Article Comment 

Roses and thorns: 6/9/13




A rose to all of the municipal election candidates whose efforts failed Tuesday. While it's easy to be gracious in victory, it is often a far more difficult matter to be graceful in the immediate aftermath of defeat. Yet in each case, losing candidates acquitted themselves quite nicely, congratulating their opponent, thanking their supporters and vowing to continue to work for their communities. We thank them for running with honor and conceding defeat in so graceful a manner. And we thank them for entering the fray. More candidates mean not only more choices, but more interest in city politics and more engagement by voters. 




A rose to the Columbus Municipal School District Board of Trustees, which has exerted its authority by calling a pair of special meetings to discuss the professional conduct of CMSD Superintendent Dr. Martha Liddell. Thursday, the board held an often heated, three-hour executive session to discuss Liddell's reported use of school funds and personnel to host a private party. No action was taken at that meeting, but the board has again called a special meeting for Tuesday for further discussion on the matter. Until recently, the board had appeared to be intimidated by its superintendent, even as questions about her conduct and policies surfaced. We are encouraged the board recognizes it has an obligation to the residents to hold all district employees accountable, including the superintendent. 




A rose to the town of Fayette, Ala., which has found an innovative way to draw visitors, increase its sales tax and provide wholesome recreation for its residents. 


Last month, the city opened The Aquatic Facility at the Guthrie Smith Park, which features a 5,380 sq. ft. outdoor multi-purpose pool, interactive play features, multiple water slides and drop slides on a 35 ft. tower, four 25-yd. lap lanes, large teaching area, splash pad, umbrella tables. Interesting, a similar facility is being planned by the new lease-holders at Oktibbeha County Lake. Meanwhile, Columbus has no public pool at all. City and county leaders have formed a committee to consider what kind of development would suit The Island, which will be accessible to pedestrian traffic via the refurbished Old Highway 82 Bridge. That project is near completion. We wonder if a similar water attraction might be among the amenities considered for the area,  




A rose to all the muralists who contributed to the mural depicting a scene of Catfish Alley in its hey-day, part of the city's efforts to honor the memory and legacy of those who made Catfish Alley a cherished part of the city's history. Mississippi University for Women art professor Alex Stelioes-Willis and two students in a special topics mural painting course performed the work. The goal of the mural was to capture the vitality of the area in multiple eras of its lifespan. It is painted on the side of Front Door/Back Door Restaurant at the intersection of Main and Fourth streets. 




A rose to the Columbus Air Force Base, which continues to be a crucial economic engine for Columbus. During its annual Base Community Council luncheon, figures for 2012 showed CAFB's economic impact to be $343.2 million, which represents an $82-million increase from 2011. That's the biggest economic impact number in five years. To state it in more dramatic terms, CAFB pumps $900,000 into the local economy each day. Clearly, CAFB is a vital part of the community and can't be judged by dollars alone. Our community is enriched by all who teach, train and work at CAFB.



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