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Roses & Thorns 12-29-2013




A rose to all those whose Christmas cheer went beyond their own family and friends and extended to those in need during the Christmas season. Hundreds of organized efforts, along with an untold number of simple acts of grace and kindness, has once again reminded us that, though Christmas seems a little more commercial with each passing year, the spirit of Christmas endures. We are heartened by the genuine charity our community has displayed while recognizing that people are poor and hungry, lonely and neglected in all seasons. Let us resolve, then, to become like the reformed Scrooge, who vowed, "I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year." 




A thorn to the Lowndes County School District for its premature decision to change how it selects its superintendent of schools. In a special meeting Thursday, the board voted 4-1 to appoint the superintendent rather than leave the decision to county voters, as had previously been the case. You can debate the merits of which method is best. In fact, the state legislature had that debate in its last session, ultimately deciding to leave it up to the individual districts to choose. Our issue, then, is not the decision, but the process by which is was made. Of all the rights we have, the right to vote is one that should be taken very seriously. Given that, the failure of the board to schedule any public hearings to discuss the decision is one worthy of sharp criticism. Essentially, the board has taken away the right of the citizens to vote without any regard to the citizens' views on this matter. It may not be a mistake to make a change in how the superintendent is selected, but it is a serious mistake to make the change without allowing citizens to voice their opinion on the matter. 




A rose to John Hall, whose 11th-hour decision to purchase Ranch House Restaurant, a well-established Columbus eatery, means the restaurant and its loyal patrons didn't "miss a meal."  


The diner-style restaurant in east Columbus was scheduled to close last Sunday, but Hall, a manager at American Eurocopter, decided to buy the restaurant after reading about its eminent demise in The Dispatch. Hall has brought in Minerva Brewer, a local caterer, to manage the restaurant. Bon appetit! 




A rose to all those connected with the Yokohama Tire Company's efforts to get the word out about what sort of skills and training will be needed to land a job with the company when it opens in October 2015. As should be expected, the demand for jobs will be very high, and candidates need to know what skills and other requirements they'll have to meet. Toward that end, an informational session was held on Dec. 21 at the Mayhew campus of East Mississippi Community College. The standing-room-only audience was provided with information on how the hiring process will work. By holding these sessions far in advance of the plant's opening, officials are making sure that everyone has a chance to work toward meeting those requirements. 




A rose to all those who had to work on Christmas, a list that includes people such as law enforcement officers and medical staff, but also other city and county workers whose jobs require that someone be on duty 24/7/365. If you found yourself among those groups, we hope that your holiday work shift was a quiet one and that, at some point during your Christmas work day, you were reminded that serving others is, in itself, a reflection of the Christmas spirit.



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