February 22, 2014 8:50:31 PM
Roses and thorns
A rose to Alan Smith of Smith Landscaping, who took it upon himself to come to the aid of the ancient boxwoods at Friendship Cemetery this past week. In recent years the shrubs have been under attack by oak trees, trumpet vines and other invasive species. With the blessings of cemetery director Frank Goodman, Smith took a small backhoe and removed the undesirable intruders. The cemetery is one of the jewels of Columbus. As the monuments -- many of them dating to the 19th century -- provide a connection with the past, so do the plants growing there. Some of the massive magnolias, live oaks and boxwoods are old as the cemetery itself. Thanks to Smith for the contribution of his talents and resources to the benefit of this local treasure. Now, if someone would come to the aid of Ms. Munroe whose above-ground tomb, a cemetery landmark, is crumbling.
A rose to David Dunn, who announced this week his plans to resign as attorney for the Columbus Municipal School District. Dunn has served as the school district's attorney since 1989 and with his departure the district, which has endured some dark days this past year, will lose an experienced and caring counselor. Dunn says he will continue in the role until a replacement can be found. He says he is also willing to help with any transition period that may be required to get the new board attorney up to speed. While we regret his departure, we thank him for his service.
A rose to Community Outreach director Glenda Buckhalter, who has proven to be not only an able administrator, fund-raiser and advocate for the organization dedicated to helping those in crisis but an active, boots-on-the-ground soldier in the fight. Since moving over from her position with the Columbus Police Department last year, Buckhalter has breathed new life into the organization, especially when it comes to securing private donations. She has also proven that when a need arises, she is not above becoming personally involved, even if it means going out and buying groceries and clothes for a disabled person in need. We applaud her dedication and personal sacrifice on behalf of our most vulnerable residents.
A rose to the Island Committee and other community leaders who traveled to Chattanooga this week to look for ideas that could be applied back home. Although Chattanooga and Columbus have their own unique assets and obstacles, we believe it is wise for our leaders to study the success of others. We fully expect that the group, whose most immediate focus is developing a plan for The Island property, will have returned with fresh ideas that will aid the city in its attempt to move forward.
A rose to the Market Street director Barbara Bigelow and her staff for adding a new wrinkle to this year' Market Street 5K Run. No offense, but 5K runs are pretty mundane events, in most cases. It certainly won't be the case for this years' Market Street 5K, though. This year, at various points on the route, volunteers will douse runners with a corn-starch based "paint. Runners are encouraged to wear white T-Shirts for the event, which will be held May 3. The runners will be a colorful mess by the time they cross the finish line and, as any little kid will attest, getting messy is half the fun. We applaud Bigelow and her organization for their efforts in making the Market Street Festival "new" each year.
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