LOCAL COLUMNS

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Steve Mullen: Denialism and The W

Posted 11/11/2009 in Local Columns

In his new book “Denialism,” author Michael Specter explores how, on occasion, “an entire segment of society, often struggling with the trauma of change, turns away from reality in favor of a more comfortable lie.” Denialism is all around us. We often ignore reams of evidence, if it contradicts something we find more comfortable or easier to believe.

Steve Mullen: Burned over Burns Bottom?

Posted 11/4/2009 in Local Columns

Well, at least we could say we got close this time. This community has talked about building a soccer complex for years. After working to vet several candidate sites over the past several months, the city and county finally struck a deal on locating a soccer complex and community park in Burns Bottom — not just a bunch of fields, but a plan to keep the land’s natural beauty intact. After out-of-town planners and architects showed us the property’s potential, most dissenting voices came around.

Bert Montgomery: A student's murder, a teacher's reflection

Posted 11/2/2009 in Local Columns

Reid's note grabbed my immediate attention: “Jury selection begins today in the capital murder trial of Bobby Batiste. Batiste stands accused of murdering Andreas Galanis. Both young men were students at Mississippi State. Andreas Galanis was a friend of mine.”

Birney Imes: Cooking from the soul

Posted 10/31/2009 in Local Columns

“You have a Mr. Beauregard R. here to see you.” It was Felicia in the front office. Beauregard or “Beau” was in town visiting a friend and I’d invited them for lunch on Thursday. He lives in St. Augustine, Fla., and is a painter.

Steve Mullen: Amid wrestling over MUW’s name, the 900-pound tag team in the room

Posted 10/28/2009 in Local Columns

As the need to reach a consensus on a new identity for Mississippi University for Women becomes ever more urgent and more dire, I find it pleasing to imagine all the different sides of the debate crowded face to face, in one arena, going at it. I can picture a wrestling ring — or better yet, a cage match.

Birney Imes: A call for unity

Posted 10/24/2009 in Local Columns

Our Wednesday editorial on name change at Mississippi University for Women has drawn a flurry of online responses from many of the usual suspects. In that editorial, we again urged lawmakers and the public to proceed with a name change and to go with Reneau University, the name chosen through a long and painstaking process.

Steve Mullen: Hang on to your butts: Where there’s smokes, there’s fire

Posted 10/21/2009 in Local Columns

There’s gonna be a huge warehouse sale in Tupelo next week — and it ain’t on furniture. The state Tax Commission seized an estimated $20 million worth of smokes in a tax raid in April, and on Oct. 27, it plans to auction off its contraband to the highest bidders.

Birney Imes: Three encounters

Posted 10/18/2009 in Local Columns

Two sisters Sunday a week ago in front of the Catholic Church in the drizzling rain two Korean women were gathering the fruit from the Ginkgo trees lining College Street. The women are sisters. They live in Tuscaloosa. The older one is wearing gloves; the younger one is using tongs. They have just come from Reese Orchards in Sessums where they have been picking persimmons, a fruit popular with Asians.

Steve Mullen: Caught in the middle

Posted 10/14/2009 in Local Columns

There comes a time for all of us when we finally feel our age. I turned 39 a few weeks ago. This is a birthday no one wants to celebrate. It’s much like 29, but 10 years worse. I recall, incredulously, that once, I actually wished to be older. Now, I want the clock to turn back, or at least slow down for a precious minute or two.

Bert Montgomery: Prayer, priorities and the Jumbotron

Posted 10/6/2009 in Local Columns

Written on Saturday, Oct. 3, prior to the MSU/Georgia Tech football game. “Nice to see the faculty raises being put to good use!” joked a school administrator to an MSU professor, referring to the huge banner of Coach Dan Mullen hanging along the side of one of the stadium ramps.

Steve Mullen: It takes a village ... of two

Posted 9/30/2009 in Local Columns

A new Census report out this week shows that Mississippi remains the poorest state in the nation, which comes as little surprise to anyone, especially those either without a job or cashing a meager paycheck each week. (We’re also the lowest-wage state in the nation.)

Birney Imes: Market conversations

Posted 9/26/2009 in Local Columns

Saturday morning Gordon Parker leaned against a battered blue pickup truck loaded with Vardaman sweet potatoes. Parker, a truck farmer who lives in Hamilton, grows peas, tomatoes, okra, corn, butter beans and two types of pole beans, Louisiana purple pod and rattlesnake, which he sells at the Hitching Lot Farmers’ Market.

Steve Mullen: Water, and lots of it

Posted 9/23/2009 in Local Columns

I’m starting to understand how people in Seattle must feel. The rain is here, and it won’t go away. When is the last time we had a clear day, sunup to sunup? At this point, it seems days like that never existed. Somewhere, children are gathered around a rocking chair as Grandpa spins a tall tale about how he once left his car sunroof open overnight, and nothing happened.

Bert Montgomery: Get your cowbells ready, 'cause here come the Tigers

Posted 9/22/2009 in Local Columns

“I hate LSU!” These may very well be some of the very first words I ever heard. Still today, if you ever meet my parents (especially my mother), you'll hear them, too.

 

In the news: Quotes on recreation

Posted 9/20/2009 in Local Columns

With the exception of the excerpt from Steve Rogers' column, the following quotes were taken from a Sept. 17 joint meeting of the Lowndes County Supervisors and the Columbus City Council to discuss the county's recreation needs. They were compiled by Birney Imes.

 

Birney Imes: Another step closer

Posted 9/20/2009 in Local Columns

Saturday, after the rains, Patricia McKinley sat on the porch of her house listening to music and visiting with her daughter and a handful of friends. McKinley has lived in the house all her 48 years. It belongs to her 84-year-old grandmother, who still lives there. Located at the corner of Coretta and Seventh Avenue North, the house is among a sprinkling of structures in this forgotten corner of the city that may give way for the proposed city park/soccer complex.

Steve Mullen: All apologies

Posted 9/16/2009 in Local Columns

I’m sorry to say it, but I miss the good ol’ days when nobody apologized. “Carry the battle to them,” Harry Truman famously said. “Don’t let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive. And don’t ever apologize for anything.”

Bert Montgomery: Singing ‘Father Abraham’

Posted 9/15/2009 in Local Columns

As a child growing up in the Church I learned the cute little children's song “Father Abraham” (and it's corresponding physical movements): Father Abraham had many sons, many sons had Father Abraham I am one of them and so are you, so let's just praise the Lord! Right arm! Left arm! 

Birney Imes: Listening to Olympia tell stories in Brenda's parlor

Posted 9/12/2009 in Local Columns

Olympia Dukakis says she only saw her father cry three times. When she was a teenager she asked him if she could get a job at the Dairy Queen. “No,” her father said, tears welling in his eyes. “Right now I want you to enjoy your youth. Don’t worry, you’ll work.”

Steve Mullen: Ulysses Grant, Frankenberry, and me

Posted 9/9/2009 in Local Columns

I’m engaged in a project which is requiring me to take a personality test. If you’ve had access to the Internet for more than five minutes, then you’ve probably taken a baker’s dozen of tests and quizzes. Some are serious, like those that gauge healthy habits or depression. Online IQ tests are rampant and common.

 

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