were enough to reject the offer. Although there was a motion to accept the grant, no board member would step forward to second the motion, which would have brought the matter to a vote. It was a wise move, we feel.
A rose to all who patronized our locally-owned businesses on Saturday. Tucked between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday is dedicated to making sure that shoppers don't forget that the best deals around are often right next door. The dollars shoppers spend stay in our local economy, which means we all profit by shopping "at home.'' We applaud those who shopped locally over the weekend and strongly encourage everyone to shop Columbus as Christmas approaches.