September 29, 2009 9:31:00 AM
A few years ago the new director of the Columbus-Lowndes Recreation Authority made a pitch to the city/county officials, that we need to invest in a "Sportsplex" complex for our youth. This complex would be a great asset for the city/county. It would bring in ASA and Dizzy Dean ball and much tax money. (And would not require additional alcohol sales!)
Now we are only going to have a "soggy" soccer complex. What happened to summer youth baseball leagues and summer girls softball? Where are their "Sportsplex" facilities going to be?
Did I miss something? (I have two grandchildren in the county.)
walter commented at 9/29/2009 11:52:00 AM:
I guess I'm just an eternal optimist. Although, in hindsight, I recognize I wasn't the person I would like to have been and by all account, should have been, in terms of being a traditional, confirming citizen, I have always believed that my hometown has some of the most intelligent and progressive engineers, architects, landscapers, contractors and generally all around decent people to be found anywhere in the world. I still believe that to be the case and that such experts and residents are from all races, nationalities, genders, religious backgrounds and sexual-orientations.
Because of the preceding view (prejudice), I am having extreme difficulty understanding the inability of some to see that we have living right there in Columbus and Lowndes County all of the expertise and vision needed to construct a secure and flood-proof sportplex, soccer field or any other structure in Burns Bottom that would be sufficiently strong or sound enough to withstand anything that nature throws at it.
The only thing "soggy" about the entire situation are the soggy brains of some people who refuse to believe in the competency of area experts. Or, outside experts, if needed, to construct the facility in Burns Bottom to contend with any potential periodic floods. I don't think it is necessary to go too far beyond the county's borders to find the expertise. I believe the talent is there. If associations must be formed with outsiders, so be it. The main brain-thrust and skilled-workers are already at home.
Consider, if you would, the following points:
Tenn-Tom will be only a few hundred yards and, if property is prudently seized by eminent -domain, there will be nothing between the waterway (it is no longer just a river that floods) and the sportsplex. Wise linkage, in the future, between the possible use of the waterway and the sportsplex or soccer-field can generate untold amount of revenue, while greatly enhancing the quality of life for all citizens and residents of the entire Golden Triangle.
It is more advantageous for Mississippians to have the sportsplex'soccer-fields on Columbus's western border than its' eastern. We must remember, despite being awfully close to the Alabama line, Columbus is still within the state of Mississippi.
Younger generations might want to reconsider regulations prohibiting gaming on the waterway. Who knows what amount of traffic will be seen on the waterway in the future. Better use of the Tenn-Tom could have a positive impact on efforts to change the way we're currently utilizing energy.
The G-T Airport is not nearly as large now, as it will possibly grow, in the future. Depending on landing zones, visitors would probably be able to see the fields, as they fly in and out of the Golden Triangle.
Build the sportsplex and build it with an eye toward the future. We will overcome our racial-divide and a high-tech sport arena, with style and class, is the only thing befitting the true character of the people in the Golden Triangle that you should be considering, at this juncture.
Not very far from Burns Bottom, in fact, at the top of the hill, I remember sitting on cold nights, on integrated make-shift bleechers, on a hill higher than the wooden-fence surrounding the football field, across from what became the location of the Holiday Inn and witnessing my first live football games. The brightly-lit field and the sparkling-white ambulances waiting to rush possibly injured players to the hospital are forever etched into my memory. A player, who I never knew (we were more segregated back then) named Robbinet was perhaps, the most popular player at the time: (I bet Birney could speak more about him.) To both blacks and whites, alike, S.D. Lee was our team against West Point, Starkville and any other team courageous enough to face Lee. Where else can you construct a soccer-field/sportsplex near the location of the historic Bowl, than right there in Burns Bottom? I believe the vision and expertise is in Columbus and Lowndes County to build something grand and useful enough to make all citizens and residents proud. Do the Right Thing by landowners and do right by the younger generations, today and tomorrow.
1. Our View: A bad choice no one can afford DISPATCH EDITORIALS
2. Leonard Pitts: The 'confirmed unteachability' of humankind NATIONAL COLUMNS
4. Editorial cartoon for 2-22-17 NATIONAL COLUMNS
5. Our View: Columbus Fire & Rescue sets standard for city departments DISPATCH EDITORIALS